adios, brad

unless something catastrophic happens in the next two hours (like johan santana, carlos silva, and boof bonser get hit my a meteor), brad radke will be announcing his retirement from baseball today. it\’s been a pretty good run for brad. consider:

+ radke spent his entire career– twelve seasons– with one team, virtually unheard of in the era of rampant free agency.

+ he\’s the active leader in walks / innings pitched ratio at 1.63 to 1.

+ he finished in the top ten innings pitched six times in the past ten years.

+ he pitched greater than five complete games twice in his career, a fact that may be interesting only to me.

+ according to, his comparison pitchers include frank viola, scott erickson, and kevin tapani. (thanks to wadE for pointing this odd yet interesting factoid out.)

also consider:

+ he finished in the top five in home runs allowed four times, leading the league twice (1995 and 1996).

+ he finished in the top five in losses four times, leading the league in 2000.

+ his career winning percentage is .516 (a stat you could blame on the rotten teams radke anchored in the mid- and late-nineties).

+ during the last couple of seasons, there was a 40% chance that he\’d give up at least two homeruns in the first three innings, and a 50% chance that he wouldn\’t make it past the fourth inning. (okay, i just made those numbers up, but anyone who watched the twins last year knows how i feel.) radke\’s last start served as a perfect example: in game three of the 2006 ALDS against the A\’s, he gave up two homeruns before the 3rd was through, and was replaced after pitching just four innings.

what should twins fans remember when thinking about radke\’s career? personally, the memory that will stick comes from last season– september 28th, to be precise. despite suffering from a torn labrum and stress fracture in his throwing shooulder, and even though reports said that he didn\’t have the arm strength to pick up a shampoo bottle in his shower, radke came back from the disabled list to throw an inspirational five innings of three-hit ball against kansas city. you could argue that the egg he laid in the playoffs negated this start; i\’d counter that, without this start, the twins wouldn\’t have made it to the playoffs at all.

say what you will about brad\’s early-inning troubles; he\’s left a big hole in the twins\’ rotation, one that terry ryan needs to fill if we hope to make a repeat run to the postseason in 2007.

thanks for your efforts, brad.







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