Rueter gets his desired release and get sent to his shed
The Giants still owed him around $3M in salary at mid-season, which is about when he was hoping to be let go. If he really wanted to leave so badly, he could have just told the Giants to call it even and tear up the contract (though the players union would have done a spit-take on that one and killed it probably, but at least he would have tried). But no, the Giants still owed him mucho dinero, so they did what most teams would have done: keep him around just in case. Just in case another starter went down. Just in case the young pitchers suddenly couldn't find home plate anymore (or at least not as much as Rueter couldn't find home plate). Just in case Rueter suddenly figured it out
Come on, athletes, tune into reality! If you are 2-7 with double the walks than strikeouts, a 5.95 ERA, a 1.66 WHIP,
1) there aren't any teams willing to take on your salary,
2) there aren't any teams willing to give up even a marginal prospect for you, and
3) there aren't many team willing to have a pitcher with those stats starting for them, they would have to be desperate to the power of two (which the Yankees appear to be reaching recently, taking on Al Leiter after the stats he had with the Marlins, but at least he was dominant the past two seasons, Rueter hasn't done much of anything consistently good for 2 seasons now).
What a shame, to be so clueless, though I guess that is part of his competitiveness that I've always loved. I always wanted him to be the guy getting the ball when Dusty Baker had a choice to make in the last game and Baker, to his discredit, always went with another pitcher. In the series with NY Mets in 2000 and the World Series against the Angels, Rueter eventually came in, after the damage had been done, and shut down the other team. I will always believe that the results would have been different had Rueter started those games and perhaps the Giants would have had 1 or 2 World Series championships instead of bitter losses.
I find that a lot of people denigrate Rueter's accomplishments but, despite the poor last couple of seasons, he is 130-92 (.586) with an ERA of 4.27, WHIP of 1.39, for his career, among the leaders in wins and winning percentage of lefties in the 1990's and for his career span. That ain't shabby stuff.
Some say that any pitcher could have done that for the Giants because of their offense. But of all the Giants pitchers who pitched during that time, only Schmidt outdid him. Pitchers like Shawn Estes, Livan Hernandez, and Rus Ortiz could not outdo him despite his lack of velocity and stuff.
I would hear from people that any mediocre pitcher could have done that but the point to me is that HE did it, not some mythical mediocre pitcher that could maybe do it, he actually accomplished these feats. He should still get credit for taking advantage of the Giants offense, for taking advantage of the home park advantage, for taking advantage of what skills he did possess. He should get credit for the success he had because there are pitchers on good teams who still don't win at a .586 pace and he was consistently a winner throughout most of his Giants career until his last couple of seasons. Year in, year out, he consistently won, period. He might have a down year statistically, but in the win column, he always won more games than he lost for the Giants during his good years.
Thanks for all the great years, Rueter, you were a true Giant, wish you all the best.