Monday, February 8, 2010

Name: Michael Dana Butcher                
Nickname: Mike
Position: Pitching Coach, Pitcher                                         
Throws: Right
Bats: Right    
Number(s): 23                                            

Years Played as an Angel: 1992-1995
Years Coached as an Angel: 2007-present
Angels’ Stats: 11-4, 9 Saves, 4.47 ERA
Career Stats: same

How He Was Acquired: Spent one season as pitching coach of the Tampa Bay Rays before taking over the same position with the Angels, the only team he ever played for, in 2007, replacing Bud Black.

Why You Should Know Him: Butcher won six games in relief for the Angels in 1995. He was part of a bullpen that included Troy Percival and Lee Smith. In 115 career appearances for the Angels, he never made an error. His first two wins came at Yankee Stadium, two days apart.

Butcher spent six seasons as a pitching coach in the Angels minor league system before taking over the job in Tampa Bay. He was the pitching coach at rookie level Butte in 2000, AA Arkansas in 2001, AAA Salt Lake City in 2002, and the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League in 2003.

Memorable Moments/Games: When the Angels blew a ninth-inning lead to the Red Sox at Fenway Park in mid-September, several Angels players and coaches, including Butcher, let the home plate umpire know that they didn’t appreciate two controversial non calls, either one of which would have gotten the Angels out of the inning with the victory. The team responded with a win over Josh Beckett the next day and the Angels finally defeated the Red Sox in the playoffs less than a month later.

Anecdotes and Quotes: Butcher was the first member of the Angels to hear about Nick Adenhart’s tragic accident. He was called at his home at 2 a.m. and spent the night at the hospital with Adenhart’s father, Jim. He remembered a conversation with Adenhart earlier that night after his stellar performance versus Oakland.

“I walked up to him and asked him, ‘How’d it feel? Did you feel the ball coming off your fingertips like it’s supposed to?’” said Butcher. “He said, ‘Butch, I got it.’ That was a pretty special moment. “To see a kid figure it out that early and to understand it and own it. It was only a few hours later when he lost his life.”

Contributed by Brett Borden - Columnist
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