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Darren Oliver considering retirement despite 2.10 ERA

Oct 1, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees Getty Images

Darren Oliver has been so good while posting a sub-3.00 ERA in five straight seasons that it’s easy to forget he’s 41 years old, but the Blue Jays left-hander revealed yesterday that retirement is on his mind.

Oliver has had one of his best seasons, throwing 56 innings with a 2.10 ERA and 52/15 K/BB ratio for Toronto, but John Lott of the National Post writes that “he sounds like a man ready to stay home.”

Here’s some of what Oliver had to say:

Every kid needs a father at home. 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. … Even though I was there, a lot of times I didn’t see them that much either, but obviously I was at home. It’s still tough. They’d go to school and by the time they got home from school, I was already at the field, and by the time I got home from the field, they’re sleeping. Then you go on the road. It doesn’t matter where you’re at, it’s still tough.

If he does decide to come back for a 20th season the Blue Jays hold a $3 million team option on Oliver that they’d obviously exercise.

  1. Lukehart80 - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Among all pitchers in baseball history who threw at least 300 innings at age 37 or older, here are the leaders in ERA+:

    1. Mariano Rivera – 221
    2. DARREN OLIVER – 175
    3. Hoyt Wilhelm – 153
    4. Ellis Kinder – 150
    5. Spud Chandler – 145
    6. Lefty Grove – 142
    7. Ted Lyons – 141
    8. Marv Grissom – 138
    9. Gerry Staley – 138
    10. Roger Clemens – 134

    That’s some pretty good company to be keeping.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 1, 2012 at 3:27 PM

      And I thought Marquis Grissom was an outfielder and Steve Lyons was a utility player.

      • Lukehart80 - Oct 1, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        I bet Marquis could have had a fine ERA+, that man could do it all!

  2. proudlycanadian - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    He has been hinting at retirement all month. He is also showing signs of being tired. His ERA had been well under 2.00 until recently.

  3. natslady - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:21 AM

    Thanks for this story. Had not paid much attention to this guy, but am impressed with his skills and attitude. Good luck to the Jays next year. Can’t remove from my mind the image of Morrow getting injured in the 1st inning but still taking the loss. There should be a rule against that. I know pitcher wins are “meaningless.” I don’t think they are–especially to the pitcher.

    • rooney24 - Oct 1, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      Not sure exactly what game you refer to, but if Morrow gave up runs which put the team behind, and they ended up losing without ever tying or regaining the lead, why wouldn’t he get the loss? Who else would it go to?

      The rules don’t need to change because you feel bad that someone was hurt. I don’t mean to be a jerk, but the rules for wins work just fine as they are. Every pitcher will lose some they shouldn’t (no run support), win some they shouldn’t (lots of run support), and have no decisions in games they either should have won (blown saves) or should have lost (come back by the offense).

      • natslady - Oct 1, 2012 at 3:17 PM

        On, June 11, Morrow threw 6 pitches and left the game injured. The reliever let an inherited runner score and other relievers combined to let 5 other runs score, so the Jays lost 6-3. It seems to me that one of those relievers did not do “effective” work and should have been charged with the loss, the same as if Morrow didn’t go 5 innings but the Jays won it, and the official scorer has to decide which reliever gets the win, a judgment call.

  4. cur68 - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    I think he’s done for the career. Too bad, too. He was pretty much lights out when he came in. If he can teach that Crafty Lefty thing to Romero or Cecil, then he will have more than done his bit for the Beav. It was great having him as a Beaver Wrestler.

  5. nbjays - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I agree, Cur. He has been great all year long. The word I’d use to describe him on the mound this year is unflappable. He’s is just so laid back, comes in no matter the situation, does his job and doesn’t get upset. If he can pass on that calmness to a couple of the young guys, all will be well in the Beaver pen.

  6. gammagammahey - Oct 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    I was a big Oliver fan from the 2006 Mets. If Omar Minaya had re-signed him instead of going with Scott Schoeneweis, the Mets might have made the playoffs in 2007 and 2008, but when you miss the playoffs by a game two years in a row, there are about a dozen personnel moves that you can point to with that same idea.

  7. jaysjunkie - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    I was amazed and disappointed that Anthopoulos never swung a deal involving Oliver. Considering the guy’s age, there’s no guarantee he’d be back for next season and his performance this year should have been able to land something decent from a contending team that could have benefitted from his addition. And I say that while acknowledging that Oliver has been one of the few bright spots this year for the Jays, especially throughout the first 4 months or so of the season. Proudlycanadian is right – his ERA has climbed a bit in the past little while, which tells you how good he was for most of the year when it’s still only at 2.10.

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