Tuesday, April 13, 2010
#519) GREG McMICHAEL
Greg McMichael was traded by the Atlanta Braves to the New York Mets in exchange for Paul Byrd on November 26, 1996. He was brought in by general manager, Joe McIlvaine to challenge the club's pitchers and provide someone with postseason experience. "Joe talked about a starting goal of improving the record, and that's good for a young team," McMichael said, "But it's difficult for me. Every year (with the Braves), the first talk was about getting ready to go back to the World Series."
Greg featured an unusual submarine approach that allowed him to remain equally effective facing right-handed hitters. "I hated facing him," said Carl Everett, a switch-hitter himself. "That funky delivery, everything looks like a change-up." McMichael had a fine season in 1997. He figured in a tremendous amount of decisions from the bullpen. Registering a 7-10 record with seven saves and a nice 2.98 ERA. All while serving as the set-up man to veteran, John Franco who had 36 saves himself that year.
On June 4, 1998, during his second season with New York, he was traded with Dave Milicki to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets needed starting pitching and received Hideo Nomo, and Brad Clontz in return. It was believed that hard-throwing, Mel Rojas would provide adequate set-up help from the bullpen, and make Greg expendable. Rojas was not the answer as he would blow three of five save opportunities while recording a 5.23 ERA. In a odd move the Mets reacquired McMichael from the Dodgers a little more than a month later on July 10th. "It's a strange situation," Greg said following the news. "I should ask for a raise for mental stability."
McMichael would remain with the team until he was again traded mid-season. This time to the Oakland A's, on the final day of the trading deadline, along with Jason Isringhausen for Billy Taylor on July 31, 1999. "It was a great experience living in New York and playing for the Mets," Greg would later reflect. "They are a class organization and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to play with some great guys like John Olerud, Todd Hundley, Carlos Baerga, and Fonzie (Edgardo Alfonzo).
Throughout his playing career McMichael has been, and continues to be associated with the Christian based, "The Goal". He established two ventures upon retirement from the game in 2001. Hardball Warehouse is a private instructional facility located in Duluth, Georgia specializing in baseball, softball, and strength training. Secondly, Spectacular Events a company to assist organizations plan and execute their corporate picnics or team building events.
Greg McMichael signed his card in the set for me from an autograph request sent to Hardball Warehouse on April 12, 2010.