New-look Series a good thing, says Oliver

New-look Series a good thing, says Oliver

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rangers reliever Darren Oliver has been around -- 17 Major League seasons, eight clubs, three separate stints with Texas. He looks at this all-West, new-names World Series as a good thing, even if it's missing the familiarity of the Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies brands.

"Everybody likes to see the Yankees in the Series for some reason," Oliver said. "I like this. People get to see a lot of other players."

Involved in his fifth consecutive postseason with three different teams, Oliver has come close twice to the Fall Classic, missing with the 2006 Mets and the Angels of 2009 in League Championship Series disappointments. Reaching the big show at age 40 has him gratified that he didn't walk away from the game.

"I saw it before, just playing against these guys," Oliver said when asked about the Rangers' potential to go the distance. "They were good last season. Everything came together this year, and the team was going to roll. I'm just glad I was here with them."

He enjoyed one of his finest seasons with his 2.48 ERA in 64 games, but Oliver isn't looking beyond this showdown, admitting that retirement has to come eventually.

"It's getting close," he said.

Told that he's been saying that for several years, Oliver grinned.

"Yeah," he said, "I know. But it is getting close."

-- Lyle Spencer