July 21, 2012; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Darren Oliver (38) pitches during the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
The list of former players that the Texas Rangers have hired to be special assistants to the general manager grew by one with the announcement of the hire of Darren Oliver. Oliver joins Greg Maddux, Ivan Rodriguez and Tony Fernandez in that position according to the Texas Rangers website.
"“Darren is obviously a well-respected member of the Rangers family from his time on the field and in the community,” general manager Jon Daniels said according to T.R.Sullivan. “Back when he was still playing, Ollie and I talked about this and the different things he could do after his playing career is over. He is a guy pitchers want to talk to, players want to talk to. He brings a different perspective, a common-sense guy. He’s not going to be overly complicated with mechanics, but he respects the game and a lot of guys can relate to him.”"
Darren Oliver spent 10 years with the Texas Rangers over three different stints with the team, the last one being on the 2010 and 2011 World Series teams. Darren Oliver pitched for 20 years in the majors and the knowledge that he has about pitching for a long time as well as both starting and relieving will be invaluable to a Texas Rangers team that has a lot of young arms on it right now. Between Oliver and Greg Maddux, this batch of pitchers have a lot of knowledge to retrieve by talking to the two pitchers, not to mention the 3 All-Star former catchers in Pudge, Jim Sundburg and Bengie Molina.
So kudos to the Texas Rangers for bringing on another Dallas resident and former player to help with the development of both the major league and minor league pitchers. I had an opportunity to interview Darren Oliver in 2011 on my podcast, and if you are interested you can hear the interview here.