September 5 – Happy Birthday Randy Choate
A decade after he first broke into the Majors as a Yankee reliever, this southpaw became the workhorse in the Tampa Bay bullpen in 2010, leading the league with his 85 appearances that year and setting his career high for victories out of the bullpen in a season with 4. Choate then joined the exodus of Rays who opted for free agency after the 2010 season and signed a two-year $2.5 million deal with the Marlins. He has pitched well for them in 2011 but this year’s very poor Florida starting rotation has not handed him too many leads to hold.
The former Florida State Gator’s best season as a Yankee was his second one in 2001. That year, he had a 3-1 record in 37 appearances and a 3.35 ERA. He failed to come close to that success during his next two seasons in the Bronx and was subsequently sent to Montreal in the 2003 trade that brought Javier Vazquez to the Yankees a first time. Before he had a chance to play for the Expos, Choate was traded to Arizona, where he spent the next five seasons bouncing back and forth between Tucson and the parent club. Randy was born in San Antonio, TX in 1975.
Another Yankee who shares this birthday is former Yankee first baseman Buddy Hassett.