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Friday, December 29, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-29-2017

Richmond [Indiana] Palladium, December 29, 1917:

Baseball Players Sought by British

For grenade throwing on the menaced west front in France baseball players are wanted by the Chicago office of the British-Canadian recruiting mission.
...
“Baseball players can do better at grenade throwing than other men, of course,” said a bulletin of the recruiting mission. “They have the strength of arm necessary to throw far and accurately.

Cricket bowlers probably wouldn’t work as well. Bouncing a grenade at your enemy seems like a terrible idea.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2017 at 10:09 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, world war i

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 29, 2017 at 10:12 AM (#5598457)
An extremely Cleveland-heavy Birthday Team today.

Also, Devon White was one of the best defensive center fielders of my lifetime but is playing right field. I didn't have much of a choice - all of Herrera's defensive appearances have been in CF. Blame Pete Mackanin.

C: Hank DeBerry (2.1 WAR)
1B: Richie Sexson (17.94 WAR)
2B: Bill Knickerbocker (5.35 WAR)
3B: Craig Grebeck (10.23 WAR)
SS: Jack Wilson (23.45 WAR)
LF: Clyde Barnhart (8.82 WAR)
CF: Odubel Herrera (10.33 WAR)
RF: Devon White (47.04 WAR)

SP: Jaret Wright (4.66 WAR)
SP: Jim Brower (2.99 WAR)
SP: Rod Nichols (1.73 WAR)
SP: Dave Ford (1.01 WAR)
SP: Kevin Hart (-0.47 WAR)
RP: Lou Fiene (-2.15 WAR)

Owner: Wayne Huizenga
Injured: Dustin Fowler (0 WAR)
Least successful brother: Frank Delahanty (-1.53 WAR)
None of those ones: Joe Smith (-0.43 WAR)
   2. BDC Posted: December 29, 2017 at 10:42 AM (#5598484)
Jaret Wright always seemed to me like he ought to be the brother of Jamey Wright, but come to find he is the son of Clyde Wright. Apparently Clyde Wright is featured in a book called "20-Game Losers" (he lost 20 for the 1974 Brewers), but he was also a 20-game winner for the 1970 Angels. Clyde was a decent pitcher in the early '70s, better than Jaret (or Jamey for that matter), but starting 35 games and throwing 250 innings wore him down after a few years. This happened to a lot of pitchers in the '70s, but then starting 30 games and throwing 180 innings seems to wear 'em down today, too.
   3. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 29, 2017 at 11:15 AM (#5598530)
Wasn't it nice, though, that brief period when we thought reduced workloads would mean fewer injuries?
   4. Batman Posted: December 29, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5598540)
Ted Danson is 70 today. Even alcoholic Sam Malone could help that pitching staff.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: December 29, 2017 at 12:00 PM (#5598571)
Rockies give yet another reliever (Wade Davis) a big contract.
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 29, 2017 at 01:43 PM (#5598602)
Sports Illustrated did a spoof article on Sam Malone, and included his entry in the Baseball Encyclopedia. If you've ever wanted to see his stats, here they are.
   7. CheersUnusualPlays Posted: December 29, 2017 at 03:07 PM (#5598631)
Regarding cricketers and grenades, my Dad said they were taught to throw grenades with a straight arm/locked elbow because grenades were heavy, and thus strong-armed cricketers were especially good.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: December 29, 2017 at 03:26 PM (#5598636)
None of those ones: Joe Smith (-0.43 WAR)
Ahh, but according to this deadspin story, birthday boy was born with a different name; and therefore the active relief pitcher is improbably the only major leaguer ever named Joe Smith!
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: December 29, 2017 at 05:02 PM (#5598681)
all of Herrera's defensive appearances have been in CF.


I thought I remembered the Phils bouncing him around the OF his first season, but I must have made that up. Maybe they did it in Spring Training.
   10. Astroenteritis Posted: December 30, 2017 at 11:17 AM (#5598815)
my Dad said they were taught to throw grenades with a straight arm/locked elbow because grenades were heavy, and thus strong-armed cricketers were especially good.


As a kid watching WW II movies I always wondered why they threw grenades with a straight arm. My conclusion was that it was because it would be harder to "whiff" a throw, which you really don't want to do with a grenade, but this makes more sense.
   11. RMc Has Bizarre Ideas to Fix Baseball Posted: January 01, 2018 at 10:14 AM (#5599208)
Sports Illustrated did a spoof article on Sam Malone, and included his entry in the Baseball Encyclopedia. If you've ever wanted to see his stats, here they are.


OK. Ever since I first read this article, I've wanted to dive into these stats, and now's as good a time as any.

The first problem is that a few of the numbers are slightly off: you can't, for example, have a 5.48 ERA in 63 innings pitched -- that works out to 38.36 ER allowed. So, I cut that down to 38 and thus produced a 5.43 ERA for 1972. (Most of the other numbers are close enough; sanding off the rough edges only moves the needle a tiny bit.) Also, his given career ERA of 4.01 is impossible; in 312 IP, that would be 139 ER, and he'd already allowed 151 through 1977 -- and that's not even counting his disastrous start in '78, where he gave up five hits and a walk without retiring a batter. (I'll give Sammy a break and assume only half of those six runners came around to score, but that's still a total of 154 ER, ballooning his career ERA to an unsightly 4.44, or 89 ERA+.)

Another problem: even pitching in Fenway (PF 105), a 5.43 ERA was pretty awful in 1972 (lgERA 3.06); it works out to a 31 ERA+, which would have easily been the worst in MLB for anybody pitching that many innings. I don't care if Sam saved both ends of a DH against the Twins and was popular with his teammates; pitching like that gets you a one-way ticket back to Sudbury.

For most of his career, though, Sam was a perfectly cromulent reliever: 103 ERA+ in '73, an off year in '74 (63 ERA+), then above-average marks the next three years: 111, 101 and 108. His best season was with the pennant-winning 1975 team: 111 ERA+ in 78.1 IP, both career highs. Indeed, Sam would've been one of the better relievers on the team; he was certainly better than Dick Pole, which isn't really relevant since Pole was mostly a starter, but it gives me the opportunity to type "Dick Pole". Dick Pole, Dick Pole, Dick Pole! (Ahem, sorry.) Had Malone really been on that team, he probably would've taken his innings away from 37-year-old Diego Segui (71 IP, 86 ERA+), playing in his last season in the bigs until the expansion Mariners exhumed him two years later.

In sum, it's a little hard to believe Sam Malone could've existed in real life, especially considering his godawful rookie year and Mayday's penchant for allowing tape-measure home runs, which is practically the relief pitcher's Original Sin. (Just how many home runs did Sam give up anyway? I just don't have the courage to try to figure it out.) Here is a list of pitchers who threw 300-350 innings from 1972-78; the closest match is maybe John Montague, who pitched indifferently for mostly awful teams. (Maybe he owns a bar now...?)
   12. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 01, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5599211)
I thought I remembered the Phils bouncing him around the OF his first season, but I must have made that up.


I think I was the one who made that up, based on reports that they WERE going to do that at some point since Altherr was a CF in the minors, Nick Williams could play CF, we also had Roman Quinn who looked like a CF defensive specialist (now suffering constant injuries), etc.

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