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— A Look at Baseball's All-Time Best

Monday, June 26, 2006

Al Kaline

Eligible in 1980.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: June 26, 2006 at 03:23 AM | 117 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. DL from MN Posted: August 31, 2013 at 09:10 AM (#4531820)
If Stanley was substantially better than Mays and Kaline was the best ever in RF you should have never seen a ball hit the grass. That makes Lolich a lot less impressive actually. All the Tigers' pitchers would have needed to do was throw it over the plate and their outfield for the ages would have converted every fly ball into an out.

You keep leaning on "had to see them" because this doesn't pass the smell test. I don't doubt Stanley was a good outfielder and I suppose for some brief period of time (a week?) may have been the best ever but if he was really that good his career would have lasted longer.
   102. BDC Posted: August 31, 2013 at 09:33 AM (#4531824)
Lolich was not a good hitter. He was lifetime .110 w/ little walks

For a pitcher in any era, Lolich was notable for walking a lot. Over 10% of his PAs were walks: that's a better rate than Pete Rose or Rod Carew, and it's remarkable for a pitcher with a career of his length (1,017 PAs, 105 walks). Unfortunately, as you note, he couldn't hit worth a damn.
   103. Jimmy Posted: August 31, 2013 at 12:37 PM (#4531876)
i probably saw the game that you are talking about. but i dont recall it.

to try and explain an exact situation, would require me to be back in that situation.

so i can just offer you a general explanation.

the tigers were always a great hitting team. scoring was not their problem. one run behind was nothing, with all their hitting.

but you also need to stop the other team from scoring.

lolich was that good. once he was on, he was like a freight train. he kept coming and coming at ya. and he lasted and lasted and lasted. that in itself is an intimidating factor to the opposition.

i am pretty sure that i would have wanted them to leave lolich in. they almost always did.

with regards to base stealing, the tigers just didnt need to do that often enough, that anyone would be that good. in all the years i watched them, i cant even recall them having one person who was a threat. but they would lead the league in home runs almost every year. taking a chance of your man being thrown out is not generally good odds, when you have great hitting. i never wanted them to run kaline. i just felt that sliding, etc. was just another way to get an injury.

northrup was a better than average center fielder. and he was a yaz-like dangerous kind of hitter. northrup and yaz even looked alike, when batting. it was a real dilemma for the tigers. but injuries occurred, kaline no longer played double headers, he probably needed some other days to rest. and they replaced horton in the later innings, if they no longer needed his bat.

you would have to check, but i think there were some years in which stanley played almost every day ? probably the 4 years he won gold gloves - LOL !!! i dont recall stanley's arm so much. it was his magical ability to be wherever the ball was that made him so remarkable. to change an old nursery rhyme, wherever the baseball went, stanley was sure to go !!!

there was once a time when football players played both offense and defense, but i think that was before i was born ? i know it would be a huge change to the game in one way, but having an offense and a defense in baseball would enhance the quality of play on both ends.

i havent followed sports since sometime in the 70s, so my knowledge afterwards is a blank slate. but i have happy sports memories. as far as baseball, seeing stanley play center, kaline play right, rodriguez throw from third, and mccovey up at the plate are tops on my list.
   104. Jimmy Posted: August 31, 2013 at 12:48 PM (#4531881)
Actally Lolich was not a good hitter. He was lifetime .110 w/ little walks or power. In game 5 Detroit is down by a run in bottom of the 7th with one out. They are down 3 games to 1 so this is almost the end. And he sends Lolich up there. That seems pretty strange to me.

i probably saw this game, but i dont recall it. to give you an exact explanation would require me to be back in that situation. i can see why one might think of that as being strange.

so i can just offer you a general explanation.

the tigers were great at hitting. but you also need to stop the other team from scoring.

once lolich was on, he was like a freight train. he kept on coming, and just lasted and lasted and lasted.

i am pretty sure that i would have wanted them to leave lolich in, even in the situation as you have described. he was that dependable.
   105. Jimmy Posted: August 31, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4531882)
sorry for the double post. my original post was not showing up, so i thought the computer ate it !!
   106. Jimmy Posted: August 31, 2013 at 01:52 PM (#4531912)
btw, here is the box score

Bottom of the 7th, Tigers Batting, Behind 2-3, Cardinals' Nelson Briles facing 8-9-1
b7 2-3 0 --- O DET D. Wert N. Briles -4% 27% Strikeout Looking
b7 2-3 1 --- DET M. Lolich N. Briles 5% 32% Single to RF (Fly Ball to Short RF)
Joe Hoerner replaces Nelson Briles pitching and batting 9th
b7 2-3 1 1-- DET D. McAuliffe J. Hoerner 8% 40% Single to RF; Lolich to 2B
b7 2-3 1 12- DET M. Stanley J. Hoerner 13% 54% Walk; Lolich to 3B; McAuliffe to 2B
b7 2-3 1 123 RR DET A. Kaline J. Hoerner 33% 87% Single (CF-RF); Lolich Scores; McAuliffe Scores; Stanley to 3B
b7 4-3 1 1-3 R DET N. Cash J. Hoerner 7% 94% Single to RF; Stanley Scores; Kaline to 3B
Ron Willis replaces Joe Hoerner pitching and batting 9th
b7 5-3 1 1-3 O DET W. Horton R. Willis -3% 91% Foul Flyball: 3B
b7 5-3 2 1-3 O DET J. Northrup R. Willis -2% 89% Groundout: 1B unassisted
3 runs, 4 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB. Cardinals 3, Tigers 5.

yea, i can see it more clearly, now. we had just gotten rid of wert. there was one out with nobody on. you dont get rid of lolich at that time, for sure. the tigers still would have had 2 innings left, so all their good batters would all get one more chance. i was thinking that maybe they had someone in scoring position, when you first posted ?

i guess they got luckier than they expected, with lolich actually getting a hit !!

the tigers were the best hitting team in baseball. wert and the pitcher were their only 2 weak hitters. and they still put stanley batting second. i didnt mind having stanley at the plate - he wasnt an easy out, by any means.
   107. Jimmy Posted: August 31, 2013 at 08:28 PM (#4532078)
hi sunday,

all i know for sure is that one of them is lying.

the following is an account from mcauliffe about the incident

On his celebrated skirmish with Tommy John in 1968: “In the first inning I got a hit and scored from second on Kaline’s hit. I was a pest on the bases and I scored a lot of runs. Tommy John was a sinker slider low ball pitcher but my next time up he threw two right at my head. On 3 and 2 I was looking for a good pitch to hit but he threw a ball over my head to the backstop. I am sure it came from his manager Eddie Stanky. I wasn’t going to charge the mound but I dusted myself off and glanced at him when I was trotting to first. When he took two steps in to get a new ball he said ‘what are you looking at?’ with a four letter word. All I saw were stars and I ran out to the mound. As I charged he lowered himself into me and broke his collarbone.

and from tommy john

Here’s what Tommy John had to say…
Everyone knows about my ligament transplant, but that wasn’t my first serious injury. In 1968, I was 10-5 with a 1.98 ERA and pitching against the Tigers in August. A 3-2 pitch slipped out of my hand and sailed over Dick McAuliffe’s head. I didn’t throw at him, but McAuliffe was yelling at me as he went to first, and he charged the mound.

My first thought was to tackle him. McAuliffe drove his knee into my left shoulder and separated it. Dr. Levinthal (the White Sox physician) wanted to operate, but I got a second opinion. The white Sox were quite upset about it, since no one did that in those days. They examined my shoulder in spring training in ’69 and said it was good and tight.
   108. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: August 31, 2013 at 09:29 PM (#4532120)
news story about the mcauliffe/john fight also includes Phil Regan getting caught with Vaseline...,2221303
   109. Jimmy Posted: August 31, 2013 at 10:01 PM (#4532134)
i realize i may have a bias for detroit.

but i just wonder if the umpire actually heard john, and told the authorities "under the table" ?

mcauliffe was definitely a feisty guy. it would not surprise me at all that if provoked, he would use violence.

but why was he only suspended for 5 days, if tommy john's story is correct ?

i dont think baseball wants the true story revealed, so it is unlikely that it will ever come out.

i wish i could see the video of it, to see just where john, mcauliffe and the umpire were in relation to one another.

could john have really said something to mcauliffe such that mcauliffe would hear it, but the umpire would not ?

i do suspect that mcauliffe was provoked. it wouldnt take much after 2 balls.

if i recall, tommy john was a control type of pitcher. one ball got away ? possibly.

but 2 balls ? i doubt it, but then again, i am a tiger fan, so i probably cant totally eliminate all bias.
   110. Jimmy Posted: August 31, 2013 at 10:24 PM (#4532156)
btw, here is a pretty interesting write-up on stanley
   111. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: September 01, 2013 at 12:08 AM (#4532213)
For a pitcher in any era, Lolich was notable for walking a lot. Over 10% of his PAs were walks: that's a better rate than Pete Rose or Rod Carew, and it's remarkable for a pitcher with a career of his length (1,017 PAs, 105 walks). Unfortunately, as you note, he couldn't hit worth a damn.

Last I checked, Lolich was the answer to one of my favorite trivia questions: he's the only player with at least 1000 PA as a hitter and more walks than hits.
   112. Jimmy Posted: September 01, 2013 at 01:40 AM (#4532241)
here is a clip after game 5

kubek talks with lolich and kaline
   113. Jimmy Posted: September 02, 2013 at 01:57 AM (#4532723)
thanks sunday for the post in the koufax thread. btw, feel free to ask me more questions about the 68 or 72 tigers.

at the moment of asking, i may have no recall. however, that does not mean i cant give you a good answer. it just means i may have to do some research.

for example, once i saw the box score of the lolich game, i could instantly tell you why they did not take lolich out.

before the tigers batted, the mgr would have pretty much already written off the 7th inning, knowing that wert and the pitcher were up. in fact, they would have been happy about it - getting rid of their 2 worse batters in that inning, and then still having 2 innings of all their best hitters one more time. like i said, the other 7 were pretty darn good.

if wert had gotten on, they still would not have taken lolich out. i dont recall how good a bunter he was, but they probably would have had him try anyways, hoping to get wert to 2nd with 2 chances of a good hitter singling him home.

lolich was the tiger's ticket to keep the other guys from scoring. there were few instances where he came out.

we did have an excellent relief pitcher in john hiller, but i dont recall just what years he played. but even so, lolich would not have come out in that particular game. that is how good lolich was. once he was out there, warmed up, and throwing, you just left him there until the cows came home. cuz that is how long he lasted.

now, if the batting order turned over again, and lolich was at bat in the 9th, and we needed a hit, then he would have come out - unless there were no outs. we would have given them 1 out on lolich, and 2 more tries to get a guy home.

if you can set up an exact scenario for me, i can pretty much tell you what we would have done, assuming of course that mayo smith did not make one of his stupid ass decisions !!
   114. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 04, 2013 at 03:47 PM (#4534302)
Al Kaline was the favorite non-New York player of one of my office mates because Al Kaline was the first MLB player he ever got an autograph from
   115. Jimmy Posted: September 05, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4534806)
one of my favorite kaline memories is when he threw home against brock in the series.

i thought brock was going. he had gotten way down the line.

kaline's throw would have gotten him.

but i dont think brock was ever gonna go.

while i could never tell for sure, it looked like brock went back before he knew where the throw was going.

i am gonna see if that throw is on youtube. it is a pretty distant memory at this point.
   116. Jimmy Posted: September 05, 2013 at 12:29 AM (#4534810)
well, i couldnt find it. but here is something that you guys will probably enjoy a lot more.
   117. Jimmy Posted: September 05, 2013 at 07:59 PM (#4535322)
here is a nice little article on mickey lolich, if anyone is interested
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