When Ben Sheets takes the mound in Wednesday afternoon's regular-season finale against the Pirates, he will be doing more than filling just a few innings for the Braves. The veteran pitcher will be making the final start of his injury-plagued career without any regrets.
"I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I'm not playing again," Sheets said. "No matter what, there is not enough help or money to pull me out of this one."
Sheets had similar thoughts when he underwent Tommy John surgery midway through the 2010 season. He had undergone a major surgical procedure to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow two years earlier. His assumption was that his career was complete.
But after beginning to throw again early this year, Sheets enjoyed an inspiring comeback with the Braves, who lured him out of his two-year retirement in July. He went 4-1 with a 1.41 ERA in his first five starts and then endured three rocky starts before his right shoulder simply became too bothersome in late August.