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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-28-2014

Pittsburgh Press, May 28, 1914:

“Babe” Ruth, aged 18, star pitcher of the Baltimore Internationals, is safe from Federal raids. [Orioles owner] Jack Dunn found the boy in an industrial school and has been appointed his guardian. Ruth can sign no contracts without his guardian’s consent.

Baseball team owners adopting star underage players? What could possibly go wrong?

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 28, 2014 at 07:54 AM | 28 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: babe ruth, dugout, history, jack dunn

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 28, 2014 at 08:05 AM (#4714449)
Not much in the way of starting pitching, but that's one helluva bullpen. Also, Jhonny Peralta has played in more All-Star Games than Kirk Gibson did. Come to think of it, Steve Jeltz made as many ASG appearances as Gibby.

C: Willard Hershberger
1B: Pearce "What's The Use" Chiles
2B: Bill Doran
3B: Jhonny Peralta
SS: Rafael Landestoy
LF: Kirk Gibson
CF: Bobby Gene Smith
RF: Bill Barrett

SP: Bob Kuzava
SP: Randy Martz
SP: Daniel Cabrera
SP: Jim Middleton
SP: Steve Nagy
RP: Duane Ward
RP: Craig Kimbrel

League President: Warren Giles
Awful: Steve Jeltz
Eats Bugs: Mike Maksudian
Halfback: Jim Thorpe

I've linked to this before, but the saga of Pearce Chiles is an amazing story that's well worth your time.
   2. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 28, 2014 at 08:26 AM (#4714459)
I remember wanting Maksudian to get a real shot at a gig - decent bat, could fake it at all five corners (including behind the plate), and was a lot of fun. Ah well.
   3. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 28, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4714497)
What was the most recent independent team in the affiliated minors? Reno in '91?

I ask because Maksudian played for the unaffiliated Miami Miracle in '89. I know of this site, which lists minor league clubs and their affiliates throughout history, but is there an easier way to find unaffiliated teams?
   4. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 28, 2014 at 10:14 AM (#4714517)
I think we'd need to distinguish between independent teams (there were several in rookie ball in '95 (Ogden, Butte, Lethbridge, River City) and co-op (which can mean a shared team, which we had in the DSL last year (the Rojos - mix of Reds and D-Backs) - or a true co-op, shared by lots of teams, like Visalia and Bakersfield in '96). The Arizona/Tampa expansion round helped kill indy teams in pro ball off.

But, no - I don't know an easy way.
   5. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 28, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4714532)
Most interesting part of the unaffiliated minors for me is that Boise participated in the draft in 1989, Miami and Erie in 1990, and I think the Salt Lake Trappers may have drafted at some point. I assume the rule allowing that was removed when the major-minor league agreement committed to affiliations for everyone?
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4714543)
Steve Jeltz was the best French-born, U of Kansas-alum in Royals history.

He drew 65 walks one year, while hitting .219. That is sorta amazing, even if 9 were IBB. He drew 59 walks while hitting .187.
   7. JJ1986 Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4714561)
I think it was Mike Lansing whose baseball card had him drafted by an unaffiliated team. It was always very confusing to me.
   8. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:17 AM (#4714568)
The opening paragraph of Pearce Chiles' BR Bullpen entry is what we in the screenwriting industry call a Hook:

Pearce Chiles was an infielder, outfielder, pinch-hitter and coach in between the many crimes he seems to have committed. He hit well for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1899. After 1903 he disappeared from sight, although since he was wanted for escaping from prison it was possibly intentional on his part.
   9. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4714578)
He drew 65 walks one year, while hitting .219. That is sorta amazing, even if 9 were IBB. He drew 59 walks while hitting .187.

Big deal, Mickey Lolich drew 105 walks while hitting .110. (he had 90 hits)
   10. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4714582)
Correcting my #4 - some of those rookie league teams in '95 were actually co-ops.

7 - Lansing (Miami Miracle, the Maksudian-led club) was easily the best guy drafted by an indy team. That same year, Miami also drafted Paul Carey, a CWS hero who had a cup of coffee in the bigs.
   11. Random Transaction Generator Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:39 AM (#4714596)
Okay, I'm confused.

Independent teams (like Miami Miracle) participated in MLB drafts?
How did that work? Why did that work?
   12. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4714602)
I thought independent teams in affiliated leagues ended in the sixties. This is really interesting.
   13. Moeball Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM (#4714644)
he was a late-inning pinch hitter whose lifetime at-bats to runs-batted-in ratio rivals that of Joe DiMaggio (22.04 to Joe’s 22.53)


The above is from the article on Pearce Chiles and is worded very poorly - Joe D. didn't average 22.53 at bats per RBI - he had 6821 total AB in his career and 1537 RBI. His ratio of RBI/AB was .2253. His ratio of AB/RBI was 4.44.
   14. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:25 PM (#4714653)
Independent teams (like Miami Miracle) participated in MLB drafts?


The lower leagues had the right to participate beginning around the 4th or 5th round.* Generally, they'd go after college seniors who weren't overly athletic - good college players, but guys who the majors didn't think were MLB prospects. As far as I know, they always asked the guys beforehand if they'd be willing to sign. Some were agreeable, because it at keast gave a player a shot in organized ball.

*I think there was some remnant that said Triple A teams came in 2nd round, Double A third round, etc., but that it was moot since they were all affiliated for years. Anyone know better?
   15. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4714661)

I thought independent teams in affiliated leagues ended in the sixties. This is really interesting.


I agree, fascinating stuff. Please continue!
   16. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4714724)
Wish I knew more!

If you want a first hand account of such a team by a big time baseball writer, try Roger Kahn's Good Enough To Dream, about his co-owning the '83 Utica Blue Sox.

Affiliated clubs hated these teams - co-op clubs would normally stink, true indies would prioritize winning over development and had older rosters. The '87 Trappers won 29 in a row and were featured in an SI article. Other teams, less well run, could be very, very bad.

I think the draft story was that Boise found the loophole (previously, Bend drafted a guy, like, 20-some odd years prior), Miami (a Veeck operation) exploited the heck out of it the next year, and it was promptly closed.

Some interesting guys came out of these teams. Tom Candiotti was initially signed by the Northwest League's Victoria Mussels. A few years prior, the Portland Mavericks signed the owner's kid: ex-Angel farmhand Kurt Russell. The (awful) 1990 Salinas Spurs (Cal League) had an agreement with an org in Japan that resulted in a Japanese manager, several Japanese players (none of note) - as well as a handful of vets trying to get back their MLB careers: Steve Howe and Andy Allanson did, Leon Durham and Rod Craig didn't. A few years later, 17-year old Mac Suzuki started his pro career as a batboy for the Salinas Spurs (which were still awful), pitching an inning.
   17. crict Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:35 PM (#4714731)
Form an old Baseball American column

When MLB created the draft in 1965, it assigned the picks to teams. In the initial draft, the first-round picks belonged to big league clubs and the second- and third-rounders to their Triple-A affiliates. The fourth- through seventh-rounders were Double-A selections, and everything afterward was a Class A choice. (Despite the terminology, major league teams dictated who got picked in each round.)

The draft order for the big league and Triple-A picks was based on the major league standings from the year before, while later selections were based on the order of finish in those classifications. Adding to the confusion, teams got a Class A pick in each round based on its number of affiliates at that level. For instance, five clubs had only two choices each in the Class A rounds, while the Phillies and Twins had five each.

After the first draft, MLB simplified the regular phase of the June draft so that the order remained the same throughout and teams got only one selection in each round. The first round remained major league picks, with Triple-A selections condensed to the second round and Double-A choices limited to the third round, followed by an infinite number of Class A rounds. Based on that terminology, unaffiliated minor league clubs were eligible to draft amateur players.

The first team to do so was the Bend Rainbows in 1970. A short-season Class A Northwest League team, Bend was affiliated with the Triple-A Hawaii Islanders, who had dreams of becoming a major league franchise. Hawaii had Bend use the draft to stockpile players, and the Rainbows made a total of 20 choices in the January regular, January secondary and June regular phases of the 1970-71 drafts.

Bend began drafting with the first pick in the fourth round each phase, except when it was granted the No. 1 overall choice in the 1971 January secondary draft. The Rainbows signed nine of its choices, and while they didn't find any big leaguers, they did find a future big league manager in Tom Trebelhorn (sixth round, June 1970).

The second minor league team to participate in the draft was the 1989 Boise Hawks, another NWL franchise. In its third year of existence, Boise had yet to land an affiliation and was one of five independent teams in the minors. Looking to bolster their roster, the Hawks drafted two 24-year-olds who agreed to be selected by the club: Brigham Young second baseman Paul Cluff (fourth round) and Kennesaw catcher Darrell MacMillan (fifth).

By 1990, Miami had been unaffiliated for five years and regularly finished at the bottom of the FSL. Desperate for talent, the Miracle began choosing players in the fourth round and made 16 selections.

"It was absolutely a last resort," Miracle owner Marvin Goldklang said then. "In life, you do what you have to do. If the help was forthcoming, there's a good chance we would not have participated in the draft."

Miami signed 15 of its picks for a total of roughly $250,000. The Miracle's draftees included future big leaguers Paul Carey (fourth round) and Mike Lansing (sixth), and the club eventually sold them and five others to major league organizations.

Additionally in 1990, Erie of the short-season Class A New York-Penn League used a fourth-round pick to take 24-year-old Brigham Young outfielder Gary Daniels.

Big league teams were annoyed that unlike the other minor league clubs that participated in the draft, Miami actually took legitimate prospects who might have been selected in the early rounds. When MLB and the minors negotiated a new Professional Baseball Agreement to govern their relationship after the 1990 season, independent teams lost their right to participate in the draft.
   18. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4714733)
He drew 65 walks one year, while hitting .219. That is sorta amazing, even if 9 were IBB. He drew 59 walks while hitting .187.


My hero! I led my slow-pitch softball team by drawing eight walks last year in nine games. My BA was OK, but I can't slug my way out of a paper bag.
   19. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:39 PM (#4714775)
Big deal, Mickey Lolich drew 105 walks while hitting .110. (he had 90 hits)


On the other end of the spectrum is Carlos Zambrano, who had 165 hits and drew a mere 10 walks.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 28, 2014 at 02:48 PM (#4714784)
I led my slow-pitch softball team by drawing eight walks last year in nine games.


You were That Guy, huh?
   21. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 03:36 PM (#4714816)
I didn't mean to be, but yeah. I think the next closest guy had two.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 28, 2014 at 05:05 PM (#4714883)
The Game of 5/27/84 had a couple of big hits by pretty well-known players, including one who was still hanging around the majors a couple decades later. But its most notable moment was also its last, as the walkoff was the third MLB RBI of a player who went on to a highly productive and underrated career.
   23. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 28, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4714916)
The Game of 5/27/14 was a good one, featuring a ninth-inning comeback leading to extras. And then there was the last play, which immediately becomes one of my favorite things to happen on a baseball diamond, ever, of all time, in the universe.
   24. Curse of the Andino Posted: May 28, 2014 at 07:15 PM (#4714931)
I am shocked to learn that Daniel Cabrera, who last pitched in the majors in '09, is still active. He went to Japan two years ago.

Loved that guy when he first came up, the way he'd refuse to touch the foul lines and so forth.
   25. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 28, 2014 at 07:45 PM (#4714944)
Lorenzo Barcelo, who last pitched in the majors in '02, is still active.

Not sure about the use of "still" since BB-ref has him not playing anywhere in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008.
   26. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 28, 2014 at 07:59 PM (#4714951)
I didn't mean to be, but yeah. I think the next closest guy had two.


As someone who played against That Guy, boo. It's rec league slow-pitch softball. Swing the damn bat.
   27. Jarrod HypnerotomachiaPoliphili(Teddy F. Ballgame) Posted: May 28, 2014 at 09:45 PM (#4714996)
Well, on the flip side, how hard is it to find the plate at ten mph?
   28. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 28, 2014 at 11:03 PM (#4715042)
The point of rec league slow pitch softball is not to test the pitcher's control. If it's close, swing. Don't be That Guy. (This is addressed to the softball-playing population in general, by the way, not specifically to you.)

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