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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-10-2013

Washington Herald, April 10, 1913:

A telegraphic offer of $15,000 was made [yesterday] to Ty Cobb, the hold-out outfielder of the Detroit team, to play with the [Lynchburg] club in the United States League this season.
If Cobb accepts, the money will be raised at once by popular subscription. Cobb declares that he will not play with the Tigers unless he gets $15,000, and President Navin declares he will not pay Cobb any such salary.

“Listen, Ty, we’ll give you $15,000 to play in a league that didn’t make it through two months last season. We don’t actually have the $15,000, but we promise we’ll get it. And you’ll be banned for life from organized baseball, but you can just play in the United States League for the next 15 years. What do you say?”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 06:21 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, ty cobb

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 06:30 AM (#4409500)
A quietly solid Birthday Team today. And a pinch-owner.

C: Cliff Bolton
1B: Bob Watson
2B: Lee Lacy
3B: Cliff Daringer
SS: Howdy Groskloss
LF: Andre Ethier
CF: Ken Griffey Sr.
RF: Ross Youngs

SP: Frank Lary
SP: Roger Wolff
SP: Joe Gibbon
SP: Eric King
SP: Marvin Freeman
RP: Al Reyes

Owner: Robert Nederlander
Writer: David Halberstam
   2. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: April 10, 2013 at 07:35 AM (#4409506)
But...but it was a telegraphic offer! You can't turn down a telegraphic offer!

And you’ll be banned for life from organized baseball

Was anyone actually banned for playing in the USL? Who would do the banning? (Landis wouldn't take the commissioner's job for another eight years, I believe.)
   3. Walt Davis Posted: April 10, 2013 at 08:03 AM (#4409522)
We don’t actually have the $15,000, but we promise we’ll get it.

It's working for the Mets.
   4. Dag Nabbit at Posted: April 10, 2013 at 08:57 AM (#4409549)
As noted at THT: today marks the 40th anniversary of the 1st game at Royals Stadium, as the place was called back then.
   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4409599)
I don't know that anybody was banned for life for playing in the USL - certainly nobody of note was banned for life - but OTOH nobody of note actually played in the USL.

The National Commission would have done the banning. They (sort of) performed many of the duties that were eventually taken by the Office of the Commissioner.
   6. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 10, 2013 at 10:41 AM (#4409641)
This might not be the best Dugout topic, but the lounge is....weird and I'm dropping it here.
I was listening to Prince on the train this morning and the thought occurred: is Prince the Willie Mays or the Tim Raines of pop music history?

The case for Mays: Like, Willie, Prince had all five tools (write/sing/dance/play/looks). You could certainly make an argument for each as the #2 all-time in their profession.

The case for Raines: Neither was the best at any one thing, but both were excellent at everything. Both peaked from '82 to '87. Both were overshadowed by a more famous contemporary (MJ/Rickey) who did many of the same things, leading them to be somewhat underrated historically.
   7. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 10, 2013 at 10:45 AM (#4409648)
I was listening to Prince on the train this morning: is Prince the Willie Mays or the Tim Raines of pop music history?

I'd say more Tim Raines. It's odd you ask this because the Jackie Robinson thread, in a convoluted way, made me think of Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige and how Gibson was basically the Charlie Parker of NL baseball and Paige was Louis Armstrong.
   8. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: April 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4409655)
Agree that Prince had all the tools, wouldn't grant him Mays like longevity / consistency - even if you really like Bat Dance. More Raines.
By the way, there is a music thread right now (musical grand slams) - it has a different feel, but could use a little spicing up.

Shooty - I like both analogies.
   9. BDC Posted: April 10, 2013 at 11:33 AM (#4409715)
If you define "pop" pretty narrowly, somebody like Prince might qualify as Willie Mays, but to me "pop" is such a vast genre that Prince, talented and successful as he's been, doesn't seem to be near the absolute apex of the field the way Mays is for baseball. I'd go for Raines, sure.

Michael Jackson strikes me as more Reggie Jackson than Rickey Henderson. Not that Reggie ventures into quite such weird areas, as that he really dominated people's attention in his prime. And was outstanding at his craft, though his media profile overshadowed everything.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM (#4409729)
Prince also produced and wrote a lot of top songs and albums that he never performed. That would be like Tim Raines if Tim Raines went on to become a great manager or GM.
   11. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: April 10, 2013 at 11:46 AM (#4409734)
If Prince is Tim Raines, what does that make The Time?
   12. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 10, 2013 at 12:14 PM (#4409783)
Prince must be Rickey Henderson, so Tim Raines can be Morris Day. Jesse Johnson is Otis Nixon.
   13. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: April 10, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4409838)
Are you kidding? Prince is effing Babe Ruth, times Walter Johnson.
   14. Famous Original Joe C Posted: April 10, 2013 at 01:27 PM (#4409893)
Are you kidding? Prince is effing Babe Ruth, times Walter Johnson.

RMc, my man!
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 10, 2013 at 02:39 PM (#4409984)
Braves acquire RHP Luis Ayala from the O's for minor league LHP Chris Jones

Jays claim OF Casper Wells off waivers from the M's
   16. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 10, 2013 at 02:43 PM (#4409992)
Didn't they put Wells on waivers before the beginning of the season? How long can you stay "on waivers"?

Can a player just be in limbo for weeks, if his team doesn't want to bother putting him in the minors? Waiting for another team to have an injury and suddenly need him.
   17. JJ1986 Posted: April 10, 2013 at 02:47 PM (#4410002)
Didn't they put Wells on waivers before the beginning of the season? How long can you stay "on waivers"?

I think it's 2-3 days - maybe more around a weekend. They probably designated Wells for assignment before the season - which gives them 10 days before he needs to be released - or up to 8 days before he needs to be put through waivers.
   18. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: April 10, 2013 at 03:17 PM (#4410043)
That would be like Tim Raines if Tim Raines went on to become a great manager or GM.

He did win a World Series ring as a first base coach.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: April 10, 2013 at 05:06 PM (#4410133)
Prince is in the HoF, I believe on his first ballot. Not Raines.

To maintain the Minnesota connection, Prince is Dave Winfield but his peak is much better than Winfield's. So we give the cross-disciplinary compsifier another spin and it gives us ... Oscar Robertson.

Acceptable baseball answers: Musial, Reggie, Banks.

Derek Jeter is Michael Jackson: both wore one glove for no known reason.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 10, 2013 at 05:57 PM (#4410165)
Game of the day (yesterday): A's 9, Angels 5.

CJ Wilson retired the first two Oakland hitters of the evening. Unfortunately for him, he still had to get the third.

Jed Lowrie and Yoenis Cespedes drew walks. Derek Norris singled Lowrie home, and Josh Donaldson added a hit to load the bases. Brandon Moss followed with a single of his own, scoring two additional runners. Nate Freiman, whose existence I have just now become aware of, walked to reload the bases, but Scott Sizemore grounded into an inning-ending force.

The Angels loaded the bases in the first as well - and they did it with no outs, as Mike Trout and Albert Pujols sandwiched walks around an Erick Aybar single. Jarrod Parker rallied, however, striking out Josh Hamilton and getting Mark Trumbo to hit into a double play, and Oakland extended their lead when Coco Crisp led off the second with a home run. LA put two more runners on in the second, thanks to a Howie Kendrick walk and a Peter Bourjos single, but didn't break through until the third. Aybar led off with a single, and was removed due to injury for pinch runner Brendan Harris (who I'm shocked to find still in the majors, and justifiably so; he hadn't been in the bigs since 2010). Pujols singled as well; Hamilton flied out, and Pujols was doubled off of first, but Trumbo followed with a hit to bring Harris home, and Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo added singles to send Trumbo the remaining 270 feet around the bases with run #2.

Wilson was settling in; he allowed only two singles in innings 3-6. Parker, meanwhile, continued to scuffle. Bourjos and Trout started the fourth with back-to-back hits, Harris moved the runners over with a bunt, and Pujols was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Parker was pulled for Chris Resop, who got Hamilton to hit into a force at home and Trumbo to ground out to end the inning with the A's still in front. Resop also worked around an infield single from Kendrick in the fifth. Pat Neshek replaced him in the sixth, however, and bad things started happening.

Trout led off with a triple. Harris lifted what should have been a sacrifice fly to right; it turned out to be a SF+E9, as Chris Young misplayed it and allowed Harris to reach second. Pujols then hit into the inning's second consecutive gaffe, this one by Lowrie, putting runners at the corners. Hamilton tied the game on a sacrifice fly against Jerry Blevins (which was at least caught this time). Ryan Cook then came on and coaxed a force from Trumbo, but Kendrick followed that with LA's second triple of the inning, bringing in the go-ahead run.

Wilson had pitched very well for the last four innings, but his early struggles had him at 110 pitches, so the Angels pulled him for Scott Downs to start the seventh. Downs allowed an infield hit to Crisp, then retired the next two hitters. Kelvin Jepsen then took his spot on the mound, I assume for platoon-based reasons; whatever the reasons, the substitution did not pan out especially well. Crisp stole second, and Cespedes walked behind him. John Jaso then hit for Norris and belted the second pitch he saw over the right field fence for a go-ahead 3-run homer. The injury achieved, Oakland hurried to add the insult, as Donaldson singled and Moss followed with a homer of his own that extended the margin to 4.

Cook set the Angels down in order in the seventh, and Sean Doolittle did the same in the eighth. Grant Balfour pitched the ninth; LA put runners on second and third after a fairly elaborate sequence of events (single, groundout, wild pitch, walk, defensive indifference), but failed to score, bringing the game to an end.

Even though the Angels took the lead briefly in the sixth, the game ends up having been decided earlier than that. The Angels got at least one runner in scoring position in each of the first six innings, and yet only scored in two of them. Had they cashed in on bases loaded, no outs or bases loaded, one out, the game might have had a very different outcome.

Oh, and even though he picked up an RBI, Josh Hamilton can't have endeared himself to the home crowd here. WPA of -.307 in the game, RE24 of -3.1, and his seasonal OPS+ is now 14.
   21. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: April 10, 2013 at 06:03 PM (#4410169)
Oh, and even though he picked up an RBI, Josh Hamilton can't have endeared himself to the home crowd here. WPA of -.307 in the game, RE24 of -3.1, and his seasonal OPS+ is now 14.

Has anybody studied sac flies vs. WPA?
I suspect they come out negative overall, but that's just a guess.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 10, 2013 at 06:25 PM (#4410181)
Has anybody studied sac flies vs. WPA?
I suspect they come out negative overall, but that's just a guess.

WPA isn't usually too fond of sac flies, at least with the obvious exception of walkoff sac flies. They're typically pretty neutral plays. Hamilton's in this game was worth -3% WPA for the Angels.
   23. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 10, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4410197)
Game of the day (1977): Padres 6, Reds 3. The Reds were the two-time defending world champs, and had won the first two games of the series. They had an all-time great offense going against Dave Freisleben, who never posted a single-season ERA+ over 100 in his 6-year career. They had to feel pretty good coming into this one.

After Fred Norman traded two quiet innings with Freisleben, the Padres threatened with two out in the third, as Mike Champion walked and Dave Winfield singled him to third. George Hendrick hit into a force, however, and Cincinnati took much better advantage of its opportunity in the bottom of the inning. Cesar Geronimo led off with a double. Norman attempted to sacrifice; apparently it wasn't much of an attempt, as Geronimo stayed at second while Norman was thrown out at first. (People sure were better at the fundamentals back in the day...) Pete Rose walked, however, and Ken Griffey the elder belted a 3-run homer to open the scoring.

Norman walked Gene Tenace and allowed a single to Bill Almon in the fourth, but kept San Diego off the board. He couldn't manage the same feat in the fifth, as a walk to Gene Richards was followed one out later by consecutive hits from Winfield, Hendrick, and Tenace, scoring a pair of runs. Meanwhile, Freisleben shut the Big Red Machine down cold in the fourth and fifth. Richards tripled with two out in the sixth, and Champion singled him home to tie the game.

Griffey led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, took second on a groundout, and moved to third on a wild pitch, but Freisleben recovered to whiff Johnny Bench and pop up George Foster to leave the go-ahead run where it was. Hendrick led off the seventh with a single, prompting Sparky Anderson to go to his bullpen for Pedro Borbon (alarmingly early then, arguably later than normal in 2013). Tenace bunted into a force (now that's some vintage 1977 managing from John McNamara), but Mike Ivie reached on a Rose error, and Doug Rader singled to load the bases. But Borbon escaped with a 1-2-3 double play.

Freisleben allowed a two-out single to Geronimo in the seventh, which actually worked out in San Diego's favor; the Reds pinch hit Mike Lum for Borbon, but Geronimo was caught stealing second before Lum could complete his at bat, so Cincinnati ended up needlessly burning one of its best relievers. The game was then turned over to the relief aces. Rawly Eastwick and Rollie Fingers both worked spotless eighths.

Doug Flynn replaced Rose at third to start the ninth. Now, Rose had just made the second out of the eighth, but this is still a sentence that I find utterly incomprehensible, especially since it is not concluded by "because both of Rose's arms had come off." I can see it for defense, but you don't necessarily play for defense in a tie game. But since it had no effect on the outcome, I'll move on.

Winfield led off the inning with a single. Hendrick then bunted into a force at second, which means that McNamara called for unsuccessful sac bunts from both his fourth and fifth hitters in the late innings. (Well, he didn't exactly call for the sacrifices to be unsuccessful, but you know what I mean.) Tenace singled, moving Hendrick to second, and Ivie tripled, scoring both runners and giving the Padres their first lead of the game. Ivie joined his teammates at home on Almon's two-out hit, and Fingers slammed the door on the heart of the Reds' order to close out the game.

OK, it's one game in April. But you can start to see a couple signs of weakness in the Reds if you squint really hard. The main one was in the bullpen. The '75 Reds had one of the best bullpens probably ever, with four relievers combining for over 400 innings of roughly 134 ERA+ work. They traded Clay Carroll before the '76 season, and Will McEnaney's ERA nearly doubled; Borbon backslid as well, but Eastwick made up for it by being bulletproof: 107.2 innings, 168 ERA+. (Also, their offense had all 8 starters and the most-used bench player at 107 OPS+ or better, and everyone who wasn't a shortstop or a catcher at 116 or higher, which helped.)

In '77, Borbon rebounded nicely, and Eastwick was also pitching well, this game aside... and then Eastwick was traded at the deadline for Doug Capilla, who was a not-especially-good starter. It was kind of understandable, though, because the Reds needed pitching, and it's not like they traded for an all-time great starting pitcher on the exact same day or anything...


Despite the Seaver trade, the Reds' pitching fell on hard times, dropping from a 100 ERA+ to 93. The offense was still terrific, but terrific and historic are not the same, and Dave Concepcion and Cesar Geronimo didn't repeat their career years. And that is how you go from 102 wins to 10 games out of the playoffs.

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