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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-6-2013

Pittsburgh Press, February 6, 1913:

It is doubtful if it has ever happened before that a ball player coming to the major leagues has to put in his winter months studying the English language so that he can make himself understood to his manager. This, however, is what Jacinto Calvo, the Cuban outfielder signed by Manager Griffith, of Washington, is doing.

Griff received a letter from Cuba telling him that Calvo is taking lessons in English, that he is making rapid progress, and by the time he reports he espects to be able to have mastered the language well enough to make himself understood.

Calvo spent most of 1913 with the Long Branch (NJ) Cubans in the Class D New York-New Jersey League. Conveniently, the team was made up almost entirely of Cuban players, so knowing how to speak English wouldn’t have been terribly important.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 06:51 AM | 37 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, international, jack calvo

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 06:54 AM (#4363651)
Say, that right fielder is pretty good.

Birthday Team:
C: Smoky Burgess
1B: Dale Long
2B: Frank LaPorte
3B: Pedro Alvarez
SS: Glenn Wright
LF: Richie Zisk
CF: John Potts
RF/SP: George H. Ruth

SP: 1870s Bobby Mitchell
SP: Bob Wickman
SP: Travis Wood
SP: Mark Hutton
RP: Bill Dawley

Umpire: Larry Young
Play-By-Play: Ronald Reagan
   2. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: February 06, 2013 at 08:41 AM (#4363660)
   3. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 06, 2013 at 09:27 AM (#4363671)
I never realized that Ruth and Aaron had birthdays one day apart.

Was it a clean home run or did it hit the top of the fence first and then bounce over?


Do you mean to ask if it hit the ground first? A ball that hits the top of the fence and hops over is still a home run.
   4. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4363745)
Posnanski has a little about today's birthdays:

But probably my favorite little fact is that Ruth is, quite easily, the best hitter AND the best pitcher born on February 6. The second-best hitter is Smoky Burgess or Richie Zisk, and while they were both good hitters they were obviously a million miles from Ruth. But the second best pitcher is probably Bob Wickman, who did save 267 games. But -- and I find this amazing -- he threw FEWER INNINGS than Ruth, who was only a pitcher early in his career but still went 94-46 with a 2.28 ERA and was pretty close to unhittable in his three World Series starts.


   5. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4363757)
A ball that hits the top of the fence and hops over is still a home run.
It's also a home run if it hits the top of Jose Canseco's noggin and hops over, or if Jason Michaels flips it over the fence with his glove.

As an aside, that Michaels play is a really underrated blooper.
   6. Greg K Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:31 AM (#4363772)
It's also a home run if it hits the top of Jose Canseco's noggin and hops over, or if Jason Michaels flips it over the fence with his glove.

As an aside, that Michaels play is a really underrated blooper.

I recall a couple years ago Alex Rios had one in Fenway that was especially humorous because
A) It was a good 15-20 feet short of the fence, but he juggled it and ended up tossing it over the short wall in right
and
B) If I recall correctly it broke up a shutout for Roy Halladay in the 7th or so.

Now to b-ref to see if I can find the game!

EDIT: Way off as usual. It was tied 4-4 (though I got the inning right!). It turned out to be 2 run homer for Alex Cora and the game ended 6-4. August 31, 2006.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:39 AM (#4363775)
Joe Posnanski recently started doing "birthday articles." (EDIT: Sodastream Crystal Light Fruit Punch to #4).

Ruth, Aaron, Paul Blair (Feb. 1)
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:40 AM (#4363778)
Jon Rauch signs with the Mariners

Minor league deals:

P Jonathan Sanchez to the Pirates
P Jeremy Accardo to the Nats
OF Juan Rivera to the Yanks

Russ Canzler continues his odyssey, being claimed by the Orioles. Canzler ended last season with the Indians. Since then he has been property of the Blue Jays, Indians again, Yankees, and now Orioles.

Orioles prospect Mychal Givens has given up SS and will try pitching. I remember really liking him out of the draft as a pitcher.
   9. Greg K Posted: February 06, 2013 at 11:41 AM (#4363780)
Joe Posnanski recently started doing "birthday articles." (EDIT: Sodastream Crystal Light Fruit Punch to #4).

One of his good friends here should forward him the January league standings.
   10. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:00 PM (#4363805)
OF Juan Rivera to the Yanks

Yet another guy who had his best season in 2006.
   11. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:01 PM (#4363807)
Russ Canzler continues his odyssey, being claimed by the Orioles. Canzler ended last season with the Indians. Since then he has been property of the Blue Jays, Indians again, Yankees, and now Orioles.
I root for guys like Canzler. Yeah, he's probably not a particularly good MLB ballplayer, but we're talking about a universe where people keep paying Delmon Young, Shelley Duncan, Sam Fuld, and Laynce Nix to play at least semi-regularly as corner outfielders.

The difference between Shelley Duncan and Russ Canzler is that small. It's being in the right place at the right time. It's having a dad who's a famous coach, or having a manager who just happens to take an irrational liking to you.
   12. Famous Original Joe C Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4363820)
Word to the wise: stay the **** out of that Schilling thread.

Also, while I'm here - I love the birthday league and hope someone keeps it going.
   13. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM (#4363822)
Yeah, I've been running the games and posting the results in the evening, just because I've gotta be on the road by 6:45AM to get to work on time.

I fully intend to play the entire year.
   14. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4363824)
The difference between Shelley Duncan and Russ Canzler is that small. It's being in the right place at the right time. It's having a dad who's a famous coach, or having a manager who just happens to take an irrational liking to you.
There's a section in one of the the Bill James where he's talking about someone--Kevin Mitchell, maybe?--and says you only ever need to have one good season in four or five years, because teams will keep running you out thinking that year will happen again. Duncan hit in his first go-around with the Yankees (.257/.329/.554, admittedly in very little time) in 2007 and then hit again (.260/.324/.484) for the Indians in '11. So that probably earned him a couple more years of teams thinking that'll come again.
   15. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:41 PM (#4363849)
Joe Posnanski recently started doing "birthday articles."


The Ruth one mentions this site and the HoM-

Wes Ferrell is probably the best hitting pitcher other than Ruth -- but he never did get 200 plate appearances in a season. He hit 38 career home runs, nine of them in 128 plate appearances in 1931. He was also a very good pitcher in a high-scoring era -- he is not in the Hall of Fame but he IS in the Baseball Think Factory Hall of Merit.
   16. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4363862)
Wes Ferrell is probably the best hitting pitcher other than Ruth
Bob Caruthers says hi.

Although I guess that raises a question. What do you do with guys like Caruthers and Dave Foutz? Are they outfielders who pitched regularly or pitchers who played the outfield on their days off?

Ferrell is probably the best hitting pitcher who didn't regularly play elsewhere when he wasn't pitching.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4363865)
Relevant to those points - Micah Owings is converting full time to 1B.
   18. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4363868)
Sodastream Crystal Light Fruit Punch to #4

I just bought this.

Word to the wise: stay the **** out of that Schilling thread.

Advice I should've stuck to.


Shelley Duncan: I dunno in this case, at least not in 2013. He's signed to a minor league deal with Tampa and will probably be just another guy in Durham this year. (As was Canzler not long ago.)

Owings' ERA+ projection in ZiPS came out today - 91, above replacement level. Wonder what his OPS+ is?
   19. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 12:55 PM (#4363872)
Also, Joe Wood at least has to be in the conversation as a candidate for "Best Hitting Pitcher, 20th Century, not named Ruth". He may not be better than Ferrell, but if he's not better, he's close.
   20. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:00 PM (#4363879)
"Neutral Milk Dotel"?! Brilliant.
   21. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:08 PM (#4363883)
*bow*
   22. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:23 PM (#4363900)
Owings' ERA+ projection in ZiPS came out today - 91, above replacement level. Wonder what his OPS+ is?
Good question. There are teams *cough*Cleveland*cough* who have gaping holes at 1B or LF and could also use an extra arm coming out of the bullpen. If you can get 75 innings of 91 ERA+ ball from a 1B/LF/RF who's putting up a OPS+ around league average, that pretty much has to be better than what you're going to get from Drew Stubbs and David Huff.

It's not going to win you the pennant, but that's a useful ballplayer. I'm kind of bummed to hear Owings is going full-time 1B, as opposed to becoming Kieschnick II.
   23. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:32 PM (#4363910)
Shelley Duncan: I dunno in this case, at least not in 2013. He's signed to a minor league deal with Tampa and will probably be just another guy in Durham this year. (As was Canzler not long ago.)
Perhaps Shelley is too old for that trick to word. I suppose it is worth noting that Canzler will be, this year, in his same age season as when Shelley broke on to the scene, so there's hope for him yet.
   24. philphan Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4363919)
Russ Canzler continues his odyssey, being claimed by the Orioles. Canzler ended last season with the Indians. Since then he has been property of the Blue Jays, Indians again, Yankees, and now Orioles.


Has this been the weirdest offseason ever for this sort of thing?

For example, Sandy Rosario ended last season with Miamo, then was claimed by Boston on waivers, was traded to Oakland, was re-claimed by Boston on waivers, went to Chicago (NL) on waivers, and then went to SF on waivers.

And I feel like there are several other guys who have been kicked back and forth (sometimes from and back to the same team) this off-season. But I'm at work and don't have access to my rosters, so I cannot recall any of the others.

Why would this be happening?
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:46 PM (#4363926)
Eli Whiteside too.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:54 PM (#4363942)
There have been waiver wars before. A decade or so ago I remember the Royals and Reds kept volleying some fringy AAAA reliever back and forth - Tim Pugh maybe?

Edit: Yea, Pugh.

May 10, 1996: Selected off waivers by the Kansas City Royals from the Cincinnati Reds.
July 8, 1996: Selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds from the Kansas City Royals.
July 12, 1996: Selected off waivers by the Kansas City Royals from the Cincinnati Reds.
August 15, 1996: Selected off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds from the Kansas City Royals.
   27. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 06, 2013 at 01:57 PM (#4363958)
Then there was the epic tug-of-war over Dewayne Wise, which continued throughout the season. If anyoen can explain this sequence of events, please let me know.

June 5, 2010: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
November 12, 2010: Granted Free Agency.
January 10, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the Florida Marlins.
March 30, 2011: Released by the Florida Marlins.
April 6, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
June 9, 2011: Released by the Toronto Blue Jays.
June 15, 2011: Signed as a Free Agent with the Florida Marlins.
August 26, 2011: Selected off waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Florida Marlins.
October 4, 2011: Granted Free Agency.
   28. esseff Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:00 PM (#4363961)
Why would this be happening?


It's a little trick the GM in Toronto started three or four years ago. Claim a fringe 40-man-roster guy who might be useful for organizational depth, and hope that you can be the one to get him through waivers so he can be outrighted. Sometimes it takes four or five rounds of this, but eventually the player often does clear waivers; I think Whiteside finally did
   29. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: February 06, 2013 at 02:34 PM (#4364025)
Yup, I had wondered for years why teams weren't doing this on any kind of scale.
   30. Sweatpants Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:04 PM (#4364086)
Doc Crandall also deserves a mention in the best-hitting non-Ruth pitcher discussion.
   31. BDC Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:24 PM (#4364136)
I'd have said George Uhle was one of the best-hitting pitchers, but come to find he is only 18th on the OPS+ leaderboard for pitchers of any career length. Uhle had some seasons with hilariously high batting averages, but is was the 1920s.

Another interesting category is "reliever who almost never got to hit, but was hard to stop when he did." Terry Forster became a minor celebrity with that, but there are other examples, like Terry Mathews, a former Ranger who hit .391 over three seasons with the Marlins. Heck, Brad Lidge hit .286 with a .429 SLG (in 7 career ABs, naturally). He may have missed an avocation.
   32. Craig in MN Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4364170)
Yup, I had wondered for years why teams weren't doing this on any kind of scale.


Don't you have to pay a waiver claim fee every time you claim someone? What is that, $20,000? That's nothing for a MLB payroll, unless you do it many times, which you'd have to to have a good chance to make it worthwhile.

I think of it like the idea of the "winner's curse" in free agency. You have to overpay to get a free agent, because you pay more than anyone else thinks they're worse. That is with presumable useful players. For this type of waiver claim shenanigans, you are also overpaying....investing more than anyone else would for replacement level players. Overpaying for replacement level players doesn't seem like a brilliant strategy to spend much time on. It can work out, but you would mostly be throwing your money away, with the added drawback of advertising that you are willing to, on a whim, mess with the life of that player, and everyone in AAA, and anyone you might intend to sign for AAA in the future.
   33. esseff Posted: February 06, 2013 at 03:53 PM (#4364183)
Don't you have to pay a waiver claim fee every time you claim someone? What is that, $20,000? That's nothing for a MLB payroll, unless you do it many times, which you'd have to to have a good chance to make it worthwhile.


Craig,

The fee gets paid to the team putting the player on waivers, so in essence it's the same $20,000 being passed around no matter how many times the player gets claimed. That is, Team A puts him on waivers and Team B pays $20,000 for him. But Team B gets its money back when Team C claims him, and on and on.
   34. Walt Davis Posted: February 06, 2013 at 04:35 PM (#4364256)
The fee gets paid to the team putting the player on waivers

Which explains the Wise-Jays-Marlins thing ...

Marlins sign Wise
if Marlins don't cut wise by March 30, they have to pay him real money
Marlins cut Wise
Jays sign Wise as FA
Jays release Wise
Marlins claim Wise, owe Jays $20,000
Jays know Marlins will never pay $20,000, claim Wise back
Jays release Wise but Loria's not falling for that one again, waits for him to pass through waivers, grabs as FA
Marlins release Wise, Jays claim off waivers

Jays owe Marlins $20,000.

Never, ever try to out-cheap Jeffrey Loria.
   35. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: February 06, 2013 at 06:16 PM (#4364473)
Birthday League Update:
February 6         33  20  .623 ---- 
February 4         33  21  .611   .5   
February 5         35  23  .603   .5        
February 22        34  24  .586  1.5 
January 31         33  24  .579  2.0
News and notes:
* February 21 has lost 14 of 15 and is now 16-42, 19.5 games out of first. They're 5-24 so far in May.
* February 19 was 16-8 in April, they're 6-23 in May.
* Orval Overall (February 2) has thrown a one-hitter and a two-hitter.
* Skip Schumaker (February 3) leads the league with a .382 batting average.
* Babe Ruth (February 6) leads the league in runs scored (54), home runs (17), walks (54), intentional walks (9), slugging (.747), OBP (.496), RC/27 (15.2), wins (10), complete games (7), and fewest hits/9 (6.02).
* Total bases leaderboard: Vic Wertz (February 9) 149, Ruth 139, Henry Aaron (February 5) 127.
* Scott Erickson (February 2) and Miguel Batista (February 19) lead the league with 9 losses.
* Nolan Ryan (January 31) still leads the league in walks (48) and strikeouts (97).

Stats, standings, box scores, and leaders here.
   36. KJOK Posted: February 06, 2013 at 07:08 PM (#4364517)
It's a little trick the GM in Toronto started three or four years ago. Claim a fringe 40-man-roster guy who might be useful for organizational depth, and hope that you can be the one to get him through waivers so he can be outrighted. Sometimes it takes four or five rounds of this, but eventually the player often does clear waivers; I think Whiteside finally did


Teams in the past would only carry 37 or 38 guys on their 40-man roster in the off-season in case they wanted to sign someone. Now just about every team uses up the 40 man allotment, so when some other team waives a guy they think might be useful to their team, they have to cut someone, and then he gets picked up a different team, who has to cut someone, and the merry-go-round continues.

   37. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 06, 2013 at 07:24 PM (#4364524)
Another interesting category is "reliever who almost never got to hit, but was hard to stop when he did." Terry Forster became a minor celebrity with that, but there are other examples, like Terry Mathews, a former Ranger who hit .391 over three seasons with the Marlins. Heck, Brad Lidge hit .286 with a .429 SLG (in 7 career ABs, naturally). He may have missed an avocation.


Ken Tatum, who pitched in the early 1970s, was one of those - he only had 51 PA, but had four home runs, which led to a line of .244/.306/.533. And 1950s reliever Dixie Howell, at .243/.282/.500 with five homers in 79 PA. There's also a guy named Chad Kimsey who pitched in the 1930s (only 10 of his 198 games pitched were starts, which was unusually low for that time), who hit .282/.336/.432, and had six home runs as a relief pitcher, which is the record.

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