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Thursday, February 06, 2014

Harper: Yankees catcher Brian McCann a throwback to the days of Thurman Munson

McCann: “a volcano in his belly” with home plate tectonics.

As Howie McCann tells it, Hal Steinbrenner was sold on acquiring his new catcher the day Gene Michael stood up at an organizational meeting in the fall and paid Brian McCann the ultimate Yankee compliment.

“Mr. Steinbrenner told me the story the day we were in New York for the press conference,” Howie McCann, Brian’s father, was saying on Wednesday. “He said everyone there agreed they needed a catcher, and then Gene Michael stood up and said, ‘We want McCann because he reminds me of Thurman Munson, he has that same demeanor, that same toughness.’

“As a dad, that was pretty cool to hear because (Munson) was one of my all-time favorite players. And Mr. Steinbrenner said when he heard that, he said, ‘Go get him.’”

...McCann says he wasn’t trying to be a tough guy but rather simply reacting instinctively to Gomez showing up Braves pitcher Paul Maholm.

“I understand that people had different views of it,” McCann said Wednesday. “But I think in any line of work, if someone comes in and disrespects your office, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to sit there and allow it.

“I’m not big on being labeled in any way. It’s not like I’m going to do something every time someone hits a home run. It all depends. If something happens, it happens. But I’m going to do what I think is right for my pitchers and my team.”

...“Brian’s the nicest kid in the world,” said Howie McCann. “But he’s got a volcano in his belly and it erupts at 7 o’clock on game nights. I wasn’t surprised by what happened that night. That’s just who he is. He loves his pitchers and he’ll do what’s right by them.”

Repoz Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:18 PM | 94 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

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   1. frannyzoo Posted: February 06, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4652711)
McCann going to the hated Yankees is such perfect casting. Like Bela Lugosi in "Plan Nine from Outer Space." Well, except for the dying thing and the fact I like "Plan Nine...." I really don't want McCann to die, but he does need to have that "volcano in his belly" checked.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4652720)
5/85 is an awfully long and expensive contract for a catcher who's going to have to move to the outfield in 2 years.
   3. JuanGone..except1game Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:08 PM (#4652725)
“Brian’s the nicest kid in the world,” said Howie McCann. “But he’s got a volcano in his belly and it erupts at 7 o’clock on game nights. I wasn’t surprised by what happened that night. That’s just who he is. He loves his pitchers and he’ll do what’s right by them.”

Always funny how some players with that "volcano in the belly" get treated differently than others. He's already in Paul O'Neill territory for me in hated Yankees and he hasn't even played an inning.
   4. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4652726)
1. Why on earth would you think of moving Brian McCann to the outfield? That's insane. It will never happen. (DH, yes. OF, no.0

2. I've never really rooted for a Yankee; I didn't hate Bernie Williams or Mo Riveria, but I never rooted for them. I think I will continue to root for Mac just due to the degree he annoys you panty waists.
   5. Jim Wisinski Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:10 PM (#4652727)
Harper: Yankees catcher Brian McCann a throwback to the days of Thurman Munson


I think Cory Lidle fits that description better
   6. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:11 PM (#4652728)
He's a dick. Whatever, so am I. But his going to the Yankees is kind of fitting.
   7. RJ in TO Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:39 PM (#4652745)
If this is true, they better not expect much out of him in years 4 and 5 of his contract.
   8. Jim (jimmuscomp) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:42 PM (#4652747)
I think Cory Lidle fits that description better


Damn! While that's harsh, I must admit I cackled loudly in my office.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:44 PM (#4652751)
Wrong thread.
   10. Jeltzandini Posted: February 06, 2014 at 03:45 PM (#4652752)
Also apparently a throwback to John Hurt.
   11. Best Regards, President of Comfort Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:05 PM (#4652765)
I still can't stand him. I hope he hits 30 home runs a year and is miserable.
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:13 PM (#4652769)
5/85 is an awfully long and expensive contract for a catcher who's going to have to move to the outfield in 2 years.

If he moves to the outfield in 2 years, that'll mean he outlived Thurman Munson, so it's win-win.
   13. Davo Dozier (Mastroianni) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4652771)
5/85 is an awfully long and expensive contract for a catcher who's going to have to move to the outfield in 2 years.
"Sorry, son, Grandpa won't be able to make it to your birthday party. I'm afraid he's...he's...he's moved to the outfield."
   14. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:41 PM (#4652789)
What would he do in the outfield? He can barely move.

This is truly a marriage made in heaven. Douche in doucheland.
   15. TJ Posted: February 06, 2014 at 04:51 PM (#4652797)
I love it when people cite Thurman Munson, Paul O'Neill, and Brian McCann as Yankee tough guys. Hank Bauer would have wiped the floor with all three at once, knocked back a few beers, and then went and slept with their women...
   16. winnipegwhip Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:21 PM (#4652809)
I like how most of those people who are saying McCann and the Yankees are perfect because he is such a douche will be defending AJ Pierzynski all of 2014.
   17. KT's Pot Arb Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:38 PM (#4652828)
We want McCann because he reminds me of Thurman Munson, he has that same demeanor, that same toughness


Is there a worse reason to acquire a player than because his demeanor reminds you of a franchise legend?
   18. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4652829)
I love it when people cite Thurman Munson, Paul O'Neill, and Brian McCann as Yankee tough guys. Hank Bauer would have wiped the floor with all three at once, knocked back a few beers, and then went and slept with their women...


This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.

The one odd one I heard was Jason Isringhausen. I think I remember Jason Giambi saying he was the best fighter in the game at one point.
   19. RJ in TO Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4652830)
Is there a worse reason to acquire a player than because his demeanor reminds you of a franchise legend?

Because these scouting reports you have lying around from seven years ago say he looks like he'll be pretty good.
   20. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4652832)
Is there a worse reason to acquire a player than because his demeanor reminds you of a franchise legend?


He once got a big hit against your team. (Tony Womack)
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:44 PM (#4652834)
Is there a worse reason to acquire a player than because his demeanor reminds you of a franchise legend?


Because you lost out on Carl Crawford (Vernon Wells)
   22. Doris from Rego Park Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4652836)
Is there a worse reason to acquire a player than because his demeanor reminds you of a franchise legend?


You're trying to appeal to teenage girls (Tsuyoshi Shinjo)
   23. Swedish Chef Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:47 PM (#4652837)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.

Blackie Schwamb
   24. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4652839)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.


If Bob Gibson isn't in the top 5, I'll be ####### surprised.
   25. Rickey! In a van on 95 south... Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:53 PM (#4652843)
The amount of hatred funneled at a genuinely nice guy like McCann says more about the people doing the #### talking than anyone else.
   26. The Good Face Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:58 PM (#4652848)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.

The one odd one I heard was Jason Isringhausen. I think I remember Jason Giambi saying he was the best fighter in the game at one point.


He's been retired since 2006, but I've heard that backup catcher extraordinaire Todd Pratt was considered to be a tough customer. Not a thug or a bully, just a big, tough guy who you really didn't want to mess with. B-ref lists his nickname as "Tank" FWIW.
   27. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: February 06, 2014 at 05:59 PM (#4652849)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.


Rudy Seanez was involved with MMA fighting.

Didn't the Marlins have someone who took a line drive off the face in the on deck circle then come back the next night and get a walk off base hit or something like that?

I like how most of those people who are saying McCann and the Yankees are perfect because he is such a douche will be defending AJ Pierzynski all of 2014.


AJ is a glorious and decent human being. The issue isn't whether he'll help the Sox it's whether he'll win the Nobel Peace Prize or if Pedroia will get it.
   28. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:03 PM (#4652854)
I have a vote for a minor leaguer.
   29. TJ Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4652855)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.


I love this question! I'll add Kyle Farnsworth to the list of nominees...
   30. toratoratora Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:10 PM (#4652860)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.

Bob Gibson pitched on a broken leg!
Talk about tough. Roberto Clemente broke it with a line drive. Gibson got through two more batters (One was freaking Willie Stargell to add man points) and on the third (Donn Clendenon), his fibula snapped completely in half.

And Mr. Steinbrenner said when he heard that, he said, ‘Go get him.’”

This is like some sort of bad flashback. I actually shivered when I read it.
Since when is Hal Mr Steinbrenner? In my mind that title is eternally reserved for George the Third
   31. TJ Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:12 PM (#4652862)
Almost forgot- my beloved Detroit Tigers have had two guys play for them who did hard time in their state pens- Ron LeFlore and Gates Brown. I don't think LeFlore was particularly tough, but nobody ever messed with Gates Brown...
   32. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2014 at 06:31 PM (#4652869)
I have a vote for a minor leaguer.

And his modern equivalent.
   33. God Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:00 PM (#4652889)
I love it when people cite Thurman Munson, Paul O'Neill, and Brian McCann as Yankee tough guys. Hank Bauer would have wiped the floor with all three at once, knocked back a few beers, and then went and slept with their women...

Billy Martin, on the other hand, would have lifted their wallets, sucker-punched them, stolen their liquor, and then slept with their women.
   34. Jeltzandini Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:09 PM (#4652896)
If it's not too obvious, Ty Cobb.

   35. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:10 PM (#4652898)
Jason Kendall has to be a recent nominee. He wasn't that much of a fighter, but you had to damn near kill him (or at least cause his foot to almost fall off) to get him off the field. From this story about the Royals finally putting him on the DL for a shoulder injury:
"He got to the point where he couldn't even raise his arm," Yost said. "He got to the point where he had to take his glove and push his arm back into a throwing position — and he was still throwing runners out."
   36. God Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:13 PM (#4652903)
When I think of "tough," guys who are good at (or enthusiastic about) fighting are the last guys I think of. Farnsworth, Seanez, et al wouldn't be within miles of my list. I might make room for Oliver Marcelle, though, who among his many fights once had his nose bitten off by teammate Frank Warfield.

Ted Williams survived a plane crash in the Marines and said "F You" to the people who wanted him to sit out to preserve .400. That's pretty tough.

Warren Spahn was shot in the head and foot at the Battle of the Bulge and was tough enough to come back and make 663 starts all while hardly ever missing a turn. That's pretty tough.

Kirk Gibson, obviously. Bob Gibson, equally obviously.

I also might take Don Baylor or Frank Robinson or Mike Scioscia. The first two are probably the two most feared baserunners in history. The latter was the best who ever lived at blocking the plate, the most violent play in baseball.

That's seven candidates. I guess for my five toughest players of all time I'll take Gibson, Gibson, F. Robby, Baylor, and a guy I didn't mention above, Jackie Robinson.
   37. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4652907)
The first two are probably the two most feared baserunners in history.


I think middle infielders feared Hal McRae more than any other. That SOB was an absolute menace.

Of course, Baylor's complemented his baserunning with his wonderful, unflinching HBP technique.
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4652916)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.

In the non-barroom brawler division, Ralph Houk stood out when history hung in the balance. Army Ranger, Omaha Beach, Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, Bridge at Remagen, Purple Heart, Bronze Star & Silver Star with Oak Leaves.
   39. God Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:37 PM (#4652918)
37 - Good call on McRae.
   40. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:48 PM (#4652922)
I think middle infielders feared Hal McRae more than any other. That SOB was an absolute menace.

As you were saying, ...
   41. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 06, 2014 at 07:58 PM (#4652926)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.


Feller says hello and get the f*ck off my coffin!

Jokes aside, I reckon it's got to be Cobb, the motherf*cker was just downright mean.
   42. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 08:10 PM (#4652934)
I think Cory Lidle fits that description better

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
   43. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 08:15 PM (#4652938)
I recall McRae being quite a menace to reporters as well.
   44. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 06, 2014 at 08:24 PM (#4652943)
If it's not too obvious, Ty Cobb.

Nolan Ryan seems like another obvious one.
   45. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 06, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4652951)
“I understand that people had different views of it,” McCann said Wednesday. “But I think in any line of work, if someone comes in and disrespects your office, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to sit there and allow it.


Since I don't actually know McCann at all, I have no opinion on whether he is a great guy, a grade-A #######, or anything in between. But this quote, I think, says an awful lot about just how out of touch professional athletes are with life in the real world. There is almost no other line of work where starting a brawl in the work place is in any way acceptable, even if someone "comes in and disrespects your office."

And for the record, my own office deserves all the disrespect it gets. Place is a hideous mess. Ought to be on some EPA list or something.

I think Cory Lidle fits that description better


Too soon.
   46. Jeff R., P***y Mainlander Posted: February 06, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4652954)
The amount of hatred funneled at a genuinely nice guy like McCann says more about the people doing the #### talking than anyone else.


People are actually passionate about the Yankees; the thread "McCann signs for $2/22 with the Braves" would draw about three comments.
   47. Greg K Posted: February 06, 2014 at 08:51 PM (#4652958)
People are actually passionate about the Yankees; the thread "McCann signs for $2/22 with the Braves" would draw about three comments.

I don't know, seems like McCann has been a magnet for these threads since the thing with Gomez. Anytime he comes up we get a decent sized thread.

Which I always found odd about that incident was that Carlos Gomez and his insane eyes were far more memorable for me. Not so much in terms of which one of them acted like a buffoon, but 20 years from now I'm going to remember that Gomez lost his #### after hitting a home run for some reason, and I'll likely have difficultly placing who the catcher was that stood him up at home.
   48. God Posted: February 06, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4652964)
The difference for me is that with McCann it's a pattern of behavior. Gomez only lost his #### once, or at least once that most of us heard about. McCann very visibly lost his marbles on the field twice within a matter of weeks (or maybe three times if you count the Bryce Harper headhunting), which is what makes it memorable for me. I never had much of an opinion about McCann before last year, but now I tend to think of him as a red-ass and a pretentious, self-appointed protector of all that is supposedly right and good in The Game. Is that fair? Probably not. Is he a good guy? Probably. But he had a couple of very public meltdowns and those are understandably going to color people's impression of him.
   49. TJ Posted: February 06, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4652975)
In the non-brawler division, a lot of great entries. I'll go with Bob Gibson- his stare alone could scare Chuck Norris' beard right off Chuck Norris' face, and the broken leg example seals the deal for me...

Baserunner division- Hal McRae and Frank Robinson are neck and neck, and everyone else is playing for third place...

I'll stick with Bauer in the brawler division. Twice wounded Marine in WW II, one of only six survivors from a Marine unit of 64 on Okinawa, and his fight at the Copa on Billy Martin's birthday is the stuff of legend (especially Yogi's "Nobody did nothin' to nobody" alibi for Bauer.)

Ted Williams is in a league of his own when you combine on-field and military tough SOBness...
   50. Greg K Posted: February 06, 2014 at 09:39 PM (#4652976)
I never had much of an opinion about McCann before last year, but now I tend to think of him as a red-ass and a pretentious, self-appointed protector of all that is supposedly right and good in The Game. Is that fair? Probably not. Is he a good guy? Probably. But he had a couple of very public meltdowns and those are understandably going to color people's impression of him.

That's fair enough, I think I must have missed the other episodes. I really only know of McCann (aside from being a great hitting catcher) from that Gomez homer. That's AL fans for ya!
   51. GregD Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:02 PM (#4652983)
Rare to see a comparison where the contemporary is clearly better than the dead guy
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: February 06, 2014 at 10:07 PM (#4652986)
Rare to see a comparison where the contemporary is clearly better than the dead guy


He is? I'm not sure it's possible to have liked any ballplayer less than I liked Thurman, but I'm not seeing the obvious superiority of the new Munson.
   53. Rough Carrigan Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:11 PM (#4652996)
Regarding those picking Cobb as the toughest tough guy, there's a brief quote in the book Red Sox Century of Ty Cobb whining circa 1915 about how much the Red Sox pitchers threw at hitters. He comes across as something less than the toughest of tough guys.
   54. greenback likes millwall Posted: February 06, 2014 at 11:43 PM (#4653013)
Mike Matheny's moment of toughness is on video at mlb.com. It's pretty disgusting though.
   55. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4653056)
There is almost no other line of work where starting a brawl in the work place is in any way acceptable, even if someone "comes in and disrespects your office."


And look at the sackless wusses you have to take #### from as a result.
   56. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: February 07, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4653060)
Don Baylor and Dave Stewart always seemed like tough guys to me--Baylor because getting hit by 90 mph pitches didn't even make him flinch and Stewart because he knocked out Pat Corrales with a punch and was a black belt in, I think, judo or something. Of course, a lot of Stew's intimidation was lost when you heard him speak.

As for the TFA, I have no problem with McCann and I hate that you people have put me on the side of Rickey!.
   57. Misirlou is on hiding to nowhere Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:04 AM (#4653064)
Joe Charboneau. From wiki:

Long before Dennis Rodman came on the scene, Joe had a tendency to dye his hair unnatural colors, as well as open beer bottles with his eye socket and drink beer with a straw through his nose. Other stories emerged about how he did his own dental work and fixed a broken nose with a pair of pliers and a few shots of Jack Daniel's whiskey, stood out


I also recall from the time, a story about how he removed a tattoo from his forearm by scraping the skin off with a knife. As Hawkeye once said about Col Flagg, "If we had more men like you, we'd have less men like you."
   58. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:16 AM (#4653072)
frank robinson

bill freehan

mike macfarlane

Charlie Schmidt. this guy used to amuse himself and impress his teammates by pounding nails into the dugout wall with his bare hand. and on the last day I think of the 1906 season he beat the sh8t out of ty cobb because he was tired of cobb being a pain in the 8ss.
   59. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:22 AM (#4653073)
joe charboneau wasn't tough. he was just weird
   60. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4653076)
ron cey's toughness is forgotten today
   61. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 09:54 AM (#4653083)
One guy I haven't seen mentioned here is Willie Horton. The guy stood in uniform on top of a car during the 12th St Riots, trying to get people to calm down. That's a brave-ass thing to do.
   62. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4653092)
Also . . .

There is almost no other line of work where starting a brawl in the work place is in any way acceptable, even if someone "comes in and disrespects your office."


I can't help but think that this is largely because there are almost no women around pro ballplayers. Spending time with women who aren't your mother is what turns boys into men.
   63. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4653096)
Geez, what did his mother ever do to you?
   64. Ron J2 Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4653101)
#15 The guys being cited aren't notable tough guys. They're notable dicks.

Or as Sparky Lyle put it, "Munson's not moody, he's just mean. When you're moody, you're nice sometimes."

EDIT: Under the Lyle definition McCann is obviously not disqualified from the "moody" tag
   65. Ron J2 Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:24 AM (#4653104)
who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.


Boss Schmidt has to be in the discussion, Damned near killed Ty Cobb. Good enough to be a sparring partner for Jack Johnson.

I know that back in the day when players had to hold down other jobs one pitcher (memory says Hippo Vaughn but I can't confirm) used to work as a circus strongman -- and his schtick was straightening horseshoes.

EDIT: Boss Schmidt = Charlie Schimdt (mentioned by Harveys in 58). Cobb had to be rescued by his teammates (who held off getting involved as long as possible -- until it passed into ##### he's going to kill him territory.)
   66. Bug Selig Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4653109)
Bob Gibson pitched on a broken leg!
Talk about tough. Roberto Clemente broke it with a line drive. Gibson got through two more batters (One was freaking Willie Stargell to add man points) and on the third (Donn Clendenon), his fibula snapped completely in half.


That's a clown story, Bro.

The middle linebacker on my son's H.S. football team broke his fibula (clean break, no hairline fracture B.S.) in the second quarter of a state playoff game. He finished the game, and his teammates were shocked to see him with crutches and cast the following Monday.
   67. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4653114)
Boss Schmidt has to be in the discussion, Damned near killed Ty Cobb. Good enough to be a sparring partner for Jack Johnson.


IIRC he was *not* a sparring partner for Jack Johnson, but he did supposedly box an exhibition with Johnson, which can be a distinctly different sort of affair. I can't find a firsthand account of the event and it doesn't appear in CyberBoxingZone's record for Johnson (which includes his better-noted exhibitions) but I never made much of an effort to track it down.

One bit of exhibition footage that recently came to light after decades of rumors is a short bit of fun sparring between "Gentleman" Jim Corbett (conqueror of John L Sullivan himself in 1892) and the vanquisher of Dempsey, Gene Tunney, which took place in 1925. Corbett did not embarrass himself and looks smooth and graceful in the ring, as was his younger reputation.
   68. winnipegwhip Posted: February 07, 2014 at 10:44 AM (#4653115)
Clint "Scrap Iron" Courtney had a few epic run-ins with Billy Martin.
   69. Ron J2 Posted: February 07, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4653137)
#67 I'll take your word for it as the stories get embellished over the years. But as I understand it, an exhibition with Johnson was not devoid of risk (As I understand it, he would occasionally let loose in these exhibitions). And Schmidt had plenty of other markers for overall "do not mess with this guy" status.

   70. Rusty Priske Posted: February 07, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4653147)
How about Chick Gandil.

The Joe Jackson quote made him out to be someone you didn't want to mess with.
   71. Brian Posted: February 07, 2014 at 11:32 AM (#4653154)
What would happen if a baserunner today did what McRae does in the GIF above? Obviously an immediate bench clearing brawl and ejection but how long is the suspension?
   72. cardsfanboy Posted: February 07, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4653159)
I don't know, seems like McCann has been a magnet for these threads since the thing with Gomez. Anytime he comes up we get a decent sized thread.


At the Cardinals baseball writers dinner, while they were praising Molina, Wainwright brought up McCann and seemed to genuinely like him. I just don't see what everyone's beef with the guy is. One action doesn't determine the guy.
   73. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4653165)
#67 I'll take your word for it as the stories get embellished over the years. But as I understand it, an exhibition with Johnson was not devoid of risk (As I understand it, he would occasionally let loose in these exhibitions).


Nobody should step in a ring with an elite professional boxer and not expect to be soundly beaten, regardless of the circumstances or how tough you think you are as a non-elite professional boxer. Even guys with excellent reputations for being good eggs would sometimes fail to control those reflexes honed by years of training and pummel a guy who they were smiling and holding the ropes open for just minutes earlier. That's an absolute certainty - NEVER accept an invitation to spar with a skilled and experienced prizefighter no matter how vigorously they insist they're just going to have fun, don't worry.

Having said that, many fighters from that early era were skilled in various methods of chicanery and bluff to cover up the inevitable mismatches that would occur as they traveled, and Johnson was one of the best in this regard. If you had to pick an elite fighter from that era to do an exhibition with and not get slaughtered, Johnson is a pretty safe selection among heavyweights. Jim Jeffries used to take on all-comers during his traveling exhibitions and the newspapers reports were almost comically curt in their reporting ("Champion Jeffries dispatched of 7 local men in short order last evening, after which he engaged in three spirited rounds of sparring with brother Jack.") Bob Fitzsimmons, the champion between Corbett and Jeffries and as jovial a character as you'd ever hope to meet outside of a ring, killed not one but two sparring partners in the ring.

For my part the only time I'd agree to enter a ring with an elite fighter is if I was carrying his spitbucket, so Schmidt has my respect.

And Schmidt had plenty of other markers for overall "do not mess with this guy" status.


Well being a good fighter for a baseball player is probably not too far removed from being a good baseball player for a boxer. I don't doubt his toughness but serious sparring partners are in the ring for a reason and I doubt Schmidt was up to that level.
   74. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4653170)
What would happen if a baserunner today did what McRae does in the GIF above? Obviously an immediate bench clearing brawl and ejection but how long is the suspension?


About a month too short.
   75. Bitter Calculus Instructor Posted: February 07, 2014 at 12:44 PM (#4653204)
Also apparently a throwback to John Hurt.


What McCann did, he did without choice.
   76. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: February 07, 2014 at 01:26 PM (#4653246)
Izzy Alcantara.

A 98 year old Don Zimmer going after Pedro was pretty bad ass.
   77. Squash Posted: February 07, 2014 at 02:34 PM (#4653299)
The Joe Jackson quote made him out to be someone you didn't want to mess with.

It was Swede Risberg (the quote was "The Swede is a hard guy". Gandil though was also a prizefighter, I believe (Wikipedia check: yes, and wow, Gandil was not a looker), and apparently had a fairly violent past as well. They were both pretty tough guys, which I guess you would have to be to get into what they were into with who they were into it with.
   78. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4653310)
Gandil though was also a prizefighter, I believe (Wikipedia check: yes, and wow, Gandil was not a looker)


BoxRec lists him with zero professional prizefights. Obviously their records are incomplete (I say that as a man who spent a summer tracking down undocumented Jack Dempsey fights) but you have to be comfortable in taking him at his word, BoxRec has exposed puffed-up wannabes before.
   79. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: February 07, 2014 at 03:47 PM (#4653351)
The amount of hatred funneled at a genuinely nice guy like McCann says more about the people doing the #### talking than anyone else.


Specifically, it says that they don't like ########.
   80. alilisd Posted: February 07, 2014 at 04:15 PM (#4653370)
In the non-barroom brawler division, Ralph Houk stood out when history hung in the balance. Army Ranger, Omaha Beach, Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, Bridge at Remagen, Purple Heart, Bronze Star & Silver Star with Oak Leaves.


In every division Ralph Houk stands out!
   81. cardsfanboy Posted: February 07, 2014 at 05:23 PM (#4653395)
In the non-barroom brawler division, Ralph Houk stood out when history hung in the balance. Army Ranger, Omaha Beach, Battle of the Bulge, Bastogne, Bridge at Remagen, Purple Heart, Bronze Star & Silver Star with Oak Leaves.


His wikipedia page doesn't even mention his military service. That is a great injustice.
   82. BDC Posted: February 07, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4653408)
Gandil though was also a prizefighter

I read that as "Gandhi though was also a prizefighter" and thought, there's a lot I don't know about world history.

Comps for McCann, centered on him by OPS+ and PA, >50% catchers through age 29:

Player            dWAR OPSWAR/pos   PA  SB       Pos
Ivan Rodriguez    20.6  112    47.3 5622  75     
*2/HD
Gary Carter       19.3  120    48.0 5025  32  
*29/H375
Lance Parrish      9.5  113    26.9 4300  22  
*2/DH397
Thurman Munson     8.9  120    35.4 4181  40 
*2/DH9735
Bill Freehan       8.7  114    31.9 4810  20   
*2/3H79
Ted Simmons        7.4  126    39.8 5888  10  
*2/3H795
Darrell Porter     7.3  114    29.2 4488  25     
*2/DH
Brian McCann       4.9  117    23.6 4354  23     
*2/HD
Jason Kendall      4.7  109    26.7 4625 129    
*2/H79
Bill Dickey        3.2  126    29.4 3802  19      
*2/H
Mickey Cochrane    3.1  126    34.3 4318  42     
*2/H7 


Good company: though a broad range, because it's select company.
   83. Jeltzandini Posted: February 07, 2014 at 06:04 PM (#4653411)
Gandhi though was also a prizefighter


He was really, really terrible at it.
   84. Swoboda is freedom Posted: February 07, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4653419)
John Stearns, the Mets catcher was pretty tough. Played college football at Colorado (defensive back). There was a famous collision at the plate with Dave Parker. Parker all 6-5 230 of him hit Stearns. Stearns held on to the ball and Parker was the one hurt. I also remember Stearns tackling some drunks on the field one time.
   85. alilisd Posted: February 07, 2014 at 06:59 PM (#4653443)
His wikipedia page doesn't even mention his military service. That is a great injustice.


Indeed!
   86. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: February 08, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4653652)
Wasn't Ed Ott a wrestler or something? Also Ron Hunt.

EDIT: I'm still laughing about the Gandhi thing. Gandhi is always good for a laugh.
   87. bobm Posted: February 08, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4653702)
People are actually passionate about the Yankees; the thread "McCann signs for $2/22 with the Braves" would draw about three comments.

http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/newsstand/discussion/mlb_mccann_signs_six_year_278_million_contract_extension/Thursday, March 22, 2007

MLB: McCann signs six-year, $27.8 million contract extension [...] Repoz Posted: March 22, 2007 at 02:59 PM | 26 comment(s) | Bookmark   Tags: braves 
   88. bobm Posted: February 08, 2014 at 05:39 PM (#4653703)
[81] His wikipedia page doesn't even mention his military service. That is a great injustice.

Huh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Houk

A native of Lawrence, Kansas, Houk was a catcher working his way through the Yankees' farm system when the U.S. entered World War II. He enlisted in the armed forces, became an Army Ranger, and rose to Major (the source of his Yankee nickname). He was a combat veteran of Bastogne and the Battle of the Bulge, and was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and the Silver Star with oak leaf clusters.
   89. Wahoo Sam Posted: February 10, 2014 at 03:24 AM (#4654067)
Frank Robinson ran the bases as hard as anyone. Hal McRae learned how to run the bases from Pete Rose, who learned from Robinson. Baylor also learned from Robinson.

ALL-TOUGH-GUY, HOT-HEAD TEAM (with alternates)

C Ralph Houk, Carlton Fisk, Thurman Munson, Boss Schmidt, Clint Courtney, Darren Daulton
1B George Scott
2B Billy Martin, Frankie Frisch
SS Bill Dahlen, Honus Wagner
3B John McGraw, Matt Williams
OF Hank Bauer, Willie Horton, Enos Slaughter
OF Ty Cobb, Ben Chapman
OF Frank Robinson, Kirk Gibson, Lou Piniella
DH Don Baylor, Hal McRae
SP Bob Gibson, Burleigh Grimes
SP Wes Ferrell
SP Don Drysdale
SP Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens
RP Goose Gossage, Hugh Casey
   90. Dan Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:10 AM (#4654070)
The amount of hatred funneled at a genuinely nice guy like McCann says more about the people doing the #### talking than anyone else.


The thing I don't get, and it's been addressed a bit in this thread, is how 2 incidents that occurred in the same month somehow have overridden the impression McCann made in most of the prior decade. He always seemed like a professional and a good teammate to me, though I'm not a Braves fan so I don't see a whole lot of the day to day stories unless they're big enough to pop up here. And while he obviously overreacted in the eyes of most fans in both the Gomez and Fernandez incidents, both involved a brash young guy who was escalating things for no apparent reason. As a Red Sox fan, I was nothing but disappointed to see the Yankees sign McCann, because at least for a few more years he should be a true offensive threat with solid catcher defense (and the framing stats almost universally LOVE him). The last few years of that contract could turn ugly, but to the Yankees it shouldn't matter if he earns it in the front half of the deal.
   91. Dale Sams Posted: February 10, 2014 at 05:44 AM (#4654072)
What's hilarious is that the "No-fun police" are the outraged McCann haters.
   92. Hal Chase School of Professionalism Posted: February 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4654171)
From Seasons in Hell:

"I remember ol Waffleface Watson. Sumbitch could stand flatfooted and piss over a boxcar. Went 4-5 against Wichita Falls and died of smallpox the next day."
   93. Ron J2 Posted: February 10, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4654187)
#82 Here's the top end of the peak list for catchers. Sorted by Owar in 5 best seasons where catcher was their primary defensive position:

Peak = best 5 years (by WAR), not necessary consecutive with catcher as primary position. WAR, oWAR and OPS+ are for those 5 years.

at C% is the percentage of playing time at catcher in those 5 years.
Cin% is the the percentage of the teams innings that the player caught. In other words, Joe Mauer spent 83.2% of his time at catcher and caught 66.3% of the team's innings in his best 5 years.

Prime WAR is the best 7 year stretch, removing the best and 2 worst years.
Age is the average in that same 7 year stretch -- removing the two worst years.

WAR 7+, 5+ and 4+ are years with 7+, 5+ and 4+ WAR with catcher as the primary defensive position. Torre for instance loses his MVP season by this method. Gene Tenace also loses his 1978. Roger Bresnahan also loses a 4+ season (1903)
+                Peak                                   Prime    
Player           WAR   oWAR  dWAR  OPS
+  at C%   Cin%  WAR   Age  WAR 7+  WAR 5+  WAR 4+
Mike Piazza      33.5  32.8   3.9  165   98.3%  82.1%  24.0    27    2       6        8
Johnny Bench     36.6  30.9   9.6  144   86.7
%  78.4%  28.0    24    3       8       12
Joe Mauer        30.3  29.9   3.0  147   83.2
%  66.3%  21.5    26    1       5        6
Gary Carter      36.5  28.1  12.8  134   96.2
%  87.0%  27.9    29    3       8        8
Carlton Fisk     29.4  28.0   6.0  138   97.7
%  81.7%  21.0    27    2       3        6
Mickey Cochrane  27.8  27.6   2.1  142   99.8
%  79.0%  21.5    29    0       5        9
Thurman Munson   29.4  26.9   6.7  128   90.6
%  78.8%  21.4    26    1       4        6
Roy Campanella   29.1  26.8   3.5  147  100.0
%  79.4%  20.4    30    1       3        5
Joe Torre        27.2  26.7   2.7  137   65.8
%  53.9%  20.2    25    0       4        6
Yogi Berra       27.6  26.6   3.7  138   99.8
%  87.8%  21.3    28    0       4        7
Ted Simmons      26.3  26.4   4.1  139   94.9
%  82.8%  20.1    25    0       4        7
Bill Freehan     26.8  25.8   5.6  133   95.1
%  79.6%  18.5    28    1       3        6
Bill Dickey      26.2  25.6   2.5  142  100.0
%  81.5%  20.0    30    0       4        6
Gabby Hartnett   23.6  22.9   2.7  144  100.0
%  74.5%  15.3    33    0       2        4
Gene Tenace      21.8  22.4   1.6  138   73.7
%  49.0%  15.9    30    0       2        1
Ernie Lombardi   20.7  21.1   1.0  148  100.0
%  61.8%  14.7    31    0       1        1
Ivan Rodriguez   30.4  21.0  13.2  116   96.5
%  79.1%  23.9    26    0       5        8
Elston Howard    23.0  20.3   6.1  132   93.9
%  69.2%  17.4    33    0       3        3
Buck Ewing       22.5  19.9   5.5  146   78.9
%  66.0%  17.7    26    0       0        5
Wally Schang     18.8  19.9   1.8  132   89.5
%  62.0%  14.4    30    0       0        2
Mickey Tettleton 19.3  19.8   1.4  133   74.2
%  55.7%  13.7    30    0       1        2
Brian McCann     19.3  19.1   3.5  128   99.2
%  74.8%  13.8    25    0       1        2
Roger Bresnahan  20.8  18.1   6.1  129   89.1
%  62.8%  14.9    28    0       1        1 
   94. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: February 10, 2014 at 02:09 PM (#4654305)
This leads me to ask, who are the toughest SOB's ever to play in the majors.

Art Shires, perhaps the most celebrated all-around baseball brawler ever. Walter Alston, who in Brooklyn dared the entire Dodger clubhouse to take a punch at him, and got no takers. Gates Brown. Frank Robinson. Charles "Boss" Schmidt, a Tiger teammate of Ty Cobb who kicked the #### out of him at least twice, one time while Cobb was pummeling a black laborer's wife.

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