On the 10-year anniversary of his death, we remember Darryl Kile by reprinting Joe Sheehan's written response to his passing.
While looking toward the future with our comprehensive slate of current content, we'd also like to recognize our rich past by drawing upon our extensive (and mostly free) online archive of work dating back to 1997. In an effort to highlight the best of what's gone before, we'll be bringing you a weekly blast from BP's past, introducing or re-introducing you to some of the most informative and entertaining authors who have passed through our virtual halls. If you have fond recollections of a BP piece that you'd like to nominate for re-exposure to a wider audience, send us your suggestion.
Darryl Kile passed away on June 22, 2002. Two days later, the piece reprinted below was published as a Daily Prospectus column.
Sorting out the odder types among pitchers asked to start and relieve.
Last week, we took a look at swingmen, those pitchers that spend a decent amount of time in both the rotation and bullpen during the same season, doing so as a means of gauging the true expected performance differential when a pitcher shifts roles in either direction. The number of pitchers of this ilk have declined over the last few decades, but they still surface from time to time for one reason or another. Some are young prospects who, when called up, are instantly installed in the pen, to develop confidence, to get exposure, just help out in middle relief, or a combination of the three. At other times, putting young starters in the pen aids the team's efforts to limit their workloads. In certain situations, the ability to serve as both a specialist and emergency starter provides some additional utility to teams, as they don't need to sign Josh Towers to take a start, or dip into the farm system in the event of a doubleheader or an injury.
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A year and a day after Darryl Kile's death, Will Carroll wonders if MLB has learned any lessons from the tragedy.
As that day's game was delayed, the descriptions coming from the field were confused at first. Was it another terrorist attack? Was it an early strike? Silence and restlessness were the early reactions of the crowd, packed in on a bright summer day, ready to watch a fierce game between sometimes-heated rivals.
As the news broke, touchingly and appropriately handled by Joe Girardi, I worried about the reaction of the crowd. Finally, when Andy Maser told us that Kile had died, it was a combination of relief and pain. In the wake of September 11th, the relief was only that things weren't worse, but it was short-lived and followed shortly by the pang of guilt.
This has been an awful week to be a Cardinals fan.
Last Wednesday, longtime Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck passed away at the age of 77. While one never wants to see anyone die, I think that when someone older passes away after fighting horrible diseases, it isn't that much of a shock.
I was sitting in a restaurant with my wife Saturday afternoon when my cell phone jumped to life. Jonah Keri's words�"Darryl Kile is dead."�rang just as false as those boys' words had on that August afternoon 23 years ago. Yet, it was true, it had to be true, because while children may joke about such things, adults know better.
The Mets weren't supposed to get past the Giants, and everyone sort of had the Braves set as the default option to always keep the western world safe from a subway series. Praise be to the power of the unexpected, as two teams built to win this year managed to upset the favorites and tackle each other in the NLCS.
Pedro Astacio pitched very well after joining the Mile High Club in
mid-August 1997 after a trade from the Dodgers, which led to high
expectations for 1998. Those expectations came crashing down when Astacio
had only one quality start in his first eleven trips to the mound. Baylor
used him in the same way that he used Kile, which enabled Astacio to toss
nearly 210 innings despite his ineffectiveness. Although Astacio had the
misfortune of making 19 of his 34 starts at home, this doesn't help to
explain his poor campaign. He was equally unproductive home and away (42%
QS+BQS at Coors, 40% on the road).
Despite being only 23 years old, 1998 was Jamey Wright's third season in a
Rockies uniform. As in his previous seasons, Wright was plagued by
inconsistency. He was most successful when working on four days' rest (52%
QS+BQS), which may have encouraged Baylor to use him more than he should
have. Wright was even chosen (along with Kile) to work on three days rest
while Baylor mulled over bringing somebody up from the minors to replace
the disabled John Thomson. While Baylor should be commended for keeping
Wright's pitch counts lower than those of his veteran starters, Wright
still finished the year with over 200 innings pitched--too many for such a