Happy Birthday–November 17

George Stallings (1867)
Mike Garcia (1923)
Orlando Pena (1933)
Gary Bell (1936)
Tom Seaver (1944)
Brad Havens (1959)
Mitch Williams (1964)
Paul Sorrento (1965)
Jeff Nelson (1966)
Eli Marrero (1973)
Darnell McDonald (1978)
Ryan Braun (1983)
Nick Markakis (1983)
Shane Greene (1988)

 George Stallings managed in the major leagues for thirteen years.  He is best remembered as the manager of the 1914 Miracle Braves.

Right-hander Bradley David Havens pitched for the Twins from 2001-2003 at the beginning of what turned out to be a semi-respectable major league career. Born in Highland Park, Michigan, he attended Kimball High School in Royal Oak, Michigan. He was drafted by California in the eighth round in 1977. He did not make his debut until 1978, pitching well at Class A Quad Cities. The following February, Havens was traded to Minnesota along with Dave Engle, Paul Hartzell, and Ken Landreaux for Rod Carew. He had a poor 1979, but pitched well for Class A Visalia in 1980 and was off to a good start at Orlando in 1981 when he was called up to the Twins in June. He was in the Twins starting rotation most of the rest of that season and all of 1982, doing a fairly solid job considering how awful those teams were. In 1983, however, things fell apart on him. He pitched poorly in twelve starts and was sent to AAA in mid-June. He pitched well there, but did not do better in Minnesota when brought back in mid-July. Havens had a very good year in AAA in 1984, but never made it back to the Twins and was traded in February, 1985 to Baltimore for Mark Brown. He did not do all that well in 1985, but was in the Orioles bullpen for all of 1986, pitching adequately enough in middle relief. He was traded to the Dodgers in May of 1987 and did decently, but got off to a poor start in 1988 and was released. He moved on to the Indians until May of 1989, finished that year with Detroit, and then was out of baseball. As a Twin, Brad Havens was 18-28 with an ERA of 5.00 in 63 games, 58 of them starts. He played in parts of eight major league seasons, appearing in over 200 major league games, which is not so bad, really.  At last report, he was living in Brighton, Michigan. He at one time had a business called Brad Havens Baseball Clinics, Inc. in Michigan, but the corporation has been dissolved.  At last report, he was the owner of Major League Gutter & Window Cleaning in Royal Oak, Michigan.

First baseman Paul Anthony Sorrento was a Twin from 1989-1991 at the beginning of his 11-year major league career. Born in Somerville, Massachusetts, Sorrento attended Florida State and was drafted by California in the fourth round in 1986. He spent three years in Class A for the Angels, having a good season in 1986, a poor one in 1987, and a good one in 1988, when he began to develop power. In November 0f 1988, Sorrento was traded to the Twins with Rob Wassenaar and Mike Cook for Kevin Trudeau and Bert Blyleven. He hit 27 homers for AA Orlando in 1989, earning a September call-up, and batted .302 with 19 homers in 1990 with AAA Portland, when he was with Minnesota for a little over two months. He had another good year in Portland in 1991, and got another month and a half with the Twins. He was blocked at first base by Kent Hrbek and at DH by Chili Davis, so in late March, 1992 the Twins traded Sorrento to Cleveland for Curt Leskanic and Oscar Munoz. He never developed as well for Cleveland as expected, but it could be that people over-expected: in four years for the Indians, he hit .261 and averaged 19 homers a year. A free agent after the 1995 season, Sorrento moved on to Seattle, where he had his best years, batting .279 and hitting 54 home runs over two seasons. A free agent again after the 1997 campaign, Sorrento signed with Tampa Bay and promptly collapsed. In two seasons with the Devil Rays, he hit .229 with only 28 home runs. A free agent once more after 1999, he signed with Oakland, and spent 2000 with the Athletics’ AAA team in Sacramento. He was decent, but not outstanding, and his career came to a close after that season. After leaving baseball, he moved to Bellevue, Washington, where he coached youth baseball.  In 2012, Paul Sorrento was the batting coach for the Inland Empire 66ers, the Angels’ affiliate in the California League.  In 2013, he was the roving batting instructor for the Angels, and in 2014 he became their interim batting coach while Don Baylor was sidelined by surgery.  He was the Angels assistant hitting coach from 2016-2018 and was promoted to hitting coach in 2019.  In 2020, however, Jeremy Reed took over as hitting coach and Sorrento’s title was changed to “hitting instructor”, a position he held through 2023.  With the recent change in managers, however, it is unclear whether he will be brought back for 2024.

Outfielder Darnell Tyrone McDonald played in four games for the Twins in 2007. He was born in Ft. Collins, Colorado, went to Cherry Creek High School in Englewood, Colorado, and was drafted by Baltimore in the first round in 1997. He showed an ability to draw walks early on, and once he started to hit, he posted some good on-base percentages. He hit just under .300 at AAA Rochester in 2002 and 2003, but slumped to .234 in 2004. McDonald got a few cups of coffee with the Orioles in 2004 as well, used mostly as a defensive replacement. A free agent after that season, he signed with Cleveland, was released in early June, and signed with Tampa Bay. He stuck in the Devil Rays’ organization through 2006, again hitting a little under .300 at AAA. McDonald signed with Washington for 2007, but was traded to the Twins on June 24 for Levale Speigner. His numbers at Rochester were a little lower, but he still hit around .270 in a year and a half with the Red Wings. He was with Minnesota for about a week in June of 2007, starting three games and going 1-for-10. McDonald was released after 2008 and signed with Cincinnati. He split the year between AAA Louisville and the Reds. He really did not do a bad job as a reserve outfielder for Cincinnati, batting .267 with 2 home runs in 105 at-bats.  A free agent after the 2009 season, he signed with Boston and remained there through the first half of 2012.  He was a decent reserve in his first season there, but his average dropped to .236 in 2011 and to .214 when he was waived in early July of 2012.  The Yankees claimed him and played him in four games, then sent him to AAA, where he stayed the rest of the year. He signed with the Cubs for 2013, got about seven weeks in the majors, and did quite well as a pinch-hitter/defensive replacement, batting .302 in 53 at-bats.  At that time, we wrote “it seems like someone will at least take him to spring training, and it’s entirely possible we’ll see him in a big league uniform again in 2014.”  Well, we were half right.  He signed with the Cubs, and they took him to spring training, but he was released in early April and became a baseball operations assistant with the Cubs.  He is still employed by the Cubs and was their Mental Skills Coordinator through 2018.  Ex-Twin Bob Tewksbury took over that job in 2019, and McDonald was a coach with the AZL Cubs that season.  He left/was not retained in that position, and founded SVA Sport, which is “your antidote to anxiety, doubt, and restlessness.”