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, April 20, 2014

NY Times: Who Made That Relief Pitcher?

In April 1903, a writer for Sporting Life described what might have been a baseball first: “Manager McGraw has originated a new plan,” the paper said, referring to John McGraw, the successful skipper of the New York Giants. “He will use two pitchers in every game, one being in the points five innings and the other four. No manager but one who has originality and nerve would attempt any such innovation, but McGraw has both.”

The team soon abandoned this idea, wrote Peter Morris, author of “A Game of Inches: The Stories Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball.” But in the years that followed, McGraw did find a way to reorganize his roster. Some pitchers would be called upon to start games; others would specialize in finishing.

bobm Posted: April 20, 2014 at 11:27 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, john mcgraw, relievers

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. valuearbitrageur Posted: April 20, 2014 at 01:54 PM (#4689662)
Even McGraw couldn't successfully implement bullpen by committee. Only when he returned to his designated closer, Doc Crandall, did the sports scribes relentless criticism abate.
   2. Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 20, 2014 at 02:16 PM (#4689673)
Crandall lead the league in games finished 5 years in a row, but never in saves.

Edit: Woah, he also had over 1000 career PA (and 55 starts at second base!) with an OPS+ of 120. Ok, most of that was in the Federal league but he still had 509 PAs in the NL with a 110 OPS+. Very strange career.
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: April 20, 2014 at 07:38 PM (#4689870)
Until the mid-1920s, relief pitchers were almost always pitching in low-leverage situations; the idea of a fireman didn't really come up, even with McGraw. What McGraw did was something similar to what Bobby Cox used to do in Atlanta - he pulled his starters from the game early when they had big leads, and used guys like Crandall and (later) Dave Danforth to finish up. Of Crandall's five saves in 1911, for example, four were in blowouts (and in one of those he made it close by allowing five runs in the ninth). When McGraw needed a true fireman, it was almost always Matty or one of his other starters.

-- MWE

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Infinite Yost (Voxter)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP 16 Jan. 2017: The ‘honor’ Trumps politics in scheduling Cubs’ White House visit
(636 - 11:08am, Jan 18)
Last: Theo^J

NewsblogClass of 2017 awaits call from Hall of Fame | MLB.com
(1 - 11:08am, Jan 18)
Last: TDF, situational idiot

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2017
(4 - 11:06am, Jan 18)
Last: Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos

NewsblogRelocation Less Common in MLB Than NFL, Other Leagues
(23 - 10:59am, Jan 18)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogRyan Thibs has his 2017 HOF Tracker Up and Running
(876 - 10:54am, Jan 18)
Last: AROM

NewsblogOT - December 2016 NBA thread
(1114 - 10:50am, Jan 18)
Last: No, TFTIO is the puppet

NewsblogJose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com
(6 - 10:49am, Jan 18)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogCubs honored by President Obama at White House | MLB.com
(53 - 10:41am, Jan 18)
Last: zonk

NewsblogWillie McCovey Pardoned by Obama
(12 - 10:30am, Jan 18)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogMatheny: Spring training 'priorities' may look different this year | stltoday.com
(4 - 9:58am, Jan 18)
Last: Russ

NewsblogFive Candidates Who Have Fallen a Single Vote Shy of Election to the Baseball Hall of Fame
(35 - 8:37am, Jan 18)
Last: Dennis Eclairskey, closer

NewsblogJose Bautista close to signing with Blue Jays | MLB.com
(37 - 7:59am, Jan 18)
Last: Sunday silence

NewsblogGordo: How many of Cards' talented prospects will ever reach the majors? | Jeff Gordon | stltoday.com
(5 - 7:48am, Jan 18)
Last: RMc is Fairly Irrefutable

NewsblogOT: January 2016 Soccer Thread
(102 - 7:32am, Jan 18)
Last: Fancy Pants with a clinging marmoset on his Handle

NewsblogRatto- "Hall of Fame voters' biggest issue: Do they work for the job or the sport?"
(8 - 2:55am, Jan 18)
Last: DanG

Page rendered in 0.2603 seconds
47 querie(s) executed