Mike Maroth saw some of the worst times for the Tigers. Like a tragic actor, he was denied some of the best times for the Tigers when he was injured in the 2006 season and left to watch the playoffs as a fan. Sadly, his major league career ended a year later, coincidentally enough playing for the Cardinals. He kept trying to work through shoulder injuries, but could not make it past Triple-A before retiring following the 2010 season.
With Maroth's career as a player now over, he's about to begin a second life in the Tigers organization as the pitching coach for the Advanced-A Lakeland Flying Tigers. Detroit made that announcement this afternoon.
Maroth became infamous in 2003 as one of the most public faces of the organization's failure when he lost 21 games. In doing so, the left-hander became the first play in 23 years, and the first Tiger in 29 years, to lose at least 20 games in a season. He finished 9-21 with a 5.73 ERA. (By the way, Mickey Lolich lost 21 in 1974 for Detroit.)
As the Tigers began a slow rebirth in the following years, Maroth did too. By 2006, he had started the season with three consecutive wins. He pushed his record to 5-2 before hitting the disabled list with bone chips in his elbow that required surgery to be removed. He made it back to the club in September, but did not show enough to be added to the postseason roster.
Maroth was usually seen as one of the nice guys in baseball, so it was sad to see his career end the way it did.
Hope he finds success in his second opportunity and makes it back to the Bigs some day.
By the way, Maroth has a web site. Here are a few choice facts he shares about himself:
* I wanted to be a weatherman if baseball didn't work out!
* I am scared of heights, but I love roller coasters!
* I have a collection of over 50,000 baseball cards going back to the early 1980's when I started collecting as a kid.
* I make a killer Grilled Cheese sandwich!
You gotta like this guy.