Happy Birthday–June 4

Tim Murnane (1851)
Tony Venzon (1915)
Billy Hunter (1928)
John McNamara (1932)
Phil Linz (1939)
Terry Kennedy (1956)
Tony Pena (1957)
Kurt Stillwell (1965)
Scott Servais (1967)
Rick Wilkins (1967)
Darin Erstad (1974)
J. C. Romero (1976)
Cody Stashak (1994)

 Tim Murnane had a long and varied career in baseball, but is best remembered as a sportswriter in Boston.

Tony Venzon was a National League umpire from 1957-71.

John McNamara managed six different major league clubs, going to the World Series with Boston in 1986.

Left-hander Juan Carlos ”J. C.” Romero pitched for the Twins from 1999-2005.  He was born in San Piedras, Puerto Rico, went to high school in San Juan, and then attended the University of Mobile.  He was drafted by Minnesota in the 21st round in 1997.  He was a reliever throughout his early minor league career, did very well, and made the majors for the first time in September of 1999.  He bounced back and forth between the majors and AAA for the next two seasons, mostly used as a starter in those seasons.  He pitched well in AAA, but not very well at all in the majors.  In 2002, Romero became a reliever again and had a tremendous year, going 9-2, 1.89 with a WHIP of 1.21 in 81 innings and 81 appearances.  He then was up and down, having a poor year in 2003, a better year in 2004, and a worse year again in 2005.  As a Twin, J. C. Romero was 25-20, 4.38 with a WHIP of 1.48.  He appeared in 327 games, 22 of them starts, and pitched 407.2 innings.  After the 2005 season, the Twins traded Romero to the Anaheim Angels for Alexi Casilla.  He was pretty awful for the Angels in 2006, became a free agent, and signed with Boston.  He was not very good there, either, and was released in June.  Romero signed with Philadelphia a few days later and seemed reborn.  He pitched very well the rest of 2007 and again in 2008, helping the Phillies win the World Series.  He was suspended for fifty games in 2009, and has been bothered by injuries and wildness since his return.  He earned the title “well-traveled reliever” in 2011, playing for Philadelphia, Washington, the Yankees, and Colorado.   He signed with St. Louis for 2012, was released in mid-May, and was signed by Baltimore.  He pitched well in AAA, but was released again in mid-July.  He signed with Cleveland, pitched well in AAA, and was traded back to Baltimore in mid-August.  The Orioles put him in their bullpen, but he was not very good and was made a free agent after two weeks.  He didn't give up, though.  He signed with Washington in late March of 2013 and pitched well for them in AAA, but was still released in June.  He signed with Cleveland, finished out the season in AAA there, and became a free agent.  He pitched in the Mexican League and in the Atlantic League in 2015, doing well in both spots.  He does not seem to have pitched for anyone for 2016-17, but he has pitched in winter ball following both of those seasons. He also played in the World Baseball Classic in 2017.  That, however, brought his playing career to an end.  It was a pretty good career, though, especially for a twenty-first round draft choice.  At last report, J. C. Romero was a baseball coach somewhere in Alabama.

Right-hander Cody William Stashak made his Twins debut in 2019.  He was born in Somers Point, New Jersey, went to high school in Mays Landing, New Jersey, attended St. John's University, and was drafted by Minnesota in the thirteenth round in 2015.  He was a starter through 2017 and pitched pretty well.  Moved to the bullpen in 2018, he had an outstanding year for AA Chattanooga.  He started 2019 in AA Pensacola, moved up to AAA, and came up to the majors in late July.  He pitched pretty well for the Twins, too, going 0-1, 3.24, 1.20 WHIP with 25 strikeouts in 25 innings (18 games).  He did even better in the abbreviated 2020 season, going 1-0, 3.00, 0.93 WHIP with 17 strikeouts in 15 innings (11 games).  He has not come anywhere near those numbers in 2021, however, so that his career numbers at this writing are 1-1, 4.20, 1.26 WHIP.  He is still striking people out, and relievers' numbers can fluctuate wildly in small sample sizes.  Still, he needs to get back to where he was if he's going to remain part of the Twins' bullpen.

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