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Thread: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

  1. #1
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    This morning I was watching a re-broadcast on the MLB network about game six of the 1975 World Series. Johnny Bench said that Clay Kirby absolutely could not have pitched in game six because of his ailing arm, so Pat Darcy was the final pitcher the Reds could use in the game, the only other pitcher left on the roster being Don Gullett, who was being saved to start game seven.
    Kirby in fact did not pitch in either the NLCS or the World Series.
    If Kirby was physically unable to pitch, why did the Reds include him on the post season roster? While the only other pitchers who had appeared for the Reds that season and who were not on the roster had not done much, the Reds minor league teams included Pat Zachary, Santo Alcala and Manny Sarmiento, all of whom would be part of the 1976 Reds staff, with Zachary and Sarmiento in particular pitching well in 1976.
    If Kirby could not pitch, why didn't the Reds promote one of their minor league pitchers to fill his spot on the roster?
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    I blame Dusty

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Pedro Borbon had it covered.
    Talent is God Given: be humble.
    Fame is man given: be thankful.
    Conceit is self given: be careful.

    John Wooden

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Kirby was essentially the long guy and spot starter by then, he only had 7 relief appearances in 1975 and was probably there as insurance only.

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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    preston gomez would have removed him anyway

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Kirby was essentially the long guy and spot starter by then, he only had 7 relief appearances in 1975 and was probably there as insurance only.
    True enough as far as Kirby's role in the regular season; while Kirby had been okay in 1974 he did not pitch well in 1975. However Bench insisted that Darcy was all the Reds had left in game six and that Sparky had told him that Kirby absolutely was not available. Kirby's unavailability could not have been because he was tired as he had not thrown a single pitch in either the NLCS or the World Series.
    Assuming Bench's memory is correct, it would seem to have made no sense to have Kirby on the post season roster.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    True enough as far as Kirby's role in the regular season; while Kirby had been okay in 1974 he did not pitch well in 1975. However Bench insisted that Darcy was all the Reds had left in game six and that Sparky had told him that Kirby absolutely was not available. Kirby's unavailability could not have been because he was tired as he had not thrown a single pitch in either the NLCS or the World Series.
    Assuming Bench's memory is correct, it would seem to have made no sense to have Kirby on the post season roster.
    Funny thing too is TSN reported twice in late season that Kirby was certain to be traded in the off season, perhaps he and Sparky had some friction?

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    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Funny thing too is TSN reported twice in late season that Kirby was certain to be traded in the off season, perhaps he and Sparky had some friction?
    Kirby was traded by the Reds after the World Series to the Expos for Bob Bailey. After pitching for Montreal in 1976 Kirby was released and never again pitched in the majors.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."

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    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    True enough as far as Kirby's role in the regular season; while Kirby had been okay in 1974 he did not pitch well in 1975. However Bench insisted that Darcy was all the Reds had left in game six and that Sparky had told him that Kirby absolutely was not available. Kirby's unavailability could not have been because he was tired as he had not thrown a single pitch in either the NLCS or the World Series.
    Assuming Bench's memory is correct, it would seem to have made no sense to have Kirby on the post season roster.
    You make a good point and it seems that no one around here has an answer. This is the first I heard that Kirby was unavailable to pitch but if that was indded the case then you bring up an excellent question

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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    It's not a surprise he didn't pitch in the playoffs, he was absolutely horrible that year.

    The Reds may not have realized he was unable to pitch for all we know. Or he may have been available but didn't pitch because the Reds never needed to use him. There wasn't a spot where he would have been used.

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    Member cumberlandreds's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    The only time I had heard that Kirby was hurt was when Bench started saying this when talking about Game 6 of the World Series. I looked up Kirby's stats and he did only pitch 110 innings in 75 after pitching 230 in 1974. So that may lead to some evidence he was hurt. Like Puffy said the Reds didn't need him in the post season. The only way he was going to pitch was in a long game. If game six had lasted another couple of innings Sparky would have had a tough decision to make. Pitch Kirby or go with another starter? That's something we will never know.
    Kirby can't be asked about this. He died in 1991. When I looked up his info on retrosheet I saw that he was buried very near where I was living at the time of death,Falls Church Virginia.
    Reds Fan Since 1971

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Its interesting because Kirby did have 2 solid outings in his last 2 games of 1975 on 9/20 and 9/26 against the Braves and Astros respectively. Granted both of those teams stunk in 1975 but it appears it wasnt that likely he was unable to pitch.
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    They had him around because of his ability to be a terror on the basepaths.

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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    It actually was Dusty's fault, on September 18th he got a hit off Kirby while he was playing for the Braves, KIrby then became catatonic and retreated into a vegetative state

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    Re: Why was Clay Kirby on the Reds 1975 postseason roster?

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN INDY View Post
    Pedro Borbon had it covered.
    Not available. Manny Mota had already pinch hit for him.

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