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Sunday, February 03, 2013

Millwood stepping away after 16 years in the majors

A fighter for sure; he looked totally washed up after 2010.  Fine career.

If you’re Bessemer City’s Kevin Millwood, there’s a lot of coaching youth sports, hunting and fishing in your future.

Millwood, a 1993 Bessemer City High graduate, said Friday during a celebration of his alma mater’s basketball history that his major league baseball career had come to an end…

After going 6-12 with a 4.25 ERA in 28 starts last season for the Mariners that included being a part of the second no-hitter of his career, Millwood says he told his agent, Scott Boras, that he only wanted to pitch “close to home,” indicating the Atlanta Braves and Tampa Rays were really the only two choices.

When neither team showed interest, Millwood said he’s enjoyed living in Gainesville, Ga., while coaching his 11-year-old (Kevin Jr.) and 10-year-old (Conley) sons in basketball and baseball…

Millwood said finishing his career after a solid season was important and he felt he did that last season with the Mariners.

“I feel like I can still throw it well and going out on a high note is a big deal,” Millwood said. “I just felt it was time to be closer to home and to be around the kids more often.”

The highlight of last season was the June no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Millwood went the first six innings before a groin injury forced him to the sideline; Five relievers pitched no-hit ball over the past three innings to complete the no-hitter.

“It was a cool experience,” said Millwood, who watched his teammates get the final nine outs from the training room. “But it was bittersweet to not be able to finish it out.

“I’d rather have gone on and lost it (the no-hitter) late in the game than not be able to complete it. But it was a special moment for my team, my teammates and me.”...

Millwood finished with a 169-152 pitching record during a career in which he made the All-Star team for the National League in 1999, threw a nine-inning no-hitter for the Phillies in 2003 against a San Francisco Giants lineup that included all-time home run leader Barry Bonds and led the American League in ERA (2.86) in 2005 for the Cleveland Indians.

h/t MLB Trade Rumors

The District Attorney Posted: February 03, 2013 at 01:17 PM | 34 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves, indians, kevin millwood, mariners, orioles, phillies, rangers, rockies

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: February 03, 2013 at 06:51 PM (#4361337)
Johnny Estrada should announce a comeback.
   2. Greg K Posted: February 03, 2013 at 06:55 PM (#4361340)
Millwood finished with a 169-152 pitching record during a career in which he made the All-Star team for the National League in 1999, threw a nine-inning no-hitter for the Phillies in 2003 against a San Francisco Giants lineup that included all-time home run leader Barry Bonds and led the American League in ERA (2.86) in 2005 for the Cleveland Indians.

I don't know why, but I like the idea of piecing together four of five stats/facts/moments of a player's career when he retires. Now we just need someone to do Casey Fossum's and Damaso Marte's.
   3. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:11 PM (#4361343)
Damaso Marte: Gets the win in the longest World Series game ever in terms of time and tied for longest in terms of innings. Had the highest ERA+ in the league in 2003 of anyone who pitched more than 15 innings. Retired 12 batters in a row in the 2009 postseason and struck out Chase Utley and Ryan Howard on 6 pitches.
   4. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:14 PM (#4361346)
Millwood's had a hell of a career.
   5. Greg K Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:20 PM (#4361351)
#3: nice!

I'm guessing it'll take a lot more work to make Fossum's career sound impressive.
   6. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4361358)
We'll always have 1999, Kevin.
   7. flournoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:34 PM (#4361360)
He sure was an exciting pitcher in '99. He still had a very good career, but a pity he couldn't maintain something close to that level of performance.

Add a twist to the Fossum-Marte game: Do that for an arbitrary player of recent vintage, but don't reveal the name, and see how hard it is to guess.
   8. CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck Posted: February 03, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4361361)
Millwood also did something kind of interesting in 2000. He started the first of a four-game series in Pittsburgh for the Braves and got his brains beat in: 1/3 IP, five runs, four hits, two walks. Because he threw only 32 pitches, he then started the last game of the series and threw six solid innings (one run, four strikeouts).

I wonder how many pitchers have started two games in a four-game regular season series in the five-man rotation era.
   9. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 03, 2013 at 08:00 PM (#4361397)
I'm guessing it'll take a lot more work to make Fossum's career sound impressive.


I can't do the individual anecdotes, but Fossum in 2002 was an exciting player. He was a 24-year-old lefty swingman/starter who struck out nearly a batter an inning and put up a 132 ERA+. That was my first year watching the Red Sox full-time and I thought I was going to see him win a lot of games over the next five or six years. It didn't work out, but he was a bright spot for a little while (and he was part of the package that brought Schilling to Boston, for which red Sox fans should always be thankful).
   10. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: February 03, 2013 at 08:13 PM (#4361420)
I wonder how many pitchers have started two games in a four-game regular season series in the five-man rotation era.

In July this year, Zack Greinke became the first pitcher to start three consecutive games for his team in 96 years. He started on July 7, and was ejected for arguing a call at first base after four pitches; as a result, the Brewers decided to give him the start the next day. After that, of course, came the All Star break; Greinke started the team's first game back.
   11. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 08:20 PM (#4361436)
Back in the day I used to run a weekly Cubs Trivia contest on the old MLB boards. It was a lot harder back then when retrosheet, BRef, and newspapers weren't as searchable as they are now.



50's: This journeymen all-star set a record for most times striking out when he was a Cub. The next year his on field antics led to a ruling change concerning batted balls. Who is this guy?

50's: This opposing pitcher starts the season winning ten games in row, but then loses to the Cubs to break the streak. Also if it hadn't been for the Cubs this pitcher would have won 20 games in a row, he lost to the cubs twice in his first 20 decisions. Plus if it wasn't for the Cubs he would have been the first pitcher to reach 20 wins that year. Finally the Cubs accounted for 60% of this players losses that year. Name the Pitcher please

60's: What year did a Cub become the first NL firstbasemen to register 22 putouts in a game? Also who was the Cubs firstbasemen.

70's: What pitcher drafted by the Cubs threw two no hitters at the age of 20 in the NBC tournament?

80's: This Cub pitchers first career complete game was against Tom Seaver, he also threw a one hitter that day. Name this Pitcher.

90's: What 8 year streak ended on April 5th, 1993?

00's: This Cub had his first 5 hit game in the same city that he got his first hit as well as his first home run (not in the same decade as the five hits though) in. Name the Cub and the City

Extra Credit One: In what year and against whom did the Cubs issue a record 9 walks in one inning, and who were the pitchers?

Extra Credit Two: The Cubs are tied I believe for the major league record for most triple plays in a season with 3. What Cubs pitcher was on the mound and benefitted from all 3 triple plays?
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 03, 2013 at 08:30 PM (#4361457)
50's: This journeymen all-star set a record for most times striking out when he was a Cub. The next year his on field antics led to a ruling change concerning batted balls. Who is this guy?


Was Piersall a Cub when he ran the bases backwards?

80's: This Cub pitchers first career complete game was against Tom Seaver, he also threw a one hitter that day. Name this Pitcher.


Jamie Moyer?

90's: What 8 year streak ended on April 5th, 1993?


Opening Day hitting streak for Sandberg?
   13. AndrewJ Posted: February 03, 2013 at 08:39 PM (#4361477)
Millwood also started and lost the final game at Veterans Stadium. When he was lifted in the fifth, he threw his glove into the stands as he stepped into the dugout.
   14. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 08:47 PM (#4361491)
Millwood also started and lost the final game at Veterans Stadium. When he was lifted in the fifth, he threw his glove into the stands as he stepped into the dugout.

I had tickets to that game but moved to Wisconsin about two weeks before that game.


Incorrect on the triva answers.
   15. Walt Davis Posted: February 03, 2013 at 09:04 PM (#4361526)
80's: This Cub pitchers first career complete game was against Tom Seaver, he also threw a one hitter that day. Name this Pitcher.

The "obvious" answer here would be Maddux so I'm going for Harkey.

I am incorrect except in that it wasn't Maddux. Harkey didn't have a complete game until 1990. I had to cheat pretty extensively to find the answer.
   16. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 09:17 PM (#4361542)
I used to call the game "Cubs Arcana" and like I said back in the days before Retrosheet and Baseball Reference turned themselves into excellent little resources it was actually rather hard to find the answers.
   17. Jack Carter, calling Beleaguered Castle Posted: February 03, 2013 at 09:23 PM (#4361553)
I had remembered, wrongly, that Millwood was a potential HOFer some distance into his career, but that was only true as far as 3 seasons in. His ERA was just too high in his fourth and fifth seasons for a return to the path to be more than remotely likely. It took an excellent sixth season just to get his ERA+ down to 117, though 75 wins through age 27 isn't an impossible hole to dig oneself out of if 300 wins is the only remaining target.
   18. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 03, 2013 at 09:24 PM (#4361556)
It was banks and in 1968 for number 3
   19. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 09:48 PM (#4361597)
It was Ernie Banks but it was not 1968.
   20. odds are meatwad is drunk Posted: February 03, 2013 at 10:04 PM (#4361632)
Knowing it was banks was the easy part. I just guessed a random year
   21. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:15 PM (#4361743)
Add a twist to the Fossum-Marte game: Do that for an arbitrary player of recent vintage, but don't reveal the name, and see how hard it is to guess.


Firey outfielder had over 1500 hits and 200 HR in his career. He is one of only six players who have concluded a 30-homer season with more homers than walks (31 HR, 29 BB) Played for a team in every division during his career. Never afraid of taking one for the team, he once led the league in HBP, is in the top 25 all time in HBP, and 6 times had more HBP than GIDP.
   22. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:30 PM (#4361775)
He is one of only six players who have concluded a 30-homer season with more homers than walks (31 HR, 29 BB)

Is that correct? Both in terms of number of players to do it and the numbers for the player?
   23. Sweatpants Posted: February 03, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4361833)
Firey outfielder had over 1500 hits and 200 HR in his career. He is one of only six players who have concluded a 30-homer season with more homers than walks (31 HR, 29 BB) Played for a team in every division during his career. Never afraid of taking one for the team, he once led the league in HBP, is in the top 25 all time in HBP, and 6 times had more HBP than GIDP.
Is that Jose Guillen?
   24. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 04, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4361887)
Jose Guillen is the answer. But he actually had 31 HR and 24 BB in that season.

Here's one:

Undrafted out of a California high school, this right-hander signed with an AL team a week before his 18th birthday. He spent four years with them, mostly in relief, before his boy-wonder manager gave up on him and sent him to the senior circuit for peanuts. Thrust into his new team's rotation, he spent five years as a starter, earning Cy Young votes with an 18-4 record before leaving in free agency for an NL West rival, who sent him to another NL team in an 8-player trade. Never known as a quick worker, he started 283 games for six teams but had only a 109-95 career record. In his last season, he was a rotation stalwart of a 94-win team that had only one pitcher with more than 10 wins, but two (including him) with more than 10 losses.
   25. Soul Man Posted: February 04, 2013 at 12:51 AM (#4361899)
Is that correct? Both in terms of number of players to do it and the numbers for the player?


I found 12 besides Guillen, including most of the usual hackers; I'm sure there are more: George Bell, Bichette, Garret Anderson, Joe Carter, Galarraga (2 times), Dawson (2), Tony Batista (2), Vinny Castilla (3), Soriano (3), Matt Williams (3), Kingman (4), Juan Gonzalez (4, and almost a 5th)
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: February 04, 2013 at 12:59 AM (#4361902)
Tony Armas did it three times.
   27. BochysFingers Posted: February 04, 2013 at 01:52 AM (#4361920)
Undrafted out of a California high school, this right-hander signed with an AL team a week before his 18th birthday. He spent four years with them, mostly in relief, before his boy-wonder manager gave up on him and sent him to the senior circuit for peanuts. Thrust into his new team's rotation, he spent five years as a starter, earning Cy Young votes with an 18-4 record before leaving in free agency for an NL West rival, who sent him to another NL team in an 8-player trade. Never known as a quick worker, he started 283 games for six teams but had only a 109-95 career record. In his last season, he was a rotation stalwart of a 94-win team that had only one pitcher with more than 10 wins, but two (including him) with more than 10 losses.

Mark Portugal. When the Giants signed him after their 103 win season of 1993 I thought there was no way they couldn't win in 1994. There wound up being at least two.
   28.  Hey Gurl Posted: February 04, 2013 at 04:18 AM (#4361944)
   29. BDC Posted: February 04, 2013 at 10:30 AM (#4362006)
Comps lists for pitchers aren't as interesting as those for hitters, but here's one for Millwood anyway. Interestingly, he ranks very low on a list (centered on him in terms of Starts and ERA+) in most categories, including IP, CG, and pitching WAR. Javier Vazquez, an exact contemporary, has an identical number of Starts, almost the same ERA+, not many more CG or IP, and yet a ton more pitching WAR than Millwood. I don't know why that is; someone else will.

Player                 WAR  GS ERAFrom   To  CG     IP
Mark Langston         46.9 428  107 1984 1999  81 2962.2
Javier Vazquez        40.2 443  105 1998 2011  28 2840.0
Bob Welch             39.9 462  106 1978 1994  61 3092.0
Curt Simmons          38.2 462  111 1947 1967 163 3348.1
Paul Derringer        37.0 445  108 1931 1945 251 3645.0
Jim Perry             35.0 447  106 1959 1975 109 3285.2
Charlie Hough         34.8 440  106 1970 1994 107 3801.1
Fernando Valenzuela   34.2 424  104 1980 1997 113 2930.0
Tim Wakefield         30.4 463  105 1992 2011  33 3226.1
George Mullin         30.0 428  101 1902 1915 353 3686.2
Rick Wise             28.5 455  101 1964 1982 138 3127.1
Kevin Millwood        26.8 443  106 1997 2012  22 2720.1 


There was nothing terribly wrong with Millwood's tenure in Texas – he had 125 starts with an ERA+ of 100, thousands of pitchers should be so lucky – but as we'd point out here roughly from time to time, he was being paid like an ace and was delivering #3-4-starter performance.

   30. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 04, 2013 at 11:42 AM (#4362077)
Millwood was born the same day I was. He was also the #1 pick in our Sandbox league in 2000. Both of those facts will be included on his Cooperstown plaque.
   31. JJ1986 Posted: February 04, 2013 at 12:03 PM (#4362109)
I don't know why that is; someone else will.


It looks like most of the difference is the Millwood played in front of consistently above average defenses and Vazquez in front of bad ones.
   32. Baldrick Posted: February 04, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4362357)
He won an Olympic silver medal and was a first round draft pick. He led his team in saves in one year and was traded in the offseason. The following year he led the league in ERA. He received Cy Young votes in only one year, and it was not the year he led the league in ERA. He was elected to the Maine baseball hall of fame in the same year as Stephen King.
   33. Maximum John Posted: February 04, 2013 at 04:33 PM (#4362519)
Mark Portugal. When the Giants signed him after their 103 win season of 1993 I thought there was no way they couldn't win in 1994. There wound up being at least two.


He was very good in Houston (mostly), and had pitched really well against SF in 1993. I remember that. and also remember thinking at the time that he was a guy who benefited a lot from pitching home games in the Astrodome. Then again, I suppose a lot of pitchers did.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: February 04, 2013 at 08:50 PM (#4362754)
It looks like most of the difference is the Millwood played in front of consistently above average defenses and Vazquez in front of bad ones.

Yeah, it doesn't seem like much at first but, by the stats, Millwood's defenses were saving him an average of .16 runs per 9 while Vazquez's were costing him .16 per 9. Over their careers that adds up to about 100 runs or 10 wins. Those defensive numbers are roughly equivalent to a team saving or giving up 25 runs relative to average.

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