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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Jays’ Oliver sounds like a man ready to retire

Reconsider yourself.

At age 41, Darren Oliver has the best earned-run average of his career. He also has a wife and two sons, aged 10 and 12, back home in the Fort Worth suburb of Southlake, Texas.

Soon the Toronto Blue Jays reliever will decide whether to keep pitching or retire after 19 big-league seasons. At the moment, he sounds like a man ready to stay home.

“Every kid needs a father at home,” the Toronto Blue Jays reliever said prior to the club’s 9-6 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday. “That’s important to me. I think it should be important to a lot of people. Baseball’s second. Family’s first. I’ve always said that.”

...Given the Jays’ injury epidemic, he said it is difficult to assess just how good this team can be. Whatever the answer, it will not affect his decision, he said.

“I’ve kind of been spoiled over the past few years. Like they say, every good thing always comes to an end. Teams are going to make the playoffs and teams aren’t. I never took it for granted, the past years when we did make the playoffs. Everybody in this room, once they get a taste of it, they’re going to know what’s it like to be there and always want to grind to get back.”

But he is unsure whether he will confront the grind for another season. He has friends back home who have “just a normal life.” A big part of him yearns for that. His kids are at “a crucial age,” he adds.

Repoz Posted: September 30, 2012 at 06:38 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jays

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   1. SoSH U at work Posted: September 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM (#4249454)
From an ERA+ standpoint, he's gotten increasingly better results every year for the past 5 seasons. If this is indeed it, I wonder if there's another guy (not leaving the game due to injury) you could say that about.

   2. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: September 30, 2012 at 06:54 PM (#4249457)
I don't know about whether he improved until retirement, but Tom Henke had a hell of a final season and I believe quit on his own accord
   3. Danny Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:02 PM (#4249459)
How about this guy?
   4. flournoy Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:05 PM (#4249461)
Chipper Jones' last four years (including this so-far-incomplete year) are 117-120-121-123. Granted, that's a pretty small improvement, and his earlier career dwarfs those numbers.
   5. BDC Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4249487)
From an ERA+ standpoint, he's gotten increasingly better results every year for the past 5 seasons

Part of this has to do with going from a role where he often pitched more than an inning to one where he consistently pitched less. I would imagine he's had the platoon differential more in his favor over the past five years (on the whole).

A favorite of mine since he started here in Texas, but also now indelibly associated with Game Six last year. The bad with the good, I reckon, like everything else in life.
   6. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: September 30, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4249499)
How about this guy?




This guy is a better example.

Career ERA+ of 118, last 5 years were 134, 173, 137, 111, and 171.

career ERA+ through age 36 - 112
ERA+ from 37 through 41 - 140

He then went and fought a world war, and came back at age 45 to post a 148 in 42 innings.
   7. Danny Posted: September 30, 2012 at 09:19 PM (#4249560)
Nice, but that's not "increasingly better results every year for the past 5 seasons."
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: September 30, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4249565)
Nice, but that's not "increasingly better results every year for the past 5 seasons."


Yeah, Red's run what I was talking about.

Part of this has to do with going from a role where he often pitched more than an inning to one where he consistently pitched less. I would imagine he's had the platoon differential more in his favor over the past five years (on the whole).


Of course, the new role goes a long toward explaining why he's been better than when he was a starter. But he's been used pretty much the same way for the past five years (and at similar work levels), and has gotten more effective each season. That's what I find interesting for a guy his age.

However, for a guy who looked thoroughly washed up seven years ago, he ended up with a very nice run as a reliever.


   9. Howie Menckel Posted: September 30, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4249575)
No. 6 pitched only 20 starts at age 41, roughly once a week (check the game log) - but he completed all 20 and won the ERA title.

   10. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: September 30, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4249582)
For about the last 6 years, every time I've seen Darren Oliver my reaction was "He's STILL pitching?!", which I guess isn't fair given how well he's pitched.
   11. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:42 AM (#4249657)
A favorite of mine since he started here in Texas, but also now indelibly associated with Game Six last year.

I've imagined that one of the baseball gods decreed "Gee, you just can't have Darren Oliver as the central figure of a World Series dog pile." Another baseball god disagreed, saying Oliver's been pretty effective the last few years, making him a redemption story. As the baseball gods debated the issue, Ron Washington changed pitchers to get the platoon advantage against Ryan F. Theriot, which offended everybody's sensibilities.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:53 AM (#4249662)
Oliver was the long reliever for the 2006 Mets, the year that revitalized his career. I remember thinking during the postseason, when they didn't have any good starters, that they ought to start Oliver - except that they should only tell him 5 minutes before the game, so that they could keep his warm-up routine consistent.
   13. bobm Posted: October 01, 2012 at 12:55 AM (#4249664)
Any word from the Mariners' Oliver? Is he a man ready to retire?
   14. booond Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4249720)
For about the last 6 years, every time I've seen Darren Oliver my reaction was "He's STILL pitching?!", which I guess isn't fair given how well he's pitched.


Yes and yes
   15. booond Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:14 AM (#4249721)
For about the last 6 years, every time I've seen Darren Oliver my reaction was "He's STILL pitching?!", which I guess isn't fair given how well he's pitched.


Yes and yes.
   16. depletion Posted: October 01, 2012 at 08:35 AM (#4249727)
Oliver was the long reliever for the 2006 Mets, the year that revitalized his career.

I was miffed when the Mets didn't retain him. It was a mistake that the team paid for. I'm happy for Mr. Oliver that he got to a couple WS with Texas.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: October 01, 2012 at 09:47 AM (#4249762)
I was miffed when the Mets didn't retain him. It was a mistake that the team paid for.


Yep. A 2-year deal would have given the Mets playoff berths in 07 and 08 (assuming nothing else changed).
   18. Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim Posted: October 01, 2012 at 01:27 PM (#4250034)
I was miffed when the Angels didn't retain him. Imagine what an actually effective reliever could do on that team... kind of makes me ill.
   19. ajnrules Posted: October 01, 2012 at 02:41 PM (#4250117)
I'm happy for Mr. Oliver that he got to a couple WS with Texas.


And if he was able to get Descalso and Jay out he would have won one.
   20. Greg Franklin Posted: October 01, 2012 at 04:55 PM (#4250276)
Any word from the Mariners' Oliver? Is he a man ready to retire?


Not now, he isn't. He's collected 0.5 WAR in a half-season as a Darren Oliver-style LOOGY-plus. If he wants to pitch next year in MLB, he'll have a job somewhere.

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