No flames, hear me out.
I was listening to MLB radio on XM this evening, and Oliver was interviewed for his perspective on the World Series games. He was clearly on a cellphone, and admitted he was at his son's football practice. The host asked how old his boys were, and he said 7 and 9.
As we know, Darren is the son of a career MLB player, and I have to imagine he is keenly aware of how his boys feel with dad gone 7 or 8 months out of the year. The Olivers live in Texas, so when the Angels are playing at home, Oliver isn't "at home". Even if the family makes a pilgrimage out to OC for part of the season, it isn't the same thing as dad being home every night.
By rough numbers, Oliver has earned $7M over the last three seasons with the Angels alone. While I wouldn't deny anyone the opportunity to make as much money as he can, I can completely understand the pull Oliver might feel to hang it up and be a full-time, stay-at-home dad. I'd like to think he has engineered his financial life to be secure for the rest of his days.
I can see the valuable contribution he would make as an anchor of the 2010 bullpen. He has shown himself to be a steady, cool performer, an excellent role model for the younger members of the staff, and a great teammate. If he elects to return for one more season, it would be a tremendous boost for the team. That would be great news.
But if he decides to call it a career and spend his days watching his kids grow, I can't begrudge him that. And in that sense, a large part of me--jealously--hopes he takes that opportunity.