Justin Duchscherer just addressed the Bay Area media, giving his thoughts on how happy he is to return to the A’s. He was also pretty frank about his much-publicized bout with clinical depression, which isn’t surprising because he’s always been one to speak his mind with us reporter folks.
A few tidbits:
–Duchscherer said he didn’t accept the A’s offer of arbitration because he wanted to explore opportunities with East Coast teams, in an effort to be closer to his son, Evan, who lives in Philadelphia. He talked with several teams, but in the end, Oakland wound up being his best option. He loves Kurt Suzuki as his catcher and Curt Young as his pitching coach. And A’s skipper Bob Geren was his first professional manager back in 1996 in Boston’s farm system.
–His divorce in 2008, and being separated for long periods from his son, took a huge toll on him. And the elbow surgery that largely wiped out his 2009 season compounded things. “Not being able to handle the stress and pressure and all of it at one time, I needed some help,” he said. “I sorted out a lot of things that needed to be dealt with and I’m ready to go. … Where I’m at now and where I was six months ago is (real different).”
–Duchscherer looks forward to joining a rotation that showed much promise while he was sidelined last season. He thinks there’s much he has to offer to the young staff, especially that “you can get guys out with subpar stuff. I don’t have 95 mph stuff. I look forward to being a bit of a mentor. When I was a younger kid — 24, 25 — I didn’t know anybody who was going through stuff I was going through.”