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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-16-2018

Pittsburgh Press, August 16, 1918:

Gamblers have been trying hard all season to fasten their slimy grip upon baseball…Says Bill Phelon in the Chincinnati [sic] Times-Star:
...
“It is said that gambling cliques, operating in Boston and New York, have been trying to corrupt big league players all season, and that 50 major league stars could tell of the offers made them. One player—and not Hal Chase, either—was approached by the gamblers at New York, and offered a fat flock of bills to make infield errors, when they would spoil the game. A Red pitcher is authority for the statement that when a Philadelphia game was even up, he was offered $50 to lose. ‘I’m here to win ball games,’ answered the pitcher. A couple of hostile hits upset his game and defeated him—and the gambler, evidently thinking the pitcher had fallen for his guile, tried to force the $50 on him after the ninth inning!”

I see absolutely no way that this could go horribly wrong for baseball in the near future. Nope. Isolated incidents.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:43 AM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 09:47 AM (#5727726)
Today's Birthday Team is where great names and good ballplayers meet. Puddin' Head, Fats, Baby Doll, and Tiny are all key players for the August 16 bunch.

C: Ryan Hanigan (9.02 WAR)
1B: Daric Barton (9.11 WAR)
2B: Bret Barberie (6.31 WAR)
3B: Puddin' Head Jones (25 WAR)
SS: Damian Jackson (6.64 WAR)
LF: Gene Woodling (33.31 WAR)
CF: Baby Doll Jacobson (28.37 WAR)
RF: Fats Fothergill (14.22 WAR)

SP: Tiny Bonham (23.69 WAR)
SP: Rick Reed (20.97 WAR)
SP: Yu Darvish (18.51 WAR)
SP: Hank Robinson (8.5 WAR)
SP: Don Rudolph (3 WAR)
RP: Al Holland (11.88 WAR)

Bench 1B/OF: Mike Jorgensen (9.05 WAR)
College coach/Batting cage inventor: Amos Alonzo Stagg
Kangaroo court judge: Gene Brabender
Manager: Buck Rodgers
Umpire: Rocky Roe
   2. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:16 AM (#5727742)
1B: Daric Barton (9.11 WAR)


Barton, who spent his entire MLB career with Oakland, is pictured wearing a Blue Jays hat on his player page.

Solid birthday team. No superstars, but no real weaknesses either. The Keltner test question "Could a team with Gene Woodling as the best player win a pennant?" would ordinarily be no, might be yes in this instance.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5727757)
LF: Gene Woodling (33.31 WAR)

Woodling may be the most anonymous really good Yankee. He put up almost 16 WAR, and a 128 OPS+ for the five year span where they won five straight WS. He later had a nice 4 year run with Cle and Bal.

   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5727759)
The Keltner test question "Could a team with Gene Woodling as the best player win a pennant?" would ordinarily be no, might be yes in this instance.

Well, a pennant in a 365-team league :-)
   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:32 AM (#5727769)
Solid birthday team. No superstars, but no real weaknesses either.
I feel like that's a reasonable description of Rodgers as a manager too. Solid, never going to be confused for a Hall of Famer, but always competent and sometimes better than that.
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5727781)
LF: Gene Woodling (33.31 WAR)

Woodling may be the most anonymous really good Yankee. He put up almost 16 WAR, and a 128 OPS+ for the five year span where they won five straight WS. He later had a nice 4 year run with Cle and Bal.

he's from my (and LeBron's) hometown. He was very popular during his short stint in Cleveland. He was also one of many Yankees who hated Casey's guts for platooning him. He was, by all accounts, a fairly miserable fielder.
   7. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:40 AM (#5727782)
I've always had an affection for players like Daric Barton, who would have no value were it not for the Base on Balls. They resemble my own self in high school.

Sometimes it can be perverse to watch a player that has essentially no interest in ever hitting the ball hard, and will even avoid swinging if at all possible. Late career Luis Castillo was like this.

Are there equivalents in other sports? Can one make a career in soccer or basketball by consistently shirking one's own primary duty, and hoping that the opponent just messes up?
   8. Batman Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5727800)
Today's the anniversary of Babe Ruth's death. Elvis's too and Aretha's, starting next year, I guess.

And Madonna is 60.
   9. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5727804)
he's from my (and LeBron's) hometown.
*waves from Canton*
Are there equivalents in other sports? Can one make a career in soccer or basketball by consistently shirking one's own primary duty, and hoping that the opponent just messes up?
That's an interesting question. There's a sub-class of strikers in soccer (poachers) who make their living by getting to the right place to pounce on a loose ball or lazy pass and put it away. I guess that's a type of player who largely relies on the other guys messing up.

   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 10:55 AM (#5727805)
he's from my (and LeBron's) hometown. He was very popular during his short stint in Cleveland. He was also one of many Yankees who hated Casey's guts for platooning him. He was, by all accounts, a fairly miserable fielder.

Given his career splits (846 OPS vs RHP, 721 vs LHP) I think Casey was right.

From rField, looks like he was good early in his career, and then faded. Almost dead average overall.
   11. BDC Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5727814)
From my chess-tournament days I remember players who had a repertoire of traps – stronger players would ignore them and just play strong positional chess, but weaker and less experienced ones (like, me :) would take the "poisoned pawn" or whatever and get into trouble. That might be analogous.
   12. sotapop Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5727832)
My undergrad school's football team was a regular contender for (though never a winner of) the Division III national championship, which is the Stagg Bowl, named for ol' Amos Alonzo. And I do mean old -- acc. to wikipedia, he coached until he was ~83.

And even more interesting, he was in the inaugural class of the Basketball Hall of Fame, having played in Springfield, Mass., in the early days of the game. As a YMCA coach, apparently he popularized the five-man team concept. So the guy had a significant in three major sports -- thanks, Dan Lee, for sending me down the rabbit hole.
   13. BDC Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:18 AM (#5727833)
Can't think of any good trivia questions for these box-score-line feats (most times with the ab/r/h/bi line, regular season since 1908). But here they are for the record:

4 0 4 1 : Adrian Beltre has done this four times

4 0 4 2 : Harry Heilmann and Joe Torre did this three times apiece

4 0 4 3 : Nap Lajoie did it twice

4 0 4 4 : 25 players did it once, most recently Sir Mariekson Gregorius in 2017

4 0 4 5 : seven have done it once, the last Yadier Molina, 2010

4 0 4 6 : only done twice, by Joe Stripp in 1930 and Jeremy Giambi in 2001. Who was Joe Stripp? He was a pretty good ballplayer, batted .294 lifetime (mainly as a third baseman), had an 11-year major-league career after three good seasons in strong minor leagues. Stripp was the kind of player who started for "second-division" clubs (the Reds and Dodgers) but never caught on with any of the stronger teams of his day.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:21 AM (#5727838)
Are there equivalents in other sports? Can one make a career in soccer or basketball by consistently shirking one's own primary duty, and hoping that the opponent just messes up?
This isn't equivalent, but there are plays in football that I suspect are designed knowing that they often induce defensive pass interference penalties. That seemed like a big part of the Ravens offense with Flacco one year.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:36 AM (#5727860)
I was in an adult dodgeball league for a bit and there was this one huge Polynesian guy that had his own unique strategy that totally changed the game. Although most players will scamper up to the line to throw, and retreat back to defend, he would stand as close to the line as possible with a ball in his hands and then do nothing. There was a threat, of course, that he would throw the ball, and it was marvelously effective because it strongly discouraged anyone on the opposing team from approaching the line, and also allowed his own teammates to approach the line with impunity. It wouldn't have worked if he couldn't defend himself, and indeed despite his rotundity he had excellent reflexes, so you couldn't just take him out easily. Holding a ball also makes it easier to defend. I'm sure there's a military term for this, setting an advance position with a defensively-minded elite group in order to lay a claim to the disputed territory and allow your main forces to maneuver in freedom.

But the long and short of it was that a fat guy would just stand there holding a ball, and it changed everything.
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:42 AM (#5727865)
Can one make a career in soccer or basketball by consistently shirking one's own primary duty, and hoping that the opponent just messes up?
Isn't that pretty much the definition of soccer?

I kid, I kid.
   17. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:43 AM (#5727868)
I've always had an affection for players like Daric Barton, who would have no value were it not for the Base on Balls. They resemble my own self in high school.

Sometimes it can be perverse to watch a player that has essentially no interest in ever hitting the ball hard, and will even avoid swinging if at all possible.


Recently demoted Phillies catcher/future utility man if he wants to get back to the majors Andrew Knapp is another one of these.

Knapp career: .238/.340/361 in 124 games

Barton career: .247/.356/.365 in 551 games
And he was a first baseman! Must have been a good defensive first baseman.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:47 AM (#5727873)
Thinking about my own question, I think that boxing's Rope a Dope might be the best example of this technique. Win a boxing match by showing no interest in throwing punches.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 11:50 AM (#5727877)
Or in tennis, the players who just dink the ball back until the other player makes an unforced error. The difference being, of course, that those players never make it to the highest professional level of the sport.
   20. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:00 PM (#5727889)
I actually saw the controversial player Gael Monfils try that strategy against Novak Djokovic at the US Open a couple years ago, repeatedly hitting slow shots with tremendous spin. Djokovic could get to them easily but because of the unpredictable spin he wasn't able to load up and hit big winners, so it was basically a creative stalling tactic. The fans actually began to boo Monfils! But I thought it was intelligent to try a strange strategy against a superior opponent.

edit ...
In one of the most bizarre tennis matches in recent memory, Novak Djokovic held off the always-unpredictable Gael Monfils ...Frustrated by Monfils’ wacky style and in-match antics, Djokovic ripped the collar of his shirt at one point, having let a love-40 lead on his opponent’s serve slip away... The Serbian ran through the second set, while many questioned if Monfils was giving his best effort as they watched him move slowly around the court, floating balls and sometimes batting away – or pummeling out of bounds – wildly silly errors.

“This is totally bizarre,” John McEnroe said at one point on ESPN. He also called Monfils "unprofessional" at various points, as well.


link
   21. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:08 PM (#5727904)
Are there equivalents in other sports? Can one make a career in soccer or basketball by consistently shirking one's own primary duty, and hoping that the opponent just messes up?


Goons in hockey are not there to ... you know ... play hockey. The exist to rough up the opponents, get in their heads and then into fights, and of course rack up penalty minutes. The other parts of actual hockey, not so much.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:10 PM (#5727908)
I'm sure there's a military term for this, setting an advance position with a defensively-minded elite group in order to lay a claim to the disputed territory and allow your main forces to maneuver in freedom.

I don't think there is.
   23. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:11 PM (#5727909)
I see absolutely no way that this could go horribly wrong for baseball in the near future. Nope. Isolated incidents.


The players are too well-paid and well-taken-care-of for any such shenanigans to take place. Especially in Chicago.
   24. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5727916)
I don't think there is.

Did that fat dodgeball player just invent something important? I guess now that wars are fought mostly by robots on top of very tall mountains it doesn't matter anymore.
   25. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:24 PM (#5727939)
I'm sure there's a military term for this, setting an advance position with a defensively-minded elite group in order to lay a claim to the disputed territory and allow your main forces to maneuver in freedom.


Not exactly the same thing, but the original plan for the Battle of Verdun was to threaten, but not take, the city, hoping the French would respond in force to hold the symbolically important fortress, and then pummel them with artillery. It might have worked, but for Germany's initial success in taking one of the key forts, and then changing their strategy to one of a more traditional offensive, and they wound up getting bloodied as bad as the French.

Also, a favorite tactic of the Mongols would be to threaten and then retreat, sometimes for days, while their pursuers became stretched out, exhausted, and low on supplies. then they would strike and wipe them out.
   26. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:28 PM (#5727945)
Or in tennis, the players who just dink the ball back until the other player makes an unforced error. The difference being, of course, that those players never make it to the highest professional level of the sport.

That pretty much describes Chrissie Evert
   27. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5727948)

Did that fat dodgeball player just invent something important? I guess now that wars are fought mostly by robots on top of very tall mountains it doesn't matter anymore.


Important only to the specifics of dodgeball, I think.

In war, a small force out well in advance of your main line (even if elite) is generally going to get pummeled and destroyed. It just doesn't have the ability to defend itself that you ascribe to this guy.

If you need an advanced post, to provide a warning typically, you tend to use your most expendable forces.
   28. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:29 PM (#5727949)
SS: Damian Jackson (6.64 WAR)
I think maybe I've mentioned this before, but having seen Damian Jackson play for my hometown minor league club for two seasons, I never ever expected him to be a useful MLB player. What I saw was a guy who couldn't really hit Double-A pitching (he slugged .316 in his second season in AA ball) and committed 90 (!) errors in '94-'95.

He kept popping up in organizational top prospect lists and I could not fathom what everyone else saw that I didn't see. I was wrong. He turned into a nice player - good glove, good speed, adequate bat. A win for the scouting side in the scouts vs. stats debate.
   29. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:32 PM (#5727953)
That pretty much describes Chrissie Evert
Michael Chang, too. Won the French Open as a teenager by being quick enough to get to everything and talented enough to keep the ball in play until the other guy screws up.

edit: Looking at his Wikipedia page, I see that Chang is in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. He screams Hall of Very Good to me: One grand slam win, short (no pun intended) peak, never ranked #1 in the world. I mean no disrespect to the guy. He had a terrific career. It just seems like he's no better than the fourth best American male tennis player of the 1990s.

</tennis>
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 12:47 PM (#5727973)
I see that Chang is in the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Have you ever been? It's in Newport, and definitely worth a visit. But, they have a ton of inductees. If MLB had the same level of representation, everyone we think of as even Hall of Good, would be in.
   31. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: August 16, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5727989)
It just seems like he's no better than the fourth best American male tennis player of the 1990s.


Sure, but Richie Ashburn was no better than the 4th best CF of the 50's.
   32. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 16, 2018 at 01:03 PM (#5727991)
In war, a small force out well in advance of your main line (even if elite) is generally going to get pummeled and destroyed.
But what if it was a really fat Polynesian force?
   33. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 01:06 PM (#5727995)
Funny, I would have that dodgeball was an unimpeachable war analogy.
   34. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 16, 2018 at 01:39 PM (#5728033)
He was also one of many Yankees who hated Casey's guts for platooning him.


I thought about Casey on Tuesday, when Bob Melvin of the A's pinch hit Matt Olson for Mark Canha in the first inning after Mariners pitcher James Paxton got hurt. Righty Mark Canha had started against lefty Paxton, but after Jed Lowrie hit a line drive at Paxton and forced him out of the game two batters before Canha was due to bat, righty Felix Hernandez replaced Paxton. Bob Melvin pinch hit lefty Olson to regain the platoon advantage. But pinch hitting in the first inning to get the platoon advantage - that's a pure Casey Stengel move.
   35. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 01:44 PM (#5728036)
I feel like, in that situation, it should be acceptable for Mark Canha to go home early.
   36. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 16, 2018 at 02:00 PM (#5728057)
Michael Chang is one of the tennis players I've heard of. Therefore he should be in the Hall of Fame.
   37. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 02:06 PM (#5728063)
Have you ever been? It's in Newport, and definitely worth a visit.
No, I've never had a chance, but I'd like to go some time. I imagine they'd have some cool exhibits.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 02:28 PM (#5728089)
No, I've never had a chance, but I'd like to go some time. I imagine they'd have some cool exhibits.

I like the stuff on the early history of the game. The whole amateur vs pro thing of the pre-Open era is fascinating.

Newport in general has a ton of stuff to do. Just don't go in the summer, it's a madhouse.
   39. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: August 16, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5728096)
Bob Melvin pinch hit lefty Olson to regain the platoon advantage. But pinch hitting in the first inning to get the platoon advantage - that's a pure Casey Stengel move.


Aaaaaah, Melvin wouldn't have ever put DiMaggio at first base, I reckon.
   40. Karl from NY Posted: August 16, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5728129)
But, they have a ton of inductees. If MLB had the same level of representation, everyone we think of as even Hall of Good, would be in.

Tennis inducts a similar number as MLB, 2-3 per year or so.

Of course the dynamics are different for an individual sport; the 30th best tennis player is a footnote, the 30th best team-sport player is a franchise icon.
   41. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:04 PM (#5728132)
But tennis is an international game. The 30th best tennis player isn't a footnote, he's the best tennis player in Canada!
   42. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:10 PM (#5728136)
According to ZiPS in-season projections, the 30th best player in baseball is someone like Matt Carpenter, Anthony Rendon, Andrelton Simmons, Trevor Bauer or Gerritt Cole. FYI. I was curious.
   43. Karl from NY Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:16 PM (#5728143)
Put another way: Tennis and MLB (and the other team sports as well) each have roughly 30 HOFers active at any given moment. The difference is that the players ranked 10-30 in a team sport are each the face of a franchise, while players ranked 10-30 in tennis may well go a whole season without so much as reaching a semifinal. But it doesn't mean those tennis players are worse relative to the top or less deserving of their hall of fame than are the equivalently-ranked team-sport players.
   44. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5728159)
Well, there's no hard rule that there ought to be 30 HOFers at any given moment in a sport. The 30th best backstroker or ski jumper or steeplechaser is a ####### chump. Meanwhile, in soccer, with several top leagues and dozens of elite teams, the 30th best player may be an outright legend to millions.
   45. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:40 PM (#5728170)
Can one make a career in soccer or basketball by consistently shirking one's own primary duty, and hoping that the opponent just messes up?


I can't decide if this is entirely fair, but Dennis Rodman is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. If you think of the primary goal of basketball as being to score baskets, Rodman pretty well shirked that duty and hoped that the other players would miss shots that he could rebound. Not exactly the same thing, but I feel like it's at least in the right general neighborhood.
   46. Karl from NY Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:41 PM (#5728172)
The 30th best backstroker or ski jumper or steeplechaser is a ####### chump.

Why? Only because we give those sports less notoriety. If there were 30 Major League Backstroke teams playing for 30k fans every day, we'd be idolizing and inducting the 30th best backstroker.
   47. BDC Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:52 PM (#5728193)
I thought of Rodman, Kiko, as you say because of his indifference to offense; but rebounding is so central to basketball that it didn't seem quite the right analogy. It's a little like defense in baseball: an infielder makes a play because the batter has failed to hit the ball over his head, but making the play is still his basic job.
   48. PreservedFish Posted: August 16, 2018 at 03:54 PM (#5728200)
Why? Only because we give those sports less notoriety. If there were 30 Major League Backstroke teams playing for 30k fans every day, we'd be idolizing and inducting the 30th best backstroker.


It's the Hall of Fame. Notoriety is kind of important.
   49. AndrewJ Posted: August 16, 2018 at 08:26 PM (#5728436)
Today's the anniversary of Babe Ruth's death. Elvis's too and Aretha's, starting next year, I guess.

For good measure, Ray Chapman was beaned on 8/16, though he died on the 17th. And Will Rogers -- along with Elvis and The Babe, one of the most beloved Americans of the 20th century -- died on August 15th, 1935.

   50. Hank Gillette Posted: August 17, 2018 at 01:42 AM (#5728661)
Today's the anniversary of Babe Ruth's death. Elvis's too and Aretha's, starting next year, I guess.

So, two kings and a queen died on August 16th.
   51. Hank Gillette Posted: August 17, 2018 at 02:07 AM (#5728663)
I can't decide if this is entirely fair, but Dennis Rodman is in the Basketball Hall of Fame. If you think of the primary goal of basketball as being to score baskets, Rodman pretty well shirked that duty and hoped that the other players would miss shots that he could rebound.


When you have Michael Jordan on your team, do you really need another guy trying to take a lot of shots?

I have no idea of the validity of this, but this article presents the proposition that Rodman was arguably the most valuable player in the history of the NBA.

Of course that is ridiculous, because it ignores Rodman’s true calling: international diplomacy.

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