Kevin Millwood Leaves PawSox

Going, going, gone.

(Photo courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)

Kevin Millwood’s attempted comeback has ended – at least with Pawtucket.  The 35-year-old veteran emptied out his locker on Saturday night and has been granted his release by the Boston Red Sox. 

“(The call from another team) would have to come relatively quick,” Millwood told Brendan McGair of The Pawtucket Times.  “I’m not going to throw, play catch, or things like that.  Something is going to have to happen soon, but I’m not looking for that.  I just thought it was time.”

“It wasn’t a shock,” said PawSox pitching coach Rich Sauveur.  “I was hoping he would stay with us for at least a few more games, but he felt that nothing was happening for him in Boston – those were his exact words – and he just said ‘it’s time.’”

“He was not here to play in Triple-A all year – I don’t think any of us are – but especially for him,” said pitcher Brandon Duckworth.  “It wasn’t a monetary thing for him – he wants a ring – but he just felt it was time.  A lot of guys say, ‘I’m done,’ and then it doesn’t happen.  He felt that it was his time to go and that it just wasn’t going to work out here.”

Millwood was 5-1 with a 4.28 ERA in 13 starts for Pawtucket, and the team went 11-2 in those games.  But in early July, the Red Sox promoted rookie Kyle Weiland to make a pair of starts when Jon Lester was injured and more recently, Boston traded for Erik Bedard to bolster its starting rotation.

“It is a big loss,” said Sauveur.  “We all knew that this was a very good possibility at some point, but it’s a shame that it happened right now because I still say that you never know what might happen up there.  A few years ago, Paul Byrd got a chance when he was basically sitting on his back porch and to have a guy that was ready in Triple-A is obviously better.  But it was a decision that he wanted to make and I respect him for that.”

“He did a great job with our young guys and was a quality guy around here,” said PawSox manager Arnie Beyeler.  “He’s been a guy that we’ve depended on and we’ll see how things work out.  He’s been a very professional guy the whole time that he’s been here.”

If Millwood’s career is over, he finishes with 159-137 record in 14 major league seasons, an All-Star Game appearance in 1999, and a no-hitter for Philadelphia in 2003.

“I saw him after the game and it was tough,” Sauveur said.  “He’s one of the most down-to-earth guys around and it was a pleasure to have him here.  It was an honor to be his pitching coach for the time that he was here.  He was great on and off the field and if I ever write a book, he’ll have a chapter.”

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