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Thursday, August 30, 2018

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2018

Toledo News-Bee, August 30, 1918:

Manager Lee Fohl of the Cleveland Indians is of the opinion that had it not been for the war Babe Ruth would have broken the home run record this year.

“If the baseballs we have used had been up to the standard of other years,” says Fohl, “Babe surely would have turned the trick, but the balls were of too poor a quality this season, being knocked out of shape quickly and losing their life.”

There may be something to Fohl’s #SiberianPonyLeather theory. In 1917, American League hitters who weren’t Babe Ruth hit a home run every 309.6 at bats. In 1918, they hit one every 390.8 at bats.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:14 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5736188)
Today's Birthday Team features one of the better rosters in the league. Two Hall of Fame outfielders, a Cy Young Award winner at the top of the rotation, and a number two starter who has finished in the top 3 in Cy voting four times.

C: Cal McVey (19.23 WAR)
1B: Bing Miller (28.83 WAR)
2B: Chris Getz (1.66 WAR)
3B: Billy Johnson (14.69 WAR)
SS: Dave Chalk (8.49 WAR)
LF/Manager: Ted Williams (123.11 WAR)
CF: Kiki Cuyler (46.71 WAR)
RF: Marlon Byrd (25.32 WAR)

SP: Cliff Lee (43.51 WAR)
SP: Adam Wainwright (38.09 WAR)
SP: Tom Seaton (11.35 WAR)
SP: Sean Marshall (9.3 WAR)
SP: Roger Erickson (8.16 WAR)
RP: Tug McGraw (21.9 WAR)

Bench bat: Johnny Lindell (15.53 WAR)
Designated Kiwi: Scott Richmond (-0.2 WAR)
Fauxsto Carmona: Roberto Hernandez (4.98 WAR)
Fun name/Pitching coach: Frank Funk (4.04 WAR)
Fun names: Bucky Jacobsen, Carmen Fanzone, Davey Dunkle, Peaches O'Neill, Pete Weckbecker, Wib Smith
Not that one: Archie Moore
Not that one: Dave Smith
Not that one: Steven Wright (2.64 WAR)
Somehow managed to end his 5-year MLB career with 0.00 WAR: Russ Adams (0.00 WAR)
   2. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:37 AM (#5736217)
The bench bat also had 1.3 WAR pitching.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 30, 2018 at 10:56 AM (#5736233)
Two Hall of Fame outfielders
That's kind of like saying the Red Sox and the Orioles are two Major League baseball teams.
   4. crict Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5736298)
Designated Kiwi: Scott Richmond (-0.2 WAR)


He's Canadian!
   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:37 PM (#5736318)
He's Canadian!
He is - Vancouver, right? - but when Richmond came up, there was all kinds of hubbub about him being the first Kiwi in MLB. It was mostly bogus, of course. He's as Kiwi as my grandfather (born in New York, lived most of his life in Cleveland) was Hungarian.
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 30, 2018 at 12:55 PM (#5736345)
Kiki Cuyler is interesting in that he's a HoF player who was benched in the prime of his career in the middle of a pennant race, that his team ended up winning. In 1927, Cuyler and first year manager Donie Bush did not get along. Things came to a head on August 6, when Cuyler failed to slide on a force play at second. That was Game 103 for the Pirates; despite hitting over .300 at the time, Cuyler started only one more game the rest of the season, appearing in 10 more games total, mainly as a pinch hitter. He didn't play at all after September 5, and didn't play in the World Series. He was traded after the season. But that a pretty harsh punishment for a player of his caliber.
   7. crict Posted: August 30, 2018 at 01:22 PM (#5736389)
He is - Vancouver, right? - but when Richmond came up, there was all kinds of hubbub about him being the first Kiwi in MLB. It was mostly bogus, of course. He's as Kiwi as my grandfather (born in New York, lived most of his life in Cleveland) was Hungarian.


Ok Dan, sorry, didn't know that. He represented Canada in many international competitions, including two World Baseball Classics.

That being said, looks like he has NZ citizenship and he might be playing in the first NZ professional league. (Also, if you were looking for a Josh Collmenter update, you're in luck!)
   8. Ziggy's screen name Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:15 PM (#5736436)
Oh 1930s, you silly decade.

The 8th place 1937 Reds featured three hall of famers: Ernie Lombardi, Chick Hafey, and Kiki Cuyler. That's a whole lot of mediocrity in the hall of fame. Lombardi was basically Jorge Posada with an MVP award and a batting title. Maybe that's a hall of famer. Hafey and Cuyler though, blech. Hafey was at least teammates with Frankie Frisch, what's Cuyler's excuse?


Also, the 1937 Reds featured Davis' Spud, Kiddo, and Peaches.
   9. Ziggy's screen name Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:21 PM (#5736440)
All time best nickname-for-a-Davis team:

C Spud
1B Lefty
2B Crash
3B Jumbo
SS
OF Chili
OF Kiddo
OF Butch

SP Storm
SP Peaches
SP Iron
SP Daisey

Just missing a SS.
   10. Batman Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:36 PM (#5736451)
His SABR bio says George Davis's nickname was Gorgeous George "for his graceful play and blond locks."
   11. BDC Posted: August 30, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5736469)
Among later players, Kiki Cuyler is close to Ellis Burks in both career PA and OPS+, and both of them had a couple of years where they put it all together and were really very good.

Hafey is a little different. His career is very odd in being so short yet so good. I don't know that he has many comps in the past 50-60 years. Ill health caught up with Hafey in his 30s and drove him out of baseball. But he was a serious hitting star. Pedro Guerrero was roughly as good a hitter, though he had a longer career. Rico Carty might be a good comp if his career was shaped differently. Carty had trouble staying in the lineup when he was young, but eventually was able to DH for several years at a pretty advanced age. Hafey was a star in his 20s and then faded fast.

Not saying either should be in the HOF by a long shot. I just sometimes think it's too bad when a guy was an excellent ballplayer but now is known mainly for being a lousy HOF choice.
   12. Man o' Schwar Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5736476)
Hafey could be Andruw Jones, if Jones hadn't hung on to be an immobile lump for the last 5-6 years.

If Jones had retired at 30 due to illness, I think he sails into the HoF.
   13. Ziggy's screen name Posted: August 30, 2018 at 03:14 PM (#5736482)
So would it be better to be Joe Adcock or Jim Bottomley? They're basically the same player. Adcock had a 124 OPS+ in 7300 PA. Bottomley had a 125 OPS+ in 8300 PA. Bottomley did have an MVP award, but it was a 5.3 WAR season. Adcock never topped 5.3, but 4.8, his best season, is pretty close. Both played 1B. 33.3 career WAR for Adcock, 35.3 for Bottomley. Bottomley is remembered (and derided) as a poor choice for the hall. Adcock isn't (or soon won't be) remembered at all.

An aside: The 1928 NL really didn't have a good position player candidate for the MVP award. Bottomley led the league in HR and RBI, but provided relatively little over all value. Freddie Lindstrom (another terrible HOFer) finished second in the voting with 6.4 WAR. There were a bunch of guys around 5 to 6 WAR, just a cluster of iffy candidates. But then you had Dazzy Vance sitting out there with 10.2 WAR and a 2.09 ERA in 280 innings. The problem was probably that the Robins were not a good team, but otherwise this looks like the perfect situation for a pitcher to swoop in and take an MVP award.
   14. BDC Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:04 PM (#5736510)
Adcock isn't (or soon won't be) remembered at all


And that's a shame too! Adcock had about the exact equal of Edwin Encarnacion in PA and OPS+ (Encarnacion as of right now, that is; EE will probably end up playing awhile longer). Adcock was your basic fearsome slugger. Like EE, gravitated to first base (Adcock started out in LF, EE at 3B), and if he'd been born a bit later, Adcock would have become a DH eventually.

Adcock was 20th in career HRs when he retired. I remember that some sports almanacs would print the 300-HR club when I was a kid, and Adcock featured prominently. They'd need several pages now. Adcock is currently 104th on the HR leaderboard.
   15. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:41 PM (#5736531)
Adcock will always be remembered as a guy who hit 4 HR in a single game.
   16. Batman Posted: August 30, 2018 at 04:51 PM (#5736533)
Adcock also broke up Harvey Haddix's no-hitter and ended the game.
   17. oscar madisox Posted: August 30, 2018 at 07:19 PM (#5736625)
Adcock is also the scarcest non checklist card in the 1963 Fleer set. So that's three things. Let's see Jim Bottomley beat that.
   18. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 30, 2018 at 07:29 PM (#5736632)
Let's see Jim Bottomley beat that.


Jim Bottomley had a 12 RBI game. But that's about it.

Lombardi was basically Jorge Posada with an MVP award and a batting title. Maybe that's a hall of famer.


Lombardi had two batting titles, which for a catcher in that era is impressive.
   19. Batman Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:03 AM (#5736894)
"Adcock and Bottomley" is one of the most popular titles among people who are into a very specific porn genre involving baseball players most people don't remember.

Or so I've been told.
   20. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 31, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5736899)
And Kaz Tadano.

(with apologies to Mike Crudale)
   21. Hysterical & Useless Posted: September 01, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5737346)
I believe Adcock is also one of the 3 players who hit an over-the-wall homer to CF in the Polo Grounds (I assume there must've been a couple inside the park there).

He was released by the Angels after posting an OPS+ of 167 in 1966 so he could manage the Indians.

Given that he lasted only one year in that job, he probably should've kept playing.
   22. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 01, 2018 at 10:25 AM (#5737350)
I believe Adcock is also one of the 3 players who hit an over-the-wall homer to CF in the Polo Grounds (I assume there must've been a couple inside the park there).

he is indeed, the other 2 being Hank Aaron and (of all people) Lou Brock (though it is claimed, with no real documentation, that Josh Gibson also did)

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