Thursday, January 19, 2017

1/19: Kip & Craig Sign, LaRoche Deal, Stew Extended, HBD Chris Stynes, RIP Stan the Man

  • 1973 - Utilityman Chris Stynes was born in Queens. He joined the Bucs in 2004 as a $750K free agent, but hit just .219 and was released in August, ending his MLB days. Stynes had a pretty good run, tho, playing 10 years with a career .275 BA while filling in at every position but pitcher, catcher and first base.
Chris Stynes 2004 (team day photo by Getty Images)
  • 2004 - P Kip Wells and 1B/OF Craig Wilson avoided arb by signing contracts with big pay raises - Wilson jumped from $327K in 2003 to $1.15M in 2004, while Wells leapfrogged his previous $375K salary and inked a $2.575M deal.
  • 2007 - The Bucs traded LHP Mike Gonzalez and SS Brent Lillibridge to the Atlanta Braves for 1B Adam LaRoche and minor league 1B/OF Jamie Romak. Gonzo ended up injury-bitten, Lillibridge became a utility player for six seasons, Romak had a couple of cups of coffee in the show and LaRoche has held a starting job at first for several clubs since the deal after putting up a slash of .265/58/213 in three Bucco seasons.
  • 2013 - Hall of Famer Stan the Man Musial of the Cards, who was born in Donora, died at the age of 92. His 24 All-Star Game selections are more than anyone except Hank Aaron. When he retired after the 1963 season, Musial had an NL record 3,630 hits – 1,815 at home and 1,815 on the road – and a .331 batting average. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969 on his first appearance on the ballot, garnering 93.2 percent of the vote. In 2001, SABR master Bill James ranked Musial the tenth-greatest baseball player in history. No wonder Mon Valley’s Donora is called “The Home of Champions.” Ben Cosgrove of Sports Illustrated noted that his nickname was dubbed by not St. Louis, but Brooklyn, fans. “The story goes that at Ebbets Field on June 23, 1946, Dodgers fans took to chanting "Here comes the man" when Musial, who routinely destroyed Dodger pitching, stepped to the plate. Longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch writer Bob Broeg heard the chant, stuck it (Stan the Man) into his next column, and the most fitting nickname in baseball history was born.”
Stew 2016 (photo Pittsburgh Pirates)
  • 2016 - C Chris Stewart’s two-year/$3M contract extension became official. Stew’s deal was for $1.35M in 2016 and $1.4M in 2017, with a $1.5M option/$250K buyout for 2018, making a guaranteed $3M deal for the veteran catcher.

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