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Monday, July 28, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2014

Tacoma Times, July 28, 1914:

Tacoma has a new pitcher.
...
The “Mysterious Pitcher” will warm up today. He will warm up tomorrow also. And he will pitch against Ballard either Thursday or Friday afternoon.

But the man of mystery will wear a mask over his face during every game. He will be escorted from the field in a closed taxicab. There are not more than five persons who know his identity, not even the players having the slightest idea of who he is.

Looks like the “mysterious pitcher” never actually appeared in a game. It turned out to the telegraph operator from the press box.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:41 AM | 49 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 28, 2014 at 06:47 AM (#4758850)
Of course, Tacoma's mysterious pitcher was not the biggest news story of July 28, 1914.
   2. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:59 AM (#4758856)
Absolutely dreadful Birthday Team today, even if you insert Bullet Rogan into the rotation and outfield. Also, I should mention that there's some disagreement about Freddie Fitzsimmons's birthday. Some sources say it's today, some say it's July 26. I'm going with his BB-Ref page as the tiebreaker, and it says July 26.

Even with Fat Freddie, this is a terrible team.

C: Bob Wood
1B: Darin Ruf
2B: Ron Theobald
3B: Ted Lepcio
SS: Ernie Bowman
LF: Carmelo Martinez
CF: Elmer Miller
RF: Dick Simpson

SP: Vida Blue
SP: Duke Esper
SP: Bob Milacki
SP: Henry Sosa
SP: Bill Day
RP: Chad Paronto

Manager/Negro Leagues legend, should probably start in the outfield and be the #2 starting pitcher: Bullet Rogan
General Manager: Wayne Krivsky
Not that one: Derek Lee
Fun Name: George "Pickles" Gerken
   3. Sweatpants Posted: July 28, 2014 at 08:54 AM (#4758869)
I haven't been following baseball that closely this year, so yesterday I was happily surprised to see that Zach Duke is pitching brilliantly in relief for the Brewers. His strikeout rate is almost double his career high. Good for him for reinventing himself.
   4. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:01 AM (#4758873)
The Game of 7/25/84 was a good one - extra innings, late comeback, the usual fun stuff. More notably, it was also an LCS preview featuring a Cy Young winner - just not the 1984 LCS or the 1984 Cy winner (although both were from the same year).
   5. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:10 AM (#4758875)
The Game of 7/25/14 was won by a bad team that got an excellent performance from a player having a lousy season - to wit, he's being badly out-hit by his team's starting pitcher in this game. It's exactly the kind of victory that pulls a team back up to only 17 games under .500.
   6. BDC Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:30 AM (#4758879)
happily surprised to see that Zach Duke is pitching brilliantly

That is great to hear. At one point, the Pirates' young guys – Duke, Maholm, Snell, Gorzelanny – were one of my points of interest in NL baseball. I always thought they would become stars together, but the team was always terrible and they eventually dispersed. Good to see one of them rebounding.
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:34 AM (#4758881)
it's interesting how things play out. the brewers went from no really effective lefties out of the pen to now having multiple. will smith has been mostly lights out this season as well and gorzelanny ain't awful
   8. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4758888)
Speaking of good games from bad players... the Game of 7/26/84 features a game-winning hit by one of the worst long-term players in recent major league history. It would temporarily bring his batting line up to merely bad; the remaining two months of the season would then mark a descent into unsettlingly awful territory.
   9. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4758892)
features a game-winning hit by one of the worst long-term players in recent major league history.


if you put a gun to my head, my first guess would have been Johnny Disaster. But Flynn would have been my second choice.
   10. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 09:58 AM (#4758900)
The Game of 7/26/14 had surprisingly good bullpen work from one of the teams, given the final score. Its four best hitters ran the gamut from star to decent regular to pitcher to guy just breaking back into the majors after a lengthy absence.
   11. BDC Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:22 AM (#4758911)
Adrian Beltre, 2-for-3 last night with a home run and a double, inches up a few more leaderboards. He ties Carlos Beltran for 86th career with 1,362 RBI, setting up an exciting duel for them over the next three games in Arlington, who am I kidding. With the home run he passes Graig Nettles for sole possession of 57th place with 391. His 1,230th run scored ties him with Miguel Tejada (160th), and the double, his 516th, helps him pass Joe Cronin for 49th career.

I wouldn't have thought that Beltre was higher in Doubles than Home Runs, because he's hit almost the same number of each as a Ranger. But with Seattle he hit over half again as many 2B as HR, and he won a doubles title with Boston. In baseball, I mean. I have no idea what his tennis game is like but I would imagine it's adequate.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM (#4758912)
Below the "Austria has Chosen War" headline on the newspaper page linked above, there's a column:

Mme. Caillaux, in Faint, Stops Trial

This was apparently a pretty juicy scandal in France, wherein a journalist was blackmailing a cabinet minister who then blackmailed the president. The cabinet minister's wife took a taxi to the journalist's office and shot him 4 times. She was acquitted when the jury found it to be a crime passionnel.

But here's my question: when did women stop fainting?

   13. Flack42 Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:27 AM (#4758914)
The "Mysterious Pitcher" story says the winner would collect ten "iron men" -- never heard that term for dollars before. Damn that Federal Reserve and its paper money.
   14. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:42 AM (#4758925)
That is great to hear. At one point, the Pirates' young guys – Duke, Maholm, Snell, Gorzelanny – were one of my points of interest in NL baseball. I always thought they would become stars together, but the team was always terrible and they eventually dispersed. Good to see one of them rebounding.


Those four all debuted in 2005 - Duke, Maholm, and Gorzelanny spent several years floating around on each others' "most similar" lists. I'm pretty sure the talent on the Pirate roster would have gone over .500 at some point, but for 2006 they brought in Jim Tracy and gave a thousand plate appearances to the firm of Casey, Randa, Hernandez, and Burnitz, and it was back to the race to the bottom.
   15. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM (#4758942)
Oh, speaking of guys with crazy out-of-normal seasons...anyone take a look at Russell Martin this year?

.284/.419/.393. That OBP is a career-high, and would be good for 2nd in baseball if he had enough PAs to qualify.

And the crazy part is, do you know what's fueling it? ...HBPs!!! He's been hit by 13 pitches in 266 plate appearances...those 13 HBPs are a career high and the most in all of baseball.
   16. puck Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4758954)
Tulo was spotted in the stands watching the Yankees play Toronto. It's received a lot of coverage but I like this detail:

[Tulo] was wearing a blue "always money in the banana stand" T-shirt from the TV show "Arrested Development."


He seems so uptight and without humor, so that's an interesting twist.
   17. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4758955)
Zach Duke and Ian Snell, the Kip Wells and Josh Fogg of their era.
   18. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:34 AM (#4758982)
The Baltimore Orioles are fighting for first place in the AL East with a catching platoon of Caleb Joseph (.197/.271/.315) and Nick Hundley (.205/.236/.313), while George Kottaras (.218/.342/.429 since 2011) is freely available for the Major League minimum.
   19. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4758986)
The Game of 7/27/84 was really well pitched by a couple of decent-not-great pitchers. It was won by the team that got the only career multi-homer game from a pretty short term player who had not crossed my radar screen before I started the '84 recaps.
   20. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:43 AM (#4758994)
But here's my question: when did women stop fainting?


Geritol was introduced in 1950.
   21. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4759004)
ON THE OTHER HAND...

Caleb Joseph has thrown out 15 of the 31 runners who’ve tried to steal on him, behind only Yadier Molina for best in baseball. And Baltimore pitchers have a 3.02 ERA when Joseph is catching, versus a 4.24 when anyone else is behind the plate. bWAR holds that his defense is good enough to warrant a spot in the starting lineup (he's on pace for 3 WAR this year).

So maybe it's not the case that all GMs are stupid and I'm the only smart one when it comes to their treatment of George Kottaras.
   22. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 11:58 AM (#4759010)
Davo, the Kottaras thing is weird to me too. A decade or more ago I would have agreed that all GMs are just stupid. But that was back when Ken Phelps types would actually languish in AAA, or go to Japan. It was a common boast back then for internet nerds to claim that you could improve Team X in just 5 minutes by picking up all of these AAAA types. Nowadays those types of players get their shots.
   23. DKDC Posted: July 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM (#4759024)
I think the Orioles would love to upgrade catcher if possible, but I'm not sure Kotteras is an upgrade.

There is every reason to believe Joseph and Hundley are better hitters than their lines so far this year, and even if they aren't, there's a big edge in defense there. Joseph ranks highly in controlling the running game, pitch framing and blocking pitches.

I can see that Kotteras can hit, but I'm guessing something is wrong with his defense if he keeps getting released.
   24. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: July 28, 2014 at 12:19 PM (#4759033)
Like Harveys said the other day, GK is well liked but bad with the running game and pitch framing.
   25. just plain joe Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:14 PM (#4759065)
I can see that Kotteras can hit, but I'm guessing something is wrong with his defense if he keeps getting released.


Kotteras is pretty brutal behind the plate; he doesn't throw well at all and appears to be less than agile as a receiver. The Cardinals had him on their roster for a few days but released him in favor of A.J. Pierzynski.
   26. Yoenis Cespedes, Baseball Savant Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4759077)
Jason Lane, 37, former Astros outfielder, is making his first career start for San Diego. He's shutting out Atlanta through five innings.
   27. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4759079)
In his career he has 34 CS vs 159 SB.

Mike Piazza had a single season like that, by far the worst of his prime, although in 500 fewer innings. In his other full seasons he usually had a better CS% than Kottaras does. So Kottaras' arm is, roughly, of Mike Piazza quality. I guess I could see that being a problem.
   28. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:41 PM (#4759082)
Jason Lane, 37, former Astros outfielder, is making his first career start for San Diego. He's shutting out Atlanta through five innings.

He played long enough ago that his .267/.316/.499, 34 double & 26 homer season as a solid defensive right fielder graded out as a guy not really warranting a spot in the starting lineup any longer.
   29. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4759085)
Mike Piazza had a single season like that, by far the worst of his prime, and he did it in 500 fewer innings. So you take Mike Piazza at his worst, and Kottaras is a lot worse than that. I guess I could see that being a problem.


I'm not quite following. Isn't allowing 155 SB in 1200 innings (Piazza) worse than allowing 159 in 1700 (Kottaras)?
   30. Batman Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:46 PM (#4759086)
And the crazy part is, do you know what's fueling it? ...HBPs!!! He's been hit by 13 pitches in 266 plate appearances...those 13 HBPs are a career high and the most in all of baseball.
After Martin, there's a five-way tie for second with 11 HBP's. Two of those five (so three of the top six in baseball) are Pirates.
   31. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4759088)
The Game of 7/27/14 was pleasantly back-and-forth, and had most of its offense from unlikely sources - 100% of the RBI came from the bottom three spots in the two batting orders. I'd be curious to see if the frequency of that sort of thing is P-I searchable.
   32. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:53 PM (#4759091)
After Martin, there's a five-way tie for second with 11 HBP's. Two of those five (so three of the top six in baseball) are Pirates.

This may be at least partly retaliatory - Pittsburgh's Charlie Morton has hit 17 batters this year, almost twice as many as any other NL pitcher. If he can get to 22 or higher, it'll be the most anyone has hit since Howard Ehmke in 1922, and the most in the NL since the Cubs last won the World Series.
   33. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 28, 2014 at 01:58 PM (#4759092)
The top three teams in baseball at getting hit by pitches all play in the NL Central--Pirates-Cardinals-Brewers.
   34. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4759110)
I'm not quite following. Isn't allowing 155 SB in 1200 innings (Piazza) worse than allowing 159 in 1700 (Kottaras)?


Yes, hence my edit, which I didn't get done fast enough apparently.
   35. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 28, 2014 at 02:47 PM (#4759147)
the nl central is a tough division. not just in terms of having some solid teams but being managed by managers who think personal toughness is important.

   36. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 28, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4759160)
Absolutely dreadful Birthday Team today, even if you insert Bullet Rogan into the rotation and outfield. Also, I should mention that there's some disagreement about Freddie Fitzsimmons's birthday. Some sources say it's today, some say it's July 26. I'm going with his BB-Ref page as the tiebreaker, and it says July 26.

Even with Fat Freddie, this is a terrible team.

1B: Darin Ruf


This is the first player I can remember who debuted after you started doing the birthday teams, and has already made it onto one of the birthday teams.
   37. Moeball Posted: July 28, 2014 at 02:57 PM (#4759162)
Below the "Austria has Chosen War" headline on the newspaper page linked above, there's a column:

Mme. Caillaux, in Faint, Stops Trial

This was apparently a pretty juicy scandal in France, wherein a journalist was blackmailing a cabinet minister who then blackmailed the president. The cabinet minister's wife took a taxi to the journalist's office and shot him 4 times. She was acquitted when the jury found it to be a crime passionnel.

But here's my question: when did women stop fainting?


Actually, my favorite story on the page is at the bottom left hand corner where it talks about a 15 year old girl who stole $131 and then gave every penny of it to another family with 7 kids so they could properly clothe their children.

You just don't hear stories like that these days.

Of course, $131 today might only get you a pair of nice women's jeans?
   38. Batman Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:20 PM (#4759199)
A quick check on Google shows the birthday teams have been around since at least July 6, 2011. That was two days before Mike Trout's first game, and he'll make his third birthday team on August 7. I don't see a team from 8-7-11, but Trout did make the team that was marked as 8-7-1912. He was already a star on his negative 79th birthday.
   39. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4759206)
Any time an older player has a weird spike in a weird category, I feel like it's a good sign that his time as a useful player is just about up. The old, "My skills have almost completely eroded, let me focus all of my skill and all of my smarts on this one thing that I'm good at, and see if I can finagle a useful year out of it."

In other words...If I'm Russell Martin, I'm renting, not buying.

(Then again, I'd have said the same thing about Marlon Byrd entering this year, and he's proving me wrong. So what do I know?)
   40. Batman Posted: July 28, 2014 at 03:32 PM (#4759219)
Jason Lane has a 0.87 career ERA. That's the eighth best non-zero ERA in history. Six more shutout innings, and Lane will pass Dennis Musgraves's legendary record.
   41. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:26 PM (#4759288)
Any time an older player has a weird spike in a weird category, I feel like it's a good sign that his time as a useful player is just about up.

Doubles aren't an obscure stat, but I've noticed a tendency for sluggers to experience a "doubles spike" when they're just about done: if not a career high, then their highest # in a very long time. I assume this is balls that used to get out now banging off the wall, but as far as I know it hasn't been studied (least of all by me).
   42. PreservedFish Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:40 PM (#4759296)
Any time an older player has a weird spike in a weird category, I feel like it's a good sign that his time as a useful player is just about up.


At last, an explanation for Paul O'Neill's 22 steals at age 38.
   43. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: July 28, 2014 at 05:55 PM (#4759303)
The walk spike by an older slugger makes sense: The hitter knows he can no longer drive those borderline pitches, but the pitcher hasn't figured that out yet. So he just takes way more pitches than ever before and draws a ton more walks. Once the pitchers adjust and pound the zone, he's out of the league.

I like your doubles rationale, too.
   44. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:18 PM (#4759355)
There have been four different games in which a total of 9 RBI were credited to the last three hitters in both lineups, and no runs were driven in by any of the top six hitters in either lineup. That is the most that I found in the Retrosheet PBP data (there may be other games with only box score data, which I don't have loaded in my DB).

Browns 5, White Sox 4, April 18, 1927. This one is cool because six of the nine runs - including all four of Chicago's - were driven in by the pitchers, and both starters hit home runs. Dump the DH!

Cubs 5, Pirates 4, June 30, 1952. All five Chicago runs were driven in by SS Roy Smalley Sr. - a two-run double and a three-run HR.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 4, July 25, 1997. The eventual winning run scored on a solo HR by reliever Dennis Cook, his second and last of his MLB career.

Rockies 7, Marlins 3, May 13, 2002. All the RBIs were in the bottom third of the order, but one run scored on a two-out error in the top part of the order. Greg Norton, batting for the pitcher, hit a grand slam to account for four of them.

-- MWE
   45. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 28, 2014 at 07:19 PM (#4759358)
The Pirates led MLB in both HBP by batters and HBP by pitchers a year ago, and they are doing so again.

-- MWE
   46. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 28, 2014 at 08:22 PM (#4759401)
As a followup:

Only four teams - the 1947 Dodgers, the 1980 White Sox, the 1982 Angels, and the 2013 Pirates - have ever led the majors in both HBP by batters and HBP by pitchers in the same season.

-- MWE
   47. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: July 28, 2014 at 08:41 PM (#4759416)
Jason Lane has a 0.87 career ERA. That's the eighth best non-zero ERA in history. Six more shutout innings, and Lane will pass Dennis Musgraves's legendary record.


Well, until it isn't. Fernando Valenzuela had a 0.15 ERA after his first 62 career IP. 1 ER in 62 IP.
   48. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 28, 2014 at 10:19 PM (#4759468)
There have been four different games in which a total of 9 RBI were credited to the last three hitters in both lineups, and no runs were driven in by any of the top six hitters in either lineup.

Thanks, Mike! Excellent stuff.
   49. Mike Emeigh Posted: July 29, 2014 at 06:20 AM (#4759525)
There have only been 15 occasions where one team led its league in both HBP by hitters and HBP by batters, and it's never been done by the same team in back-to-back years - so the Pirates are on the cusp of a unique accomplishment.

-- MWE

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