Shawn Chacón

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Shawn Chacón
Pitcher
Born: (1977-12-23) December 23, 1977 (age 36)
Anchorage, Alaska
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 29, 2001 for the Colorado Rockies
Last MLB appearance
June 19, 2008 for the Houston Astros
Career statistics
Win–loss record 45–61
Earned run average 4.99
Strikeouts 619
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Shawn Anthony Chacón (born December 23, 1977) is an American retired professional baseball pitcher. He last played in Major League Baseball with the Houston Astros in 2008. During his career, he threw an 88–92 mph sinker, a big curveball, a slider, and a changeup.

Early years[edit]

Chacón was born in Anchorage, Alaska, but has only dim recollection of his biological mother and none of his father (he believes his biological father was African-American and his mother Latina). His mother placed him in a Greeley, Colorado, foster home when he was 4, and he was adopted by Tony and Blanca Chacón.[1] Chacón was recruited by Arizona State, but chose to play professionally after he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 3rd Round of the 1996 amateur draft. He later signed on June 18, 1996.

Professional career[edit]

Colorado Rockies[edit]

Chacón made his MLB debut in 2001 as a member of the Rockies. In his first start, allowed 7 runs in a 5 1.3 innings while striking out 8 en route to a 14-7 win.[2] By the end of the 2001 season, Chacón made 27 starts and recorded a record of 6-10 for the Rockies.

2002 was a bad year for Chacón as he battled inconsistency and injuries throughout the season. He pitched in 13 starts in the first half, going 3-6 while having a stint on the DL. Once he returned, his season took a turn for the worse. In the second half he amassed an ERA of 7.00 in 8 starts and was demoted to AAA.[3] Chacón never got called back up to the majors and finished the season with a record of 5-11 while walking 60 batters in only 119 innings.

Chacón developed into a capable starter and was Colorado's 2003 All-Star representative, having won 11 games before the All Star break; the only other Rockies pitchers to have done that through 2009 are Aaron Cook (2008), Jason Marquis (2009) and Ubaldo Jiménez (2010). He never got to pitch in the All star game due to a nagging elbow injury, he back after the All star break and did not record a win in 6 starts, going 0-4 and was subsequently shut down for the rest of the season.[4] He wound up finishing 11–8 with a 4.60 ERA.

The next year, due to a necessity at the closer role, he was converted into the Rockies closer for the 2004 season.[5] Chacón put up one of the most bizarre stat lines in baseball history for a closer. Chacón was 9th in the National League with 35 saves but was also tied with a league leading 9 blown saves. His record was 1–9 and his ERA 7.11. His home/road splits were even odder, as he was 1-5 at home with a 6.81 ERA and 20 saves. He allowed more hits than innings pitched while on the road his ERA was even worse, standing at 7.56 and notching only 15 saves. In 2005, Chacón was 1-7 with a career low 4.09 through 13 games before being traded to the Yankees, ending his 5 year tenure with the Rockies. He finished 24-45 in 150 games with 35 saves for the Rockies.

New York Yankees[edit]

He was acquired by the Yankees in July 2005 for minor league pitchers Ramón Ramírez and Eduardo Sierra.[6] Many New York fans and members of the tough New York media criticized the trade, calling it a bandage and not a solution, much like how the Yankees saw starts from Tim Redding, Darrell May and Sean Henn in 2005. Chacón was excited to be coming to New York, and he did not waver under the initial pressure and criticism. In his first start as a Yankee, he pitched six innings without allowing an earned run against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He finished 7–3 with a 2.85 ERA for the Yankees. Chacón made his postseason debut in Game 4 of the 2005 American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He pitched 6⅓ innings and allowed just 2 runs in a Yankee win.

Before the 2006 season, sportswriters thought that Chacón would be a big key to the Yankee rotation. Chacón, however, got off to a slow start, but started pitching well in late April. On May 16, the Texas Rangers scored 7 runs off Chacón. After the terrible start, Chacón went on the 15-day disabled list. Chacón came off the DL on June 11. After coming off the DL, Chacón could not pitch 5 innings, forcing the Yankees to use their tired bullpen. On July 6, Chacón was sent to the bullpen after giving up seven runs in 1⅓ innings against the Cleveland Indians on July 4. He was replaced in the rotation by Kris Wilson.[7]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

During the July 31, 2006, mid-season non-waiver trade deadline, he was dealt for the less expensive Craig Wilson. Chacón started for the Pirates, making 9 starts and going 2–3 with a 5.48 ERA.

In 2007, Chacón was mainly used as a reliever by the Pirates, but also made 4 starts. He went 5–4 with a 3.94 ERA in 64 games for the Pirates in 2007. Chacón was granted free agency after the season.

Houston Astros[edit]

On February 20, 2008, Chacón signed a one-year deal with the Houston Astros worth $2 million.[8] On May 16, Chacón set a major league record by recording 9 straight consecutive no-decisions to begin a season.[9]

On June 25, 2008, the Astros announced that Chacón was suspended indefinitely for insubordination after a physical altercation with Astros General Manager Ed Wade. The incident began after Chacón repeatedly refused to leave the team dining room to speak with Wade in his office. Chacón claimed that Wade raised his voice and verbally attacked him, telling him to "look in the mirror", though Wade has denied raising his voice or verbally attacking Chacón. In a fit of rage Chacón grabbed the much smaller Wade by the neck and threw him to the ground. When Wade tried to get up Chacón repeatedly knocked him back down before other players could intervene to stop the assault. On whether he regretted the incident Chacón stated "If there's any regret, I just wish they had just let me alone". Wade was not injured by the assault.[10] The next day, Chacón was placed on waivers by the Astros and after clearing waivers, his contract was terminated with cause, meaning that Chacón forfeited $983,607 in salary (this move was appealed by the MLB Players' Association, but the termination with cause was upheld by an arbitrator in August 2010).[11] Chacón did not pitch again in 2008.[12]

Newark Bears/Oakland Athletics[edit]

On May 1, 2009, Chacón signed a one-year deal with the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League and started 7 games, pitching to a 4.29 ERA with a 3–3 record.[13] His performance with the Bears earned him a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics organization on June 18, 2009. Pitching for AAA Sacramento, went 8–4 in 14 appearances (12 starts), but with an ERA of 6.29.

Personal[edit]

Currently Chacón is a volunteer coach for Little League baseball and gives private lessons.

Legal troubles[edit]

On October 5, 2009 Chacón was arrested at a bowling alley in Greeley, Colorado, on charges related to unpaid gambling markers in Las Vegas, Nevada. He faced a felony charge in connection with three bad checks written for $50,000 to Caesars Palace.[14] He was released from jail on October 6, after Las Vegas authorities decided not to extradite him.[15]

On the leaderboards[edit]

Chacón is among the Rockies all-time leaders in various pitching categories. A T indicates a tie on the list.

  • T-4th, career ERA (5.20, shared with Kevin Ritz)
  • 12th, career wins (24)
  • 1st, career hits allowed per 9 innings (8.85)
  • 2nd, career strikeouts per 9 innings (6.27)
  • 7th, career saves (35)
  • 2nd, single season saves (35, 2004)
  • 8th, career innings pitched (554⅓)
  • 9th, single season strikeouts (134, 2001)
  • 8th, career strikeouts (385)

Chacón holds the Major League record for number of consecutive no decisions to start a season with nine [16]

References[edit]

External links[edit]