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Monday, April 01, 2013

Final Cut by John D’Acquisto

John D’Acquisto reflects on the upside & downside of being one of Billy Martin’s “guys” in Oakland and the Spring Training aftermath when Martin was fired.

djordan Posted: April 01, 2013 at 10:53 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: john d'acquisto

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   1. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 11:50 AM (#4400829)
Is he writing a book? Because he should write a book.

What I wouldn't give to sit and listen to drunk Billy Martin on a transcontinental flight. Wow.

Really interesting stuff about Steve Boros and stats.

When I finally arrived at A’s camp in the spring of 1983, I didn’t have much interaction with Boros. He spent most of his time analyzing the numbers and allowing the computer to dictate his managerial decisions. Guys like Davey Johnson would have amazing success with this strategy, although having guys like Keith and Darryl and Doc Gooden didn’t hurt, either. The thing with Davey was that he was an intellectual AND a players’ manager. All the guys on the Mets knew they could walk into Davey’s office at any time and talk with him about anything. Steve Boros was NOT that guy.
   2. Esoteric Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4400841)
Really love these D'Acquisito pieces.
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:02 PM (#4400844)
on april 29th of 1981 jd did strike out rickey Henderson to end an inning and ed ott was catching

no mention of any tussles
   4. salvomania Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4400854)
and he did in fact face Dave Hostetler late in a 10-3 blowout
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:11 PM (#4400858)
Fun fact: Billy Martin's Western Wear lasted until just a couple of years ago. Why was a little Italian guy from Oakland so obsessed with Western wear? I have no idea, but it's pretty great. Ozzie Guillen was as milquetoast as a CBS primetime show compared to Billy. For better or worse, I don't think MLB has room for a guy like him anymore.
   6. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4400862)
Also, it's kind of interesting to note that 1983 was the year Alderson became GM of the A's, so I guess Boros was his attempt at a proto sabermetric manager before that was even a thing.
   7. djordan Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:22 PM (#4400875)
@ Shooty, here's a quote from an article about the store's closing that says quite a bit between the lines about Billy's motivation:

"Mantle was wearing cowboy boots because he was an Oklahoman and country boy at heart. I wore them because I came from Colorado, and Billy wore boots because Mickey did," Newton said in 2009. "Mickey figured that if we opened a western store in the heart of Manhattan, just imagine how many boots we could sell."

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20110310/upper-east-side/billy-martins-western-store-stars-closes-on-upper-east-side

   8. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: April 01, 2013 at 12:24 PM (#4400879)
"Mantle was wearing cowboy boots because he was an Oklahoman and country boy at heart. I wore them because I came from Colorado, and Billy wore boots because Mickey did," Newton said in 2009. "Mickey figured that if we opened a western store in the heart of Manhattan, just imagine how many boots we could sell."

He was Sal Mineo to Mantle's James Dean, wasn't he? Surprisingly enough, even the Williamsburg hipsters haven't latched onto the Urban Cowboy era, even in irony.
   9. KT's Pot Arb Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:06 PM (#4400946)
Is it my imagination, or are Dags pieces getting even better? I don't know if the stories are more interesting, his writing is more confident, or that I read so much mediocre crap from barely literate sportswriters, but every time I read one of his pieces it's like stumbling into a desert mirage only to find its a real oasis, with Dags waiting for me, a cold drink at ready.

I really wish this guy spent another decade in the Majors, when he runs out of stories the desert will be close to barren..
   10. Esoteric Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4400957)
Is it my imagination, or are Dags pieces getting even better?
I think there's a bit of that, but this one is just more dramatic as well. It's funny, I had no idea who D'Acquisto was as a player (I was born in 1980), so I had no idea what his career trajectory was. At the end of this piece, I had to go back to the top to read the blurb under his name where lists the teams he played for and the years. And then I saw, at the end of both: Athletics, 1982. And only then did I realize that this was the story of his last moment in professional baseball.

Great stuff.
   11. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:20 PM (#4400958)
Is it my imagination, or are Dags pieces getting even better? I don't know if the stories are more interesting, his writing is more confident, or that I read so much mediocre crap from barely literate sportswriters, but every time I read one of his pieces it's like stumbling into a desert mirage only to find its a real oasis, with Dags waiting for me, a cold drink at ready.


Writing is a skill and I'm guessing that it's nothing more than the more he does it the better he gets at it. Add in some pretty positive responses to the stuff he writes and I imagine he's feeling better about sharing more stuff.
   12. bob gee Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:35 PM (#4400987)
disappointing to read the way his end happened and the human element involved, but until i read his pieces, i forgot he even pitched for the a's.

'81 was his "he's still good" year. 82 was things winding down.

at 30.


   13. Steve Treder Posted: April 01, 2013 at 01:49 PM (#4401011)
Really terrific stuff.
   14. Bruce Markusen Posted: April 01, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4401117)
Johnny D. is great. He gave me some terrific insights on Alvin Dark's firing in 1978 just last week. If he wants to, he could do a really good Ball Four type book on National League ball in the 1970s. Between all those interesting characters in San Francisco and playing for an owner like Ray Kroc in San Diego, there is plenty of material to work with.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 03:25 PM (#4401239)
And only then did I realize that this was the story of his last moment in professional baseball.


Technically he pitched like 10 innings in AAA that year, but yea.

He's not a bad writer at all, could use some polishing up, but he knows how to tell an entertaining story. I still want to hear more about this Billy Martin plane ride.
   16. SM Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:14 PM (#4401329)
“How’s it goin’, Dags,” Billy greeted me with a friendly handshake. “Dags” is short for “Dago,” an Italian reference, slightly friendlier than the last time.


He would know better than I, but I would have assumed that "Dags" was just a shortening of "D'Acquisto"
   17. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 01, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4401411)

He would know better than I, but I would have assumed that "Dags" was just a shortening of "D'Acquisto"


He mentions earlier in the piece how Martin explicitly calls him Dago when they were opponents.
   18. SM Posted: April 01, 2013 at 05:32 PM (#4401463)
Yeah, I know. That still wouldn't make me think that's what he meant, but hey.
   19. asinwreck Posted: April 01, 2013 at 07:20 PM (#4401566)
Haven't seen a single D'Acquisto entry yet that wasn't well worth the time to read it.

These stories of Billy Martin are more entertaining than Martin's "No. 1."
   20. Steve Treder Posted: April 01, 2013 at 07:35 PM (#4401583)
Haven't seen a single D'Acquisto entry yet that wasn't well worth the time to read it.

True dat.
   21. Dr. Vaux Posted: April 01, 2013 at 08:20 PM (#4401610)
Yeah, this stuff is great!
   22. Bob Tufts Posted: April 02, 2013 at 12:35 PM (#4402020)
John's last batter was Hal McRae, but it was a bases loaded triple. He was relieved by Steve Baker, who went on to work for MLB International and was President of the NAIA. He's now commissioner of the Mid South Conference.
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 02, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4402034)
He would know better than I, but I would have assumed that "Dags" was just a shortening of "D'Acquisto"


It depends on whether the "a" in "dags" is short or long.
   24. djordan Posted: April 03, 2013 at 09:38 AM (#4402949)
@ Bob, thanks for catching our brain-cramp. Could've sworn it read triple. Fixed to reflect your correction.

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