Flaherty retires

John Flaherty, the presumed frontrunner to win the job as Tim Wakefield’s personal catcher, retired today.

Flaherty, in a statement, said, “It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement from Major League Baseball today … I am grateful to Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington for giving me the opportunity to play on a world class team and my appreciation is not diminished because of the judgment call I am making today … I started my career with the Red Sox and proceeded to live out my boyhood dreams. Thank you to all of my teammates, coaches, managers and fans for making the ride so much fun.”

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Theo Epstein’s statement on Flaherty:

“John is a true professional and class act with much to be proud of during his distinguished career. We’ll miss his presence and contributions, but we respect and support his decision. We’re proud that John began and ended his career in a Red Sox uniform, and we wish him the best wherever life leads him.”

The 38-year-old Flaherty was competing with Josh Bard and Ken Huckaby for the backup spot and to become knuckleballer Tim Wakefield’s primary catcher. Jason Varitek is the starter.

Flaherty, who signed last December as a free agent after three seasons with the New York Yankees, did not give a reason for his decision.

Material provided by the Associated Press and the Red Sox was used in this report.

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