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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-20-2014

New York Evening World, August 20, 1914:

The attention of fans the country over appears to be pretty nearly evenly divided between watching the war bulletins and observing how the Giants and Braves make out each day. The Boston Climbers have cut down still another game from the fifteen-game lead the Champions had on them a few weeks ago.

On July 4, 1914, the Braves were in last place at 26-40, fifteen games behind the first-place Giants. If you include the World Series, Boston went 72-19 over the rest of 1914.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:06 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:09 AM (#4775151)
This is a solid Birthday Team. Brunansky really isn't a center fielder, but he played 80+ games in CF and the other option was to bench Beau Bell, an all-star who led the AL in hits and doubles in 1937, and play Cory Sullivan or Gene Kingsale instead. So Bruno's playing center.

C/Manager: Al Lopez
1B: Todd Helton
2B: Blake DeWitt
3B: Graig Nettles
SS: Frank Bonner
LF: Kal Daniels
CF: Tom Brunansky
RF: Beau Bell

SP: Mark Langston
SP: Andy Benes
SP: Fred Norman
SP: Pete Schneider
SP: Sig Jakucki
RP: George Zuverink
RP: Jose Paniagua

Fun Names: Bull Smith, Chubby Snyder
   2. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:35 AM (#4775167)
getting to be a two team race in the nl central. brewers have won 5 in a row while the cards also stay hot. meanwhile, the pirates are scuffling and the reds are now 10 games back. just not enough offense and with the bullpen now going in the tank it's too much to keep up. if you didn't catch it the reds hit a batter with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth in st louis. ouch.

   3. depletion Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:36 AM (#4775168)
<quote> If you include the World Series, Boston went 72-19 over the rest of 1914.</quote>
Thanks for the lead in, Dan. 72-19 is a pretty sick stretch for a baseball team. It looks like a Lakers' year with Magic Johnson or Wilt Chamberlain. Can anyone point me to a good article or book about the Miracle Braves? The Braves are the oldest continuously operating franchise, are they not?
   4. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: August 20, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4775183)
1880 Pud Galvin throws nohitter. Last one from 45 feet
1886 1st double 1-hitter in MLB history. Next one: 7-4-06
1894 Bill Joyce of Washington hits 3 HR in one game
1900 2nd consecutive start Cy Young unable to finish - a first for him. CIN 15, STL 7
1901 last game: Pink Hawley
1903 PIT make 6 errors in 1st inning
1908 Al Lopez born
1912 Carl Cashion tosses shortened game no hitter: 6 innings. WAS 2, CLE 0
1913 MLB debut: Edd Roush
1915 CWS get Joe Jackson from CLE for Braggo Roth, Larry Cahppell, Ed Klepfer & $31,500
1915 Dave Bancroft hits his only walk-off HR
1915 NYG purchase contract of George Kelly from Victoria for $1200
1916 NYG trade Fred Merkle to Brk for Lew McCarty
1919 Joe Wilhoit, Western League, has hitting streak end at 69 games
1919 NYY purchased Bob Meusel from Vernon (PCL)
1920 Babe Ruths hits his 44rd HR w/ NYY, passing Wally Pipp as franchise leader. Still is
1920 Ray Chapman’s funeral. Tris Speaker gets in fight w/ Steve O’Neill and Jack Graney because funeral in Catholic church
1922 4th of 12 walk-off HR for Babe Ruth. Two days after #3
1923 AL Pres Ban Johnson bans 4-piece bat of Babe Ruth because other glue used on it
1926 Cal McVey, godfather of platooning (read my book for more info), dies
1926 STL 6, NYG 2: McGraw berates Frisch in front of team, FF buys ticket at leaves team. He had been McGraw’s heir apparent until this
1931 Tony Freitas released from jail in Sacramento to pitch PCL game then goes back (5 days speeding). He’ll win 342 games in the minors
1934 Judge Landis rules against Dizzy Dean in his dispute w/ the STL. He returns to the team and they end his suspension
1934 Reds franchise record drops to .500 for the first time since 1882 (3,773-3,773)
1938 23rd/final Lou Gehrig slam
1938 Frankie Pytlak & Hank Helf, CLE catchers, catch balls dropped from Union Terminal Tower, 708 feet. A record
1940 Only time Mel Ott steals 2 bases in one game
1940 Wally Moses steals home in 10th so PHA beats CWS
1941 BRK select Larry French off waivers from the Cubs
1944 Graig Nettles born
1945 homering off Preacher Roe, Tommy Brown, 17 yrs, 8 months, 14 days becomes youngest to do so
1946 Bob Feller’s fastball clocked at 98.6 MPH. Previous record: 94 by Richard “Atley” Donald
1946 Phillies record first falls 1,000 games under .500: 4,104-5,104
1948 78,382 in Cleveland see Paige 3-hit CWS, 3-0 for 2nd straight shutout
1952 MLB debut: Harvey Haddix
1952 Pony League teams Batavia & Bradford have double no-hitter: Frank Etchberger & Jim Mitchell
1954 STL hits into 6 DP vs CIN
1955 Walter O’Malley predicts to Mayor Wagner: if one of NY NL teams goes, the other will likely go, too
1957 Bob Keegan throws no-hitter
1957 Bob Turley pitches 2-hitter but loses: KCA 1, NYY 0
1958 injury-plagued CHC use Dale Long as catcher. 1 in hospital, 1 HBP, and 1 ejected. 1st lefty catcher of the century
1960 Mark Langston born
1960 Tom Brunansky born
1961 Phillies lose their 23rd straight game. PHI end a 23-game losing streak (doubleheader)
1962 Walk-off grandslam: Frank Robinson
1964 Phil Linz, NYY, plays the harmonica on team bus after loss. Frankie Crosetti horrified
1965 Eddie Mathews HR gives he & Hank Aaron 773 HR as a duo, breaking the Ruth/Gehrig mark
1967 Andy Benes born
1967 last game: Vern Law
1971 dormant Shibe Park damaged by fire
1973 Todd Helton born
1973 Tom Seaver throws 12 IP, tying career high mark
1974 3rd of 3 times in 1974 (& four times overall) Ryan fans 19 in a game. Just eight days after last time. Loses 1-0
1974 Nolan Ryan clocks at 100.9 mph
1978 Don Sutton and Steve Garvey engage in clubhouse fistfight w/ LAD
1980 Tom Brookens, #8 hitter, has game for the ages: 5-for-5 w/ 3B & HR. Also starts a triple play on defense
1981 MLB debut: Brett Butler
1984 SF trades Al Oliver to PHI
1985 NYM sign Larry Bowa as free agent
1988 Dave Concepction, age 40, setals home
1990 MLB debut: Tino Martinez
1992 David Wells: 4.1 IP, 11 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. Game Score: -14 (!)
1995 Jose Mesa converts 37th straight save opportunity, breaking Eck’s MLB record
1995 Von McDaniel dies
1996 Sammy Sosa broken hand from HBP. He already has 40 HR, leading the league
1997 Maybe Rickey Henderson’s worst day at the plat: 0-for-4 w/ 4 Ks. Ties his K high, only time does it in only 4 PA
1999 Jeff Bagwell walks 6 times in one game - 8 PA. 0-for-2. Only 1 run. A SB, too. Hou 6, Flo 4 (16)
2000 Whitey Ford Day at Yankee Stadium
2001 inside the park WALK OFF Hr for Ken Griffey Jr. 3rd/final inside the park HR - over 11 years since #2. CIN 5, STL 4 (11)
2001 MLB debut: Carlos Zambrano
2002 CIN signs free agent Jose Guillen
2005 KCR lose 19th straight
2006 Cubs trade Neifi Perez to DET
2007 CIN trades Jeff Conine to NYM
2008 Umps & MLB sign agreement allowing use of instant replay
2009 NYM release Livan Hernandez
2010 Roy Halladay balks in 1st inning: first time in 1235.1 IP
2012 ARI trades Stephen Drew to OAK for minor leaguer
2012 Jim Joyce, umpire, saves man’s life by administering CPR to him before a game when he has a heart attack
2012 Ouch! ATL loses to DCN in 13 innings on w-off error: 5-4
2013 SFG 3, BOX 2. Walk-off walk to Marco Scutaro w/ 2 out in bottom of ninth. B. Villarreal faces just 1 batter & it’s walk-off walk
   5. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: August 20, 2014 at 09:45 AM (#4775216)
Can anyone point me to a good article or book about the Miracle Braves?


Was about to ask the same. I remember Bill James cited the story in the first Historical Baseball Abstract as a very promising subject for a book, but I've never checked to see if anyone followed up on that.
   6. EddieA Posted: August 20, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4775225)
I purchased a Scholastic book called "Strange but True Baseball Stories" when I was in 5th grade that had a chapter on the Miracle Braves.
   7. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 20, 2014 at 09:53 AM (#4775226)
Looks like SABR released a book about the Miracle Braves. I haven't read it, but I'd trust SABR would tell the story well.
   8. Davo's Favorite Tacos Are Moose Tacos Posted: August 20, 2014 at 10:20 AM (#4775245)
Jonathan Lucroy currently leads the National League in doubles.

He would be the first catcher to lead the league in doubles since.....ever.
   9. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4775258)
I can't justify linking to it in this thread as it has nothing to do with baseball (sans a fleeting mention in chapter 6) but The Tim Tebow CFL Chronicles might be the most enjoyable sports fiction I've ever read.
   10. TerpNats Posted: August 20, 2014 at 11:35 AM (#4775321)
IIRC, the 1914 Braves were in last as late as July 19 (though the difference from top to bottom may not have been as wide as on July 4).

Of course Bill James would be fascinated by this team...he had a namesake (apparently unrelated) as one of their starters.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 20, 2014 at 12:23 PM (#4775392)
SS: Frank Bonner


Not that one?
   12. Random Transaction Generator Posted: August 20, 2014 at 01:18 PM (#4775487)
1992 David Wells: 4.1 IP, 11 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. Game Score: -14 (!)


I remember that one. Cito Gaston left Wells out there to suffer. The broadcasters, the fans, the other players...everyone knew what was happening as it happened.

Wells was cut by the team the next spring.
   13. Batman Posted: August 20, 2014 at 01:37 PM (#4775507)
Not that one?
Small sample size, but Herb did seem like a pretty good softball hitter.
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 20, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4775536)
I guess a co-star of a show that went off the air 32 years ago is more well-known than the shortstop for the 1902 Cleveland Bronchos, but not a LOT more well-known.
   15. Steve N Posted: August 20, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4775548)
Herb Tarlek.
   16. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 20, 2014 at 04:55 PM (#4775663)
The Game of 8/19/84 was... well, it was pretty awesome. Among other things, it cemented a new team in the lead for overall excitement on the year (after the Yankees dominated the standings for several months), and it headlined what has to be easily the best day in my database on which no extra-inning games occurred. In more in-game news, it had several lead changes, stayed close, and then had a ridiculous ninth inning, which helped two different players (one of whom had quite a long career) establish career highs in WPA. And the game-ender is probably not the least-likely walkoff homer in baseball history, but I'm having a little trouble thinking of one that surprised me more. (Suggestions are, of course, highly welcome.)
   17. Moeball Posted: August 20, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4775693)
Haven't read the SABR book on 1914 Miracle Braves but can shed light on some of the amazing things that happened in this weirdest of seasons - for one thing, the Braves performance that year could be broken down into 3 distinct sections:

1)On May 20 the Braves found themselves with a woeful record of only 4-18. Exactly 1/7 of the way through the traditional 154-game season, they were already 11 and 1/2 games back, just about twice as far behind as the second to last place Cubs. McGraw’s Giants hadn’t moved into the lead yet; at this point of the season it was the Pirates who were in first place with a 17-8 record. From what I’ve been able to research, not only are the 1914 Miracle Braves the only team ever to start a season as poorly as 4-18 and still go on to win the championship – no other championship team in history is even close to starting off so badly. The 1991 Twins started off 2-9 before turning things around, but that’s only half as bad as the 1914 Braves, and that was about the closest I could find at first glance. Not only has no other team started out 4-18 and gone on to win the championship; I think only one or two teams in history that started out 4-18 even went on to see any postseason play at all. It’s virtually a death sentence throughout history – start that badly and your season is basically already over.

2)Then, as it looked like a hopelessly lost season, the Braves suddenly became a .500 team. Not overall, but just for the next stretch of the season. Over their next 44 decisions they went 22-22, culminating in losing both ends of a 4th of July doubleheader against Brooklyn that left them at 26-40 overall and still in last place as mentioned above. They were now 15 games behind the first place Giants. Look at all the teams in history that were at least 15 games out on the 4th of July and went on to win the championship; I think the 1914 Braves are the only team on that list. As the strange tale continued, on the 5th of July the Braves had an off day after the holiday double header, but decided to play an exhibition game for charity against a minor league team. The minor league team won. Handily. As legend tells it, Braves manager George Stallings supposedly went ballistic afterwards in a locker room tirade for the ages. Apparently, the team finally responded.

3)Then came the rest of the season which , as mentioned above, was 68-19 for the remainder of the regular season followed by a 4-game sweep of the A’s in the World Series. The pitchers went into lockdown mode and just stopped giving up very many runs; the batters scored enough to win. Actually, over the 87 remaining decisions of the regular season during which they ran off that unbelievable 68-19 record (excluding a couple of ties), the Braves averaged 4.7 runs/game while allowing only 2.9. They actually outplayed their Pythagoras by a good bit – they probably should have gone about 63-24 over this stretch but wound up winning 68 games, about 5 games better than projected. They finally climbed out of last place on July 19; it wasn't until August 1 that they finally reached the .500 mark with a 45-45 record. They had moved to within 8 games of the first place New Yorkers at that point. From August 13-15 the Braves took the Giants head-on in a 3-game set in NY at the Polo Grounds. The Braves swept NY. On August 25 they finally caught McGraw's boys and then just blew past them as the unbelievable hot streak continued. By season's end the Braves not only won the pennant, they cruised by 10 and 1/2 games over the Giants. To go from 15 games back to 10 games ahead in a little over half a season is quite stunning indeed.

One of the remarkable things about this season that starts to explain the success they had was an extraordinary fielding team, especially infield defense. As mentioned above, they outplayed their Pythagoran projection over the hot streak; here's how you get that done:

-They shut out their opponents 17 times
-Included were 6 times they won 1-0
-They had 23 wins by only 1 run

The BBWAA hadn’t officially started voting on MVP awards at this time, but there was an MVP equivalent known as the Chalmers award. Johnny Evers, in his first year with the Braves after his long successful career with the Cubs, made such an impact on the team – primarily with his legendary glove although he also had a pretty good year at the plate (113 OPS+) – that he wound up winning the Chalmers award as the league’s MVP. Rabbit Maranville, the eccentric but brilliant fielding shortstop, despite a weak season with the stick (only an 85 OPS+), still wound up finishing second in the Chalmers award voting, mainly due to one of the most astounding seasons ever displayed with a glove in baseball history to that point. Imagine Ozzie Smith and Bill Mazeroski side-by-side at the very peak of their defensive skills – that’s what the 1914 season for the Braves was like. At a time when, unlike today, there weren’t very many strikeouts, and fielders could only use those tiny little gloves that barely provided padding for the hands - being able to turn balls in play into outs was a highly prized skill – and Maranville and Evers were the best in the business!

   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 20, 2014 at 05:41 PM (#4775705)
Thanks for that great summary, Moeball. One other thing that always made those Braves seems even more miraculous was that the franchise was so bad and so irrelevant for so long. From the start of the modern era in 1900 through 1948, the only time they won the pennant was in 1914. It felt like they were always a terrible team - except for the second half of 1914, when they were unbeatable.
   19. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 20, 2014 at 07:07 PM (#4775782)
The Game of 8/19/14 pitted one of three consecutive Cy Young winners in a pennant contender's rotation against a pitcher who's not as good, if maybe not by as much as you'd think. The pennant contender got off to a bad start, but flexed its muscles and returned to its usual modus operandi after a couple of innings, and that proved to be enough.

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