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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-18-2018

Tacoma Times, January 18, 1918:

That Bill Killifer, catcher of the famous Alexander-Killifer duo may retire from baseball was the statement [in Los Angeles] today of his brother, Wade Killifer, manager of the Los Angeles club.

Wade declared he believed it likely his brother would not report to the Cubs. “Bill has stock in a manufacturing concern here. With baseball in its uncertain condition he thinks it wise to stop,” Brother Wade said.

So, to recap: About a month ago, the Cubs sent Philadelphia a reported $55,000 and two players for Grover Cleveland Alexander and Bill Killefer. Two days ago, it was reported that Alexander had been drafted for military service. Today, we find out that Killefer might just retire instead of playing for the Cubs.

Things aren’t going terribly well for Charlie Weeghman.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 10:56 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Batman Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5608687)
It could take the Cubs 98 years to recover from that trade.
   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5608688)
I think the most surprising thing I found out today while putting together the Birthday Team is that Brett Lawrie was completely out of baseball in 2017. It seems completely insane to me that Pablo Sandoval is getting paid to play baseball and Brett Lawrie isn't.

C: Mike Lieberthal (15.2 WAR)
1B: Charlie Eden (0.7 WAR)
2B: Brett Lawrie (15.2 WAR)
3B: Pinky May (12.4 WAR)
SS: Eddie Moore (6.6 WAR)
LF: Brady Anderson (34.8 WAR)
CF: Curt Flood (41.7 WAR)
RF: Len Koenecke (6.2 WAR)

SP: Scott McGregor (20.4 WAR)
SP: Carl Morton (18.2 WAR)
SP: Wandy Rodriguez (12.4 WAR)
SP: Michael Pineda (8.7 WAR)
SP: Mike Fornieles (7.3 WAR)
RP: Dave Geisel (2.2 WAR)

Manager: Chuck Cottier
Owner: Danny Kaye
Umpire: Satch Davidson
Ballplayer or cartoon cow?: Frank Heifer
Fun names: Billy Grabarkewitz, Babe Twombly, Gift Ngoepe
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:06 AM (#5608696)
That Bill Killifer, catcher of the famous Alexander-Killifer duo may retire from baseball was the statement [in Los Angeles] today of his brother, Wade Killifer, manager of the Los Angeles club.

One of the most tortured uses of the passive voice ever seen by me is shown in this sentence.
   4. BDC Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5608709)
Some box-score-line records. Most times achieving this exact AB/R/H/BI line in regular-season games since 1913 (today's don't make good trivia questions):

3 1 2 2 : Jimmie Foxx, 21

3 1 2 3 : Miguel Cabrera, 9

3 1 2 4 : Babe Ruth, 6

3 1 2 5 : six tied with two. Active players who've done it twice are Victor Martinez and Troy Tulowitzki. It was done five times last year, most recently by Yadier Molina in September

3 1 2 6 : 22 players have done this once, most recently Omar Infante in 2014

3 1 2 7 : done only twice in the regular season since 1913, oddly enough within a ten-month span. Bobby Abreu did it late in 2006 with a 3-run homer, a 3-run double, and a SF. Jason Kubel followed in midseason 2007 with a grand slam, two SFs, and a bases-loaded walk
   5. BDC Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:20 AM (#5608714)
tortured uses of the passive voice

Sorry, reflex grammar pedantry forces me to note that it's not a passive sentence; it's a linking-verb sentence :(
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5608738)
Not that he deserves to be a member of the birthday team, but today is also the 37th birthday of Yomiuri Giants catcher Kazunari Sanematsu. Sanematsu exemplifies the concept of a career backup catcher, a trend that certainly has its parallel in the major leagues, but which in Japan gets taken to absurd lengths. There seem to be many catchers in Japan who a) play forever, and b) are not any good.

Sanematsu has played at least one NPB game every season since 2000, with the exception of 2009. Over those 17 seasons, he has played 510 games, and amassed 950 PA. His career high in PA is 170, back in 2002 (he hit .129 that season). He hasn't broken 100 PA in a season since 2005. His lifetime line in NPB is .166/.238/.271. He does have 20 home runs, so he has a slight amount of power. But I find it hard to believe that a catcher can have a 17-year career while hitting .166. No matter how good you are defensively, no matter how good a teammate you are, that's just ridiculous. And he's been doing it since 2006 for the Yomiuri Giants, the most famous team in Japan. Last season he got into only 14 games, and went 0 for 8. His career may be over. But then again, I wouldn't bet on it...
   7. esseff Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:41 AM (#5608755)
Things aren’t going terribly well for Charlie Weeghman.


Adding to this sad recap from recent links of the day: He failed in his determination to obtain Hornsby.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 18, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5608768)
Sorry, reflex grammar pedantry forces me to note that it's not a passive sentence; it's a linking-verb sentence :(

Well, it was passively linked.
   9. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 18, 2018 at 01:16 PM (#5608855)
Adding to this sad recap from recent links of the day: He failed in his determination to obtain Hornsby.
Weeghman was much more successful at hosting KKK rallies than he was at acquiring Rogers Hornsby. When I first ran across Weeghman, back in the Federal League days, I was inclined to like him. Over time, he's become my least favorite person in early 20th century baseball.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: January 18, 2018 at 08:57 PM (#5609182)
As I noted a couple of weeks ago, the big deal in that trade wasn't Alexander ... it was that Killefer went to the Cubs while Dillhoefer went to the Phils. C'mon, a Killefer-Dillhoefer trade.

Is it verboten to give spoilers on Dugout news?

By the way, Billy Grabarkewitz is not just a great name but a great WTF/what-if story. As a 24-year-old rookie splitting time among 3B/SS/2B, he put up a 134 OPS+, 6.5 WAR and made the AS team. (SABR bio check) That wasn't particularly out of line with his minor-league track record but he'd been delayed by injury. He then got hurt in 71 and although he hung on for a few years, his career was pretty much derailed.

Alas he debuted too early to get the nickname GrabAss-kewitz (at least publicly).

Also, were the "rookie" criteria different in 1970? According to b-r, he used up his rookie status in 1970 but he didn't receive any RoY votes (and 5 different guys did). Although he was easily first in WAR, it wouldn't be a shock that he didn't win it but making the AS team suggests he wouldn't have been overlooked entirely. That said, Wayne Simpson also made the AS team and got just one vote (you only got to vote for one).
   11. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:23 PM (#5609207)
Also, were the "rookie" criteria different in 1970? According to b-r, he used up his rookie status in 1970 but he didn't receive any RoY votes (and 5 different guys did). Although he was easily first in WAR, it wouldn't be a shock that he didn't win it but making the AS team suggests he wouldn't have been overlooked entirely. That said, Wayne Simpson also made the AS team and got just one vote (you only got to vote for one).


I think it's likely that he used up his rookie status in 1969, although he had less than the 130 AB that denote the limit for rookies. Rookies cannot have "accumulated more than 45 days on the active roster of a Major League club or clubs during the period of 25-player limit...". Billy G. made his debut on April 22, 1969, and stayed up until the Dodgers traded for Maury Wills on June 11. He was brought back up on July 29, and according to his SABR bio, "stayed with the Dodgers throughout the remainder of the season". I'm sure that those two stints combined would put him over the 45 day limit before the September call-up period, making him ineligible for rookie honors in 1970.
   12. Mike Webber Posted: January 18, 2018 at 09:30 PM (#5609215)
Billy Grabarkewitz is not just a great name but a great WTF/what-if story.


The Dodgers in that period seemed to have way, way, more position players than they could possibly use in the early 70's. I addition to Garvey, Lopes, Russell, Cey, Yeager, other young guys included Catcher Joe Ferguson, Bob Stinson, and Bill Sudakis (though maybe he was really a 3b), first baseman Bill Buckner, infielder Ivan DeJesus, Jerry Royster, Bobby Valentine, Grabarkewitz, Lee Lacy, Outfielders Willie Crawford, Von Joshua, Tom Paciorek.

That is just a ton of talent.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5610484)
When they had him, Buckner was more of an OF with good speed (with good TZ and a couple of solid SB seasons). He then tore up his ankle (in 1975 per SABR bio). Amazingly he stole 28 bases and was credited at +14 on defense the next year but he was never really the same again. (Maybe he re-injured it that offseason or next spring?)

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