Steve Kline (left-handed pitcher)
|File:Steve Kline 2006.jpg
Kline with the San Francisco Giants
August 22, 1972 |
|April 2, 1997, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 25, 2007, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Earned run average||3.51|
In 1994, he led the South Atlantic League with 18 wins (a team record), 174 strikeouts, and 185.2 innings pitched while playing for Single-A Columbus (Georgia), earning him the Bob Feller Award as Cleveland's best minor league pitcher.
Known for his colorful sound bites, he has accused umpires of favoring the New York Yankees and has jokingly said he thought about putting one ump in the "Kobra Klutch". One of Kline's signature pitches is a sinker that seems to "roll off the kitchen table". He utilized this pitch frequently when serving as a setup man for the St. Louis Cardinals.
During his first week of play with the Orioles, Kline lashed out at his teammates for not supporting him like his Cardinals teammates had when he said, "I'm so used to (Edgar) Rentería and Jimmy (Edmonds) running down my mistakes and picking me up." He also bashed his home fans when he declared, "There's nothing worse than getting booed at home. St. Louis fans are too good for that. They understand the game more than most people."
On December 8, 2006, the Giants re-signed Kline to a two-year deal.
Kline was used as a left-handed specialist in the 2007 season, pitching in 68 games, and worked 46 innings with a 4.70 ERA and a 1-2 record. On May 13, 2007, while the Giants were routing the Colorado Rockies 15-1, in the 8th inning, Kline gave up a single to Yorvit Torrealba. Torrealba stole second, meaningless to the Giants, and scored on a base hit for the Rockies' second run. Kline told the newspapers he was angry at Torrealba for stealing a base in a 15-1 game, saying "You know what? I'm a dumb hick, and I forget a lot of things, but I'm not gonna forget that." Torrealba responded by saying "What's he gonna do? Hit me with an 84 MPH fastball?" The next time Kline faced the Rockies, on May 26, 2007, Torrealba was hit on the first pitch by Kline with an 88 MPH fastball. As Torrealba walked to first, he said something angrily to Kline, and the benches cleared. The two had to be restrained by teammates and the umpires while they struggled to fight each other.
After a poor spring training before the 2008 season, Kline was designated for assignment on March 30 and was released on April 5. On April 10, 2008, Kline signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and was assigned to their Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. On June 9, 2008, Kline was ejected from a game for making contact with an umpire; facing a fine and possible suspension, the Phillies released Kline two days later, on June 11, 2008.
After his release from the Phillies, Kline retired and coached in the Giants instructional leagues. On December 17, 2008, he was announced as the pitching coach for the Single-A Augusta GreenJackets. On May 10, 2011, Kline was suspended after he head-butted an umpire. He was suspended for 15 days and was fined $500 for the incident. On January 26, 2012, he was announced as the pitching coach for the Single-A San Jose Giants. In the World Baseball Classic Qualifier taken place in Taiwan from November 15 to 18, 2012, Kline was the pitching coach of team New Zealand. Kline is the pitching coach for the Richmond Flying Squirrels. They are the Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants in the Eastern League
- List of Major League Baseball pitchers who have struck out four batters in one inning
- Steve Kline (right-handed pitcher)
- Steven Klein (disambiguation)
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