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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-8-2014

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 8, 1914:

Erie [Pennsylvania] lost to Peterboro 3 to 1 in the opening game of the Canadian League season this afternoon. Umpire Miller was attacked by bleacherites for a decision he made against the home team [Erie] and a pop bottle thrown at him hit a small boy in the head, seriously injuring him. A parade headed by a band preceded the game.

“What happened at the game?”
“A kid was almost killed by a bottle. Oh, and there was a parade!”

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:21 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:23 AM (#4702778)
Great outfield on today's Birthday Team.

Brouthers isn't really a left fielder, but he played a few dozen games out there. The other option is to bench Adrian Gonzalez in favor of Ricky Nelson, a guy with 320 career AB and a .247/.288/.363 (76 OPS+) career line.

C: Todd Greene
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
2B: Ross Barnes
3B: Steve Braun
SS: Dasher Troy
LF: Dan Brouthers
CF: Edd Roush
RF/Manager: Jack Chapman

SP: Mike Cuellar
SP: John Maine
SP: Jason Davis
SP: Roy Wilkinson
SP: Alfredo Simon
RP: Lloyd Allen

Negro Leagues great: Turkey Stearnes
Not that one: Ricky Nelson, Ed Murray
   2. boteman Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:35 AM (#4702792)
Tough crowd, tough crowd!
   3. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 08, 2014 at 10:10 AM (#4702817)
Todd Greene finished hit 71 homers and drew just 67 walks. He has the most homers of any player who finished his career with more homers and walks.

Wilin Rosario (55 homers, 47 walks) has that record in his sights, though!
   4. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 08, 2014 at 11:08 AM (#4702842)
The other option is to bench Adrian Gonzalez in favor of Ricky Nelson, a guy with 320 career AB and a .247/.288/.363 (76 OPS+) career line.


Well, if you're going to bench a first ballot Hall of Merit player so that a man who slugged .298 can play RF, why not go all the way?
   5. salvomania Posted: May 08, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4702920)
I remember Steve Braun mostly as a late-career pinch hitter for St. Louis; He had 268 pinch-hit appearances for the Cardinals over his final five seasons, putting up a .399 OBP on the strength of his ability to draw a walk.

After the Cardinals were blown out by the Brewers in Game 1 of the 1982 World Series, they fought back from an early 4-2 deficit in Game 2, tying it up in the 6th before Braun "drove in" the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 8th on a bases-loaded walk from Pete Ladd (Rollie Fingers was injured). Braun was then hit by a ground ball off the bat of Ozzie Smith with the bases loaded, ending the inning and turning the lead over to Bruce Sutter.

In the 9th, Sutter allowed a leadoff bunt single to Paul Molitor, who was promptly thrown out stealing by Darrell Porter. Yount and Cooper were retired to end the game, evening up the series.

For a series that went the distance, I wonder if that 8th inning of Game 2 was the spot where the absence of Rollie Fingers due to injury cost the Brewers their only World Championship...

Braun is one of 223 players to have at least 200 plate appearances as a PH, and he ranks 8th among that group with a .386 OBP. Some of the higher-up names on that career PH OBP list were '70s-'80s guys who could take a walk: the top dozen includes Merv Rettenmund (1st at .422), Oscar Gamble, Rance Mulliniks, Joe Lahoud, Braun and Cliff Johnson (12th at .378).

I'm a little amazed to see Lenny Harris first all-time in PH plate appearances (883) despite just a .317 OBP in that role.
   6. puck Posted: May 08, 2014 at 01:30 PM (#4702936)
Wilin Rosario (55 homers, 47 walks) has that record in his sights, though!


He'll have a longer career, though...that will make it tough.
   7. Flack42 Posted: May 08, 2014 at 01:31 PM (#4702937)
Not that one: Ricky Nelson


Quite coincidentally, today is also the birthday of "that one" Ricky Nelson. 1940.
   8. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: May 08, 2014 at 02:11 PM (#4702962)
Well, if you're going to bench a first ballot Hall of Merit player so that a man who slugged .298 can play RF, why not go all the way?
I've talked about this before, but I quite often note great Negro Leaguers and leave it at that. Guys like Charleston, Stearnes, and Wells are obvious inner-circle greats of the sport and I recognize that, but I don't want to be responsible for sifting through biographical records to see if, say, Bingo DeMoss or Edgar Wesley is available on a day when I'm thin at their position.
   9. BDC Posted: May 08, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4702974)
Milestone Watch: with two HR that drove in all three Ranger runs the past two nights, Adrian Beltre ties Matt Williams for 67th in career HR (with 378) and passes Graig Nettles for 99th in career RBI (1,316). He's been passing guys like Rolen and Traynor on other lists, too, so he's in the thick of some great third basemen right now. In fact another home run will tie him with Tony Perez for 65th.
   10. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 08, 2014 at 02:29 PM (#4702975)
Quite coincidentally, today is also the birthday of "that one" Ricky Nelson. 1940.

"He's a time-travelin' man"
   11. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 08, 2014 at 02:32 PM (#4702976)
Guys like Charleston, Stearnes, and Wells are obvious inner-circle greats of the sport and I recognize that, but I don't want to be responsible for sifting through biographical records to see if, say, Bingo DeMoss or Edgar Wesley is available on a day when I'm thin at their position.

Heh, the Robinson Cano of Birthday Team Builders.


[Just kidding, Dan, just kidding]
   12. just plain joe Posted: May 08, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4702991)
After the Cardinals were blown out by the Brewers in Game 1 of the 1982 World Series, they fought back from an early 4-2 deficit in Game 2, tying it up in the 6th before Braun "drove in" the go-ahead run in the bottom of the 8th on a bases-loaded walk from Pete Ladd (Rollie Fingers was injured). Braun was then hit by a ground ball off the bat of Ozzie Smith with the bases loaded, ending the inning and turning the lead over to Bruce Sutter.


I guess you could say that Braun was "good walk, no run" in that game.
   13. Good cripple hitter Posted: May 08, 2014 at 03:09 PM (#4702998)
I've talked about this before, but I quite often note great Negro Leaguers and leave it at that. Guys like Charleston, Stearnes, and Wells are obvious inner-circle greats of the sport and I recognize that, but I don't want to be responsible for sifting through biographical records to see if, say, Bingo DeMoss or Edgar Wesley is available on a day when I'm thin at their position.


Yeah, I understand that. Seamheads is good but (AFAICT) there's no easy way to access birthday info that'd make things (relatively) easy for you. And honestly trying to decide if players like DeMoss or Jelly Gardner were worth of starting on their birthdays (to say nothing of more obscure NeL players) would get very tedious after only a few days worth of teams. But in this case... it's Turkey Stearnes! Promote Chapman to manager, Stearnes slides up to RF, done.

I do appreciate your work, however, I don't want to sound like I'm being too critical here. I just found it somewhat amusing that Ricky Nelson not starting in the outfield was worthy of comment, but the third-most famous "Death to Flying Things" starting over Stearnes wasn't.
   14. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: May 08, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4703001)
Asdrubal Cabrera comes up in the bottom of the 8th, needing a triple for the cycle. Hits a liner down the right field line, and makes it to third....but it was ruled a double and an error on the right fielder.

Oh well. Would have been the first Cycle of the year, right?
   15. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 08, 2014 at 04:57 PM (#4703056)
The Game of May 7, 1984 was pretty fun - it had two guys with the same last name who had wildly divergent performances (and not in the way you'd expect), and had two former rivals (same position, same division, two great teams) collaborating to take the lead in the late innings. One of those guys was 40 years old and in his last season, and still did things in this game that would be impressive from a much younger player.

Also, multiple late ties and lead changes, which is always a bonus.
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 08, 2014 at 06:50 PM (#4703105)
The Game of yesterday started with an uneven pitching matchup that came so very close to breaking the way you wouldn't expect. It also swung in large part on a matchup of two of the only three major league players whose first name starts with a given set of three letters. One million points to you if you can guess which two players those were.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:07 PM (#4703151)
I remain mildly surprised that Steve Braun is not the father of at least one of the Ryan Brauns. I see there was also a Steve Braun in the minors 2008-10 ... anybody know if they're related?

I kinda miss the platoon days and hopefully they're creeping back a bit. Braun was perfect in that role for the Twins -- 116 OPS+ heavily against RHP. Guys like that used to be all over baseball ... these days they're more likely to be forced into a full-time role or stuck in the minors. (Well, not the ones that can hit as well as Braun did probably, he'd have gotten a Hinske role at least.)

And Lenny Harris holds the record for pinch hits ... how else was he gonna get that record without a ton of PAs and no walks? :-)
   18. Walt Davis Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4703152)
But I was thinking the other day, are there any pinch-hitting "specialists" these days -- I mean guys renowned for their "skill"?
   19. JJ1986 Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:12 PM (#4703154)
The Marlins had Greg Dobbs on their roster as a pinch-hitting specialist - 13 PAs, all as a pinch hitter. He is not skilled at it.
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:33 PM (#4703163)
Mark Sweeney and Matt Stairs had long careers as renowned pinch hitters. I can't think of anyone under age 44 off the top of my head.
   21. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 08, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4703167)
And Lenny Harris holds the record for pinch hits ... how else was he gonna get that record without a ton of PAs and no walks? :-)


If there's one place where an empty BA is most useful, I've always figured PH was it. Those guys get a lot of two-out, man-in-scoring-position plate appearances, situations where a little single has its greatest utility.

   22. salvomania Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:15 AM (#4703269)
If there's one place where an empty BA is most useful, I've always figured PH was it


You know who holds the all-time record for batting average as a pinch-hitter (200+ PA)?

Alex Arias. The light-hitting middle infielder of the Marlins and Phillies from 15 years ago.

He's a career .265 hitter, but in 239 pinch-hit appearances he hit .320/.380/.422. The OBP is 11th best, the OPS 10th best, from a guy with a career .688 OPS and 81 OPS+. (I'm a little surprised that of the 223 players with at least 200 pinch-hit PA, only 10 of them have a PH OPS above .800).

Seth Smith is apparently the greatest pinch hitter, rate-stat-wise, of all time: .318/.414/.571 in 203 PA (2nd highest BA, 2nd highest OBP, highest slugging, by a huge margin).

On the other end of the spectrum is Abraham Nunez, who hit .152/.199/.214 in over 300 pinch-hit appearances. Yech.
   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:26 AM (#4703275)
(I'm a little surprised that of the 223 players with at least 200 pinch-hit PA, only 10 of them have a PH OPS above .800).


It's long been theorized* that pinch-hitting is really hard. I don't know what drop-off in expected performance from starting is, but it wouldn't surprise me if it's substantial.

* More precisely, stated as fact by play-by-play guys and writers who undoubtedly did no such research to back-up their assertions. Still, I suspect the conventional wisdom on the subject would be backed up by the data, and your numbers sort of bear that out.

   24. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:57 AM (#4703307)
There are numbers for this in 'The Book' - right? In any case, every look at this I've seen shows a huge penalty.

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