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Happy Birthday Joey Hamilton

Joey Hamilton #50

It is Joey Hamilton’s 53rd birthday today (it is also my middle son’s birthday. Happy Birthday Tommy. Tommy is the funniest, sweetest person I know. He continues to teach me to be better).

Joey came to the Jays in one of the worst trades of the Gord Ash era. The Jays traded Woody Williams, Carlos Almanzar and Peter Tucci to get Joey from San Diego. Dave Stewart strongly recommended him after coming to the Jays to be assistant GM, having been the Padres pitching coach the season before. Stewart had played with Joey, saw something in his eyes and figured he would be a star.

In their defense, in his four full seasons with the Padres, Joey had averaged over 200 innings a season, putting up a 55-44 record and a 3.83 ERA with them.

On the other hand, Joey led the NL in walks the season before the trade, and he never did strike out many. So Ash should have seen that a pitcher with a 1.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio didn’t profile as someone who would do well in the AL East.

In his first year as a Jay, he went 7-8 with a 6.52 ERA in 18 starts. The following season, 2000, he was on the DL most of the year, making only six starts for the team. 2001 Joey was 5-8 with a 5.89 ERA when the team released him on August 3rd. It is tough to let go of a guy you are paying $7.25 million to, but JP had no trouble admitting Gord Ash’s mistakes.

All in all, the Jays paid $17 million for 14 wins. Not what you would want from someone you figured would replace Roger Clemens.

“I think he’s just coming into his own,” Stewart said. “What I like about Joey is that he is a real, real strong competitor. And, I still think there’s room for growth.”

“We have in Joey Hamilton, a pitcher who can go in the front end of our rotation,” Toronto general manager Gord Ash said.

Woody Williams went on to win 104 more games in his career. Almanzar had a few decent seasons in an up-and-down career, and Tucci never made the big leagues. And Gord Ash was fired.

The Reds picked Joey up. He pitched there for the rest of the 2001 season and 2002 and made three appearances for them in 2003 before being let go. As a Red, he went 5-12 with a 5.90 ERA in 46 games, 21 starts.

He was 74-73, with a 4.44 ERA in 242 games, 209 starts. A pretty good career. It’s just that the good times happened before the Jays got him.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Joey. I hope it is a good one.

It is also Edwin Jackson’s 40th birthday.

Edwin was a Jay for about 10 minutes back in 2011. He came from the White Sox with Mark Teahen, Jason Fraser and Zach Stewart.

But he was quickly moved to the Cardinals, along with Octavio, Dotel, Corey Patterson and Marc Rzepcynski, for Trever Miller, Colby Rasmus, Brian Tallet, and P.J. Walters.

We picked him up again from the A’s off waivers in May 2019. He made eight appearances and five starts and had an 11.12 ERA (and people complain about Mitch White). The Jays released hin at the end of July. The Tigers grabbed him, and he had an 8.47 ERA in 39.1 innings for them, which was the end of his career.

He was 107-133, with a 4.78 ERA in 412 games and 318 starts.

Happy Birthday, Edwin.