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Monday, July 02, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-2-2018

Toledo News-Bee, July 2, 1918:

Hap Felsch jumped the Champion White Sox on Monday just after getting his monthly pay check and went to his home in Milwaukee, where he intends working for a gas company, and plans to play semipro ball on the side. It is suspected Felsch is planning to go to the “Steal League.”

Later in the summer, Felsch expressed an interest in returning to baseball, for any team other than the White Sox. Comiskey should have listened.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 09:49 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 09:53 AM (#5703627)
A pretty good Birthday Team today. Nothing incredible, but much better than a lot of the teams we've seen recently.

C: Fred Carroll (22.51 WAR)
1B: Sean Casey (16.46 WAR)
2B: Grover Hartley (4.05 WAR)
3B: Greg Dobbs (-3.7 WAR)
SS: Gil English (0.42 WAR)
LF: Tony Armas (15.86 WAR)
CF: Angel Pagan (17.2 WAR)
RF: Jose Canseco (42.43 WAR)

SP: Chuck Stobbs (14.42 WAR)
SP: Joe Magrane (12.06 WAR)
SP: Steve Sparks (10.01 WAR)
SP: Brett Cecil (7.45 WAR)
SP: Jerad Eickhoff (5.99 WAR)
RP: Hal Reniff (3.59 WAR)

Broadcaster: Red Rush
Less successful brother: Ozzie Canseco (-0.64 WAR)
Researcher/Author: Dick Thompson
Tony Plush's alter ego: Nyjer Morgan (6.79 WAR)
Umpire: Mike Reilly
   2. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2018 at 09:56 AM (#5703631)
Malcolm Gladwell or Freakonomics or some similar source once made a big deal about how good Canadian hockey players are much more likely to be born in January and February than in November and December, the theory being that the youth hockey system uses Jan.1 as a cutoff for age groups and thus the older kids in their year get more attention and instruction than the younger ones. Something similar has been found in soccer, I believe. Does baseball have a similar effect? Are there different effects for Dominicans as opposed to Americans?
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 09:59 AM (#5703633)
Malcolm Gladwell or Freakonomics or some similar source once made a big deal about how good Canadian hockey players are much more likely to be born in January and February than in November and December, the theory being that the youth hockey system uses Jan.1 as a cutoff for age groups and thus the older kids in their year get more attention and instruction than the younger ones. Something similar has been found in soccer, I believe. Does baseball have a similar effect? Are there different effects for Dominicans as opposed to Americans?

Yes. I remember seeing something about MLB players being disproportionately born right after the school enrollment cutoff.

Edit: Here you go. Twice as many MLBers with August birthdays as July. Little League cutoff date was July 31 from 1951-2006.

http://christopherlee.com/birth-month-effect-on-baseball-players-part-i/
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 02, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5703670)
Less successful brother: Ozzie Canseco (-0.64 WAR)
I dunno about less successful - does he still have all his fingers?
   5. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5703671)
Edit: Here you go. Twice as many MLBers with August birthdays as July. Little League cutoff date was July 31 from 1951-2006.

Isn't that amazing? As a June baby, I can only guess at how far my career would have gone had I been born a mere two months later.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 11:00 AM (#5703676)
I dunno about less successful - does he still have all his fingers?
More fingers, fewer SUVs full of goats, as far as I know. Six of one, a half-dozen of the other.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 02, 2018 at 11:19 AM (#5703689)
Six of one, a half-dozen of the other.
No, that's Alfonseca.
   8. Batman Posted: July 02, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5703690)
The main difference is that Jose has the STD's that the fourth and 11th hottest waitresses at each Hooters location have, while Ozzie only has the ones that the 7th hottest waitresses have.
   9. Tom T Posted: July 02, 2018 at 11:28 AM (#5703696)
Edit: Here you go. Twice as many MLBers with August birthdays as July. Little League cutoff date was July 31 from 1951-2006.


Um...August usually leads all months in births, so while the difference was notable, in the absence of info on the sample size, I'm not sure I'd read too much into the August vs. July comparison.

Also, there didn't appear to be a graph on that blog(?), so another problem that should be considered is that the argument about outliers should not ONLY lead to more players being born in August than in July. Rather, we should see some sort of decaying effect that continues from August through July, or at least until we approach an asymptotic level. In the absence of information about the monthly distribution, I'd be quite hesitant to read much into it.
   10. eric Posted: July 02, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5703714)
I'm willing to believe the birth month effect. The older players will likely be the better players (11 months can be a big difference in maturity/size as a kid), therefore getting more attention, instruction, and playing time. I wonder how many of the later-born players just gave up and moved onto something else with their time rather than ride the pine, or get ignored/looked down on by others on the team, or just determined that they stunk because every year they were never quite as good as others (even if they were just as good as the others were 10/11 months ago)? My guess is that the resulting attrition is the primary cause of the effect rather than just that little-league coaching determines a player's ultimate MLB abilities. Perhaps a market inefficiency ripe for exploitation?
   11. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2018 at 11:56 AM (#5703743)
The older players will likely be the better players (11 months can be a big difference in maturity/size as a kid), therefore getting more attention, instruction, and playing time.


Before reading this fact about the hockey players, I might well have guessed the opposite - that the younger kids, practicing against more mature competition, developed quicker. That the older kids, beating up on their inferiors, stagnated. Absent the evidence I don't think either is more compelling than the other, and I don't think anyone would have expected birth month to ultimately show any bias.

I wonder how many of the later-born players just gave up and moved onto something else with their time rather than ride the pine, or get ignored/looked down on by others on the team, or just determined that they stunk because every year they were never quite as good as others (even if they were just as good as the others were 10/11 months ago)?


But every MLB player was a ####### legend in his home town by the time he was like 9 years old. It can't be this simplistic.
   12. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5703758)
Before reading this fact about the hockey players, I might well have guessed the opposite - that the younger kids, practicing against more mature competition, developed quicker. That the older kids, beating up on their inferiors, stagnated.
For me as a young wannabe athlete, I was much more likely to stick with a sport if I was good at it.

I played one year of basketball as a kid and quit afterwards because it was no fun to be dominated by better players. I played about 7-8 years of soccer and stuck with it because scoring a ton of goals was fun. I didn't develop at all as a soccer player, but I don't think it's because I was better than most of the other kids my age. It was mostly because the thing that got me all those goals was having a better understanding of the nuances of the game; I knew where to be and when to be there. When everybody else caught up to me in terms of understanding the game, I turned into a pumpkin in the blink of an eye. They were getting better and I was staying the same.

Also, I'm glacially slow. That didn't help.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5703762)
Um...August usually leads all months in births, so while the difference was notable, in the absence of info on the sample size, I'm not sure I'd read too much into the August vs. July comparison.


It leads by like 10%. 2006 Aug. had 388K births, average is around 350K, July 368K. The lowest month is Feb. at 319K.

So birth rate can't even begin to explain a 2X multiple.
   14. eric Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5703769)
But every MLB player was a ####### legend in his home town by the time he was like 9 years old. It can't be this simplistic.


Every single one? Some MLB players didn't even pick up the game until later. We see late bloomers all the time in the MiLB and even MLB level. While I agree that a large portion of MLB players were top-notch all-around athletes probably from day 1, baseball is a sport that rewards skills more than raw athleticism more so than many other sports, which is why I believe the peak age is a couple years older than for some other sports. I can see a kid who has the fundamentals down and knows which base to throw to, and throws accurately, and when to take the extra base, and how to go with a pitch the other way when needed, etc, as well as just being bigger, could get chosen for playing time/attention over a pristine athlete who still needs to learn these things or grow. Might that neglected athlete then focus more on, or transition completely to other sports where he can excel more naturally? Especially if these fundamental shortcomings are cumulative over time (the same thing happens every year, so each year he gets pushed further and further behind.)

Sports, even at (maybe especially at) the youth level is very strictly hierarchical. Someone who slips behind the "top dog" may have a tough time making it up in the minds of the coaches and other kids, and maybe even in his own mind. I can certainly see how a label or ranking that was initiated early can have lingering effects. As well, all that is happening in an environment largely lacking in the cutting edge sabermetric evaluation techniques so profuse at the MLB level--I imagine a lot of little league coaches are effectively still selling jeans. Any group of kids 11 months older than another group will just look and be bigger and stronger. Just choosing a player at random: Dustin Pedroia is an August birthday.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:15 PM (#5703771)
..
   16. Batman Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:20 PM (#5703777)
Later in the summer, Felsch expressed an interest in returning to baseball, for any team other than the White Sox. Comiskey should have listened.
Felsch was a 3.4 WAR player in 1919, and the Sox won the pennant by 3.5 games. So in some timelines, Felsch stays away, his replacement Shano Collins has a bad year, the Sox finish second, and Charlie Sheen is never born. Or something- I don't remember everything Back to the Future taught me.
   17. eric Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:21 PM (#5703778)
I have this mental picture that some of the Latin American countries from which MLB draws its players have a much less structured baseball-learning environment. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but if it's true, I wonder if the MLB-talent curve graphed out over the months of the year is more level for those players than it is for US-born players?
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5703782)
I have this mental picture that some of the Latin American countries from which MLB draws its players have a much less structured baseball-learning environment. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but if it's true, I wonder if the MLB-talent curve graphed out over the months of the year is more level for those players than it is for US-born players?

You've still got the pro-signing date. Being 11 months older when the teams are handing out the checks probably helps.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 02, 2018 at 12:41 PM (#5703788)
Being 11 months older when the teams are handing out the checks probably helps.
Especially when you say you're 24 months younger.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: July 02, 2018 at 01:51 PM (#5703825)
I haven't seen mention of it elsewhere on the site, but this was more of the more remarkable plays I've seen in a long time.

Velasquez
   21. Batman Posted: July 02, 2018 at 01:56 PM (#5703829)
Velasquez went on the DL instead of just switching arms for a couple of weeks.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 02, 2018 at 02:22 PM (#5703861)
Velasquez went on the DL instead of just switching arms for a couple of weeks.

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous
   23. Hank Gillette Posted: July 02, 2018 at 07:57 PM (#5704196)
I haven't seen mention of it elsewhere on the site, but this was more of the more remarkable plays I've seen in a long time.

Velasquez


It wasn’t just that he could throw a strike with his non-dominant arm. In the few seconds before the batter reached first, he realized that he couldn’t throw with his right arm, discarded his glove while chasing down the ball, picked it up and then threw a strike to first with his left arm.
   24. Hank Gillette Posted: July 02, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5704202)
Less successful brother: Ozzie Canseco


That’s really a mystery to me. Small data set, but both the NBA and NHL had twin brothers who both played at the highest level for years. You would think that Ozzie could have least had a journeyman career.

What was the difference? Did Jose just want it more? Was it the steroids? Or, maybe, two data points are not enough to assume that identical twins have similar athletic abilities?
   25. AndrewJ Posted: July 02, 2018 at 08:35 PM (#5704229)
Less successful brother: Ozzie Canseco


And 115 years ago today, the most successful Delahanty brother fell off the International Railway Bridge...
   26. QLE Posted: July 02, 2018 at 08:48 PM (#5704244)
the most successful Delahanty brother fell off the International Railway Bridge...


Pass the biscuits, please.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: July 02, 2018 at 08:56 PM (#5704254)
We sorta discussed that a few weeks ago, father's day maybe?

Sons of HoFers haven't done very well. I'm sure we had a list but Dale Berra (5.5 WAR) and Earl Averill (4.5) are the best that spring to mind. (Eduardo Perez 1 WAR)

Fathers of HoFers there's Griffey, (Bonds) ... I think there was somebody a bit better than Sandy Alomar then Sandy (10.5 WAR) then a fair number who made the majors but didn't do much.

Brothers of HoFers were plentiful. A bejillion made the majors and several were pretty darn good. Joe Niekro, Jim Perry, Ramon Martinez, Alomar Jr, the DiMaggios, Lloyd Waner (no, Lloyd doesn't deserve his HoF spot but he did have 24 WAR so he's an honorable brother choice), Ken Brett, Daffy Dean ... maybe more ... are all players with 10+ WAR.

So Ozzie is one of the many who made the majors but did nothing, making him more Rich Murray than Dom DiMaggio. That he made the majors at all and had a couple of decent seasons at AAA is already big points in favor of genes.
   28. akrasian Posted: July 03, 2018 at 12:07 AM (#5704362)
What was the difference? Did Jose just want it more? Was it the steroids? Or, maybe, two data points are not enough to assume that identical twins have similar athletic abilities?

Didn't Ozzie spend a couple years in the minors as a pitcher? So he got off to a late start as a hitter.
   29. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: July 03, 2018 at 03:33 AM (#5704392)
Carl Yastrzemski had a son who made it to AAA and now has a grandson who's been playing AA and AAA this year at age 27.

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