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08/12/09 4:30 PM ET
Speier grateful for time with Angels
Veteran righty harbors no hard feelings following release
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Veteran right-hander Justin Speier, who was released by the Angels on Tuesday to make room for Wednesday's rookie starter, Trevor Bell, thanked the Angels organization on Wednesday for its support in his three years with the team. "I just want to thank [owner] Arte Moreno and [former Angels general manager] Bill Stoneman for bringing me here and giving me the opportunity to pitch for the Angels," Speier said. "It's been a glorious, glorious experience and I built a lot of relationships along the way. And I want to thank [manager Mike] Scioscia for putting me in a lot of games and sticking with me." It was an especially difficult move to make for the organization because Speier was a clubhouse favorite due to his affable personality and his willingness to assist with community events. But the numbers just weren't there, as the right-hander posted a 5.03 ERA last season and a 5.18 ERA this season. Still, it was a shock for Speier, who has played for seven teams in 12 Major League seasons. "It was a surprise," Speier said. "It's always a surprise. I've been traded, designated, waived and released so many times in my career, but you never expect it, so you just you have to roll with the punches." Speier, the son of longtime big league shortstop Chris Speier, also wanted to express that he had no regrets during his three-year stay in Anaheim. "I can honestly say that leaving this team is difficult, but at the same time, I know I have no regrets, because I worked my butt off on and off the field to give myself every opportunity to succeed," Speier said. "So my only regret is that I wasn't able to celebrate with my teammates on winning a championship." The 35-year-old also wanted to make it clear that he still wants to pitch in the big leagues again this season. "I have a three-day waiver period to go through, but after that, we'll see what happens," Speier said. "I definitely know I have a lot of life left in my arm. It just hurts a little bit, because I feel like I could help this team here, but it's just part of the business side. That I understand completely."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.