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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-18-2012

June 18, 1912: First in war, first in peace, and a game and a half out of first place in the American League.  The Senators have won 17 in a row and President Taft is at the ballpark instead of the 1912 GOP convention.

Washington Herald:

Witnessed by the highest in the land, and staged before the greatest assemblage of fans that ever witnessed a baseball game in the National Capital, Griffith’s grabbing Climbers…were victorious over Connie Mack’s White Elephants yesterday, landing their seventeenth straight game.

Of course, the most prominent fan in the ball yard was President Taft, the nation’s leading “rooter.”

“Mr. President,” said the inimitable [Germany Schaefer], “we can only hope that your chances of winning the nomination at the Chicago convention are as good as ours of winning the pennant in the American League. We are going to do it.”

They didn’t. The Sens finished 14 games out of first.

Taft, however, won the nomination in one of the most contentious major party conventions of the 20th century and got annihilated in the general election, finishing third and winning only Vermont and Utah.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 05:00 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, senators, william howard taft

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 05:05 AM (#4160820)
Say, I think that first baseman is a keeper. The rest of the position players on today's birthday team? Meh.

C: Devin Mesoraco
1B: Lou Gehrig
2B: Duane Kuiper
3B: Bob Aspromonte
SS/Manager: Don Gutteridge
LF: Fernando Gonzalez
CF: Dustan Mohr
RF: Butch Davis

SP: Eddie Cicotte
SP: Jerry Reuss
SP: 1930s Bill Swift
SP: Jim Slaton
SP: Bruce Chen
RP: Luis Aloma

Not that one: Bob Gibson, Ozzie Osborn
Boo: Johnnie LeMaster
I'd like to buy a vowel: Craig Smajstrla
   2. shoewizard Posted: June 19, 2012 at 05:19 AM (#4160823)
Only 7 guys since 1901 managed to get more PA's than Aspromonte and post -1 or lower WAR.

Truly elite company of suck, to hoodwink teams into giving you that much playing time and be that bad.

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   3. shoewizard Posted: June 19, 2012 at 05:35 AM (#4160825)
Oh....I played Butch Davis WAY more than I should have in my 1971 strat league.
   4. shoewizard Posted: June 19, 2012 at 05:41 AM (#4160826)
Kuiper far and away the most PA's by a position player with one or fewer HR

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   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:11 AM (#4160829)
Kuiper was my first favorite player, growing up as an Indians fan in the early 80s.

I couldn't really put a finger on it at the time - I was in elementary school - but I think his career was a reasonable metaphor for those Cleveland teams he played for at the time. He was never good, but he also wasn't horrendous*. Duane just went from season to season putting up an 85 OPS+, playing perfectly adequate defense, working his butt off, and not really accomplishing much. Plus he had an official home run t-shirt, which is 100% awesome.

(* - I know there's a commonly-held belief that the Indians were God-awful in the 70s and 80s, but they generally weren't terrible, they were just bad and hopeless. Believe it or not, they've only lost more than 90 games in back-to-back seasons once in franchise history: 2009 and 2010.)
   6. AndrewJ Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:44 AM (#4160835)
Bob Aspromonte was the last ex-Brooklyn Dodger to play in the bigs, retiring in 1971. Long enough to have played at Veterans Stadium and Jarry Park.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:57 AM (#4160859)
That's a pretty good birthday rotation there.

Only 7 guys since 1901 managed to get more PA's than Aspromonte and post -1 or lower WAR.

It's Johniie LeMaster's birthday and you're calling out Aspromonte for sucking. This is one horrendous IF:

Kuiper: 2.6 WAR in 3754 PA
Aspromonte: -1.1 WAR in 4799
Gutteridge: -3.5 WAR in 4577
LeMaster: -6.8 WAR in 3515
Smaj: 0 for 3 with 1 K

Good thing Gehrig can play every day.

   8. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:02 AM (#4160864)
And Fernando Gonzalez is primarily a 2B/3B playing semi-out of position in LF.

Gonzalez: -3.4 WAR in 1114 PA.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:08 AM (#4160866)
For 3500+ PA, LeMaster is 3rd worst
For 4500+ PA, Gutteridge is 6th and Aspromonte 10th.

Gonzalez adds -3.4 in a mere 1114 PA. Butch Davis comes out at flat zero. Mesoraco is -.5 so far in his young career. (Mohr was 1.7 at least).

Oh....I played Butch Davis WAY more than I should have in my 1971 strat league.

Especially since he was only 13 at the time. Maybe you're thinking of Brock Davis?

I'd never heard of Butch before but he stuck with it. Not called up until 25; not in the majors for 27-28; brief appearances 29-31, 33, 35-36.
   10. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4160868)
Not that Mohr was anything special, but it always seemed like his career ended more abruptly than it should have.

I guess in retrospect, there's not much margin for error when you're an outfielder who doesn't quite have the glove for center, who has good but not great power, who doesn't get on base all that much. If any one of his skills had been 10% better, he'd have had a long and lucrative MLB career. Instead, he was in unaffiliated indy ball at age 32.
   11. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: June 19, 2012 at 08:33 AM (#4160872)
That was how I felt about Mohr at the time too.
   12. esseff Posted: June 19, 2012 at 02:28 PM (#4161180)
What I remember Mohr most for is a play in the final week of the 2004 season, when the Giants' playoff chances were hanging by a thread. They were playing an extra-inning game in San Diego, and the Padres had the winning run at third with one out. The batter hits a short fly toward right that's obviously going to be foul. Mohr charges after it, with a split second to calculate, while on the run, whether to let the ball drop or whether he can catch it and keep the run from scoring. He decides to go for the catch, makes the catch . . . and trips and falls over the bullpen mound as the winning run scores.
   13. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: June 19, 2012 at 02:53 PM (#4161218)
Plus he had an official home run t-shirt, which is 100% awesome.

....and looks just like Joe Montana in that picture. All he's missing is the LA Gear hiking boots.
   14. jack the seal clubber (on the sidelines of life) Posted: June 19, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4161246)
That is a bad infield. The outfield's bad too..not a lot of pop other than Lou for my birthday team.

I forgot how bad LeMaster was.
   15. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: June 19, 2012 at 03:31 PM (#4161267)
Kuiper far and away the most PA's by a position player with one or fewer HR

If you include 19th Century guys, he's a full season behind a guy named Davy FORCE. Force's nicknames were "Wee Davy" and "Tom Thumb."

Kuiper is 1200 PA ahead of the top pitcher with one or fewer HR. Cy Young had more than 600 fewer PAs than Kuiper, but 18 times as many HR.
   16. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM (#4161274)
Kuiper far and away the most PA's by a position player with one or fewer HR

So you are saying that there was only ever one Kuiper Belt?
   17. Morty Causa Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:19 PM (#4161443)
President Taft is at the ballpark instead of the 1912 GOP convention.

But, he later said, it was worth it.
   18. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:39 PM (#4161452)
What I remember Mohr most for was being part of a baffling array of mediocre young Twins outfielders (Michael Restovich, Brian Buchanan, Bobby Kielty, Chad Allen, Mike Ryan) akin to the baffling array of starting pitchers they came up with a few years later.
   19. Dag Nabbit at Posted: June 19, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4161460)
Historical item at THT notes that today iis the 70th anniversary of Paul Waner's 3,000th hit.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4161473)
Game of the day (yesterday): Indians 10, Reds 9. The score holds the promise of a pretty crazy outing; the game mostly lives up to that promise.

Derek Lowe started for the Indians, and Cincinnati's third hitter took him deep. (When that hitter is Joey Votto, there's not much shame in that. Votto, incidentally, is still leading the league in slugging, but has moved into the top 10 in homers now, which is no fun.) That lead lasted through all of two pitches from Mat Latos, the second of which was deposited over the fence by Cleveland leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo.

The Reds wasted no time in recapturing the lead; Jay Bruce led off the second with a single, moved to third on Ryan Ludwick's double, and scored on Scott Rolen's single. Ludwick would later follow him home on a hit by Ryan Hanigan. This advantage was equally short-lived, however. Michael Brantley led off the bottom of the second with a ground-rule double, moved to third on a hit by Carlos Santana, and scored on Johnny Damon's groundout. After a strikeout put Latos on the brink of escape, he served up a go-ahead two-run homer to #9 hitter Lonnie Chisenhall.

Cincinnati rallied yet again with one out in the third. A single by Brandon Phillips, a walk to Bruce, a double by Ludwick and a single by Rolen scored two more runs, putting them on top once more by a score of 5-4. Todd Frazier came up with runners on the corners and one out, but wasted the chance to extend the lead by hitting into a double play. Cleveland would take a seeming eternity to rally from this deficit, waiting until the bottom of the fourth to put together extra-base hits from Brantley (double), Casey Kotchman (go-ahead 2-run homer), Chisenhall (triple), and Choo (double). Cincinnati was more prompt, tying the game at 7 two batters into the fifth when Votto and Phillips both doubled, with Phillips coming all the way around thanks to an error by Damon.

After this inning, both starters were (finally) removed, and the teams took a deep breath that lasted all of two hitless half-innings. Cleveland jumped ahead once more in the sixth against the Reds' Sam LeCure when Santana singled, Damon doubled, Kotchman grounded out to drive in one, and Chisenhall singled to score a second. Votto led off the seventh with a walk, but was doubled off when Phillips lined out; that became especially painful when Bruce followed with a home run that now only pulled the Reds to within one. Vinnie Pestano relieved Joe Smith at that point, and after walking Ludwick, retired Rolen to end the inning. The bottom of the seventh saw the Indians make up the run they'd allowed, as Asdrubal Cabrera walked, took third on a Jose Lopez single, and came home on Brantley's sac fly.

Pestano stayed in for the eighth and retired the Reds in order, and Logan Ondrusek worked around a leadoff hit in the bottom of the inning to bring on Cleveland closer Chris Perez with a 10-8 lead. After two quick outs, Phillips singled, moved to second on defensive indifference, and scored on a hit by Bruce, putting the tying run on base. Ludwick, however, struck out looking to end the game.

The scoring settled down to sane levels once the bullpens were brought in, but the two starters combined to allow 14 runs in 9 innings, which has got to be one of the highest totals of the year (not sure how one would go about running this search on P-I, exactly, but I'd be interested to see the list). And the hyperactive lead swings gave both moundsmen extremely depressing WPA figures: -.591 for Lowe, -.655 for Latos. That, I would almost expect to be a historically bad combination - is it possible to search for combined WPA of both starting pitchers being worse than -1.2?
   21. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: June 19, 2012 at 07:45 PM (#4161507)
Game of the day (last year): Yankees 4, Cubs 3. The Yankees' starter was AJ Burnett, and the first inning saw someone work out of loading the bases on two walks and a single... but it was Ryan Dempster rather than Burnett, whose one hit, no walks allowed in the first two innings was a bit more effective. The Yanks broke through against Dempster in the third, when Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez singled to put runners on the corners with one out, then Robinson Cano doubled in one run and Nick Swisher plated a second with a sac fly. New York would go on to leave runners on second and third in the inning, but the two-run lead was more important, particularly with Burnett pitching well to this point.

Burnett struck out the side in the fourth; unfortunately for the Yankees, the inning also included a walk to Blake DeWitt and a game-tying 2-run homer by Carlos Pena. Both teams put two runners on in the fifth, New York on a pair of two-out walks (the 5th and 6th of the game by Dempster) and the Cubs on a walk and a single, both wasted on a double-play grounder by DeWitt. In the sixth, Dempster gave up a hit to Eduardo Nunez, a sac bunt by Burnett, and an infield hit by Brett Gardner; he was then lifted for James Russell, who allowed a go-ahead sac fly to Granderson. Chicago then loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, courtesy of a hit batter and a pair of errors, but missed their chance to tie or take the lead when Geovany Soto flied out and Pena was thrown out trying to score.

The seventh passed quietly, with only a two-out walk drawn by Cano against Chris Carpenter (not that one). Jeff Samardzija pitched the eighth and loaded the bases on a hit by Russell Martin and walks to Jorge Posada and Gardner before retiring both Granderson and Teixeira to escape the jam. David Robertson provided a bit less excitement in the bottom of the inning, setting the Cubs down 1-2-3. Samardzija stayed in to start the ninth, but after striking out A-Rod, he allowed a double to Cano and walked Nick Swisher to get himself yanked in favor of John Grabow, who doesn't seem like much of an improvement. Grabow got Martin to foul out, but then allowed a double to Nunez; Cano scored, and Swisher was thrown out going for the plate to end the inning.

Handed an unexpected extra run, Mariano Rivera quickly and shockingly gave it back on a leadoff homer by Reed Johnson, of all people. Alfonso Soriano followed that with a single, at which point Rivera decided to do a better impersonation of himself, inducing a first-pitch double play from Soto and striking out Jeff Baker on three pitches.

You occasionally run across a game that would be markedly improved by flipping the linescore around. This is one of those - if the Cubs were the road team, Johnson's homer would have tied the game, and Nunez's double would have been a walkoff. Regardless, this is a very nice game, featuring three separate half-innings that ended with the bases loaded.
   22. JJ1986 Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4161586)
Was anyone else very confused by the fact that the Angels now have a right-handed middle reliever named David Carpenter. Usually there's something to distinguish players with the same name, but this guy's exactly the same as the Astro.
   23. Der-K: downgraded to lurker Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:37 PM (#4161616)
Not sure if this is link worthy or not but: did a piece on Dallas Green's daughter and her sort of role in the history of Title IX / women's access to sporting opportunities.
   24. Cblau Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:44 PM (#4161622)
Except that you'll notice that nowhere in that article does the author refer to the Washington team as the Senators, since that wasn't their name. It was the Nationals from 1905-56.
   25. Guapo Posted: June 19, 2012 at 09:50 PM (#4161631)
Joel Peralta ejected from the Nats-Rays game for having a foreign substance on his glove.
   26. shoewizard Posted: June 19, 2012 at 11:07 PM (#4161684)
Oh....I played Butch Davis WAY more than I should have in my 1971 strat league.

Especially since he was only 13 at the time. Maybe you're thinking of Brock Davis?

HA...meant to type 1983

1971 was my first strat league...I was 12.

Later I moved to Taiwan and I hadn't played strat in years, but when I went home to NY during Chinese New Year Break in 1984 I ran over to Glen Head and bought the 83 season. Played a season solo, keeping all the stats. There was no cable TV then, just 3 T.V. stations, and the only English programming we got was Dallas and Three's Company on Sunday nights.

I was into the Chinese Kung Fu soaps....but that can only take you so far. So with no live baseball to watch, and no T.V., at home entertainment was strat. It was fun. My wife couldn't quite understand why a grown man off 25 was playing a kids card game.

   27. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 20, 2012 at 01:44 AM (#4161753)
Except that you'll notice that nowhere in that article does the author refer to the Washington team as the Senators, since that wasn't their name. It was the Nationals from 1905-56.
Sure, but if it's good enough for Baseball-Reference, it's good enough for me.

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