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Thursday, July 11, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-11-2019

Washington Times, July 11, 1919:

[Terry] Turner has a grievance. You’ll recall the night of July 3 that Turner had been given his unconditional release by the Cleveland club. He was asked to go to Milwaukee for the remainder of the season at the same salary he was receiving from Cleveland, President James C. Dunn agreeing to guarantee his pay. Turner demurred simply because he thought he is still of major league caliber and that he had it coming from the Cleveland club to be carried throughout the remainder of the season.
...
Terry hasn’t been given to talking very much, as fans well know, but he declares that his release can be traced to one thing—Manager Lee Fohl’s dislike for him.

Turner also said the Indians released him at the end of the 1918 season, but the team cancelled the release after the federal government changed the status of ballplayers with regard to service in World War I. He claims the cancellation of that release cost him at least a thousand dollars in salary.

As it turns out, Cleveland mostly just released Turner because he was a bad baseball player at this point in his career. He went to the Athletics and hit .189/.220/.213 in final 136 MLB plate appearances. Terry Turner was a darn good player for a long time; to this day, he’s Cleveland’s all-time leader in games played and he finished with 38 WAR. It just didn’t end very gracefully.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 09:57 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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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: July 11, 2019 at 10:01 AM (#5860936)
An okay Birthday Team today, plagued by the same problem as yesterday's team: A bunch of relief pitchers masquerading as starters.

C: Ed Ott (5.9 WAR)
1B: Pop Schriver (8.6 WAR)
2B: Milt Stock (22.4 WAR)
3B: Dick Gray (1.0 WAR)
SS: Bert Pena (-0.3 WAR)
LF: Harry Wolter (8.2 WAR)
CF: Jimmy Slagle (15.6 WAR)
RF: Bob Allison (34.0 WAR)

SP: Andy Ashby (21.0 WAR)
SP: Red Ryan (Negro Leagues pitcher)
SP: Vito Tamulis (7.9 WAR)
SP: Joey McLaughlin (4.5 WAR)
SP: Donne Wall (3.3 WAR)
RP: Javier Lopez (8.1 WAR)

Owner: Percy Haughton
Umpire: Mark Carlson
Prospect washout: Billy Ashley (-2.1 WAR)
-6.2 career WAR: Jack Heidemann
Fun names: Yorman Bazardo, George Binks, Binky Jones
   2. Itchy Row Posted: July 11, 2019 at 10:24 AM (#5860942)
he’s Cleveland’s all-time leader in games played
Turner passed Nap Lajoie in games in 1918, and they're still the top two in Indian history. That has to be one of the longest-standing team record, but Cap Anson still leads some of the Cubs career lists. It looks like Anson has been the franchise career leader in hits since 1878.
   3. SandyRiver Posted: July 11, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5860970)
Never having heard of Terry Turner, I consulted BBRef and found some surprising (to me) info.
--He played less than 1700 games for Cleveland, which seems low for an original-16 franchise leader. Do any of the other 15 have even shorter?

--Then there's power, or more accurately, lack of same. Turner slammed 7 homers in his first 3 full seasons. For the rest of career, 4945 PA, he hit one more (not a typo!) He averaged 1 HR per 830 AB and had ISO of 0.065. Is there any other in MLB with, say, 3000 or more PA and with such weak power numbers? (Cy Young, in 3100 PA, had ISO of 0.072, probably 2nd worse, but he homered at more than 4X [1 per 172 PA] Turner's rate, just had a much lower BA.)
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:07 PM (#5860975)
For the rest of career, 4945 PA, he hit one more (not a typo!) He averaged 1 HR per 830 AB and had ISO of 0.065. Is there any other in MLB with, say, 3000 or more PA and with such weak power numbers?

Not even close. His .065 ISO ranks only 118th worst among players with 3000 PA, per BRef PI.

The worst is (of course) Bill Bergen. .031 career ISO, with 2 HR in 3229 PA.
   5. SandyRiver Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:25 PM (#5860986)
Thanks. Twice as bad, but in half the PA. Are there many post-1900 (majority of career) players at 5000+ PA that out-worst Turner? (Probably)
   6. Itchy Row Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:31 PM (#5860988)
--He played less than 1700 games for Cleveland, which seems low for an original-16 franchise leader. Do any of the other 15 have even shorter?
The only teams with a lower games played leader are all expansion teams- the Rays, Blue Jays, Marlins, and Diamondbacks.

The A's are the next-lowest of the original 16, with 1795. The other 14 all have at least one guy with 2300+ games played.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:46 PM (#5860998)
Thanks. Twice as bad, but in half the PA. Are there many post-1900 (majority of career) players at 5000+ PA that out-worst Turner? (Probably)

Setting the limits to 1900-present, 5000 PA, Turner is 31st. Sandy Alomar "wins" at .043, Otis Nixon is next at .044.

Other well known moderns "ahead" of Turner: Maury Wills, Marlk Belanger, Buddy Harrelson, Horace Clark, Larry Bowa, Tim Foli, Luis Castillo, and Rey Sanchez.

Thanks BRef PI!
   8. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 11, 2019 at 12:50 PM (#5861002)
Are there many post-1900 (majority of career) players at 5000+ PA that out-worst Turner? (Probably)


First one I thought of.

6582 PA, 0.043 ISO.

But of course you took the worst stretch of Turner's career and are comparing it to full careers. I imagine there are a bunch of players even worse than Thomas over a portion of their career.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5861031)
But of course you took the worst stretch of Turner's career and are comparing it to full careers.

The ISO he cited does not. .065 is Turner's full career ISO.
   10. KronicFatigue Posted: July 11, 2019 at 02:55 PM (#5861046)
Was debating whether it's unfair that players are supposed to love their jobs because they get to "play a game" for a living, and the conversation came around this hypothetical: If you could replace your career (up to age 40) with a baseball career, but at the salary you made IRL, would you do it? An everyday starter, but nothing flashy. Say a 3rd baseman who bats 7th on an okay team. Nobody "knows" your salary, the media, teammates, etc won't judge you in either direction on that. At 40 you switch back to your regular career w/ the correct level of salary and experience.

Basically, the "career" of a major leaguer, without the financial windfall. I wouldn't. Too much pressure, too much travel, I have zero interest in fame (I see fame as a negative), etc etc.
   11. SandyRiver Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5861061)
#7: Makes me embarrassed to have forgotten Wills, since I was at the Polo Grounds on 5/30/1962 when he tripled his career homers on his 1728th and 1730th PAs in Koufax' CG 13-6 win with 13 hits and 3 walks, my nomination (w/o checking) for his worst CG win. Maury hit an ITP homer lefty in that game and then turned around to put one into the nearby LF upper deck batting righty. Just the person one might expect to see hitting switch homers.
   12. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 11, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5861069)


The ISO he cited does not. .065 is Turner's full career ISO.


Ah, OK.

If you could replace your career (up to age 40) with a baseball career, but at the salary you made IRL, would you do it? An everyday starter, but nothing flashy. Say a 3rd baseman who bats 7th on an okay team. Nobody "knows" your salary, the media, teammates, etc won't judge you in either direction on that. At 40 you switch back to your regular career w/ the correct level of salary and experience.


No, because I got to fly high performance military jets for 7 of those years. I wouldn't trade that for playing baseball at the same salary.
   13. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5861075)
I think I would. You get paid to stay in shape, you get to travel a lot, you don't have to worry about medical expenses, you get to meet celebrities, you get a lot of time off. Those are all aspects of the job rather than aspects of baseball itself, but I don't see much of a downside. And I also like baseball.
   14. Karl from NY Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:05 PM (#5861076)
#10: The MLB salary minimum is of course far above what most of us make. Are we assuming you're a minor league player, or that the MLB salary minimum somehow doesn't apply?
   15. stanmvp48 Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:15 PM (#5861080)
There is one more perk that nobody has mentioned
   16. Itchy Row Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:21 PM (#5861083)
There is one more perk that nobody has mentioned
Showering with CC Sabathia?
   17. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:39 PM (#5861091)
I think I would. You get paid to stay in shape, you get to travel a lot, you don't have to worry about medical expenses,


I got all that in the military

you get to meet celebrities,

There is one more perk that nobody has mentioned


Those things don't happen if you are making $40,000/year.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:48 PM (#5861098)
Those things don't happen if you are making $40,000/year.
Come on, if you're flying high performance military jets, there are gonna be groupies no matter how much you're making a year.
   19. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 11, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5861101)
Come on, if you're flying high performance military jets, there are gonna be groupies no matter how much you're making a year.


Sure, but I was talking bout the poor third baseman making less than 1% of what his teammates make. Women throw themselves at baseball players because they want to be the next Mrs "7/$210 mil", or at least be Mistress "7/$210". Would Jeter be buying gift baskets by the gross if he were making $40,000? "Hey baby, let's go back to my apartment in Queens. I think my roommates are working tonight. You got money for a cab?"
   20. Eddo Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:33 PM (#5861124)
Sure, but I was talking bout the poor third baseman making less than 1% of what his teammates make. Women throw themselves at baseball players because they want to be the next Mrs "7/$210 mil", or at least be Mistress "7/$210". Would Jeter be buying gift baskets by the gross if he were making $40,000? "Hey baby, let's go back to my apartment in Queens. I think my roommates are working tonight. You got money for a cab?"

This might(*) be true, but a stipulation of the hypothetical was that no one "knows" your salary, which I interpret as "people assume you make what other players make", so I think you would still have the same people who are into you.

(*) I'm sure the money helps, but I don't think it's quite so simple. People like to hook up with musicians in local bands, playing at bars, who clearly aren't making six figures, let alone nine. Being "on stage" is a huge factor in attractiveness, regardless of the financial situation.
   21. Eddo Posted: July 11, 2019 at 06:35 PM (#5861125)
Regarding the hypothetical, I think I would do it. Yeah, it's hard work and stress, almost certainly significantly more than my current job, but playing baseball is more fun than my current job.

As it relates to minor leaguers, though - I make considerably more than minor leaguers, and I imagine most posters here do or did, if they had white collar (or fighter-jet-related jobs).
   22. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 12, 2019 at 12:44 AM (#5861209)
No, because I got to fly high performance military jets for 7 of those years. I wouldn't trade that for playing baseball at the same salary.


I don't blame you. Flying jets is one of the few things I'd prefer to playing pro baseball (provided I had the ability to do either, of course).
   23. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2019 at 08:44 AM (#5861232)
This might(*) be true, but a stipulation of the hypothetical was that no one "knows" your salary, which I interpret as "people assume you make what other players make"


Well, until they notice that you don't hang out in the high priced clubs and spend lavishly like the other players. As I indicated, if you were on the Yankees, you'd be sharing a small apartment in Queens or Jersey and barely making ends meet. Probably have to get a second job.
   24. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5861484)
Yes. Absolutely. I loved playing baseball.
   25. KronicFatigue Posted: July 12, 2019 at 06:22 PM (#5861506)
Yeah, in the hypothetical, everyone presumes you make the salary that those types of players make. And I'll even allow for the ability to spend at a club etc to maintain that appearance. You're not a player that mysteriously has to go home every night when everyone else is spending.
   26. bunyon Posted: July 12, 2019 at 06:34 PM (#5861510)
I would play for my actual salary even if people knew it. Playing baseball is fun. If the stipulation is that I’m actually a cromulent major leaguer? That would be awesome.
   27. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2019 at 06:42 PM (#5861514)
Yeah, in the hypothetical, everyone presumes you make the salary that those types of players make. And I'll even allow for the ability to spend at a club etc to maintain that appearance. You're not a player that mysteriously has to go home every night when everyone else is spending.


So, I'll make a couple hundred grand, but I have to blow 75% of it? Still pass.
   28. Eddo Posted: July 12, 2019 at 07:31 PM (#5861520)
Well, until they notice that you don't hang out in the high priced clubs and spend lavishly like the other players. As I indicated, if you were on the Yankees, you'd be sharing a small apartment in Queens or Jersey and barely making ends meet. Probably have to get a second job.

Fair enough, but wouldn't most of the time be spent in hotels?

Also, as I noted in my first reply, I think you're underestimating the "famous" draw and overestimating the "rich" draw when finding sexual partners.
   29. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 12, 2019 at 11:34 PM (#5861568)
Fair enough, but wouldn't most of the time be spent in hotels?


Less than half. And I wasn't aware that in NY you could get an apartment that requires you to pay rent only when your team is home.
   30. bunyon Posted: July 13, 2019 at 07:19 AM (#5861587)
Fair point. I’ll amend my enthusiasm to state my salary needs to be COL adjusted.

My read of the question: I end up exactly where I am today but I exchange my jobs 23-37 (say) with being a non standout but perfectly cromulent major leaguer.

Yes, a thousand times yes.


Five hundred times yes to the same proposition but flying jets.

That’s the thing about a 49 year career. Selling off 15 years of it is cheap.

And, look, I managed to get laid in grad school. I’m sure less money means fewer women. Somehow I think I’ll be alright.
   31. Hysterical & Useless Posted: July 14, 2019 at 06:48 AM (#5861731)
If you could replace your career (up to age 40) with a baseball career, but at the salary you made IRL,


Since the work I did during those years was either (1) low-paid temp jobs or (2) unpaid household and child care, we wouldn't have been able to afford it on my wife's salary. Even paying less-than-minimum wage to an undocumented nanny from ages 31 to 40 would've overtaxed our budget. And of course, if you changed the conditions of my life (ie, so that I was single and childless), well, that would mean at least a couple of years when I was working for free. Would be tough to pull that off, even without allowing for the expense of entertaining all the attractive women who would doubtless have been throwing themselves at me.

Pity, because I kind of like the alternate universe where I was a decent ballplayer.
   32. Ben Broussard Ramjet Posted: July 15, 2019 at 04:57 AM (#5861886)
If you could replace your career (up to age 40) with a baseball career, but at the salary you made IRL, would you do it?


Yes, totally. I'm turning 40 next month, and I have decades left of sitting at a desk and writing e-mails and attending meetings (if I want to), but essentially any physically-active sport is out of my reach at a professional level. I never had the talent or the motivation to perform anywhere near the needed level, but if I had? Those are experiences that'll stay with you for the rest of your life. As will the friendships, the places you go, and even the fandom.

The real question for me is if, as a teenager, I would have made the same choice as I would at this age. I'm not sure I would have. Far more nervous about travel and unfamiliar/uncontrollable surroundings. But maybe that's because I didn't feel talented enough to belong in that kind of setting? Chicken and egg.

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