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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-22-2014

Salt Lake Tribune, January 22, 1914:

[Tigers] President Navin received a letter today from Pitcher Edgar Willett, who yesterday jumped the Detroit team, to sign the [sic] St. Louis Federals, in which the erratic blonde hurler explained why he deserted. He resents the bonus clause which is annually put into his contract, the same stipulating that if he treads a straight line all summer he will receive $1500 more than otherwise.

The Tigers didn’t lose much. Willett went 6-20 with a 4.35 ERA (76 ERA+, -1.6 Pitching WAR) in two seasons against the mostly inferior Federal League hitters.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 07:22 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, ed willett, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 07:24 AM (#4643903)
Today's Birthday Team is not a good collection of talent. Almost looks like what would happen if the Birthday League had an expansion draft.

C: Carlos Ruiz
1B: Tom Jones
2B: Bobby Young
3B: Chone Figgins
SS: Irv Ray
LF: Wayne Kirby
CF: Amos Strunk
RF: Leon Roberts

SP: Mike Caldwell
SP: Jim Hughes
SP: Ubaldo Jimenez
SP: Dave Leonhard
SP: Jimmy Anderson
RP: Diomedes Olivo

Fun player: Prince Oana

In 1930, as a 20-year-old in the Class D Arizona State League, Oana hit .413 with 21 home runs and 55 XBH in 310 at-bats. San Francisco of the PCL snarfed him up and he hit .345 with 83 extra-base hits the next year. In 1933, also in the PCL, Oana hit .332 with 63 doubles, 11 triples, and 29 home runs.

He finally made it to the majors for a month in 1934, playing six games for the Phillies before getting sent back to Portland.

As a 32-year-old in 1942, Oana converted to pitching and went 16-5 with a 1.72 ERA for Fort Worth in the Texas League. He made it back to The Show the next season with the Tigers as a Kieschnickian reliever/pinch hitter and in limited playing time hit .385/.407/.654 and a 4.50 ERA (79 ERA+).

Oana bounced around the minors until 1951. Rory Costello wrote an excellent biography of Oana for SABR's bio project.
   2. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 22, 2014 at 07:43 AM (#4643904)
I probably write this every January 22nd, but Diomedes Olivo had an unusual career arc. Debuted at 41 years old as the 2nd oldest player in the NL in 1960 behind Mickey Vernon, and pitched 9 innings for the Pirates. He came back in 1962 as a 43 year old and pitched 84 innings of 143 ERA+ relief before falling apart in 1963 in his last year.
   3. BDC Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4643962)
Today's Birthday Team is not a good collection of talent

Hey, Tom Jones is a very talented singer.

I've seen a few of those Birthday guys play (Ruiz, Figgins, Jimenez) but I have no indelible memories of any of them.
   4. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4643985)
I've read that Oana bio before (maybe a year ago today?) and liked it.
   5. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:28 AM (#4643989)
Diomedes Olivo was from the Dominican, and played most of his career in the Dominican and Mexican leagues before arriving in the States. He was already 28 when Jackie Robinson debuted.

According to Rory Costello's SABR bio (which is available in the SABR E-book about the '60 Pirates), Olivo - who never had much command of the English language - turned down an opportunity to sign with the White Sox in 1948 because he didn't want to come to the States and play in the minors (in part because he didn't want to play in the South). Olivo played in Puerto Rico until the Dominican League (suspended by WWII) was reformed in 1951, played briefly in Havana (at the time an International League team) after the Dominican League moved to a winter schedule, and then played in Mexico and Nicaragua during the summer while continuing to pitch in the Dominican in the winter. He was signed, according to Costello, after Dick Stuart recommended him and Howie Haak took up the cause.

At the time Olivo came to the majors, there had been only five previous players from the Dominican - Ozzie Virgil, Felipe Alou, Julian Javier, Rudy Hernandez, and Juan Marichal. With the Trujillos running the country, it was very difficult for the top players in the Dominican to leave to play ball in the US.

Olivo pitched a seven-inning no-hitter in Atlanta, and scored the only run in a 1-0 game.

Diomedes and his younger brother Chi-Chi, who played for the Braves, died within two weeks of each other in 1977.

-- MWE
   6. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4644010)
Something that caught my eye yesterday, not directly baseball-relevant but important enough to me that I thought I should write about it.

Some context: I dislike what's been happening with the explosion of traveling sports teams (including but not limited to baseball); I think they do as much - if not more - harm than they do good.

Original article: The Girl in the Picture.

Why Suicide Has Become Epidemic.

My take.

-- MWE
   7. Davo Dozier Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4644017)
The 1903 World Series ended when Bill Dinneen struck out Honus Wagner in Game 8.

Does anyone know if Wagner struck out swinging or looking?

It feels like this was a pretty famous moment in baseball history--I'm surprised I've been unable to verify it one way or another!
   8. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4644020)
Does anyone know if Wagner struck out swinging or looking?

I'd be surprised if that wasn't mentioned in the newspaper coverage. Someone with spare time can go through the 1903 Boston Globe archives or whatever the newspaper was at the time.
   9. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4644032)
Ken Rosenthal on Twitter:

BREAKING: Tanaka to #Yankees, seven years, $155M, opt-out after fourth year.


-- MWE
   10. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:57 AM (#4644036)
I feel more relief than excitement about the Tanaka signing. Now they might make the playoffs.
   11. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM (#4644039)
The New York Evening World says Wagner "fanned", which suggests it was swinging.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4644044)
SDP trades IF Logan Forsythe to TBR for P Alex Torres. Other may be involved
   13. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4644045)
Welp, there goes 189.

Honestly, good on the Yankees. Entirely anecdotally, but most of the casual fans I know thought this offseason was a) That time A-Rod lost his suspension and turned out to actually be a vile person b) that time they were outbid by the Seattle Mariners and c) that time they overpaid for Boston's CF, who's pretty good but not 150M good.

This should change the morale of the fanbase around in a hurry and boost those sagging attendance numbers and ratings.
   14. BDC Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM (#4644055)
Yup, the Yankees sure got tired of that mild-mannered fiscal restraint :)

They still have their work cut out for them, having lost their best player and a number of good pitchers from an 85-win team, but they are right back in the thick of the fray, or whatever metaphor one chooses.
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM (#4644060)
Yup, the Yankees sure got tired of that mild-mannered fiscal restraint :)


Helps to get $25 million lifted off your books. Thanks Bud!
   16. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4644075)
   17. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4644087)
Welp, there goes 189.


Hal implied recently that SG, not Sherman was right, and they were past 189 before this happened.
   18. Nasty Nate Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4644090)
I predicted 8/160, trying hard not to do the common mistake of underestimating big FA deals. And even still, the player got a better contract than that.
   19. AndrewJ Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:38 AM (#4644093)
Does anyone know if Wagner struck out swinging or looking?

The Pittsburgh Press account ambiguously says: "Dineen (sic) had two strikes on Hans Wagner yesterday afternoon. He shot the third one across the plate and the Dutchman never touched it."
   20. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 11:40 AM (#4644096)
The Pittsburgh Press account ambiguously says: "Dineen (sic) had two strikes on Hans Wagner yesterday afternoon. He shot the third one across the plate and the Dutchman never touched it."
Sounds like the writer didn't know, either, so he hedged his bets.
   21. Davo Dozier Posted: January 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM (#4644208)
Eh, I'll take "fanned" as proof enough that he struck out swinging, meaning I can now say:

19 World Series have ended on strikeouts. And all but two of those 19 hitters struck out swinging. The only two guys to make the last out of a World Series by striking out looking:

1. Goose Goslin took a called 3rd strike from reliever Red Oldham to end Game 7 of the 1925 World Series.

2. (A bit more recently!) Miguel Cabrera struck out looking against Sergio Romo to end Game 4 of the 2012 World Series.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 12:55 PM (#4644222)
Eric O'Flaherty to the A's - 2/$7 mill. Overpaying for relievers is the new market inefficiency.
   23. Davo Dozier Posted: January 22, 2014 at 12:56 PM (#4644224)
This was a very fun one to research, by the way. The retro-sheet logs only record "Strikeout Swinging/Looking" details back to 1981, so for every other one, I had to use audio/video recordings or rely on biographical accounts of the individual games. (And I had some help on 1944 from Harveys Wallbangers in the Lounge). Lots of fun!
   24. esseff Posted: January 22, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4644322)
On Dinneen-Wagner, there's a cliff-hanger here. Just when you're about to get the answer, two pages are missing in the manuscript. Never should have had Rose Mary Woods transcribe that thing.
   25. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 02:26 PM (#4644338)
Ex-Met prospect Reese Havens retired. (per rotoworld, per A.Rubin)
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 22, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4644342)
IF Logan Forsythe, P Matt Lollis, P Matt Andriese, P Brad Boxberger (and possibly a fifth player?) to TBR for P Alex Torres and P Jesse Hahn

That seems to make Sean Rodriguez redundant in Tampa Bay.
   27. Davo Dozier Posted: January 22, 2014 at 02:36 PM (#4644347)
I like Boxberger--he was a former super prospect who's pitched well in limited time in San Diego. I'd say he has a decent shot of replacing Torres's likely 2014 production.

I haven't heard of any of the others.
   28. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4644402)
Maxx Tissenbaum was the other guy in 26.

Corey Brown (OAK) and David Huff (NYY) DFA'd to open up spots on the 40.
   29. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 22, 2014 at 03:57 PM (#4644430)
Boxberger has quality stuff but location problems - he's prone to go through periods where he can't throw quality strikes and gives up lots of baserunners.

That seems like a lot of players for Torres and Hahn.

And it doesn't make Rodriguez redundant; the Rays love having options like Rodriguez and Forsythe who can play all around the diamond. This trade was probably made because Tim Beckham tore his ACL and Hak-Ju Lee is coming off a bad knee injury that cost him most of 2013 so he will probably need more time in Durham.

-- MWE
   30. Davo Dozier Posted: January 22, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4644432)
Corey Brown (OAK) and David Huff (NYY) DFA'd to open up spots on the 40.

Oh God, please please please let the Nats pick up Corey Brown again.
   31. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:02 PM (#4644440)
Weird trade.

Hahn is an interesting cat. IIRC, Law thinks he might be a top 100 prospect in baseball; BA would not agree.

It's not like Torres doesn't have issues with location either. I think I'd rather have Boxberger (in the abstract).
   32. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:14 PM (#4644458)
It's not like Torres doesn't have issues with location either. I think I'd rather have Boxberger (in the abstract).


I'd go the other way - primarily because Torres is LHP while Boxberger is RHP and I think you can make better use of a lefty reliever with command issues.

The title on this one is funny:

LOOGY acquired for Logie

-- MWE

   33. Davo Dozier Posted: January 22, 2014 at 04:24 PM (#4644467)
31--Yep. Can't think of the last trade in which both teams gave up multiple young pitching prospects.
   34. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 22, 2014 at 06:46 PM (#4644660)
Whereas I like junk balling LOOGYs a bit more. (depending on the dude, of course)
   35. JJ1986 Posted: January 22, 2014 at 07:34 PM (#4644685)
Red Sox sign Grady Sizemore (major league deal, presumably for one year.)

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