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Friday, June 01, 2012

CStB: McCarver Prescribes Tone It Down Pills For Harper, Fielder

Latest round of profound Gibbyerish from McCarver.

Chosen to represent the game’s old guard, however, is Fox Sports’ Tim McCarver, who seems to have an issue with excessive celebrations…and excessive hustle.

Harper’s unbridled enthusiasm raises eyebrows. He’s already being compared to Pete Rose, which Fox broadcaster and former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver says is nonsense. He wonders when someone will talk to Harper about slowing down.

“When the ball is hit 15 feet foul, and he’s on second base,” McCarver says, “it’s time to talk. I understand youthful enthusiasm, but it’s unbridled enthusiasm.”

When Fielder hit a walk-off homer against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 6, 2009, the Brewers collapsed like bowling pins when Fielder stomped on home plate. The Giants remembered. Barry Zito hit him with a pitch in the first inning of their spring training game the following season.

“If it were (Bob) Gibson on the mound, I promise you that would never have happened,” McCarver says. “That payback isn’t something you want to even think about.”

While the celebration provoked anger and resentment among the “old-school,” the “new-school” loved it, convinced it generates enthusiasm for fans and particularly kids.

Scoffed McCarver: “I don’t buy that. [Joe] DiMaggio wasn’t flashy, but he got a lot of kids interested in baseball. Ted Williams hit, wasn’t flashy, and got a lot of kids interested in baseball. So did [Mickey] Mantle. They were the antithesis of flashy.”

Repoz Posted: June 01, 2012 at 06:31 PM | 77 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: announcers, history

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   1. Champions Table Posted: June 01, 2012 at 07:01 PM (#4145583)
Scoffed McCarver: “I don’t buy that. [Joe] DiMaggio wasn’t flashy, but he got a lot of kids interested in baseball. Ted Williams hit, wasn’t flashy, and got a lot of kids interested in baseball. So did [Mickey] Mantle. They were the antithesis of flashy.”


And where are they now? All dead.

I rest my case.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: June 01, 2012 at 07:03 PM (#4145585)
“When the ball is hit 15 feet foul, and he’s on second base,” McCarver says, “it’s time to talk. I understand youthful enthusiasm, but it’s unbridled enthusiasm.”
If Harper were perceived as a fantastic human being much like Pete Rose was, wouldn't it be called "hustle"?

“That payback isn’t something you want to even think about.”
We probably don't have to think about any aspect of it at this point, given that they did this once, three years ago.

Ted Williams hit, wasn’t flashy, and got a lot of kids interested in baseball.
And was never controversial, and universally beloved.

   3. Walt Davis Posted: June 01, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4145597)
Mantle wasn't flashy?

DiMaggio wasn't flashy? The man married Marilyn Monroe for crying out loud.
   4. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 01, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4145600)
What an asshat.
   5. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: June 01, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4145601)
Back in my day, Fox and Fox Sports didn't exist, so neither did their announcers.
   6. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 01, 2012 at 07:21 PM (#4145605)
Willie Mays has said that he purposely wore a cap that was too small, so that it would come off when he was running the bases or tracking down a flyball. If turning honest effort into entertaining flashiness was good enough for Willie Mays, the entire planet Earth is cordially invited to STFU.
   7. McCoy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4145615)
I remember when I was a kid that I would purposefully angle my GIANT CONE OF SAFETY HELMET in such a way that it would fly off as I ran to first much like I saw the players of the 80's do.
   8. shock Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:23 PM (#4145646)

“When the ball is hit 15 feet foul, and he’s on second base,” McCarver says, “it’s time to talk. I understand youthful enthusiasm, but it’s unbridled enthusiasm.”


Oh, go away. Seriously, when is this twatbag going to retire already? Go ####### home and stay there.
   9. smileyy Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:40 PM (#4145653)
Perhaps the field could be marked with the appropriate area a player should end up in on a foul ball. Not far enough and you're lollygagging, too far and you're being too flashy.

Edit: Fortunately, my username can be abbreviate with punctuation so I can roll with this handle for a little bit.
   10. TerpNats Posted: June 01, 2012 at 08:56 PM (#4145659)
Willie Mays has said that he purposely wore a cap that was too small, so that it would come off when he was running the bases or tracking down a flyball. If turning honest effort into entertaining flashiness was good enough for Willie Mays, the entire planet Earth is cordially invited to STFU.
And if Bryce Harper were black, he would probably be compared to Willie Mays rather than Pete Rose.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4145669)
It's a story about love, deception, greed, lust and... unbridled enthusiasm.

That's what led to Bryce Harper's downfall.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:14 PM (#4145678)
“When the ball is hit 15 feet foul, and he’s on second base,” McCarver says, “it’s time to talk."

I don't think that happened, not that it matters to McCarver.

Willie Mays has said that he purposely wore a cap that was too small, so that it would come off when he was running the bases or tracking down a flyball.

I thought the cap was too large, not small.

   13. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4145690)
Dear Mr. President,

There are too many states. Please eliminate three.

I am not a crackpot.
   14. TR_Sullivan Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:35 PM (#4145726)
I get tired of hearing about mean and tough Bob Gibson was. What's so tough about being able to deliberately throw a baseball toward someone at 93 miles per hour. Why do you deserve the Red Badge of Courage for that? From 1961 to 1966...Sandy Koufax hit 13 batters in 223 starts. Gibson,in a six-year period from 1965-70, hit 40 in 200 starts. I have more respect for Koufax than Gibson.
   15. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:40 PM (#4145738)
I thought the cap was too large, not small.

I thought it was too small, so that the cap would perch on his head rather than grip it. But maybe you're right and the idea was for the oversized cap to be too loose. The important takeaway here is that Barry Bonds' godfather taught him everything he knew about erratic head size.
   16. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4145752)
In other news, McCarver wants all those darn kids to stay off his lawn.
   17. shoewizard Posted: June 01, 2012 at 09:57 PM (#4145803)
If Gibson played today he would lose several starts a year due to suspensions, or some hulking slugger would go out to the mound and beat the #### out of him.

Gibson only got hit 8 times in almost 1500 career PA's, and only twice from 65-70.



   18. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:00 PM (#4145809)
What's so tough about being able to deliberately throw a baseball toward someone at 93 miles per hour.


Well, for one thing, you have to pick up a bat and step in the box with the understanding they may owe you one.
   19. Morty Causa Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:04 PM (#4145812)
I get tired of hearing about mean and tough Bob Gibson was.


Yes, it's the equivalent of applauding bullying, and it is assault and battery. Intentionally throwing at people is the sucker punch of baseball.

I wonder who he threw at? Did he throw at Willie McCovey, or Frank Robinson or Frank Howard when they were in the league? Or did he make sure he threw at some pencil-neck second basemen? Gibson has always kind of come across as the Mitt Romney who sheared the gay kid's hair. A great pitcher, but . . . .
   20. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:08 PM (#4145819)
Gibson only got hit 8 times in almost 1500 career PA's, and only twice from 65-70.


Even though eight doesn't sound like a lot, the rate per PA is actually not all that far off how he often he hit batters.
   21. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:13 PM (#4145829)
I wonder who he threw at? Did he throw at Willie McCovey, or Frank Robinson or Frank Howard when they were in the league?


He hit each of those guys once.

Ron Hunt (who you apparently couldn't miss) and Roy McMillan lead the pack with six plunks each - Tony Taylor is third with four HBP.

   22. Morty Causa Posted: June 01, 2012 at 10:58 PM (#4145853)
Thanks for the info.
   23. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:35 PM (#4145918)
If Gibson played today he would lose several starts a year due to suspensions, or some hulking slugger would go out to the mound and beat the #### out of him.


Maybe he'd be first to administer the beatdowns to the charging sluggers. Merely being hulking doesn't constitute a martial art, after all. How many sluggers receiving blacks eyes to go with their bruised rib would it take before they started "forgetting" to drop their bats on the way to the field of combat?
   24. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: June 01, 2012 at 11:54 PM (#4145978)
It's a story about love, deception, greed, lust and... unbridled enthusiasm.

That's what led to Bryce Harper's downfall.

I see what you did there.
   25. toratoratora Posted: June 02, 2012 at 12:14 AM (#4146034)
If Gibson played today he would lose several starts a year due to suspensions, or some hulking slugger would go out to the mound and beat the #### out of him.


Bringing me to perhaps my favorite quote re Gibson, from Hank Aaron to a teammate:
"Don't dig in against Bob Gibson; he'll knock you down. He'd knock down his own grandmother if she dared to challenge him. Don't stare at him, don't smile at him, don't talk to him. He doesn't like it. If you happen to hit a home run, don't run too slow, don't run too fast. If you happen to want to celebrate, get in the tunnel first. And if he hits you, don't charge the mound, because he's a Gold Glove boxer."

   26. Everybody Loves Tyrus Raymond Posted: June 02, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4146043)
Apparently that was good advice, as Gibson never hit Aaron.
   27. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 02, 2012 at 01:04 AM (#4146107)
Gibson didn't quit being mean when he left the game. About ten years back he got in trouble for picking a fight at as a gas station.
   28. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: June 02, 2012 at 01:05 AM (#4146108)
Oh, and he was 66 when he did it.
   29. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: June 02, 2012 at 06:02 AM (#4146189)
I would like to prescribe McCarver some STFU pills.
   30. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: June 02, 2012 at 06:37 AM (#4146191)
"Black players need to settle down." -McCarver
   31. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 02, 2012 at 07:22 AM (#4146196)
If Gibson played today he would lose several starts a year due to suspensions,

Really? Pedro plunked batters at twice the rate that Gibson did. How many starts did Pedro lose?

or some hulking slugger would go out to the mound and beat the #### out of him.

Yeah, just like Pedro's still in the hospital recovering from Don Zimmer's Sonny Liston imitation.

Not that any of this has anything to do with McCarver's typically moronic comment about Bryce Harper, which is defensible only as a straight line.
   32. Ron J Posted: June 02, 2012 at 10:12 AM (#4146278)
#14 Here is a link to Dennis Bennet calling Bob Gibson chicken(bleeped)

And Jack Baldschun calls him a coward. Baldschun has a point I think.

One interesting part of the story. After Gibson's second brush back on Bennett, Doug Harvey, "waved a warning finger at Gibson, which automatically results in a $50 fine" (Happened to Baldschun later in the game too). Did not realize that Umpires could fine players as late as the 60s. (Yes, the fine was actually given by the NL president, but it's "automatic")

Sequence of events: Flood homers, Bennett knocks down Javier, Gibson brushes Bennett back twice (warned and fined), Baldschun (who relieved Bennett -- Bennett was shelled) hits Gibson (warned and fined), Gibson throws his bat at Baldschun (ejected -- costing him an easy win). (Had Gibson not been ejected, one wonders about the next escalation. Perhaps Gibson lobs a grenade into the on-deck circle?)

And #20 Check the timeline. It seems to me that a fair number of his HBP were early in his career against the Phillies.
   33. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: June 02, 2012 at 10:32 AM (#4146298)
Bryce harper rules and tim mccarver kind of sucks. I think if yu got him away from joe buck he,d be sort of ok but buck reenforces his wworst tendencies.
   34. Rafael Bellylard: Built like a Panda. Posted: June 02, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4146306)
I hope McCarver sends a portion of his paychecks to Gibson. He wouldn't have an announcing career without him.
   35. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 02, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4146315)
or some hulking slugger would go out to the mound and beat the #### out of him.

Yeah, just like Pedro's still in the hospital recovering from Don Zimmer's Sonny Liston imitation.


You aren't seriously comparing Don Zimmer to either a hulking slugger or Sonny Liston, are you?
   36. Downtown Bookie Posted: June 02, 2012 at 11:00 AM (#4146322)
#32 - Thanks for a great link. It's easy to forget umpire warnings existed back in the day "when the players just policed themselves."

Oh, and I love that, on the same page as the beanball war story, there's an ad to "Learn Judo and Karate". Google ads would be so proud!

DB
   37. baudib Posted: June 02, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4146326)
Several things to address.

First

You aren't seriously comparing Don Zimmer to either a hulking slugger or Sonny Liston, are you?

Maybe Jim can finally get us a sarcasm font in the beta site.

#14 Here is a link to Dennis Bennet calling Bob Gibson chicken(bleeped)

And Jack Baldschun calls him a coward. Baldschun has a point I think.


I'm definitely in the crowd who grew up listening to stories of how tough Gibson and Drysdale were. And, frankly, I'm tired of hearing about it. I grew up a Phillies fan and McCarver was Carlton's personal catcher, and hung around long enough to collect a paycheck in four different decades. So I've been hearing these stories for a long time.

People like Tony Conigliaro and Dickie Thon lose careers over beanballs. The game would probably be a lot better off without all the macho B.S.

“When the ball is hit 15 feet foul, and he’s on second base,” McCarver says, “it’s time to talk. I understand youthful enthusiasm, but it’s unbridled enthusiasm.”


This is just incredible B.S. I thought going all-out on every play was supposed to be a virtue?

As for the "flash," I will never understand why we consider it preferable for players to act like robots and show no emotion, to "act like you've been there before." WTF? I thought players were supposed to have fun and play like it's your last game.


   38. Dale Sams Posted: June 02, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4146338)
And if Bryce Harper were black, he would probably be compared to Willie Mays


No they'd just say he was another uppity ****** that was ruining baseball.

Ok, they wouldn't *say that*.
   39. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: June 02, 2012 at 11:30 AM (#4146344)
Maybe Jim can finally get us a sarcasm font in the beta site.


It's Andy. Even if it was sarcasm, he'd just mess up the coding. ;-)
   40. Ron J Posted: June 02, 2012 at 11:35 AM (#4146351)
#37 Pretty sure that Neither Thon nor Conigliaro were intentional. On the other hand, Ed Farmer put two Royals on the DL in the same game and he did have a rep.

Paul Blair's beaning was accidental and Ken Tatum was so shaken by the result he was unable to throw inside after that. Probably played a role in ending Tatum's career.
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 02, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4146377)
or some hulking slugger would go out to the mound and beat the #### out of him.


Yeah, just like Pedro's still in the hospital recovering from Don Zimmer's Sonny Liston imitation.

You aren't seriously comparing Don Zimmer to either a hulking slugger or Sonny Liston, are you?


Well, since Rocky Marciano also played baseball, I didn't want to confuse anyone, so I settled on the guy that Zimmer apparently saw in the mirror. And if that still flies over you, my brother Chico will sell you the print version of the code book.
   42. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: June 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM (#4146386)
I'm trying to understand, if possible, what exactly Harper does that is "flashy"? He doesn't parade around the field with his arms raised seeking praise from the fans in the stands. He was reluctant to come out of the dugout and take a curtain call after hitting his first home run at Nats Park. What exactly is the problem here (other than McCarver's typical shtick)?

I was decidedly in the undecided column when he first came up, having heard about his warrior paint and blowing a kiss to the pitcher and all that. But he has acted like a Major Leauger from Day #1 and won over more people than I could have imagined. I can't see how this is bad in any way for MLB.

But, since Tim McCarver is considered some elder statesman of baseball his word is authoritative to those who cover the game. You know: people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk...
   43. Bourbon Samurai in Asia Posted: June 02, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4146403)
Yeah, Harper's been pretty head down. When Hamels hit him and he jogged right over to first and then stole home was A: awesome and B: about as old school cool as you can get.

Harper hustles all the time, which is exactly what the old school folks are always saying they want.
   44. Zach Posted: June 02, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4146450)
This is why baseball gradually loses all its most colorful players. Do anything unconventional and everybody starts sniping. Then when Harper inevitably goes into a slump, he'll get some fatherly advice about toning things down to be more "professional."

Going balls to the wall may not work for every player, but it seems to be in line with Harper's personality, and it's theoretically what everybody wants, anyhow. I say keep it up and give the tiresome old men of the future a new cliche ("Back in my day, players played hard. Why, you could hit a ball fifteen feet foul and Harper's already on second base!").
   45. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: June 02, 2012 at 03:26 PM (#4146453)
And if Bryce Harper were black, he would probably be compared to Willie Mays


Probably, but comparing Harper to Mantle makes sense, since both switch-hit, while Mays only hit rightie.
   46. Squash Posted: June 02, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4146459)
WTF? I thought players were supposed to have fun and play like it's your last game.

You've forgotten the first rule of broadcasting: there's a cliche for each side of the equation and you pull out whichever one fits the narrative.
   47. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 02, 2012 at 03:42 PM (#4146460)
And if Bryce Harper were black, he would probably be compared to Willie Mays


Probably, but comparing Harper to Mantle makes sense, since both switch-hit, while Mays only hit rightie.

Better to learn it now before you start making any bets on that.
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 02, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4146465)
Harper bats lefty but throws right-handed, which suggests that, like Ichiro, he could switch hit if he wanted to.
   49. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 02, 2012 at 04:08 PM (#4146481)
And throw out runners by mental telepathy while he was at it. There ain't nothing this boy can't do.
   50. Swedish Chef Posted: June 02, 2012 at 05:28 PM (#4146501)
Harper bats lefty but throws right-handed, which suggests that, like Ichiro, he could switch hit if he wanted to.

Ichiro wanted to hit two homers today. He should do that more often.
   51. Srul Itza Posted: June 02, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4146507)
Since we're discussing McCarver and Gibson, here is my favorite quote, when Gibson shooed McCarver away when he tried to make a mound visit:

"The only thing you know about pitching is you can't hit it."

How old is Harper now, 19? If McCarver can't appreciate a 19 year old playing Major League Baseball (to the tune of a 131 OPS+) who goes all out, and demonstrates some enthusiasm, the old fart should be euthanized.

   52. RMc's desperate, often sordid world Posted: June 03, 2012 at 10:49 AM (#4146748)
I finally caught up with "Calico Joe"; read it in one sitting (about 180 short pages). It's only OK, but there was one bit I liked: when Joe is almost hit with a pitch one day, he waits until the pitcher releases the ball gain...then immediately charges the mound. Has anyone ever actually done this? I mean, when you think about it, it's the perfect way to do it: you charge the mound at the exact moment when the pitcher/catcher/umpire aren't expecting it.
   53. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 03, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4146778)
Immediately on release? I doubt it. But if I had to select the player of my lifetime I'd consider most likely, I go Gary Sheffield.
   54. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: June 03, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4146779)
You aren't seriously comparing Don Zimmer to either a hulking slugger or Sonny Liston, are you?

On that one day, Zimmer made the mistake of not leading with the steel plate in his head. He's more machine than man.
   55. SoSH U at work Posted: June 03, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4146785)
On the other hand, Ed Farmer put two Royals on the DL in the same game and he did have a rep.


What was the rep based on other than putting two Royals on the DL in the same game? It it couldn't have been based on how often Farmer hit guys.

Farmer had 12 HBPs in his big league career. To put that in rate terms, he did so at a much lower frequency than noted beanballer Greg Maddux.
   56. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 03, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4146790)

No they'd just say he was another uppity ****** that was ruining baseball.

Ok, they wouldn't *say that*.


Well, maybe in Boston.
   57. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: June 03, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4146792)
You aren't seriously comparing Don Zimmer to either a hulking slugger or Sonny Liston, are you?


The world would have been a better place if Zimmer had the foresight to coat his hands with heat salve and go straight for Pedro's beady little eyes.
   58. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 03, 2012 at 12:53 PM (#4146797)
Since we're discussing McCarver and Gibson, here is my favorite quote, when Gibson shooed McCarver away when he tried to make a mound visit:

"The only thing you know about pitching is you can't hit it."


Which matches almost word-for-word what another HoF pitcher said about his HoF manager:

"The only thing Earl knows about big-league pitching is that he couldn't hit it."
   59. baudib Posted: June 03, 2012 at 01:04 PM (#4146799)
It'd be great if Gibson came out today and said McCarver still doesn't know anything about pitching.
   60. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: June 03, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4146857)
There goes Harper again! Back-to-back home runs after another rookie smacked one to open the game against the Braves. In fact, the very next PITCH after Lombardozzi hit his HR. Who does this kid think he is, Tim McCarver???

O! the temerity!
   61. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:06 PM (#4146901)
This is why baseball gradually loses all its most colorful players. Do anything unconventional and everybody starts sniping.


It also doesn't help if, like Lastings Milledge, they really, really suck.
   62. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 03, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4146903)
And now thrown out twice in two days going for that extra base. Argh...
   63. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 03, 2012 at 07:48 PM (#4147048)
Harper's .922 OPS now leads all MLB rookies, bridled or unbridled.
   64. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 03, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4147123)
Harper's .922 OPS now leads all MLB rookies, bridled or unbridled.

Harper's OPS+ was 135 going into today's game, but since his OPS shot up from .873 to .922, it's safe to say that his OPS+ has also gone up in the past 24 hours.

A few other rookie OPS+ numbers for players who came up at 20 or younger:

Ty Cobb (age 18) 86, and 132 at age 19
Mel Ott (age 17) 120, and 139 at age 19
Jimmie Foxx (age 17) 255 in 9 AB, and 130 at age 19)
Ted Williams (age 20) 160
Willie Mays (age 20) 120
Mickey Mantle (age 19) 117
Hank Aaron (age 20) 104
Ken Griffey Jr. (age 19) 108
Alex Rodriguez (age 18) 16, and 72 at age 19 and 161 at age 20

   65. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 03, 2012 at 09:56 PM (#4147134)
Tim McCarver (age 17) 16, and 7 at age 18, and 47 at age 19
   66. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: June 03, 2012 at 10:05 PM (#4147148)
Tim McCarver (age 17) 16, and 7 at age 18, and 47 at age 19

Sure, but his intangibles were a poem.
   67. esseff Posted: June 03, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4147159)
A postscript to the game linked to in No. 32:

Gibson was ejected in the fourth with a 5-1 (soon to become 7-1) lead -- i.e., a game he figured to win. He would finish the '64 season with 19 wins. The ejection cost him his first 20-win season.
   68. Bob Meta-Meusel Posted: June 03, 2012 at 10:25 PM (#4147168)
Al Kaline (age 18) 78 in 28 AB, 80 at age 19, 162 at age 20
   69. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 03, 2012 at 11:58 PM (#4147291)
I'm not sure why everyone uses Gibson as the defacto hit-batsman pitcher.

He plunked 102 batters out of the over 16000 he face. He hit one out of every 158 batters he faced.

If you want to reference a pitcher who hit batters (since 1950), then use Jim Bunning (every 98 batters faced), or Don Drysdale (every 92 batters faced), or even Jamey Wright (every 57 batters faced..the plunkiest pitcher ever (in a per batter faced measurement)).

Roger Clemens, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson...there are lots of other pitchers that hit batters more frequently than Bob Gibson.

   70. PreservedFish Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:46 AM (#4147324)
The point isn't the sheer amount of HBPs. It is the potency of the threat of the HBP. If you look at what McCarver said, it is actually the lack of the HBP that is the evidence that the hitter fears the pitcher properly. In the real world, Fielder showed off, and got hit in retaliation. But if Gibson was on the mound, he wouldn't have showed off in the first place, so no HBP necessary.

Maybe Gibson didn't really need to hit people very often because he scared the #### out of everyone, and nobody ever showed him up.
   71. McCoy Posted: June 04, 2012 at 12:59 AM (#4147329)
You want a hard throwing guy who loved to hit batters? Kerry Wood. 1 out of every 59 battesr got plunked by one of his pitches.
   72. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 04, 2012 at 08:22 AM (#4147442)
If you look at what McCarver said, it is actually the lack of the HBP that is the evidence that the hitter fears the pitcher properly

So by not hitting batters, he made them worried about being hit?

Is that similar to Ichiro not hitting home runs, he puts the fear of home runs in the mind of pitchers?

Maybe Gibson didn't really need to hit people very often because he scared the #### out of everyone, and nobody ever showed him up.

So what would have happened if Jim Rice faced Bob Gibson?
Heart attacks for everyone viewing the at-bat?
   73. SOLockwood Posted: June 04, 2012 at 10:05 AM (#4147490)
There were probably (no way to really tell unless you go over a lot of vintage TV footage) more brush-backs and chin music in the 60s than today, even with the fewer HBP. Consider that hitters stand much closer to the plate these days and wear that body armor that allows them to wait that extra split-second before getting out of the way. Whereas back in the day, hitters had to be more ready to hit the dirt. You see hitters bailing out much less frequently these days.
   74. Kirby Kyle Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4147553)
Daniel Bard is old school.
   75. Ron J Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:28 AM (#4147570)
Has anyone ever actually done this? I mean, when you think about it, it's the perfect way to do it: you charge the mound at the exact moment when the pitcher/catcher/umpire aren't expecting it.


Best I've heard of is Al Cowens vs Ed Farmer. Farmer had broken Cowens' jaw (and put Frank White on the DL in the same game). Cowens waited until he had healed fully and then when Farmer got Cowens to ground out to short, Cowens headed to the mound. The perfect time since everybody on the defensive team has a job to do and nobody can come to the pitchers aid immediately.

The Chicago police filed an assault charge, but Farmer refused to press charges (initially he had said that he would) provided Cowens shook his hand.

Before the mid-50s generally speaking if a batter and pitcher wanted to fight, generally speaking nobody interfered. The last time I heard of teammates not getting involved was Joe Adcock/Ruben Gomez. Story goes that Adcock took exception to the way Gomez had been pitching him and headed out to the mound. Gomez wanted no part of Adcock and Adcock chased Gomez all over the park (with both sets of teammates laughing). Supposedly Gomez went back to the clubhouse and came back with a knife, ready for round two. Again, the story is that Willie Mays talked Gomez into giving up the knife. No idea how much of the story is true, but I can't think of a batter/pitcher fight since then where nobody got involved.
   76. Ron J Posted: June 04, 2012 at 11:33 AM (#4147580)
#69 Hank Aaron's name has come up in the thread. He said the only pitcher that truly worried him was Stan Williams. Williams supposedly kept a notebook of players he felt he owed one to. He's also the only pitcher who had a rep for the one pitch intentional walk (no idea if he actually used a HBP for an IBB but that was his rep) and unlike the other tough guys of the day his rep was that he genuinely didn't care if he hurt players with his beanballs.
   77. Ron J Posted: June 04, 2012 at 01:12 PM (#4147721)
So what would have happened if Jim Rice faced Bob Gibson?


Frank Robinson was known for a number of things when it came to attempts to intimidate him. If you knocked him down he'd make a show of digging in in the precise same spot. If you hit him he'd take first base and then try to plant the second-baseman on the left field fence. Gene Mauch came to the conclusion that it was a waste of time trying to intimidate Robinson -- just made him mad(der -- he was pretty intense at the best of time) Eventually Mauch forbade his pitchers from throwing above the waist inside on Robinson.

Anyhow, Gibson faced Robinson 96 times. Hit him only once but held him to a .229/.316/.410 line. The HBP doesn't seem to have been intentional -- at least it didn't make any particular game sense. Top of the 3rd, 2 out, bases empty. scored tied (4-4, IOW Gibson had a rough start). Robinson had singled and scored in his previous PA. (Robinson had an opportunity for a hard slide following the HBP since Coleman followed with an infield single. Probably did slide hard.)

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