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Lowell says this year is probably his last

04.10.10 at 5:01 pm ET

In a text message to WEEI.com, Mike Lowell said this is most likely his last year. Lowell also told reporters prior to the Red Sox‘ game against the Royals that he will most likely retire following the 2010 season. Lowell is making his first start of the season Saturday night, playing third base and hitting sixth.

Here are Lowell’s comments to a group of reporters (courtesy MLB.com’s Ian Browne. Click here for Ian’s story):

(Are you looking to next year?) ‘€œNo, I don’€™t because this probably is my last year.’€

‘€œIf this was the fourth year of my career, I would have choked everyone by now in the organization, straight honest. I’€™m a much more mellow family man now.’€

(Think you would play next year?) ‘€œI think I can. It’€™s my choice.’€

(When did you come to that conclusion?) ‘€œThree years ago, to be honest with you. I have no qualms about it. My agent wanted to kill me for not taking a four-year deal and I said I don’€™t  know if I want to play four years but I know if I sign a four-year contract, I’€™m going to play four years. I didn’€™t know that. I tried to look at the big picture. I see my family, I see the age my kids are at. They’€™re both starting a new school next year ‘€“ all that good stuff. There’€™s a lot of reasons for dad to be there. Has this scenario maybe put baseball a little bit lower? I don’€™t think so. But it grinds at you a little. That’€™s where the mental challenge comes in.’€

(Anything change your mind about next year?) ‘€œWell, I’€™m not 100 percent sure. I would say I’€™m well up there. Actually I would love for the last year of my career to be the best year of my career if that would be the case. I don’€™t think there’€™s any better way of going out than on top. Why not?’€

‘€œThe opportunity of not being able to do it is what makes it hard, it really does.’€

(If you keep feeling better this year, motivate you more to play next year?) ‘€œNo, no. If I hit 30 home runs this year or if I hit three, I don’€™t think that stance is going to change. Now whether I want to or not, that’€™s totally different. I’€™m pretty confident in what I’€™ve done and physically what I’€™m capable of doing. Yeah, you can look at, oh, this is a walk year, the next contract and all that stuff. It doesn’€™t even enter my mind. If it would, like I said, in the fourth year of my career, I would have been the biggest jerk in spring training and tried to get my way out of here because why not put up numbers when you showed, basically for me, at 65 to 70 percent, I was able to put up respectable numbers. I’€™d never proclaim that I’€™m 100 percent right now, but I’€™m much better than last year. I’€™ve said that from Day One.’€

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