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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-14-2014

Lena Blackburne and a White Sox scout work together to prevent Blackburne from having to play for the Browns. Pittsburgh Press, January 14, 1914:

“Now,” said [the scout], “there is an ivory hunter from the St. Louis Browns here, and he is looking you over. You don’t want to appear with that bunch of dubs, so, as a favor to me, put on these cheaters.”

The Chicago scout handed Blackburn a pair of heavy rimmed spectacles equipped with plain window glass, which he obligingly put on.
...
“What did you think of that boy?” asked the rival scout of the White Sox’s representative.

“I’ve passed him up,” was the reply. “Wears glasses, and his eyes must be bad. But he is fast.”

Blackburne wound up with the White Sox and was generally, at any given time, injured or ineffective or both. He did, however, discover the mud that’s rubbed on every baseball in MLB and MiLB.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:46 AM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, lena blackburne, shenanigans

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 14, 2014 at 07:07 AM (#4638387)
Completely unremarkable Birthday Team today:

C: Pete Daley
1B: Wayne Gross
2B: Logan Forsythe
3B: Dave Campbell
SS: Erick Aybar
LF: Russ Scarritt
CF: Derrel Thomas
RF: Smead Jolley

SP: Sonny Siebert
SP: Mike Pelfrey
SP: Steve Cooke
SP: Curry Foley
SP: Lev Shreve
RP: Terry Forster

Manager: Billy Meyer
   2. BDC Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:36 AM (#4638446)
Wayne Gross had a funny career. He was sort of a destitute man's Eddie Yost. I would bet there are similar players who never got above AAA, let alone played a thousand ML games. One of the many players who had his best season in the first one where Billy Martin managed him.
   3. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4638453)
I heard guys on our local sports talk radio show saying Mike Pelfrey was throwing 95-96 mph fastballs last year. Was that true? And, if so, how is it possible to throw that hard and be SOOOO awful at striking people out?
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4638459)
Happy Birthday Fat Tub of Goo
   5. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4638462)
Pelfrey wasn't throwing 96 with any kind of regularity. His average fastball in 2013 was exactly his career average, 92.4 MPH.
   6. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 10:49 AM (#4638464)
Forster pitched 4 innings in the Rick Camp Game, which I'll call the highlight of his career.
   7. BDC Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4638491)
Could Forster actually hit, or is his line a combination of luck and SSS? He has by far the best hitting record of any pitcher with more than 30 PAs; you have to go down to pitchers who barely played at all to find somebody with better rate stats. OTOH he himself had only 86 career PAs.

Guys who can seriously hit are rarely left at P, though I suppose if you are left-handed, fat, and also a pretty good pitcher your chances of moving to a position are lower.
   8. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4638505)
The White Sox traded Blackburne to the minor league Milwaukee Brewers for a future Hall of Famer, and then Blackburne came back to the Sox two or three times, including two years as manager.
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4638509)
OK, so in yesterday's Frank Thomas thread, reference was made to one of Rickey Henderson's more famous, possibly true, comments, where he told a helmeted JOhn Olerud that he played with a guy like that in Toronto. Rickey and Johnny O later joined forces in Seattle, which got me wondering: Have any two players been teammates for four different clubs.

I found one yesterday, and stumbled across another pair last night. There may be more, but I'm DanM, not BobM, so I don't know how to root that information out of BBRef.

Until then, can anyone name the two pairs of players? First hints.

The first pair was a pre-expansion duo who played with three AL clubs and an NL team.

The other duo played in the full expansion era, joining forces on three NL clubs and one in the Junior Circuit.

And if any of you know of any other four-time teammates, feel free to spit them out, or create your own clues.

   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4638513)
I"m flipping through 90s baseball articles and it seems like teams were much more willing to non-tender good young players back then. The Phillies non-tendered Curt Schilling and he voluntarily took a pay cut to return. Now, he wasn't CURT SCHILLING yet, but he had put together some really good seasons, albeit with injury problems.

I get the sense it wasn't til the Twins let David Ortiz go and the Red Sox got MVP type seasons out of him that teams began to see these players as valuable commodities? Or perhaps the economics of the game forced teams to see pre-FA players are more valuable commodoties than before? Or maybe arb salaries didn't keep up with the escalating FA salaries so comparatively, those players were cheaper? Probably a combination of all of those, but its just interesting reading these team reports and all the good players teams are cutting loose (and usually re-signing at cheaper deals).
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:24 AM (#4638523)

The other duo played in the full expansion era, joining forces on three NL clubs and one in the Junior Circuit.


I'm guessing someone Randy Smith traded for. Seems like he was always trading for the same guys. Brad Ausmus and say Andujar Cedeno.
   12. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM (#4638535)
The other duo played in the full expansion era, joining forces on three NL clubs and one in the Junior Circuit.


Just throwing out a Wild Ass Guess; Mike Morgan and Dan Plesac.

I figure Morgan is a pretty good bet simply because he played for everyone.
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4638536)
Brad Ausmus and Doug Brocail?

We may need to know the positions. I'm guessing it's two relief pitchers and if that's the case, there's no earthly way someone is going to come up with "Jeff Fassero and Paul Assenmacher" or whatever.

Dan Miceli and Dan Plesac

Scott Williamson and Scott Sauerbeck

Steve Karsay and Steve Reed
   14. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4638543)
We may need to know the positions.


All right.

The four guys could perfectly fill out an infield if they lined up in their primary positions.

I figure Morgan is a pretty good bet simply because he played for everyone.


That's how I started my search, but I couldn't find anything involving the usual suspects (Morgan, Stairs, Dotel, etc.)

   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4638553)
Todd Zeile and Jose Vizcaino
   16. JJ1986 Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:44 AM (#4638561)
How about Kent and Vizcaino?
   17. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:45 AM (#4638563)
Kent and Vizcaino is an excellent guess. It's probably right. Cleveland, Houston, San Francisco, and...the Mets?
   18. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4638565)
Kent and Vizcaino are correct. They had a significant edge in this category, as they were twice swapped in package deals (from NY to Cleveland and from Cleveland to SF). They later played together in Houston.

The other duo was included in one package deal, but their other two pairings were more accidental.

This one is much harder. More clues will follow.
   19. JJ1986 Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:46 AM (#4638566)
They were traded together twice. Mets to Indians and Indians to Giants. I barely remember Vizcaino on the Astros, but apparently he was there for 5 years.
   20. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4638574)
Have any two players been teammates for four different clubs.

I was beaten to it, but I was doing research last year and discovered that Jeff Kent and Jose Vizcaino were double play partners on four different clubs.

Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar have been double play partners on the Braves, Blue Jays, and Rays. There's still time to tie the record!
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:55 AM (#4638575)
So, a 1B and a 3B, who were teammates 4 times, pre-expansion, for 3 AL clubs and a NL club.

I was thinking someone on the A's/Yankees train in the 50s, but I can't find anyone that fits that description.
   22. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4638589)
Wild-ass guess: Frank Baker and Wally Pipp

I'm pretty sure both played for the Yankees and at least one other team.

EDIT: Well, neither of them even played for four teams and the Yankees were the only franchise they had in common (where they were teammates, though).
   23. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:16 PM (#4638601)
Of course, the all-time leader for "Cool Teammate Trivia" is clearly this factoid:

On May 27, 2007, the Toronto Blue Jays start the game with this infield: 1b Lyle Overbay, 2b Aaron Hill, 3b Ryan Roberts, Ss John McDonald.

On June 24, 2012, the Arizona Diamondbacks start the game with this infield: 1b Lyle Overbay, 2b Aaron Hill, 3b Ryan Roberts, Ss John McDonald.

It's the only time in baseball history two different teams have started the exact same infield.
   24. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4638602)
On May 27, 2007, the Toronto Blue Jays start the game with this infield: 1b Lyle Overbay, 2b Aaron Hill, 3b Ryan Roberts, Ss John McDonald.

On June 24, 2012, the Arizona Diamondbacks start the game with this infield: 1b Lyle Overbay, 2b Aaron Hill, 3b Ryan Roberts, Ss John McDonald.


Great catch Davo.

I'll toss another hint out there in a little bit.
   25. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:04 PM (#4638652)
Just to add to something that no one else cares about:

One other group of infielders got close to pulling the trick (of playing together for two separate teams):

1B Chris Chambliss, 2B Eddie Leon, 3B Graig Nettles, and SS Fred "Chicken" Stanley played several games together for the 1971 Cleveland Indians, including this one.

They would go on to all play in the infield for the 1975 New York Yankees; however, the Yankees never managed to get all four of them into the same game at the same time. (Eddie Leon only played one game for them that year, so it would have been a stretch!)
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4638654)
All right, clue time:

One of the players was a former RBI champ.
   27. JustDan Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4638663)
Walt Dropo and George Kell?
   28. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:22 PM (#4638670)
Walt Dropo and George Kell?


Dropo is correct.

The other player shares a nickname with a guy who once managed Kent and Vizcaino.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:23 PM (#4638671)
1B Chris Chambliss, 2B Eddie Leon, 3B Graig Nettles, and SS Fred "Chicken" Stanley played several games together for the 1971 Cleveland Indians, including this one.



2003 Diamondbacks came close with Lyle Overbay, Junior Spivey, and Craig Counsell all dealt to Milwaukee the following year, but neither Tony Womack nor Alex Cintron would join them in Brewerland.
   30. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:25 PM (#4638677)
I just stumbled across a copy of the official '57 Braves season highlight film on VHS.

Is this the sort of thing that would get yanked from YouTube as soon as it's uploaded? Is it worth my time to convert it? It's ridiculously cool and I'd love to share it, but I don't want the copyright police to knock down my door.
   31. JustDan Posted: January 14, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4638705)
Well, perusing BB-ref I see that Dropo was part of a trade that sent Kell the other way. That makes it hard to play in the same infield. Some pretty big names in the trade too (Dizzy Trout, Johnny Pesky).

Also, since I'm now browsing in BB-ref, I'll recuse myself from guessing, although I do not know the answer..
   32. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:02 PM (#4638712)
Well, perusing BB-ref I see that Dropo was part of a trade that sent Kell the other way. That makes it hard to play in the same infield. Some pretty big names in the trade too (Dizzy Trout, Johnny Pesky).


The other answer was also in that trade, though he's not a big name.
   33. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:21 PM (#4638743)
Dropo is correct.

The other player shares a nickname with a guy who once managed Kent and Vizcaino


Dusty… Dusty… um… Dusty Lingle Mungo?
   34. JJ1986 Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4638783)
John Buck close to signing with Seattle.
Michael Young considering retirement.
   35. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 02:55 PM (#4638793)
Minor league deals

BAL - "OF" Delmon Young
CHW - 1B Christian Marrero, P Scott Caroll, P Brian Omogrosso, P Dylan Axelrod
CIN - P Jeff Francis, OF Thomas Neal
HOU - SS Cesar Izturis
KCR - IF Jason Donald
MIL - OF Greg Golson
NYY - IF Yangervis Solarte, IF Scott Sizemore
PHI - SS Ronny Cedeno
SFG - P JC Gutirrez, P Kameron Loe, P Sandy Rosario
TBR - C Eddy Rodriguez, OF Justin Christian
   36. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:01 PM (#4638798)
How did someone named "Yangervis" get to the point of minor-league free agency without me ever hearing of him?
   37. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4638799)
Yangervis Solarte has been my favorite minor league free agent two years running. Switch-hitter who can play 6 positions and has hit .280/.335/.400 at AAA the past two seasons--still has yet to play a game in the Majors (he's 26).
   38. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 14, 2014 at 03:30 PM (#4638822)
Not my favorite this year, but I liked him a lot last offseason. Defense is a bit rough, but has a chance.
   39. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 14, 2014 at 05:35 PM (#4638961)
Rod Barajas retires to take San Diego's AZL managerial gig.
   40. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 05:43 PM (#4638968)
To close it out, the four-time teammate of Walt Dropo was Fred "Scrap Iron" Hatfield. They were dealt from Boston to Detroit in the aforementioned deal that included Kell and Trout. They spent part of 1936 together with Chicago (AL), then did the same in 1958 in Cincinnati.

   41. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 05:48 PM (#4638974)
I wonder if they were also best friends who solved crimes together once their baseball careers were over.
   42. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:21 PM (#4638998)
Not my favorite this year, but I liked him a lot last offseason. Defense is a bit rough, but has a chance.
Especially signing with the Yankees--tons and tons of uncertainty in that infield.

By my count, their projected starting infield played a total of 128 games in the infield last year. Combined. (60 for Roberts, 41 for Johnson, 14 for Teixeira, 13 for Jeter).
   43. esseff Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:23 PM (#4639000)
Do Dropo and Hatfield count as Reds teammates if Hatfield was gone by May and Dropo didn't arrive until June?
   44. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4639003)
By my count, their projected starting infield played a total of 128 games in the infield last year.


And is a combined 140 years old come opening day.
   45. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:27 PM (#4639004)
I wonder if they were also best friends who solved crimes together once their baseball careers were over.

The first few "Dropo and Hatfield" serials were good before the guy who played Dropo had to flee Hollywood in disgrace and they replaced him with Richard Dix.
   46. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 14, 2014 at 06:55 PM (#4639026)
Do Dropo and Hatfield count as Reds teammates if Hatfield was gone by May and Dropo didn't arrive until June?

Come now, you know that's an established tradition in sports trivia!
   47. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 07:12 PM (#4639040)
Do Dropo and Hatfield count as Reds teammates if Hatfield was gone by May and Dropo didn't arrive until June?


I wasn't intending to count them if they weren't actual teammates. I must have misread Walt's CHW team listing in his 58 gamelogs as CIN when I was checking that out.

So just Kent and Vizcaino.

Crap. Sorry about that.

   48. esseff Posted: January 14, 2014 at 08:04 PM (#4639078)
Well, that's a flaw in whatever that "Degrees of Separation" baseball tool is: It counts any two players who were on the same team at any point in the same year as teammates, even if they were traded for each other.
   49. JJ1986 Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:15 PM (#4639180)
Does anyone know players whose careers had oddly shaped values (WAR)? I'm mostly looking for guys whose value was heavily condensed into a few seasons or guys who played for a long time and mostly put up positive value, but never had great seasons.
   50. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:28 PM (#4639190)
Well, that's a flaw in whatever that "Degrees of Separation" baseball tool is: It counts any two players who were on the same team at any point in the same year as teammates, even if they were traded for each other.


That may be, but this mistake was on me.


I'm mostly looking for guys whose value was heavily condensed into a few seasons


I can tell you one: Walt Dropo. (-:

In his 13-year career, 2.6 of his lifetime 3.2 WAR were compiled in his big 1950 campaign.

Among others, over his 18-year career, Rick Cerone totaled more than half (4.2) his lifetime 8.1 WAR in his 1980 season. That same year, Miguel Dilone was putting up a 3.0 WAR campaign, which represented 120 percent of his 10-year career total.


   51. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 14, 2014 at 11:50 PM (#4639194)
Miguel Dilone is the ultimate example of that. Morgan "AS,MVP-4,SS" Ensberg's career is pretty weird too but he didn't last as long.

Midre Cummings had a strange career. It seems like it never got started, but then it never ended. By the Miguel Dilone principle, his 1.8 WAR in three months with the Phillies represented 180 percent of his 11-year career total.

WAR by season:
-0.4 -0.3 -0.4 0.0 1.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.3 -0.0 -0.1 -0.1

Most similar player: Turner Ward. Who everyone thought of as a backup, but wasn't Midre Cummings supposed to turn into a starter some day? First round pick, got to the majors at 21, etc.
   52. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:01 AM (#4639197)
For a concentrated two-year effort, Richard Hidalgo had non-consecutive seasons of 6.3 and 5.7 WAR, with just 7.0 over his other seven years.
   53. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:03 AM (#4639198)
Esteban Loaiza got 1/3 of his (14-year) career WAR in 2003 and all of his career WAA (4.2 career, 5.0 in 2003)
   54. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 15, 2014 at 12:18 AM (#4639201)
Does anyone know players whose careers had oddly shaped values (WAR)? I'm mostly looking for guys whose value was heavily condensed into a few seasons

Bobby Tolan's three best years were 1969, '70, and '72; he missed the entire '71 season, so these were consecutive years for him. The total value of those three years was a respectable 15.6 WAR.

He never had another season with over 1 WAR, and only had two others over replacement level, giving him a total over his 13-year career of 10.2 WAR (less than the total of his two best years, let alone his three best).
   55. bobm Posted: January 15, 2014 at 02:40 AM (#4639244)
This page says there is a pair of teammates in baseball history with more franchises than Kent and Vizcaino and it gives hints, but no answer.

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