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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-24-2018

Former Cubs owner Charles Murphy, quoted in the Washington Herald, July 24, 1918:

“...when Shettsline, now secretary of the [Phillies], was manager of the team, an important stage came where runs were badly needed. Philly got runners on first and second before anybody was out. It was then Delahanty’s turn at bat.

“Shettsline called Ed to one side and said: ‘You lay down a sacrifice bunt now, and I’ll have the next fellow try to hit one out and score both men.’ Delahanty nodded. ‘All right,” he answered.

“Shettsline was surprised when Delahanty laid on the first ball pitched and slammed it out for a home run. As he rounded third Shettsline called out, ‘How is it you didn’t bunt?’

“‘Oh, I never bunt,’ laughed Del. ‘I don’t even know how.’”

I have no way to know if any party of this story is true, but Delahanty bunted 14 times in 1900 and 10 times in 1901. He pretty clearly knew how to lay one down, even though it might not have been the best idea to have one of the two or three best hitters in the universe (circa 1899-1902) bunt.

Elsewhere in the news 100 years ago, the National Commission has appealed Secretary of War Newton Baker’s ruling that baseball is not essential work. A ruling is expected imminently.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:50 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 09:52 AM (#5714740)
Today's Birthday Team has a controversially selected Hall of Fame outfielder. And Barry Bonds.

C: Jack Clements (32.18 WAR)
1B: Joe Oliver (3.82 WAR)
2B: Joe Schultz (1.29 WAR)
2B/Manager: Dick Higham (6.97 WAR)
3B: Preston Ward (0.1 WAR)
LF: Tommy McCarthy (14.64 WAR)
CF: Barry Bonds (162.8 WAR)
RF: Scott Van Slyke (4.22 WAR)

SP: Duane Pillette (7.02 WAR)
SP: Alex Carrasquel (6.26 WAR)
SP: Jerry Augustine (4.17 WAR)
SP: Nate Bump (-0.65 WAR)
SP: Jesse Stovall (-1.54 WAR)
RP: Ryan Speier (1.32 WAR)

Barry's little brother, probably wouldn't have made it to the big leagues otherwise: Stephen Larkin (0.02 WAR)
General Manager: Mike Port
Umpires: Sam Carrigan, Jim Wolf
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 10:58 AM (#5714807)
If you missed it, here were the full answers to yesterday's Dugout Quiz.

Position Player WAR/Runs – Rickey Henderson 1989, NYY/OAK, 1989, 8.7 WAR, 113 Runs
BA/OBP – Harry Walker, 1947, STL/PHA (NL), .363/.436
SLG – John Anderson, 1898, BRO/WSN, .494
Games – Ichiro Suzuki, 2012, SEA/NYY, 162
Hits – Red Schoendienst, 1957, NYG/MIL, 200
Doubles – Steve Evans, 1915 BRO/BAL (FL) 34; (answers to clues) Hub Collins, 1888, LOU/BRO (AA), 31 (I did look at FL stats, I just didn't realize the doubles page extended that far).
Triples –Brett Butler, 1995, NYM/LAD, 9
Homers/RBIs – Gus Zernial, 1951, CHW/PHA, 33, 129
Walks – Adam Dunn, 2008, CIN/ARZ, 122
Strikeouts – Rob Deer, 1993, DET/BOS, 169
Stolen Bases – Eric Young Jr., 2013, COL/NYM, 46
Hit By Pitch – Brandon Guyer, 2016, TB/CLE, 31


Pitching

Pitcher WAR – Earl Wilson, 1966, BOS/DET, 6.0
ERA –David Price, 2015, DET/TOR, 2.45
Games Started/Inning Pitched/Strikeouts – 2010s
Wins – Red Barrett, 1945, BSN/STL, 23
Winning Percentage – Jamie Moyer, 1996, BOS/SEA, .813
WHIP – Roy Oswalt, 2010, HOU/PHI, 1.025
Games Played – Juan Nicasio, 2017, PIT/PHI/STL, 76
Saves – Phil Regan, 1968, LAD/CHC, 25
Complete Games – Cliff Lee, 2011, SEA/TEX, 7
Shutouts – Cory Lidle, 2004, CIN/PHI, 3
Losses – Omar Daal, 2000, ARZ/PHI, 19
   3. eric Posted: July 24, 2018 at 11:11 AM (#5714815)
ERA –David Price, 2015, DET/TOR, 2.45
Games Started/Inning Pitched/Strikeouts – 2010s


Both these are Price, I believe.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:23 PM (#5714895)
In case you missed it, last night Joe Maddon brought in a position player to pitch with the Cubs down by six runs in the top of the eighth, so they still had two chances to hit.

I don't get that at all. That's awfully early to just give up on a game.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:31 PM (#5714905)
Give up?? Hardly. Fireman Caratini and LOOGY Rizzo shut 'em down the rest of the way!
   6. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:39 PM (#5714915)
Both these are Price, I believe.


Yes, I didn't notice I hadn't included him.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5714928)
I don't get that at all. That's awfully early to just give up on a game.


I've been predicting that the standard for the white flag position player relief appearance is going to come down and down and down. It dovetails with too many strong trends not to. 8th inning down 6 runs? The numbers probably give a team 1% shot at coming back from that, so the right decision may well be to give up and save your relievers for tomorrow, even if it's an apparent affront to sportsmanship.
   8. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:10 PM (#5714948)
2B: Joe Schultz (1.29 WAR)


Pound that ol' Budwei...what's that? Oh...nevermind...
   9. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:11 PM (#5714949)
According to some math I did back in the spring, position players not named Rick Ankiel had a 6.42 ERA in ~172 innings from 2007-2017. If you've got a position player who has at some point in his life been a good pitcher, maybe you can beat that average ERA and get it down closer to, say, 6.10 or 6.00.

Looking at relief pitchers with a decent number of 2018 innings and a Fangraphs WAR of exactly 0.0, I'm seeing a lot of xFIPs around 4.50. (Nate Jones 4.82, Sam Freeman 4.02, Austin Pruitt 4.58, Matt Wisler 4.65, Emilio Pagan 4.97, Fernando Salas 4.58)

Seems like if you're at a 1-2% win probability, the optimal strategy may well be to let a position player who isn't terrible at pitching soak up a few IP. The talk radio meatheads will lose their minds and you'll freak the fans out, but keeping your bullpen fresh for the next game is a good thing.
   10. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5714967)
I wonder what it says to your players when the manager tells them there's no chance of them scoring six runs in two innings. Then again, Maddon seems to be popular with his players, so what do I know.

It seems like the easiest thing to do is to just leave a long reliever out there to absorb the beating. If Maddon had left Randy Rosario out there to finish the game (he didn't pinch-hit for him), he would have ended up throwing a grand total of three innings. Rosario has had five stints of two or more innings this year, so it doesn't seem unduly taxing for him to go three.
   11. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5714968)
Seems like if you're at a 1-2% win probability, the optimal strategy may well be to let a position player who isn't terrible at pitching soak up a few IP. The talk radio meatheads will lose their minds and you'll freak the fans out, but keeping your bullpen fresh for the next game is a good thing.

This is the kind of thing that drives me insane and is one of the factors I find is causing me to be less interested in baseball as it evolves into TTO Moneyball.

Friggin' 8-man bullpens yet position players are pitching more innings so managers can "save the bullpen." Absolute piffle!
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5714971)
Seems like if you're at a 1-2% win probability, the optimal strategy may well be to let a position player who isn't terrible at pitching soak up a few IP. The talk radio meatheads will lose their minds and you'll freak the fans out, but keeping your bullpen fresh for the next game is a good thing.


OTOH, is it really that important to keep replacement level pitchers fresh?

   13. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:25 PM (#5714973)
Friggin' 8-man bullpens yet position players are pitching more innings so managers can "save the bullpen." Absolute piffle!
Well, 8-man bullpens are utter insanity. I'm not sure there's anyone who likes them other than managers and crappy pitchers.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:34 PM (#5714982)
Friggin' 8-man bullpens yet position players are pitching more innings so managers can "save the bullpen." Absolute piffle!


Tough to disagree with. Optimal baseball is not necessarily entertaining baseball.

Speaking of which, anyone else a Tour de France fan? The Tour de France has been dominated in the last half decade by one team. They pay more than the others so they have more excellent team members, which means that their best rider usually has 3-5 guys supporting him as they approach the toughest mountain finishes, and his competitors often have one or none. This team stays at the front and controls the pace. It takes a Herculean individual effort - or illegal and selfless cooperation between a bunch of other elite riders on separate teams - to beat the team, as long as the team leader is excellent, which he is. It's impressive but it sucks, because it chokes the race. You don't get exciting challenges until the very end of the stage, by the time that all of the best team's support riders have fallen off the pace, and sometimes not even then. It changes a free-wheeling and wild competition into a staid and predictable one.
   15. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:46 PM (#5715003)
Speaking of which, anyone else a Tour de France fan? The Tour de France has been dominated in the last half decade by one team. They pay more than the others so they have more excellent team members, which means that their best rider usually has 3-5 guys supporting him as they approach the toughest mountain finishes, and his competitors often have one or none. This team stays at the front and controls the pace. It takes a Herculean individual effort - or illegal and selfless cooperation between a bunch of other elite riders on separate teams - to beat the team, as long as the team leader is excellent, which he is. It's impressive but it sucks, because it chokes the race. You don't get exciting challenges until the very end of the stage, by the time that all of the best team's support riders have fallen off the pace, and sometimes not even then. It changes a free-wheeling and wild competition into a staid and predictable one.


Well, they are trying to shake things up.

Though I suspect that tear gassing the riders isn't a long term solution.
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 01:50 PM (#5715005)
Pardon my ignorance here - by "support riders," do you mean guys who literally ride as a pack and clog the road so that other people can't pass their guy?
   17. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5715018)
No, they can't actually clog the road. I suppose they could, in rare circumstances - sometimes the crowd pushes in so far that there's essentially only room for a single rider, but I've never seen that as a strategy. I think it would be against the ethics of the sport.

If you have 5 riders all riding for themselves, then there's an interesting dynamic going on where nobody wants to be in the front (which is the most difficult position because of air resistance). Riders can cooperate and take turns at the front, but this eventually breaks down into an every-man-for-himself situation. Super fun to watch. The guy in the yellow jersey has zero incentive to be at the very front, because he wants to preserve his lead, so he sits back. But he can't sit too far back, because if one rider attacks, he will want to respond quickly and (ideally) get into the attacker's slipstream.

If the yellow jersey has a bunch of exceptional teammates, however, they can make one big bunch that will sit at the front (each taking turns in the teeth of the wind) and ensure that the yellow jersey stays near the front, is comfortably out of the wind the entire time. They can respond en masse to attacks, and they can set a swift pace that discourages attacks because it tires everyone out equally.

   18. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:12 PM (#5715029)
The 1969 Seattle Pilots were the first major league team I ever rooted for. The Pilots, of course, left Seattle after one year to become the Milwaukee Brewers. The Pilots did not have a local TV contract, so footage of their games is very rare. This showed up on YouTube yesterday – ten minutes of color highlights from the Pilots epic 20-inning game against the Red Sox at Sicks’ Stadium on July 27, presumably from the Boston broadcast. This is wonderful to see.
   19. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:33 PM (#5715041)
That's fantastic. I never dreamed I'd be able to see a game from Sicks Stadium.
   20. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5715050)
That's fantastic. I never dreamed I'd be able to see a game from Sicks Stadium.


My first four MLB games were seen at Sicks' Stadium, age 11. I can remember where we sat for each one, and can still pull up images in my mind.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:41 PM (#5715053)
Does Bouton have anything interesting to say about the game in question?
   22. QLE Posted: July 24, 2018 at 02:56 PM (#5715072)
ten minutes of color highlights from the Pilots epic 20-inning game against the Red Sox at Sicks’ Stadium on July 27, presumably from the Boston broadcast


It seems that, for whatever reason, a pile of highlight reels and game fragments (though, as far as I can tell, only one basically-complete game) of WHDH's coverage of the Red Sox was preserved after WHDH went off the air in 1972- in the last couple of years, this material has entered the tape-trading circuit.
   23. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:13 PM (#5715096)
If the yellow jersey has a bunch of exceptional teammates, however, they can make one big bunch that will sit at the front (each taking turns in the teeth of the wind) and ensure that the yellow jersey stays near the front, is comfortably out of the wind the entire time. They can respond en masse to attacks, and they can set a swift pace that discourages attacks because it tires everyone out equally.
Well, that's not nearly as bad as what I was thinking, but it seems like cycling probably shouldn't be a "team sport" to begin with.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:24 PM (#5715109)
Well, that's not nearly as bad as what I was thinking, but it seems like cycling probably shouldn't be a "team sport" to begin with.


I think if there were no teams, you'd risk grinding the race to a halt. Have you ever watched Olympic cycling, in the velodrome, where it's just two guys? Unlike every other race in the world, they don't just go as fast as they can. There is such a huge advantage to being in second place (in the slipstream) that they spend many laps just toying with each other at low velocities. But I'm not sure, maybe there are teamless meets that I'm unaware of.

It's a surprisingly diverse sport. The TDF itself has several different modes - individual time trials, for instance, where it's just one biker at a time racing a stopwatch. And at any one time there are lots of different types of riders shooting for lots of different goals. The yellow jersey is the biggest prize but it's not the only one.

This year an exciting stage was held on cobblestoned streets. Lots of crashes and injuries.
   25. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:35 PM (#5715126)
I think if there were no teams, you'd risk grinding the race to a halt. Have you ever watched Olympic cycling, in the velodrome, where it's just two guys? Unlike every other race in the world, they don't just go as fast as they can. There is such a huge advantage to being in second place (in the slipstream) that they spend many laps just toying with each other at low velocities. But I'm not sure, maybe there are teamless meets that I'm unaware of.
In a velodrome context, couldn't you just make everyone stay in lanes so that no one could be directly behind another guy? Less practicable in the Tour de France, of course, but you could still put a rule in place against tailing someone and penalize riders who stay behind others for too long, if the number-of-riders-to-width-of-road ratio would allow it. If not, just encourage riders to eat beans, dried apricots, cabbage, or whatever else gets them a bit gassy, and these things will probably work themselves out.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:45 PM (#5715137)
In a velodrome context, couldn't you just make everyone stay in lanes so that no one could be directly behind another guy?


Yes, that would make it like the long-track speed skating. Not sure why they do it the way they do it. Tradition, I guess.

But in the TDF, it would be absolutely impossible to outlaw drafting. And there'd be no will to do it, the entire sport's strategy is built on the importance of drafting. Try watching it: the cyclists usually move in a pack named the "peloton" which features about 100 riders all enjoying the comfort of a humungous slipstream. They draft off of the cars and motorcycles (that carry doctors, officials, cameramen etc) when they can too.

If not, just encourage riders to eat beans, dried apricots, cabbage, or whatever else gets them a bit gassy, and these things will probably work themselves out.


I think the riders already piss themselves with some frequency.
   27. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 03:51 PM (#5715143)
I think the riders already piss themselves with some frequency.
Well, that's their problem, not the guys' behind them.
   28. SandyRiver Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:36 PM (#5715191)
In a velodrome context, couldn't you just make everyone stay in lanes so that no one could be directly behind another guy?

Don't most velodromes have steeply banked tracks, which would make "lane loyalty" impractical? I suppose one could, in a two-person race, have lane switches as in long-track speed skating. (I still don't think it would work on a slope, however.)

I think if there were no teams, you'd risk grinding the race to a halt. Have you ever watched Olympic cycling, in the velodrome, where it's just two guys? Unlike every other race in the world, they don't just go as fast as they can.

The first time I saw such a race, I had no idea what was going on - two guys going barely fast enough to stay upright, pedaling up and down the banked track, then a wild sprint to the finish. As I later realized, they spend the first 80-90% of the race in slo-mo "chase", jockeying for position to make a clean break for the final dash. It's similar to short-track speed skating strategy, only much moreso. When it comes to velodrome races, give me team pursuit - no lollygagging in that event.
   29. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:49 PM (#5715209)
The first time I saw such a race, I had no idea what was going on - two guys going barely fast enough to stay upright, pedaling up and down the banked track, then a wild sprint to the finish. As I later realized, they spend the first 80-90% of the race in slo-mo "chase", jockeying for position to make a clean break for the final dash.
This does not sound at all entertaining.
   30. PreservedFish Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:50 PM (#5715210)
Don't most velodromes have steeply banked tracks, which would make "lane loyalty" impractical? I suppose one could, in a two-person race, have lane switches as in long-track speed skating. (I still don't think it would work on a slope, however.)


Good point. Without the slope the track would have to be much bigger, or they'd have to go much slower, making it less exciting.

Honestly I think the way cycling does it is good. In long-track speed skating, it takes several minutes before you even know who is leading. In cycling there's intrigue from the starting gun, even if it looks a little funny.
   31. Sweatpants Posted: July 24, 2018 at 04:57 PM (#5715222)
Does Bouton have anything interesting to say about the game in question?
"Fred [Talbot] and I hung a hangman's noose in Pattin's locker, but he didn't need it. He pitched well, leaving the game after eight innings with the score 1-1. He didn't break anything on the way back to the clubhouse.
We went twenty innings before losing it. I pitched two scoreless innings, the tenth and eleventh, which means I had another chance to win. It may also mean that I'll get into more games at crucial points. But if it takes twenty-inning games to do it, I'm still nowhere."
   32. SandyRiver Posted: July 25, 2018 at 08:37 AM (#5715481)
Honestly I think the way cycling does it is good. In long-track speed skating, it takes several minutes before you even know who is leading. In cycling there's intrigue from the starting gun, even if it looks a little funny.

In the Olympics, which constitute about 98% of the viewing of speed skating for folks like me, there's generally a clock running for each member of a pair. Or there can be a race like when Aard Schenck skated for the Netherlands about 40 years ago and won the 10,000 by 15-20 seconds, nearly lapping the other guy in his pair. It was like watching Katie Ladecky swim the 800 free.

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