Steve Kline (left-handed pitcher)

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Steve Kline
Steve Kline 2006.jpg
Pitcher
Born: (1972-08-22) August 22, 1972 (age 42)
Sunbury, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 2, 1997 for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 2007 for the San Francisco Giants
Career statistics
Win–Loss record 34–39
Games pitched 796
Earned run average 3.51
Strikeouts 493
Teams

Steven James Kline (born August 22, 1972) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. Kline attended West Virginia University, where he played college baseball for the Mountaineers.[1]

Career[edit]

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.[2]

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."[3]

Following the 2005 season, in which he posted a 4.28 ERA, Baltimore traded Kline to the Giants for set-up reliever LaTroy Hawkins.

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.[4] 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.

Post-playing career[edit]

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.[5] On May 10, 2011, Kline was suspended after he head butt an umpire.[6] He was suspended for 15 days and was fined $500 for the incident.[7] 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 returns as a pitching coach for the Single-A Augusta Greenjackets for the 2013 season.[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "West Virginia University Baseball Players Who Made it to the Major Leagues". Baseball-Almanac.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-11. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Cardinals' Media Relations, ed. (2001). St. Louis Cardinals 2001 Media Guide. Hadler Printing Company. pp. A–216–A219. 
  3. ^ Steele, David (14 April 2005). "`Meet Me in St. Louis' doesn't play here, Mr. Kline". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  4. ^ Saunders, Patrick (27 May 2007). "Cook controls S.F.'s big bats". The Denver Post. Retrieved 16 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "GreenJackets Announce 2009 Coaching Staff". greenjacketsbaseball.com. 2008-12-17. Retrieved 2008-12-17. 
  6. ^ "Steve Kline Suspended". 
  7. ^ "Steve Kline Suspended 15 Games and Fined". 
  8. ^ "Augusta GreenJackets Announce 2013 Coaching Staff". 

Steve Kline to serve as San Jose Giants Pitching Coach

External links[edit]