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Magnante’s career up in the air after move by A’s

Finding a quality left-handed relief pitcher is a rare commodity

in major league baseball these days.

Thus, former Burroughs High baseball star Mike Magnante has

enjoyed success and a fine career as a pitcher for 10 years with four


major-league clubs.

Late Tuesday, Magnante, 37, was designated for assignment by the

Oakland Athletics, just days before he was due to be eligible to

receive his major-league pension.


Players must have at least 10 years of major-league service to

earn a pension.

Under the terms of the assignment, the Athletics have 10 days to

either trade or release Magnante, or offer him a minor league


If he is released, Magnante could be picked up by another team for

the remainder of the season. He could be a perfect fit for a club

looking for some help out of the bullpen.


Magnante was designated for assignment to make room for

left-handed reliever Ricardo Rincon, who was acquired from the

Cleveland Indians.

Rincon was 1-4 with a 4.79 earned run average for Cleveland.

Magnante, was 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA.

Magnante could not be reached for comment.

Burroughs baseball Coach Tom Crowther said Magnante will get

picked up soon by a team that can use a veteran out of the bullpen.


“His release is unfortunate, but it’s not to say he’s done,”

Crowther said. “There is always a need for a left-handed reliever.

Hopefully, something will happen.”

Crowther said Magnante -- who graduated from Burroughs in 1993 and

still lives in Burbank -- has maintained strong ties to the Burroughs

baseball program. Magnante has worked out with the Burroughs baseball

team every winter since 1994, and Crowther said his presence has

meant a lot to the Indians..

“In terms of what he’s meant to us, it’s been like having a major

league coach out there,” said Crowther, who noted that Magnante has

helped Burroughs players in a number of areas. “He’s one of the

smartest guys you’ll ever be around. He was an academic All-American

at UCLA.”

In his career, which began in 1991 with the Kansas City Royals,

Magnante is 26-32 with a 4.08 ERA and three saves. He has pitched in

484 games, 19 as a starter, and in 617 2/3innings. One impressive

stat is that Magnante has allowed just 45 home runs in his career,

which averages out to one home run every 13 innings.

Magnante also has 347 career strikeouts and just 234 walks.

The best season of his career was in 1997 with the Houston Astros,

when he went 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA and a save.

He won a career-high five games with the Anaheim Angels in 1999,

losing just twice, and finishing with a 3.38 ERA.

Magnante signed a two-year contract with the Athletics in November

1999 for about $1 million a year. Oakland exercised its option to

keep Magnante with the club through the 2002 season.

After graduating from Burroughs, Magnante had a fine career at

UCLA, and he was inducted into the Bruin Baseball Hall of Fame in

January 2000.

Magnante was a walk-on with the Bruins in 1984, and turned out to

be one of the most successful pitchers in Bruin History.

At UCLA, Magnante had a 22-5 career record and holds the school

mark for best winning percentage (.785). His finest season was his

senior year when he won 14 games -- eight in the Pacific 10.