Zack Greinke Brings Back Memories of Chuck Finley

In the post I wrote last night about how the Dodgers hit five triples and Zack Greinke tied the record for the number of times a pitcher has struck out four batters in an inning, at two, the name of former Angels’ great Chuck Finely came up. He, Greinke, and A.J. Burnett are the only three pitchers in the long history of major league baseball to have ever done this on more than on occasion. But Finley, whose name seldom comes up anymore, should be remembered for being one of the Angels’ all-time bests, and not just for that little incident with hie ex-wife that is, unfortunately, much more memorable, and for the use of his name in the USA spy series, Burn Notice.

For a franchise that has featured some great pitching names, such as as Nolan Ryan,

Messersmith, Dean Chance, Frank Tanana, and Jered Weaver, among others, it is Finely that still today owns the majority of the club's all time pitching records, including wins (165), games started (379), innings pitched (2,675), and others. For his career, which included stints with three additional teams, he won 200 games and struck out 2,610 batters. But, it's a dozen years since his last appearance, and today's fans just do not have the sense of history or the
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Kitaen, best known for a series of music videos and for her part in the TV series “WKRP in Cincinnati”, as well as a score reverence for stars of the past as in prior generations of fans.

No, if the name “Chuck Finley’ were mentioned today, most fans would likely say “Who?”, while many others would say, “hey, that’s Sam Axe’s cover name.” For non-watchers of Burn Notice, Sam Axe was an ex-Navy SEAL and government spy whose best friend, now “burned” former CIA operative Michael Westen, constantly recruits to help him out with potentially deadly capers. When ever he needed to use a cover identity, which was quite


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often, Axe would take the name "Chuck Finley", which in an interview actor Bruce Campbell who portrayed Axe, indicated was named after the Angels' pitcher.

But for most the name Chuck Finley is above all synonymous with a 2002 incident between Finley and his then wife, actress Tawny Kitaen. Finley is a big guy, standing six feet, six inches, and he had a playing weight of 220 pounds.
of other TV and movie appearances through the 1980s and 1990, was of average read-headed bombshell proportions. But, in a widely-reported instance of domestic violence, it was Kitean who was criminally charged with beating up her 6″ 6″ pro athlete husband, with, of all things, a stiletto shoe.

It will probably be at least another dozen years until the name “Chuck Finely” is again in the news.

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