This was no way to celebrate your 36th birthday.
Instead of enjoying the day, left-hander Randy Wolf packed his bags and departed Wednesday after the Milwaukee Brewers released him. Wolf had struggled throughout the season, going 3-10 with a 5.69 ERA, and had been particularly bad of late with a 0-04 record and 6.57 ERA in his last five starts.
With right-hander Shaun Marcum ready to come off the DL and return to the rotation on Saturday, the Brewers decided to give Wolf his release and allow him to look for another job before the season ended.
Wolf was in the third year of a three-year, $29.75 million deal he signed as a free agent. He pitched well in 2011, going 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA and helping the Brewers win their first NL Central title.
But Wolf couldn't get it together this year, and general manager Doug Melvin had talked with the pitcher and his agent, Arn Tellem, about being released.
"I was talking to Doug this morning, and he said sometimes this game just doesn't make sense," Wolf said. "You see guys that have a good year one year, the next year they have a really bad year, then the next year they have a really good year.
"Obviously, things were brutal this year and it's been really tough because I have felt good. I haven't looked up and seen a decline -- if I was throwing 84, 85 mph and I felt like I had no clue out there, I'd have a good idea of what was going on.
"But it's something that I just need to get better somehow, figure it out. Obviously, I'm leaving too many balls over the middle of the plate. If I do a better job of not doing that, I'll be OK."
With what Wolf had remaining on his 2012 salary as well as a $1.5 million buyout of a 2013 option for $10 million, the Brewers owe him about $3.75 million.
"The experience I had here was extremely positive," said Wolf. "It's a great organization with a great owner, a GM that treated me great, a manager that treated me great, pitching coaches that treated me great. Leaving here, there's no bad feelings at all and I wish everybody the best."