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Friday, March 17, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-17-2017

Former Browns scout Charley Barrett on the time he tried and failed to sign an amateur pitcher named Grover Alexander, quoted in the Bridgeport Evening Farmer, March 17, 1917:

“I stopped over in Beardstown to change trains and went to a hotel. Carrie Nation then was making a lecturing tour. She was at the hotel, but was to leave on another train. I set down my grip in the lobby, so did Carrie. She paid her bill, and making a great clatter grabbed a grip and hustled to the depot.
...
I got to the station and had occasion to open my grip. It was full of an old lady’s nightcaps, prohibition literature and certain other things I don’t know about, not being a married man. It was not my grip, though it was exactly like mine, except for the contents…[Nation sent my suitcase] back on the next train, with her blessing. But I had to wait. I missed my train.
...
The day I was to be in Galesburg Grover Alexander was hit in the head with a pitched ball and badly hurt. It looked like he was done for. I got there in time to learn that he even might die…I called off the deal that practically was closed and returned to St. Louis.

It took a Nation of one to hold the Browns back.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:31 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, grover cleveland alexander, history, scouts

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   1. GGC Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:38 AM (#5418801)
Dag, thank the Lounge folks for any b-day wishes, I don't have time to go there today. BDC, I responded to you in the Segregated Cornfield thread.
   2. GGC Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5418802)
Oh, I forgot, Danny Ainge!
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:39 AM (#5418803)
A strong Birthday Team today. No superstars, but good players as far as the eye can see.

C: Oscar Stanage (6.02 WAR)
1B: Chris Davis (17.9 WAR)
2B: Fred Pfeffer (26.59 WAR)
3B: Bill Mueller (23.8 WAR)
SS: Jean Segura (10.4 WAR)
LF: Pete Reiser (21.79 WAR)
CF: Juan Lagares (10.5 WAR)
RF: Hank Sauer (25.68 WAR)

SP: Charlie Root (37.87 WAR)
SP: John Smiley (20.22 WAR)
SP: Scott Downs (11.01 WAR)
SP: Tim Lollar (6.04 WAR)
SP: Rynie Wolters (2.92 WAR)
RP: Rod Scurry (5.8 WAR)

Manager: Cito Gaston
Fun name: Bunny Pearce, Lyman Lamb, Daff Gammons
Shooting guard: Danny Ainge
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:45 AM (#5418808)
Team for the Day:

Todd Green-c
Hank Greenberg-1b
Dick Green-2b
Willie Green-3b
Khalil Greene-ss
Mike Greenwell-lf
Lenny Green-cf
Danny Green-rf
Shawn Green-dh
Tommy Green-sp
Kent Greenfield-sp
Fred Green-rp
Dallas Green-mgr
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2017 at 10:51 AM (#5418811)
Come on, you gotta put Irish Meusel on there.
   6. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:03 AM (#5418819)
Hank Greenberg-1b


I used to live near a bar named O'Greenberg's.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5418821)
So, I hope someone else finds this interesting. John Franco was the Mets' closer for about a decade, and during that time he had a reputation for putting runners on the bases but still getting the job done. I later decided that almost all closers have the same reputation, and that he wasn't really doing anything interesting. But now I think that he might have been unusual.

John Franco has 24 bWAR and 16 fWAR. Usually we expect the difference to be due to the way those stats deal with BABIP - that BR interprets skill at reducing BABIP whereas Fangraphs sees luck. In this case the opposite is true - Franco was not good at limiting BABIP, and if Fangraphs gave him credit for his lack of BABIP skill/luck, he'd actually have 14 fWAR.

It's because of what Mets fans noticed all along - he'd let runners on, but he wouldn't let them score. Fangraphs reports that he has 9.9 "LOB-Wins" - that is, over the course of his career, he allowed ~100 fewer runs than you would expect just based on the superficial stat line due to his skill in leaving runners on base. Amazingly, despite this, there isn't a huge difference in his bases empty and runners on statistics - a 652 OPS allowed with bases empty, and 678 with men on.

Tom Glavine was famous for this, and yet Glavine merely equals Franco's LOB-Wins total (10.3) in thousands more innings. Glavine was 20 OPS points better with runners on than with bases empty.

There are two modern relievers ahead of Franco on the all-time LOB-Wins list, Dan Quisineberry and Paul Quantrill. This stat is dominated by deadball pitchers, and even when I look at the leaderboards post-1945, it's dominated by early pitchers like Preacher Roe, Warren Spahn and Whitey Ford. Glavine is 7th, and Bill Spaceman Lee is 3rd.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:29 AM (#5418827)
Fangraphs reports that he has 9.9 "LOB-Wins" - that is, over the course of his career, he allowed ~100 fewer runs than you would expect just based on the superficial stat line due to his skill in leaving runners on base. Amazingly, despite this, there isn't a huge difference in his bases empty and runners on statistics - a 652 OPS allowed with bases empty, and 678 with men on.

Don't pitchers as a whole perform significantly worse with men on base? If that's true, then maybe Franco somehow had an ability to be a lot less worse. If it's not true, though, I'd be hesitant to call this a skill.
   9. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5418842)
There are two modern relievers ahead of Franco on the all-time LOB-Wins list, Dan Quisineberry and Paul Quantrill. This stat is dominated by deadball pitchers
...and guys whose surnames start with Q.
   10. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:46 AM (#5418848)
Baseball player Joe Mauer is exactly as old as Tiger Woods was the day his drove his SUV into a bunch of stuff (12,386 days).

Actress Lindsay Lohan is exactly as old as Mookie Wilson was the day he ruined Bill Buckner's life (11,216 days).

Actor Shia Lebeouf is exactly as old as Sandy Koufax was the day of his last game (which came in the World Series) (11,237 days).


Anyone who wants to look up as-old-as stuff for their own lives can do so here.

For example, I'm half as old as Henry Ford was the day he died (30,566 days, or 83.69 years).
   11. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:47 AM (#5418849)
Huh--I should stop being surprised by this at some point, but still, I was definitely surprised to learn that Scott Downs began his career as a starting pitcher. The guy seemed like the LOOGYest LOOGY who ever LOOGYed.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5418854)
Don't pitchers as a whole perform significantly worse with men on base? If that's true, then maybe Franco somehow had an ability to be a lot less worse.


Wow, you couldn't be more right. Last year AL pitchers allowed a 733 OPS with bases empty, and a 755 with men on. In 1988 NL, it was 652 empty, and 702 with men on. So Franco and Glavine were beating the expectation by huge margins.
   13. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:13 PM (#5418878)
Don't pitchers as a whole perform significantly worse with men on base? If that's true, then maybe Franco somehow had an ability to be a lot less worse.

Wow, you couldn't be more right. Last year AL pitchers allowed a 733 OPS with bases empty, and a 755 with men on. In 1988 NL, it was 652 empty, and 702 with men on. So Franco and Glavine were beating the expectation by huge margins.
20 points of OPS is significant?
   14. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:27 PM (#5418888)
Sure. If the average pitcher is 20 points worse, and you're 20 points better, over the course of your entire career.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:28 PM (#5418890)
Wow, you couldn't be more right.

Thank you. Could you please alert my boss(es) and my girlfriend to that fact?

Last year AL pitchers allowed a 733 OPS with bases empty, and a 755 with men on. In 1988 NL, it was 652 empty, and 702 with men on. So Franco and Glavine were beating the expectation by huge margins.

I'd be interested to see how those numbers look over time. The difference in the 1988 vs. now context is interesting - is the general improvement in bullpens responsible for a trend toward reducing the difference in overall performance with bases empty vs. runners on?
   16. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2017 at 12:47 PM (#5418905)
Yeah, I was kind of hoping that someone that knows more than me would come and contextualize Franco's performance.
   17. Rennie's Tenet Posted: March 17, 2017 at 01:50 PM (#5418960)
Come on, you gotta put Irish Meusel on there.


I wanted to do all greens. I thought that there was a Verde out there, but I guess I was thinking of Vinnie. Occurred to me later could have used shades of green: Kelly, Forest, Moss

And, no, "Shades of Green" is not that scorching hot Irish flick burning up the art houses.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2017 at 01:55 PM (#5418963)
50 Shades of Ginger
   19. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: March 17, 2017 at 02:23 PM (#5418967)
I thought that there was a Verde out there, but I guess I was thinking of Vinnie.

There's Jose Valverde.

And the official PED for the team has to be greenies.
   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 17, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5418987)
Franco was unusual among closers in that he was more of a groundball pitcher than a strikeout pitcher. Because of that, I suspect he allowed a lower ISO than most closers, and also got many more DPs. Comparing Franco to Rod Beck, a contemporary, Franco beats him by about 50 points of ISO and was getting nearly twice as many DPs per year. Franco got more DPs over his career than Mariano Rivera did.
   21. Batman Posted: March 17, 2017 at 03:01 PM (#5418990)
The name "Verlander" might not have anything to do with green, but it's close enough on a day honoring the lying, cheating Irish.
   22. dlf Posted: March 17, 2017 at 03:04 PM (#5418994)
Wow, you couldn't be more right. Last year AL pitchers allowed a 733 OPS with bases empty, and a 755 with men on. In 1988 NL, it was 652 empty, and 702 with men on.


How much of this is based on the selection -- worse pitchers will make up a larger portion of the 'men on' subset than they do of the 'bases empty' subset?
   23. Batman Posted: March 17, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5419007)
Bad pitchers or good pitchers who are a little off. Clayton Kershaw allowed 85 more points of OPS with runners on last year than with the bases empty. The Dodgers had to put up with his .534 OPS-against with somebody on base.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: March 17, 2017 at 03:31 PM (#5419014)
No idea. There's also the small factor that the good hitters more often have good hitters in front of them. Holding runners on makes a difference. Intentional walks make a difference.

The biggest difference could be sac flies. With a runner on third, and sometimes on second, all of a sudden a routine fly ball does not count as an out from the hitter's perspective. So if the OPS-allowed is coming from that perspective, then hitters have a huge bonus in many situations with runners on.
   25. Zach Posted: March 17, 2017 at 05:34 PM (#5419100)
It's probably just as well. Grover Cleveland Alexander and Carrie Nation wouldn't have gotten along.
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 17, 2017 at 05:54 PM (#5419109)
The biggest difference could be sac flies. With a runner on third, and sometimes on second, all of a sudden a routine fly ball does not count as an out from the hitter's perspective.


There's also the slighter difference of hitting against draw-in infields, which will inflate BA.

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