Happy Birthday–August 1

Frank Grant (1865)
Joe Shaute (1899)
George Sisler, Jr. (1917)
George Bamberger (1923)
Masaichi Kaneda (1933)
Pedro Cisneros (1939)
Tony Muser (1947)
Milt May (1950)
Pete Mackanin (1951)
Greg Gross (1952)
Dave Anderson (1960)
Gregg Jefferies (1967)
Brian Bohanon (1968)
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (1968)
Kevin Jarvis (1969)
Brandon Kintzler (1984)

Adam Jones (1985)
Madison Bumgarner (1989)
Kennys Vargas (1990)

Infielder Ulysses F. "Frank" Grant is considered one of the best African-American baseball players of the nineteenth century.

The son of the Hall of Famer, George Sisler, Jr. was a long-time minor league executive, winning the Minor League Executive of the Year award three times.  He served as International League president from 1965-1976 and is a member of the International League Hall of Fame.

Masaichi Kaneda won four hundred games over a twenty-year career in Japan.

Pedro Cisneros was commissioner of the Mexican League from 1982-99 and was the editor of the first Mexican League Encyclopedia.

We would also like to wish a very happy birthday to brianS' sister-in-law.

Infielder Pete Mackanin played for the Twins from 1980-1981.  Born and raised in Chicago, he was drafted by Washington in the fourth round in 1969.  He did not do much in the minors until 1973, when out of nowhere he hit .302 at AAA Spokane.  He spent two months with Texas that year, used mostly as a reserve shortstop behind Toby Harrah.  He showed that 1973 was no fluke by hitting .291 at Spokane in 1974, getting a September call-up.  The Rangers traded him to Montreal after the 1974 season.  That turned out to be a break for Mackanin, as he got a chance to play regularly for the Expos.  He was their starting second baseman for two seasons, but did not hit, batting in the .220s both years.  He lost his starting job in 1977 and spent most of 1978 in AAA before being chosen off waivers by Philadelphia in September.  He was apparently injured most of the 1979 campaign, as he played in only thirteen games in the majors and none in the minors.  After that season, Mackanin was traded to Minnesota for Paul Thormodsgaard.  In 1980 he shared second base with Rob Wilfong, although he also played a little shortstop.  He took more of a utility role in 1981.  As a Twin, he hit .252/.279/.346 in 544 at-bats.  He became a free agent after the 1981 season and signed with the White Sox, but was released in spring training of 1982.  He signed with Texas and spent the next three seasons in AAA, two of them in the Rangers' organization and one in the Cubs' chain.  He remained in baseball after his playing career ended.  He coached and managed in the minors for several years, then became the third base coach for Montreal from 1997-2001.  He was back in the minors for a couple of years, then became the bench coach for Pittsburgh.  He was their interim manager for about a month in 2005, then went back to the minors.  He became an advance scout for Cincinnati in 2007 and was their interim manager for half of that season.  He scouted for the Yankees in 2008, then became bench coach for Philadelphia in 2009.  He became the Phillies third base coach in 2014 and became their manager in 2015 when Ryne Sandberg resigned in late June.  He remained the manager through the end of the 2017 season, at which time he was let go.  He remains, however, a special assistant to the general manager for the Phillies.

Right-hander Kevin Jarvis appeared in six games for the Twins in 1997.  He was born in Lexington, Kentucky, went to high school in Tates Creek, Kentucky, and attended Wake Forest.  He was drafted by Cincinnati in the twenty-first round in 1991.  He did very well in the minors, going 10-2 with a 3.54 ERA in AAA Indianapolis in 1994.  He was on a shuttle between Indianapolis and Cincinnati that year, making four brief appearances with the big club.  Things went downhill from there, though.  He split 1995 between the majors and AAA, not pitching particularly well in either league.  He was in the Reds' rotation for much of 1996, but did not fare any better.  He began 1997 in the Cincinnati bullpen, was waived on May 2 and chosen by Detroit, was waived again on May 9 and selected by Minnesota.  He appeared in six games for the Twins, two of them starts.  In thirteen innings, he was 0-0, 12.46, 2.39 WHIP, allowing 18 runs on 23 hits and 8 walks.  The Twins waived him on June 17 and he was chosen by Detroit, where he finished the season.  He spent much of 1998 in Japan, but signed with Cincinnati for about two weeks in late August-early September.  He moved on to the Oakland organization in 1999 and to the Rockies' chain in 2000.  He pitched well at AAA in those years, but did nothing in the majors.  He signed with San Diego in 2001 and got his only full season in the majors, going 12-11, 4.79 and leading the league in home runs allowed.  He battled injuries in 2002-2003, but was in the Padres' rotation when healthy, with similar results.  He was traded to Seattle after the 2003 season.  The Mariners released him May 6, he signed with Colorado May 11, was released by the Rockies on July 6, and signed with Pittsburgh July 16, spending the rest of the season in AAA.  He signed with St. Louis for 2005, making four appearances for the Cardinals, moved on to Arizona for 2006 (appearing in five big league games), went to Boston at the end of August, appeared in four more, and then his career was over.  He had a career ERA of over six, yet appeared in parts of twelve major league seasons, made 118 starts and 69 relief appearances, and pitched 780.2 major league innings.  His lowest season ERA was 4.37, even including seasons where he pitched very few major league innings.  He holds the record with six seasons with an ERA above seven.  When you look at all the guys who pitch well in the minors year after year and can't get a shot, it's amazing that Kevin Jarvis got as many chances as he did.  At last report, he was a scout for the Los Angeles Angels.

Right-hander Brandon Lee Kintzler pitched for the Twins from 2016 until yesterday.  He was born in Las Vegas, attended high school in Palo Verde, Nevada, attended Pasadena City College and Dixie State College of Utah (one of three big leaguers that school has produced), and was drafted by San Diego in the fortieth round in 2004.  He got as high as Class A for the Padres and actually pitched pretty well in the Midwest League, but as a fortieth-round draft choice he was apparently deemed expendable and was released before the 2016 season. He did not pitch at all that year, then spent over two years in the Northern League before signing with Milwaukee in July of 2009. He had been a starter in the Northern League and in AA in 2009, but he was returned to the bullpen in 2010 and was lights out in AA, almost as good in AAA, and completed an improbably journey to the majors as a September call-up that season.  The happy ending would be delayed, however, as he did not pitch well in September.  He battled injuries in 2011 and started 2012 all the way back in AA, but he got another September call-up, pitched well, and spent all of 2013 and 2014 with the Brewers.  He had another injury-plagued season in 2015, was allowed to become a free agent after the season, and signed with Minnesota.  He began the 2016 season as a setup man, but pitched well enough that when Glen Perkins went down in June he was given a shot at closing.  He made the most of it, saving seventeen games that season and twenty-eight for the Twins in 2017.  He also made his first all-star team in 2017.  Shortly thereafter, however, he was traded to Washington for Tyler Watson and international bonus slot money.  As a Twin, he was 2-4, 45 saves, 2.98, 1.19 WHIP.  He was not a classic "lockdown" closer, striking out about five and a half batters per nine innings, but he got the job done.  He has not been used as a closer for the Nationals, but he has done a good job for them.  He turns thirty-four today.  There's no obvious reason Brandon Kintzler cannot remain an important part of a major league bullpen for a few more years yet.

First baseman Kennys Vargas played for the Twins from 2014-2017 and remains in their organization.  Born and raised in Canovanas, Puerto Rico, he signed with the Twins as a free agent in 2009.  He hit well at every stop in the minors, but was promoted slowly.  He spent 2009-2011 in rookie ball, was in Class A in 2012-2013, reached AA in 2014, then was suddenly promoted to the majors on the first of August of that year.  He did pretty well, although he was much better in August than he was in September.  A first baseman, he was mostly used at DH because the Twins had some guy named Mauer at first base.  He started 2015 with the Twins, did not hit well in April, hit very well for the first half of May, was sent back to tear up the International League for three weeks, came back to Minnesota for a month, then was suddenly demoted all the way back to AA.  He hit well in AA and hit well when promoted to AAA.  He started 2016 in AAA, but came back to the Twins in early July.  He bounced back and forth between AAA and the majors in 2017.  He has spent all of 2018 in Rochester and has not hit well there.  As a Twin, he has hit .249/.305/.433 in 718 at-bats.  He played well in stretches, but was never able to sustain it, and whenever he started to struggle the Twins sent him to Rochester rather than let him try to work his way out of it.  This author believed for a few years that if the Twins had just left him alone, Kennys Vargas could have been a productive player.  It didn't happen, though, and at this point it doesn't look like it ever will.

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