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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-27-2012

John McGraw quoted in the Calgary Daily Herald, March 27, 1912:

When I heard Bugs [Raymond] was drinking I got a detective on his trail. He made daily reports. His first report was that Bugs drank 24 glasses of beer before dinner. I fined Bugs $100. The next day Bugs drank 26 glasses of beer. I fined him another $100.

26 beers in one afternoon? I’m not even mad. That’s amazing.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 05:34 AM | 39 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 05:36 AM (#4089913)
I hear the birthday team's manager is a wonderful little fellow. Good thing, too, because that pitching staff is going to test his patience.

C: Gary Alexander
1B: Dave Hostetler
2B/Manager: Miller Huggins
3B: Bill Sudakis
SS: George Magoon
LF: Wes Covington
CF: Vic Harris
RF: Michael Cuddyer

SP: Dick Ruthven
SP: Lynn McGlothen
SP: Ed Cushman
SP: Steve Sundra
SP: Jaime Navarro
RP: Drew Hall

Owner: Effa Manley
Not that one: Johnny Gill
Catcher of the future: Buster Posey
   2. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:01 AM (#4089944)
Today is also the Dontrelle Willis trade. As it happens the main guy Florida surrendered in that trade, Matt Clement, beat Willis in the 2003 NLCS.
   3. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:09 AM (#4089949)
Catcher of the future: Buster Posey
Is there some kind of games requirement of this team? Because I'd take Posey's career thus far over Alexander in a heartbeat
   4. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:22 AM (#4089952)
Is there some kind of games requirement of this team? Because I'd take Posey's career thus far over Alexander in a heartbeat
Nah, not really. I try to balance career length with quality. Posey/Alexander was close - Alexander was a solid player with 1459 career PAs, Posey is a good player with less than half that.

Posey has an advantage in WAR, but the difference is almost entirely due to their defense; WAR hates Alexander's glove. I'm too young to have seen Alexander play with any kind of regularity. Was he regarded as a terrible defensive catcher? Total Zone has him at -23 per season, which is more than three times worse than Mike Piazza (-5/yr) and Victor Martinez (-2/yr) combined. Dale Murphy, BTW, is a -33/yr at catcher.

(n.b.: I've been pretty outspoken in my defense of Victor's...uh...defense over the years, and still feel like he spent his career as one of the most underrated defensive players in baseball. His arm is bad, but for many years he was excellent at blocking pitches in the dirt and fielding bunts and squibbers.)
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:27 AM (#4089955)
Astros release P Zack Duke, "OF" Jack Cust

Dodgers LOOGY John Grabow exercises his out, is a free agent

Rangers release OF Conor Jackson, LOOGY Joe Beimel, LOOGY Mitch Stetter
   6. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:07 AM (#4089993)
Looking at Alexander's numbers - it's almost impossible to imagine that he wasn't terrible, though how terrible is (of course) up for debate.

On his career (1827 innings), 35 errors (he fielded .969, league average was .982), 8 dp - that's a horrific ratio. 1 career pickoff, 212 sb, 67 cs (24%), 24 pb, 75 wp. Comparing to his teammates over time, the pb numbers might be inflated for reputational reasons (he allowed more wp/inn than his teammates, but not obscenely so). Also, the arm might be a hair better than 24% suggests (league rate was around 35%), but not much. When in the AL, spent a lot of time as a DH.

Looking at his minor league career - it appears that he was converted to catching as a 21 year old in the Cal league (the prior year, he was an atrocious outfielder (.927 fa)). His first season, as a Fresno Giant*, 27 errors, 22 passed balls in 64 games. Wow.

After that, he spent three seasons in the minors, making an error every seven games or so. Teams no longer let people get big league opportunities behind the plate with that high of an error rate...



* This was a really good team, despite some serious defensive issues, as they had a number of good pitchers (half the staff made the bigs - including Bob Knepper (20-5 3.18), Greg Minton (10-1 2.25), and Pete Falcone (10-4 3.02)), and another good hit, no field guy at third, 18-year old Jack Clark (.315-19-117**, but 53 errors in 126 games for a .852 FA). Oh, and Wendell Kim was their utility man.
** Using the ol' ba-hr-rbi instead of more modern metrics out of sense of nostalgia.
   7. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:10 AM (#4089998)
Nah, not really. I try to balance career length with quality. Posey/Alexander was close - Alexander was a solid player with 1459 career PAs, Posey is a good player with less than half that.
Fair enough. Like I said, I'd go for Posey, but it's your list. I respect that.
   8. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:16 AM (#4090006)
I think, now that I've looked more closely at the defense and Der K has weighed in, I'd probably go with Posey. Now there's the question of how many runs a year he'll cost you by not blocking the plate. (Almost certainly not as many as he would cost you by being Gary Alexander.)

Alexander would be fairly useful as a power bench bat who can play C/1B/LF/RF. I'm sure he'd make the 25-man roster.
   9. Mike Emeigh Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:21 AM (#4090011)
Was he regarded as a terrible defensive catcher?


Yes. He never caught 100 games in a season, and was a semi-regular only once in his career (1979), when he made it clear that he was stretched defensively. He was mostly a part-time DH the next year and was a throw-in in the Bert Blyleven deal with Pittsburgh (although that deal was always more about the Pirates' getting rid of Blyleven than about the quality of the players received in return).

-- MWE
   10. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:24 AM (#4090018)
Of course, we all know why the Pirates got rid of Blyleven. Poor clubhouse ventilation didn't make the situation any better.
   11. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4090038)
another good hit, no field guy at third, 18-year old Jack Clark (.315-19-117**, but 53 errors in 126 games for a .852 FA).
The mind boggles that they left Clark at third base the next season, but they did. He didn't disappoint - at the plate, he did exactly what you'd expect Jack Clark to do, and I guess he also did what you'd expect Jack Clark to do at third base: committed 56 errors.

That was the end of Clark as a regular third baseman, but he played eight games at 3B the next season and eventually made four MLB appearances at third. Sounds like he made Bobby Bonilla look like Brooks Robinson.
   12. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM (#4090055)
Come to think of it, you could make almost an entire starting lineup of star players who were absolutely terrible defensive players at one position, who moved and became successful elsewhere:

C: Dale Murphy
1B: [Can't think of anyone who started as a 1B but was terrible, moved, and got better somewhere else. So I'll say Mike Piazza.]
2B: Matt Stairs
3B: Jack Clark
SS: Jim Thome
LF: Nobody can't play left field
CF: Lonnie Smith
RF: This is tough. Bobby Bonilla?
   13. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:03 AM (#4090072)
LF: Nobody can't play left field


A lot of players have been described as finding CF easier than LF, because the ball is easier to track, they don't need to worry about the foul line, I can't remember the other reasons. I think Mike Cameron is one. (hence Ellsbury moved to LF when the superannuated Cameron came in)

I can't think of someone who failed as a rookie LF and succeeded as CF.
   14. just plain joe Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4090082)
The mind boggles that they left Clark at third base the next season, but they did. He didn't disappoint - at the plate, he did exactly what you'd expect Jack Clark to do, and I guess he also did what you'd expect Jack Clark to do at third base: committed 56 errors.


The Giants were not a particularly well run franchise in the mid-seventies (it was the very end of the Stoneham era) but they continued to have the knack to find outfielders. In 1974 (the season in which Clark apparently tried to play 3B without a glove) the Giants' starting outfielders were Gary Matthews, Garry Maddox and Bobby Bonds; as such it made perfect sense to see if Jack Clark could play third base. Once it was obvious he could not the Giants moved him to the outfield and the world went on.
   15. JJ1986 Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:12 AM (#4090086)
They sometimes stick 1Bmen in LF when they're blocked at 1B. Richie Sexson was one, and I it was at least discussed for Ryan Howard.
   16. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM (#4090093)
OTOH ... Derek Jeter went from 56 errors in '93 (.889 FA) to 25 the next year (.959) and is at .976 over his big league career (lg avg .972).
I'd rather have a dude who makes a bunch of errors early on then someone who lacks range. (Which may have been true for Clark at third too, I dunno.)
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM (#4090094)
Pat Burrell started at 1B and committed 6 errors in 500 innings. I don't know how bad that is. Then they traded for good-defense 1B Travis Lee and immediately got rid of incumbent LF Ron Gant because Burrell was never going to play 1B again.
   18. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4090100)
They sometimes stick 1Bmen in LF when they're blocked at 1B. Richie Sexson was one, and I it was at least discussed for Ryan Howard.

Howard got a quick look in minor league spring training one year but never played LF in the minors (nor the majors).
   19. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM (#4090103)
They sometimes stick 1Bmen in LF when they're blocked at 1B.


Didn't the Giants do this with McCovey and Cepeda? I've heard that McCovey, in particular, was terrible in LF and might work on the team in #12.
   20. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM (#4090149)
LF: Nobody can't play left field
Clearly, you never saw poor Todd Hundley out there.
   21. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:44 AM (#4090151)
LF: Nobody can't play left field


The White Sox thought Carlton Fisk was too old to catch, so they moved him to left in 1986. It didn't work out, so he went back to catching for the next seven years.
   22. Bob Evans Posted: March 27, 2012 at 01:19 PM (#4090290)
Can't think of anyone who started as a 1B but was terrible, moved, and got better somewhere else.

Frank Thomas's fielding improved immensely when he was moved to DH.

The White Sox thought Carlton Fisk was too old to catch, so they moved him to left in 1986. It didn't work out

Because he whined like a tired three-year-old rather than make an effort to help the team by mentoring Joel Skinner.
   23. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 01:54 PM (#4090336)
They sometimes stick 1Bmen in LF when they're blocked at 1B. Richie Sexson was one, and I it was at least discussed for Ryan Howard.
Sexson was awkward out there - looked like a friggin' giraffe - but to my eyes, he was actually a reasonably adequate left fielder. My eyes and Total Zone disagree, however. (-20 runs per 1200 innings.)

I guess maybe he looked okay because he never really did anything stupid, and I guess he never really did anything stupid because he never got to the ball.
   24. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 03:00 PM (#4090430)
Twins release 1B Steve Pearce, RHP Jason Bulger
Yanks release OF Preston Mattingly

Winning starting jobs:

Indians 3B Jack Hannahan
Red Sox SS Mike Aviles
A's 1B Brandon Allen

Winning a roster spot:

White Sox SS Eduardo Escobar
Cardinals IF Matt Carpenter
Mariners IF Munenori Kawasaki, RHP Kevin Millwood and LHP Erasmo Ramirez
Dodgers RHP Jamey Wright

Notable demotions:

Indians 3B Lonnie Chisenhall, OF Matt LaPorta
White Sox 1B Dan Johnson
Red Sox SS Jose Iglesias
Phillies RHP Scott Elarton
   25. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 03:07 PM (#4090437)
Vlad Guerrero works out for the Indians
   26. Guapo Posted: March 27, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4090533)
So am I correct that nobody's showing the A's-Mariners game live tomorrow (at 6 AM ET)?
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 04:45 PM (#4090551)
Rox release Casey Blake.
   28. They paved Misirlou, put up a parking lot Posted: March 27, 2012 at 04:52 PM (#4090562)
The White Sox Ken Harrleson thought Carlton Fisk was too old to catch, so they moved him to left in 1986. It didn't work out, so he went back to catching for the next seven years.
   29. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: March 27, 2012 at 05:06 PM (#4090584)
The White Sox Ken Harrleson thought Carlton Fisk was too old to catch, so they moved him to left in 1986. It didn't work out, so he went back to catching for the next seven years.


I edited Hawk out after I first posted that. I thought it was his idea, but I remembered something about the Fisk-to-LF move being part of the reason LaRussa was fired. Of course, nothing about that White Sox year made sense. I remember the team promoting how they were the youngest team in the major leagues, and then they signed George Foster and Steve Carlton.
   30. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 27, 2012 at 05:07 PM (#4090588)
So am I correct that nobody's showing the A's-Mariners game live tomorrow (at 6 AM ET)?


It's on live in the Seattle area on ROOT Sports.
   31. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 05:27 PM (#4090605)
Rox release Casey Blake.
Gah. Looks like The People's Beard is riding off into the sunset.

Hell of a story. Didn't make it to The Show until he was 25, spent his age 25-28 seasons in AAA except for a total of 125 PA in the bigs, signed on with the Indians as a 29-year-old minor league free agent, only made the '03 Tribe because Ricky Gutierrez was hurt and nobody else could play third base...and then he goes out and pops 167 home runs, puts up a career OPS+ of 107, three 20-HR seasons, and finishes in the top ten in the NL in OPS+ once.

The guy did an awful lot with a limited skill set. Was never a great defender, but was passable at the 4C positions and by all accounts worked his butt off preparing to move to second base after the Indians signed Aaron Boone. (Blake moved to RF instead.)

If this is the end for Casey, I'll have a lot of fond memories of the guy. Maybe not the greatest ballplayer, but just about every team could use a guy who can play four positions passably, hit 30 doubles and 20 dingers a year, and just quietly go about his business.
   32. Karl from NY Posted: March 27, 2012 at 07:44 PM (#4090707)
LF: Nobody can't play left field

Daniel Murphy would like to disagree, if he can avoid getting injured at 2B long enough to say so.

Check out bb-ref's hilarious appraisal of his LF play in 2011. One game for two innings, in which he was somehow worth -1 run, which extrapolates to -600 runs for a year.
   33. JJ1986 Posted: March 27, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4090727)
Did Wes Timmons fail to make the A's? Or are they just not finalizing their roster until next week?
   34. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:16 PM (#4090746)

Did Wes Timmons fail to make the A's? Or are they just not finalizing their roster until next week?


The A's and M's are allowed to carry 30 roster players to Japan, and activate 25 for the game.
   35. JJ1986 Posted: March 27, 2012 at 09:21 PM (#4090751)
But you have to be on the 40 to play in the games. The M's added a few guys yesterday.
   36. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:34 PM (#4090817)
RUMOR: Guggenheim Partners (Magic, Stan Kasten, etc...) land Dodgers for $2B. Lots not part of sale. (per mlb.com's Ken Gurnick, via Axisa at mlbtr)
   37. Heinie Mantush (Krusty) Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4090825)
   38. puck Posted: March 27, 2012 at 11:56 PM (#4090834)
So am I correct that nobody's showing the A's-Mariners game live tomorrow (at 6 AM ET)?


Huh, MLB network is delaying it? What's the point of that (delayed 3 hours here in mountain time).
   39. Tripon Posted: March 28, 2012 at 12:11 AM (#4090846)
Is this the same Guggenheim who owns the Guggenheim Museum, and who are former oil barons?

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