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

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Empathy, I Promise You (SBB)
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 10/01/16
(24 - 3:01pm, Oct 01)
Last: salvomania

NewsblogOT - October 2016 College Football thread
(6 - 2:57pm, Oct 01)
Last: Delorians

NewsblogOTP 2016 Sep 26: A single for Donald Trump - He doesn’t have to hit a home run to send Hillary to the showers
(1843 - 2:43pm, Oct 01)
Last: Srul Itza

NewsblogThe View is Much Better When You're the Lead Dog: Mike Trout Closes in on Another Second-Place MVP Finish
(13 - 2:40pm, Oct 01)
Last: Infinite Yost (Voxter)

NewsblogHeyman - Passing Out The MLB Awards
(2 - 2:29pm, Oct 01)
Last: HGM

NewsblogFox Sports: Ken Rosenthal's 2016 MLB awards
(34 - 2:04pm, Oct 01)
Last: Voodoo

NewsblogDavid Ortiz’s few remaining critics are needling killjoys who don’t deserve him | For The Win
(57 - 1:56pm, Oct 01)
Last: Voodoo

NewsblogDavid Ortiz helps Red Sox beat Blue Jays | MLB.com
(3 - 1:03pm, Oct 01)
Last: The Anthony Kennedy of BBTF (Scott)

NewsblogWhy Bo Jackson chose baseball
(3 - 12:54pm, Oct 01)
Last: eric

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1997 Ballot
(9 - 12:47pm, Oct 01)
Last: caiman

Hall of Merit2017 Hall of Merit Ballot Discussion
(110 - 12:08pm, Oct 01)
Last: Bleed the Freak

NewsblogWhat's going on inside the Blue Jays clubhouse?
(10 - 10:51am, Oct 01)
Last: Toby

Sox TherapyA Fan Picks Papi's Ten Best (Red Sox) Moments
(18 - 10:49am, Oct 01)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogOT - September 2016 College Football thread
(382 - 10:40am, Oct 01)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-30-16
(128 - 1:20am, Oct 01)
Last: Bote Man makes baseball fun again

Page rendered in 0.2205 seconds
47 querie(s) executed