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Veteran lefty Oliver still searching for first ring

Veteran lefty Oliver still searching for first ring


TORONTO -- The sun is beginning to set on Darren Oliver's professional career.

After coming back for one final chance at a World Series title, Oliver's ride into the sunset isn't going the way that he, or anybody, had hoped.

"It could be better," Oliver said of his final season. "I was thinking that we were going to win more games than we'd lost.

"I just think that everybody expected more; obviously, we expected more from ourselves. We expected to be right there in the race at this point in the season, and we're not. I think the guys are definitely disappointed about that."

Barring a trade in the coming weeks, it looks more and more like the 42-year-old will walk away from the Majors without that coveted ring.

After nearly 1,900 innings and more than 1,200 strikeouts in a career that began 20 years ago, it's the one thing that is missing from his resume.

"I've done all that stuff before. The main thing was just to win," Oliver said. "I've been to the World Series a couple of times, but to win it is the ultimate thing."

Oliver was a part of the Rangers in 2010 and '11 when they were close to obtaining the title, and finally getting a chance to win one was a big factor in the left-hander's return to the Blue Jays in '13.

"It all comes down to how we do on the field," Oliver said. "There's some guys who have good years, some guys have bad years, or whatever. When you look back on it, when it's all said and done and you're at home doing nothing, you want to remember that I was part of a championship team."

Whether or not that happens is still yet to be determined, but there's one thing by which Oliver wants to be remembered. Not by his wins and losses, or his strikeouts, but by his presence in the clubhouse.

"That I was a good teammate. That's important, for me," Oliver said. "That I passed on everything that I've learned in the game to some of the younger guys on and off the field. And they remember that ... and they pass it on to someone else."

Evan Peaslee is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @EvanPeaslee. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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