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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2012

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 30, 1912:

Baseball scientists have burned midnight oil to discover a substitute for the spitball, the “turkey trot,” the fadeaway and the Frank Merriwell double shoot. Wilbur Cooper, the Columbus recruit, who made his debut in the ninth inning has beaten them all to it with the shining “buckle curve.”
...

On the back of his glove Cooper has a shining silver buckle…The gleam from the buckle gets in the batter’s eyes and he is as helpless as a handcuffed man.

August 29, 1912 was, in fact, Wilbur Cooper’s MLB debut. Cooper went on to win 216 MLB games, put up four 20-win seasons, led the league in complete games twice, and currently sits 95th on the BBref Pitcher ELO ratings, in the Bob Welch-Ron Guidry neighborhood.

For what it’s worth, Arthur Rhodes tried a similar pitch 90 years later and almost started a brawl.

Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:46 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, wilbur cooper

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   1. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:51 AM (#4222013)
Also from the Gazette Times 100 years ago:
Hans Wagner's dog Mutt cavorted around the cinder path during the game and Babe Adams had a hard time keeping him off the diamond.
1912 is almost like a different universe. Imagine Tim Hudson having to babysit Chipper's dog during a game, or C.C. Sabathia being tasked with keeping Derek Jeter's pets out of trouble.
   2. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 30, 2012 at 05:54 AM (#4222014)
You're not likely to find a better Birthday Outfield than August 30. The infield? Meh.

C: Charlie Armbruster
1B: Cal McVey
2B: Luis Rivas
3B: Billy Johnson
SS: Dave Chalk
LF/Manager: Ted Williams
CF: Kiki Cuyler
RF: Bing Miller

SP: Cliff Lee
SP: Pol Perritt
SP: Tom Seaton
SP: Adam Wainwright
SP: Fauxsto Carmona
RP: Tug McGraw

Bench Outfielder: Marlon Byrd
Folk Hero: Bucky Jacobsen
Fun Names: Frank Funk, Carmen Fanzone, Pete Weckbecker, Davey Dunkle
No relation to the Rum Ham: John Rudderham
   3. BochysFingers Posted: August 30, 2012 at 08:13 AM (#4222034)
Bucky Jacobsen could also be considered "Baseball Mogul-only All Star".
   4. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 30, 2012 at 08:17 AM (#4222035)
jean segura has had some rough moments in his short time in the bigs but last night was fun. he made some fine defensive plays and ran wild on the cubs stealing a run as chicago threw the ball away like a bunch of little leaguers

segura doesn't grasp the strike zone or is swinging at everything due to anxiety to impress but even so you can see the skill set to be a player is there. he's not just an athlete in a uniform. i suspect the brewers may be inclined to have bianchi handle the job to start next season while segura works on things in triple a but i could be way off
   5. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: August 30, 2012 at 08:30 AM (#4222041)
aramis ramirez is having some kind of season. his slow starts seem to last longer and longer but once he gets going boy does he get going.

on a humorous note aramis set a career high in stolen bases this season.

6
   6. bunyon Posted: August 30, 2012 at 08:59 AM (#4222072)
C.C. Sabathia being tasked with keeping Derek Jeter's pets out of trouble.

Well, someone has to give them their gift baskets.
   7. Sweatpants Posted: August 30, 2012 at 09:05 AM (#4222080)
How many managers don't wear jerseys? Someone pointed out to me that Eric Wedge doesn't wear one, and now it's the first thing I notice every time I see him.
   8. JustDan Posted: August 30, 2012 at 09:17 AM (#4222096)
What does he wear instead?
   9. BDC Posted: August 30, 2012 at 09:24 AM (#4222111)
Two notes from an otherwise dull 8-4 Rangers loss to Tampa Bay last night at the Ballpark:

Evan Longoria hit a first-inning home run to the grassy knoll in center field. A fan raced onto the knoll, caught the ball on the fly, and heaved a throw in one motion back onto the field; at first it looked like a "Kelly in for Hamilton" moment, and you'd have thought that Longoria was out :) The throw, sad to say, dribbled out about 2/3 of the way to second base. (You can see the play on mlb.com video this morning.)

Ben Zobrist went up several rungs in my estimation. Before each game, the Rangers have some local baseball type escort a little kid to the mound to deliver that night's game ball. Last night the escort was Eddie Robinson, the star AL first baseman from the 1940s and 50s. Applause was muted, as almost nobody in the park knew who he was. But as Robinson was walking off the field, Zobrist sprinted out of the Rays' dugout, stopped him, shook his hand, and insisted that a photographer get a shot of the two of them together. Well done.
   10. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: August 30, 2012 at 09:46 AM (#4222142)
What does he wear instead?
This.
   11. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4222164)
How many managers don't wear jerseys? Someone pointed out to me that Eric Wedge doesn't wear one, and now it's the first thing I notice every time I see him.
I believe, technically, they all are supposed to wear jerseys if they're in the dugout. You might remember the (endlessly stupid) to-do that came up when some MLB official made Francona lift up his pullover to show he was wearing a jersey under the uniform in the middle of a Yankee-Red Sox game a few years ago.

Among the Yankees, Girardi always wear his jersey top (or almost always, anyway) but Larry Rothschild never seems to. Interestingly, it looks like--from some Google Image Searching--Rothschild used to wear it more when he was with the Cubs. The base coaches, obviously, wear theirs, but Kevin Long never does. Of course, Long never comes on to the field, so it's a non-issue.
   12. Sweatpants Posted: August 30, 2012 at 10:03 AM (#4222174)
What does he wear instead?
Pullovers, at least in the pictures I can find of him.
   13. Rennie's Tenet Posted: August 30, 2012 at 10:09 AM (#4222185)
The gleam from the buckle gets in the batter’s eyes and he is as helpless as a handcuffed man.


I saw the Braves in Wsshington last week, and Jason Heyward had something glinting off the back of his belt, or maybe his pocket. Has anyone else noticed that? Baserunning gloves wouldn't have any metal on them, would they?
   14. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 30, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4222206)
What does he wear instead?


The skin of his victims. Ozzie Guillen does the same, but under a jersey.
   15. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM (#4222229)
That's a pretty good birthday team.

I'd bench Armbruster (417 career PA, OPS+ of 42, career SLG of .186(!), defense looks iffy), let McVey catch (a utility guy, he caught as often as he played first in his career ... oh, and his career OPS+ was 152 in a 9 year career (includes NA years)), and shift one of the hundred thousand decent outfielders shift to first. Ted - make it happen.
For that matter, I wonder if Williams would install himself as the DH (if available)?

Billy Johnson was a decent player - had a 9 year career w/ an OPS+ of 102 (lacked power and speed, but made contact) and solid defense. Finished 4th in MVP voting his rookie year, missed the next two due to WWII, and was an A-S in '47.
Dave Chalk was twice an A-S himself (first two full seasons, once at short, once at third), but not deservedly. 9 years, OPS+ of 85 - solid utility man.

Not mentioned was Johnny Lindell who was a big league reliever - converted to the outfield the following year and (undeservedly) named an A-S, led the league in TB the subsequent year and had an eight year career as an outfielder - went to the minors, turned back into a (knuckleball) pitcher, and pitched 199 innings (and, uh, led the NL in walks) eleven years after his last big league mound action.

Chris Getz and Russ Adams are also on the bench. There's a number of pen guys we've heard of too - Sean Marshall's the best of the bunch.

Fauxsto

I see what you did there.
   16. TerpNats Posted: August 30, 2012 at 10:50 AM (#4222246)
Last year, it seemed as if Davey Johnson was always wearing a jacket in the Nats' dugout. This year, you could discover his number without having to consult the game program.
   17. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 30, 2012 at 10:58 AM (#4222260)
Incidentally, if you wanted to era-neutralize stats but keep them somewhat meaningful, what too do you use? BB-ref's #s aren't very useful.
   18. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM (#4222410)
With a Houston loss and a St. Louis win today, the Astros will be mathematically eliminated.
   19. Steve N Posted: August 30, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4222810)
Is there any rule as to manager wear? Connie Mack wore a suit up to the end. Of course he was older than most folks grandfathers by then.
   20. God Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:38 PM (#4222929)
Mattingly wears pullovers virtually all the time too. I have no idea whether there's a jersey underneath there or not.
   21. God Posted: August 30, 2012 at 04:42 PM (#4222935)
Interestingly, most people think Connie Mack was the last manager to wear a suit in the dugout but actually he was not. Burt Shotton, the Dodgers' skipper, also did this. Shotton's and Mack's managerial careers ended on the same day, October 1, 1950, but the Dodgers game ended half an hour after the A's game that day.

Of course, later on you had Art Howe and stuff like that. Not sure if that counts.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 30, 2012 at 06:42 PM (#4223042)
Game of the day (yesterday): Blue Jays 8, Yankees 5. In which CC Sabathia apparently has a nemesis.

The Yanks took an early lead against JA Happ. Derek Jeter led off the bottom of the first with a single, and Nick Swisher walked. Robinson Cano grounded out 3-1, moving the runners to second and third; Andruw Jones singled in one run, and Curtis Granderson brought in the second with a groundout. After both starters were perfect in the second, the Jays loaded the bases with nobody out in the third. Jeff Mathis singled, Adeiny Hechavarria reached on an error by third baseman Jayson Nix, and Rajai Davis singled. Mike McCoy grounded to Nix a step behind the bag at third, resulting in a pretty weird play: Nix stepped on third for the force, then threw home, where Mathis was tagged out. You don't see the trail runner out first on double plays too terribly often. Regardless, Edwin Encarnacion singled, Adam Lind singled, and Yunel Escobar doubled, with each of those plays scoring one run; the combination put the Jays ahead 3-2.

Toronto's newfound lead proved to be exceedingly temporary. Swisher walked with one out in the third, and after Cano struck out, Jones walked as well. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position, and Granderson doubled to bring them both in and reclaim the lead for New York. Sabathia worked a perfect fourth, and his teammates had an excellent chance of augmenting their advantage in the bottom of the inning, as Nix led off with a walk and Ichiro doubled him to third. Chris Stewart fouled out, Jeter was intentionally walked, and with the bases loaded, Happ struck out both Swisher and Cano to keep the Bombers off the board. Both teams went 1-2-3 in the fifth. In the sixth, Lind led off with a single, and Escobar worked a full count, then launched a go-ahead two-run homer well into the left field seats. The Jays would put two additional runners on in the inning, but scored neither of them.

Steve Delabar replaced Happ for the bottom of the sixth, and allowed a leadoff double to Nix. Ichiro then struck out, pinch hitter Eric Chavez grounded out to move Nix to third, and Jeter fanned to end the inning. New York tried again in the seventh, as Cano doubled with one out, but Delabar struck out Jones, and Aaron Loup induced a groundout from Granderson.

Derek Lowe replaced Sabathia in the top of the eighth, and Escobar treated the new pitcher just like the old one: he doubled. Kelly Johnson followed that with a bunt single, putting runners on the corners, and after Colby Rasmus struck out (courtesy of Boone Logan), Jeff Mathis greeted Cody Eppley with a first-pitch squeeze bunt to bring Escobar home. The extra run gained importance when Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin started the Yankee eighth with back-to-back doubles, scoring one run and putting the tying tally in scoring position for the third straight inning. The next three New Yorkers were retired, however, and the Jays salted the game away in the top of the ninth when McCoy reached second on an error, Encarnacion was intentionally walked, Lind was unintentionally walked, and Escobar brought in the two lead runners with his third double of the game. Casey Janssen ended it by putting the Yanks down in order in the ninth.

If you're Yunel Escobar, and you're going to pick one day in the middle of a disappointing year (.252/.297/.346) to set simultaneous season-highs in RBI (5), total bases (10), and WPA (.502), wouldn't you want to do it when Sabathia or someone like him is pitching? Pretty sure I would.
   23. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 30, 2012 at 07:37 PM (#4223074)
Game of the day (last year): Phillies 3, Reds 2. What officially qualifies a game for the designation "pitcher's duel?" It seems like I'll occasionally hear an announcer use this term on a game that's 2-1 through 4.5 innings or something, which seems generous.

Whatever your chosen standard, I'm pretty sure this one qualifies. Because Cincinnati's Homer Bailey was perfect through three innings... and Cole Hamels matched him.

The game's first baserunner was Chase Utley, who reached on a two-out infield single in the top of the fourth. Brandon Phillips then led off the bottom of the inning with a triple, and scored on Joey Votto's groundout. The Phils came back to tie in the fifth as Hunter Pence led off with a single, Carlos Ruiz matched him with one out, and Wilson Valdez doubled Pence home. With runners on second and third and one out, Hamels came to the plate and struck out, and Shane Victorino did the same to leave the go-ahead runs in scoring position.

After that minor burst of scoring, the game returned to its earlier pattern, with Hamels throwing a perfect fifth and Bailey a spotless sixth. Ryan Hanigan led off the bottom of the sixth with a hit, advancing to second on Bailey's sacrifice and third on Phillips's flyout, but stayed there as Dave Sappelt fanned. Bailey set the Phils down in order yet again in the seventh, and Hamels was pulled for Antonio Bastardo to begin the bottom of the inning (the reasons for this aren't entirely clear; he'd thrown only 76 pitches, and hadn't been hit for). Bastardo walked Votto, then struck out the side.

Valdez led off the eighth with a single. After Bailey coaxed pinch hitter Michael Martinez into a foulout while trying to bunt, Victorino stepped to the plate and hit a first-pitch, two-run homer to give the Phils their first lead of the day. Bailey retired the next two hitters, and the Phils put Michael Stutes on the mound for the bottom of the inning; Stutes induced a foulout, then allowed a single to Hanigan. After a strikeout, Phillips and Sappelt both singled as well, scoring one run and putting the tying run 90 feet away with Votto up next. Votto grounded out, however, and after a perfect ninth from the Cincy bullpen, Ryan Madson worked around a leadoff hit by Jay Bruce to keep the Reds off the board and the Phils in the lead at the end of the game.

The combined starting pitching line: 14 innings, 8 hits, 4 runs, 16 strikeouts, one homer, and... no walks. That's quite impressive, to say the least. And only 176 pitches between them, about 12.5 per inning, which is rather remarkably low. (Time of game - 2:36. Look, Red Sox and Yankees, it can be done!)

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