Michael Richard Waits (born May 15, 1952) is an American former professional baseballpitcher. Waits, who threw left-handed, played all or part of twelve seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Texas Rangers (1973), Cleveland Indians (1975–83), and Milwaukee Brewers (1983–85). Waits served as minor league pitching coordinator for the Seattle Mariners organization before being named pitching coach for the Mariners under new manager Lloyd McClendon for the 2014 season.
Waits was originally drafted by the Washington Senators in the fifth round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his debut on September 17, 1973, pitching one game for the Texas Rangers, who had moved from Washington by then. On June 13, 1975 he was traded to the Cleveland Indians with Jim Bibby, Jackie Brown and cash for Gaylord Perry. Waits, a starter in his prime, beat the New York Yankees in the final regular season game of 1978, forcing a one-game playoff between the Yankees and Boston Red Sox for the American League East division title. After the Indians-Yankees game ended, news of the Indians’ victory was announced on Fenway Park‘s video screen (The Red Sox had defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5–0 only moments earlier) with the words “THANK YOU, RICK WAITS, GAME TOMORROW.”
In 1987, Waits joined the Rimini Pirates of the Italian Baseball League, leading them to two championships (1987 and 1988) and a European Cup Championship (1989). He led the league in ERA, serving the last two seasons (1988 and 1989) as a player-manager. He also managed the IBL’s Parma Angels.
Waits later joined the New York Mets organization, where he worked for fifteen years in various capacities, including a stint as the team’s bullpen coach in 2003.
- Mariners name Rick Waits Minor League pitching coordinator
- “Rick Waits Statistics and History”. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved August 13, 2012.
- Goldberg, Jeff (October 1, 2003). “Waits’ Big Day Gave Sox Chance”. The Hartford Courant. p. C3.
- “Braves appear to be holding every edge worth holding”. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. October 4, 1994. p. H2.
- A Former Major Leaguer Savors Italian Baseball
- “Quick guide to CPBL 2017 season & fun facts (1st-half season)”. 23 March 2017.