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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-18-2012

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, December 18, 1912:

“Art” Shafer, utility infielder for the New York Nationals last year, said today he would not join McGraw’s squad for the training siege at Marlin Springs, next February. “I have quit baseball for good,” said Shafer. “For one thing I get too many perfumed notes.” He was one of the few unmarried men among the Giants last year.

Must’ve been rough.

Anyway, as Shafer’s SABR bio points out, Shafer was actually upset about the way his teammates treated Fred Snodgrass in the wake of the World Series loss, and had just inherited a fairly substantial amount of cash, real estate, and business holdings when his mother died.

Shafer changed his mind and was an everyday player for the ‘13 Giants and had a good age 24 season, putting up a 118 OPS+, playing five positions, and even picking up a few Chalmers Award votes. Then he walked away for good.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 07:29 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, tillie shafer

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   1. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 07:33 AM (#4327490)
Today's center fielder can hit anything: Fastballs, curveballs, spitballs, guys with no hands...

C: Dave Oldfield
1B: Bill Skowron
2B: Joe Randa
3B: Roy Howell
SS: Zoilo Versalles
LF: Gino Cimoli
CF/Manager: Ty Cobb
RF: Lance Richbourg

SP: Jim Clancy
SP: Willie Blair
SP: Dick Coffman
SP: Scott Bailes
SP: Jose Acevedo
RP: Lance Carter

Umpire: Drew Coble
Fun Names: Jim Czajkowski, Coaker Triplett
   2. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: December 18, 2012 at 07:38 AM (#4327491)
Double post deleted.
   3. mathesond Posted: December 18, 2012 at 08:29 AM (#4327497)
Roy Howell AND Jim Clancy? About time the 70's-era Blue Jays got some representation!
   4. zack Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM (#4327523)
####### Joe Randa. The only time I ever played fantasy baseball, I slept through the draft and got auto-drafted. Joe Randa was my best player. It was not a good team.

BB-ref has him down for 18 WAR. Never would have guessed.
   5. AndrewJ Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4327526)
Zoilo Versalles is one of the legendarily weaker MVP winners. I'll never understand why the Twins let him lead off in 36 games during the 1967 season (where he hit .181/.211/.284 for a 51 OPS+).
   6. Chris Fluit Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4327535)
Zoilo was more of a one-year wonder than a weak MVP. His 7.1 WAR in 1965 was first for position players and second for all American Leaguers behind Sam McDowell. He was the AL Most Meritorious Player in the Hall of Merit's ongoing MMP project. The problem with Zoilo is that his next best seasons were worth 2.4 and 2.3 WAR. That's a pretty steep drop-off. When you look at his career numbers, you wonder "How did this guy ever win an MVP?" But if you look at the individual season in isolation, it's a perfectly defensible decision.
   7. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: December 18, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4327567)
I never knew Versalles was a Dodger, but bb-ref's picture has him in an LA hat. He replaced Maury Wills the first time Wills left LA, and then the Padres took Versalles in the expansion draft a year later.
   8. AndrewJ Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4327588)
I guess I meant weakest overall career of any MVP winner. Look at his 1967 leadoff numbers again. If the Twins had put ANYBODY else there, they'd have won the pennant.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: December 18, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4327598)
There was Willie Hernandez ... he won the MVP during my lifetime and I don't think I knew who he was until I was in my 20s. When people talk about the great players on the WS-winning Tigers team he's about the 8th or 9th person they mention.

How did that happen again? Presumably "The Tigers are exactly the same team they were last year, plus Willie Hernandez. They won 12 more games. That Willie Hernandez must be amazing."
   10. SoSH U at work Posted: December 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4327641)
How did that happen again? Presumably "The Tigers are exactly the same team they were last year, plus Willie Hernandez. They won 12 more games. That Willie Hernandez must be amazing."


A handful of things:

1) He really had an excellent season. 140 innings worth of 204 ERA+.
2) It was the early days of the overvaluation of the closer. Only three years earlier Rollie Fingers had doubled up on the two awards.
3) He was nearly perfect. He saved his first 32 games without blowing one, which got plenty of notice on the Tiger juggernaut. He didn't blow his first save until the second to last game of the season. He also added 9 wins.
4) As you mention, the new guy effect. Trammell, Whitaker, Morris, Parrish, Gibson, Evans, Lemon were known quantities, producing at fairly established levels. Hernandez arrives and Tigers finally push through (see Pendleton, Terry, for another example).

   11. RJ in TO Posted: December 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4327660)
Jim Clancy was never mistaken as a star, but he was an incredibly useful (and durable) pitcher for those early Jays teams.

He was also the second last pitcher to start 40 games in a season.
   12. AndrewJ Posted: December 18, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4327709)
5) And apart from maybe Trammell and Gibson, none of the other 1984 Tiger regulars really had MVP-caliber seasons. Sort of like the 1986 Mets who went 108-54 despite no serious MVP season among them; Mike Schmidt of the Phillies won.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 18, 2012 at 05:41 PM (#4327983)
How did that happen again?

He owes it to Jack Morris of course. Without all that pitching to the score, Willie only gets 22 save opportunities.

I'm joking ... I think.

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