ST. LOUIS -- Ray King has had times when he sat for less than 17 hours between appearances. So going the last 17 days of the season without getting in a game didn't sit well with the veteran left-hander.
King was the only Cardinals pitcher, and one of only two players, who did not appear at all in the postseason despite being on St. Louis' roster. That followed a regular season in which he pitched 77 times. In the 2004 postseason, King pitched 10 times in the Cardinals' 15 games. His last appearance of 2005 was in the Oct. 2 regular-season finale.
"I think Flo [Randy Flores] did a great job the times that he pitched, but I'm bitter," King said after the Cardinals were eliminated from the National League Championship Series in six games. "We had eight games, nine games after the last game of the season, and I was pretty much a spectator. If I can't pitch here, then I can pitch somewhere else."
King missed much of the Division Series due to the death of his father. He attended the funeral on Tuesday, Oct. 12, and was back with the team and in uniform for the start of the NLCS. Manager Tony La Russa called on Randy Flores to pitch twice in the LCS. King warmed up in Wednesday's season-ender, but was not called on.
"I talked to Tony in Houston, and he said, 'You went through a lot with your dad,'" King said. "I understand that, but if I didn't want to pitch, I would have stayed at home. I was here, wanting to pitch. I didn't get a chance to pitch. Certain situations, I might have gotten a chance to pitch."
King signed a two-year contract with an option for 2007 over the past offseason. He left open the possibility that he might be traded over the winter, however.
"I'm still under contract," he said when asked whether he expected to return in 2006. "Just leave it at that. I'll talk to my agent. Hopefully I'll sit down and talk with Walt [Jocketty, general manager]. Right now, I'm maybe upset, jumping the gun, but I've earned a lot of respect being a left-hander in this game, and I feel like right now I was disrespected. Not pitching in one game, not even an out."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.