One of the many skills I have, is the ability to give advice.
Any office I have ever worked in, my co-workers have always come to me for career, life advice, etc…Why this is, I have no idea. Perhaps I look like I know what I am talking about.
I also get stopped at least three times a week walking the streets of New York City and get asked to help with directions. It’s guaranteed. Walk with me in New York and someone will come up to me and ask me where like Union Square is?
Today, I am not going to give directions or career advice. I am going to give some advice to the parents of the world out there.
Here is my advice to parents who have a son. Make sure that he is left-handed. Because if he is left-handed and has the ability to be a mediocre pitcher, he will have a long career in the major leagues and make a lot of money.
Case in point–Darren Oliver.
Oliver is the greatest example I can think of why it pays to be left-handed. Oliver has been in the major leagues since 1993 and as a starter he was mediocre at best.
In 229 games as a starter, Oliver had a 5.13 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. Yet, team after team (six total) kept acquiring Oliver and allowed him to start games for their teams. Why? Because he was left-handed is the only logic I can think of.
After missing the entire 2005 season, Oliver resurfaced with the New York Mets. The Mets actually made a smart move for once and turned Oliver into a reliever.
Since then, Oliver has carved out a nice little niche for himself as a left-handed reliever out of the pen. In 300 games out of the pen, Oliver has a 3.49 ERA and an 1.28 WHIP.
Now he has turned that niche he has found for himself into a payday.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Texas Rangers have signed Oliver to a one-year, $3.5 million contract. The deal also includes a vesting option for 2011 that could bring the contract to a total of $6.25 million.
Last year with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Oliver had a 2.71 ERA and actually was better against right-handed hitters than lefties. Oliver held right-handed hitters to a .217 average, while lefties hit .263 against him.
Oliver also had the highest K/9 rate in 2009 (8.01) since 1994.
This will be Oliver’s third stop with the Rangers and he has been on seven other major league teams. In total, Oliver has made over $36 million in his mediocre career.
Sometimes it pays to be left-handed.
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