Millwood unsure if 2012 season is his last

Millwood unsure if 2012 season is his last

Millwood unsure if 2012 season is his last
OAKLAND -- Kevin Millwood has pitched his last game with the Mariners as he's not scheduled to start again after missing the past two weeks with a sore shoulder. But the veteran right-hander hasn't decided yet whether he's done with baseball after 16 seasons in the Majors.

"I'm going to go home and just relax and play with my kids and see what happens, see how I feel and see what pops into my head," Millwood said Friday. "I don't have any definite plans right now on next year, but I'm sure at some point in the offseason it'll hit me on what I want to do."

Millwood is 10th among active Major League pitchers with 169 career wins and fourth in starts and innings pitched. Calling it a career would not be an easy decision.

"This is all I've done," he said. "I started playing 10 days after I graduated from high school and this is what I've done for nearly 20 years. So all the sudden to not do it anymore would be a pretty big shock to the system."

Millwood, 37, signed with the Mariners on a Minor League deal and wound up making the club and starting 28 games, going 6-12 with a 4.25 ERA. But he admits he was more certain last year that he wanted to continue, even after a year spent in the Minors with the Yankees and Red Sox before he caught on with the Rockies for the final two months.

"I knew I wanted to play this year," he said. "But like I said, now I'm just trying to figure out physically if I can do it. I still definitely believe I can get people out, but whether it's time to stay home and spend more time with my kids or try it again, I don't know the answer to that yet.

"I'm in a great position. I feel like if I want to come back, I'll be able to. And if the best decision for me is to stay at home after this year, then I'm OK, too. It's a good spot to be in."

Millwood brought a veteran presence to a young Mariners club and said he liked that role, though he wishes he'd seen a little more success on the mound.

"I really enjoyed this," he said. "I feel like I threw the ball OK. I think I threw the ball better than it looks, but I had a lot of fun with the young kids and trying to help those guys out. That's a fun part of the game, helping somebody out and seeing them go out on the mound and have success."

Millwood has two sons, 11 and 9, and much of the lure away from baseball is spending more time with them back home in Gainesville, Ga. He coached them in basketball last offseason and looks forward to doing that again.

But, no, he won't be looking to get into coaching professional baseball when he's done.

"I can't deal with egos and there's a lot of them in this game," he said with a grin. "I would be a bad coach."