Fred McGriff

Frederick Stanley McGriff (born October 31, 1963) is an American former professional baseball first baseman, who played for six Major League Baseball (MLB) teams from 1986 through 2004. A power-hitting first baseman, he became a five-time All-Star and led both leagues in home runs in separate years – the American League in 1989 and the National League in 1992. McGriff finished his career with 493 home runs, tied with Hall of Fame player Lou Gehrig, and only seven homers away from joining the 500 home run club. He won a World Series title as a first baseman with the Atlanta Braves in 1995. He currently works in the Atlanta Braves' front office as Special Assistant to Baseball Operations.[1]

McGriff's nickname, "Crime Dog", created by sports broadcaster Chris Berman,[2] is a play on McGruff, a cartoon dog created for American police to raise children's awareness on crime prevention. At first, McGriff stated he would prefer "Fire Dog" (a reference to a fire in the press-box of Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium the day the Braves acquired him from the Padres; symbolically, the then-slumping Braves "caught fire" and ended up winning their division), but since has stated that he is fond of the nickname.

Fred McGriff
Fred McGriff
McGriff during spring training in 2007
First baseman
Born: October 31, 1963 (age 55)
Tampa, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
May 17, 1986, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
July 15, 2004, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays
MLB statistics
Batting average.284
Hits2,490
Home runs493
Runs batted in1,550
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

McGriff was born in Tampa, Florida. His mother, Eliza, was a schoolteacher and his father, Earl, was an electronics repairman. As a child, he hung out at Al Lopez Field during Cincinnati Reds spring training and worked as a vendor at Tampa Stadium.[3]

McGriff first went out for the baseball team at Jefferson High School as a sophomore but was cut. He made the team the following year after undergoing a growth spurt. He first attracted the attention of professional ballclubs after hitting a long home run off of Hillsborough High School's Doc Gooden with scouts in attendance to watch Gooden pitch.[4] McGriff accepted a scholarship offer to play college baseball for the Georgia Bulldogs.[5]

Professional career

McGriff signed with the New York Yankees after being selected in the 9th round of the 1981 amateur draft. He received a $20,000 signing bonus.[4] In 1982, the Yankees dealt McGriff, Dave Collins and Mike Morgan to the Toronto Blue Jays for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd. The trade is now considered one of the most one-sided deals in baseball history. However, it appeared to make some sense from the Yankees' perspective, since McGriff was blocked from first base by Don Mattingly. Nonetheless, the Yankees didn't get nearly enough in return. Murray won only three games in three years with the Yankees, and was out of baseball by 1986. Dodd was released at the end of the season, and apart from a month with the Baltimore Orioles in 1986 spent the remainder of his career in the minors. In 2006, Rob Neyer wrote that the trade looked particularly lopsided because it was one of the few instances that a player of McGriff's stature was traded before getting to the majors.[6]

McGriff played two innings at first base on May 17, 1986, and the next day started his first career game as the designated hitter. His first at bat was in the bottom of the second inning against Don Schulze, during which he hit a line drive to left field for his first career hit. McGriff played in only one more MLB game that season.[7]

McGriff reached the majors full-time in 1987, and hit 34 home runs the next year, his first of seven consecutive seasons with over 30 homers. He emerged as the top power hitter in the American League in 1989, leading the league with 36 home runs, including the first home run hit at the SkyDome, helping the Blue Jays win the AL East division title. His power numbers remained steady in 1990, as McGriff batted .300 and established himself as a consistent producer.

Move to the National League

On December 5, 1990, McGriff was traded to the San Diego Padres along with Tony Fernández in exchange for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter – two players who would be integral in Toronto's back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

His numbers remained consistent in the National League, hitting .278/.396/.474 for San Diego in 1991. He made his first All-Star appearance the following year and led the NL in home runs in 1992, three years after he had accomplished the same feat in the AL.

On July 18, 1993, the Padres, out of contention and seeking to unload their high-priced veterans, dealt McGriff to the Atlanta Braves for prospect Vince Moore, Donnie Elliott and Melvin Nieves. McGriff hit a home run in his first game with the Braves, who acquired him to replace the struggling Sid Bream at first and to provide an offensive spark, and was a key player in the Braves' 51–19 finish to overtake the San Francisco Giants and claim first place in the National League West for a third consecutive season. He finished with a career high 37 homers and fourth place in the NL MVP voting.

In the strike-shortened 1994 season, McGriff was batting .318 and had 34 home runs when play ended in August 1994. He won the All-Star Game MVP Award that year after hitting the game-tying home run for the National League, after the NL trailed, 7–5, in the bottom of the ninth inning. McGriff was runner-up to Ken Griffey Jr. in the 1994 Home Run Derby.

McGriff remained with the Braves in 1995 and continued to be a successful cleanup hitter. He hit two home runs in the 1995 World Series en route to his only World Series championship ring. McGriff hit .295/.365/.494 with a career-best 107 RBIs on his way to another World Series appearance in 1996.

With 22 home runs in 1997, McGriff appeared to be in decline. He was called out on strikes by umpire Eric Gregg on a pitch thrown by Liván Hernández during the 1997 NLCS, which was the last significant event for McGriff as a member of the Braves. The team allowed him to be picked up by the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays after the season.

Late career

McGriff, playing for his hometown team, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, batted .278 with 19 home runs in his first season with the Devil Rays. His numbers experienced a minor renaissance in 1999 when he hit .310 with 32 home runs the following season. After another solid season in 2000, McGriff got off to a good start in 2001 and was heavily pursued by the contending Chicago Cubs around the trade deadline. He waived his no-trade clause to allow himself to be dealt to Chicago on July 27, 2001. He hit .282 with 12 homers in 49 games with the Cubs, but the team did not reach the postseason.

McGriff had 30 home runs during a strong 2002 campaign, which earned him a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the 2003 season. Twenty-two homers shy of 500 for his career, the forty-year-old McGriff only hit 13 with a .249 batting average and spent a significant amount of time on the disabled list.

During spring training in 2004, the Devil Rays re-signed McGriff in hopes of letting the veteran ballplayer hit 500 home runs.[8] He ended up with a .181 average and had hit just two home runs in his sporadic play from the end of May until mid-July. The Devil Rays released McGriff on July 28, 2004, seven home runs shy of 500. Although McGriff only played in Tampa Bay late in his career, he collected 66 win shares as a Devil Ray, the team's all-time record.

McGriff was released by the Devil Rays and officially declared his retirement during spring training of 2005 when he received no calls from any teams requesting his services. He retired with 493 home runs, tied with Lou Gehrig, and became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2010. He received 21.5% of the vote in his first year of eligibility, falling short of the 75% requirement for induction.[9] Over the next four elections, McGriff's vote percentage ranged from a high of 23.9% (137 votes) in 2012 to a low of 11.7% (67 votes) in 2014. As a player who received more than 5.0% of votes cast, McGriff remained eligible for induction by the Baseball Writers' Association of America until 2019, when his time on the ballot expired after 10 unsuccessful appearances. On his final ballot, McGriff achieved his highest vote total ever of 39.8% (169 votes), still falling short of the necessary 75% for induction. Excluding those players either associated with alleged steroid use and those not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame, McGriff has the most career home runs of any player not in the Hall of Fame.

McGriff ended his career having 10 seasons with at least 30 home runs. He and Gary Sheffield are the only players ever to hit at least 30 home runs in one season for five different teams, accomplishing the feat with Toronto three times, San Diego twice, and Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and the Chicago Cubs once each.[10][11][12]

Life outside sports

McGriff appeared in commercials for Tom Emanski's Baseball Fundamentals training videos in 1991. In the ad, McGriff deadpans the merits of the videos while wearing a "Baseball World" mesh cap perched high atop his head. The commercials ran for over a decade on ESPN, making them some of the longest running commercials on television.

McGriff hosts a radio show in Tampa.

McGriff fell off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2019 after not receiving the 75% of votes required to make it in for his 10 years of eligibility.[13]

McGriff will be eligible for the National Baseball Hall of Fame as part of the Today's Game Committee in 2022.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Atlanta Braves Front Office". MLB.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Chris Berman's Nicknames". www.upstartfilmcollective.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  3. ^ Callahan, Gerry (October 31, 1995). "Humble Hitman The Popular Fred McGriff Speaks Softly and Swings a Big Stick". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Nightengale, Bob (April 7, 1991). "Reserved as He Is Resolved". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
  5. ^ Sanford, Adam (January 23, 2015). "Hall of Fame candidate: Fred McGriff". DRaysBay. SB Nation. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
  6. ^ Neyer, Rob (2006). Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Blunders. New York City: Fireside. ISBN 0-7432-8491-7.
  7. ^ "Classic Player Profile: Fred McGriff". Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "McGriff's Mission". z.lee28.tripod.com. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  9. ^ "St. Petersburg Times". Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  10. ^ "Fred McGriff Batting Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  11. ^ "Gary Sheffield Stats - Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com.
  12. ^ "Schwarz: Ready Freddy?". ESPN.com. June 21, 2004. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Bowman, Mark (January 22, 2019). "McGriff falls short of Hall in final year on ballot". MLB.com. Retrieved January 23, 2019.

External links

Preceded by
José Canseco
American League Player of the Month
April 1989
Succeeded by
Ron Kittle
Preceded by
Andrés Galarraga
National League Player of the Month
July 1993
Succeeded by
Tony Gwynn
1991 San Diego Padres season

The 1991 San Diego Padres season was the 23rd season in franchise history.

1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 63rd playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 14, 1992, at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, the home of the San Diego Padres of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 13–6.

1992 San Diego Padres season

The 1992 San Diego Padres season was the 24th season in franchise history. It saw the team finish in third place in the National League West with a record of 82 wins and 80 losses. They also hosted the 1992 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

1993 Atlanta Braves season

The 1993 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 123rd in existence and their 28th since moving to Atlanta. The Braves were looking to improve on their 98-64 record from 1992 and win the National League pennant for a third consecutive year.

The Braves finished the season with a 104-58 record to win the National League West for the third consecutive year after trailing the San Francisco Giants, who finished in second place by one game, for most of the season in what is generally regarded as the last real pennant race before playoff expansion. 1993 was also the last year that the team competed in the National League West, as they would shift to the National League East for 1994.

Despite their excellent regular season, the Braves' streak of National League pennants ended at two as they fell to the underdog Philadelphia Phillies in six games in the National League Championship Series. By a twist of fate, the Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Phillies in-state rivals, in back-to-back NLCS series in 1991 and 1992, but in 1993, lost to the Pirates in-state rivals.

1993 National League Championship Series

The 1993 National League Championship Series was played between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves. The Phillies stunned the 104-win Braves, who were bidding for their third consecutive World Series appearance, and won the NLCS, 4–2.

The Phillies would go on to lose to the Toronto Blue Jays in the World Series in six games.

1993 San Diego Padres season

The 1993 San Diego Padres season was the 25th season in franchise history.

1994 Atlanta Braves season

The 1994 Atlanta Braves season was the Braves' 124th in existence and their 29th in Atlanta. After trading the two-sport athlete Deion Sanders, experts predicted that the Atlanta Braves were going to have their worst season since 1935. The Braves' records reflect just how successful that year was, although it was curtailed due to the 1994–95 Major League Baseball strike. The Braves played a total of 114 games; they won 68 and lost 46. The Braves finished their 1994 season with a winning percentage .596, ranking the Braves 2nd overall in the MLB, although they were six games behind the Montreal Expos in the NL East.

1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1994 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 65th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 12, 1994, at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League—tying the Indians for the all-time record of most All-Star Games hosted by one franchise, as the Pirates had also hosted in 1944, 1959, and 1974 (and would again in 2006). The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 8–7 in 10 innings. It was the National League's first win since 1987.

This All-Star Game also marked the inaugural telecast for The Baseball Network, a joint-venture between Major League Baseball, ABC and NBC. This was NBC's first television broadcast of a Major League Baseball game since Game 5 of the 1989 National League Championship Series on October 9 of that year.

1996 Atlanta Braves season

The 1996 Atlanta Braves season was the 126th season in the history of the franchise and 31st season in the city of Atlanta. They secured a regular season record of 96-66 and reached the World Series, where it lost to the New York Yankees in six games, failing to defend its championship in 1995. Despite taking a 2-0 lead the Braves unexpectedly lost the next 4 games. This World Series appearance was their fourth appearance in the last 5 years as a franchise. Atlanta won its seventh division title (second in the National League East, the other five in the NL West) and its fifth in six years. In the previous round, Atlanta completed a miraculous comeback. After trailing in the NLCS to St. Louis three games to one, Atlanta outscored St. Louis 32-1 in games five through seven to complete the comeback. The collapse was remembered as one of the largest in North American sports history.

1996 National League Championship Series

The 1996 National League Championship Series (NLCS) matched the East Division champion Atlanta Braves and the Central Division champion St. Louis Cardinals. It was the second NLCS meeting of the two teams and first since 1982. The Braves won in seven games, becoming the eighth team in baseball history to win a best-of-seven postseason series after being down 3–1, and first to overcome such a deficit in the NLCS. They outscored the Cardinals, 32–1, over the final three games. Also, Bobby Cox became the only manager to be on both the winning and losing end of such a comeback in postseason history, having previously blown the 1985 American League Championship Series with the Toronto Blue Jays against the Kansas City Royals.

The Braves would go on to lose to the New York Yankees in the World Series in six games.

1996 World Series

The 1996 World Series was the championship series of Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1996 season. The 92nd edition of the World Series, it was a best-of-seven playoff between the National League (NL) champion (and defending World Series champion) Atlanta Braves and the American League (AL) champion New York Yankees. The Yankees defeated the Braves, four games to two, to capture their first World Series title since 1978 and their 23rd World Series championship overall. The series was played from October 20–26, 1996, and was broadcast on television on Fox. Yankees relief pitcher John Wetteland was named the World Series Most Valuable Player for saving all four Yankee wins.

The Yankees advanced to the World Series by defeating the Texas Rangers in the AL Division Series, three games to one, and then the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Championship Series, four games to one. It was the Yankees' first appearance in a World Series since 1981. The Braves advanced to the Series by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL Division Series, three games to none, and then the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Championship Series, four games to three. It was the Braves' second consecutive appearance in a World Series.

The Yankees lost the first two games at home, being outscored by the Braves, 16–1. However, they rebounded to win the next four games, the last three in close fashion, including a dramatic comeback win in Game 4 to tie the series. They became the third team to win a World Series after losing Games 1 and 2 at their home stadium, following the Kansas City Royals in 1985 and the New York Mets in 1986. They also became the first team since the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1981 to win four consecutive games in a World Series after losing the first two.

Game 5 was the final game to be played at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium, as the Braves moved into Turner Field the following season. Atlanta became the only city to host the World Series and the Olympics in the same year and Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium became the only stadium to host baseball in an Olympics and the World Series in the same year.

2000 Tampa Bay Devil Rays season

The 2000 Tampa Bay Devil Rays season was their third since the franchise was created. This season, they finished last in the AL East division, and managed to finish the season with a record of 69-92. Their manager were Larry Rothschild, who entered his 3rd year with the club. This season is sometimes referred to as the "Hit Show" because the club signed several big-name sluggers in hopes of the team putting up better offensive numbers.

List of Silver Slugger Award winners at first base

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball (MLB). These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.Among first basemen, Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals have won the most Silver Sluggers, with four each. Goldschmidt won the award in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018, Helton won four consecutive awards from 2000 to 2003, while Pujols won the award in 2004 and three consecutive times from 2008 to 2010. Pujols has also won the award at third base and outfield before converting to first base. In the American League, five players have won the award three times: Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers; 2010, 2015, 2016) Cecil Cooper (Milwaukee Brewers; 1980–1982); Carlos Delgado (Toronto Blue Jays; 1999–2000, 2003), Don Mattingly (New York Yankees; 1985–1987); and Mark Teixeira (Texas Rangers, 2004–2005; New York Yankees, 2009). Jeff Bagwell, formerly of the National League's Houston Astros, has also won the award three times (1994, 1997, 1999). One player has won the award while playing for two different teams during his winning season. Fred McGriff was traded by the San Diego Padres to the Atlanta Braves during the 1993 season; he won the Silver Slugger Award with a .291 batting average and 37 home runs between the two teams. One father-son combination has won the award: Cecil Fielder won the American League Silver Slugger with the Detroit Tigers in 1990 and 1991, and his son Prince Fielder won the National League award with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007 and 2011, and the American League award with the Tigers in 2012. José Abreu and Paul Goldschmidt are the most recent winners.

Helton holds the record for the highest batting average in a first baseman's Silver Slugger-winning season with the .372 mark he set in 2000. In the American League, Frank Thomas' .353 batting average in 1994 ranks first, and is the third-best in the history of the award. Mark McGwire holds the records in both leagues for highest slugging percentage, and the National League record for most home runs. McGwire slugged .730 for the Oakland Athletics in 1996, the year before he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1998, McGwire hit 70 home runs on his way to the Major League home run record, slugging .752 while battling the entire season with Sammy Sosa. Chris Davis holds the American League record for most home runs in a Silver Slugger season when he hit 53 in 2013. Andrés Galarraga had 150 runs batted in (RBI) in 1996 when he won the award, followed closely by Ryan Howard's 2006 total of 149. The American League record for a Silver Slugger winner is 145 RBI, achieved by Mattingly (1985) and Delgado (2003).

List of Tampa Bay Rays owners and executives

This is a list of owners and executives of the Tampa Bay Rays of Major League Baseball.

List of Tampa Bay Rays team records

The Tampa Bay Rays are a professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. They compete in the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) American League (AL). Tampa Bay first competed in Major League Baseball during the 1998 baseball season as the "Tampa Bay Devil Rays", an expansion team. Prior to the 2008 season, the team's name was officially shortened to "Rays". The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.

In twenty-one seasons from 1998 through the end of 2018, the team has an overall record of 1,590 wins and 1,810 losses for a winning percentage of 46.8%. The Rays have appeared in four postseasons and won one American League pennant, in 2008

Note: To avoid confusion, this list is only updated at the end of each baseball season. Statistics below are through the end of the 2018 season.

Silver Slugger Award

The Silver Slugger Award is awarded annually to the best offensive player at each position in both the American League and the National League, as determined by the coaches and managers of Major League Baseball. These voters consider several offensive categories in selecting the winners, including batting average, slugging percentage, and on-base percentage, in addition to "coaches' and managers' general impressions of a player's overall offensive value". Managers and coaches are not permitted to vote for players on their own team. The Silver Slugger was first awarded in 1980 and is given by Hillerich & Bradsby, the manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats. The award is a bat-shaped trophy, 3 feet (91 cm) tall, engraved with the names of each of the winners from the league and plated with sterling silver.The prize is presented to outfielders irrespective of their specific position. This means that it is possible for three left fielders, or any other combination of outfielders, to win the award in the same year, rather than one left fielder, one center fielder, and one right fielder. In addition, only National League pitchers receive a Silver Slugger Award; lineups in the American League include a designated hitter in place of the pitcher in the batting order, so the designated hitter receives the award instead.Home run record-holder Barry Bonds won twelve Silver Slugger Awards in his career as an outfielder, the most of any player. He also won the award in five consecutive seasons twice in his career: from 1990 to 1994, and again from 2000 to 2004. Retired former New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza and former New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez are tied for second, with ten wins each. Rodriguez' awards are split between two positions; he won seven Silver Sluggers as a shortstop for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers, and three with the Yankees as a third baseman. Wade Boggs leads third basemen with eight Silver Slugger Awards; Barry Larkin leads shortstops with nine. Other leaders include Ryne Sandberg (seven wins as a second baseman) and Mike Hampton (five wins as a pitcher). Todd Helton and Albert Pujols are tied for the most wins among first baseman with four, although Pujols has won two awards at other positions. David Ortiz has won seven awards at designated hitter position, the most at that position.

Tom Dodd

Thomas Marion Dodd (born August 15, 1958) is a former Major League Baseball player. He is likely best remembered for being one of the players included in the deal that brought Fred McGriff to the Toronto Blue Jays as a minor league prospect.

Tom Emanski

Tom Emanski (born 26 February 1948 in Ridgewood, New Jersey) is a baseball coach and the man behind Tom Emanski Instructional Videos, a set of nine video tapes which lay out the fundamental techniques of baseball. The videos, sometimes referred to as "The Nine Commandments," have taught millions of youths worldwide how to play the sport of baseball and the commercial for this video has been running for nearly 18 years. Many viewers have memorized Emanski's commercial by heart, albeit unintentionally. Emanski is a former major league baseball associate scout and youth coach.

The Emanski videos are best known for their frequent and long-running commercials on ESPN and during Major League Baseball games. Featured in the commercials is former Major League Baseball star Fred McGriff. Fred McGriff met Emanski at age 18 when he was still in the minor leagues playing Winter Ball in Puerto Rico. Emanski videotaped McGriff's swing and offered to slow it down and analyze it.

In 1991, Emanski prepared to release his first videos and filmed a short endorsement clip in Chicago with McGriff, who was then with the San Diego Padres. The commercial advertising Emanski's nine videos has been aired continually and relatively unchanged despite McGriff's multiple team-changes. Because of their frequent showings, Emanski's name has become synonymous with the fundamentals of baseball.

Emanski developed a "building block" approach to improve the fundamentals of hitting, running, and fielding. He tested his techniques on students at Baseball World, a youth baseball school in Fern Park, Florida. His teams found success winning back-to-back-to-back Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national youth championships in three divisions: 12 and under (1990), 13 and under/under '90 (1991), and 11 and under (1992). Emanski also coached the 1996 Junior Pan American team to two wins against Cuba and the gold medal.The frequent commercial airings have made the Emanski Videos widely known in the sports viewing world, and the instructional tapes have become fodder for sports analysts who wish to reference a lack of fundamental play in professional baseball players. During ESPN SportsCenter broadcasts, anchor Kenny Mayne would frequently comment during replays of a player error that "Perhaps he should watch Tom Emanski's Defensive Fundamentals tape. They're endorsed by MLB superstar Fred "The Crime Dog" McGriff." Jayson Stark also commented on St. Louis Cardinals' defensive lapses in the 2002 National League Championship Series and a 2005 New York Times article suggested that New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez spend $29.95 and "buy the eminent baseball instructor Tom Emanski's DVD, 'Teaching the Mechanics of the Major League Swing II.'" In 2006, satirical news publication The Onion published an article about the hapless Kansas City Royals of MLB hiring Emanski to teach the team the fundamentals of baseball. Emanski's staff of Garry Ridge, Teddy Craig, Scott Howat, and Jim Horvath are widely recognized across the country as one of the best baseball staffs.

Tony Fossas

Emilio Antonio "Tony" Fossas Morejon (born September 23, 1958) is a former left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher during the late 1980s and 1990s.

He was signed as a 12th round pick by the Texas Rangers during the 1979 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. The previous year he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins, but decided not to sign with the team, instead finishing his college studies and collegiate career at University of South Florida – Tampa.

After nearly becoming a career minor leaguer, at the age of 31 he received a promotion to the Majors in 1988 with the Rangers, who released him during the offseason.

Although he only pitched 5⅔ innings that initial year, Fossas eventually became an entrenched yeoman setup pitcher with the Milwaukee Brewers from 1989 to 1990, the Boston Red Sox from 1991 to 1994, and the St. Louis Cardinals from 1995 to 1997.

Fossas' greatest success came as a left-handed specialist reliever, or LOOGY, a pitcher who was brought in expressly to face one or two particularly dangerous left-handed batters (during Fossas's tenure, this included such players as Fred McGriff, Ken Griffey Jr., Barry Bonds, and George Brett). For example, against the hall of famers, Brett and Griffey, Fossas held them to only 6 hits in 42 at bats, which is a .143 batting average. As a left-handed reliever with an unorthodox delivery, he was well-suited to this role, and often faced only one or two batters in each appearance. With Boston in 1992, Fossas made 60 appearances, but due to his specialized use he pitched a total of less than 30 innings.

In 1998 he pitched for the Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and returned to the Texas Rangers in what would be his last full year before finishing his career with the New York Yankees in 1999.

He became a pitching coach for Florida Atlantic University Owls in 2005. Tony lives in Florida with his wife Pura, daughter Keila, son Mark.He became the pitching coach for the minor league Dayton Dragons in 2009.

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