Monday, February 4, 2019

2/4 From 1970: Danny, Arquimedes Sign; Bronson, Bo Go; Matt HoF; HBD Doug & Dennis

  • 1970 - The Bucs sent noted bon vivant and so-so hurler Bo Belinsky to the Reds for RHP Dennis Ribant. Belinsky went 0-3 in eight games as a Pirate with a 4.58 ERA, and 1970 was his last MLB year; Ribant lasted a season for Pittsburgh, with a 9-8 record and a 4.08 ERA as a swingman before moving on to the AL where he was converted to the bullpen full-time. 
Dennis Konuszewski (photo Jeff Schrier/
  • 1971 - RHP Dennis Konuszewski was born in Bridgeport, Michigan. Dennis was chosen in the seventh round of the 1992 draft out of the U of Michigan by the Pirates and got called up in August of 1995. He came very close to having an ERA of infinity - he faced five batters, four of them reached (he wasn’t smacked around so much as unlucky - a walk, two ground ball singles through the infield and a flare were the damage) and two scored, leaving him with a 54.00 ERA in 1/3 IP. He was sent down, with Jim Leyland telling Dennis he’d return (spoiler alert: Leyland fibbed). Konuszewski played from 1995-97 in the Pirates system, mostly at AA, and left baseball to become a sales rep and little league coach. 
  • 1980 - LHP Doug Slaten was born in Venice, California. Slaten had spent four years in Arizona and two more in Washington before joining the Pirates in 2012 as a minor league free agent. The 32-year-old spent most of his time at Indianapolis, but was called to work 10 games for the Bucs and acquitted himself well with a 2.77 ERA in 10 outings. Still, he was released at the end of the year, ending his MLB career. He did provide a bright spot for the Tribe in AAA - In April, Doug collected the last three outs of a combined no-hitter started by Justin Wilson and carried on by Jose Diaz in the eighth. 
  • 1996 - RHP Danny Darwin signed with the Pirates after a couple of dismal seasons at Boston, Toronto and Texas. He went 7-9 with a sparkling 3.02 ERA and was flipped at the deadline to Houston for reliever Rick Loiselle. Darwin was dubbed "Doctor Death" by Houston’s Nolan Ryan because Danny was always ready to rumble. He got into two famous bouts with teammates Orel Hershiser and Barry Bonds, though Bonds was just a raucous verbal altercation. 
  • 2003 - The Red Sox claimed Bronson Arroyo off waivers from the Pirates. After three seasons and a 9-14/5.44 ERA for Pittsburgh, he worked an additional 15 years in the show, winning 100+ games while going 10 straight years with 32+ starts and tossing 200 or more IP in nine of those campaigns. After a stint with the Arizona D-Backs in 2014 after an eight-year run with Cincinnati, he returned to the Reds organization in 2017 after taking a nearly three-year big league hiatus due to TJ surgery and elbow issues. He officially retired in September, getting a guitar and rocking chair as parting gifts before the contest and then performing 40 minutes of Pearl Jam hits with his band, post-game. 
Arquimedes Caminero 2015 Topps
  • 2015 - The Pirates purchased the contract of RHP Arquimedes Caminero from the Miami Marlins. The hard-throwing righty got into 112 games for the Pirates in 2015-16, slashing 6-3-1 (his only big league save)/3.58 with 23 holds, but his 1.66 WHIP got him sent to Seattle for a pair of minor leaguers during his second year. He finished out his MLB stay there, tossing in the Japanese and the Dominican Leagues since then. 
  • 2015 - Ex-Bucco (and ex-just-about-everyone-else) 1B/OF Matt Stairs was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. He joined old Pirates C George “Mooney” Gibson and 1B Glenn “Rocky” Nelson, who was US-born but an All-Star for the minor league Montreal Royals and Toronto Maple Leafs, on the Great White North honor roll.

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