Monday, January 7, 2013

Six Degrees of Ray Miller....or something

Odd but true. I have personal ties (some pretty tenuous I grant you) to four guys in organized baseball. OK, that's not so odd. But what IS weird all four of them are or were pitchers in the Orioles organization. What are the odds?

OK, here they are:

 Matt Albers, formerly of the Astros, Orioles and Red Sox. He ended the 2012 season with Arizona but was traded to the Reds in December in a three team deal that gave me a headache trying to decipher. Anyway, he began as a starter with the Astros but has been a relief pitcher for several seasons now.

My connection to him is the most tenuous, his parents are friends of a good friend of mine and they have been part of our football tailgate group in the past.

 Troy Patton is a current Oriole bullpen guy who also began in the Astros' chain and was a starter early in his career. He came to the Orioles in the same deal that brought Matt Albers over. Which was strange. It was cool to see him in the playoffs last season.

I played club basketball with Troy's father many years ago. His dad was quite an athlete as I recall.

Jake Cowan was drafted by the Red Sox out of San Jacinto College (around the corner almost from my home)  in 2007 but didn't sign. He was taken in the next draft by the Orioles and pitched in their chain into the 2012 season. He injured his arm in 2010 and although he came back late in 2011 he never could quite recapture his stuff. He was released by the O's last season and finished up the year in independent ball. I know he has not given up on his major league aspirations.

My wife and I have known Jake's parents since we all went to college together many years ago. And we remain good friends today. I was really hoping Jake would make the Orioles roster one day. I still believe he can make it somewhere.

Jaime Esquivel is an Orioles' prospect who has moved up the ladder over the last two seasons and finished the 2012 season with their high A class club in Frederick, Md. He's had some very impressive numbers (with a few bumps along the way but he is held in high regard by the organization.

Another thread slender connection here. My wife works with his mother.

So there you have it. I've speculated that had things gone differently I could have one day seen the Orioles field a rotation comprised of these pitchers, all of whose families I am acquainted with. That would have been a kick.