Mike DiFelice

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Mike DiFelice
Catcher
Born: (1969-05-28) May 28, 1969 (age 51)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 1, 1996, for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
April 18, 2008, for the Tampa Bay Rays
MLB statistics
Batting average.236
Home runs28
Runs batted in167
Teams

Michael William DiFelice (/ˌdfɪˈls/; born May 28, 1969) is a former Major League Baseball journeyman catcher. He is a graduate from the University of Tennessee, and was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 11th round of the amateur draft. He made his major league debut in 1996 with the Cards. On April 17, 1997, he recorded his first stolen base with a steal of home against pitcher Kevin Brown who threw a wild pitchout.[1][2]

DiFelice was chosen by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with the 20th selection of the 1997 MLB Expansion Draft. On July 25, 2001, he was traded with Albie Lopez to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Jason Conti and Nick Bierbrodt. His time in Arizona was short and tumultuous. In a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 14, DiFelice got into a fight with Kevin Young at home plate. He was suspended for two games but appealed the suspension; Pirates' manager Lloyd McClendon said "That guy deliberately stood on Kevin and kneed him. There's absolutely no excuse for that."[3] Before the appeal, on August 21, DiFelice was arrested after getting thrown out of a Pittsburgh nightclub. Police said he assaulted two women in the club, then punched a valet in the parking lot.[3] Three days later, the Diamondbacks sent him to the AAA Tucson Sidewinders, before releasing him on September 4.[4][5] In 2002, he signed as a free agent to play with the St. Louis Cardinals. Later, he played for the Kansas City Royals, Detroit Tigers, was sent to the Chicago Cubs as part of a conditional deal, then signed with the Florida Marlins, New York Mets, Washington Nationals, and again with the Mets.

Over the first two seasons he spent with the Mets, (2005 and 2006), his batting averages were very bad, in 2005, he had a batting average of .118, (2-17), in 2006 he had only an .080 batting average, (2-25). However, in 2007, his final year with the Mets, his batting average improved to .250, (10-40). Even with that, the Mets still declined to offer salary arbitration to DiFelice.

On January 6, 2008, he signed a minor league deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. He saw his last action at the major league level in April of that season, appearing in seven games. At his request, he was released in early September and retired.[6]

On February 5, 2009, DiFelice was named the manager of the Rookie-level Kingsport Mets in the New York Mets organization.[7] DiFelice's at-bat song was 'Got Another Thing Comin' by Judas Priest, which was recommended by former teammate Paul Ellis. He and Dan Wheeler are the only Tampa Bay players to suit up in all three of the franchise's uniforms. Since his retirement, Miguel Cairo is now the sole remaining active player from the 1998 Rays Opening Day roster. Another fact about DiFelice is that he was included on the Rays 40-man roster in the baseball video game MLB 09 The Show, even though he had retired in September 2008, and when the game was released, he was the manager of the Kingsport Mets.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Statistically speaking: Elusive Triple Crowns". Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  2. ^ "Conine's Blast Lifts Marlins". Retrieved 2013-12-28.
  3. ^ a b Associated Press (August 21, 2001). "DiFelice thrown out of Pittsburgh nightclub". ESPN. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  4. ^ Associated Press (August 24, 2001). "DiFelice says he'll get ready to help club". ESPN. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  5. ^ "Mike DiFelice Stats". Baseball-Reference. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  6. ^ "Rays call up slugger, catcher from Triple-A". September 10, 2008, St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved on September 10, 2008.
  7. ^ "Mike DiFelice Retires, Will Manage Mets Rookie-League Team In Kingsport". usatoday.com. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2009-02-08.

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