Will itch to pitch be there?

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

MIAMI -- When the season ends against the Atlanta Braves on Oct. 3, Florida Marlins' Paul Quantrill will do what he does at the end of every season.

And that's win or lose, whether the Marlins earn a National League playoff spot or not. Quantrill was acquired after the Aug. 1 trade deadline so he won't be eligible for post-season play.

"I'll go home to Port Hope, spend time with my family," Quantrill said Sunday at Marlins Stadium. "Go to my wife's parents for the American Thanksgiving and And?

"And in December I'll decide. If I get the itch to pitch again, I will," said the reliever now with his third team this season. "I don't like the travel, I don't like being away from home, the only enjoyable part for me anymore is when I am on the mound."

And Quantrill, who will be 37 next season, hasn't seen a lot of the mound this season. The workhorse, who pitched 95 innings in 2004 and averaged 83 the previous seven full seasons, has pitched 66 innings in 2005 for the Marlins, San Diego Padres and New York Yankees going into Florida's game tonight at Shea Stadium.

Yankees manager Joe Torre tends to work with a pair of setup men to get to closer Mariano Rivera. In 2004 it was Tom Gordon and Quantrill. This season it was Tanyon Sturtze and Gordon.

"You hear how the Yankees didn't get along, like Alex Rodriguez is jealous of Derek Jeter, but the truth is we did get along," Quantrill said. "It was very business-like. I'm not sure how a young player would do there."

Quantrill said travelling to American League cities with the Yankees was like "travelling with a rock band." The Yanks seldom stayed at the same hotel other visiting teams did. They had a security entourage because eventually the lobby filled with fans wearing "NY" caps looking for autographs.

The Yanks designated Quantrill for assignment in July after he had pitched 31 1/3 innings in 22 games. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks were interested, but he wound up being sent to the NL West-leading San Diego Padres.

"That really wasn't conducive to me pitching, either," Quantrill said. "The best part of the Padres was its bullpen."

To get to closer Trevor Hoffman, manager Bruce Bochy would use Scott Linebrank and Akinori Otsuka.

After 22 games and 32 innings in five weeks, Quantrill was dealt to the Marlins. His wife, Alyson, already had bolted San Diego. Alyson had to get their son, Cal, home as baseball tryouts for the Port Hope atoms were beginning.

Quantrill is proud of his three children: Cal, 10, Reese, 8, and Avery, 4.

"Reese didn't want hockey skates, she's a figure skater," Quantrill said. "The last time I was home I took Avery down to Dave Sommerville's sporting good store to get her outfitted in hockey equipment. I think she's going to be a fighter."

And he's also happy with the success of teenager Josh Palmer. Palmer asked Quantrill if he could watch him throw inside during the winter. One thing led to another. Palmer threw bullpen sessions with Quantrill, pitched for Team Ontario in the summer of 2004 and is now at Prairie Baseball Academy in Lethbridge, Alta.

If the itch comes, Quantrill will be throwing indoors in the repair bays at Quantrill Motors. He guesses he must have thrown thousands of innings there to one of his two winter-time catchers, Garth Miller or Wayne Hogg, who played senior baseball with Quantrill's father.

"Only two accidents -- once a ball went through a pane on the big garage doors, and the worst was the time a throw sailed over my head and broke the side window of a brand new Suburban," Quantrill said. "That was an expensive workout."


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