Dave Mlicki came to the Dodgers during one of the most chaotic years in franchise history, and he’s the subject of today’s Leading Off with True Blue LA podcast.
In 1998, the O’Malleys sold the Dodgers to Fox, and the only constant that year was turnover. Franchise icon Mike Piazza was traded on May 14, manager Bill Russell and general manager Fred Claire were fired on June 22, which led to interim GM Tommy Lasorda two weeks later saying bullpens win championships while trading Paul Konerko (and Dennys Reyes) for Jeff Shaw.
The Dodgers also acquired three starting pitchers during that season. Carlos Pérez is the most famous and had the most staying power. Brian Bohanon was a nice addition down the stretch, and someone we covered in a Dodgers rewind one year ago.
On May 4, they traded for Dave Mlicki, a 30-year-old journeyman right-hander. The more notable aspect of that trade was Hideo Nomo heading to the Mets, two days after he was designated for assignment, ending his whirlwind first tenure with the Dodgers.
Mlicki was steady if unspectacular over the final four months of a lost season, but made his most noise in his second and third starts with the team. He beat the Rockies at home with eight strong innings on June 12 at home, then six days later pitched the eighth shutout at Coors Field (to date, there have been 33 shutouts in Denver in almost 30 seasons of Rockies baseball; the last was by Chad Kuhl this June, against Los Angeles).
Mlicki pitched two shutouts in his career, including a shutout in the first Mets-Yankees interleague game in 1997.
In 10 years in the majors, Mlicki pitched for Cleveland, the Mets, Dodgers, Tigers, and Astros. He was once traded with Jerry Dipoto, and at different times was traded for Jeromy Burnitz, Nomo, and Jose Lima, to name a few.
In 22 games with the Dodgers — 20 starts in 1998, two relief appearances before getting traded in April 1999 — Mlicki had a 4.10 ERA, a 99 ERA+ in 131⅔ innings, with a 7-4 record and one memorable shutout.
Episode link (time: 14:22)