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Thursday, August 09, 2012

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-9-2012

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, August 9, 1912:

A misdirected letter which went to Sharon, O., instead of Sharon, Pa., was indirectly responsible for the blowing up of the Sharon [Ohio and Pennsylvania League] baseball team. It was mailed by the Washington American League team and contained the articles of agreement whereby Sharon released Outfielder Bill Allen to the Senators for $500. Not hearing from the Washington club Manager Ralph Robinson, who was anxiously awaiting the check for $500 to pay his players, grew discouraged and concluded there was some hitch and that the money would not be forthcoming. Then he threw up the sponge.

Here’s an artist’s rendering of Robinson as he decided to fold the ballclub.

Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 04:49 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, minor leagues, wacky misunderstandings

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   1. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 04:50 AM (#4204044)
Elsewhere 100 years ago, the Toledo News-Bee reports that two future stars and one mediocre player with a great nickname are headed to the big leagues:
Outfielder Veach and Pitcher Merz [have] been picked by the Detroit Tigers as the fall payment for the spring sale of O'Leary and Catcher Casey, now with St. Paul.
Negotiations were closed Friday for the purchase by the White Sox of Catcher Ray Schalk of the Milwaukee team. The terms of the purchase were not disclosed, but it is known that President Comiskey of the Sox bid higher than several major league owners.
Buy a Former Pop Boy

Kid Smith, the Birmingham pitcher who was sold to the White Sox, was selling peanuts and soft drinks in the ball park at Birmingham two years ago. This year he has won 14 games and lost four, the best record in the league.
   2. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 04:58 AM (#4204046)
Today's Birthday Team features an eight-time All Star catcher, a ridiculously athletic outfield, and the best bullpen I can ever remember seeing on one of these teams. Jeff Zimmerman would be the closer on a lot of Birthday Teams; he's the sixth-best reliever born on August 9. Bob Scanlan had a perfectly cromulent career of 536.2 IP over nine seasons and wouldn't get anywhere near the 25-man roster.

C: Ted Simmons
1B: Phil Todt
2B: Julian Javier
3B: Mike Lamb
SS: Milt Bolling
LF: Deion Sanders
CF: Tommie Agee
RF: Jason Heyward

SP: Claude Osteen
SP: Matt Morris
SP: Matt Young
SP: Scott Karl
SP: Fred Sanford
RP: Troy Percival
RP: Paul Lindblad
RP: Bill Campbell
RP: Jason Frasor
RP: Brian Fuentes

Manager: Ralph Houk
Wilder than a truckload of starving kangaroos: Vance Lovelace
Blass Disease victim: Kevin Saucier
   3. Walt Davis Posted: August 09, 2012 at 05:46 AM (#4204050)
Wait, Fred Sanford is not worthy of comment?

That's actually a damned impressive pitching staff top to bottom.
   4. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:42 AM (#4204058)
   5. BochysFingers Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:15 AM (#4204079)
Indeed, this team in general is one of the better I've seen, as long you got past Neon Deion wanting to play football in the fall.
   6. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4204105)
Wait, Fred Sanford is not worthy of comment?


It's coming, Elizabeth!
   7. beefshower Posted: August 09, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4204380)
So this past weekend I went to a flea market/ antique show and found an old photo of Jimmie Foxx swinging a telephone pole and it has some caption at the bottom about "put it across the plate and I'll hit it to China" or something like that. I'm at work right now and don't have the photo in front of me so that might not be the exact caption. Also it has a red Hillerich and Bradsby seal at the bottom corner of the photo. It's a little faded and dirty but in good enough condition to put in a frame or display. I talked to the guy I bought it from and he thought it was from a promotion from back in the 30's where if someone bought a player's model Louisville Slugger they gave them a photo of that player. I looked around online and can't find anything about the photo or the promotion so I was wondering if anyone here has come across a similar photo to the one I described or knew the story behind it. I don't think I have stumbled across some rare Honus Wagner type treasure or anything I'm just curious on what I spent five bucks on.

(Also, the box of photos I found this in had a bunch of old boxing and baseball photos and a ton of 1920's porn. It was crazy, I thought women only showed a little ankle back then when they were feeling racy, but the woman I saw in one of the photos laying across the hood of a Studebaker was definitely more revealing.)
   8. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:35 PM (#4204761)
Game of the day (yesterday): Rangers 10, Red Sox 9. Some games you can describe as see-saw battles, in which the teams keep trading the lead. This was kind of like that... but not quite.

Facing Josh Beckett, Texas stormed to an early advantage in the first. Ian Kinsler walked and stole second, and Elvis Andrus reached on a bunt single. Josh Hamilton then tripled both runners home, and Adrian Beltre followed with a sac fly to bring Hamilton in. Matt Harrison fared better than Beckett in the bottom of the inning, but not by much; Dustin Pedroia singled with two outs, Adrian Gonzalez doubled him in, and Gonzalez scored on Cody Ross's single. Will Middlebrooks then walked to put the tying run in scoring position before Ryan Lavarnway hit into an inning-ending force.

The starters settled in for the second, with Beckett working a 1-2-3 inning and Harrison allowing a double to Pedro Ciriaco but leaving him at third. Kinsler and Andrus both reached to start the third, but Beckett managed to strand both of them in scoring position, which allowed Ross's homer in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 3. Both teams were held scoreless again in the fourth; that ended quickly with the first batter in the fifth, as Mitch Moreland homered to put the Rangers back in the lead. Andrus singled later in the inning, and Hamilton followed that with a tater of his own, stretching the Texas edge back to three.

Carl Crawford led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple, and scored one out later on Gonzalez's double. After the second out, Middlebrooks and Lavarnway drew back-to-back walks, prompting Harrison's removal from the mound in favor of Roy Oswalt. Oswalt's first pitch escaped from catcher Geovany Soto (which makes me wonder if they didn't have the signs straight) for a run-scoring passed ball that moved the tying run to third, but the new pitcher rallied to strike out Kelly Shoppach and preserve the small advantage.

David Murphy started the sixth with a single, and Soto made up for his passed ball by launching a 2-run homer that more than outweighed the single tally he'd allowed to score. Clayton Mortensen replaced Beckett and registered the next three outs, and Oswalt set the Sox down in order in the sixth. Nelson Cruz took Mortensen deep in the seventh to pad Texas's lead to four.

That proved to be a valuable accomplishment. Oswalt allowed a hit to Pedroia and a double to Gonzalez, bringing in one run. Ross then walked, and Middlebrooks hoisted a game-tying 3-run homer to left. Maybe Oswalt was right to refuse to pitch a third inning the other day... Alexei Ogando replaced him and quickly recorded three tie-preserving outs, and Mortensen and Ogando both worked drama-free eighths.

Mortensen remained in the game to start the ninth; this has to be one of the longer regulation relief outings of the year, especially considering the fact that Beckett pitched 5+. Anyway, he walked Andrus and allowed a hit to Hamilton that put Elvis on third. Alfredo Aceves came in and allowed Beltre's second sac fly of the day, putting Texas ahead; no further runs scored in the inning, but despite allowing a double to Ross, Joe Nathan made sure that stayed true when the Sox were batting as well.

So it's not quite a normal see-saw game, because Boston never took the lead. It's more of a see-saw being used by two people of widely disparate weights, with the Rangers as the fat kid.
   9. The District Attorney Posted: August 09, 2012 at 06:49 PM (#4204768)
I noticed yesterday that Otis Nixon, who got 0 votes on the 2005 Hall of Fame ballot, had a mere 4 Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor points. Is that the lowest of anyone ever on the ballot? Probably not, but if so, who is? Is there any way to check this?

It's hard to remember guys who weren't even candidates off the top of your head. I checked Jim Deshaies (6) and Lenny Harris (8).
   10. The District Attorney Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:11 PM (#4204788)
(weren't even plausible candidates, should read)
   11. Good cripple hitter Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:14 PM (#4204791)
Is that the lowest of anyone ever on the ballot? Probably not, but if so, who is? Is there any way to check this?


You can flip through the ballots on baseball-reference and click on any player with 0-1 votes. I found Bobby Whitt (7) and Gary Disarcina (4) before I gave up.

Ooh! I had a hunch that the obvious answer is 'someone who received a vote in the earliest days of HOF voting.' I randomly chose 55, and Charlie Berry, at 4.5 career WAR and a 0 on the HOF monitor received votes in two different years. I'm not sure if that's what you're looking for, I can't remember when the HOF started sending out official ballots.

Edit: Gates Brown appeared on two ballots in the 80s and also has a 0 in the Monitor score.
   12. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:19 PM (#4204799)
I noticed yesterday that Otis Nixon, who got 0 votes on the 2005 Hall of Fame ballot, had a mere 4 Bill James Hall of Fame Monitor points. Is that the lowest of anyone ever on the ballot? Probably not, but if so, who is? Is there any way to check this?

B-R's yearly ballot results links include a sortable column for HOF Monitor score. The 2006 ballot included Gary DiSarcina, who also scored a 4. He and Nixon are tied for the lowest score since 2000; I'll probably go back and look at the other ballots later, but I have another GotD to write up at the moment...
   13. Good cripple hitter Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:28 PM (#4204808)
Looking through a few more years, Art Howe (1991) is the most recent player to appear on the ballot with a 0 on the Hall of Fame Monitor. My favourite is Terry "lucky to be in ####### baseball" Crowley, whose only leaderboard appearance on baseball-reference is his 0 votes on the 1989 HoF ballot.

I also discovered that Dave Stieb scores staggeringly low on pretty much all of the HOF tests.
   14. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4204810)
Did something happen to the ballots between 1991 and 1992? In 1992 or more recently, I didn't look at every player who got 0 or 1 vote, but the lowest ones I saw were Danny Jackson with 6 and Terry Puhl with 8.

Then 1990 and 1991 both have more players than any of the more recent ballots, several players I've never heard of, and several near-zero scores (Geoff Zahn 5, Bob Bailor 2, John Wathan 2, Mike Jorgensen 4, Roy Howell 6, Jose Morales 5, and Art Howe, Champ Summers, and Tony Scott all seem to have zero).
   15. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4204811)
I'm not sure when the actual ballots started, but my favorite WTF HoF vote was in 1950, for this guy.
   16. Kiko Sakata Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:35 PM (#4204813)
Then 1990 and 1991 both have more players than any of the more recent ballots


There's a screening committee currently that decides who appears on the official ballot - not everybody who played 10 years even makes the HOF ballot these days. At some time, the ballot simply listed anybody who had played at least 10 seasons. I have no idea the specific year when they changed this, though.
   17. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:38 PM (#4204815)
Game of the day (last year): Rockies 10, Reds 7. Homer Bailey shut out the Rockies in the first inning. That... was an aberration.

Jason Hammel walked Fred Lewis (who was leading off... shudder) and Joey Votto, then gave up a 3-run bomb to Jay Bruce. In the second, Todd Helton singled, and Seth Smith followed with a 2-run homer. After Hammel contained the Cincy offense in the bottom of the inning, Mark Ellis singled, stayed at first through two outs, and then was running (of course) on a full-count pitch to Helton. Helton dropped the ball softly into the left-center field gap; he stopped at first, but Ellis came all the way home with the tying run, becoming the rare player to score from first on a single without throwing-related weirdness.

Smith decided that play involved too much small ball for this game, and promptly hit his second homer of the day to give Colorado a 5-3 lead.

Edgar Renteria led off the bottom of the third with a double, and came in one out later on Bruce's single. Todd Frazier struck out, but Drew Stubbs homered to left, quickly returning the lead to the Reds. Sam LeCure came on for Bailey to begin the fourth; he walked one batter and hit another, but kept the Rockies scoreless in the inning. Hammel actually managed a 1-2-3 effort in the bottom of the fourth, which meant that Troy Tulowitzki's single followed by the 2-run homer by Todd Helton gave the lead back to the Rockies in the fifth. Two walks and a double play put a runner on third with two out, which resulted in Hammel being pulled for pinch hitter Chris Nelson; Nelson grounded out, limiting Colorado's advantage to one.

Votto drew a one-out walk from Matt Reynolds in the fifth, then unsuccessfully tried to take second when Bruce flied out to Carlos Gonzalez. Gonzalez singled against Jose Arredondo in the sixth, and Tulowitzki's walk moved him to second, but Helton grounded out to leave them there. Josh Roenicke maintained the score in the bottom of the sixth, and Arredondo did the same in the top of the seventh, which set the stage for Brandon Phillips. Entering as a pinch hitter for Arredondo, Phillips turned on the first pitch from Rex Brothers and crushed it into the upper deck in left, tying the game at 7. Cincinnati would put two more runners on and advance them to second and third, but Matt Belisle came on for Brothers to strand them.

Facing Bill Bray, Dexter Fowler led off the eighth with a single. After Ellis popped up a bunt, Gonzalez reminded his manager that smallball tactics had been unnecessary to this point in the game, belting a go-ahead 2-run homer into the batter's eye in center. The Rockies would strand two runners in the inning, then add an insurance run on an Ellis double in the ninth, but since Rafael Betancourt and Huston Street followed the homer with two perfect innings of relief, no further scoring was needed by the offense.

Not every run in this game was scored on a home run - but 14 of the 17 were, and all of the scoring innings except for the last, relatively irrelevant one, included home runs.

Welcome to Great American Ballpark.
   18. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 09, 2012 at 07:52 PM (#4204827)
Looking over some of the ballots (past and projected) shows some fairly weird HOF Monitor results - for instance, B-R gives Doug DeCinces a mere 12 in HOF Monitor, while Damaso Marte has a 13.

There's probably a trivia question in here, actually - best players with tiny HOF Monitor scores.
   19. Good cripple hitter Posted: August 09, 2012 at 08:27 PM (#4204851)
I'm not sure when the actual ballots started, but my favorite WTF HoF vote was in 1950, for this guy.


The last time his name came up here, Chris Jaffe suggested that he was a baseball lifer who was dying, so a sportswriter decided to give him a vote.
   20. AndrewJ Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:30 PM (#4204891)
I also discovered that Dave Stieb scores staggeringly low on pretty much all of the HOF tests.

He was a very good pitcher, but his win and strikeout totals (single-season & career) weren't exceptional.
   21. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:43 PM (#4204902)
Looking over some of the ballots (past and projected) shows some fairly weird HOF Monitor results - for instance, B-R gives Doug DeCinces a mere 12 in HOF Monitor, while Damaso Marte has a 13.
The HoF Monitor rewards team success to some extent, right? Marte was on two WS winners (with the Yankees and White Sox) so that might be driving his.
   22. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 09, 2012 at 09:49 PM (#4204908)
The HoF Monitor rewards team success to some extent, right? Marte was on two WS winners (with the Yankees and White Sox) so that might be driving his.

To some extent, but not especially for relievers. From what I can tell, he gets 7 points from individual playoff stats (5 WS relief appearances, 1 win), and 6 points from seasonal ERAs (one below 2, two others below 3). The seasonal ERA bonus applying to relievers is a bug, I imagine.
   23. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 09, 2012 at 10:37 PM (#4204947)
It was crazy, I thought women only showed a little ankle back then when they were feeling racy, but the woman I saw in one of the photos laying across the hood of a Studebaker was definitely more revealing.)

I am Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes, and I approve this message.
   24. The District Attorney Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4204971)
The seasonal ERA bonus applying to relievers is a bug, I imagine.
I dunno, that'd be a pretty big bug. I think it might be more the type of thing where each item is designed to be very easy to calculate and the flaws in each individual item are designed to cancel each other out. (Lenny Harris is getting as many points for hitting .300 in 200 AB seasons as Tony Gwynn would for hitting .350 in 650 AB seasons, but it's not like Harris is getting anything else, so you don't need to tweak the batting average/AB requirement to make Gwynn be better.)

Anyway, thanks all for the research!
   25. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:06 PM (#4204975)
Lenny Harris is getting as many points for hitting .300 in 200 AB seasons as Tony Gwynn would for hitting .350 in 650 AB seasons, but it's not like Harris is getting anything else, so you don't need to tweak the batting average/AB requirement to make Gwynn be better

Actually, there's an extra bonus for hitting .350... also, B-R throws a 100-game qualifier on the batting average bonuses, but no similar qualifier is listed for low-ERA seasons. (I've sent a question in to the staff about that to double check.)
   26. The District Attorney Posted: August 09, 2012 at 11:17 PM (#4204982)
No, there's a bonus for hitting over .350 :P

(Not that I checked anyone who hit .350 to see if it adds up how I expect, but, that's what it says in the B-R glossary. I suppose by the same token, I should have said .301 for Harris. Anyway, you get my point. Let's say .301 and .349, that solves it. ;)

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