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Raymond Roger Miller (born April 30, 1945 at Takoma Park, Maryland) is a former coach and manager in American Major League Baseball. A highly respected pitching coach, he had two short terms as a manager - with the Minnesota Twins (1985–86) and the Baltimore Orioles (1998–99) -- compiling a record of 266–297 (.472).

Contents

Baseball career

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Playing

A right-handed pitcher, Miller attended high school in Suitland, Maryland, and was named all-state in baseball in 1963, his senior year. He signed his first professional contract with the San Francisco Giants in 1964, then was acquired by the Cleveland Indians farm system the following season. Despite winning 16 games with Reno of the Class A California League in 1968, Miller never reached the major leagues as a player, although he made it to Class AAA with Portland of the Pacific Coast League, Wichita of the American Association and Rochester of the International League from 1969–73.

Coaching

In his final season at Rochester, he was a player-coach, and then became minor league pitching instructor for the Red Wings' parent club, the Orioles, from 1974–77.

At the close of the 1977 season, Miller agreed to join the coaching staff of the Texas Rangers, whose manager was former Baltimore coach Billy Hunter. But in January 1978, the Orioles' pitching coach position opened unexpectedly when George Bamberger was named skipper of the Milwaukee Brewers. Miller was let out of his Ranger contract and succeeded Bamberger as mound tutor of the pennant-contending Orioles. He worked under managers Earl Weaver and Joe Altobelli and coached for O's teams that won the 1979 American League championship and the 1983 world title. Miller tutored 20-game-winning pitchers such as Mike Flanagan, Steve Stone and Scott McGregor during that period.

The success of the Orioles' pitching staff made Miller a sought-after managerial candidate and on June 21, 1985, he received his first opportunity. Billy Gardner, who had led the Twins to a disappointing 27-35 record, was fired and Miller took control of the young Minnesota ballclub. Although the Twins improved to 50-50 over the remainder of the season, they performed so poorly (59–80, .424) in 1986, Miller was replaced as skipper by Tom Kelly on September 12.

He then returned to the coaching ranks, spending ten seasons as pitching mentor of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1987–96) working for Jim Leyland and one (1997) back in Baltimore under Davey Johnson. When Johnson resigned at the close of the Orioles’ AL East Division championship season, Miller replaced him as manager. But over two seasons (1998–99), the Orioles played ten games under the .500 level, and he was fired in favor of Mike Hargrove in the autumn of 1999.

Miller returned as pitching coach of the Orioles in 2004–05 and the Baltimore mound staff showed improvement under his tutelage. But Miller was forced to the sidelines by successful surgery to repair an aneurysm and was succeeded in that role by Leo Mazzone in 2006.

References

  • Howard M. Balzer, ed. The Baseball Register, 1980 edition. St. Louis: The Sporting News.
  • Montague, John, ed., The 1985 Baltimore Orioles Organization Book. St. Petersburg, Florida: The Baseball Library, 1985.
Sporting positions
Preceded by
George Bamberger
Baltimore Orioles Pitching Coach
1978-1985
Succeeded by
Ken Rowe
Preceded by
Billy Gardner
Minnesota Twins Manager
1985-1986
Succeeded by
Tom Kelly
Preceded by
Pat Dobson
Baltimore Orioles Pitching Coach
1997
Succeeded by
Mike Flanagan
Preceded by
Davey Johnson
Baltimore Orioles Manager
1998-1999
Succeeded by
Mike Hargrove
Preceded by
Mark Wiley
Baltimore Orioles Pitching Coach
2004-2005
Succeeded by
Leo Mazzone

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