Pitcher Ted Lilly confirmed earlier reports that he has retired as a player because of chronic neck pain. Clarifying conflicting published comments in recent days, Lilly on Thursday wrote in a text message that he can no longer physically perform. "I am retiring," Lilly wrote. "I don't want to, but I think it is the realistic decision." The 15-year Major League veteran recently had the nerve endings on the right side of his neck cauterized by a spine specialist. The procedure allowed Lilly to pitch in the Venezuelan Winter League, but the discomfort continued. Lilly was limited to just five starts in 2013, while posting a 5.09 ERA over 23 innings. In total, Lilly played for six organizations -- including the Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, Blue Jays, A's and Expos.