Tag Archives: Corey Koskie

Happy Birthday–June 28

Ken Williams (1890)
Haruyasu Nakajima (1910)
A. Ray Smith (1915)
Oscar Rodriguez (1931)
Fred Gladding (1936)
Ron Luciano (1937)
Al Downing (1941)
Fred Talbot (1941)
Don Baylor (1949)
Chris Speier (1950)
Joe Sambito (1952)
Clay Christiansen (1958)
John Elway (1960)
Jay Schroeder (1961)
Mark Grace (1964)
Ron Mahay (1971)
Corey Koskie (1973)
Richard Hidalgo (1975)
Brandon Phillips (1981)

Haruyasu Nakajima is in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.

A. Ray Smith owned minor league baseball teams from 1961-1986.

Oscar Rodriguez is in the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ron Luciano was an American League umpire from 1969-1979.

NFL quarterbacks John Elway and Jay Schroeder each played minor league baseball.  Elway hit .318 in 151 at-bats as an outfielder for Class A Oneonta in 1982.  Schroeder was primarily an outfielder for four years in the Toronto system, never getting higher than Class A.  He hit .213 with 36 homers in 1,304 minor league at-bats.

Mark Grace was drafted by Minnesota in the fifteenth round of the January draft in 1984, but did not sign.

We would also like to wish a happy birthday to Philosofer's youngest child.

Continue reading Happy Birthday–June 28

Random Rewind: 1999, Game Twenty

MINNESOTA 6, BOSTON 2 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Monday, April 26.

Batting stars:  Torii Hunter was 2-for-3 with a grand slam (his third homer), a walk, and five RBIs.  Ron Coomer was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.  Terry Steinbach was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Pitching stars:  Brad Radke pitched six innings, giving up one run on eight hits and one walk and striking out four.  Mike Trombley struck out three in three innings, giving up one run on two hits and two walks.

Opposition stars:  Damon Buford was 2-for-4.  Reggie Jefferson was 2-for-5 with a home run.  Nomar Garciaparra was 2-for-5 with a double.  Kip Gross pitched two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk.

The game:  With Radke pitching, the Red Sox naturally scored in the first inning.  Jose Offerman led off the game with a single and John Valentin followed with an RBI double, putting Boston ahead 1-0 two batters into the game.  That was all they could do, though, and it stayed 1-0 until the fourth.

Matt Lawton led off the fourth inning with a walk and Coomer singled.  A wild pitch moved men to second and third with none out, but the next two batters fanned.  Chad Allen walked to load the bases and Hunter unloaded them with a grand slam, giving the Twins a 4-1 lead.

The Red Sox loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Jason Varitek was retired on a short fly to right and Trot Nixon struck out to end the threat.  The Twins extended their lead in the bottom of the sixth.  Coomer led off the inning with a double and went to third on a passed ball.  Steinbach walked, and with two out Hunter and Denny Hocking had RBI singles to put the Twins up 6-1.

Boston again loaded the bases in the seventh, this time with two out, but Troy O'Leary grounded out.  They added a run with two out in the ninth when Jefferson homered, but that was all they could do.

WP:  Radke (2-2).  LP:  Tim Wakefield (1-3).  S:  Trombley (1).

Notes:  Hocking was at shortstop in place of Cristian Guzman.  One assumes Tom Kelly thought that, with Wakefield pitching, it would be a good time to give the rookie a day off.

Coomer was at third base.  Corey Koskie would eventually become the regular third baseman in 1999, but early in the season Coomer saw a lot of time there, with Koskie either on the bench, at DH, or in right field.

The Twins did not make any substitutions in their lineup in this game.

Lawton was leading the team in batting at .329 after this game.  He would finish at .259.  Marty Cordova was batting .317.  He would finish at .285.  Koskie would end up leading the team in batting at .310.

Coomer would lead the team in home runs with 16.  Others in double figures were Cordova (14), Koskie (11), and Allen (10).  The Twins pretty much missed out on the home-run happy late 90s.  They were dead last in the league at 105 home runs, forty behind the next lowest team (Tampa Bay).

Radke was easily the best starter on the team, going 12-14, 3.75.  The only others who were even competent were Eric Milton (7-11, 4.49) and Joe Mays (6-11, 4.37).  Others who made double-digit starts were LaTroy Hawkins (10-14, 6.66), Mike Lincoln (3-10, 6.84), and Dan Perkins (1-7, 6.54).  When Radke did not win, there was a good chance the Twins were headed for a losing streak.

Rick Aguilera was still the closer at this point, but rather than use him in a non-save situation Kelly opted to give Trombley the three-inning save.  Aguilera would be traded on May 21 and Trombley would become the closer for the only time in his career.  He did very well in the role, but he did not have classic closer stuff, so he never got another chance to do it.

The Red Sox stranded 12 runners and went 1-for-9 with men in scoring position.  They had to feel like this was one they let get away.

The Twins victory snapped a five-game losing streak.

Record:  The Twins were 8-12, in fourth place in the American League Central, six games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 63-97, in fifth (last) place, 33 games behind Cleveland.

The Red Sox were 10-9, in fourth place in the American League East, three games behind New York.  They would finish 94-68, in second place, four games behind New York.  They would, however, win the wild card by seven games and go to the playoffs.

Random Record:  The Twins are 31-27 in Random Rewind games.

Random Rewind: 1999, Game Twenty-two

BOSTON 9, MINNESOTA 4 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Wednesday, April 28.

Batting stars:  Javier Valentin was 3-for-4 with a double.  Ron Coomer was 3-for-5 with a double.  Todd Walker was 2-for-5 with two doubles.  Corey Koskie was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Pitching star:  Dan Perkins pitched a perfect inning.

Opposition stars:  Pat Rapp pitched six innings, giving up one run on six hits and two walks and striking out one.  Brian Daubach was 2-for-3 with a double.  Darren Lewis was 2-for-4.  Nomar Garciaparra was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.  Trot Nixon was 1-for-1 with a home run (his second), three walks, and four runs.

The game:  Lewis led off the third with a single and Nixon walked.  A wild pitch moved the runners up and a pair of productive outs gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead.  Daubach led off the fourth with a double and went to third on a wild pitch.  He was retired trying to score on a grounder to first, however, and when the next batter was retired it looked like the Twins might get out of the inning.  But Nixon walked and Jose Offerman hit a two-run triple to put Boston up 4-0.

The Twins got on the board in the sixth on singles by Torii HunterCoomer, and Koskie.  The Red Sox put the game out of reach in the seventh.  Nixon walked, John Valentin singled, and Reggie Jefferson walked to fill the bases.  Garciaparra had a two-run single and, following a walk to Mike Stanley, Jason Varitek hit a two-run single, giving Boston an 8-1 lead.  Nixon homered leading off the eighth to make it 9-1.

The Twins scored a few late runs to make the final score look better.  In the eighth Coomer doubled and scored on Koskie's single.  Later in the inning singles by Chad Allen and Valentin scored Koskie.  In the ninth Walker doubled and scored on a pair of productive outs.

WP:  Rapp (1-1).  LP:  Mike Lincoln (0-4).  S:  None.

Notes:  This was Coomer's all-star season.  One of the many odd things about that is that if you look at the 1999 Twins on b-r.com, he is not listed as a regular.  He played 71 games at first, 57 games at third, and 7 games as the DH.  Doug Mientkiewicz is listed as the regular first baseman and Koskie is the regular third baseman.

In this game, however, Coomer was at first and Brent Gates at third, with Koskie as the DH.  Marty Cordova was the regular DH, as injuries limited him to 29 games in the outfield.  Javier Valentin was the catcher, with Terry Steinbach given the day off.

Koskie was the leading batter in the young season, at .333.  He would finish at .310.  Coomer was batting .328.  In the first part of May he went on a hot streak that would carry him all the way to .366, which is why he was named to the all-star team.  Well, that and the fact that someone from the Twins had to go.  He ended the season at .263.  Matt Lawton was batting .301.  He would finish at .259.

Despite his batting average, Koskie would play just 117 games and had just 392 plate appearances.  Twenty-five of his games were in right field, with just seventy-nine at third base.  Part of the reason for that is that Tom Kelly absolutely loved Brent Gates.  We talk about how Ron Gardenhire loved futility infielders, but Kelly had his flings with them, too.  In two seasons with the Twins, Gates played in 217 games and had 723 plate appearances, with a batting line of .252/.326/.330.  Yes, the Twins weren't very good then, but players like KoskieMientkiewicz, and David Ortiz either sat the bench or were left in AAA while Kelly wasted all those at-bats on Gates.

Starter Mike Lincoln pitched four innings, allowing four runs on six hits and three walks and striking out none.  Lincoln would not have a very good career, but he did have a couple of good years pitching out of the Pittsburgh bullpen.  Apparently on the strength of that, he pitched in the majors for parts of nine seasons, putting up a line of 17-30, 5.33, 1.51 WHIP.  His last three seasons were with Cincinnati, who put him into 102 major league games while he was going 4-6, 5.73, 1.53 WHIP.  Yet another player who got chance after chance long after he'd established that he was not a good major league pitcher.

Record:  The Twins were 9-13, in fourth place in the American League Central, seven games behind Cleveland.  They would finish 63-97, in fifth (last) place, thirty-three games behind Cleveland.

The Red Sox were 11-10, in third place in the American League East, three games behind New York.  They would finish 94-68, in second place, four games behind New York, but winning the wild card.

Random Rewind: 2002, Game Sixty-two

MINNESOTA 5, FLORIDA 3 IN MINNESOTA

Date:  Saturday, June 8.

Batting stars:  Dustan Mohr was 2-for-4 with two doubles.  Jacque Jones was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double.  Torii Hunter was 2-for-4 with a double.

Pitching stars:  Tony Fiore pitched 1.2 scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out one.  Mike Jackson pitched a perfect inning while striking out one.  Eddie Guardado pitched a perfect inning while striking out one.

Opposition stars:  Cliff Floyd was 2-for-4 with a home run (his fourteenth), a double, and a walk.  Mike Lowell was 1-for-3 with a home run (his ninth) and a walk.  Andy Fox was 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, his tenth.

The game:  The Marlins scored in the top of the first, as Luis Castillo led off with a single and scored on Floyd's double.  The Twins tied it in the second when Corey Koskie walked, went to third on a stolen base-plus-error, and scored on a Mohr double.  Hunter's two-run double in the third put the Twins ahead 3-1, but Florida come right back in the top of the fourth, getting back-to-back homers by Floyd and Lowell to tie it 3-3.

Mohr led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and scored on Jones' single to give the Twins a 4-3 advantage.  The Marlins led off the sixth with two walks, but Fiore came in to retire the next three batters to get out of the inning.  In the bottom of the sixth, back-to-back doubles by Luis Rivas and Jones made the score 5-3.

Florida put men on first and third with two out in the seventh, but J. C. Romero came on to retire Cliff Floyd on a ground out and the Marlins did not get a baserunner after that.

WP:  Matt Kinney (2-5).  LP:  Kevin Olsen (0-4).  S:  Guardado (18).

Notes:  Jones raised his average to .316.  Hunter went up to .314.  Mohr was batting .336.  A. J. Pierzynski was 1-for-4 to make his average .331.  Romero's ERA fell to 0.79.  Jackson now had an ERA of 1.07.

This was Luis Rivas' seventh game of the season.  He was batting .400 (10-for-25).  He would end the season at .256.

Koskie had stolen twenty-seven bases in 2001, more than double what he did in any other year.  He would steal ten in 2002 and eleven in 2003, the only years when he reached double digit stolen bases.  He had seventy-one for his career.

Kinney struck out six in five innings, giving up three runs on six hits and two walks.  Florida starter Kevin Olsen pitched 4.1 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks and striking out four.

This was one of only ten starts Olsen made in his major league career.  Florida drafted him in the twenty-sixth round in 1998.  He got a September call-up from AA in 2001 and pitched quite well, throwing seven shutout innings against Montreal on October 3.  He appears to have been the fifth starter for Florida at the start of the 2002 season, pitching out of the bullpen when a fifth starter was not needed due to off-days or rainouts.  He did okay in nine relief appearances, but was not very good in eight starts and was sent down in early July.  He was pitching really well in AAA Albuquerque in 2003 and came up to the majors in June.  He made on good appearance and three really bad ones.  In the last one, on June 27, he was hit in the head by a Todd Walker line drive, landing him on the disabled list.  He came back in September and had one really bad outing and two good ones.  He apparently was still dealing with injury in 2004, as he made just ten starts for Albuquerque.  He signed with Pittsburgh for 2005 but never threw a pitch for them all year and was released after the season.  He started 2006 in independent ball and finished it in AA for Oakland, doing very well in thirteen starts.  He made just two bad starts in AAA in 2007, however, before being released.  A quick Google search did not reveal whether the later injuries had to do with concussion symptoms or if they were independent of that.  He might not have done much in the majors anyway, but it's too bad that he couldn't stay healthy so he could find out for sure.

Record:  The Twins were 36-26, in first place in the American League Central, six games ahead of Chicago.  The Twins would end at 94-67 and would win the division by 13.5 games.

Florida was 30-31, in fourth place in the National League East, 5.5 games behind Atlanta.  The Marlins would finish 79-83 and would stay in fourth place. twenty-three games behind the Braves.