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Twins Birthdays--August 8

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Ray Fontenot (1957)
Dave Meier (1959)

Craig Breslow (1980)

Left-hander Silton Ray Fontenot appeared in 15 games for the Twins in 1986. He was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, went to high school in LaGrange, Louisiana, and was drafted by Texas in the 34th round in 1979. He was traded to the Yankees in October of that year in a multi-player deal that included, among others Mickey Rivers, Oscar Gamble, and Gene Nelson. He pitched quite well in the minors, especially when he was moved to the bullpen in 1983. He made it to the majors that year and spent two years with the Yankees, pitching pretty well in relief, before being traded to the Cubs in the 1984-85 off-season in another multi-player deal which included, among others, Ron Hassey and Henry Cotto. After a year and a half in Chicago, he was traded to Minnesota along with Julius McDougal and George Frazier for Dewayne Coleman and Ron Davis. He appeared in fifteen games for the Twins that year, getting no wins, losses, or saves in 16.1 innings with a 9.92 ERA. The Twins released him after the season. He signed with the Giants before the 1987 season, but did not make it out of spring training. Houston picked him up, but released him after he pitched poorly in AAA, and he did not appear in organized baseball again. At last report, Ray Fontenot had moved back to Louisiana and was a territory manager for Tyco International.

Outfielder David Keith Meier played for the Twins in 1984-1985. He was born in Helena, Montana, went to high school in Fresno, California, attended Stanford, and was drafted by Minnesota in the fifth round in 1981. He hit well at all of his minor league stops, posting an average of well over .300 every year but one. He hit .336 in AAA Toledo in 1983 and made the Twins out of spring training in 1984. He was with the Twins for two full seasons, but struggled to get playing time in an outfield that featured Kirby Puckett, Tom Brunansky, and Mickey Hatcher. He batted .247/.317/.323 with the Twins in 251 at-bats. Meier was released by the Twins after the 1985 season, and was out of baseball in 1986 before attempting a comeback with the Rangers in 1987. He hit .320 with 18 homers at AAA Oklahoma City, but got only a September call-up and was allowed to become a free agent after the season. He was traded to the Cubs for the 1988 season and again had a tremendous year in AAA, hitting .305 with 20 homers in AAA Iowa, but again got only a September call-up. After that he apparently decided to call it quits, as his playing career came to an end. At last report, Dave Meier was living in Fresno and working as an agent.

Left-hander Craig Andrew Breslow was with the Twins for part of the 2008-2009 seasons. He was born in New Haven, Connecticut, went to high school in Trumbull, Connecticut, and was drafted by Milwaukee in the twenty-sixth round in 2002. A reliever throughout his career, he did very well in rookie ball in 2002 but struggled when promoted to Class A in 2003. The Brewers released him in July of 2004 and he finished the year playing for independent New Jersey. San Diego signed him in March of 2005, and after pitching very well in AA and decently in a brief stint at AAA, he reached the majors in July 0f 2005. Breslow became a free agent after that season and signed with Boston. He spent most of his two years with the Red Sox in AAA, although he got into thirteen games with the big club in 2006. He was waived in March of 2008 and selected by Cleveland. He appeared in only seven games for the Indians before being waived again, and was chosen by Minnesota. He pitched very well for the Twins in 2008 and not so well in 2009: as a Twin, he was 1-4, 2.89, 1.13 WHIP in 53 innings over 59 games. The Twins put him on waivers in May of 2009 and he was chosen by Oakland, where he pitched quite well. He stayed there through the end of 2011, then was traded to Arizona. He did a good job for the Diamondbacks, but was again traded at the end of July, this time to Boston, for whom he continues to play. For someone who has bounced around this much, he has some good overall major-league numbers: 2.95 ERA, only 321 hits allowed in 381.1 innings. He has also walked 150 in those innings, which is not great, but his walk rate seems to have come down in recent years. As a 33-year-old lefthander, he may be around for quite some time yet, although he may have to pack his suitcase a few more times along the way.
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  1. E. Andrew's Avatar
    I heard Breslow on the radio once (maybe MPR?) talking about his foundation for childhood cancer research. Struck me as an awesome, super level-headed guy. I looked up his personal statement at the foundation website:

    Message from Craig || Strike 3 Foundation

    I'm happy he spent a little time with the club. Happy bday!
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