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Friday, January 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-11-2019

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, January 11, 1919:

An effort will be made to have Thirdbaseman Dug [sic] Baird of the St. Louis National League club play at Vandergrift [Pennsylvania] next summer. Jimmy Beeson, who is to manage the team in the Westmoreland county town, said yesterday he already is in negotiations with Baird, and he has reasons to believe he will wean him away from the major league. Beeson shares the belief with Baird that St. Louis will try to mete out some sort of punishment to him for jumping last summer to work at the Allegheny Steel and play on its team when the work or fight order went into effect.

I’m pretty sure this is the weirdest player movement rumor I’ve ever come across. A small-town independent semi-pro team thinks the starting third baseman from the St. Louis Cardinals will quit the big leagues and play for them instead.

It didn’t happen, as you might expect. The Cardinals, who may or may not have been mad at Baird for bailing on the team in 1918, traded him to Philadelphia ten days after this article appeared in the newspaper. And then in July, the Phillies traded Baird to…the Cardinals, who waived him in August. So maybe they really didn’t want him. Anyway, Baird was out of the majors by the end of 1920, but played professionally in non-Vandergrift cities like Indianapolis, Columbus, and Birmingham into the late 1920s.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 10:27 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5804551)
Today's Birthday Team has a nice pitching staff and a couple of star outfielders. It's got some serious question marks among most of the other position players, though.

C: Art Watson (0.9 WAR)
1B/Manager: Lloyd McClendon (-0.6 WAR)
2B: Warren Morris (2.9 WAR)
3B: George Pinkney (21.1 WAR)
SS: Roy Hughes (2.8 WAR)
LF: Max Carey (54.0 WAR)
CF: Jermaine Allensworth (-0.1 WAR)
RF: Elmer Flick (53.2 WAR)

SP: Silver King (51.4 WAR)
SP: Schoolboy Rowe (43.0 WAR)
SP: General Crowder (28.8 WAR)
SP: Don Mossi (23.6 WAR)
SP: Danny Salazar (9.5 WAR)
RP: Harry McIntire (9.1 WAR)

General Manager: Jack Zduriencik
Backup IF: Rey Ordonez (1.24 WAR)
Inexplicably wanted to move the Expos to Detroit: Nikco Riesgo
Minor leaguer: Wonderful Terrific Monds III
"Describe the Battle of Waterloo in two words.": Dutch Mele
No relation to Dutch Mele: Danny Napoleon
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 11, 2019 at 12:54 PM (#5804666)
I’ve mentioned a couple of examples before, but I have a fascination with the Japanese phenomenon of bad backup catchers who have long careers. There are quite a few examples of NPB backup catchers who hung around for years, shuttling back and forth between their NPB squad and the minors, putting up horrible stats in limited playing time. I think I may have found the ultimate one. Akihiro Maeda was the Chunichi Dragons’ first round draft choice in 2001. He made his NPB debut with the Dragons in 2003, and played for them in ten of the next 11 seasons, missing out only in 2007. In those ten seasons, he played a total of 54 games, with 45 plate appearances, putting up a career batting line of .070/.111/.093. His seasonal career high in games was 11. His career high in PA was 10. His career high in everything else except strikeouts was one. His career stats for those ten seasons:

G – 54
AB – 43
H – 3
R - 0
2B – 1
3B - 0
HR – 0
RBI – 1
SB - 0
BB - 2
SO - 15
SAC - 0
BA - .070
OBP - .111
SLG - .093

Two things stand out for me. The first is that he never scored a run in his career. The second is that in Japan, where sacrifice bunts are much more common than in MLB, he never had a sacrifice even though he hit .070. His first career hit came in 2009, six years after his debut. His uniform number was 00, which may or may not have been an inside joke on his hitting ability.

I have no idea of his defensive reputation, but I’m assuming he must have been above average. It’s hard to see him sticking around for a decade otherwise. For what it's worth, his stats show him as never making an error. After his playing career ended, he became a coach, and then Chunichi’s bullpen catcher. I’m not sure if he’s still there, but he’s only 35 – if he is, who knows, he may get another chance to play…
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:03 PM (#5804676)
That's interesting, Vortex. I'm wondering if there's something in the culture there that makes Japanese teams keep guys like that around. There's no level of quality defense that can justify that kind of offensive ineptitude - but on the other hand, if his defense was that good, you'd think he would have gotten into more than 11 games in a season. And he was a first-round draft choice, to boot. Any idea if there might be some non-baseball reason?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:13 PM (#5804686)
I’ve mentioned a couple of examples before, but I have a fascination with the Japanese phenomenon of bad backup catchers who have long careers.

Didn't the Yankees have a couple of these kind of guys as the 3rd C behind Dickey and Berra?
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5804696)
Any idea if there might be some non-baseball reason?

I don't know anything specific about any disciplinary issues, or injuries, etc.; the fact they retained him after his playing career was over indicates that they were at least satisfied with his attitude. But I don't really have enough info to make much of a judgement. I'd love to see his stats in the Japanese minors, but I haven't found a source for them. He was signed out of high school, and the one reference I have about that is that he hit 31 home runs in his high school career, so it looks like he had some power as a schoolboy. But unfortunately my lack of being able to read Japanese limits my ability to get more info. I'm pretty much stuck with the statistical record and a few scraps of information.
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:31 PM (#5804701)
Didn't the Yankees have a couple of these kind of guys as the 3rd C behind Dickey and Berra?

Arndt Jorgens in the Dickey era, and Charlie Silvera behind Berra. Jorgens played 11 seasons for the Yankees, with 307 games and an OPS+ of 66. He never played for any other MLB team. Silvera played nine seasons for the Stengel-era Yankees, plus one season after that with the Cubs. In ten years he played 227 games with an OPS+ of 86.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:37 PM (#5804707)
Charlie Silvera behind Berra.

That's the guy I was thinking of . He has 6 WS rings, and 2 WS PA.
   8. crict Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5804709)
It reminds me of emergency goaltenders in the NHL. Here's a fun example. I believe that recently switched to a system where the league itself hires one or two former goaltenders to show up to every game, sit in the stands and be ready to play if needed.
   9. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5804710)
DJ LeMahieu to NYY for 2/24 - they plan to have him play first, second, and third.
Not a fan of this plan.
   10. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:48 PM (#5804715)
Wow, an average of five games a year. Maybe he was doing some coaching thing already?
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:50 PM (#5804716)
LeMahieu's greatest strength, maybe his only real strength, is his defense at second base. Signing him to be a utility infielder at $12 million per seems like a bad use of resources.
   12. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: January 11, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5804721)
I was having fun with that journeyman all-star game, so I came up with one. Last MLB game in 2003: A's, Yankees, A's, Blue Jays, A's, Padres, Angels, A's, Mets, Mariners, Padres, Red Sox, Dodgers.
   13. caspian88 Posted: January 11, 2019 at 02:06 PM (#5804728)
That's Rickey!
   14. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: January 11, 2019 at 02:08 PM (#5804730)
heh, I liked that one
   15. Davo cant be eatin thirty hot dogs every day Posted: January 11, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5804732)
The Yankees have also added another former Opening Day starter to the rotation, giving them 6 such pitchers.

Yep. Drew Hutchison is a Yankee now.
   16. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: January 11, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5804738)
How's this for hilarious: Rusty Staub is Rickey's #5 most similar player by B-R scores!
   17. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 11, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5804749)
Russell Martin traded by TOR to LAD. Dodgers will get a ton of cash to cover most of Martin's 20m salary, Jays get minor leaguers SS Ronny Brito and RHP Andrew Sopko. Brito showed power for the first time this year in Ogden (hitters park, hitters league) and has a quick bat but is still kind of a raw on o and d; Sopko has fringe average stuff and is prone to the long ball but has a puncher's chance of becoming a back end starter / middle reliever as he has solid control/command.
   18. bobm Posted: January 11, 2019 at 05:13 PM (#5804810)

[...] For those unaware, the story goes like this: When Henderson signed with Olerud's Mariners in 2000, he came up to Olerud and asked about the helmet the first baseman always wore in the field. After learning the reason -- Olerud suffered an aneurysm in college, and wore the helmet to protect his head -- Henderson said, "Man, I played with someone like that in New York."

And Olerud's response: "Yeah, Rickey, that was me."

Long thought to be apocryphal, the story was explained by Olerud.

"The truth behind the story," Olerud said, "was that Scott Lawrenson, the assistant trainer -- great, dry sense of humor -- was great at coming up with stories. [...]

Unfortunately for Olerud, because the legend is more fun than the truth, the legend will likely live on. John Olerud revealed the truth behind the amazing 'Rickey Henderson story'

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