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Bobby Ayala

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Win–loss record  37–44
Name  Bobby Ayala
Saves  59
Strikeouts  541
Earned run average  4.78

Bobby Ayala aespncdncomphoto20060913mlbgayala195jpg
Similar People  Norm Charlton, Heathcliff Slocumb, Mike Blowers

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Robert Joseph "Bobby" Ayala (born January 11, 1968) was a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Montreal Expos. He showed promise as a bullpen pitcher for the Mariners, but then struggled and was eventually released.


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Ayala went to high school at Rio Mesa in Oxnard, California. He was brought up with the Reds as a starter before moving to the bullpen in his second season. The Reds traded Ayala with catcher Dan Wilson to the Mariners for Bret Boone and Erik Hanson in November 1993.

Bobby Ayala 1996 Mothers Cookies Seattle Mariners Stadium Giveaway Base 20

Ayala had some success in Seattle, finishing the strike-shortened 1994 season with a 2.86 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 57 innings while saving 18 games. During the "magical" Mariners 1995 season, the team held a promotional "Bobby Ayala Goatee Night," where fans wearing a goatee could get free tickets.

Bobby Ayala 1995 Pinnacle Base Artists Proof 431 Bobby Ayala COMC

Ayala struggled mightily over the next few seasons, often blowing key saves and drawing criticism from Mariners fans and the Seattle press. "On April 24, 1996, he punched out the window of his hotel room at the Westin in Chicago after a reported night of drinking." This statement is absolutely false. Bobby and the Mariners arrived late in Chicago, at 3:00 am. The air conditioning unit was not functioning and the room was rather warm. Bobby tried to open the window to let the cold April air into the room. During the process of trying to open the latches, Bobby palmed the jammed lower left latch to try to unjam it. Upon hitting the latch with his palm, his hand slipped off the latch and into the window. He called the team trainer to inform him his hand was severely cut and that he needed stitches. According to Bobby, his room "looked like a murder scene" due to the loss of blood.

Hotel security was called to his room at 6:00 AM and discovered the broken window. The injury required nine stitches and he spent the next few months on the disabled list, finishing the season with a 5.88 ERA. Fellow reliever Norm Charlton, asked about the incident, said "I don't know what happened and I don't want to know."

The Mariners traded him to the Montreal Expos for minor-leaguer Jimmy Turman on April 3, 1999, but Seattle paid all of Ayala's $1.8 million salary that year. Montreal released him a few months later and he finished the '99 season pitching 16 innings for the Chicago Cubs.

The Minnesota Twins signed Ayala as a free agent, making him a non-roster invitee for the 2000 season. Unimpressed, they released him before the start of the regular season.

He started the regular 2000 season pitching for the Triple-A Iowa Cubs, but after starting 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA, was released on May 8.

On May 18, he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple-A affiliate, the Albuquerque Dukes. Two months and nine saves later, the Dukes released him. Even years after his career was over, Ayala's name is still brought up among Seattle baseball fans to make unfavorable comparisons to struggling pitchers.

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Bobby Ayala Wikipedia