July 3, 1955 |
|September 3, 1977, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1986, for the Houston Astros|
|Earned run average||4.17|
|Career highlights and awards|
Matthew Lon Keough // (born July 3, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher who played from 1977 through 1986 for the Oakland Athletics (1977–1983), New York Yankees (1983–1984), St. Louis Cardinals (1985), Chicago Cubs (1986) and Houston Astros (1986). Keough batted and threw right-handed. He was drafted by the Oakland A's out of Corona del Mar High School in 1973.
Keough was signed by Oakland as an infielder. He was supposed to replace departed Sal Bando at third base, but after hitting a disappointing .210 in Double-A in 1976, he was converted to a pitcher. Keough joined Oakland a year later. He was selected to the All-Star Game in his rookie season for the 1978 Athletics, recording a 3.24 ERA despite his 8-15 mark. In 1979, he tied a major league record by losing his first 14 decisions and finished with a 2-17 record. His winning percentage of .105 was the worst recorded by a major league pitcher with 15 or more decisions since 1916, when Philadelphia A's teammates Jack Nabors and Tom Sheehan finished the season with winning percentages of .048 and .059, respectively. From 1978–79, Keough made 28 consecutive starts without a victory, tying Cliff Curtis (1910–11) for the longest streak in MLB history according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The streak was later tied by Jo-Jo Reyes (2008–11).
But Keough resurged in 1980 with a 16-13 mark, earning AL Comeback Player of the Year honors. In the 1981 strike-shortened season he finished 10-6, helping Oakland to clinch the AL Division Series. He pitched well in a losing effort in Game Three of the AL Championship Series, giving up one earned run in 8-1/3 innings in a game won by the New York Yankees 4–0. Keough slumped again in 1982, tying for the AL lead with 18 losses against 11 wins in 34 starts. He also walked more batters than he struck out (101-to-75) and led the league in home runs (38) and earned runs (133) allowed.
In the 1983 mid-season Keough was traded to the New York Yankees. Nursing a sore arm, he spent parts of two seasons in the minors and returned to the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals late in 1985. The next year, he divided his playing time between Triple-A, the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs. In 1987 he joined the Hanshin Tigers in Japan and pitched for them until 1990. He attempted a comeback to the major leagues with the Anaheim Angels in 1991 spring training but did not make the roster. The next year, he tried again with the Angels, but while sitting in the dugout during an exhibition game he was hit in the right temple by a foul ball off the bat of San Francisco Giants' John Patterson, nearly killing him and ending his playing career.
Following his playing career, Keough worked for the Angels both as a minor league coach and executive from 1992 to 1999. After that, he scouted for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and is currently an executive for the Oakland Athletics.
Keough would occasionally throw a spitball. One time, however, his spitball backfired on him. Keough threw a spitball that Boston Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy missed completely and had seemingly struck out. The umpire, seeing the tremendous break on the pitch, assumed Remy had fouled off the pitch and so he remained at bat with two strikes. On the next pitch, Remy hit a home run, the last of his career.
Keough is the son of Marty Keough and the nephew of Joe Keough, who also played in the majors. His son, Shane Keough, was a minor league prospect for the Oakland Athletics organization from 2005 through 2010.
Keough appeared, along with his family of his wife, his three children, and his longtime friend who was his batboy while playing in the MLB, in the reality TV-show The Real Housewives of Orange County, with his wife, former Playboy Playmate Jeana Tomasino being one of the "housewives". As of Season three of the show, Tomasino announced that she and her husband had separated.
In 2005, Keough pleaded guilty to felony charges of with driving under the influence of alcohol, during which he collided with a car at a red light in Orange County, which in turn, rolled into a pedestrian walking his bicycle across the street who was briefly hospitalized with a knee injury. The incident occurred following a family squabble. Making matters worse, Keough wandered away after the accident. He said that he did not flee the scene, as some reports had indicated, but he was so disoriented that he walked toward some nearby shops where he was tracked down by police officers. His blood alcohol level was twice the legal limit, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
While Keough's case was in the court system, he was receiving help for binge drinking. He voluntarily checked himself into the Betty Ford Clinic for a month, and then he followed up with five months in a private outpatient program in Newport Beach, California, where he also served three months in jail following his conviction.
On December 18, 2007, Keough was arrested for violating his probation when he was found drinking at a bar. Under terms of his probation, he was to not consume alcohol. He was then sentenced to 180 days in the Orange County Jail on January 11, 2008.
Keough was arrested on August 15, 2009, for DUI with three times the legal blood alcohol content. Deputies said that they saw him make a "rolling stop" at a stop sign in the gated community, and they tried to pull him over. Armomino said that Keough ran into his home, but deputies followed him inside and arrested him. On September 19, 2009, Keough was charged with two felonies following his arrest on August 15.
His surname Keough is Irish and Scottish origin. It is a reduced form on an Anglicisation of the Gaelic Mac Eochaidh, MacEochaidh meaning "lock or locksmith".
In pop culture
Besides appearing on The Real Housewives of Orange County, Keough, in his position as a scout for the Athletics was also featured in the Michael Lewis book Moneyball. He is portrayed by actor Nick Searcy in the 2011 film of the same name.
- Kepner, Tyler (May 25, 2011). "Hapless but Not Hopeless, Blue Jays' Reyes Carries On". The New York Times. p. B11. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "Jo-Jo Reyes equals winless start record". ESPN.com. May 25, 2011. Archived from the original on May 25, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- Slusser, Susan (January 8, 2011). "MATT KEOUGH / A's special assistant to the GM / Life-changing moment leads to jail, rehab, perspective". The San Francisco Chronicle.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
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