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Monday, March 24, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-24-2014

Milwaukee Journal, March 24, 1914:

After a heated debate, during which baseball in general and the prowess of noted players in particular were discussed, the Mississippi house of representatives yesterday voted, 50 to 44, to take a recess Thursday afternoon to see the Detroit baseball team play a local team [in Jackson].

Your (great grandparents’) tax dollars at work.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:16 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:26 AM (#4676012)
An extremely recent pitching staff on today's Birthday Team. This team would have been a trainwreck about 25 years ago, but now it's perfectly cromulent.

C: Bob Tillman
1B/Manager: George Sisler
2B: Billy Klusman
3B: Jim Bucher
SS: Garry Templeton
LF: Kip Selbach
CF: Roy Thomas
RF: Corey Hart

SP: Bruce Hurst
SP: Ernie Shore
SP: Wilson Alvarez
SP: Ron Robinson
SP: Chad Gaudin
RP: Jose Valverde
RP: Steve Karsay

Garfoose Wrangler: Dirk Hayhurst
Blocked by Templeton: Starlin Castro
Oh Brother: Jesus Alou
Minor League Owner: Fatty Arbuckle
   2. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4676032)
Tigers went shopping for Sea Bass, though it has a fork in it.
EDIT: Deal was for Steve Lombardozzi (who goes to Baltimore).
   3. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:24 AM (#4676035)
On this day in 2009 John Brattain died at age 44 due to complications that set in during heart surgery

For those newer to BBTF john was a tremendous person. setting aside his love of ridiculously awful puns john held a special place not just at bbtf but to everyone who knew him and of him.

if you have a moment please google his name, read some of his articles at the 'hardball times' and better yet find some old bbtf threads and scan his contributions.

as we say in the back country, john was a good egg.

he is missed
   4. JJ1986 Posted: March 24, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4676042)
This thread is some of John's funniest work here.
   5. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4676097)
Bill James posted an epically long article to his paysite today about Ted Kluszewski, Vic Wertz, Roy Sievers and Joe Adcock.
To a quite remarkable extent, it is the same story in all four cases—and yet in certain respects it is not all that common a story, and each of these players is remarkable in his own way, and in the same ways. There were four first basemen. . .we will call them all first basemen. . .all born in a three-year window in the 1920s...

it is my opinion that, given a full career, each of these four men not only might be a Hall of Famer, but would be... It’s not like these are the only four players in baseball history who would clearly be Hall of Famers if a few things had broken right for them; there are probably a few dozen players about whom you could say that. But it’s not like those guys are falling off the trees, either. There are many players that you think maybe this guy could have been a Hall of Famer; there are not very many players that you say that there is no doubt that this guy is a Hall of Famer, given a couple of better breaks. All four of these guys are in that group, and that’s why I decided to write about them.
   6. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:23 AM (#4676104)
I think I've mentioned before that I've been deducing play-by-play for 1949 games for Retrosheet. One of the names that I recognized was Ted Kluszewski for the Reds, but in the first Reds game I did, they had Klu batting 8th! I just looked up his stats and it's interesting, he's not really what I thought he was. I had always thought of him as a poor-man's Harmon Killebrew - big, slow, home-run hitter, probably batted about .260 if you'd asked me to guess. In 1949 - his first season as a regular - he batted .309 and only hit 8 home runs! The power actually came much later and the .300 batting average stayed around. Interesting (probably only to me, but whatever).
   7. BDC Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4676112)

not very many players that you say that there is no doubt that this guy is a Hall of Famer, given a couple of better breaks

Depends on how one defines "breaks" and "couple," I suppose. Just among those four guys' contemporaries at first base, there're also Gil Hodges and Mickey Vernon. And then there are outstanding talents for whom the breaks would have to be larger and a couple-or-three, like Eddie Robinson and Eddie Waitkus (in the latter case, no WW2 and Ruth Steinhagen being a worse shot). It's a continuum, like all player evaluation, not that James is saying anything different.
   8. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 11:54 AM (#4676118)
Heh... at the end of the article, James goes through players who he could have included but didn't for various reasons (more an OF than a 1B, not quite from the same era, not quite as good a player, just "a different story", etc.) Vernon and Robinson are the first two he mentions.

(He then goes through Walt Dropo, Steve Bilko, Luke Easter, Hank Sauer and Gus Zernial. "Behind those guys you have players like Dick Gernert, Dale Long, George Crowe and Marv Throneberry, who are similar players and who had their moments, but they’re another step down the ladder. Gentile is similar, but he’s later, and Don Mincher is similar, but he is later AND a step down the ladder.")
   9. esseff Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:18 PM (#4676134)
Bill White? Just a little later.
   10. esseff Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4676140)
Cardinals pick Joe Kelly for the rotation, moving (keeping?) Carlos Martinez to the 'pen. I guess if it means 75 innings, rather than 175, for Martinez in his age 22 season, there is some benefit to that.
   11. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:24 PM (#4676141)
I don't know that this is as rare as James makes it out to me. If his back doesn't disintegrate in his mid-to-late 20s, Don Mattingly is in. Hal Trosky was a half-step behind Greenberg and Foxx (which is still a helluva player, a borderline HOFer) until migraines ruined his career. Dave Orr was one of the elite hitters of his era, but had a career-ending stroke at age 30. Dolph Camilli didn't play everyday in the majors until age 27 because he was in the Pacific Coast League.

All of these guys are first basemen who, through no fault of their own, had legitimate HOF-candidate careers truncated.

There are easily 12-15 of these guys, just at 1B.
   12. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4676143)
frank howard is a great 'what if' career

what if he had not wasted a year or two in the minors where he was killing his leagues and obviously ready?

what if he had not kept getting nagging injuries early in his career with the major league team that hindered his getting into the lineup?

what if he had gotten glasses earlier?

what if he not played in dodger stadium as his home park during his peak years?

what if he had not played his peak years in the 60's?

what if he had been put at first base right away versus trying to play the outfield?

what if he had met gil hodges or ted Williams earlier in his career as both men helped frank adjust his batting approach with positive results?

   13. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4676144)
Jose Quintana signs a 5 year $20-26 million extension with Chicago.
   14. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:27 PM (#4676145)
G. Soto out for the Rangers for a few months - gonna be the JP and Chirinos show, I guess.
   15. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 12:46 PM (#4676156)
Harv, in discussing Adcock, James also gives us episode #352 of the "how Fred Haney screwed up the 1959 Braves" saga. The litany of errors begins with:
I have ranted about this many times before so I will keep it short here, but it is my opinion that:

a) No manager in the history of baseball ever had a worse year than Fred Haney, manager of the Braves, in 1959, and

b) In the entire history of baseball there is no other case of a team as weak as the 1959 Dodgers beating a team as great as the 1959 Braves.
   16. BDC Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:01 PM (#4676166)
G. Soto out for the Rangers for a few months

Seriously?

The last two uninjured Rangers will be Fielder and Beltre. Then Fielder will give Beltre a concussion while trying to touch his head, and strain an oblique while backpedaling to safety.
   17. Davo Dozier Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4676175)
Jose Quintana signs a 5 year $20-26 million extension with Chicago.

I know spring training stats don't really matter, but still, his would give me some pause: 11 innings, 20 earned runs, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts.
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:20 PM (#4676178)
district

yes. it was a crazy season with an awful ending
   19. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4676185)
The last two uninjured Rangers will be Fielder and Beltre. Then Fielder will give Beltre a concussion while trying to touch his head, and strain an oblique while backpedaling to safety.

Ummmmm, you do know that Beltre* is out indefinitely with a fractured leg - right?







* Okay, so it's the Rangers' Engel Beltre that's hurt.
   20. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: March 24, 2014 at 01:34 PM (#4676187)
This thread is some of John's funniest work here.


The great thing is that he repeatedly suggests that other people have the best jokes.

And when he disagreed with you, he'd let you know, and maybe he wouldn't change your mind, but at the end of the conversation you'd at least respect him more than you did beforehand. He never felt the need to put *you* down in order to put your *opinion* down.

Best Regards,
Larry
   21. BDC Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:38 PM (#4676244)
it's the Rangers' Engel Beltre that's hurt

Don't give me a heart attack.

One good thing about the Rangers' injuries must be the convenience of cutting the roster. Anybody still ambulatory comes east with the big club.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 02:45 PM (#4676252)
G. Soto out for the Rangers for a few months

Seriously?

The last two uninjured Rangers will be Fielder and Beltre. Then Fielder will give Beltre a concussion while trying to touch his head, and strain an oblique while backpedaling to safety.


0-162 is still within reach.
   23. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:02 PM (#4676269)
I think I've mentioned before that I've been deducing play-by-play for 1949 games for Retrosheet. One of the names that I recognized was Ted Kluszewski for the Reds, but in the first Reds game I did, they had Klu batting 8th! I just looked up his stats and it's interesting, he's not really what I thought he was. I had always thought of him as a poor-man's Harmon Killebrew - big, slow, home-run hitter, probably batted about .260 if you'd asked me to guess. In 1949 - his first season as a regular - he batted .309 and only hit 8 home runs! The power actually came much later and the .300 batting average stayed around. Interesting (probably only to me, but whatever).


Klu's power surge coincided with a change in the Crosley Field dimensions. Previously, it was 366 ft. down the right field line. In 1953, a screen was erected that shortened the distance to 342 ft. (which is still pretty far down the line). Klu went from 13 and 16 home runs the previous two seasons to 40, 49, and 47 the next three. That probably isn't the whole reason, but I would suspect it factors in there somewhere.
   24. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4676277)
EDIT: Never mind earlier post. James' article says that the fence was moved in in 1954, but from context, he clearly meant 1953.

(He does say that it was 342 feet from 1942-1949 -- which I suppose is a little relevant to Klu, who debuted in 1947 -- but then moved back out in 1950. "There must have been some temporary bleachers or something; I checked several sources but nothing really explains it.")
   25. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4676286)
@BenBadler: Three of the Rays’ top 10 prospects have been suspended for drugs.”


Is it just me or is this a recurring issue in the Tampa Bay organization?
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:25 PM (#4676296)
And Alex Colome of the Rays has just been suspended 50 games for steroids.
   27. CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo Posted: March 24, 2014 at 03:58 PM (#4676329)
I know spring training stats don't really matter, but still, his would give me some pause: 11 innings, 20 earned runs, 7 walks, 6 strikeouts.

To provide some context, Quintana had one atrocious outing where he failed to record an out -- something like nine batters faced, two walks, seven hits (IIRC). He also took a line-drive off the shin in a different outing, but has since recovered and pitched.

The contract reportedly comes with two team options, the highest of which comes in at $11.5mm. Outside of the general pitcher injury concerns, I'm pretty happy with this. Very similar to Gavin Floyd in that he turned a first year with a 'superficially' good ERA (i.e. peripherals that didn't necessarily support the likelihood of continued success) and followed it with a second season with improved peripherals and better stuff (fastball velocity increased by 1 MPH, per fangraphs).
   28. The District Attorney Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:01 PM (#4676331)
Is it just me or is this a recurring issue in the Tampa Bay organization?
I dunno, is it meth again?
   29. spike Posted: March 24, 2014 at 04:25 PM (#4676356)
Braves release Freddy Garcia
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: March 24, 2014 at 05:12 PM (#4676399)

On this day in 2009 John Brattain died at age 44 due to complications that set in during heart surgery

I can't believe it was five years ago. I didn't know John in real life but he was hilarious and seemed like a great guy based on his posts and writing. The thread linked in #4 is worth reading (or skimming - it's pretty long) for those who weren't around back then, and a blast from the past for those who were.

The great thing is that he repeatedly suggests that other people have the best jokes.

I love that he recalled a thread that had been dormant for 5 months to make a Brett Saberhagen joke. Then someone else recalls the thread a month later and John rattles off another 5-10 jokes.
   31. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 24, 2014 at 07:25 PM (#4676519)
Is it just me or is this a recurring issue in the Tampa Bay organization?


It's a recurring issue.

-- MWE
   32. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 24, 2014 at 08:45 PM (#4676553)
"There must have been some temporary bleachers or something; I checked several sources but nothing really explains it."

The one and only game my non-sports fan father ever took me to was at Crosley Field circa '58. I was around 7. My most vivid memory was that the "Sun Deck", which I had seen on Sunday afternoon telecasts (the only telecasts there were, IIRC), was called the "Moon Deck" at night, which I thought was really cool. In my mind's eye, they were bleacher-like. Of course this is my memory from ~56 years ago, so take it with a grain of salt.
   33. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4676719)
Is the site wonky for anyone else? I'm getting a lot of "timed out" connections.
   34. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4676727)
Yes
   35. cardsfanboy Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4676731)
We need some administrator to put up a prediction thread.... I haven't seen one this year and the season has already started... Mind you, I haven't seen many predictions articles that could have been used for one either.... maybe I just missed it.
   36. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM (#4676750)
Scherzer turned down 6/$154 is the word on the street.

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