Results tagged ‘ pitcher ’

March 18 – Happy Birthday Brian Fisher

I remember thinking when I first watched him pitch that Brian Fisher would be a good Yankee starter for a number of years. That was back in 1986 and the Yankees had missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons at that point, mostly because they lacked good starting pitching. Ron Guidry had just turned 35 years old and his best days were behind him. Dennis Rasmussen had come from nowhere to lead that ’86 Yankee staff with 18 wins but I thought the team’s future rested on the arms of young studs like Fisher, Doug Drabek and Bob Tewksbury. George Steinbrenner didn’t agree with me. After the 86 season, when Fisher went 9-6 out of the Yankee bullpen, this big right hander and Drabek were sent to the Pirates for veteran starter Rick Rhoden and Tewksbury was dealt to the Cubs for Steve Trout. Of the three, Fisher had the best year in 1987, going 11-9 for Pittsburgh but both Tewksbury and especially Drabek went on to even better big league careers. Fisher was out of baseball by 1992. He’s one of only two Yankee players to be born in Hawaii. Can you name the other? It was a utility infielder named Lenny Sakata.

Lot’s of very good pitchers but not so many great position players have worn the uniforms of both the Yankees and Pirates during their big league careers. Here’s my all-time lineup of Yankee/Pirates:

1b Dale Long
2b Willie Randolph
3b Tim Foli
ss Gene Michael
c Russell Martin
of Matty Alou
of Omar Moreno
of Xavier Nady
dh Mike Easler
sp Jack Chesbro
sp Waite Hoyt
sp Doug Drabek
sp John Candelaria
p Rick Rhoden
p Doc Medich
p Dock Ellis
p AJ Burnett
cl Goose Gossage
cl Luis Arroyo
mgr Casey Stengel

Here are Brian Fishers’ Yankee and career stats:

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1985 NYY 4 4 .500 2.38 55 0 23 0 0 14 98.1 77 32 26 4 29 85 1.078
1986 NYY 9 5 .643 4.93 62 0 26 0 0 6 96.2 105 61 53 14 37 67 1.469
7 Yrs 36 34 .514 4.39 222 65 61 7 4 23 640.0 638 341 312 70 252 370 1.391
PIT (3 yrs) 19 22 .463 4.72 79 51 7 7 4 2 348.2 367 194 183 42 139 191 1.451
NYY (2 yrs) 13 9 .591 3.65 117 0 49 0 0 20 195.0 182 93 79 18 66 152 1.272
SEA (1 yr) 4 3 .571 4.53 22 14 2 0 0 1 91.1 80 49 46 9 47 26 1.391
HOU (1 yr) 0 0 7.20 4 0 3 0 0 0 5.0 9 5 4 1 0 1 1.800
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/9/2014.

March 16 – Happy Birthday Charles Hudson

Its been over 25 years since the transaction took place and it wasn’t until I did research for today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant that I finally completely understood why the Yankees traded their very solid designated hitter, Mike “the Hit Man” Easler, for the very shaky Philadelphia starting pitcher, Charles Hudson in December of 1985. I knew that Easler had demanded to be traded when he was told that Yankee manager Lou Piniella intended to platoon him at DH with Ken Griffey during the ’86 season. What I was not aware of was that the Yankees were contractually obligated to doing so within three months of the demand or Easler would have become a free agent.

So that’s why a very emphatic George Steinbrenner ordered the Yankees to send Easler, who had hit .302 for New York in 1985, to the Phillies for Hudson, who had had put together a very mediocre 32-42 record during his four years pitching in the “City of Brotherly Love.” Hudson was also a switch-hitter, which was a pretty rare attribute for a pitcher. His problem was however, he couldn’t hit very well from either side of the plate.

At first, it looked like “the Boss” was a prophet, as Hudson got off to a fast start with New York, winning his first six decisions during the 1987 season. Even though the right-handed native of Ennis, TX cooled off after that and spent some time pitching out of the Yankee bullpen, he still finished his first year in pinstripes with an 11-7 record that included two shutouts and an efficient 3.61 ERA. That win total put him in third place behind Rick Rhoden (16) and Tommy John (13) for most victories by a Yankee pitcher that year.

Unfortunately for Hudson, that would prove to be his best season in New York. In 1988, he again split his time between the starting rotation and the bullpen to finish 6-6, while his ERA jumped to 4.49. In spite of that performance, the Yankees resigned him for the ’89 season. Then just before spring training camp broke, he was dealt to the Tigers for the veteran infielder, Tom Brookens, who was a complete bust during his one season in pinstripes.

Hudson floundered in Detroit during the 1989 season and his career ended that August, after he smashed his car into a Motor City telephone pole, and destroyed his right knee. It was at that low point that Hudson admitted to having a drinking problem, which he worked hard to eliminate.

Hudson shares his March 16th birthday with “the Grandy-Man.”

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1987 NYY 11 7 .611 3.61 35 16 7 6 2 0 154.2 137 63 62 19 57 100 1.254
1988 NYY 6 6 .500 4.49 28 12 10 1 0 2 106.1 93 53 53 9 36 58 1.213
7 Yrs 50 60 .455 4.14 208 140 30 14 3 2 1007.2 997 518 463 110 361 580 1.348
PHI (4 yrs) 32 42 .432 3.98 127 105 9 7 1 0 680.0 692 353 301 68 237 399 1.366
NYY (2 yrs) 17 13 .567 3.97 63 28 17 7 2 2 261.0 230 116 115 28 93 158 1.238
DET (1 yr) 1 5 .167 6.35 18 7 4 0 0 0 66.2 75 49 47 14 31 23 1.590
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/9/2014.

March 14 – Happy Birthday Kevin Brown

I do remember getting pretty excited when New York acquired this veteran right-hander from the Dodgers after their 2003 World Series defeat to the Marlins. They had to give up Jeff Weaver to get him but Weaver had been unimpressive in pinstripes. New York also had to pay Brown’s salary of $15 million per year but the Yankees had the cash.

Brown’s initial season as a Yankee was filled with disappointments. First, his chronically sore back prevented him from pitching well over an extended string of starts. Next, a frustrated Brown injured his hand punching a concrete wall, angering his teammates. Finally, Brown pitched terribly in the seventh and deciding game of the disastrous 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox, sealing his reputation as a disappointment with Yankee fans. He then went 4-7 in 2005 and retired with a career record of 211-144.

This one-time Yankee catcher was also born on March 14th.
Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
2004 NYY 10 6 .625 4.09 22 22 0 0 0 0 132.0 132 65 60 14 35 83 1.265
2005 NYY 4 7 .364 6.50 13 13 0 0 0 0 73.1 107 57 53 5 19 50 1.718
19 Yrs 211 144 .594 3.28 486 476 1 72 17 0 3256.1 3079 1357 1185 208 901 2397 1.222
TEX (8 yrs) 78 64 .549 3.81 187 186 1 40 6 0 1278.2 1322 629 541 85 428 742 1.369
LAD (5 yrs) 58 32 .644 2.83 137 129 0 11 2 0 872.2 737 319 274 68 223 784 1.100
NYY (2 yrs) 14 13 .519 4.95 35 35 0 0 0 0 205.1 239 122 113 19 54 133 1.427
FLA (2 yrs) 33 19 .635 2.30 65 65 0 11 5 0 470.1 401 137 120 18 99 364 1.063
SDP (1 yr) 18 7 .720 2.38 36 35 0 7 3 0 257.0 225 77 68 8 49 257 1.066
BAL (1 yr) 10 9 .526 3.60 26 26 0 3 1 0 172.1 155 73 69 10 48 117 1.178
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/7/2014.