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Monday, July 09, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-9-2012

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, July 9, 1912:

Pitcher “Rube” Marquard met his waterloo today after winning 19 straight victories. He was taken out after the sixth inning, Chicago defeating New York 7 to 2 in the opening game of the series. This is Marquard’s first defeat of the season.

Actually, he met his Waterloo in 1906.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:57 AM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, records, rube marquard

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:59 AM (#4176728)
Elsewhere 100 years ago...

Toledo News-Bee:
Connie Mack has ordered his scouts to watch his son, Earl [sic] Mack, in action, with a view to taking him on the big team, if he looks good enough. Earl is manager of the Atlantic City team, and is a comer in the estimation of everyone that has seen him.
Of course, these people were all on the Athletics' payroll and didn't want to anger Mr. Mack. The kid really couldn't play.

Pittsburgh Press:
Cy Young, pitcher of the Wausau team, Wisconsin-Illinois league, according to his admirers is the champion shutout twirler, passing the mark of Walter Johnson, an Idaho bush leaguer who for 72 innings did not allow a man to cross home plate. Young in Sunday's game against Grand Rapids here, shut out the opposing team and established a record of 76 runless innings.
That's not the Cy Young, but it is the Walter Johnson.
   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2012 at 05:06 AM (#4176731)
Good news for fans of today's Birthday Team: The payroll won't be high enough for John Moores to have to cut it in order to pay for his divorce.

Bad news: The team's really pretty bad.

C: Miguel Montero
1B: Turner Barber
2B: Mike Andrews
3B/Manager: Buck Herzog
SS: Sonny Jackson
LF: Wally Post
CF: Willie Wilson
RF: Glenn Myatt

SP: Jack Powell
SP: George Stone
SP: Tex Clevenger
SP: Guy Hoffman
SP: Steve Luebber
RP: Carl Holling

Owner: John Moores
Fun Name: Coot Veal
Not that one: Bud Black
   3. Flynn Posted: July 09, 2012 at 06:16 AM (#4176742)
Velocity down, location off. Highest ERA in the NL.

So, how hurt is Tim Lincecum?
   4. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: July 09, 2012 at 06:41 AM (#4176745)
Lincecum sustained an injury, but he was initially hurt with words. It's a very sophisticated kind of case he has there. People said bad awful things about him and he fell down the stairs and his shoes fell off, and he feels very hurt about this. Very, very hurt.
   5. Dag Nabbit at Posted: July 09, 2012 at 08:19 AM (#4176777)
Today is also the 100th anniversary of the White Sox purchasing Eddie Cicotte.

Also, as noted at THT, it's the 10th anniversary of the All-Star game tie. That time, it didn't count.

I also have a main article at THT today: the 2012 All-Collapse All-Stars, on the guys who seemingly got the oldest quickest this year.

   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2012 at 08:23 AM (#4176779)
I also have a main article at THT today: the 2012 All-Collapse All-Stars, on the guys who seemingly got the oldest quickest this year.
I'm shocked at the relative lack of Phillies. Can't really argue with your selections, but I was going to joke that you could save yourself time and link to the 2012 Phils' bbref page.
   7. Dag Nabbit at Posted: July 09, 2012 at 09:03 AM (#4176796)
Yeah. Injuries are a big problem for the Phillies as well.
   8. JJ1986 Posted: July 09, 2012 at 10:14 AM (#4176863)
Matt Cain will start the All Star game for the NL. I'm disappointed that it's not Dickey, but he had a bad start Thursday night.
   9. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 10:46 AM (#4176885)
Baseball must have known we'd miss it (mostly) for the next few days, because it put on a pretty good show yesterday. Of the 15 games, 9 of them were 66th percentile or better, 6 were 85th percentile or better. It doesn't grade out as one of the very best days of the year, because it had 5 games that were 17th percentile or worse, but the best games were really quite excellent. And the best of those was...

Game of the day (yesterday): Rangers 4, Twins 3 (13). Roy Oswalt started for Texas, and gave up only a single to Joe Mauer in the first. Minnesota's Cole DeVries had a slightly more adventurous inning, as Ian Kinsler led off with a hit and moved up a base each on a sac bunt and a groundout. Adrian Beltre drew a walk to put runners on the corners before Nelson Cruz flied out to end the inning. The Twins picked up singles from Ryan Doumit and Brian Dozier in the second, but couldn't score, and the next three half-innings passed without a single baserunner. That stretch ended when Josh Willingham drew a leadoff walk from Oswalt in the fourth, but one out later, Ryan Doumit hit into a double play. The perfection resumed from that point, with the pitchers trading perfect frames in the bottom of the fourth and top of the fifth. Michael Young singled to lead off the home half of the fifth, but much like the Minnesota fourth, the threat was removed on a double play. Unlike the Minnesota fourth, however, this one was a K/CS DP, with Mike Napoli whiffing and Young being thrown out; that seems like a bad combination of hitters to use for either a straight steal or a hit-and-run.

Oswalt retired the first two Twin hitters in the sixth. Mauer rifled a single, however, and Willingham walked to put runners on first and second. Justin Morneau then took the first pitch of his at bat back up the middle for a single, bringing Mauer home with the first run of the game. Oswalt was then pulled for Tanner Scheppers, who fanned Doumit to end the inning. Handed his first lead of the game, DeVries preserved it, inducing another double play to get out of the sixth and working a perfect seventh after his teammates stranded two runners in the top of the inning. Mike Adams was spotless in the eighth for Texas, and Casey Fien worked around Young's leadoff hit in the bottom of the inning to preserve the 1-0 margin.

Then came the ninth. Joe Nathan pitched for the Rangers, and gave up back-to-back singles to Doumit and Trevor Plouffe. Dozier then bunted, trying to advance the runners, and Nathan threw the ball away, allowing one run to score and putting runners on second and third. Jamey Carroll struck out, and Denard Span brought in the second run of the inning on a sac fly. Michael Kirkman relieved Nathan and retired Ben Revere to end the inning.

Closer Glen Perkins entered for the Twins, and induced Kinsler to ground to short - but Dozier matched Nathan by throwing the ball away, allowing Kinsler to reach second. He then took third on a wild pitch and scored on a groundout by Elvis Andrus. Josh Hamilton fouled out to put the Twins one out away from a win, but Beltre singled, Cruz doubled, and Young deposited an 0-2 pitch into right field, bringing both runners home to tie the game. David Murphy singled as well, putting the winning run in scoring position, but Napoli popped up to end the inning and send the game into extras.

Kirkman and Yoshinori Tateyama combined on a scoreless tenth for Texas, and Anthony Swarzak matched their efforts for the Twins. Tateyama worked a perfect eleventh; Swarzak did not, allowing a one-out hit to Cruz, who took second on a throwing error, and then a pair of two-out walks to Murphy (intentional) and Napoli (not) to load the bases. With the winning run 90 feet away, Craig Gentry lined out to first to end the inning.

Scott Feldman took the mound for the Rangers in the twelfth. He gave up a one-out hit to Revere, but Mauer hit into a double play. Swarzak stayed in to start the bottom of the inning, allowed a leadoff hit to Kinsler, a sac bunt to Andrus, and intentionally walked Hamilton before being lifted for Alex Burnett. Burnett got a forceout from Beltre that moved Kinsler to third before Cruz grounded out to end the inning with the winning run in scoring position once again.

Feldman threw a perfect thirteenth. Young started the Texas half of the inning with a double, and Murphy was issued his second intentional walk of the game (with no outs!). Napoli then hit an infield single to third, loading the bases with nobody out. Gentry grounded into a 6-2 force at home, but before you could say "surely they're not going to leave the winning run on third again," Kinsler lifted a single to left-center to win the game.

Of course the least-exciting team of the first half plays the most-exciting game on the last day. But then, the least-exciting baseball team is still a baseball team that plays baseball games, which is excitement enough, even if they do occasionally win 10-0 or lose 19-2.
   10. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 11:20 AM (#4176915)
Game of the day (last year): We have what I believe is our first tie of the season. It's not actually a tie, but the games are separated by only .006 points of composite WPA, and grade out as the 86th and 87th-most exciting games of 2011 so far.

The loser of the tie is Brewers 8, Reds 7; I won't do a full recap here, but Milwaukee came from down 4-0 to take a 5-4 lead, the Reds responded with three runs in the seventh, and then the Brewers came back with three in the bottom of the ninth. Mark Kotsay, with a go-ahead homer in the sixth and a come-from behind two-run walkoff single, was the hero of the day, posting a .836 WPA.

The winner of the tie, and Game of the day (last year): Pirates 7, Cubs 4. James McDonald started for the Pirates; he retired the first two Chicago hitters with relative ease, but gave up a solo homer to Aramis Ramirez after that. Rodrigo Lopez set Pittsburgh down in order in the first. The Cubs put together a hit, a steal, and a walk in the second, but didn't score; the Pirates countered with a walk, a single, and a double, but also went scoreless thanks to the double play that followed the leadoff walk. McDonald allowed another single and walk in the third, but again kept the Cubs scoreless.

After striking out McDonald to start the inning, Lopez allowed an infield hit on a comebacker by Alex Presley and a double by Chase d'Arnaud. Garret Jones popped up, keeping the runners on second and third; Andrew McCutchen was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Neil Walker singled in a pair of runs to give Pittsburgh the lead.

McDonald allowed a single to Marlon Byrd in the fourth, but removed him from the bases by inducing a double play grounder. Lopez and McDonald traded perfect half-innings, then Lopez allowed a hit to Presley and erased him on a DP as well. The scoring resumed in the sixth, which started with McDonald hitting Ramirez with a pitch. Two outs later, Byrd doubled, advancing Ramirez to third. McDonald was pulled in favor of Chris Resop, and Alfonso Soriano greeted the new pitcher with a double of his own, bringing both runners home and putting the Cubs back on top, 3-2. Darwin Barney added an infield single to advance the runner to third, but Lopez, batting for himself, struck out to end the inning.

Having hit for himself in the top of the inning, you'd hope Lopez would at least pitch the bottom of the sixth reasonably well. Your hope would be unfulfilled, as McCutchen led off the inning with a game-tying home run.

Resop stayed in to begin the top of the seventh; he allowed back-to-back hits to Kosuke Fukudome and Starlin Castro, but Fukudome was caught stealing while Castro was batting, limiting the damage. Ramirez flied out, and lefty Tony Watson then came in to retire Carlos Pena and end the inning. Xavier Paul led off the bottom of the seventh with a single against new pitcher James Russell, and moved to second on Presley's sac bunt. Kerry Wood relieved Russell, and d'Arnaud lined his first pitch into left field; Soriano caught it, and doubled Paul off of second base.

Jose Veras entered to pitch the eighth for Pittsburgh. He fanned Geovany Soto, then walked Byrd and gave up Soriano's second double of the day, moving Byrd to thyrd... uh, third. Darwin Barney then singled, bringing Byrd home to put the Cubs back in front. After a strikeout, Fukudome drew a walk to load the bases, but Daniel McCutchen (who always annoys me because he has the same last name as the best player on his team) relieved and retired Castro to end the inning.

Sean Marshall took the mound for Chicago in the bottom of the inning. He walked Matt Diaz to start the frame, but McCutchen (Andrew) and Walker both followed with outs. Overbay singled, moving the tying run to second, and Carlos Marmol came in for Marshall. Josh Harrison lined his first pitch into center for a game-tying single. Michael McKenry then staged what appears to have been a genuinely rare at bat: it lasted eight pitches, and the eighth came on an 0-2 count, meaning he fouled off at least 5 consecutive pitches to stay alive. The eighth pitch, he lifted over the left field wall for a tiebreaking 3-run homer. Joel Hanrahan retired the Cubs easily on two strikeouts and a bunt from Carlos Pena, which is pretty amusing, preserving the win.

That's quite a bit of good stuff, but the best part has to be McKenry's 8-pitch, 0-2 at bat that ended in a game-winning homer.
   11. BDC Posted: July 09, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4176922)
Nice account of yesterday's Twins-Rangers game, Eric. I was there for all 13 innings; fortunately the game had a 6pm start, because it took 5 hours and 20 minutes to play. (There was a delay of 45 minutes caused by a lightning strike that must have hit some part of the Ballpark itself; it was deafening. It then rained briefly.)

I made any number of notes of little interesting things, sometimes liking to post them here the next day, but after about 5 hours it was just an ordeal to stay awake. Not because of the game itself (quite exciting), but because it was well past my bedtime :)

Small point: walking Murphy with nobody out in the 13th was not in itself remarkable. His run means nothing, and with first base open you set up force plays and keep both the double play and (tiny factors) the triple play or infield fly possible. What was odd was the Twins walking Murphy twice to get to Napoli. Not long ago, it seemed like Napoli was an avatar of Mike Piazza, and now they're walking guys in key situations to get to him (without much regret, as it happened). Eric Nadel pointed out an interesting fact, though: last year at the ASB, Napoli was hitting .232/.344/.529. This year, he's hitting .228/.340/.419. A big decline in power (he has similar HR and RBI totals, but in much more playing time), but if he can hit like Rogers Hornsby again in the second half of the season, he'll be OK. (Which you could say of anybody, of course, but Napoli actually did it last year.)

Meanwhile, opposing catcher Ryan Doumit is hitting .286/.343/.453, a good year for him, but in line with his lifetime stats. He's basically a Napoli type: a decent hitter, would be an excellent hitter for a catcher, but his managers haven't been convinced that he can catch regularly. Obviously he's going to be a backup on a team with Joe Mauer starting, but it's odd that he hasn't caught on somewhere as a guy who can catch 120 games and DH or play 1B a bit too. He obviously can catch in the technical sense: De Vries had a fine start with Doumit behind the bat, and Doumit threw out Young on the K/DP. There's no way for me to tell, even from the box seats, that he's not a cromulent catcher. But there must be something wanting about him. (Or perhaps Gardenhire has seen that there's something good about him, and is just reveling in having him and Mauer on the same roster.)
   12. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:00 PM (#4176961)
So, I've had a thought in mind for the past couple weeks, and this seems like a good place to ask the question; it's really intended as a basketball question, but I'm starting it with baseball anyway because I know baseball considerably better than basketball. And the Dugout seems like the perfect place to vet my answers.

The question has 3 parts:
1. What is the best team you can build composed of players who never won a World Series? Limited to WS era players only, obviously. The team I picked has a 5-man rotation, but no bullpen.

2. What is the worst team you can build composed of players who were at least arguably the best player on a team that won the World Series? You can pick anyone you feel has a legitimate argument from a title team, but you can't pick multiple players from the same team (so you can have Willie Hernandez from the '84 Tigers if you want, because he won the MVP, although I'd say Trammell was the best player, but you can't pick both Hernandez and Trammell). Also, I tried not to pick multiples from teams that won multiple titles; no saying that Eddie Collins was the best player on the 1911 A's, and Home Run Baker was the best player on the 1910 A's. (Not that you'd want either of them on your worst possible team anyway).

3. Which team is better? (The answer to this will be totally unsurprising in baseball; I'm curious as to who will win in basketball.)
   13. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4176969)
For best players never to win a title, I have:
C Carlton Fisk (or Mike Piazza if you want)
1B Jeff Bagwell
2B Nap Lajoie (could be considered cheating, since his career started before the Series, but his teams never finished higher than third in those years; if that bothers you, Ryne Sandberg or Craig Biggio)
3B Ron Santo
SS Arky Vaughan (or Ernie Banks, or Robin Yount, or Luke Appling)
LF Barry Bonds (or Ted Williams)
CF Ty Cobb
RF Paul Waner
DH Edgar Martinez (if you insist on the player actually being a DH; Ted Williams if you don't)
SP Phil Niekro, Gaylord Perry, Ferguson Jenkins, Nolan Ryan, Mike Mussina (you can bump one of them for Halladay if his still being active doesn't bother you)

Anyone I'm missing there?
   14. SoSH U at work Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4176980)
Anyone I'm missing there?

I don't know if there are any errors of omission, but there is one of commision. Ryan won a WS with the Mets in 69.

   15. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:15 PM (#4176986)
Second half is trickier, but here's the "best" I could do for the worst best players on WS winners:
C Ivan Rodriguez, 2003 Marlins; this kind of surprised me, but it's hard for a non-great catcher to be the best player on a team good enough to win a title. There are a couple of other guys you could argue for, but I couldn't convince myself that, say, Bill Freehan or Thurman Munson were actually the best players on their teams.
1B Frank McCormick, 1940 Reds
2B Johnny Evers, 1914 Braves; it was either him or Maranville from this team, and I had another shortstop I felt OK putting in.
3B Troy Glaus, 2002 Angels. No idea who the actual best player was from this team. WAR prefers Darin Erstad and David Eckstein that year, but I figured I'd rather avoid giving Ken Tremendous a stroke on the off chance he ever finds out about this, because I enjoy Parks and Rec too much.
SS Dick Groat, 1960 Pirates. You'd figure on Clemente from this team, but his first real Clemente year wasn't until '61.
LF Charlie Keller, 1943 Yankees. Usually would have been second-best to DiMaggio, but DiMaggio was in the army this year.
CF Kirby Puckett, 1987 and '91 Twins. Also could have been Edd Roush (1919 Reds) or Max Carey (1925 Pirates); of course, I couldn't pick Carey because of...
RF Kiki Cuyler, 1925 Pirates. Pittsburgh replaced Cuyler with a much better player the year after winning the title, and that much better player is on the other team up there.
DH David Ortiz, 2004 and '07 Red Sox.

SP Denny McLain, 1968 Tigers
SP Orel Hershiser, 1988 Dodgers
SP Tim Lincecum, 2010 Giants
SP Fernando Valenzuela, 1981 Dodgers
SP Mark Buehrle, 2005 White Sox

Yeah, this team is not as good as the other one. Any modifications you guys would suggest, either because someone else is a better player on one of the teams or because I missed an even worse option from another champ?
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4176987)
Ryan won a WS with the Mets in 69.

Good call. Pull him for Halladay then.
   17. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:18 PM (#4176993)
Eric, somehow I'd find a way to play Bonds and Williams in the same OF. :)
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:19 PM (#4176996)
Eric, somehow I'd find a way to play Bonds and Williams in the same OF. :)

Can't say I blame you. Williams did play 169 games in right field...
   19. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:21 PM (#4177001)
DH David Ortiz, 2004 and '07 Red Sox.

I don't think Ortiz belongs in this group though he probably is the only DH with an argument. Manny almost certainly had a better career and I think you can make a case for Schilling too. It wouldn't surprise me if Pedroia ends his career having created more value than Ortiz also.

Of course as I noted, there probably aren't many world champions who have a DH so prominent.
   20. BDC Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4177015)
The starting pitchers on the "worst best" team are a pretty amazingly fantastic rotation, given that to be the best player on a World Champion as a starting pitcher, you basically have to be unbeatable that year. '88 Hershiser and '10 Lincecum were two of the best pitchers I ever saw in a postseason (Hershiser on TV, Lincecum in person), and then you add in McLain and Valenzuela and Buehrle, you are going to win a lot of short series that way, even against the "never won a title" team (which has a much stronger lineup, but not much better rotation, depending on what "version" of those starting pitchers you'd get [their own best year, or their career average performance]).
   21. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:28 PM (#4177016)
I don't think Ortiz belongs in this group though he probably is the only DH with an argument. Manny almost certainly had a better career and I think you can make a case for Schilling too. It wouldn't surprise me if Pedroia ends his career having created more value than Ortiz also.

He really is the only DH who's a viable option. Certainly Manny and Schilling have had more valuable careers, but being the best player on a team is kind of a nebulous concept; Ortiz was in a virtual tie with Josh Beckett for the highest WAR on the '07 team, for instance, and he had great playoff runs in both years (no OBPs below .400 or SLGs below .500 in any round of the playoffs either season).

Anyway, if you want a DH who was actually a DH, Ortiz is pretty much the only choice; if you don't want a DH, the question can be answered easily enough without one.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4177022)
depending on what "version" of those starting pitchers you'd get [their own best year, or their career average performance]

The fairest way to look at the never-won-a-title team, I think, is to take a representative year from each player's prime. So you don't necessarily get Nap Lajoie's 1901, when he hit .426 and led the league in basically everything except triples, but you might get his 1906, when he hit .355 and led the league in hits and doubles. Of course, that becomes trickier when the player doesn't really have a definite prime phase, like Fisk or Perry.
   23. Sweatpants Posted: July 09, 2012 at 04:15 PM (#4177299)
Jim Bagby won 30 games for the 1920 Indians. No one would win 30 again until 1931. Tris Speaker was probably better that year, but I could see people arguing for Bagby.

The 1959 Dodgers are one of the worst WS winners ever. Wally Moon and Roger Craig have arguments as their best player.

Joe Rudi might have have been the best player on the '72 A's.

The best player on the 1914 Braves was probably Bill James. I don't know how he'd work on the team, though, because he doesn't really have a prime other than that one season. He had 26 wins that year, and in none of his other seasons did he even pitch in 26 games. Also, Evers is already representing that team.
   24. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: July 09, 2012 at 06:11 PM (#4177467)
Jim Bagby won 30 games for the 1920 Indians. No one would win 30 again until 1931. Tris Speaker was probably better that year, but I could see people arguing for Bagby.

The 1959 Dodgers are one of the worst WS winners ever. Wally Moon and Roger Craig have arguments as their best player.

Joe Rudi might have have been the best player on the '72 A's.

I had Speaker, Drysdale, and Reggie, respectively, as the best players on those teams. I tried to combine how good a year the player had that particular season with how good he was in general during that period, with just a little bit of how the player and team were regarded at the time thrown in. So, for instance, James had the best season for the '14 Braves, but he really wasn't that good normally, and Evers and Maranville were the signature players of the team and both had fine seasons that were pretty representative of their abilities.

But yeah, you can certainly argue for guys like that and make the team even worse than it already is (in comparison to the other one, at least).

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