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Friday, May 31, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-31-2019

El Paso Herald, May 31, 1919:

Funds are rapidly accumulating for the erection of a monument or tablet to Capt. Eddie Grant, baseball’s hero of the Argonne, and generous contributions have been made by the officers of the 77th division, with which he fought, to the purse started by baseball men in New York last winter. The Grant memorial fund, which has charge of the moneys, is now seeking a suitable site for the location of the memorial and it is probable that the Polo Grounds, in New York, will be selected as the spot for its erection.

The memorial was, appropriately, unveiled on Memorial Day in 1921. It’s not crystal clear where the plaque is now. The Baseball Reliquary probably has it, but some have said their plaque might be a prototype and not the Eddie Grant plaque.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 31, 2019 at 09:52 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, eddie grant, heroes, history, memorial day

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 31, 2019 at 09:53 AM (#5847065)
Most of the time, I'm focused on putting together the best possible Birthday Team. Every May 31, I'm just happy I'm able to put together a full starting lineup.

C: Larry Owen (-0.5 WAR)
1B: Joe Orsulak (5.4 WAR)
2B: David Fletcher (3.8 WAR)
3B: Jeff Schaefer (-0.3 WAR)
SS/SP: Socks Seibold (4.8 WAR)
LF/Manager: Dave Roberts (9.0 WAR)
CF: Kenny Lofton (68.3 WAR)
RF/SP: Dupee Shaw (15.0 WAR)

SP: Jake Peavy (39.6 WAR)
SP: Ray Washburn (7.5 WAR)
SP: Shane Bieber (2.4 WAR)
RP: Tippy Martinez (8.7 WAR)
RP: Andrew Bailey (5.9 WAR)

Fun names: Peaches Davis, Rikkert Faneyte
Not that one: Jackie Brown
Owner: Edward Bennett Williams
Umpires: Russ Goetz, Bill Miller
   2. John M. Perkins Posted: May 31, 2019 at 10:10 AM (#5847069)
SS when Seibold pitches, Ray Olmedo (-1.7 WAR)
RF when Shaw pitches,Rikkert Faneyte (-1.1 WAR)
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: May 31, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5847076)
I pay homage to Joe Orsulak every year, but this year I'll just provide the insight that he was the poor man's Bill Buckner.
   4. crict Posted: May 31, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5847093)
It seems very obvious that the Eddie Grant plaque that the Baseball Reliquary has is quite different from the one we see on historical pictures.
   5. The Mighty Quintana Posted: May 31, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5847096)
Orsulak had pretty good speed until his knee injury in '87....couldn't play in center after that - took away some of his value to a team.
   6. bobm Posted: May 31, 2019 at 01:21 PM (#5847107)
[4] yes. The last two lines of the historical plaque state:


The Baseball Reliquary plaque states on its last three (3) lines:

   7. Itchy Row Posted: May 31, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5847130)
   8. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: May 31, 2019 at 03:28 PM (#5847146)
DBacks rookie Tim Locastro has 48 PAs this year, but 8 of them have ended with a Hit-By-Pitch.

Guy is really good at attracting pitches into his body, utilizing his superior gravitational force.
   9. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: May 31, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5847151)
He’s third in the league in HBPs even though he’s only started 9 games!
   10. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: May 31, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5847152)
In 2014, for Totonto’s Lo-A affiliate, Tim Locastro played in 67 games and was hit by 32 pitches. The guy has a skill!
   11. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 31, 2019 at 03:47 PM (#5847154)
Is this guy 800 pounds? Turns out it doesn't work for hockey goalies but maybe it works for this!
   12. strong silence Posted: May 31, 2019 at 04:36 PM (#5847171)
Sports guy on the radio says ".350 is like the new .400".

I haven't followed baseball for a decade but what it implies doesn't seem right to me. Is it more difficult to his .400 than it was 10 or 20 years ago? Is .400 more standard deviations from the mean than it was in the past?
   13. Davo (Love Won The Battle Of Stalingrad) Posted: May 31, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5847176)
12-Well, league-wide batting averages are at a 50-year low (last year’s .248 was the lowest we’ve seen since 1972). And there are more complicated mathematical arguments suggesting that as league quality goes up, the incidences of “extreme” performances (good or bad) goes down.

So I can buy it. Only one guy has hit .350 in the 2010s; 7 hit .400 in the 1920s.
   14. Itchy Row Posted: May 31, 2019 at 04:59 PM (#5847178)
Pujols is the only active player who has hit .350. He did it twice, in 2003 and 2008.
   15. strong silence Posted: May 31, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5847179)
Is that a result of the Three True Outcomes theory Davo? If so, one could say that ballplayer abilities to hit .400 are still present but players are choosing different outcomes. But, possibly, GM's are selecting for ballplayers who don't have the ability to hit for average. GM's have prioritized the 3 outcomes, one of which is not average.

   16. Hank Gillette Posted: May 31, 2019 at 06:13 PM (#5847195)
It seems very obvious that the Eddie Grant plaque that the Baseball Reliquary has is quite different from the one we see on historical pictures.

The Baseball Reliquary claim to have the Eddie Grant plaque is suspect merely based on their claim to have a hot dog that Babe Ruth did not finish eating.

Aside from the bottom two/three lines, the historic pictures also show more ornate corners on the Polo Grounds plaque.
   17. bobm Posted: May 31, 2019 at 06:24 PM (#5847198)

The batting Triple Crown used to occur more often. There were nine Triple Crown winners in the 34 seasons preceding 1967, but only Miguel Cabrera has accomplished the feat since then (in 2012, with a .330 batting average, 44 HR, and 139 RBIs). One potential explanation for the lack of Triple Crowns since 1967 is suggested by Stephen Jay Gould’s hypothesis explaining the disappearance of “the .400 hitter.” Gould first published this idea as “Entropic Homogeneity Isn’t Why No One Hits .400 Any More” in Discover, August, 1986; he later published it as a chapter in his book Full House: The Spread Of Excellence From Plato To Darwin (Harmony Books, 1996). [...]

Gould then supposes that the decline in batting average peak (the .400 hitter, the outlier) is due to decreased variation in the population of hitters. In other words, as the skills of both hitters and pitchers improved, and as the pool of talented players to choose from increased, the variation in talent (the difference between the best to the worst batting averages) should decrease. Therefore, players in Major League Baseball in more recent period are arguably reaching the “wall” of human performance. Gould’s analysis of the data supports this idea, as the standard deviation of league-wide batting averages has decreased steadily since the early 20th century.

Gould concludes that the .400 hitter has disappeared mainly due to decreased variability in the talent pool. Since his ideas have been published, other baseball analysts have considered Gould’s work and have generally supported his conclusions. But Triple Crown Awards are of interest here. Can Gould’s analysis and conclusions be applied to the low number of Triple Crowns since 1967? Can Stephen Jay Gould’s theory explain why there were no batting Triple Crowns in MLB for 45 years?
   18. Kiko Sakata Posted: May 31, 2019 at 07:15 PM (#5847202)
Is that a result of the Three True Outcomes theory Davo? If so, one could say that ballplayer abilities to hit .400 are still present but players are choosing different outcomes.

That assumes that the prevalence of strikeouts is entirely due to batter choices. But I think part of the increase in strikeouts is because pitchers are pitching shorter stints which enables them to throw harder which leads to more strikeouts. In 1941, Ted Williams only struck out 27 times (which was by far his career low for a full season). On at bats on which he made contact, he batted .431 (note: that's not his BABIP as it includes home runs). Williams's K-rate (K/AB) was 58% of the league average for the 1941 AL. If a batter struck out at half the league-average so far in 2019 (which would be better than Williams in 1941, relative to league), he'd have to hit .459 on contact to hit .400. Which seems like it would be extremely hard to do. So, yeah, I think it would be much harder to hit .400 today than it was even 10 years ago.

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