Friday, April 28, 2006

It was Just a Matter of Time

Steve Howe is dead. I'm surprised it took this long. I'll tell you what though, he knew how to pitch. I looked at and, but while the transactions for a player, suspensions are not included. I think he was suspended 7 times for drugs.

Howe was released by the Texas Rangers after the 1987 season. In Ferbruary of 1991, the Yankees signed him and gave him a chance to make the team. I remember when Gene Michael was asked why he signed him considering all of his self-inflicted troubles, he answered "Because if it was my son, I would want somebody to give him a chance." Gene Michael was instantly rewarded for his decision, as that season the southpaw helped add some stabilization to a horrible bullpen. The 1980 rookie of the year was in his best form, pitching 48.1 innings to a 1.68 ERA, while walking just 7 batters.

Howe would help lead the Yankees to the AL's best record in 1994, when he posted a 1.80 ERA. After the strike he was never the same. I forget the timeline, but he had another run in with drugs, because he always did. There was no report yet on weather drugs or alcohol was a factor in his death, but since his truck rolled over and knowing who he was, one could only assume it did. Despite missing 5 seasons in three different stretches between 1984 and 1991, what would have been the prime years of his career, he still posted an ERA under 3.00, 7 times in his career, 3 of those times it was under 2.

He should be known as one of the best relief pitchers ever, having come up in the role at age 22. Now he's just the dead guy who got suspended 7 times for drug use.

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