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Monday, August 22, 2005

Dutch Leonard and Bobo Newsom

Dutch Leonard

Bobo Newsom

Eligibile in 1959.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2005 at 01:37 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2005 at 01:42 PM (#1563038)
The non-troublemaker Leonard and the guy who had more teammates than anyone of his era.
   2. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2005 at 02:47 PM (#1563170)
I remember Newsom as the answer to a trivia question (don't remember the question, however) that left one to believe he was a lousy pitcher. But hey, the guy won almost as many games as Harry Brecheen and Max Lanier combined.

Newsom 1929-1953 (age 21-45) 211-222, 3759 IP, 3.98 (107)
Leonard 1933-1953 (age 24-44) 191-181, 3218 IP, 3.25 (119)

Just as Brecheen and Lanier were teammates (for many years), so too Leonard and Newsom were teammates for parts of 1942-'43 and '46 in Washington. They both broke in with Brooklyn but were never teammates, there. Oddly in 2 of the 3 seasons they had in common in Washington, the Senators finished 2nd and 4th. Each time the brought Newsom in for a little late season spin in the pennant race. Leonard was there all year in both cases, and oddly enough the Senators did fairly well despite those being two of the worst years of his putative prime (21-23 overall for a .521 team).

ERA+ in ERA Eligible Years

Leonard 119-132-123-120-117-98-106-146-94-149-157-97
Newsom 124-97-111-97-98-136-168-99-74!-123-104-116-108-94

If Leonard had put his better years together and maybe had better teammates, who knows. Newsom OTOH had too many bad years to even think about him stringing the better ones together. Does anybody have any information or even a theory as to his incredible inconsistency? Way beyond the normal ups and downs.
   3. Chris Cobb Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:17 PM (#1563240)
Well, one factor in Newsom's case is that he pitched in front of some atrocious defenses, so bad fielding behind him will have some effect on his ERA+. He was also throwing a ton of innings, so I wouldn't be surprised that in some seasons he was being overworked, or that in some seasons he suffered for earlier periods of overwork. The latter idea is just speculation, of course, but the bad defense is not.
   4. DavidFoss Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:21 PM (#1563247)
the guy who had more teammates than anyone of his era.

652 teamates! If you average 24 different teammates in each of 20 seasons that only gets you 73% there!

The Oracle of Baseball lists Newsom as the 5th most linkable player in history behind Early Wynn, Warren Spahn, Curt Simmons and Minnie Minoso.
   5. sunnyday2 Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:24 PM (#1563253)
Keep in mind he played 2 and 3 different teams in several years.

Still his 652 reminds me of Wilt Chamberlain's 20,000. The math is not easy, much less theactual doing.
   6. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:24 PM (#1563254)
652 teamates! If you average 24 different teammates in each of 20 seasons that only gets you 73% there!

No wonder he called everyone "Bobo." He couldn't remember all of those names. :-)
   7. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 22, 2005 at 03:59 PM (#1563328)
I remember Newsom as the answer to a trivia question (don't remember the question, however) that left one to believe he was a lousy pitcher.

Only 200 game winner with a losing record? Not sure if he's the only one at this point, but he's definately the first.

Bobo Newsom

Dutch Leonard

Some new features slowly being added to the pitcher pages - at the right side of the top chart is the pitcher's year-by-year Average Opponent Winning Percentage. I believe Newsom's '38 AOWP is the highest one I've come across so far.

Below that is a new chart - run support dispersal. It tells you how often the pitcher received various levels of run support each year. If you're curious this new page has the run support dispersal for every single season I've ever RSId.

Steve Treder article on Bobo Newsom

My own take - neither of these guys merits induction. Bobo was better and I do have a soft spot for him -- rotten defense, and the worst RSI of anyone in baseball history with at least 400 GS. I have him losing 21 games due to poor run support - the most of any pitcher ever. He had a really nice prime from 1934-40/1, but he end up with around 160 FWP. He was a nice, solid workhorse with an arm of steel, but there's no way he's one of the top 15 on the ballot.

Leonard . . . for a while I was really high on this guy. Nice ERA+ despite horrific run support. His non-sucky RSI had me perplexed, until I started trying to account for unearned runs. That changes his ERA by 0.15 - only Smokey Joe has a more substantial change made due to unearned runs. Aside from 1939, I'm not sure if he was anything more than a knuckleballing Steve Traschel.
   8. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 22, 2005 at 04:00 PM (#1563333)
Also, both were rotten hitters for their eras. Account for that and Leonard should've had slightly above average run support.
   9. DavidFoss Posted: August 22, 2005 at 04:08 PM (#1563348)
Thought Leonard 'only' had 383 teammates, he was no slouch in the linkability department either. He's 18th all-time between Yogi Berra and Hank Majeski.

This is of course, the golden era of linkability with an equal distance between 19th and 21st century players. Also, a lot of WWII replacement players can be linked to quite easily by this generation.
   10. Cblau Posted: August 24, 2005 at 02:14 AM (#1567819)
Chris J.,
So on the one hand, you acknowledge that Leonard had awful fielding support, and on the other hand you blame him for giving up a lot of unearned runs. Seems to me they go hand-in-hand.
   11. Chris Cobb Posted: August 24, 2005 at 02:27 AM (#1567878)
I doubt Bobo Newsom or Dutch Leonard will make my ballot, though my analysis of neither pitcher is complete yet. But both are surprisingly close.

Two interesting indicators of this:

The difference in WARP1 between Red Ruffing and Bobo Newsom is 600 IP and their hitting. That's not a tiny difference, but it's not a huge one, either.

The difference in WARP1 between Dutch Leonard and Dizzy Trout is Trout's peak and hitting. Leonard has, by WARP1, about 300 more IP at about the same level of quality as Trout.
   12. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 24, 2005 at 02:47 AM (#1567946)
So on the one hand, you acknowledge that Leonard had awful fielding support, and on the other hand you blame him for giving up a lot of unearned runs. Seems to me they go hand-in-hand.

You're confusing what I mean.

I have an unearned run adjuster that looks at how often a pitcher gave up unearned runs relative to his teammates. In other words, if X percent of the runs given up by his teammates were unearned, Leonard was giving up X+ percentage of runs. The quality of defense behind him is irrelevant in this UER adjuster because he had the same defense behind him as his teammates.

When comparing his UER with his teammates UER, I reckon that he should have allowed 54 more earned runs than he did. That changes his ERA by 0.15, more than any other pitcher I've checked on other than Smokey Joe Wood.

Comparing him to Steve Traschel as I did above is unfair - he was a lot better than that, but I'm not sure he was as good as his ERA+. Maybe his poor defense cancels out the UER adjustment, I dunno. It does help explain how a pitcher with his RSI and ERA+ could get his W/L record.

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