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Sunday, May 03, 2020

Former A’s pitcher, executive Matt Keough dies at 64

Former major league pitcher Matt Keough, a special assistant with the Oakland Athletics, has died, the team announced on Saturday. He was 64.

The A’s did not disclose details on the cause of death.

Keough spent parts of seven seasons with Oakland as a player, ending in 1983, and was named an All-Star as a rookie in 1978. He was also was honored with the American League Comeback Player of the Year award in 1980, and pitched for the Yankees, Cardinals, Cubs and Astros as well.

“Matt was a great baseball man and a proud Oakland A,” executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said in a statement. “He had an incredible passion for the game and we were lucky to have him and his wealth of knowledge alongside us for the years he worked as a special assistant.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 03, 2020 at 03:21 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: matt keough

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   1. Starring RMc as Bradley Scotchman Posted: May 03, 2020 at 05:06 PM (#5947163)
“Matt was a great baseball man and a proud Oakland A,”


There's...just no way to say that right, is there? "A proud Oakland Athletic" sounds even worse. ("A proud Oakland player"? "A proud man of Oakland"? "A proud Oaklander"?)
   2. Howie Menckel Posted: May 03, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5947177)
only 40 years ago, Keough was part of an A's rotation that completed an incredible 94 games:

Matt Langford 19-13, completed 28 of 33 starts, 290 IP, 116 ERA+
Mike Norris 22-9, completed 24 of 33 starts, 284 IP, 149 ERA+
Matt Keough 16-13, completed 20 of 32 starts, 250 IP, 129 ERA+
Steve McCatty 14-14, completed 11 of 31 starts, 222 IP, 98 ERA+
Brian Kingman 8-20, completed 10 out of 30 starts, 211 IP, 98 ERA+

"The field" 4-10, completed 1 of 3 starts (a Bob Lacey shutout)

Lacey and Jeff Jones were the RP stars, collected 11 of the club's meager 13 saves on a 83-79 team.

no one else tossed more than 30 IP and only 9 P managed even 14 IP for this Billy Martin-managed squad.

in strike-shortened 1981, the same fivesome managed a similar 59 CG in 103 starts (56 for 88 not counting lightweight Kingman), the team only had 10 SV, and only 9 P managed even 13 IP. The A's won the AL West but lost to the Yankees in the ALCS.

the same fivesome produced another encore in 1982, but for some reason they were awful - with ERA+s ranging from 67 to 97 as the A's nosedived to 68-94. the quintet started only 133 games this time and completed a meager 37 - 15 of those from workhorse Langford.

only McCatty and Norris kept their gigs in 1983, and they were mediocre in a 74-88 season under new manager Steve Boros. CG? 22.

only McCatty made it to 1984, and he sucked. after part-time duty in 1985, he was mercifully "put down" at age 31.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: May 03, 2020 at 05:58 PM (#5947183)
Norris was done at age 28 after 1983 - but he came back as a decent reliever for the A's in 1990, getting released at midseason in spite of 27 IP of 125 ERA+.
   4. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:03 PM (#5947185)
but for some reason they were awful


Knowing nothing at all about this pitching rotation, I'm going to guess that the reason was that they tossed seventy bajillion innings over the previous three seasons.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: May 03, 2020 at 06:09 PM (#5947191)
The 71 Cubs made it to 75 CGs, 3rd most of the expansion era, led by Fergie's 30 in 39 starts. For some reason, Phil Regan started a game on June 14, going 8 innings, giving up 2 and picking up the win but not allowed to get the CG.

The 68 Giants are 2nd with 77; the 69 Giants are tied for 5th at 71 so I suppose we declare them the real men. The 68 team was led by Marichal with 30 in 38; the next year it was Marichal with 27 in 36 and Perry 26 in 39.

   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 03, 2020 at 07:16 PM (#5947222)
Knowing nothing at all about this pitching rotation, I'm going to guess that the reason was that they tossed seventy bajillion innings over the previous three seasons.

guess who the manager was
   7. Ron J Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:33 PM (#5947239)
#6 Dusty Baker was still playing and wouldn't join Oakland until 1985.

Seems to me you're just being unfair here.
   8. Ron J Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:36 PM (#5947240)
#3 Norris had also picked up a pretty serious coke problem and that can't have helped.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:38 PM (#5947241)
#6 Dusty Baker was still playing and wouldn't join Oakland until 1985.

I wasn't thinking of Dusty
   10. Ron J Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:45 PM (#5947244)
#9 You're not? I thought pitching abuse began and ended with Baker.
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: May 03, 2020 at 08:59 PM (#5947250)
this Billy Martin-managed squad.

and here I was afraid I gave away the game, as it were.
   12. Ron J Posted: May 03, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5947252)
Howie, it's barely possible that I knew who managed that As team even with your incredibly subtle hint. And had some notion about his management style.
   13. TomH Posted: May 04, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5947301)
One method for assessing unusual team or player performances is to find how many standard deviations above/below the average the stat is. Typically, any number which is >4 std devs outside avg (when excluding the piece of data in question) is considered an outlier.

1981 AL, complete games: the Athletics had 94 CGs. League avg for the other 13 teams was 35 (A's removed), and std dev was 6.6. The Athletics were NINE standard deviations above average.

I openly wonder if there is any other team stat since 1900 which would be that bizarre. I checked one other obvious candidate: Ruth's 1920 Yankees were 8.7 std devs above avg in home runs.
   14. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: May 04, 2020 at 12:09 PM (#5947379)
RIP Keough. It's too bad Billyball imploded in 82 and set the franchise backwards until 86/87. Do you think the Five Aces had the longterm talent to be successful without Martin or did Martin just get the best out of them?
   15. Nasty Nate Posted: May 04, 2020 at 12:21 PM (#5947391)
One method for assessing unusual team or player performances is to find how many standard deviations above/below the average the stat is. Typically, any number which is >4 std devs outside avg (when excluding the piece of data in question) is considered an outlier.

1981 AL, complete games: the Athletics had 94 CGs. League avg for the other 13 teams was 35 (A's removed), and std dev was 6.6. The Athletics were NINE standard deviations above average.

I openly wonder if there is any other team stat since 1900 which would be that bizarre. I checked one other obvious candidate: Ruth's 1920 Yankees were 8.7 std devs above avg in home runs.
What about steals for the '82 A's or '85 Cardinals? Or maybe Saves in some year when only 1 used relievers in a certain way - 49 Yankees?.
   16. Walt Davis Posted: May 04, 2020 at 07:27 PM (#5947611)
62 Dodgers with 198 steals. League average without them was 65.56, SD of 14.67, putting them 9.03 SDs above. That's using n-1 in the variance denominator, slightly farther away if we use n (I'm not sure which you used). The AL was more slow-footed in those days so if we moved to MLB-wide, the average certainly goes down but I suppose the SD might go up enough that the z-score is lower.
   17. depletion Posted: May 05, 2020 at 12:34 AM (#5947723)
The 1971 Cubs was Leo Durocher's. The same Leo who had Randy Hundley catch 160 games in 1968. Hundley had 23 games off total over the 3 seasons 1967 through 1969.
   18. Howie Menckel Posted: May 05, 2020 at 01:02 AM (#5947728)
Cubs INF games started in 1969:

C - Hundley 145
1B - Banks 147 (age 38)
2B - Beckert 129 (because he missed 26 games in June due to injury)
3B - Santo 158
SS - Kessinger 157

looks like Hundley started - and finished - the first 68 games behind the plate and started 96 of the first 98 Cubs games into late July. for reasons unknown to this day, Hundley batted .307 as of June 1 but hit only .151 in September.

in entirely unrelated news, the Mets SNY TV station this week is showing all 5 games of the Miracle Mets 1969 World Series win over the Orioles.
   19. TomH Posted: May 05, 2020 at 08:43 AM (#5947774)
Walt, nice find with Maury Wills' 62 Dodgers.

I used n-1 like you did (STDEV excel function, not STDEVP).

If you add in the AL in 62, the Dodgers were "only" 7.1 SD above avg in SB. More variance in AL.
   20. Rally Posted: May 05, 2020 at 09:28 AM (#5947805)
It sure looks like Martin destroyed the arm of Rick Langford through overwork. Not so sure though.

I have a Street and Smith’s from that year. Pitching coach says that other than a 14 inning game, the most pitches he threw in a game was 122, and most of the time he was under 100.

Granted 14 innings is a big exception, but as efficient as he was, even in 14 innings he probably threw fewer pitches than Roger Clemens and David Cone did in some starts less than a decade later.
   21. Ron J Posted: May 05, 2020 at 09:53 AM (#5947826)
14 I think Norris was the biggest talent. And the cocaine problem he had meant that he was likely to be a train wreck regardless of what went on under Martin. Not guaranteed of course, but I think Steve Howe was the likely career arc (he and Howe ended up on the same minor league team. Gods that must have been chaotic)

And 20 of course not all arms are created equal. Looks like Martin tested Langford to destruction.

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