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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Cecil Cooper

Eligible in 1993.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 10, 2007 at 02:41 PM | 159 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. DL from MN Posted: January 12, 2007 at 06:57 PM (#2279510)
> By odd quirk of luck, all three 1976 Red cleanup hitters hit worse in that lineup slot than
> they did in other positions.

Lots of walks, they probably didn't get anything they could hit. Probably also saw a lot of relief aces come in to shut them down.
   102. DavidFoss Posted: January 12, 2007 at 06:58 PM (#2279511)
bump
   103. sunnyday2 Posted: January 12, 2007 at 07:31 PM (#2279545)
One might have thought that a lot of great reminiscing about the Brew Crew woulda come with Robin Yount, but I guess Coop just beat him to it.
   104. _ Posted: January 12, 2007 at 07:49 PM (#2279564)
I think I speak for all Brewer fans when I say we're getting tired of reminiscing. If the team doesn't win this year, all the 25th anniversary stuff they have planned is going to be more painful reminder than fond remembrance.
   105. JPWF13 Posted: January 12, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2279578)
Lots of walks, they probably didn't get anything they could hit. Probably also saw a lot of relief aces come in to shut them down.


How would that effect them when batting 4th and not 5th & 6th? How mant times a game are they gonna face a "relief ace"?
Anyway, Bench, Perez and Foster do not show a notable BB spike when batting 4th as opposed to other lineup spots- they just all hit worse batting 4th in 1976 than when batting in other slots (3,5 &6th; primarily). It just seems really flukey.
   106. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 12, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2279582)
Bell-Moseby-Barfield?


I think Bell's frequent adventures in left field sink this battleship.

Defensively, I'd take the 2006 Jays OF (Johnson, Wells, Rios) over the 80's version, personally.
   107. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 12, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2279598)
HSF:

Well if Melvin pulls another rock like the Davis/Estrada trade it's going to be a LOONNNGGG year.

Trade Lee for garbage. Trade Davis AND Eveland for garbage. Talk of putting one of your few adequeate defensive players at the least challenging defensive position.

Did someone implant Hawk Harrelson's brain in Doug Melvin's body? It's not like Hawk would miss it. He doesn't use it.
   108. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 12, 2007 at 08:17 PM (#2279602)
Wow, I have my spelling moments but "adequeate"???

How about "adequate"?

My apologies to Webster's and Mrs. Smith my first grade English teacher. Ouch.
   109. strong silence Posted: January 12, 2007 at 08:38 PM (#2279613)
That's a big word for a first grader. Show off.
   110. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 12, 2007 at 09:02 PM (#2279631)
strong:

Well, it was a one room school. I had the same teacher for everything for a few years.
   111. strong silence Posted: January 12, 2007 at 09:10 PM (#2279639)
One room - I've heard a kid couldn't get away with anything in those one-room school. Teachers knew the kids too well after a few years.

Speaking of the past: What was the first baseball game you ever remember, HW? MLB only - on TV or at the ballpark.
   112. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 12, 2007 at 09:20 PM (#2279651)
Television?? Ha! We didn't even have a radio until I was seven years old.

I went to a Cubs game in 1937 or maybe '38. I know they played the Pirates because I have a Gus Suhr signed ball from the day. My uncle owned a bar where the players congregated after games and I got to hang out getting in the way.

Stan Hack was very nice to me despite my being rude in our first encounter. I have told this story before but I was racing around like a little tyke does and after losing track of my baseball Hack leaned over, called me over, and gave it back. While doing so he said, "Here you go sonny". According to my dad and uncle I scowled fierely, grabbed the ball, and declared, "My name's NOT sonny."

I'm stalking away and everyone in the tavern is laughing their *ss off.

My dad visited his brother every other year, and I got to go with him since my mother thought having me along would keep my Uncle Herb from taking my dad out drinking and raising h*ll. Umm, no. Got to ride the train. Got to see ballgames. Met ballplayers. Got sips of beer. Saw women acting in a very unladylike fashion.

Very educational.
   113. strong silence Posted: January 12, 2007 at 09:31 PM (#2279657)
Nice story, HW.

My favorite ball games were the ones I watched with my Dad. 1975 at Dodger Stadium - my favorite player, Johnny Bench, strikes out with the bases loaded and my Dad elbows me in the rib, "How's that for an MVP?". 1977 or 78 - we watch a game with my Grandpa at County Stadium. Then, last year we saw Ichiro! make a spectacular catch. We hoot and holler together. A pause. He says, "You know, I don't think Clemente could have made that catch."

He never took me to a bar though. Darn.
   114. The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2007 at 10:00 PM (#2279675)
Glenn Braggs is the big name missing from this discussion. He was supposed to be a five-tool guy, the next Darryl Strawberry (which of course is its own thing). I'm pretty sure he was regarded as the best prospect in baseball, and for a while at that.

And I absolutely remember B.J. Surhoff being called "the next Johnny Bench." Although I'm sure that wasn't the majority opinion on him, I think he was at least expected to be a rstar. I guess he turned out ok eventually, but just ok, and he was a very late bloomer.

As for Bill Wegman... Bill Wegman?? Bill Wegman has to have one of the worst strikeout ratios of any recent pitcher, and combined that with giving up 30 homers a year. There was never any hope for him. Navarro was just a slightly better version of the same thing. Bosio was good, so was Higuera, and they also had Plesac, Yount, Molitor, and some good role players. But for whatever reason, they were never able to surround those guys with enough talent to win. It wasn't entirely because of overhyped, flopped prospects, and hell, it's probably not even mostly their fault that their farm system got overhyped. But it did have something to do with it, at least in the sense that they expected more of those guys than they ended up delivering.
   115. The District Attorney Posted: January 12, 2007 at 10:01 PM (#2279677)
A "rstar" is a star who has flashes of playing like a superstar, by the way. Not a typo or anything crazy like that.
   116. _ Posted: January 12, 2007 at 11:12 PM (#2279732)
Wegman was a league-average pitcher for his career, with almost 1,500 IP. That beats the hell out of most 5th-round draft picks. He wasn't an All-Star by any stretch, but as a group those 5-6 guys were as good as any group of pitching prospects anybody else produced during that period. The "problem" with the over-touted farm system was essentially one of perception, I think. They had a bunch of prospects at the same time who were sure-fire major leaguers, and almost all of them did go on to have major league careers. It's just that very few of them were high-ceiling players, and the ones who were either got hurt or intentionally made errors to force a trade.

Glenn Braggs is a complete mystery to me. Looking at his minor league numbers, it's almost incomprehensible that he never developed in the majors. There's got to be something more to that story than just bad luck.
   117. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 13, 2007 at 02:05 PM (#2280009)
HSF:

The Brewers recognized the problem before he ever hit the majors. Braggs couldn't open up his hips on an inside fastball.

As a reminder to others, Braggs was an Adonis. The guy was RIPPED. That, and he had a Bob Gibson like glare at the plate. Glenn was d*mn scary looking.

IF you were in the minor leagues.

Braggs drew a goodly number of walks (OBPs routinely over .400) and hit for power because pitchers NEVER came inside on him. Looking at him a MINOR league pitcher had to think the guy would hit a fastball 500' and by gosh if I go inside and miss over the plate it's gone. And if I miss INSIDE this guy is going to reach down my throat and rip out my lungs.

The Brewers tried to work with Glenn but his one physical drawback was a lack of flexibility. He was stiff. As soon as he hit the majors it didn't take major league pitchers that long to figure out his weakness. And they could give a rat's behind about how scary he looked since he couldn't back it up with equally scary hitting.

Lefty pitching wasn't so bad since left-handers fastballs tend to tail away so he could make a living as a platoon player. But against the majority of the population Glenn had no answer.

It was broken bats and 17 hop dribblers to the shortstop. Sigh.........
   118. Paul Wendt Posted: January 14, 2007 at 12:55 AM (#2280216)
The Chanumas Spirit Posted: January 11, 2007 at 04:35 PM (#2278841)
Wow....it sure is interesting to see the evolution of this conversation.

Most people would not expect a discussion of Tim Raines in a Cecil Cooper thread.


Someone is new around here.

--
Steve Sax, Ken Boyer, Boog, Cecil Fielder, Chuck Knoblauch, Kevin McReynolds, Lou Boudreau, Greg Luzinski, Kent Hrbek, Del Ennis, Jim Rice, Ray Lankford, Danny Tartabull, and I don't want to forget HoJo.

If I had known five years ago that Joe Dimino's project would replace one-third of the Hall of Fame players, I would have guessed that Lou Boudreau would be one of them. He waltzed.

--
1982 Brewers
Beside the other older players named above, Ben Oglivie was already over the hill.

Did Rollie Fingers really miss more than a full season with injury? He went down in 1982 and didn't play in the majors in 1983. That must be part of the story although the brew crew wasn't going to beat the Orioles again in 1983 (finish, 87-75, 5th place).

What happened to Bamberger as manager? The mere data suggest that he was only interim in 1980, out of the picture in 1981 when Simmons arrived. Ted Simmons was a disaster in 1981 and enjoyed his only HOVG Milwaukee batting season in 1983.

Hey, the Brewers needed to play in the West (with Chicago, recall). The Texas Rangers might have played in the East, maybe in Washington?
   119. Misirlou was a Buddhist prodigy Posted: January 14, 2007 at 03:05 AM (#2280256)
What happened to Bamberger as manager? The mere data suggest that he was only interim in 1980, out of the picture in 1981 when Simmons arrived.


Heart attack, or something like that.
   120. Howie Menckel Posted: January 14, 2007 at 02:23 PM (#2280351)
baseballlibrary.com re Fingers

"He pitched much of the 1982 season in pain, saving 29 games, but missed the entire 1983 season."

I do remember Bamberger having health issues, think it was the heart.
   121. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 14, 2007 at 02:27 PM (#2280352)
I do remember Bamberger having health issues, think it was the heart.

It was definitely his heart, since they mentioned it all of the time during his tenure with the Mets.
   122. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 14, 2007 at 03:23 PM (#2280370)
Paul:

Ben Ogilvie hurt his wrist in early '81, playing through the pain resulted in tendonitis in his forearm, and with a batting style completely predicated on whipping the bat through the strike zone Ogilvie's major offensive asset was nullified. It also completely destroyed his ability to hang in against lefties. After struggling early in his career Ben had improved significantly against left-handed pitchers. Check out his splits from 1978-1980. He drove off the cliff in 1981.

So was he 33 years old in 1982? Yes. But prior to 1981 he had slugged around .500 for three straight years and outside the wrist injury was in excellent physical condition. "Benjie" played through pain the remainder of his career.

Over the hill? An inaccurate assessment.

Your 1983 comment is also incorrect. If you review the league standings from the 1983 season (available at retrosheet) you will find that the Brewers were in first place as late as August 25th of that season. Milwaukee fell apart in September but up to that point were in line to repeat thanks to a final hurrah from Cooper/Simmons/Moose Haas, Yount being Yount, and a completely unexpected season from Pete Ladd as the closer.

Fingers dislocated his left shoulder in spring training of 1982. He tried to come back too soon and by compensating for the pain in his left shoulder hurt his right arm. He fought through it most of the season before going on the DL late.
   123. jingoist Posted: January 14, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2280420)
HW; what are the Brewers chances like this year?
I have seen them play a bit the past two years at National's games; very competitive against bottom-rung teams like the Nationals and Pirates.
But I wonder, do they have the right stuff to beat the Cards and Astros?

I got to sit right behind the visitors dugout for two Brewers games and the players seem to genuinely like Yost and he seems to have a decent rappot with the young guys on the team.

Do the local fans like Yost; do they think he can win 55% of their games in 07 and cahllange for a playoff spot?
Just curious as I've always admired Milwaukee as a city and always liked seeing their teams do well going back to the early 1950's Braves..
   124. jingoist Posted: January 14, 2007 at 06:30 PM (#2280422)
And another thought...what's the story with Jeff Cirillo?
This guy seemed "all-world" from '96-2001 then he fell off the cliff when he joined Seattle.

Now that he has returned to Milwaukee, albeit as a 36 year old platooning 3b-man, does he have a chance to extend his career a few more years and help this team or are his at-bats better served by playing someone else?

Rottino and Barnwell don't seem to be the future (unless I've missed something) and Koskie is the now, not the future. Or did they sign someone in the off-season to be the 3B-man of the future?
   125. The District Attorney Posted: January 14, 2007 at 06:49 PM (#2280433)
Ryan Braun (5th overall pick in '05) is the Brewers' 3B of the future, and Cirillo signed with Minnesota.
   126. DCW3 Posted: January 15, 2007 at 09:37 AM (#2280591)
And another thought...what's the story with Jeff Cirillo?
This guy seemed "all-world" from '96-2001 then he fell off the cliff when he joined Seattle.


I think that has to be a case of a player's decline being masked by Colorado. He did have a pretty steep decline when he went to Seattle, but not nearly as steep as it looked if you just look at his raw numbers: he was decidedly mediocre in both of his seasons with the Rockies once you adjust for park factors.
   127. JPWF13 Posted: January 15, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2280689)
And another thought...what's the story with Jeff Cirillo?
This guy seemed "all-world" from '96-2001 then he fell off the cliff when he joined Seattle.

I think that has to be a case of a player's decline being masked by Colorado.


Hit the nail on the head (OPS+)
1998 Mil: 122
1999 Mil: 118
2000 Col: 96
2001 Col: 98
2002 Sea: 74
2003 Sea: 50 (!!!!)

His raw numbers in 2000-2001 looked a lot like his raw numbers from 1998-1999.
His RAw OPS over the same 6 years:
1998: .847
1999: .862
2000: .869
2001: .837
2002: .629
2003: .555

It looks like he collapsed all at once from 2001 to 2002- in fact he dropped in 2000, and then again in 2002, then wnet into complete freefall in 2003
   128. sunnyday2 Posted: January 15, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2280750)
This certainly explains why the Twins signed the guy. Not. I guess they just needed another Bret Boone/Tony Batista type this year.
   129. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 16, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2281097)
We were talking about Tim Raines upthread, well, Murray Chass has already sounded the "Tim Raines doesn't have the stuff" call in his latest NYT column. In talking about Gossage's likely 2008 election, Chass makes a glancing mention where he lumps Raines in with Justice and other newbies in saying that (para) "voters won't have much interest in ....".

I've had a sinking feeling for Raines for a long time, and I don't feel very good about his chances after a national columnist can't discern him from David Justice. Is there no Justice?
   130. DanG Posted: January 16, 2007 at 03:08 PM (#2281121)
I've had a sinking feeling for Raines for a long time, and I don't feel very good about his chances after a national columnist can't discern him from David Justice. Is there no Justice?

It's simple: Justice beats Raines in OPS+, 128 to 123. What more do you need to know?
   131. Dizzypaco Posted: January 16, 2007 at 03:17 PM (#2281132)
It's simple: Justice beats Raines in OPS+, 128 to 123. What more do you need to know?

Is it really necessary to point out the various ways that this is misleading, or is it obvious to everyone?
   132. DanG Posted: January 16, 2007 at 03:31 PM (#2281137)
Is it really necessary to point out the various ways that this is misleading, or is it obvious to everyone?

Much more interesting to deduce ways that the simplistic mind would justify equating Justice and Raines.
   133. yest Posted: January 18, 2007 at 05:13 AM (#2282327)
I'll take justice
over Rains any day

but then again you might be talking about baseball
   134. Paul Wendt Posted: January 18, 2007 at 08:52 PM (#2282727)
Paul:
Did Rollie Fingers really miss more than a full season with injury? He went down in 1982 and didn't play in the majors in 1983. That must be part of the story although the brew crew wasn't going to beat the Orioles again in 1983 (finish, 87-75, 5th place).

Harvey:
Your 1983 comment is also incorrect. If you review the league standings from the 1983 season (available at retrosheet) you will find that the Brewers were in first place as late as August 25th of that season. Milwaukee fell apart in September but up to that point were in line to repeat

Dream on. The Orioles clinched on September 25th, beating Milwaukee 5-1 to put the Brewers 14.5 games back, having played 25-7 in the month since August 25th, then 0.5 games behind Milwaukee (and five teams separated by 3.5 games).
Retrosheet brings you 1983 August 25
I see that Brewers lost ten straight in mid-September, scoring more than one run only four times!, but you won't convince me that they might have been. I am biased but my bias is not decisive here.

Thanks for the good info on Oglivie. When Otis Nixon came along, I thought of him as the running Ben Oglivie, so Benji was retroactively the slugging Otis Nixon, because they were very late bloomers and skinny, black, tall, and skinny.

I meant to question more clearly the part about the revolt against newcomer Rodgers, not relying on memory but needing clarification because Rodgers wasn't new even in 1981, when he served for the entire season (best record but only a mini-pennant). Was Rodgers newly expressing himself as the manager, perhaps because it was newly understood that Bamberger would not return?

By the way, I wonder whether anyone has much data on interim managers. It would be nice to get that into the baseball-databank and the Retrosheet database, thereby into the web encyclopedias.
   135. Paul Wendt Posted: January 18, 2007 at 08:56 PM (#2282729)
I should have said
Paul wrote: . . .
Harvey wrote: . . .
   136. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 18, 2007 at 09:23 PM (#2282738)
Paul:

I interpreted your comment as one who just looked at the standings and presumed that Milwaukee was never in the race. Milwaukee was very much IN the race until the final month when everything went to h*ll.

George was the manager who resurrected the careers of both Caldwell and Thomas. Quite naturally, they were intensely loyal to "Bambi". The downside was that while both players worked for Bamberger they were naturally prone to being lazy. All you had to do was look at them was to see they were borderline when it came to pro level fitness.

And Buck was always a guy who expressed himself. Rodgers is/was a highly underrated manager. He gave players expectations. Thomas and Caldwell weren't that keen on meeting Buck's expectations. That Buck had the gall to follow through on his statements (If you don't lose 15 lbs Molitor is going to centerfield) stunned both players. Like a couple of kids who lost their dad they weren't willing to listen to the new man of the house.

I LIKE Harvey Kuenn. But in the new parlance of today he was an enabler of bad habits as Harvey trusted players to be professional. No problem for the Robin Younts, Paul Molitors, and Jim Gantners of the world. But not everyone has that level of dedication to their craft.
   137. Paul Wendt Posted: January 19, 2007 at 05:01 AM (#2282919)
You mean, you aren't Harvey Kuenn?

Don't mind me, I'm still irked by the Sutton trade. I had pulled for the Astros (in the division I never followed) and honored them as savvy traders since the Cuellar deal, and I had liked Sutton for his fight with Garvey and his hair that was similar to mine (or was his a 'do?).

But given the tragedy of 1981, I wouldn't overturn the 1982 race today as my friend from Milwaukee has suffered a tough life off the field and there haven't been many fond memories for a diehard sports fan with intense regional loyalty. (There were a few UW-Milwaukee upsets in the NCAA tournament and Marquette won it once.) We went to all the Bucks-Celtics games in Boston, and the Bucks never got over the hump.
   138. DVoiss Posted: January 19, 2007 at 05:19 AM (#2282924)
I was upset when the Brewers sent George Scott and Bernie Carbo to Boston for Coop prior to the 1977 season. But it didn't take long for me to change my mind. He had one of the smoothest most beautiful swings I ever saw. For a period of time in the early 80's Coop was probably one of the 5 best hitters on the planet and looked like a sure bet for Cooperstown. He just wasn't able to sustain it for a long enough period of time to get elected. But when you look at his numbers from say 77-83 it's hard to say that there were too many better than he and if I remember correctly as a left handed hitter he even hit lefties better than righties. AndI still maintain that in 1982 the top 3 in the Brewer batting order (Molitor, Yount, & Cooper) may have been the best top 3 of all time as Coop is the only one not in the Hall.
   139. tjm1 Posted: January 19, 2007 at 11:46 AM (#2282962)
Just a few years later, the Red Sox often went Boggs, Evans, Rice at the top of their batting order. Only 1 HOFer there, but probably a better set of hitters during that stretch of time.

I'm still not sure whether Cooper falls short of the HOF because he fell off too much at the end of his career, or because he was stuck behind Rice , Yaz, and Carbo for playing time early in his career. Turn those 300-400 AB seasons in Boston into full-time play, and he'd be quite a bit closer, too.
   140. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: January 19, 2007 at 01:42 PM (#2282973)
Second, Cooper was a notorious pot smoker

He couldn't master saute? ; )
   141. tjm1 Posted: January 19, 2007 at 01:50 PM (#2282975)
I don't really see Lynn and Miller as part of the problem for Cooper, or really Evans. Rice, Yaz, Cooper, and Carbo were basically going to combine to handle LF, 1B and DH in some way, and none of them was going near CF or probably even RF short of an injury.

I wasn't really aware of the pot-smoking angle, but Zimmer seemed to manage to deal with it when it came to the guys who were too talented for him to replace with someone else. Well, maybe not with Lee, but with most of them, at least. And, anyways, the guy to whom he lost the most playing time in his best years in Boston is Carbo, who was probably more notorious for his pot-smoking. I guess Miller did play LF sometimes with Rice DHing, which doesn't really make any sense, and maybe that's Zimmer's personality.
   142. Daryn Posted: January 19, 2007 at 02:00 PM (#2282978)
Justice beats Raines in OPS+, 128 to 123. What more do you need to know?

I much prefer Raines to Justice, and Justice probably won't crack my top 30 but....

Justice's teams (4 different organizations) made the playoffs in 10 of 11 years. As the voting public is wont to say, he is a winner. Plus, he was married to the best looking woman ever.
   143. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2007 at 02:02 PM (#2282979)
kevin:

But why trade him for George Scott, a guy with a weight problem coming off a poor season? Just because he was right-handed? His smile?

Refresh my memory of the Boston perspective.

For those not old enough to recall George Scott was a jovial guy with a good glove but with a propensity for putting on weight. Kind of like Papi only clearly NOT the same type of hitter. But similar builds. Hence the nickname, "Boomer". Which is why a lot of folks were scratching their heads about the trade because while nobody expected Cooper to hit 30 homers a lot of folks were predicting .300 plus batting averages which in those days was the Holy Grail. Anyone could see the kid could hit.
   144. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 19, 2007 at 02:24 PM (#2282994)
As a side note, Cooper hit Boston like a drum once he became a Brewer. .316/.351/.511 against the Sox. The only teams who suffered more were Texas and Minnesota and not by much.

An interesting thing I discovered, is that when the Brewers traded for Cooper the GM joked that they had to get him because he "always killed us". Nobody could check back then but courtesy of retrosheet I discover that Cooper hit .364 in limited action against Milwaukee. (164 at bats)

Anyway, Cooper would always get interviewed by the radio guys when the team visited Fenway and Cecil would talk about how much he enjoyed his time there but also how much he wanted to show them why they made a mistake. In 1982 when the Crew overtook the Sox at midseason the two teams played 7 games right before the All-Star break. Cooper slugged four homers and drove in a bunch of runs.

I still remember poor Chuck Rainey standing on the mound watching that second Cooper shot land in the bleachers, Milwaukee crowd whooping it up, and then Rainey walking Simmons on four pitches as if to plead with Houk "Get me OUT of here".
   145. Paul Wendt Posted: January 19, 2007 at 04:29 PM (#2283073)
First, with Yaz, Lynn, Evans, Rice and Miller, Cooper was the odd man out (you don't think that Yaz was going to be benched now, do you?)

Second, Cooper was a notorious pot smoker and Zimmer hated that hippie ####.


But George Scott was a notorious pot belly and he plays where?
   146. jimd Posted: January 19, 2007 at 09:41 PM (#2283298)
Just to clarify the Bernie Carbo references here.

Carbo was traded to Milwaukee in mid-season 1976 for a reliever Tom Murphy (no longer the Brewer's closer) and a spare part, Bobby Darwin RF/DH. He came back to Boston with George Scott in the Cooper deal the following winter. Carbo had been removed from the lf/1b/dh logjam of Rice/Yaz/Cooper/Carbo before the Cooper trade. It's still not clear to me why the Sox traded Cooper other than that they had soured on him.
   147. tjm1 Posted: January 19, 2007 at 10:46 PM (#2283347)
I was referring to Carbo as a big part of why Cooper got only 300 at bats a year in the mid-70's, not as a part of the reason why he was traded. And it's not really clear that Cooper was a better hitter than Carbo in those days, so it's hard to blame Zimmer too much for that.

I would have to say that the trade could only be explained by stupidity and/or extreme short-sightedness. The difference between Cooper and Dave Stapleton would have probably been enough to win the Red Sox a division title in 1982, and that between Cooper in Perez in 1981 might have at least won them one of the half seasons.
   148. jimd Posted: January 20, 2007 at 01:29 AM (#2283393)
Agreed. I was just pointing out that Carbo was no longer part of the hitter logjam at that point. It had resolved down to Yaz/Rice/Cooper for LF/FB/DH. The Cooper trade restarted that jam, with George Scott and Carbo replacing Cooper.

The difference between Cooper and Dave Stapleton

I already pointed out somewhere above that the difference between Scott and Cooper most likely cost the Sox dearly in 1978 also.
   149. Paul Wendt Posted: January 20, 2007 at 04:25 AM (#2283452)
For those not old enough to recall George Scott was a jovial guy with a good glove but with a propensity for putting on weight.

And a very good batter for five seasons in Milwaukee. No doubt many in Boston griped, "Why can't we get players like that?"
   150. Miko Supports Shane's Spam Habit Posted: January 20, 2007 at 06:23 AM (#2283489)
Joey Meyer got a raw deal. Trebelhorn played him a half season, Meyer hit ok, and then because he was so gross looking the team dumped him.

I believe Bill James' entry in one of the early 90's "Baseball Books" was something like "Meyer has signed with the Taiyo Whales. Funny guys, those Japanese."
   151. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 20, 2007 at 06:03 PM (#2283611)
But I really think the straw that broke the camel's back was that Zimmer didn't like him because he smoked pot

That might explain the Lee-Papi trade, too.
   152. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: January 20, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2283625)
Yeah, that and Lee calling Zimmer a gerbil.

Hah. I forgot about that. :-)
   153. jimd Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:04 PM (#2284608)
I've never seen Cooper's name associated with the "Buffalo Heads" before this. Of course that doesn't mean he wasn't a member. Or maybe he just smoked on his own. Usually mentioned were Bill Lee, Bernie Carbo, Ferguson Jenkins, Rick Wise (SP), and Jim Willoughby (RP).
   154. Juan V Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2284612)
Which has been the longest thread for a non-controversial HOM candidate?
   155. sunnyday2 Posted: January 22, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2284655)
Boomer was MVP?
   156. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: September 30, 2007 at 12:09 AM (#2550513)
I never heard of Cooper being a notorious potsmoker before. But kevin was in his teens and in the Boston area when Copper played there so he might've been privy to some info.

I still think that alot of the blame for breaking up the Buffalo Heads goes to the LeRoux-Sullivan-Jean Yawkey front office. They were overleveraged, borrowed money at those 70s interest rates, and got some tax advantages by cutting costs.

I saw Bill Lee the other nite (had I read this thread, I could have asked him about Cooper)and he said that that group had the third highest bid. Dom DiMaggio had a consortium with a higher bid (I forget who the other group was.)
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