|Terry Mulholland was just|
getting started in 1987, when
the back of his card said he
had an off-season job as a
gas-station attendant. Really.
Still, I find myself as a Twins fan missing both of them.
Radke in particular. Whenever he makes an appearance in Minnesota I wonder how his shoulder feels after a few years off. It's a silly notion, of course; he's not walking through that door. But still ...
Radke was the anti-Liriano. Right-handed, not blessed with a high-velocity fastball or devastating slider, but adept with the circle change and a master of control -- not only in the sense of locating his pitches but of mastery of his emotions. He might win or he might lose, but Radke was not a pitcher who beat himself. He kept it simple, trusted his stuff and wound up with the third most wins in Twins history.
Mulholland was a baseball nomad. Twenty seasons and 11 teams pitched for. He made 88 appearances in his two seasons with the Twins, and that's the third most he made (behind Philadelphia and the Cubs).
Mulholland showed up in Minnesota for the 2004 season, already age 41, and was, for the first half of the season, a long reliever and mop-up man. In the second half, he was the fifth starter -- 15 starts for the season, in which he went 4-5 with a 4.95 ERA. The Twins were 8-7 in his starts. Not great, but good enough for the back of the rotation.
He was back in 2005, but Ron Gardenhire must have seen something missing, because Mulholland got no starts and few game situations to pitch in. The Twins cut him loose after 2005, and he made five appearances with Arizona, at which point the Diamondbacks released him. That was it.
Radke walked away from the mound because his shoulder was frayed beyond endurance. Mulholland pitched as long as anybody would have him. I applaud both.