Giants first base coach Luis Pujols suggested to Robb Nen that he try to stage a comeback left-handed.
"No!" San Francisco's franchise saves leader said immediately.
The Giants honored their beloved closer yesterday, five months after he announced his difficult decision to retire when he failed to recover from three surgeries on his troublesome right shoulder. Nen underwent countless hours of rehabilitation to try to return, but ultimately called it quits with 314 saves to his name.
Nen received a long standing ovation as his signature song -- "Smoke on the Water" -- blared from the SBC Park sound system. Highlights of him pitching were shown on the main center field scoreboard.
The 35-year-old Nen, who had 43 saves and a 2.20 ERA in 2002 to help the Giants win the NL pennant, played through pain during the playoffs that season. He knew he was risking further damage.
The Giants fell six outs short of a championship. Nen has repeatedly said he has no regrets.
"What am I going to change?" he said. "My job was to pitch."
* WILSON RETURNS: Craig Wilson returned to the Pirates' lineup last night following a two-month layoff with a finger injury, hoping to give a power boost to one of the majors' worst offenses He was 1 for 4 in an 11-4 win over the visiting Mets.
Wilson, a first baseman and outfielder, was expected to spend at least another five days on a rehabilitation assignment at Indianapolis he began only Monday, but convinced the Pirates he was ready by homering twice Friday night -- among his three homers in 17 at-bats in Class AAA.
"From a physical standpoint, he's ready," Manager Lloyd McClendon said. "There's nothing else for him to do. . . . So we got him on the first plane out of there."
-- From News Services