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Steven James Kline (born August 22, 1972 in Sunburymarker, Pennsylvaniamarker) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. Kline attended college at West Virginia Universitymarker. During his career, he played for the Cleveland Indians ( ), Montreal Expos (1997- ), St. Louis Cardinals ( - ), Baltimore Orioles ( ), and San Francisco Giants ( - ). He is not related to Steve Kline, a former MLB right-handed pitcher.

Career

Known for his colorful sound bites, he has accused umpires of favoring the New York Yankees and has jokingly said he thought about putting one ump in the "Kobra Klutch".

One of Kline's signature pitches is a sinker that seems to "roll off the kitchen table". He utilized this pitch frequently when serving as a setup man for the St. Louis Cardinals.

During his first week of play with the Orioles, Kline lashed out at his fellow teammates for not supporting him like his Cardinals teammaters had when he said, "I'm so used to (Edgar) RenterĂ­a and Jimmy (Edmonds) running down my mistakes and picking me up." He also bashed his home fans when he declared, "There's nothing worse than getting booed at home. St. Louis fans are too good for that. They understand the game more than most people."

Following the 2005 season, in which he posted a 4.28 ERA, Baltimore traded Kline to the Giants for set-up reliever LaTroy Hawkins.

On December 8, 2006, the Giants re-signed Kline to a two year deal.

Kline was used as a left-handed specialist in the 2007 season, pitching in 68 games, and worked 46 innings with a 4.70 ERA and a 1-2 record. After a poor spring training before the season, Kline was designated for assignment on March 30 and was released on April 5. On April 10, 2008, Kline signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and was assigned to their Triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. On June 9, 2008, Kline was ejected from a game for making contact with an umpire; facing a fine and possible suspension, the Phillies released Kline two days later, on June 11, 2008.

Post-playing career

After his release from the Phillies, Kline retired and coached in the Giants instructional leagues. On December 17, 2008, he was announced as the pitching coach for the Single-A Augusta GreenJackets.

Controversy

On May 13, 2007, while the Giants were routing the Colorado Rockies 15-1, in the 8th inning, Kline gave up a single to Yorvit Torrealba. Torrealba stole second, meaningless to the Giants, and scored on a base hit for the Rockies' second run. Kline told the newspapers he was angry at Torrealba for stealing a base in a 15-1 game, saying "You know what? I'm a dumb hick, and I forget a lot of things, but I'm not gonna forget that." Torrealba responded by saying "What's he gonna do? Hit me with an 84 MPH fastball?" The next time Kline faced the Rockies, on May 26, 2007, Kline hit Torrealba on the first pitch with an 88 MPH fastball. As Torrealba walked to first, he said something angrily to Kline, and the benches cleared. The two had to be restrained by teammates and the umpires while they struggled to fight each other.

Personal life

He is married to Martine Pepin and they have two daughters, Audrey Jade and Mia Rose and one son, Andrew James. They currently live in Winfield, Pennsylvaniamarker.

References



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