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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2018

Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, April 17, 1918:

The effort is being made to introduce “kittem,” a modified form of baseball, into New York playgrounds. The extra sunlight is expected to greatly augment interest in the sport, the scheme of which is as follows:

Kittem is played with a large twelve-inch ball, the clenched fist being used as a bat. The game has been very successful in Detroit, where it originated; Minneapolis, St. Paul and other large cities where daylight-saving laws have been in existence for some time.

It’s probably a good indication of kittem’s popularity that when I typed ‘kittem baseball’ into a search engine, it asked me if I had meant to type kitten baseball. Which I’d totally watch, by the way.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago, Carl Mays just missed no-hitting the Athletics. The lone Philadelphia hit on April 16, 1918 was a ball that was smashed right at second baseman Dave Shean, who couldn’t find the handle.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 09:59 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:01 AM (#5655141)
I can't imagine today's Birthday Team manager and center fielder are going to get along, but they're stuck with each other. You can't trade birthdays.

C: Tom Needham (1.13 WAR)
1B: Jake Daubert (38.98 WAR)
2B: Solly Hemus (25.53 WAR)
3B/Manager: Cap Anson (94.07 WAR)
SS: Jed Lowrie (13.92 WAR)
LF: Ryan Raburn (3.01 WAR)
CF: Marquis Grissom (29.57 WAR)
RF: Denny Walling (12.03 WAR)

SP: Charlie Ferguson (31.63 WAR)
SP: Scott Perry (13.4 WAR)
SP: Bob Osborn (1.98 WAR)
SP: Jersey Bakley (0.79 WAR)
SP: Chris O'Grady (0.07 WAR)
RP: Dan Jennings (4.96 WAR)

Father of Baseball: Alexander Cartwright
Fun name: Lefty Smoll
NHL defenseman/Minor league DH: Ken Daneyko
Writer: Lester Rodney
   2. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5655146)
Charlie Ferguson, the first ace of the Phillies. 99 wins in 1514.2 innings, spanning four seasons. They didn't throw very hard back then but that sounds like a lot of innings. I get tired throwing darts that many times. He died at 25 of typhoid. Professional baseball predates antibiotics by many decades.

In 1924 sportswriter W.B. Hanna included Ferguson on his 25-man roster of greatest players in baseball history. Interestingly, Hanna tabbed Ferguson for this honor on the basis of his ability on the mound, in the field, and at the bat. “Ferguson belongs in the ‘twenty-five’ because he was the game’s best all around player,” Hanna wrote. “There have been men who could look after as many positions, but none who could play them all so well. Ferguson was a pitcher, good enough to be a regular on any ball club of the present; he was a good second baseman, not just a filler-in, but good; he could play the outfield well enough to make the absence of the regulation no handicap, and he was a first class batter. There hasn’t been an all around man since his day to equal him.”[11]

In 1925 Leo Riordan, sports editor of the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger, called Ferguson the greatest ballplayer who ever lived. “That goes, too, despite Ty Cobb. I’ll tell you why. Ferguson could play every position on the team. One year he started to pitch for us [the Quakers] and wound up on second playing as well as Eddie Collins. … No better base runner ever lived.”[12]

Perhaps the greatest testament to Ferguson’s abilities as a ballplayer came from one of his contemporaries, Wilbert Robinson. Robinson was a catcher for the crosstown rival Philadelphia Athletics before going on to a Hall of Fame career as a player and manager with the Baltimore Orioles and Brooklyn Robins. When asked in 1931 to name the five greatest ballplayers of all time, Robinson rated Ferguson as the fifth greatest, saying: “Back in the old, old days the Phillies had a man who could pitch like a streak and play the infield, too. His name was Charley Ferguson. You can't leave him off. ... But if I have to name the best five you can put down Cobb, Keeler, Ruth, Wagner, and Ferguson for me."[13]

BTW you linked to a different Charlie Ferguson.
   3. puck Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:29 AM (#5655151)
The Rockies' bench is an incredible 8 for 89:

Wolters (catcher), 3-17, .476 OPS
Valaika (IF-PH), 2-31, .191 OPS
McMahon (1B/3B), 2-26, .249 OPS
Tachman (OF), 1-15, .192 OPS

It's close, but I believe they are being out OPS'ed by the pitching staff. The pitchers definitely have a better batting average.
   4. Batman Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:33 AM (#5655153)
The linked Charlie Ferguson pitched in one game. According to his SABR bio, he got that one chance partly because of the assassination of William McKinley.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5655156)
The linked Charlie Ferguson pitched in one game. According to his SABR bio, he got that one chance partly because of the assassination of William McKinley.

The President was supposed to pitch that day? That would be cool.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5655173)
Charlie Ferguson link is fixed. Thanks. For future generations looking back on this thread, this is the one I originally linked to.
   7. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5655176)
The linked Charlie Ferguson pitched in one game. According to his SABR bio, he got that one chance partly because of the assassination of William McKinley.
They had to put Czolgosz on the restricted list.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:05 AM (#5655178)
It’s probably a good indication of kittem’s popularity that when I typed ‘kittem baseball’ into a search engine, it asked me if I had meant to type kitten baseball. Which I’d totally watch, by the way.
Do you mean kittens playing baseball, like the Puppy Bowl, or people playing baseball with kittens? Choose your answer carefully.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5655188)
Reading about Charlie Ferguson led me to reading about Arthur Irwin, one of the strangest early baseball figures.

- First prominent Canadian-born player
- One of the most disliked players of the era. Described as having a titanic ego, with Waite Hoyt calling him “probably the most disgusting man I ever knew.” Many rumors of fixing games of course.
- On the Worcester team that took a brief exhibition tour of Cuba in 1879
- Invented the first infielder's glove, as a result of needing to play with broken fingers taped together
- Rejuvenated minor league baseball in Toronto by moving the team to the local lacrosse stadium as part-owner/manager
- Further allegations of corruption as he traded several players from Toronto to Washington, then became Washington manager
- coached the Penn team, which included future famed novelist Zane Grey, who wrote two baseball books with characters inspired by Irwin.
- Worked as a scout for the Highlanders (Yankees) for several years. This included being positioned in an apartment near the stadium to relay stolen signs, and mixed assessments of his scouting acumen, with New York Times reporting that manager Frank Chance "did not think it was possible to collect so many mediocre players on one major league club".
- Further management jobs with Altoona, Lewiston, Rochester and Hartford. In his final year recruited Lou Gehrig to play for Hartford, leading to Gehrig being ineligible to play in college for a year.

- President of the first North American soccer league, the American League of Professional Football, which lasted one year.
- Invented a football (American football) scoreboard that was adopted by many of the more well-funded college programs
- Bigamist for decades
- Lost at sea in the North Atlantic while traveling from one wife to another. Likely suicide, though with all his enemies it was not certain. May have been robbed during the crossing.

- Check out this staged photo of him tagging out Tommy McCarthy.
   10. Batman Posted: April 17, 2018 at 11:30 AM (#5655189)
Do you mean kittens playing baseball, like the Puppy Bowl, or people playing baseball with kittens? Choose your answer carefully.
It's like donkey basketball, except the donkeys are riding kittens.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:12 PM (#5655215)
The Rockies' bench is an incredible 8 for 89:

Wolters (catcher), 3-17, .476 OPS
Valaika (IF-PH), 2-31, .191 OPS
McMahon (1B/3B), 2-26, .249 OPS
Tachman (OF), 1-15, .192 OPS


I prefer, for both practical and esthetic reasons, to build a team around kids coming up from the farm, so I was not unhappy with the Rockies' approach on this - none of them have spent a day in the majors with any other team. But at some point, you've gotta cut bait. Catcher Tom Murphy is hitting .429/490/.786 at Albuquerque, and I assume (or maybe just hope) he's going to be in Denver by the end of the week.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5655216)
The Rockies' bench is an incredible 8 for 89:
Why even bother having these guys?? MOAR RELEEVERZ!!
   13. crict Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5655235)
So in case you didn't click on Daneyko's link, it says that he was to be honored by Newark Bears (in 2003, after his career in the NHL), and that he impressed enough during batting practice to convinc to manager to pencil him in the lineup. I couldn't find info on the game, and he's not in BR's database. But he is in BR's bullpen, where it says that:

The 39-year-old was put in the starting lineup at DH. He grounded out in his only at-bat before rain ended the game, costing him a chance at officially appearing in a professional baseball game.
   14. stanmvp48 Posted: April 17, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5655247)
"The Rockies' bench is an incredible 8 for 89:"

Almost good enough to bat cleanup for the Nationals
   15. BDC Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:18 PM (#5655321)
Hard to define the Rangers' bench, because several guys have moved off it into the regular lineup, but the players below the grey line, on their B-Ref page, are 19-for-102 this year. That's .186, which is still better than three of their listed starters. And a lot better than those Rockies.
   16. Batman Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:40 PM (#5655342)
Colorado's substitutes are 2 for 39 (.051) this year, with a .168. That's actually better than Pittsburgh's. The Pirate subs are 1 for 23 (.043) with a .163 OPS.
   17. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5655344)
Pop quiz: Name the 5 active pitchers who have given up the most home runs. Here is where they rank among all pitchers ever:

#12: 408 home runs
#35: 339
#39: 328
#51: 307
#83: 271

All five are currently in the AL.
One hasn't pitched yet this year.
This does not include Freddy Garcia, who BB-ref keeps listing as an active player for some reason.
   18. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5655348)
Colon has to be one. I'll guess #12
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5655349)
CC Sabathia? Felix Hernandez?
   20. Batman Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5655350)
Freddy pitched in Venezuela this past winter. He went 4-0 with a 2.33 ERA. He hasn't pitched in the major leagues in almost five years, but he's pitched somewhere each year since then.
   21. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:47 PM (#5655351)
I'll guess Sabathia too.
   22. Nasty Nate Posted: April 17, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5655357)
I'll guess Hamels.
   23. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 17, 2018 at 03:05 PM (#5655363)
#12: Colon (408 home runs)
#35: Sabathia (339)
#39: ? (328)
#51: ? (307)
#83: Hamels (271)

#128: Two active pitchers, now in the NL (247)
#170: Felix Hernandez (225)
#183: Ian Kennedy (221)
etc etc
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 17, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5655367)
Ervin Santana? Anibal Sanchez?
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: April 17, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5655371)
Verlander?
   26. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 17, 2018 at 03:50 PM (#5655393)
#12: Colon (408 home runs)
#35: Sabathia (339)
#39: Shields (328)
#51: Ervin Santana (307)
#83: Hamels (271)

#128: Verlander, Greinke (247)
#170: Felix Hernandez (225)
#183: Ian Kennedy (221)
#199: Max Scherzer, Jason Hammel (215)
#201: Edwin Jackson (214)
#212: Jon Lester (209)
#242: Rick Porcello (197)
etc etc
   27. dlf Posted: April 17, 2018 at 04:12 PM (#5655414)
So in case you didn't click on Daneyko's link, it says that he was to be honored by Newark Bears (in 2003, after his career in the NHL), and that he impressed enough during batting practice to convince to manager to pencil him in the lineup.


The mirror image is Tom Glavine. After his HOF baseball career, he suited up for the minor league Gwinnett Gladiators (recently renamed Atlanta Gladiators following the Thrashers departure) in the ECHL. He skated during warmups but - other than a ceremonial puck drop - didn't get into the game.

Video at the Link
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 17, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5655459)
#128: Two active pitchers, now in the NL (247)


Well, one of them is.

It's impressive that Jorge de la Rosa spent nearly a decade in the Rockies' rotation, yet still isn't on the list.
   29. crict Posted: April 17, 2018 at 05:08 PM (#5655461)
Daneyko's case brings the following question: are there players that made their MLB debut in a game that was eventually washed out, and never played again?

It doesn't seem to be the case, although the wikipedia page for phantom MLB players mentions that Pitcher Brian Mazone was to start a game for the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006, but the game was rained out and the Phillies never even activated him to their roster. He spent the rest of his career, which ended in 2010, in the minors. "That's a tough thing to shake", Mazone said. "I was getting called up by the Phillies in 2006 to make a start [replacing Randy Wolf], and the game got rained out and they sent me back down without activating me. Randy came up to me here and apologized. Not that he did anything wrong, he just felt bad."

   30. puck Posted: April 17, 2018 at 08:12 PM (#5655564)
I prefer, for both practical and esthetic reasons, to build a team around kids coming up from the farm, so I was not unhappy with the Rockies' approach on this - none of them have spent a day in the majors with any other team. But at some point, you've gotta cut bait. Catcher Tom Murphy is hitting .429/490/.786 at Albuquerque, and I assume (or maybe just hope) he's going to be in Denver by the end of the week.


I agree, and McMahon is not helping himself with some recent starts. Would Murphy come up for Wolters or for McMahon?

I've not been following, David Dahl has only played 2 games! Is that guy never going to be healthy?
   31. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 18, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5655820)
I've not been following, David Dahl has only played 2 games! Is that guy never going to be healthy?


Dahl was put on the DL with some kind of unspecified illness. He came back and played last night.
   32. RMc's Daps of the Dope Artists Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5656021)
kitten baseball

Dawwwwww...!
   33. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 18, 2018 at 02:46 PM (#5656042)
I prefer, for both practical and esthetic reasons, to build a team around kids coming up from the farm, so I was not unhappy with the Rockies' approach on this - none of them have spent a day in the majors with any other team.


The Rockies have been impressive on this front ever since the "Rocktober" World Series season. Aside from the bullpen, I only see five of their players who have been in the majors with any other team. And two of those came to the Rockies after their rookie season and have since been there for 7 years (LeMahieu) and 10 years (CarGo). And one of them came up with the Rockies, left and came back (Iannetta).

And the performance of the two "mercenaries" (Gerardo Parra and Ian Desmond) indicates that the Rockies are indeed better off avoiding such players.
   34. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 18, 2018 at 03:56 PM (#5656082)
The Rockies have been impressive on this front ever since the "Rocktober" World Series season. Aside from the bullpen, I only see five of their players who have been in the majors with any other team. And two of those came to the Rockies after their rookie season and have since been there for 7 years (LeMahieu) and 10 years (CarGo). And one of them came up with the Rockies, left and came back (Iannetta).


Yeah, that makes them fun to watch even when the team isn't good. It's a lot more enjoyable to see if Pat Valaika is going to develop into a valuable hitter than to see if Nick Markakis can squeeze out one last decent season.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: April 18, 2018 at 05:26 PM (#5656153)
There are two Valaikas ... who knew?

It is fun to see if a Valaika can make some noise ... for maybe a month. And then it's usually just painful watching your team trot such a player out there day after day ... or somebody they thought had even less chance of making it than a Valaika.

If you don't mind TTO types, a fun one to keep your eye on to see if he can make it is Dan Vogelbach, currently riding a 128 OPS+ and 40% K-rate in Seattle. He's probably not long for MLB but you never know and he's been waiting for a chance for what seems like forever (but is actually just 25.
   36. Hysterical & Useless Posted: April 19, 2018 at 07:46 AM (#5656343)
Aside from the bullpen


Isn't that like half of any team in MLB today?

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