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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Rocky Colavito

Eligible in 1974.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 02, 2006 at 11:28 PM | 57 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 02, 2006 at 11:31 PM (#1931062)
Yo, Adrian...Garrett!
   2. Ardo Posted: April 03, 2006 at 02:13 AM (#1931680)
I feel badly for the Rock. The 1967-68 offensive crash likely fooled Colavito into thinking he was washed up, but he probably had 3-4 moderately productive seasons ahead of him.

I put him on par with Chuck Klein in the 30-39 range, but I can see how a steep time-liner would have Colavito in his or her top 15.
   3. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 03, 2006 at 02:18 AM (#1931690)
I feel badly for the Rock. The 1967-68 offensive crash likely fooled Colavito into thinking he was washed up, but he probably had 3-4 moderately productive seasons ahead of him.

I agree, Ardo. Rocky doesn't appear to have been washed up yet.
   4. DavidFoss Posted: April 03, 2006 at 02:55 AM (#1931751)
According to Baseball Library, Rocky recorded the last win for a non-pitcher in the 20th century.

box
   5. OCF Posted: April 03, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#1931759)
Rocky recorded the last win for a non-pitcher in the 20th century.

But several recorded losses. Off the top of my head, I can recall Jeff Hamilton and Jose Oquendo. The Jeff Hamilton game was particularly memorable, with the winning hit just escaping the reach of first baseman Fernando Valenzuela.
   6. sunnyday2 Posted: April 03, 2006 at 10:34 AM (#1932424)
Like Maris, another guy from my youth whom I admire very much. An outstanding hitter, though admittedly one among many of that day. Not unlike Roy Sievers except much more colorful. I get the feeling that if the Indians had just kept him there in Cleveland where he belonged he might have become a HoFer and HoMer, but maybe not. I mean, it's not like he didn't produce in Detroit and KC, too. Needed another 3 prime years, which means he is really quite a bit short of great. Still, better than a lot of guys who have been described as HoVG.
   7. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 03, 2006 at 01:01 PM (#1932472)
I think Brent Mayne got the first (only) win by a non-pitcher since Rocky. I want to say it was in 2001 or so.
   8. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 03, 2006 at 01:39 PM (#1932496)
I think Brent Mayne got the first (only) win by a non-pitcher since Rocky. I want to say it was in 2001 or so.


It was in 2000, in this game.

-- MWE
   9. Trevor P. Posted: April 03, 2006 at 10:21 PM (#1935128)
The extra bizarre thing about the Mayne win is this: he was the batter with the bases loaded and two outs in the twelfth. Instead of letting him bat, the Rockies pinch hit with Adam Melhuse, who strokes the game-winning hit.

Had Melhuse made an out, the Rockies might've been forced to send ANOTHER position player to the mound.
   10. Cblau Posted: April 05, 2006 at 01:55 AM (#1938256)
Well, you can't let your pitcher hit in a situation like that. You have to play to win.
   11. Trevor P. Posted: April 05, 2006 at 03:14 AM (#1938513)
That's sarcasm, right? Mayne wasn't a member of the pitching staff - he was their catcher.
   12. sunnyday2 Posted: April 05, 2006 at 03:30 AM (#1938547)
I got Cliff's joke, very clever in fact.I don't think it was sarcasm, but it's not exactly irony. What kind of joke was that anyway? Oh, yeah, a funny one.
   13. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: April 05, 2006 at 03:10 PM (#1939151)
What kind of joke was that anyway? Oh, yeah, a funny one.

That it was. :-)
   14. Paul Wendt Posted: April 05, 2006 at 03:48 PM (#1939221)
textbook sarcasm
But the good people of MN keep the sarcasm textbooks out of the schools.
   15. DavidFoss Posted: April 05, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#1939372)
textbook sarcasm
But the good people of MN keep the sarcasm textbooks out of the schools.


Well, now we are being sarcastic about being sarcastic! My head is starting to spin! :-)
   16. sunnyday2 Posted: April 05, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#1939469)
>But the good people of MN keep the sarcasm textbooks out of the schools.

Actually you'd be surprised. Minnesota Nice is actually a euphemism for passive-aggressive. Sarcasm, by all means, just not to your face.
   17. Chris Cobb Posted: April 05, 2006 at 05:40 PM (#1939500)
I'd call the joke deadpan humor. Cblau spins out the cliches with every appearance of seriousness -- it's a totally "straightface" comment. "You have to play to win" is crucial to the joke because it's just that bit excessive: it gives away that the poster is imitation someone who a farcical spouter of cliches, not a poster making an honest mistake.

I thought it was one of the funniest things I've read in our discussions in quite some time.
   18. DavidFoss Posted: April 05, 2006 at 05:48 PM (#1939519)
Actually you'd be surprised. Minnesota Nice is actually a euphemism for passive-aggressive. Sarcasm, by all means, just not to your face.

Yeah, I'm from there myself and that's why I actually took Paul's comment as being sarcastic. You are one of our more sarcastic posters, sunny. :-)
   19. sunnyday2 Posted: April 05, 2006 at 06:48 PM (#1939650)
Me? But not to your face. (Only online ;-)
   20. sunnyday2 Posted: April 05, 2006 at 06:48 PM (#1939651)
David, no, what I should have said is this:

Thank you.
   21. DavidFoss Posted: April 05, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#1939711)
Thank you.

Any time
   22. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 05, 2006 at 08:39 PM (#1939990)
Oh my god, Derida and Foucault (not Steve) are taking over my favorite blog!

[sarcasm, some hyperbole, absurdity, plus allusive reference to baseball players. but no snideness.]
   23. Mark Donelson Posted: April 05, 2006 at 10:02 PM (#1940375)
Getting back to Rock, whom I will not knock...

The question I'm trying to answer is where he falls relative to Cravath. They appear pretty close, with Rocky pulling ahead if you give Gavvy NO minor-league credit, and just the opposite if you give Gavvy a lot of minor-league credit.

But he's got a nice, if fairly short, little peak there. He's almost certainly in my top 50 this election, though almost equally certainly not in my top 15. I'm just trying to place him properly between 15 and 50, I guess.

Cravath vs. Colavito? (Especially from a peak perspective.) Anyone?
   24. Mark Donelson Posted: April 07, 2006 at 08:37 PM (#1946372)
Anyone? Bueller?
   25. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 07, 2006 at 08:51 PM (#1946434)
Cravath. With credit from 1908 (iirc) onward.
   26. DavidFoss Posted: April 07, 2006 at 09:09 PM (#1946481)
I got Cravath. He's the easy peak choice and with MLE credit (reasonable for his era) his career is at least as long.
   27. Mark Donelson Posted: April 07, 2006 at 09:15 PM (#1946489)
He's the easy peak choice...

Not if you use WS, no? I've got:

Cravath: 35-29-28-26-26
Colavito: 33-32-29-28-26

That seems pretty close. But maybe you don't use WS.

With MLE credit that could change some, but probably not much, peak-wise.
   28. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 07, 2006 at 10:04 PM (#1946544)
Are those WS schedule adjusted?
   29. Mark Donelson Posted: April 07, 2006 at 10:09 PM (#1946548)
ah, no. Sorry. Copied from the wrong pad...thanks. I knew I was getting something confused here...
   30. Mark Donelson Posted: April 07, 2006 at 10:18 PM (#1946556)
(By the way, glad you caught me on that. I had the wrong list for all the new eligibles...won't matter for the top two, but for the rest... I will now slink away and reevaluate the class of '74.)
   31. Mark Donelson Posted: April 07, 2006 at 10:51 PM (#1946603)
OK, done. It's still kind of close with out the full MLE credits for Cravath, but Cravath is ahead now even without them.

Carry on...
   32. Mark Donelson Posted: April 10, 2006 at 07:42 PM (#1953568)
You know, it's funny...before you alerted me to this, I was wondering why so many new eligibles this "year" (beyond the big two) were doing so well in my system! (Lesson: If something seems funny, it probably is.)
   33. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 10, 2006 at 09:06 PM (#1953772)
Funny? You mean like a clown?
   34. Mark Donelson Posted: April 10, 2006 at 11:15 PM (#1953986)
I mean you make me laugh, yeah. (Actually, you did.)
   35. Joey Numbaz (Scruff) Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:44 AM (#1956935)
One thing Mark, just a tidbit of advice, make sure you use team decisions and not team games when adjusting for schedule (you probably are already doing this, but just in case). Win Shares gives credit only based on wins and losses, not ties.
   36. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: April 12, 2006 at 03:54 PM (#1957359)
It still blows my mind that there was a period in baseball when teams had a few ties a seasons. I know there were contraints around playing all night and into the next day, especially with travel being such a huge deal, but it strikes me as odd.
   37. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 12, 2006 at 04:24 PM (#1957414)
It seems equally odd to me that baseball could have flourished with daytime-only games. Who's buying to the weekday games? Rich folks who don't work? People who work part-time? Women? (this was before the women's lib days) College professors? Night-shift workers?

Just seems strange that they could draw enough on weekdays to make those games even a little bit profitable.
   38. Mark Donelson Posted: April 12, 2006 at 04:44 PM (#1957459)
One thing Mark, just a tidbit of advice, make sure you use team decisions and not team games when adjusting for schedule (you probably are already doing this, but just in case). Win Shares gives credit only based on wins and losses, not ties.

Yup. Though since I'm adjusting down to 154 now for the modern players, there's fewer of the ties to worry about.
   39. jimd Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#1957512)
A significant part of the post-WWII attendance boom is due to night baseball. Until lighting systems were bright enough to make a night game safe for the batter and illuminate the entire flight of the ball for the fielders, daytime baseball was the only option.

Before WWII, weekend and holiday gates were crucial. Double-headers were scheduled to encourage good attendances for even the bad teams; the loss of the extra weekday gate was not that important.

Percent of games played that were part of doubleheaders:

1875: 0.0 (first double-header 7/4/1873)
1885: 3.6
1895: 16.0
1905: 27.5
1915: 32.9
1925: 23.5
1935: 38.1
1945: 49.4 (the peak)
1955: 30.5
1965: 23.5
1975: 15.0
1985: 5.0
1995: 2.0
   40. sunnyday2 Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#1957608)
In 1945 the average team played 38 double-headers (76 games) and 78 single games. Amazing. I assume that also accommodated an extra weekday for the train trip from Boston to St. Louis, which every team in the both leagues had to make (in theory).
   41. jimd Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:41 PM (#1957684)
In 1945 the average team played 38 double-headers (76 games) and 78 single games.

In 1945, teams played 304 double-headers total.

Distribution by day-of-week:
Sun 156, Mon 23, Tue 12, Wed 52,
Thu 18, Fri 25, Sat 18

Distribution by team (standings in order):
ChC 34 - Det 36
StL 35 - Was 44 (finished last in '44)
Bro 32 - StA 39
Pit 40 - NYY 34
NYG 36 - Cle 30
BsN 46 - CWS 38
Cin 41 - Bos 37
Phi 44 - PhA 42
   42. jimd Posted: April 12, 2006 at 05:57 PM (#1957755)
Between July 29 and August 19, a span of 22 days, the Braves played 10 double-headers. This included a cluster of 5 in 8 days (8/12 to 8/19) and 3 in 3 days (8/14, 8/15, 8/16).
   43. DL from MN Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:18 PM (#1957842)
I wonder if there is a correlation between the decline in travel (rest) time and the switch from a 4 to a 5 starter pitching staff. Playing two certainly should lend itself to more complete games. You can't really use a 1 inning specialist in 2 games of a doubleheader that often, unless they're a knuckleballer like Wilhelm. It would be more useful to carry a "Sunday starter" who could pitch long relief the rest of the week.
   44. Paul Wendt Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#1957856)
The North American major baseball leagues admit tie games even today.
2002-08-15 : Atlanta 3, San Francisco 3

Lights help complete games at once. So do ceilings and vacuum cleaners. Curfews hurt.

Only very recently, major pro football and hockey leagues here, and hockey and soccer associations around the world, have changed their playing rules to eliminate or greatly decrease the number of ties. So it can't be true that our culture long ago ceased to accept whatever a tie sporting contest represents.

During the night-and-broadcast era, it has become more difficult and less profitable to replay games than it was a century ago. Fewer off days, fewer return visits to the current city, much smaller share of revenue derived from in-season ticket sales. (I suppose season-ticket holders get replay games for nothing and broadcasters get them for next to nothing. Of course, that may be true and yet be something that would change if replays were numerous.) Also, if modern baseball tried to replay as many games as a century ago, that would be a matter for collective bargaining with the players.

--
It seems equally odd to me that baseball could have flourished with daytime-only games.

Daytime, more or less. More in late spring and early summer.

In newspapers around 1900, I have read more than once that games will begin at 3:30 this year, instead of 4:00 (because too many were called for darkness last year); or that games will begin at 3:30 rather than 3:45 for the remainder of this season (because the sun is setting earlier). Certainly the magnates were aware of an economic cost in going that way, but there must have been a cost, proximately in fan satisfaction and attendance, of frequent 7 and 8 inning games and 9-inning ties. And unhappiness within the baseball industry, too, from players and concessionaires to league offices.

(non sequitur) Don't suppose that everyone worked in a factory or that everyone who worked eight hours worked 9 to 5 like Dolly Parton.
   45. sunnyday2 Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:24 PM (#1957863)
Yeah wouldn't you love to see these babies today (pitchers and managers) deal with back-to-back-to-back doubleheaders!
   46. Paul Wendt Posted: April 12, 2006 at 06:33 PM (#1957900)
> > In 1945 the average team played 38 double-headers (76 games) and 78 single games.

> In 1945, teams played 304 double-headers total.

In 1945, there were travel restrictions too.
   47. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 12, 2006 at 07:45 PM (#1958215)
Yeah wouldn't you love to see these babies today (pitchers and managers) deal with back-to-back-to-back doubleheaders!

They start adopting 16 man pitching staffs to make sure they had enough lefty specialists around because surely after the LOOGY left the first game of a DbH after three pitches, he'd be in no shape to pitch in the night cap. And of course he'd need a rest day so he could pitch in one of the two games in the final DbH....
   48. jimd Posted: April 12, 2006 at 08:14 PM (#1958323)
In 1945, there were travel restrictions too.

I'm sure that played a part in it, adding 8-10 DHs per team. OTOH, without the travel restrictions the war years would still have had a high percentage of DHs.

25 highest seasons, doubleheader percentage:
1945: 49.4 - 1943: 48.5
1944: 43.3 - 1942: 40.4
1933: 38.2 - 1935: 38.1
1946: 36.2 - 1931: 35.6
1940: 35.6 - 1947: 34.6
1937: 33.4 - 1939: 33.3
1938: 33.2 - 1915: 32.9
1917: 32.6 - 1950: 32.3
1953: 32.3 - 1941: 32.2
1952: 32.0 - 1909: 31.9
1934: 31.7 - 1932: 31.6
1948: 31.0 - 1936: 30.7
1951: 30.5

Of these 25 seasons, 22 are from the 23 seasons between 1931 and 1953. (1949 was only 26.3%, perhaps an experiment in reducing DH's.) The other 3 seasons are 1909, 1915, and 1917.
   49. OCF Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:32 AM (#1959488)
Of these 25 seasons, 22 are from the 23 seasons between 1931 and 1953.

And, for the most part, this is the time period in which the Ted Lyons pattern of pitcher usage flourished. Many good pitchers, once past their prime, remained in the league for years pitching 130 to 200 innngs per year, often as effectively per inning as when they were younger and piching more.

Except that that particular usage pattern may have died out a little before the doubleheaders did.

The notion of a four-man rotation or a five-man rotation doesn't even make sense as a way of thinking about a pitching staff until the doubleheaders start to go away.

In #47, Dr. Chaleeko jokes about what would happen if the doubleheaders came back. Wouldn't you think that the likes of David Wells, Tom Glavine, or Orlando Hernandez might be able to handle the Sunday starter role well into their 40's?
   50. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 13, 2006 at 01:17 PM (#1960101)
Absolutely, OCF, and I think you can probably throw Maddux and Clemens into that bag as well. Maybe even Jamie Moyer. And someday the big unit.
   51. DL from MN Posted: April 13, 2006 at 02:30 PM (#1960204)
> Wouldn't you think that the likes of David Wells, Tom
> Glavine, or Orlando Hernandez might be able to handle the
> Sunday starter role well into their 40's?

Terry Mulholland would pitch until he started cashing Social Security checks.
   52. jimd Posted: April 13, 2006 at 07:06 PM (#1961178)
In 1945, the typical team played 19-20 Sunday double-headers during the season.

The Sunday pitcher is almost a necessity when you have a Sunday double-header scheduled for practically every weekend.
   53. Paul Wendt Posted: April 13, 2006 at 10:20 PM (#1961647)
At 15-20 Sunday doubleheaders per season, covering 65-85% of in-season Sundays, there would be in 1931-1941 another 15-20 doubles per team, concentrated at the end of the season. A regular Sunday starting pitcher would be only a small step toward arranging a pitcher for every game.

For example, 1940 champion Cincinnati (fine record!) played 31 doubles distributed 0-4-5-6-8-8 over half of April and five full months thru September. The monthly distribution of Sunday doubles was 0-1-5-3-4-3 and that the other six days was 0-3-0-3-4-5. They played a single game on every other Sunday during the season (total 23 Sundays) except April 21, distributed by month 1-3-0-1-0-1; some of thos six Sunday singles may have been scheduled doubles. They played back-to-back doubles six times, constituting 13 of the 31 doubles.
The Memorial and Independence holidays were on Thursdays; Labor Day was on Monday, of course, and composed back-to-back doubleheaders with that Sunday.
   54. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: April 13, 2006 at 10:49 PM (#1961674)
Terry Mulholland would pitch until he started cashing Social Security checks.

One problem. The Sunday starter has to be a good, skilled pitcher. Mulholland is pretty stinky.

I always thought that Bret Saberhagen would have been an ideal Sunday starter. Even at the end of his career, he was extraordinarily skilled, but he was just too prone to breakdowns pitching in rotation. Going once a week, or 21 times a year, he coulda saved some team's bacon.
   55. sunnyday2 Posted: April 13, 2006 at 11:39 PM (#1961755)
And the '40s Reds GS:

Derringer 37 (20-12, age 33)
Walters 36 (22-10, age 31)--a coupla real men if you ask me
Thompson 31 (16-9, age 23)--the poor guy never was worth a damn again
Turner 23 (14-7, age 36)
Whitey Moore 15 (8-8, age 38)
Vander Meer 7 (age 25)
Hutchings 4, Riddle 1, Beggs 1

Beggs was the relief stopper (36 G in relief, 77 IP, 12-3, 1.99, don't know how his start went)

Every one of these guys was 3.75 or below, team was 3.05, second best was 2nd place Brooklyn at 3.50 and 5th place Chicago at 3.54.

Cubs, interestingly, had a better BA than the Reds, better SA, more BB, more 2B, more 3B, 3 fewer HR but 15 more XBH overall, and scored 26 fewer runs. I think the Cubs had as good of hitters throughout the lineup but the Reds had a better lineup--2 guys at the top who got on base (Frey and Werber vs. only Hack for Chicago) and a "big" bat in the middle of the lineup (Frank McCormick) than the Cubs had (Bill Nicholson, more HR but less of everything else). Gabby Hartnett didn't seem to get much out of the Cubs' roster--they finished 5th, 25.5 GB. Probably shoulda been second with pretty good pitching. Their underlying stats (runs for and against) is virtually identical to second place Brooklyn, yet the Dodgers won 88 games, the Cubs 75. Maybe this Durocher fella could manage.

Anyway, back to the Reds' pitching: the Reds and Cubs were the only teams with 3 starters with 30 GS and a 4th with 20--in other words, with the semblence of a 4 man rotation. The Dodgers had Whyatt 34, Hamlin 25, Davis 18 (in 2/3 of the year), Fitzsimmons 18 (was he a Sunday guy?), Carleton 17, Tamulis 12, Casey 10, Grissom 10 (in half a year), Head 5, Presnell 4, Flowers 2, Rachunok 1. They had 28 more XBH than the Reds, too, but scored 10 fewer runs.

The Reds just had better pitching but also seem to have gotten more out of their components on offense than anybody else. In the WS, they beat Detroit 4-3 despite getting outscored 28-22. The starters were Derringer, Walters, Turner, Derringer, Thompson, Walters, Derringer. Apparently Derringer was the rubber arm, Walters needed his rest. Derringer won game 4 5-2, and after an extra day of rest Walters won game 6 4-0. Then Derringer won game 7 on short rest 2-1. Thompson lost game 5 8-0 and the Reds fell behind 3-2, but manager Bill McKechnie had a plan.

We think of those Tigers with Greenberg, Gehringer, York, et al, as the better team and they did score 180 more runs but they only won 90 vs. the Reds' 100. Detroit ERA was 1.00 higher. In the WS Newsom went 2-1, 1.38 but the other starters did not pitch real well.
   56. Paul Wendt Posted: April 15, 2006 at 05:06 PM (#1965205)
<u>Wins, NL champion 1919-1940</u>

105 1919 Cincinnati (prorated from 140 to 154-game schedule)
101 1931 St Louis
100 1935 Chicago
100 1940 Cincinnati
_98 1929 Chicago
_97 1939 Cincinnati

The Cincinnati champions were relatively strong in the interwar period that they bracket.

Meanwhile, 90 wins by Detroit in 1940 was the fewest for any AL champion. 10 of 22 AL champions won 100 games, all during the 13 seasons 1927-1939.
   57. Paul Wendt Posted: April 15, 2006 at 05:11 PM (#1965219)
> Meanwhile, 90 wins by Detroit in 1940 was the fewest for any AL champion.

fewest wins in AL history, tie with Detroit 1908 (short seasons prorated)

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