Monday, February 9, 2015

#373 Mike Morgan

About the Front: I spy a blurry Montreal base runner standing at first. Mike Morgan had two home starts against the Expos in 1992. On June 12, he gave up two runs on five hits and four walks in seven innings and did not factor in the decision as the Cubs won 5-2. On August 12, he was tagged with the loss, allowing three runs on ten hits and two walks in eight innings.

About the Front: As you can see, the post-dynasty Athletics called up an 18-year-old Morgan right after drafting him fourth overall, with predictably poor results.

Triple Play:

1. He gave up a couple of milestone home runs, two decades apart: Carl Yastrzemski's 400th career homer on July 24, 1979, and Mark McGwire's 61st homer of the season on September 7, 1998.

2. Morgan finished his career with Arizona in 2002, making him one of the few players to debut in the 1970s and retire in the 2000s. He wound up with a 141-186 record and a 4.23 ERA, and has the lowest career winning percentage (.431) among all pitchers with at least 400 starts.

3. Mike coaches youth baseball players one-on-one through the company Ultimate Sports, and owns World Championship Outfitters, a company that arranges private hunting trips with the ex-pitcher as guide.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I was fascinated by Morgan's journeyman status. He set a record by playing for 12 different teams (Athletics, Yankees, Blue Jays, Mariners, Orioles, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Reds, Twins, Rangers, Diamondbacks), though Octavio Dotel later passed him.

Bill James Said: "He missed some time in mid-season with a strained knee, which may or may not have contributed to his regression toward his pre-1991 level of performance."

On This Date in 1993: February 9. New album releases include Music, the first studio album by 311, and Paul McCartney's Off the Ground.

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