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Monday, June 17, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-17-2019

El Paso Herald, June 17, 1919:

[Ping Bodie on why he’d rather play center field than left field:] “Center field is easy on the eyes, like September Morn or something. Now, get me, what I mean to say is that in left field you are always looking into the sun and you get razzle-dazzled in the vision…I figure that playing left field knocks about 25 to 30 per cent off an outfielder’s hitting.”
...
Ping’s argument is a sound one, to say the least. Even with smoked glasses to wear when the sun is burning down at its brightest the left fielder, unless he has an abnormal pair of “glims,” must find things looking hazy after he has peeped into the eye of Old Sol a couple of times, only to be called on a romp in to the bench, pick up a bat and face real jazzy pitching.

“Sorry I struck out, Skip. The pitching was real jazzy and I got razzle-dazzled in the vision.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:01 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, razzle dazzle

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:03 AM (#5852702)
There's no shortage of personality in the outfield of today's Birthday Team. I have a feeling Browning and Super Joe would be fast friends.

C: Chink Outen (0.5 WAR)
1B: Claude Rossman (5.8 WAR)
2B: Zeb Terry (7.6 WAR)
3B: Manuel Lee (9.7 WAR)
SS: Dave Concepcion (40.1 WAR)
LF: Joe Charboneau (1.5 WAR)
CF: Pete Browning (40.6 WAR)
RF: Mickey Brantley (0.9 WAR)

SP: Phil Douglas (12.2 WAR)
SP: Willard Nixon (9.2 WAR)
SP: Joe Bowman (7.2 WAR)
SP: Mike Magnante (5.5 WAR)
SP: Bennie Daniels (2.9 WAR)
RP: Andrew Chafin (3.8 WAR)

Broadcaster: Ray Scott
Threw back-to-back no-hitters in AAA, then a third later in the season: Tom Drees
No relation to Carl: Bill Hubbell
Not that one: Pete O'Brien
First overall pick in MLB Draft: Shawn Abner (-1.3 WAR)
Tragedy: Dernell Stenson
Pro Football Hall of Famer, part owner of a Frontier League team: Dermontti Dawson
   2. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 17, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5852734)
For the 1922 starting pitcher rankings update, I’m going to try a different format than what I’ve used so far, mostly because the chronological layout that focused almost entirely on the top of the rankings and the minor changes therein don’t seem to be generating a ton of response. (Which is fair. “Carl Mays moved from #5 to #3, but then fell back to #4 two days later” can only hold interest so many times.) Hopefully this way works a bit better.

Welcome aboard: I’m not entirely sure whether I should do people who made their major league debut here, or people who exhausted their rookie status. Rookie status probably makes more sense; someone who debuts but doesn’t exceed the rookie innings limit isn’t going to have much impact in the rankings at all. And that inclination is not at all influenced by the fact that 1922’s most interesting rookie is someone who made his big league debut 7 years earlier. Dazzy Vance made his triumphant return to the majors at the age of 31, winning 18 games with an ERA+ of 111 and leading the NL in shutouts (5) and strikeouts (134). He also went from unranked to #31 by the end of the season, the second-biggest improvement anyone had in 1922. And of course, Vance was just getting started.

Sayonara: The most WAR of any pitcher whose career ended in 1922 goes to Smoky Joe Wood, who hadn’t been a regular pitcher in years (my database, starting in 1916, includes just one start from him). So this category falls to Phil Douglas, who’s about as interesting as Wood in his own fairly depressing way. Douglas was a talented pitcher who spent a bit of time in the top 10, but also an unreliable alcoholic whose career ended in 1922 because he jumped his team in the middle of the pennant race and got himself placed on the permanently ineligible list for (at least) giving the appearance of asking for a bribe to stay away from the Giants. (Like Eddie Cicotte and Lefty Williams in 1921, I removed Douglas from the rankings manually as of the start of 1923. I think these are the last starting pitchers who have received perma-bans, so hopefully we won’t run into this issue again.)

Breaking in: 91 pitchers began the 1922 season with scores above the 300-point minimum. The best of the pitchers who entered the season in the unofficial infinite tie for #92 was not (quite) Dazzy Vance and his NL-leading strikeout total, nor was it (quite) Charlie Robertson and his April 30 perfect game. The honor in this case goes to Herman Pillette, who won 19 games with a 2.85 ERA as a 26-year-old rookie for the Tigers. Pillette doesn’t have Robertson’s singular achievement, and he certainly doesn’t have Vance’s Hall of Fame career (he’d be out of the league two years later). But he ended the 1922 season at #28, just a bit higher than his two fellow unranked entrants.

Coming on strong: There were quite a few pitchers who surged toward the top of the rankings this year. Eppa Rixey (from #20 to #9) and Bullet Joe Bush (#21 to #10) both rejoined the top 10. Lower down in the top 25, Dutch Ruether (39 to 20), Johnny Morrison (53 to 22), Elam Vangilder (61 to 23), Jack Quinn (47 to 24), and Jeff Pfeffer (50 to 25) all significantly improved their standing as well. But the most notable upswing came from Eddie Rommel, who opened the season at #41 and charged all the way up to peak at #8 before sliding a bit to end the season at #13. Rommel has the interesting distinction of having been used in relief even more often than the usual aces of the day, winning 27 games and throwing almost 300 innings at a 129 ERA+ in 1922 while pitching in relief 18 times. (To be fair, 8 of those 27 wins came out of the bullpen.) If anything, looking at starts underrates Rommel here, and will continue to do so moving forward (his 1923 was 31 starts, 25 relief appearances).

Falling from grace: The easiest way to fall in the starting pitcher rankings is to not pitch, but people who don’t pitch also aren’t the most interesting to write about. Fortunately (well, not for them), 1922 gives me a couple of options for people who pitched full seasons and did badly enough to fall significantly in the rankings. Burleigh Grimes, who peaked at #2 in late 1921 before ending the season at #5 (and who would probably be in the “coming on strong” section in the previous two seasons), had a disaster of a year from the outset, allowing four runs or more (as many as 10) in six consecutive starts after his first. His ERA was 8.70 as of May 28, at which point he’d already fallen from #5 to #17. The rest of the season would be more respectable, and a 3.41 September ERA (lowering his season mark to 4.76) narrowly allowed him to regain a spot in the top 20 by the end of the season. At least Grimes’s year ended on a hopeful note; Bill Doak started the season at #11 and pitched decently early on (3.76 ERA and #12 in the rankings through May 30). He then posted monthly ERAs of 7.07, 5.24, 6.85, and 8.53, the last of which came predominantly in relief as he was removed from the rotation after allowing 8 runs on September 1 (the eleventh start in 1922 in which he’d allowed 5 or more). Doak ended the season ranked #46, a 35-place decline.

Playoffs? You kiddin’ me?: The 1922 World Series matched up the Giants and Yankees again, and the Yankees would seem to have held a significant pitching edge coming in, having four starters ending the season in the top 11 - #3 Bob Shawkey, #8 Carl Mays, #10 Bullet Joe Bush, and #11 Waite Hoyt. (You’d think the Ruth Yankees would emphasize scoring, but Ruth missed some time in 1922; the Yankees only scored the fourth-most runs in the AL, and allowed the fewest). By comparison, the Giants had only two pitchers in the top 25 at the same stage (#8 Art Nehf and #24 Jesse Barnes). But Nehf outpitched Bush in Games 1 and 5, Barnes dueled Shawkey to a literal draw in Game 2 (the last tie in World Series history), and relative scrap heap options Jack Scott (#67) and Hugh McQuillan (#47) outpitched Hoyt and Mays in Games 3 and 4, giving the victory to the Giants in a quasi-sweep.

Top of the heap: Red Faber opened the season at #1. Urban Shocker held the top spot for one day in late April before Faber reclaimed it, and Shocker and Carl Mays held it for a combined 10 days in early-to-mid May. Mays fell off the pace after Faber briefly reclaimed the lead, but Shocker resumed the top spot on May 23 and held it until June 18, at which point Faber reclaimed it amid a 25-day stretch during which Shocker did not make a start. Shocker held the top spot for one day on July 7 (he had a great start, then Faber had a great start the next day), and one day more on September 7 (Faber had a bad start, then Shocker had a bad start the next day), but Faber held the top spot for the entirety of the second half apart from that, giving him a second consecutive year-end #1 ranking.

Year-end top 10:
Red Faber 569
Urban Shocker 551
Bob Shawkey 544
Wilbur Cooper 534 (only NL pitcher in the top 6)
Stan Coveleski 518
Walter Johnson 514 (not bad for a guy who's past his prime - Alexander slacked off all the way to #12 this year)
Art Nehf 509
Carl Mays 501
Eppa Rixey 498
Bullet Joe Bush 496
   3. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 17, 2019 at 02:37 PM (#5852846)
"Razzle Dazzle" refers to the bizarre camouflage schemes used on some WW1 ships. In 1919, it would be quite familiar to those who had any contact with the naval side of WW1.
   4. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 17, 2019 at 03:25 PM (#5852860)
JUNE 17:

1851 baseball's first extra inning game: Knickercokers beat Washington Club 22-20 in 10 innings
1861 Pete Browning born
1880 John Ward tosses MLB's 2nd perfect game. Also 2nd of the week
1885 STL 18, BRK 5. Dodgers refuse to field for pitcher Phenomenal Smith because they hate his guts
1893 Jake Beckely hits walk-off inside-the-park HR off of Cy Young. PIT 8, CLV 7
1894 MLB debut: Jesse Tannehill
1902 Ollie Pickering hits game-lead-off HR off of Cy Young, only one of those ever hit off of Young
1903 on train trip, Ed Delahanty tries to sell teammates diamonds & jewrly from a DC jeweler to help out Delahanty's financial troubles
1905 Brk Pres Charles Ebbets, manager Patsy Donovan, starting pitcher Mal Eason arrested for playing ball on Sunday, as are Cincinnati's starting pitcher & manager
1913 Heine Zimmerman ejected from his 3rd game in 5 days
1915 Cubs 4, Brooklyn 3 (19): Zip Zabel throws 18.1 IP in relief the all-time record) for the Cubs: allows 2 runs, both unearned
1917 1st Sunday game in NYC: NG & NYY play war charity game before 21,000
1919 MLB debut: Frankie Frisch
1925 DET 19, NYY 1 - nyy's wrst loss of 20th century
1925 200 wins: Hooks Dauss: 200-170
1930 1st of 2 times on the year Chuck Klein has a hit streak hit 26 games. This one: .486/.521/.908. Yes, .908 SLG
1931 Hall of Fame umpire Tom Connolly announces his retirement
1936 Red Ruffing's 10 total bases is record of a pitcher for one game. HRs twice in one game for 2nd & final time in his career. Goes 4-for-5 with 3 Runs & 2 RBIs
1936 Browns 14, A's 13: A's led by 11 at one point
1939 Allan Sutton Sothroron, pitched his initials off, dies
1941 Joe DiMaggio singles off shoulder of Luke Appling for hitting streak to advance to 30
1943 Joe Cronin becomes 1st person in MLB history to hit 2 pinch hit HR in a doubleheader
1948 Davey Concepcion born
1956 Joe Adcock hits homer that lands on Ebbets Field roof
1957 WAS signs amateur free agent Jim Kaat
1958 Ozzie Virgil, 11 days after becoming the 1st black player in DET history, goes 5-for-5 in Briggs Stadium
1960 Super parody: NYY come out with sparklers when Clete Boyer homers in Comiskey against CWS
1960 500 homers: Ted Williams
1962 Marv Thorneberry hits apparent triples vs. Cubs - but he missed first base. And second base
1962 Lou Brock of all people hits 460 ft HR in Polo Grounds: only 2nd to reach RF-CF bleachers there. Joe Adcock the first
1964 Pedro Ramos tosses CG SHO & hits a HR. CLE 4, MIN 0
1964 BAL signs Sparky Lyle as amateur free agent
1966 Gaylord Perry wins, giving him a record of 32-31. It'll always be over .500 from here on out
1967 9 hour, 5 minute doulbleheader KCA-DET. 1st game: rain delay DET 7-6. 2nd game: 9 innings - Dave Duncan HR wins 6-5
1969 MLB debut: Gene Garber
1970 1st time 2 members of 500 HR club HR in same game: Mays (615) & Banks (#504)
1971 MLB debut: Burt Hooten
1971 Don Kessinger, CHC, gets 6 hits
1973 last game: Ron Perranoski
1975 Sid Gordon dies
1976 NYM 1, LAD 0 (14). Dave Kingman HR in the bottom of the 14th off of Charlie Hough
1977 last game: Joe Torre
1978 Ron Guidry fans 18 in 4-hit 4-0 CG SHO over AL. AL record for most Ks by a LHP. 15 Ks in first 6 innings
1979 Steinbrenner fires Bob Lemon & brings back Billy Martin to manage
1979 MLB debut: Jeff Reardon
1979 Duffy Lewis, MLB, dies
1983 MLB debut: Andy Van Slyke
1983 Bob Welch throws CG SHO & hits a HR: LAD 1, CIN 0. his HR is the game's only run. Off of Mario Soto. MLB's last CG 1-0 HR game
1986 Pitchers duel: TOR 2, MIL 1 (12). 0-0 after 9. Both 1 in 10th. Jimmy Key: 10 IP, 4 H,1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. Danny Darwin: 10 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 W, 8 K
1987 Dick Howser dies
1989 last game: Buddy Bell
1992 last game: Jesse Barfield
1993 MLB owners vote 26-2 to expand playoffs
1993 last game: Mike Witt
1993 Carlos Baerga, CLE, hits 3 HR
1995 Paul Molitor, age 38, and almost 10 months, hits his 2nd/final career inside the park HR. Hit the first one 14 months before
1997 MLB debut: Antonio Alfonseca
2001 Blake Stein fans 8 straight batters
2003 Phillies sign 25-year agreement w/ Chase Bank for naming rights to knew park, Citizens Bank Park
2003 the book Moneyball comes out
2004 CWS trade Billy Koch to FLOR for Wilson Valdez & cash
2005 Miguel Tejada plays his 822nd consecutive game, tying Gus Suhr for 9th place on the all-time list
2006 A's 5, Dodgers 4 (17). Walk-off walk
2007 Frank Thomas hits his 244th HR as a DH, breaking Edgar Martinez's record
2007 Brandon Watson, Columbus, sets International League record w/ a 43-game hitting streak
2007 2,000 hits: Chipper Joneses
2008 Willie Randolph fired by Mets in small hours of the mourning after a 9-6 win over LAA on the West Coast
2008 2,000 hits: Edgar Renteria
2009 last game: Cliff Floyd
2009 I-Rod catches his 2,227nd game, breaking Carlton Fisk's record
2009 Dusty Rhoades dies
2009 Andy & Adam LaRouche become 1st brother combo to both HR in a game for PIT since the Waners in 1938
2012 MLB debut: Dallas Keuchel
2013 ATL 2, NYM 1. Dillion Gee, NYM, goes from CG SHO to L on one pitch: 2-run w-off HR to Freddie Freeman
2016 MLB debut: Willson Contrers
   5. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 17, 2019 at 03:48 PM (#5852868)
Clicked on birthday boy Drees. MLB career length: 7.1 innings. This seems to happen all the time. If you do a Google search it will tell you that the average MLB career is something like five years. And I guess that's right (I've got impressions, not numbers). But from looking over zillions and zillions of B-R pages over the years, if I had to guess how long the average MLB career was, I'd come up with "less than one year".
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: June 17, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5852874)
2009 Dusty Rhoades dies
2009 Andy & Adam LaRouche become 1st brother combo to both HR in a game for PIT since the Waners in 1938
2012 MLB debut: Dallas Keuchel
2013 ATL 2, NYM 1. Dillion Gee, NYM, goes from CG SHO to L on one pitch: 2-run w-off HR to Freddie Freeman
2016 MLB debut: Willson Contrers
I would have thought Keuchel or the double-L Willson would be the tough name to spell!
   7. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:05 PM (#5852878)
Average career length for MLB players (that is, guys who actually made it to the show) drafted in the first round in 1995: 8.47 years

Second round: 7.6 years

Third round: 11 years

fourth round: 4.8 years

Fifth round: 6.4 years

Sixth round: 8 years

Seventh round: 2 years

Eighth round: 9.8 years (this is all A.J. Burnett)

Maybe my impression is driven by the fact that guys like Mark Watson get credited for a three year MLB career despite pitching a total of 12 MLB innings.
   8. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:06 PM (#5852880)
Maybe a more interesting question is: how many years of service time does the average MLB player end up with?
   9. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:14 PM (#5852886)
Okay, all of the players to make MLB from the 6th round of the 1995 draft were pitchers. That's convenient. Their careers averaged a length of 352 innings. That's more like it. They played in MLB for a long time (eight years on average) but weren't pitching many innings. Miguel Tejera, for example, pitched six innings in 1999, was a full-time swingman in 2002, pitched 81 innings in 2003, nine innings in 2004, and two innings in 2005. He gets credit for a five year career, but it was really only a two year career.
   10. Cblau Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:17 PM (#5852888)
Ping Bodie's OPS as a centerfielder: .735
As a left fielder: .737. I'm convinced.
   11. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:29 PM (#5852900)
But from looking over zillions and zillions of B-R pages over the years, if I had to guess how long the average MLB career was, I'd come up with "less than one year".

This is the difference between mean & median, right?
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:33 PM (#5852907)
Miguel Tejera, for example, pitched six innings in 1999, was a full-time swingman in 2002, pitched 81 innings in 2003, nine innings in 2004, and two innings in 2005. He gets credit for a five year career, but it was really only a two year career.


That's Michael Tejera, if anyone is trying to look him up (like I did :-) ).
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5852914)
Ping Bodie's OPS as a centerfielder: .735
As a left fielder: .737. I'm convinced

sportswriter Bug Bear described Bodie's base stealing: "There was larceny in his heart but his feet were honest."
   14. Itchy Row Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5852915)
More than a quarter of the players on bb-ref only played in one season.

Two players (Austin Nola and Huascar Ynoa) debuted yesterday, and bb-ref has both of them as the 19,549th player in baseball history, making one of them #19,550. If you search for Year of Debut=Final Year, it says there are 5223 players in history.

If you exclude the 129 players who have debuted this year and haven't had a chance to play in a second year yet, it's 5094 single-season players out of 19,421 careers.

That goes all the way back to 1871 and includes the non-AL and non-NL leagues. It also counts single-season but full-season careers like Sparky Anderson's the same as guys like Moonlight Graham. I lack the intelligence and patience to do actual math or spend more than this five minutes on it.
   15. oscar madisox Posted: June 17, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5852916)
Answer: Ping Bodie

Question: What did Marlo's crew do to Preston Broadus in the last episode of season 4 of The Wire.


   16. cardsfanboy Posted: June 17, 2019 at 09:00 PM (#5853001)
That goes all the way back to 1871 and includes the non-AL and non-NL leagues. It also counts single-season but full-season careers like Sparky Anderson's the same as guys like Moonlight Graham. I lack the intelligence and patience to do actual math or spend more than this five minutes on it.


You spent enough time to create an interesting topic.

Now we need to know the best players on that list of 5094....
   17. cardsfanboy Posted: June 17, 2019 at 09:05 PM (#5853004)
Looking at bb-ref... how do you do year of debut = final year... I'm going to keep researching this, but if you can give me detailed directions before I find it on my own, that would be nice.
   18. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 17, 2019 at 11:00 PM (#5853050)
Now we need to know the best players on that list of 5094....


Off the top of my head, I'd say Buzz Arlett was the best one-year ballplayer, at least in the 20th Century. His minor league career is legendary, of course.

And Henry Schmidt won 22 games in his only season.

   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: June 18, 2019 at 09:36 AM (#5853087)
And Henry Schmidt won 22 games in his only season.

He also owns the worst ERA+ (84) for any 20 game winner in the modern era (1903-present). 5th worst ever.
   20. Itchy Row Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:27 AM (#5853095)
Looking at bb-ref... how do you do year of debut = final year... I'm going to keep researching this, but if you can give me detailed directions before I find it on my own, that would be nice.
Late, but if you go to Play Index's Batting Season & Career Finder, in the last two fields under Additional Criteria, you can choose Year of Debut, change the ">=" to an equals sign, and then choose Final Year.

Rangel Ravelo debuted yesterday, so there are 5224 single-season players now. Buzz Arlett had 2.8 WAR in his only season, so he's leading in position player WAR. Three of the next four (Pete Alonso, Fernando Tatis Jr, and Bryan Reynolds) will presumably play beyond this year to drop off that list.

Pitchers do show up in the Batting search, but you can run the same search in Pitching Season & Career Finder to get 2463 pitchers who only played in one season. That might include position players who had long careers but only pitched once- I'm not sure. The top two in pitching WAR are Fred Smith and Billy Hart, who both played in the AA in 1890. The top AL or NL pitcher is Tommy de la Cruz, who played for the Reds in 1944.
   21. Sweatpants Posted: June 18, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5853098)
Off the top of my head, I'd say Buzz Arlett was the best one-year ballplayer, at least in the 20th Century. His minor league career is legendary, of course.
From a PI search (all I could think of doing was rookie eligibility = yes + final year, which fails to eliminate players such as Jim Doyle), the best alternative candidates to Arlett seem to be Rasty Wright, Charlie Hamburg (two men playing in the AA when it was barely hanging on and the Players League had much of the best talent), and Irv Waldron. Waldron was fourth in the AL in hits in its first season as a major league. He had played in the AL the year before, but it was still considered a minor league at that point.

I think that I'd take Arlett's season over any of those three. He appears to be an anomaly in that he had his lone season in an established league, with no turmoil or talent dilution going on.

Some pitching candidates are Fred Smith, Billy Hart (two more players in the 1890 AA), Tommy de la Cruz (wartime Reds pitcher from Cuba), and Will Sawyer (18-year-old pitcher from 1883, he went 4-10 for a good team so I'm not sure if this was actually a good season).

Paul Edmondson had a promising rookie season in 1969, but he died in a car accident early in 1970. He's probably the best modern(-ish) pitcher on the list, and even his season came in an expansion year.

Jocko Flynn deserves mention. He led the NL in winning percentage in his first season, 1886, but he never pitched in the majors again. He did, however, play one game in the outfield in 1887, disqualifying him as a one-season player.

Itchy seems to have covered this while I was typing it up and doing a much more counterintuitive search.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 18, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5853299)
the best alternative candidates to Arlett seem to be Rasty Wright

And this is how I learned that there has been more than one player named Rasty Wright in the history of major league baseball. (The other was a starting pitcher from the period for which I'm compiling rankings.)

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