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Friday, May 07, 2021

Former manager, coach Ray Miller dies at 76

Ray Miller, the longtime big league pitching coach who worked for the Orioles, Twins and Pirates and who managed Baltimore when Cal Ripken Jr. decided to end his Major League record consecutive games played streak in 1998, died on Tuesday. He was 76.

An Orioles Hall of Fame inductee in 2010, Miller tutored several generations of Orioles hurlers across three stints as pitching coach, from 1978-85, 1997 and 2004-05. He succeeded Davey Johnson as manager in 1998, posting a 157-167 record over two seasons at the helm in Baltimore. Miller also managed the Twins from 1985-86 and served as the Pirates’ pitching coach from 1987-96.

On Sept. 20, 1998, Ripken walked into Miller’s office to announce he was ending his record consecutive games streak at 2,632. Miller then tabbed rookie Ryan Minor to replace Ripken at third base that evening.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 07, 2021 at 06:00 PM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: obituaries, ray miller

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   1. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 09, 2021 at 10:39 AM (#6017911)
Work fast, change speeds, throw strikes. Still as good of advice now as it ever was.
   2. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 09, 2021 at 04:58 PM (#6017943)
I remember feeling kind of bad for Miller when the Twins won the 1987 World Series during an 85-win season. If you look at the team stats in 1986 vs 1987, the only big improvement in the team from one year to the next was that Frank Viola when an average pitcher to an ace. That's obviously a big difference - but the team's overall pitching staff was arguably worse outside of Viola's improvement - and yet, they went from a team who fired its manager during the 1986 season, to a World Champion.
   3. Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: May 09, 2021 at 06:42 PM (#6017954)
One of the more put-upon managers I remember. Always looked like he'd rather be at the end of the bar complaining about the O's than responsible for them
   4. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 10, 2021 at 07:49 AM (#6017982)
Work fast, change speeds, throw strikes. Still as good of advice now as it ever was.

The irony is that Miller never figured out that formula in time to salvage his own playing career, which ended at age 28 in AAA. I was his teammate on a Rotary Club team on the Washington Ellipse the year he graduated from Suitland High School, and all he ever did was to try to throw his mediocre fast ball past hitters, with varying degrees of success. He also had a severe control problem that plagued him throughout his minor league career, further proof that he didn't pay much attention to the last part of his message.

But obviously he eventually learned a few things, because he was one of the best pitching coaches the Orioles ever had, which if you know the history of the Orioles is saying quite a bit.

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