VIERA, Fla. (AP) -Bret Boone came out of retirement to sign a non-guaranteed, minor league contract with the Washington Nationals on Monday, joining his younger brother, infielder Aaron, and their father, assistant general manager Bob, with the club.
Boone, who turns 39 in April, hasn't played in the majors since 2005, when he spent time with Seattle and Minnesota. He went to spring training with the New York Mets the next year but called it quits before playing an exhibition game.
``There's something still in there,'' Boone said Monday. ``I look at it as I've got nothing to lose.''
A three-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner at second base, he is a career .266 hitter with 252 homers and 1,021 RBIs over 14 seasons with five clubs. Only Jeff Kent and Hall of Fame member Ryne Sandberg have hit more major league homers as a second baseman.
ledged to Canseco in 2001 he used steroids.
``I don't know the person. He doesn't know me. I've never had a conversation with him. As far as I'm concerned, it's absolutely ridiculous,'' Boone said in 2005.
On Monday, flanked at a table by manager Manny Acta and general manager Jim Bowden during a news conference at the Nationals' spring training stadium, and with his father standing a few feet away, Boone spoke about dealing with other off-field problems.
``I've just changed my way of life a little bit. I've always been a guy that goes out and likes to have a good time - maybe at times, too good of a time,'' he said. ``And that kind of all catches up to you and you've got to look in the mirror and find out where are you going. Where are you going with your life? Took care of some personal business, and I feel that I can give this 100 percent.''
He will begin the spring as part of the Nationals' accelerated development camp for minor leaguers - the same spot where Dmitri Young came in last year before winding up as Washington's starting first baseman.
``Whether it leads to coming back to the form he once had and he helps us, whether he comes back to the form and we trade him to someone else, or whether he doesn't make it back, we don't know. We'll find out in time,'' Bowden said. ``But we're going to give him that opportunity.''
The Nationals already have two veteran second basemen, Ronnie Belliard and Felipe Lopez, and Boone said he wouldn't be interested in trying another position or spending the year in the minors.
Aaron Boone signed as a free agent with the Nationals in December. The brothers played together with Cincinnati in 1997 and 1998, when Bowden was the Reds' GM and Bob Boone was in the team's front office.
Bret Boone worked with some young players in the Nationals' system late last year and caught the bug to give the comeback a try.
``It's like I'm a rookie all over again,'' he said, ``only I'm not 18 years old.''
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