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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-21-2018

Bridgeport Times, February 21, 1918:

“Snooks” Dowd, a highly touted player with the Springfield [Massachusetts] High school last season, has turned down an offer from Miller Huggins, manager of the Yankees, according to a report from his home town. The lad intends to complete his education at Dean Academy and at Lehigh before he gives thought to professional baseball. Dowd is said to be a fine hitter, excellent fielder and possessed of remarkable speed.

Dowd hit .115/.115/.115 in 26 career plate appearances in the big leagues.

Snooks is best known for an alleged incident in a 1918 Lehigh-Lafayette football game in which he took the ball, ran 15 yards the wrong way into his own end zone, circled the goal posts, and then ran the length of the field for a touchdown. I hate to be a downer, but I don’t think that happened. The New York Sun reported the day after the 1918 Lehigh-Lafayette game that Dowd had scored a 40 yard touchdown. Nice story, though. Dowd was a three-sport athlete; he spent more than a decade playing professional basketball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:19 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:21 AM (#5627925)
There's a remarkably thin pool of talent available for today's Birthday Team. Azocar, who had a career OBP of .246 and four career innings at first base, gets the call at the initial sack. Oh well. At least he had a couple great baseball cards. (RIP, Oscar.)

The other difficult choice is who's going to manage the team. Trammell and Skinner are the two options. Skinner only managed half a season, but Trammell's career winning percentage (.382) is one of the worst of all time. I picked Trammell. It's tough to hold the 2003 Tigers tire fire against him, and his teams were merely 'not very good' in '04 and '05. Maybe Skinner could have done a better job, but he never had a full-time managerial job and Tram did. That's something.

Bill Cash, who spent most of his career in the Negro National League, is likely a better player than Joel Skinner. I should probably have him in the starting lineup.

C: Joel Skinner (0.02 WAR)
1B: Oscar Azocar (-0.18 WAR)
2B: Devon Travis (6.02 WAR)
3B: Joe Foy (13.03 WAR)
SS/Manager: Alan Trammell (70.42 WAR)
LF: Ted Savage (1.69 WAR)
CF: Franklin Gutierrez (18.25 WAR)
RF: John Titus (29.66 WAR)

SP: Jouett Meekin (29.02 WAR)
SP: Dummy Taylor (13.88 WAR)
SP: Jack Billingham (7.73 WAR)
SP: Fred Newman (6.03 WAR)
SP: Tsuyoshi Wada (1.84 WAR)
RP: Tyler Lyons (1.83 WAR)

Owner: Tom Yawkey
Probably a better player than Skinner: Bill Cash
A bad Thanksgiving dinner: Turkey Gross
Fun name: Lucky Wright
Oddity: Adam Greenberg
Not that one: Zachary Taylor
Quarterback: Chad Hutchinson
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:46 AM (#5627959)
"Silent John" Titus was a strong-armed outfielder who recorded more than 20 assists for seven straight seasons, but he was better known for his quiet demeanor, his mustache, his selectivity at the plate, and the ubiquitous toothpick in his mouth. "Titus had one of the best batting eyes I ever saw," said Pete Alexander, who played with Titus on the Phillies during the early part of his career. "He would take his position at the plate with the easiest and most confident air in the world. If the ball was an inch outside of the plate, he would watch it go by and never bat an eye lash. If it was an inch inside, he wouldn't move. He would just draw in his stomach and let the ball pass. But if you put the ball over the plate, he would whale the cover off. It used to exasperate me merely to watch him. Many a time I have said to myself, If I were pitching, Old Man, I'd knock that toothpick out of your mouth and maybe then you'd move over."


Titus is still in the Phillies top 25 in most offensive categories. 23rd in hits, 23rd in runs scored, 24th in steals, 25th in doubles, 11th in triples. Not home runs.

18th in walks, pretty impressive for someone who played in the deadball era. He was in the NL's top 5 in walks several times, befitting Pete Alexander's description above. Although if Alexander had been on the Phillies a few years earlier he would have played with Roy Thomas, who led the league in walks 7 times!

Titus was a Spanish-American War veteran, though he never saw action, being in one of the many regiments that became incapacitated by typhoid in the staging areas in the South. He retired after being beaned in spring training 2014 which fractured his skull.
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5627979)
Titus was a Spanish-American War veteran, though he never saw action, being in one of the many regiments that became incapacitated by typhoid in the staging areas in the South. He retired after being beaned in spring training 2014 which fractured his skull.


Now that's a long career.

There were about 10 to 20 players that Bill James ranked in the New Historical Abstract that I had never heard of before. John Titus was one of them.
   4. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5627981)
Or 1914. If it was in 2014 we would have heard about it.
   5. Brian Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:27 AM (#5628010)
Serious question: looking to buy a retirement property and one of the criteria is big league baseball in the area. We've been honing in not far from Tampa ... is that a smart long term play? I don't want to buy a house close to the Spring Training home of the Montreal Rays. I know they have mumbled about sites for a new stadium but there has been nothing concrete. What are the chances the Rays move in the next few years?
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:35 AM (#5628015)
Serious question: looking to buy a retirement property and one of the criteria is big league baseball in the area. We've been honing in not far from Tampa ... is that a smart long term play? I don't want to buy a house close to the Spring Training home of the Montreal Rays. I know they have mumbled about sites for a new stadium but there has been nothing concrete. What are the chances the Rays move in the next few years?
There have been news reports lately about a new home in Ybor City, which is a neighborhood in Tampa (and a Jason Isbell lyric). I don't know if anything is imminent.
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5628058)
Ongoing coverage of Tampa's quest for a new mallpark.

The latest from last Friday:
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says he approves of the Tampa Bay Rays‘ preferred Ybor City site for a new stadium — it’s literally his job to say this, so no surprise there — and has told Tampa business leaders that they need to be “engaged in this effort” because “it’s good for community over the long haul.” He then added, “It’s crucial that we get a facility here that allows the Rays to get more toward the middle of the industry in terms of their revenues,” which pretty much sounds like, Hey, local corporate titans, one of your brethren isn’t making as much profit as he’d like, please give him a bunch of your money so his bank balance looks better, okay? More power to him if that sales pitch works, I guess, but I’m in no way confident it will take a significant bite out of that $400 million-plus funding hole, and remain concerned it’s mostly misdirection so that whenever the Rays eventually go to taxpayers hat in hand, they can say, Look, the business community is already chipping in, you gotta do your part too, capisce?
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5628072)
Or 1914. If it was in 2014 we would have heard about it.

Yeah, it's gotta be rare and newsworthy to survive typhoid for 116 years.
   9. Rennie's Tenet Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5628163)
Titus is also part of the Shakespeare team.
   10. The Ghost of Logan Schafer Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:39 PM (#5628431)
TED SAVAGE was only on the Brewers for a bit, but he had one of his best years. I know that's real exciting.

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