Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jaffe: Silver anniversary: Davey Johnson runs out of players

July 22, 1986 - date of one of the most remarkable games ever

A quarter century ago, Mets manager Davey Johnson got stuck in an unenviable position: He ran out of position players before he ran out of game. Ejections and pinch hits forced him to get creative, as the Mets somehow managed to prevail over the Reds in 14 innings. ...

So Carter at third, and Hearn at the backstop. Who replaces Mitchell in the outfield?

Here’s where Johnson gets really creative. He has a southpaw pitcher in the game right now in Orosco. And he’s got a right-handed reliever he really trusts ready to go in Roger McDowell.

So let’s platoon them. When Orosco is the better match-up, he’ll take the mound against lefties, and McDowell will patrol the outfield. And then McDowell will face righties with Orosco in the outfield.

Johnson takes the platooning a step further. Since Orosco will face lefties, he’ll put McDowell in left field where the ball is less likely to be hit. Following similar logic, Orosco will go in right field when McDowell is on the mound. Wilson will bounce around from corner to corner as need be.

bobm Posted: July 24, 2011 at 07:44 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, reds

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:10 PM (#3884199)
I watched that game in a bar in Fort Lee, NJ. I rmember leaping off my stool when Knight cold-cocked Davis...
   2. The Wilpons Must Go (Tom D) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:38 PM (#3884204)
Those were the days.
   3. BDC Posted: July 24, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3884205)
An interesting game from a rules perspective, because the current rule against circulating the pitcher on and off the mound multiple times appears to have been in effect. Orosco switched places with McDowell and then switched back, but it happened at the start of innings and wasn't repeated again. Count me as thinking the rule is profoundly no fun. You should be able to platoon pitchers by rotating them in and out of the outfield à la cricket. If you want to combine that with loss of the DH, in a DH league, so be it, but otherwise I see no good reason to disallow the practice except you don't want baseball to be fun or interesting.
   4. Eric in Madison Posted: July 24, 2011 at 02:09 PM (#3884223)
Always fun to read about a game you were at. My dad and I were at that game; we were Mets fans who lived about an hour from Cincinnati, and we drove down. What's most memorable to me is Parker flubbing Hernandez's liner to right in the 9th that would have ended the game, but instead allowed the Mets to tie it.

I was excited, my dad was too, but also a little disappointed that the game wasn't ending and he still had a drive ahead of him that he really didn't want to make.

It's only in retrospect that I see how interesting Davey Johnson was as a manager.
   5. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: July 24, 2011 at 02:17 PM (#3884224)
I goofed in my description of Sid Fernandez, who was an extreme FLYBALL pitcher, and in that same paragraph I should say that Rafael Santana had a SUPERIOR glove. Just wasn't thinking straight when I wrote that paragraph (and said the opposite of what's here).
   6. Run Joe Run Posted: July 24, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3884232)
IIRC 40 year old rusty stab was the OF flipping back and forth for McDowell and Orosco. As judge of the Mets kangaroo court he fined his manager for abuse of seniors after the game


Edit
Just checked the box score.... My memory failed me. That must have been a different year.
   7. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 03:09 PM (#3884235)
IIRC 40 year old rusty stab was the OF flipping back and forth for McDowell and Orosco. As judge of the Mets kangaroo court he fined his manager for abuse of seniors after the game
Edit
Just checked the box score.... My memory failed me. That must have been a different year.

that was this game. And he only switched once--played RF with a RH batter, then switched to left when Jason Thompson came up. Davey didn't want to put Staub in harm's way out there
   8. Bob Evans Posted: July 24, 2011 at 03:14 PM (#3884238)
I see no good reason to disallow the practice except you don't want baseball to be fun or interesting.

If they were switching off at an infield position, it wouldn't be too bad, but geez, aren't the games slow enough already?
   9. Swedish Chef Posted: July 24, 2011 at 04:44 PM (#3884256)
it wouldn't be too bad, but geez, aren't the games slow enough already?

At least wait until La Russa is safely retired.
   10. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2011 at 04:46 PM (#3884257)
I see no good reason to disallow the practice except you don't want baseball to be fun or interesting.


Absolutely. I would love to see a platoon combine for a complete game. I suppose, to make it work, you would need two Brooks Kieschnicks of opposite handedness.
   11. Dale Sams Posted: July 24, 2011 at 05:08 PM (#3884266)
I've never heard of this rule. THis has nothing to do with the tie AS Game does it? I always assumed they just stopped because they didn't want to put a position player on the mound....which is silly because:

1) You play til there's a winner.

2) In 2008 (I think) J.D. Drew was fully prepared to take the mound.
   12. Run Joe Run Posted: July 24, 2011 at 06:00 PM (#3884291)
Thanks for finding the game Pasta.
   13. BDC Posted: July 24, 2011 at 06:08 PM (#3884299)
It's not related to the All-Star Game; the rule in question is a sentence in 3.03 that says

A pitcher may change to another position only once during the same inning; e.g. the pitcher will not be allowed to assume a position other than a pitcher more than once in the same inning.


I don't think there's any reason except to cut down on managerial shenanigans. As PreservedFish says, you'd need two guys who could plausibly hit and field another position to make it work for any length of time, but I don't see why for an inning or two, while you were avoiding the pitcher's spot in the batting order, you couldn't employ it as a risky venture with potential payoff. It might even save time; I wouldn't envision giving the pitchers warm-up tosses each time they switched out, just have them sprint between positions.

It's certainly no more a mockery of the game than the current parade of relievers. Cripes sake, the other night I watched Octavio Dotel leave a 10-run game after throwing a 4-pitch perfect inning. Why did I need to see the next reliever get warmup tosses at that point in the evening?
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 06:19 PM (#3884306)

An interesting game from a rules perspective, because the current rule against circulating the pitcher on and off the mound multiple times appears to have been in effect. Orosco switched places with McDowell and then switched back, but it happened at the start of innings and wasn't repeated again. Count me as thinking the rule is profoundly no fun. You should be able to platoon pitchers by rotating them in and out of the outfield à la cricket. If you want to combine that with loss of the DH, in a DH league, so be it, but otherwise I see no good reason to disallow the practice except you don't want baseball to be fun or interesting.
,


Totally agree. I actually didn't know you couldn't do it anymore. I remember watching a game on WGN once where Don Zimmer did it and I'm telling you, my ten year old mind was BLOWN.
   15. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3884344)
Nice to see Rick Aguilera reach on a PH BB, he actually had a decent bat. In addition to running around the field, Orosco walked and scored on HoJo's 14th inn HR. The 2nd of Orosco's 3 career runs.
   16. Mess with the Meat, you get the Wad! Posted: July 24, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3884384)
I remember lou put a pitcher in the outfield brought another one in and after the one batter removed the pitcher and brought the other one back on the mound
   17. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 09:26 PM (#3884449)
Alvin Dark did it with with Sudden Sam, so he didn't have to face Frank Howard (who pwned him) He moved McDowell to 2nd base in one game and to 1st in another
   18. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2011 at 09:48 PM (#3884457)
I saw Bobby Cox do this a few years ago.

NY Times story

According to the story Roger McDowell was the one that recommended it. Pretty cool.

I have no idea why I would have been watching an early April game between the Braves and Pirates. Maybe he did this more than once?
   19. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 24, 2011 at 10:06 PM (#3884466)
Alvin Dark did it with with Sudden Sam, so he didn't have to face Frank Howard (who pwned him) He moved McDowell to 2nd base in one game and to 1st in another


In the first game you posted, when McDowell went to second base, Dean Chance came in to face Howard - and intentionally walked him. Why couldn't McDowell have done that?
   20. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 24, 2011 at 10:09 PM (#3884469)
#7:
that was this game. And he only switched once--played RF with a RH batter, then switched to left when Jason Thompson came up.

That's incorrect-- or rather, the BB-Ref boxscore is tragically incomplete. Rusty Staub played defense for seven innings, and switched positions several times. He made a gave-saving catch in the top of the 18th.
   21. Something Other Posted: July 24, 2011 at 11:14 PM (#3884485)
Count me as thinking the rule is profoundly no fun.
Agreed. It's double-dumb horsesh!t.


...but otherwise I see no good reason to disallow the practice except you don't want baseball to be fun or interesting.
You do realize Bud Selig is the commissioner of baseball?
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 11:50 PM (#3884489)
In the first game you posted, when McDowell went to second base, Dean Chance came in to face Howard - and intentionally walked him. Why couldn't McDowell have done that?

I happened to be at that game,and they came out smelling like a rose. What happened was, Chance DID pitch to Howard at first, but after the count went to 2-0, they decided to walk him. Then, Reichard hit a one-hopper to 3rd, and even though Leon had plenty of time to go to first, he decided to go the short way to McDowell at 2nd, who wasn't expecting it (but, to his credit, he was covering), and he made an awkward catch and the side was retired
   23. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#3884491)

That's incorrect-- or rather, the BB-Ref boxscore is tragically incomplete. Rusty Staub played defense for seven innings, and switched positions several times. He made a gave-saving catch in the top of the 18th.

now that you mention it--you're right--I remember Staub trotting (very non-gracefully) between LF and RF several times in that game
   24. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 24, 2011 at 11:58 PM (#3884492)
the retrosheet box score is more accurate, but simply says: "Staub and Hurdle alternated
between left and right depending on batter handedness. It is not clear if they did it for every batter, so the change will only be listed once here, but it apparently happened several times"
   25. yo la tengo Posted: July 25, 2011 at 01:10 AM (#3884499)
I seem to remember Roger Craig doing this unsuccessfully with the Giants. My memory is that one of the relief pitchers served up a game winning home run that flew right over the head of the other relief pitcher watching pretty helplessly in the field.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 25, 2011 at 01:17 AM (#3884501)

I seem to remember Roger Craig doing this unsuccessfully with the Giants. My memory is that one of the relief pitchers served up a game winning home run that flew right over the head of the other relief pitcher watching pretty helplessly in the field.


That's the big chance you take and with today's media and the CYA attitude of many managers, its hard to see it happening today if they hadn't changed the rule. The first time a pitcher in rightfield drops a routine fly ball, the media will call you an idiot unless you're a TLR or someone of that stature.
   27. Greg Franklin Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:18 PM (#3886623)
Bob Dernier Cri, thank you for noting 3.03. I also did not know you couldn't do it anymore.

Besides the Staub and Hurdle game, the Jose Oquendo pitching game of 1988 (Braves @ Cardinals) featured two alternating Cardinals corner outfielders, one of them a pitcher, in extra-inning madness. I believe Whitey Herzog was using platoon matchups to protect "outfielder" Jose DeLeon. After seemingly every Braves AB, there was a longish delay as DeLeon and Tom Brunansky trudged across center field, crossing paths to take their new positions.

Retrosheet box score via B-R
   28. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 27, 2011 at 05:25 PM (#3886640)
I believe Whitey Herzog was using platoon matchups to protect "outfielder" Jose DeLeon. After seemingly every Braves AB, there was a longish delay as DeLeon and Tom Brunansky trudged across center field, crossing paths to take their new positions.

and after all that, it ended up not working because, according to the box score, Griffey Sr. hit a double to left field (where DeLeon was playing) to score 2 runs

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Id of SugarBear Blanks
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT:  2014 College Football pre-season thread
(3 - 10:40pm, Aug 01)
Last: CFBF Is A Golden Spider Duck

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(1081 - 10:39pm, Aug 01)
Last: Quaker

NewsblogGraphic designer creates Star Wars/MLB mash-up logos for all 30 teams
(10 - 10:37pm, Aug 01)
Last: clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2014
(26 - 10:36pm, Aug 01)
Last: Dandy Little Glove Man

NewsblogMike Carp designated for assignment, Mookie Betts called up - Over the Monster
(24 - 10:34pm, Aug 01)
Last: DanO

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(213 - 10:32pm, Aug 01)
Last: clowns to the left of me; STEAGLES to the right

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-1
(18 - 10:26pm, Aug 01)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogRosendo ‘Rusty’ Torres found guilty of 5 counts of sex abuse, acquitted of 3 other charges
(14 - 9:19pm, Aug 01)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogGeorge "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(160 - 9:12pm, Aug 01)
Last: NJ in DC (Now unemployed!)

NewsblogBill James Mailbag - 7/13/14 - 7/22/14 (Subscription Required)
(11 - 8:40pm, Aug 01)
Last: robinred

NewsblogJose Bautista, Casey Janssen “frustrated” and “disappointed” by Jays’ lack of deadline activity
(6 - 8:31pm, Aug 01)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogJim Bowden Caught Stealing From Fake Twitter Account, Deletes Everything
(29 - 8:10pm, Aug 01)
Last: Steve Parris, Je t'aime

NewsblogGiants Designate Dan Uggla, Tyler Colvin
(11 - 7:49pm, Aug 01)
Last: jdennis

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-1-2014
(9 - 7:36pm, Aug 01)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogMariners notebook: Zduriencik fires back at critics | Mariners Insider - The News Tribune
(29 - 7:27pm, Aug 01)
Last: Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman

Page rendered in 0.2038 seconds
53 querie(s) executed