Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Brian has been something of a whipping boy for Baltimore fans, including yours truly. I may or may not have dubbed him "Sad Giraffe". But although he never lived up to his initial potential, Matusz did start off promisingly enough: 15-14 with a 4.37 ERA (97 ERA+) and 7.4 K/9 IP in 40 starts in 2009-10. Then, from late 2012 through 2015, he was a decent lefty specialist. Brian also famously held David Ortiz to four hits and one walk in 30 plate appearances, while striking him out 13 times, for a batting line of .138/.167/.241. But something about Matusz allowing 18 base runners in six innings across seven appearances this year caused Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette to lose faith in him, and now he's a free agent. Hopefully he lands on his feet elsewhere.
Monday, May 23, 2016
he jumped on the second pitch he saw from Smith. Earl Weaver Special, Orioles take a 3-1 lead, and that would be the final score despite an unusually wild performance by Zach Britton in the bottom of the ninth. It's always a special thrill to pull out a victory at the last possible moment.
Friday, May 20, 2016
-His birth name is Benigno.
-He made his major league debut on August 27, 1974 with the New York Mets, and hit a home run against Astros pitcher Tom Griffin in his first career at-bat. He was the first player in Mets history - and the first native of Puerto Rico - to perform that feat.
-Benny never played more than 76 games in one season, and topped out at 191 plate appearances, reaching both milestones in 1980 with the Orioles. That year he posted a 127 OPS+ on the strength of a .265/.335/.500 batting line, as he popped 10 homers and drove in 33 runs in a limited role.
-He batted only twice in the 1983 postseason, and drove in a run in each plate appearance: in the Game Four clincher in the ALCS, he had a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the tenth inning to bring home the Orioles' third and final run. Ayala also batted for Jim Palmer in the top of the seventh inning in Game Three of the World Series, and delivered a game-tying single against Hall of Famer Steve Carlton. He also scored the eventual winning run on an error by Phillies shortstop Ivan de Jesus.
-In recent years, Benny has focused on helping his fellow Puerto Rican ex-big leaguers as part of the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT). He helps former players to acquire pensions, health insurance, instructional jobs, and more.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
What, you've never heard that one? Oh. Well, anyway, happy birthday, Brooksie! It's been a pleasure to have you in our lives for another year. Thank you for helping to make Baltimore the town that it is.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
April 17, 2007. That earned him a start in left field the next day, and he had two singles and a walk in four trips to the plate, scoring twice. But then he was sent back to AAA Norfolk until late June. He played only five games spanning his next two callups, going 0-for-10 with three walks and a sac fly. That concluded his big league career, as Knott spent 2008 in AAA with the Twins and Phillies and bounced around three professional leagues in 2009 (Atlantic, Mexican, and Pacific Coast) before calling it a career. But hey, that is one shiny card.
Monday, May 16, 2016
Sunday, May 15, 2016
It's been about two and a half months since Janet was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, and I'm still trying to take stock of everything. I poured out a great deal of my thoughts in a post over at Janet's blog, and if you'd like to read that sort of thing, you can do so here. Thanks once again for your support, prayers, and positive thoughts and words.