Tuesday, June 17, 2014
1) I remember watching a Cubs-Giants game when Roa was with San Francisco. When he entered the game, the great Harry Caray (as he was prone to do) loudly and proudly discovered, "His last name backwards is A-OAR!" I had watched hundreds of Cubs games on WGN from the mid-1980s until Harry's passing, and heard him do that with countless players. I can't recall if Roa was the last player whom I heard Harry pronounce backwards, but for some odd reason he always stuck with me.
2) While with the Phillies in 2003, Roa started the final home opener in Veterans Stadium history. Don't ask why I know that. It's just one of those facts that occupies space in my brain that could be used to program computers or trade stocks.
Anyway, Joe Roa signed with the Twins before the 2004 season and made the team as the long-man in the bullpen. He had arguably his finest big league season that year, appearing in a career high 48 games and going 2-3 with a 4.50 ERA and a career high 47 strikeouts. Despite spending the entire regular season with the Twins, Roa was left off the post-season roster. As rumor has it, he left the team, refusing to accompany them to New York for the Divisional Series against the Yankees. And that was that for Roa's big league career.