Quantrill relieved

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 2:26 PM ET

When he made his exit, he did so quietly.

He didn't knock a camera off a guy's shoulder like Kenny Rogers.

Paul Quantrill, 36, was designated for assignment this week by the New York Yankees and now faces some choices.

He could be traded during the next week; be claimed on waivers; become a free agent; or retire.

"I wasn't doing the job, therefore I got shown the door. That's how baseball is, that's how life is," Quantrill said from Rye Brook, N.Y., where he was attending his son Cal's Little League all-star practice.

Quantrill could have played his departure one of two ways: Either Yankees manager Joe Torre overworked him in 2004 or he didn't use him enough in 2005.

He appeared in 86 games for the Yanks in 2004 and his first game this season was nine days after his previous outing during spring training. This year he was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 22 outings.

Quantrill played neither "woe is me" hand.

"There weren't a lot of opportunities for me to pitch," Quantrill said. "I really don't think it was a bad move on the team's part. I'm not disappointed. It's probably the best thing."

Quantrill will earn $3 million US this season no matter what. If he's signed as a free agent the team that picks him up will be responsible for the remainder of his minimum salary of $300,000. The Yanks will pay the rest.

Acquired as a starter by the Blue Jays in 1996, Quantrill was a workhorse, making 77 appearances the next season, then 82 in 1998. In 1999, a snowmobile accident cut his season short to 41 games.

Quantrill recovered from a broken leg to appear in 68 and 80 games with the Jays in 2000 and 2001. Then he was dealt along with Cesar Izturis to the Los Angeles Dodgers by new general manager J.P. Ricciardi for right-handers Luke Prokopec and fellow Canadian Chad Ricketts.

With the Dodgers, Quantrill appeared in 86 and 89 games, before joining the Yanks.

"New York was a great experience, I'm glad I came over," Quantrill said. "It hasn't been fun this year because I didn't get many opportunities."

It wasn't like the Yanks' starters were tossing four complete games a week.

Now, Quantrill will watch Little League games and his agent will await offers.

"I'd consider Toronto as an option," Quantrill said. "It wouldn't be a geographic decision. I'm not going to a place I won't get an opportunity. If I don't like the look of what's out there, I'll retire."

If this is it for Quantrill he'll retire with 1,123 innings logged, eighth most by a Canadian in major league history.

Always the gamer, last season he wore a brace on his right knee from the second day of spring training until August.

"There were days I could barely walk," Quantrill said. There were nights we saw him have to cover first base. His first two strides he hobbled like a 68-year-old who had misplaced his walker. Yet, he still got there for the out.

Torre told relievers Mike Stanton and Quantrill that both had been designated on Wednesday while in Baltimore.

"Stanton was surprised, I could see it coming," Quantrill said. "I was sort of hoping for it."

"It came down to, 'Why not try this?' " said Yanks GM Brian Cashman, who admitted it was "change for change's sake."

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PITCHING IN

Most innings pitched in the majors by Canadians:

Name, Hometown Years IP

Fergie Jenkins, Chatham, Ont. 1965-1983 4,500.2

Reggie Cleveland, Swift Current, Sask. 1969-1981 1,809

Kirk McCaskill, Kapuskasing, Ont. 1985-1996 1,729

Russ Ford, Brandon, Man. 1909-1915 1,487.1

Dick Fowler, Toronto 1941-1952 1,303

John Hiller, Scarborough 1965-1980 1,242

Phil Marchildon, Penetanguishene, Ont. 1940-1950 1,214.1

Paul Quantrill, Port Hope, Ont. 1992-2005 1,123.1

Rheal Cormier, Cap Pele, N.B. 1991-2005 1,067.2

Ryan Dempster, Gibsons, B.C. 1998-2005 976

(Entering play yesterday)


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