Former Tigers closer Jones retiring after 16 seasons

Todd Jones has closed his last game in Major League Baseball.

The former Detroit Tigers closer, who was pulled from the role in July, wrote in his Sporting News column that he plans to announce his retirement after this season.

"So this is it," Jones wrote in this week's magazine. "If you're a Tigers fan, I'll never stress you out again. If you're not a Tigers fan, you'll never have me as your ace in the hole, convinced I'll blow a lead against your team."

The 40-year-old Jones went on the disabled list in late July with an injured right shoulder; he revealed to the Sporting News that he was pitching with a frayed labrum. Jones was activated for one game in mid-August, gave up five unearned runs, and went back on the DL.

Jones is 4-1 with a 4.97 ERA and 18 saves in 21 chances this season and retires as the Tigers' career leader in saves with 235. He has 319 career saves in 16 seasons with Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, Colorado, Boston, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Florida.

He pitched four-plus seasons in Detroit from 1997 to 2001 and returned to the team as a free agent before the 2006 season. Jones had 37 saves that year and saved the Tigers' only win against St. Louis in the World Series.

"That was one of the best free-agent signings there was," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "It worked out pretty good."

Many of Jones' save opportunities were roller-coaster rides for Tigers fans -- he rarely overpowered hitters -- but his manager said the results made them worthwhile.

"It might've gotten a little edgy at times and a little nerve-racking at times, but for the most part, when the game was over, we were shaking hands," Leyland said. "I like the fact he was going to go after 'em. They were going to have to hit it.

"Some nights they did. Most of the time they didn't. However it got done, it got done."

Leyland said he expects Jones to return to Detroit on Thursday when the Tigers begin their final series of the season against Tampa Bay.

Several years ago, Jones began writing a column about his days in baseball. He plans to keep writing for the Sporting News.

"I have tried to give fans a look at what it's like from a guy who's passing through the game," he said.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.