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Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Millar: Release 'toughest day' of career

ESPNChicago.com

Kevin Millar said finding out that he did not make the Chicago Cubs roster on Tuesday was "the toughest day I've had in this game."

"I've never been released," Millar said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Fortunately, I've had an opportunity to play with a couple of different teams and play for a long time, but [Tuesday] was the first time I've ever been released. You knew that day was going to come. I still felt confident going into the clubhouse [Tuesday] that I was breaking camp with the Cubbies. It was still a situation where I felt like I was a nice fit for that spot."

The Cubs picked left-handed hitting third baseman/first baseman Chad Tracy over the right-handed hitting Millar. From a statistical standpoint, neither player stood out this spring, with Tracy batting .243 with six RBIs and Millar batting .242 with a home run and three RBIs.

Soon after general manager Jim Hendry told him the news Tuesday morning, the 38-year-old Millar said the reality of the situation hit him.

"When I left Jim's office, when I lost it is, right next door is [scout] Gary Hughes, and I shook his hand and all the emotions hit me," Millar said. "He signed me in '93, St. Paul Saints. I hugged him, and I hadn't cried it felt like in years. All the emotions hit me. I was upstairs and the guys were warming up [out on the field] ... It was the reality of, 'Wow, this could be it.' "

Millar said his agent has heard from a few teams, and he will look into every opportunity to continue his playing career, and even hinted that a return to the Cubs isn't out of the question.

"I think the door is open," Millar said about the Cubs. "There's so many things that can happen. I definitely, for at least this week here, will stay active and hit and see what goes on."

If his 12-year career is over, Millar said he will stay in the game in some capacity, whether it be in the front office of a major league team or as an analyst on television. Hendry said Tuesday that he could see Millar potentially working for the Cubs some day.

But for now, continuing his playing career is Millar's priority.

"I would love to see if there is an opportunity [to play] out there," Millar said. "If there's not, I wouldn't change a thing for my career, and I move forward."