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Friday, January 03, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-3-2014

Toledo News-Bee, January 3, 1914:

When the major league rule makers get together in a few weeks they will be asked to give serious consideration to a plan for doing away with the blocking of runners at home plate. So many base runners have been injured at the pan by the gigantically booted backstops that the magnates are anxious to do something to prevent future accidents.

They’ll probably still be having this discussion in 2114.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 03, 2014 at 05:49 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: January 03, 2014 at 05:52 AM (#4628972)
A strange catcher, a slap-hitting infield, and a deep pitching staff on today's Birthday Team.

And Mike Crudale.

C: Darren Daulton
1B: Gus Suhr
2B: Luis Sojo
3B: Bill Cissell
SS: Luis Rivera
LF: Ed Sauer
CF: Frenchy Bordagaray
RF: Buzz Arlett

SP: A.J. Burnett
SP: Sid Hudson
SP: Cliff Melton
SP: Bart Johnson
SP: Kirby White
RP: Gary Lavelle

Owner: Eddie Einhorn
Manager: Jimmy Williams
Umpire: Larry Barnett
Not that one: John Dowd
Blogger: Aaron Gleeman
And: Mike Crudale
   2. BDC Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:31 AM (#4629018)
"Augie Galan and
Pinky May
Stan Hack and
Frenchy Bordagaray"

Bordagaray was pretty much the definition of "journeyman" (in either sense). WAR gives him 0.7 for a career of 930 games, but I wonder about that. It's really hard to judge the defensive value of a guy who can play several positions, especially 75 years in retrospect. He hit for a respectable average, ran well, but had no power and rarely drew a walk. He played many years in the minors, everywhere from Sacramento to Trois-Rivières.
   3. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4629031)
Oh, the great Buzz Arlett! How did the Hall of Merit wind up dealing with his unusual career?
   4. Al Peterson Posted: January 03, 2014 at 10:54 AM (#4629043)
Not hard to argue that the best position player on the birthday team had only one big league season when talking about Buzz Arlett. The Babe Ruth of the minors had monster seasons, also did the pitching thing early in his career.
   5. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 03, 2014 at 11:01 AM (#4629050)
I thought there was some scandal involving Bill Cissell killing somebody or something like that. He did die destitute at 45 not long after his wife had died. He was living off his 13-year-old son's $7 per week delivery boy salary. The White Sox did help him out when they found out about that.
   6. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4629079)
He was living off his 13-year-old son's $7 per week delivery boy salary. The White Sox did help him out when they found out about that.

"We'll double it!"
   7. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 03, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4629093)
Oh, the great Buzz Arlett! How did the Hall of Merit wind up dealing with his unusual career?


AFAICT he's an extreme fringe candidate who's never received much support, although a semi-recent attempt at MLEs gave him 72 WAR. But the person who came up with those MLEs wound up not voting for him.

While we're on this topic, doesn't the Hall of Merit have an actual website with voting histories? I seem to recall that existing, but I can't find it anywhere. It'd make looking this kind of information up a lot easier.
   8. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:06 PM (#4629121)
So, I was trying to come up with a list of guys who made the Hall of Fame by the absolute narrowest of margins. Who have I missed? Joke answers are welcome too.

* Bill Mazeroski only made the Hall of Fame because Rocky Nelson missed the tag on Mickey Mantle in the top of the 9th.

* Catfish Hunter only made it because Rich Reese struck out with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th of this game.

* Ray Schalk only made it because Charles Comiskey passed on the good champagne in 1919.

* George Kell only made it because he had 179 hits in 1949 instead of 178.
   9. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4629140)
Jack Morris will make it because John Smoltz pitched a very good game. Or because Lonnie Smith is Lonnie Smith.
   10. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4629152)
I wonder if Bucky Harris hitting that game-tying double that bounced off a pebble and over Freddie Lindstrom's head in the 9th inning of Game 7 of the 1924 World Series helped Lindstrom's case. It certainly kept him "in the conversation" as a part of baseball lore long after he retired.
   11. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:11 PM (#4629187)
Joe Tinker is in because Franklin Pierce Adams once wrote a poem.
   12. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:27 PM (#4629211)
Lefty Grove only made it because, at the turn of the last century, Maryland had temporarily stopped drowning left-handed babies.
   13. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4629223)
Early Wynn was probably going in anyway, but Al Luplow's RBI single in the 5th inning of this game certainly made it happen a lot faster.
   14. dr. scott Posted: January 03, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4629268)
Jack Morris will make it because John Smoltz pitched a very good game. Or because Lonnie Smith is Lonnie Smith.


Probably 20 things one can point to here as 5 of the 7 games were decided by 1 run... Liebrant blowing it in game 6, Gant cant keep his balance, Hrbck not having any vowells, Glavine "just" being great in game 2.... great painful series... and probably the reason for my current fandom.
   15. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4629294)
I'm sure there are some smaller things that happened in the 1960 World Series that we could change to keep Mazeroski out of the Hall of Fame, too. Bill Virdon's 2-run single in the 5th inning of Game 4--let's have that hang in the air a bit longer so Mantle can make the catch.
   16. Curse of the Andino Posted: January 03, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4629381)
Lefty Grove only made it because, at the turn of the last century, Maryland had temporarily stopped drowning left-handed babies.


So too Babe Ruth.

My state beats your state.
   17. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 05:29 PM (#4629501)
Two months ago, someone asked in the Dugout thread
Re: Bloomquist -- is there some way to determine which player has the lowest winning percentage in MLB history? It just feels like Bloomquist would be near the top of the leaderboard.


This Google Books Link is to the index of a SABR trivia book that has the answer! Yet...the page that would have the answer is not included in the free preview!

I can tell you, from that link, which player in Major League history has the highest winning percentage among games he appeared in: It is (of course) the utility infielder Charles Gipson, whose teams went 261-112 in games in which he appeared. (Among guys with longer careers, Paul Blair is #1.)
   18. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: January 03, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4629549)
Gipson had a personal 16-game winning streak for the 2001 Mariners. Of course, the Mariners still went 9-4 in games he didn't play during that span. The team was 74-20 when he played that year and a lowly 42-26 when he didn't.
   19. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 03, 2014 at 07:33 PM (#4629566)
While we're on this topic, doesn't the Hall of Merit have an actual website with voting histories? I seem to recall that existing, but I can't find it anywhere. It'd make looking this kind of information up a lot easier.


This shows links to all of their yearly discussion, ballot, and results threads.
   20. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:01 PM (#4629583)
This Google Books Link is to the index of a SABR trivia book that has the answer! Yet...the page that would have the answer is not included in the free preview!


I own that book! It was a freebie one year when I was a SABR member. The answer for worst winning percentage is Hawk Taylor, winning percentage of .256 (109 wins, 291 losses in games he appeared in). If anyone wants some trivia, one notable name of the list is a player who was more famous as the manager who led a franchise to its first World Series win, and never got a managing job with any other franchise.

This shows links to all of their yearly discussion, ballot, and results threads.


Thanks, but I knew about that page and it's not what I'm looking for. If I'm looking for info on one player (like Arlett), there's no way of quickly getting it. I could've sworn there was a website (not hosted on bbtf.org) somewhere that had tables for things like "in 2009 Joe Smith got 19 points, ranking 18th. In 2010 Smith dropped off the ballot". Also that page lacks links to the discussion / results of the rankings the HoM did (IE: Ranking the second basemen in the HoM) a few years back.
   21. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 03, 2014 at 08:42 PM (#4629632)
#20--Thanks so much for the response! The best answers we came up with at the time were the original Frank Thomas (the outfielder for the '62 Mets and others) or Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy. Does either show up near the top of the list by any chance?

As for your trivia, I have to assume that's Cito Gaston, right?
   22. Good cripple hitter Posted: January 03, 2014 at 09:10 PM (#4629651)
Yep, Cito Gaston.

Mulcahy can't show up on SABR's list because it requires a minimum of 200 losses and only covers 1957-2006. Frank Thomas isn't on it. the top 10 are:

PLAYER            W   L    WP    WAR    WAA

Hawk Taylor       100 291 .256  
-2.1 / -4.9
Elmer Valo        98  248 .283  28.4
!/ 9.8
Lou Klimchock     91  227 .286  
-2.9 / -5.3
Faye Throneberry  100 239 .295  
-3.7 / -8.2
Neil Chrisley     89  211 .297  
-1.7 / -3.9
Winston Llenas    89  211 .297  
-1.0 / -3.0
John Stephenson   135 314 .301  
-2.3 / -6.2
Gene Locklear     88  204 .301  1.5  
/ -0.6
Rod Kanehl        103 235 .305  
-1.7 / -5.0
Billy Bryan       115 258 .308  
-0.3 / -3.8 


Elmer Valo must've had some kind of career. On the opposite end of the spectrum is So Taguchi's career winning percentage of .634. Must be easy being the happiest man in baseball with a record like that. (Edit: forgot Taguchi lasted until 2009. The 2007 Cardinals would've dropped that a bit, but his time with the Phillies was more of the same.

Second edit: Valo's career wasn't as bad as this list made it appear. His career winning percentage was .389, the list ignores the games he played in before 1957. He only had 0.5 WAR for the seasons covered by the book.
   23. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: January 04, 2014 at 02:30 PM (#4630025)
Padres sign a couple of familiar names to minor league deals: Brooks Conrad and Brandon Wood.

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