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Monday, May 15, 2017

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-15-2017

Tacoma Times, May 15, 1917:

[The St. Louis Browns are] made up of a heterogenous combination of ball players, a few great ones, a few mediocre, some rookies…molded into an organization which is now playing about the fastest and brainiest game in the league.

There’s no secret about it, but the answer is Fielder Jones, former president of the Northwestern league.

Jones is a peculiar chap. He is gloomy by nature and a grouch by cultivation. He is upstage. He is not at all likeable. His ball players don’t like him, but they respect him and they work for him, and that’s all he cares about.

There’s no secret to Jones’ success. He has baseball brains and he gets results. His men play brainy baseball because he furnishes the strategy.

Fielder’s Browns lost 97 games in 1917, allegedly in part because they were losing on purpose. It got to the point where the team owner accused his middle infielders, Del Pratt and Doc Lavan, of throwing a game against the White Sox. Pratt and Lavan responded by suing him for slander.

It was ugly.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:52 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 10:56 AM (#5455466)
Today's Birthday Team is AL Central-heavy. Three Indians, at least two Twins, at least two Royals. I'm sure there are White Sox and Tigers, too, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

C/Manager: A.J. Hinch (0.1 WAR)
1B: Justin Morneau (27.02 WAR)
2B: Brian Dozier (18.9 WAR)
3B: George Brett (88.37 WAR)
SS: Steve Yerkes (6.72 WAR)
LF: Michael Brantley (17.1 WAR)
CF: Bill North (26.71 WAR)
RF: Jimmy Wasdell (2.72 WAR)

SP: John Smoltz (69.53 WAR)
SP: Josh Beckett (35.87 WAR)
SP: Al McBean (15.15 WAR)
SP: Rick Waits (14.67 WAR)
SP: Fred Goldsmith (12.38 WAR)
RP: Rafael Perez (4.38 WAR)

FIPS outlier: Steve Woodard
Not that one: 1959-60 Ben Johnson
What's the worst kind of steak?: Harry Salisbury
   2. BDC Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:12 AM (#5455489)
Well, the Tigers did draft John Smoltz …

Today's box-score-line records are a potpourri of miscellaneous things that can happen in games where you have 1 or 2 at-bats but no base hit. No trivia because the answers would be so random:

1 2 0 2 : five players did this once, including Ted Williams; most recently Darren Bragg in 1995
1 2 0 3 : Glenn Wright did this, uniquely, in 1930
2 1 0 1 : Tony Phillips did this eight times
2 1 0 2 : Hector Torres, Ray Durham, and Bob Boone each did this twice apiece
2 1 0 3 : only guys to do this were Richie Hebner and Mike Hargrove
2 2 0 1 : Hal Clift did this four times
2 3 0 1 : 13 players have done this, most recently David DeJesus in 2012
2 2 0 2 : Wally Schang did this twice, the only player to do it more than once
2 2 0 3 : Tommy Griffith, a pretty solid NL outfielder of the 1910s and '20s, is the only player with such a line, in 1922
2 3 0 2 : Mickey Tettleton had the only such game, in 1996; I think someone mentioned this in an earlier Dugout
2 4 0 2 : Frank O'Rourke, a journeyman infielder of the 1920s, had the only such game, in 1929. Not the same Frank O'Rourke who was a prolific mid-20th-century baseball-story writer
   3. Batman Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:19 AM (#5455498)
Morneau was a White Sock last year. Hinch contributed to the 43-119 2003 Tigers.
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:55 AM (#5455528)
Anthony Swarzak has pitched for the White Sox, the Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League, and the Doosan Bears of the KBO.

That's White Sox, and Tigres, and Bears - oh my!!!
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 15, 2017 at 11:59 AM (#5455534)
Al McBean: it looks like there's only 14 players born in the US Virgin Islands, and they just about fill up a plausible lineup:

c - Elrod Hendricks
1b - Calvin Pickering
2b - Jerry Browne
3b - Jose Morales
ss - Horace Clarke
lf - Henry Cruz
cf - Midre Cummings
rf - Joe Christopher
dh - Jabari Blash
sp - Jarel Cotton
rp - Al McBean

Bench: Elmo Plaskett, Callix Crabbe, Akeel Morris

They don't really have a third baseman. I put Morales there because Pickering and Blash seem implausible, although you do see guys that size standing around third sometimes.

   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2017 at 12:34 PM (#5455569)
When Jerry Browne was a Cleveland Indian, the Tribe had a radio affiliate in Charlotte Amalie, USVI. I always found that fascinating.

edit to add: I get it, they wanted to follow the hometown kid, but the 1980s Cleveland Indians weren't exactly much of a draw.
   7. GGC Posted: May 15, 2017 at 12:48 PM (#5455589)
Roger Kahn's The Seventh Game: worth seeking out?
   8. TDF didn't lie, he just didn't remember Posted: May 15, 2017 at 01:58 PM (#5455665)
I'm sure there are White Sox and Tigers, too, but I'm too lazy to look it up.
Smoltz was famously drafted by the Tigers and traded for Doyle Alexander as a minor leaguer.
   9. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: May 15, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5455805)
Jon Heyman on twitter about an hour ago: "it will be a surprise if Luis Robert doesn't sign with the White Sox".

   10. AndrewJ Posted: May 16, 2017 at 06:55 AM (#5456197)
Roger Kahn's The Seventh Game: worth seeking out?

It has its fans. Personally, I prefer Kahn's nonfiction.
   11. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: May 16, 2017 at 09:01 AM (#5456225)
ss - Horace Clarke

Yankees fans of a certain age will tell you that Bobby Richardson hung the moon, while Horace Clarke didn't even deserve to be in the ballpark selling peanuts, let alone in a Yankees uniform. Statistically, they were about the actual value, Clarke was better (15.5 v 8.1 WAR).
   12. GGC Posted: May 16, 2017 at 09:44 AM (#5456244)
I found a Dan Okrent review of that book, Andrew.

Roger Kahn, whose nonfiction baseball books include the celebrated ''Boys of Summer'' and the even better but less widely read ''Season in the Sun,'' has stumbled here. ''The Seventh Game'' is a novel about an aging pitcher on the mound for the last game of a world series (probably the last game of his career), and of the life he has lived up until this particular October afternoon. Mr. Kahn commits enough writerly sins to send himself back to the minors. The book is littered with borrowings, from his own work (he tosses compliments at friends he encountered and evokes the places he visited on his summer's research for ''A Season in the Sun''), from other baseball books (most notably, and regrettably, those by hacks of the 40's and 50's) and even from Tom Wolfe (Mr. Kahn's little number on airplane- and pilot-speak was original, and better, in Wolfe's ''The Right Stuff'').

BUT worse than the attributable borrowings are the cliches so firmly grounded in bad baseball literature that they are beyond tracing. He gives us predictably venal owners, dishonest agents, subliterate players (save, of course, for the Hawthorne-reading, Monet-appreciating protagonist), a World War II bomber-crew lineup (players and coaches named Dubcek, O'Hara, Levin, Domingo - I think it's Domingo; sometimes it appears as ''Santo Domingo'' - and Roosevelt Delano Dale). The hero is a fine man, happily married to a loyal peach of a girl, yet he's having an affair with the well-bred sister-in-law of the baseball commissioner. All major-league teams mentioned in the book go by their own names, except for the two meeting in the series - the New York Mohawks and the Los Angeles Mastodons (Mastodons? For a baseball club? Roger Kahn is the last writer I'd expect to display a tin ear).

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