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Angels reliever Scot Shields likely to retire

September 28, 2010 |  5:07 pm

Scotshields_600

Scot Shields, whose durability and dependability made him one of baseball's most effective setup men from 2004-2008, is leaning toward retirement.

"I would say probably," Shields said before the Angels' game against the Oakland Athletics Tuesday night. "There's a business and a personal side of it. From the business side, you look at the bullpen and you can see all the young relievers they have coming up.

"On the personal side, your family comes first, and I've missed too much of my life with them. It might be time to go home."

Shields was named "Setup Man of the Decade" by Sports Illustrated, and his 425 innings pitched from 2004-2008 were the most by any reliever in the major leagues during that five-year span. He also led the American League in holds from 2006-2008, with 31 in each season.

But Shields suffered a left-knee injury that required season-ending surgery in June 2009 and he was unable to bounce back this season, going 0-3 with a 5.28 earned-run average in 46 innings over 43 games. He was shut down because of a sore elbow after a Sept. 7 appearance and will not pitch again this season.

"It was a lot of fun, and we had a lot of success as a team," said Shields, the last remaining link to the Angels' 2002 World Series championship team. "I was fortunate to be on a team that has missed the playoffs only three times since 2002. It's always been fun to come to work here."

In his prime, Shields had a nasty 94-mph sinking fastball that was usually effective against right-handers and left-handers.

"He was filthy," said Angels right fielder Torii Hunter, who faced Shields when he was with the Minnesota Twins. "He had that weird delivery, he'd sling his arm, and everything would be coming at you. . . . For me, he was one of the top five guys I wouldn't want to face."

For more on Shields, go to www.latimes.com

--Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Scot Shields. Credit: Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times

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