Results tagged ‘ december 5 ’
Together, Yankee skipper Joe Torre had called on 35-year-old Paul Quantrill and 36-year-old Flash Gordon to pitch 166 times during the 2004 season. The question entering 2005 was; “Would the right arms of both these guys endure another season of such heavy use?” Instead of waiting to find out, the Yankees acquired some insurance in a December 2004 deal with the Phillies for a nine-year-veteran reliever named Felix Rodriguez. The native Dominican had spent most of those years as a middle reliever for the Giants, compiling a 34-19 record in that role, with 5 saves and a 3.06 ERA.
New York had almost traded for Rodriguez a couple of seasons earlier. At that time, they had been negotiating with the Rangers to acquire Ugueth Urbina as Mo Rivera’s new set-up man. When Texas sent Urbina to Florida instead, the Yankees’ options became Rodriguez and Armando Benitez. They ended up taking Benitez
Ironically, it would be Rodriguez and not Gordon or Quantrill, who broke down first during that 2005 season, tearing cartilage in his knee in early May. Quantrill, however, could not get anyone out during the first half of that year and the Yankees gave up on him in early July, dealing him to San Diego. When Rodriguez returned from the DL, he took Quantrill’s spot in the bullpen but failed to pitch effectively. His walk ratio went up and his strikeout rate went down, helping his ERA climb over the five run mark. He failed to make the Yankees postseason roster and New York released him on October 27, 2005.
Rodriguez was originally signed by the Dodgers in 1989 as a catcher. He hit .291 in his first season in the LA organization but his throwing arm was so strong, the Dodgers convinced him to convert to pitching. He spent his final big league season with the Nationals in 2006 and then continued his playing career in Korea. Felix shares his birthday with this one-time Yankee outfielder.
Gary Roenicke was best known as a Baltimore Oriole. Born in Covina, CA in 1954, he spent eight of his twelve big league seasons with the Birds as an outfielder and had his best year in 1982, when he achieved career highs of 21 HRs and 74 RBIs for an Earl Weaver managed team that won 94 games but finished one behind the Brewers. The Yankees got him in a December 1985 trade and Lou Piniella used him as a fourth outfielder the following season behind future Hall of Famer’s Dave Winfield and Ricky Henderson and second-year player, Dan Pasqua. Roenicke got into 69 games for New York that year, hitting an unremarkable .265. The Yankees released him after that season and he signed with Atlanta.
As I researched Roenicke’s history, it got me thinking about other trades that have taken place between the Oriole and Yankee franchises. There have been some doozies over the years. For shear volume, you can’t top the deal the two teams made after the 1954 season that involved a total of seventeen players. The Yankees got the best of that one because they received future Cy Young Award winner, Bullet Bob Turley and 1956 World Series perfect game pitcher Don Larsen in the deal. In June of 1976 the two teams put together another blockbuster and this one was especially noteworthy because it took place in the middle of a regular season during which the two teams were battling for the same division flag. The Yankees won that flag with lots of help from Doyle Alexander, Ken Holtzman and Grant Jackson, the three pitchers they received in that ten player deal. The Orioles, however, got the biggest longterm benefit because they got a great starting pitcher in Scott McGregor, a wonderful reliever in Tippy Martinez and an outstanding catcher and team leader in Rick Dempsey. The following season, the Yankees got outfielder Paul Blair from the Birds for outfielder Elliott Maddox and a pitcher named Rick Bladt. Blair became a valuable reserve on two consecutive Yankee World Championship teams. The last time the two teams did a deal in which players exchanged uniforms was the 2006 post season trade of pitcher Jared Wright to Baltimore for pitcher Chris Britton.
Roenicke shares his birthday with this former Yankee reliever.