Wednesday, May 29, 2024
MLBTrivia

Baseball Trivia: The Sun Is Out, The Sky’s Blue.

A left-handed relief pitcher, Randy Williams made his major league debut on September 11th, 2004, pitching for the Seattle Mariners against the Boston Red Sox. Williams entered in the top of the ninth inning and his Mariners down 7-0 at that point. Clearly a low-pressure situation to bring in a rookie reliever to begin his tiniest cup of coffee (4.2 innings spread over six appearances that first month).

Hi, my name’s Pokey, nice to meet you, teammate! Photo Credit – Keith Srakocic/AP

He got two flyball outs, sitting down Kevin Youkilis and Gabe Kapler, to start the ninth. Dave McCarty singled into center on the second pitch he saw from Williams, who then walked Pokey Reese. Williams’ first career earned run was recorded courtesy of the next batter, a line drive RBI double to left scoring McCarty. The batter was a late-inning, big-lead defensive replacement for Manny Ramírez that Saturday night in Seattle. In his fifth big-league season, the utility outfielder – and defensive replacement for erstwhile defensive wizards such as Manny – collected the first of his scant two RBIs while in a Sox uniform, but had a scorching 185 OPS+ in ’04…in 11 plate appearances. How’s that for sample size insanity?

The Sox would score again for the eventual final of 9-0. Our mystery utility outfielder stayed in left field, making the last putout when he corralled a foul flyball off the bat of Raúl Ibañez. Between this sly dude and Randy Williams, they accounted for -0.7 bWAR in 318 big league appearances. By contrast, Ibañez was worth 2.6 bWAR in 123 games with Seattle in just that season.

2004 was the third straight season he and Pokey Reese were teammates. During Spring Training in ’05, he was traded by the Sox to the San Diego Padres for Blaine Neal and then, almost exactly four months later, the Padres shipped him back to Boston for Scott Cassidy. In four months, this former Xavier Musketeer was traded for -0.4 bWAR. In one of those moments of numerical symmetry that makes baseball so infinitely fun, all three players involved in those trades had -0.2 career bWAR!

The only major league award he received was NL Player of the Week ending July 21st, 2002 while with the Pittsburgh Pirates. That week he slashed .500/.522/.909 with 3 HRs and 12 RBIs. In his life after baseball, he now runs an RV dealership in Mesa, AZ that used to be his father-in-law’s. There’s a phonetic hint hidden within this question (including the title) that rhymes with his last name, so take a shot at it!

Sky’s Blue for this Sly Dude…CLICK HERE FOR THE ANSWER!

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