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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Yankees’ Jacoby Ellsbury breaks Pete Rose catcher’s interference mark

[Ellsbury] reached base on catcher’s interference for the 30th time, passing the mark that had been held by Pete Rose. [...] Rose, baseball’s career hits leader, had 15,890 plate appearances. Ellsbury reached the record in 5,308.

Obscure records are the best.

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:27 AM | 48 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: catcher's interference, general, new york yankees, records, yankees

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   1. Hotel Coral Esix Snead (tmutchell) Posted: September 12, 2017 at 02:57 PM (#5530259)
During the radio broadcast last night, Waldman remarked something to the effect of Ellsbury getting on base through catcher's interference, which he's great at, and John Sterling laughed, "Oh yeah, he's the 'Babe Ruth' of THAT!"
   2. BDC Posted: September 12, 2017 at 03:21 PM (#5530275)
Has Ellsbury ever been cited for going out of his way to hit the catcher's mitt? Analogous to not getting the HBP if you dive into the ball, though that's almost never called, either.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 12, 2017 at 03:25 PM (#5530278)
Has Ellsbury ever been cited for going out of his way to hit the catcher's mitt?

It's either that he (at least sometimes) does that, or he must stand super-deep in the box and there's something unique about his timing or swing mechanics that puts the catcher's mitt in his path at triple the frequency of any other player ever.
   4. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 12, 2017 at 03:42 PM (#5530290)
Has Ellsbury ever been cited for going out of his way to hit the catcher's mitt?


It's either that he (at least sometimes) does that, or he must stand super-deep in the box and there's something unique about his timing or swing mechanics that puts the catcher's mitt in his path at triple the frequency of any other player ever.

In last night's play, it didn't look like he was doing anything particularly out of the ordinary. It almost looked as if Ramos was positioning himself for a possible pickoff attempt, and that his glove might have been slightly closer to the plate than it ordinarily might have been, in anticipation of a quick throw.

And even with a rate triple of that of any other batter, that still works out to only about 1 in every 177 PA's. It's hard to believe that this is anything more than a somewhat more elongated backswing combined with a particular set of circumstances.
   5. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 12, 2017 at 03:53 PM (#5530303)
"I'll take completely and totally obscure baseball records for $1000, Alex..."
   6. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5530315)
"I'll take completely and totally obscure baseball records market inefficiencies for $1000, Alex..."

Updated it for the Twitter age.
   7. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:06 PM (#5530316)
In any event, he's gotta be a lock for the HOF now, right? Assuming he doesn't bet on baseball and sleep with underage girls, that is.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:22 PM (#5530330)
In any event, he's gotta be a lock for the HOF now, right? Assuming he doesn't bet on baseball and sleep with underage girls, that is.

Not all Hall of Fames are quite so unforgiving.
   9. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:24 PM (#5530332)
Jerry Lewis bet on baseball????
   10. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:48 PM (#5530359)
I wonder if there is a particular location/pitch that makes CI more likely. Like maybe Ellsbury is a sucker for swinging at low, inside pitches so he gets pitched there a lot, he swings a lot, he's way late on the swing because it's a loopy swing. You'd think it would have to be some perfect combination of events that, taken on their own, aren't that rare but for nearly all batters don't happen in combination.

Now, somebody needs to dig out a scouting report where the guy says Ellsbury reminds him of Pete Rose.
   11. dlf Posted: September 12, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5530366)
I love seeing oddball records like this. Enjoyed watching Biggio climb the HBP ladder. Would love knowing who holds the ROE records and seeing yearly leaders. Or which pitcher commits / baserunner causes the most balks. Pretty much useless unless one is trying to calculate runs created to the second or third decimal, but fun little things.
   12. Heart of Matt Harvey Posted: September 12, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5530381)
Stands deep in the box, has a long backswing.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 12, 2017 at 05:26 PM (#5530384)
Jerry Lewis bet on baseball????

Did he bet on baseball? Hell, he gambled away his Muscular Dystrophy winnings by betting it all on the Bluefield Blue Jays, but fortunately for him, his cousin was there to take the rap.

Moral: Don't hang around with anyone named Jerry Lewis, with or without middle names.
   14. Batman Posted: September 12, 2017 at 05:37 PM (#5530400)
Or which pitcher commits (...) the most balks.
Steve Carlton laps the field!
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 12, 2017 at 05:40 PM (#5530401)
13 - heh, yeah, that was a dumb typo made in haste.
   16. puck Posted: September 12, 2017 at 07:41 PM (#5530432)
Steve Carlton laps the field!


Did they not call balks before the 70's?
   17. AndrewJ Posted: September 12, 2017 at 08:13 PM (#5530440)
Finally, an all-time list where Dale Berra cracks the top 10.
   18. Walt Davis Posted: September 12, 2017 at 08:37 PM (#5530448)
Finally, an all-time list where Dale Berra cracks the top 10.

He's also the 2nd best Berra and 5th best Dale.

Murphy 46 WAR
Mitchell 19
Alexander 15
Long 10
Berra 5
Mohorcic 4
Murray 3
Thayer 2

I'm surprised to learn that Dale Sveum was below-replacement for his career. I'll also note that a lot of good players had Dale as their middle name, enough to knock DB out of the top 10.
   19. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5530569)
Finally, an all-time list where Dale Berra cracks the top 10.


Doesn't he hold the most homers in consecutive games record?
   20. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 12, 2017 at 11:15 PM (#5530570)
Cr*p, that was Dale Long...

Another Dale though!
   21. DFA Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:43 AM (#5530611)
Black ink, Jerry, black ink!
   22. The Keith Law Blog Blah Blah (battlekow) Posted: September 13, 2017 at 03:55 AM (#5530641)
What's the single-season record? Craig Counsell reached six times on CI in 2004.
   23. villageidiom Posted: September 13, 2017 at 08:11 AM (#5530649)
What's the single-season record? Craig Counsell reached six times on CI in 2004.
12, by Ellsbury last year.
   24. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 13, 2017 at 08:28 AM (#5530653)
What's the single-season record? Craig Counsell reached six times on CI in 2004.

12, by Ellsbury last year.


Doesn't anyone remember when they stopped the game, had a celebration on the field, and gave Ellsbury a golden (dented) catcher's mitt?
   25. DavidFoss Posted: September 13, 2017 at 08:44 AM (#5530657)
Doesn't anyone remember when they stopped the game, had a celebration on the field, and gave Ellsbury a golden (dented) catcher's mitt?

I watched the mlb.com replay of this week's record breaker wondering if I would see something like that. The announcers had no idea what had just happened. They did a bit of a "there's something you don't see every day" like it was an extremely rare event.
   26. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:05 AM (#5530663)
Did something change in his approach after he left Boston? I know he had a few CI with the Sox but it wasn't anything like this. Maybe it's just faulty memory on my part but I'd guess the CI breakdown at about 6 BOS/24 NYY despite playing longer in Boston.

Dumb question but is there something about how the Yankees draw their batter's or catcher's boxes? I would think even an inch or two would change things. Is there a park effect at work here?
   27. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:42 AM (#5530677)
Dumb question but is there something about how the Yankees draw their batter's or catcher's boxes? I would think even an inch or two would change things. Is there a park effect at work here?


If there were, you'd think it would affect a lot of the players, or at least a lot of the Yankee batters. It would seem the most likely explanation is a change in where Ellsbury lines up or a change in the type of swing he makes at certain pitches that is not what catchers have been conditioned to expect.

In either case, when I heard about it, I thought it was awesome (though I wonder if it's a situation like Carlton's balk record, where the CIs from guys before 1970 haven't been tabulated).

   28. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:47 AM (#5530681)
If there were, you'd think it would affect a lot of the players, or at least a lot of the Yankee batters. It would seem the most likely explanation is a change in where Ellsbury lines up or a change in the type of swing he makes at certain pitches that is not what catchers have been conditioned to expect.


Yeah but I think Ellsbury is already predisposed to get CI from the way he stands and swings so a slight change might affect him more often. That's why I'm curious if games at NYS have more CI (independent of Ellsbury) than others.

You're right though, it's pretty neat to have something like that. One of those little things that makes baseball so cool.
   29. RJ in TO Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:54 AM (#5530685)
I watched the mlb.com replay of this week's record breaker wondering if I would see something like that. The announcers had no idea what had just happened. They did a bit of a "there's something you don't see every day" like it was an extremely rare event.


For any batter other than Ellsbury, isn't it an extremely rare event? We're talking about something uncommon enough that B-R doesn't bother including it on their leaderboards.

I think the only non-Ellsbury incident I can remember of a CI was involving Craig Biggio (while still a catcher). On checking, it appears the batter was Paul Molitor, and the likely reason I recall this was because it was the All Star Game at the SkyDome.
   30. Tom T Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:00 AM (#5530692)
Stands deep in the box, has a long backswing.


I would assume this is the major factor.

In our youth org, our (visually) best catchers are kids who seem unafraid of the batter or the tipped ball. They tend to position themselves to have their glove go *just* under the player's bat as he is on the back portion of his swing (i.e., bringing the bat head to the strike zone). If a batter has a bit of a loop (i.e., drops down and then uppercuts) or simply extends the arms before rotating his body, the chance for a CI goes up appreciably when the pitch is anything higher than the knees. I say "visually" as these are the catchers who actually snag foul tip 3rd strikes and tend to be quickest to get ready -- ball transferred, standing and driving forward -- for a throw to a base. IF these traits are *actual* advantages for a catcher (seems logical, but eyes can be deceiving), than I would assume most MLB catchers are in a similar situation and a guy with a bit of a funky swing would definitely increase CI potential.
   31. Sweatpants Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:20 AM (#5530698)
I know he had a few CI with the Sox but it wasn't anything like this. Maybe it's just faulty memory on my part but I'd guess the CI breakdown at about 6 BOS/24 NYY despite playing longer in Boston.
It's 10/20.
   32. Nasty Nate Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:26 AM (#5530700)
Could the increased rate as his career progresses be a bat-speed thing?
   33. eric Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:31 AM (#5530703)
Or which pitcher commits (...) the most balks.
Steve Carlton laps the field!


That's very curious. I noticed he had a grand total of four balks through the first nine seasons of his career, and then was rarely under four in a full season for the rest of his career, with about 7 being the eye-balled median. People who saw him pitch, did he suddenly develop a borderline illegal pick-off move that he used relentlessly?
   34. Batman Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:41 AM (#5530710)
I don't know why Carlton starting balking, but there have been 20 player seasons with 9 or more balks. 14 of them were in 1988, when MLB decided fans wanted to see more balks, and three of the other six were Steve Carlton seasons. 1988 was Carlton's last season, and he only pitched 9.2 innings. He balked twice.
   35. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:27 AM (#5530755)
Last season, Edwin Encarnacion made SOLID contact with Gary Sanchez's glove and they didn't call catcher's interference, so I wonder if Ellsbury is doing something that makes it more obvious for umpires to catch. Or are they now almost EXPECTING it when Ellsbury comes to bat?

   36. michaelplank has knowledgeable eyes Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:48 AM (#5530782)
did he suddenly develop a borderline illegal pick-off move that he used relentlessly?


Yes. Not sure about the "suddenly" part, but all during the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was notorious for using a big, hesitating kick from the stretch, sometimes throwing over and getting called for not stepping toward the base. He was also known for picking off quite a few guys, but I haven't looked up the numbers.
   37. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:15 PM (#5530814)
Did something change in his approach after he left Boston? I know he had a few CI with the Sox but it wasn't anything like this. Maybe it's just faulty memory on my part but I'd guess the CI breakdown at about 6 BOS/24 NYY despite playing longer in Boston.

Dumb question but is there something about how the Yankees draw their batter's or catcher's boxes? I would think even an inch or two would change things. Is there a park effect at work here?

Well the first check on that should be looking at the home/road splits... which I am not going to take the effort to do, but still.
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5530841)
Did something change in his approach after he left Boston? I know he had a few CI with the Sox but it wasn't anything like this.

Not sure how Jose could have missed it, but ELLSBURY HASNT BEEN NEARLY AS GOOD PLAYING FOR THE YANKEES! So a guy who already stands in the back of the batters box with a long loopy swing, is now even later on the ball, making less contact with the ball and more with the catchers glove. Ellsbury's high rate of catchers interference seems not so much a skill but a poor consolation prize for his lack of ability at the more important aspects of hitting. Perhaps I'm just disappointed about Ellsbury's lack of production, since I don't know that bad hitters in general have higher rates of catchers interference.
   39. eric Posted: September 13, 2017 at 12:49 PM (#5530852)
Looking into it more, Carlton apparently holds the record for most career pick-offs with 145 (sources are somewhat questionable, however). Second is Pettitte with 100. I wonder what the overall WAR value of Carlton's high-risk, high-reward move to first would be?

Since the theme is obscure records, I found a couple more:

Most Career Pick-offs, RHP: 73, Charlie Hough
Most Pick-offs, Season: 23, Jerry Garvin, 1977, as a 21yo rookie


   40. The Duke Posted: September 13, 2017 at 01:40 PM (#5530886)
I thought every throw Carlton made to first was a balk. They finally started calling it late in his career
   41. Batman Posted: September 13, 2017 at 01:51 PM (#5530893)
Highest career SB% against for P giving up at least 50 SB: Bobby Jenks, 96%
Lowest career SB% against for P giving up at least 50 SB: Jim Perry and Mel Harder, 39%
   42. puck Posted: September 13, 2017 at 09:59 PM (#5531263)
Lowest career SB% against for P giving up at least 50 SB: Jim Perry and Mel Harder, 39%


I was wondering about Terry Mulholland but he was just above that, 41.2%. Plus he didn't meet your criteria 35 SB allowed, 50 CS.
   43. Howie Menckel Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:09 PM (#5531268)
Most Pick-offs, Season: 23, Jerry Garvin, 1977, as a 21yo rookie

that's the Blue Jays' first season!

the "aces" were
Dave Lemanczyk, 13-16, 4.25 ERA in 252 IP
Garvin, 10-18, 4.19 ERA in 245 IP
Jesse Jefferson, 9-17, 4.31 ERA in 217 IP
Jeff Byrd, 2-13, 6.18 ERA in 87 IP

Byrd lost 13 games in 17 starts at age 20 and never appeared in the majors before or after this year

oldies Bill Singer and Steve Hargan got a handful of starts, too
   44. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: September 13, 2017 at 10:58 PM (#5531282)
What's a backswing, in baseball?
   45. Joe Bivens Will Take a Steaming Dump Posted: September 13, 2017 at 11:00 PM (#5531283)
CI occurs when the batter's swing hits the catchers mitt. Not the backswing. Backswings are a thing in golf not baseball.
   46. RMc's Unenviable Situation Posted: September 14, 2017 at 08:21 AM (#5531343)
So Ellsbury knows how to get to first base, repeatedly, through a weird set of circumstances?

Sounds like a junior high school dance.
   47. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2017 at 02:30 AM (#5532224)
CI occurs when the batter's swing hits the catchers mitt. Not the backswing. Backswings are a thing in golf not baseball.

Sure. When people say "backswing" they usually mean a "loopy" swing where the bat spends a lot of time going through the zone behind the plate rather than "straight" down through the zone. Closer to a golf swing than ... I dunno, a lumberjack's swing? Swings of guys who swing at a lot of stuff on the outside corner must also spend a fair amount of time in a CI-friendly zone.
   48. Sunday silence Posted: September 15, 2017 at 03:02 AM (#5532229)
I think it maybe helpful to say that CI occurs before the bat makes contact with the ball, and most likely when the bat is moving forward. A lot of times the bat moves backward just before the swing but its not likely to be in position to contact the catchers mitt. In case someone is confused.

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