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Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bob Friend

Eligible in 1972.

John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 05, 2006 at 09:06 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: March 05, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#1884377)
Bob could have used a friend or two at bat when he was on the mound.
   2. DavidFoss Posted: March 05, 2006 at 11:24 PM (#1884494)
He was a pretty bad hitter himself, but that comes nowhere near explaining his record.

Bob Friend is the anti-Burdette.

Lee Sinin's Support-Neutral records:

Friend: 228-199
Burdette: 173-174

Actual records:

Friend: 197-230
Burdette: 203-144

(Chris J probaby has more details on the run support)
   3. Dag Nabbit at Posted: March 06, 2006 at 04:45 AM (#1884909)
(Chris J probaby has more details on the run support)

But of course. His run support was bad, but nowhere near bad enough to justify his record. His RSI was 92.29. I'll give you a list of the 5 pitchers above & the 5 below him for context:

Charlie Hough 93.33
Eddie Rommell 92.90
Larry Jackson 92.79
Mike Morgan 92.65
Ted Breitenstein 92.32
Bob Friend 92.29
Dolf Luque 91.81
Curt Schilling 91.57 (doesn't include 2005)
Tom Candiotti 91.51
Mark Langston 90.56
Dazzy Vance 90.47

(clip and save that for when Schilling becomes eligible, huh? Wow).

Just missing the list is Bobo Newsom (89.84). Steve Rogers, Pink Hawley, Thornton Lee, and Nap Rucker also had worse run support.

Please note, that Friendd was an incredibly bad hitter. I don't have the pitcher OPS+ stuff with me at the moment, but if he wasn't the worst hitting pitcher of his generation, he was in the bottom handful. And frankly, I think he did have the worst OPS+ of any pitcher whose career was centered in the 1950s.

Adjust Friend's W/L record and he ends up at 212-215. Still sucks. His real problem? Historic underachiever - won 12 fewer games than he should've based on his real life RA/9IP and run support. For context, here's the worst of the liveballers:

Wilbur Cooper -10 (borderline deadballer)
Carl Mays -11
Bob Friend -12
Fergie Jenkins - 12 (I'm pretty sure there's an error here somewhere, so probably best to ignore this one)
Dolf Luque -12
Frank Tanana -12
Red Ruffing -15
Bob Shawkey -15
Curt Simmons -18
Dizzy Trout -22

Most of these guys are from the 1920s. Only four worse than Friend.

Sure makes Dizzy Trout look like a big pile of poo, don't it?

I never did an unearned run adjuster for him. I wonder how he'd come out in that.
   4. OCF Posted: March 06, 2006 at 05:23 AM (#1884963)
My RA+ methods have him at 212-190. His IP/decision are a little low, which is why I show fewer decisions than the Lee Sinins method quoted by David Foss. But it's not the unearned runs.

Please note, that Friendd was an incredibly bad hitter.

Well, compared to Koufax, he struck out less and had far more sacrifices. Come to think of it, Koufax's sacrifice totals look awfully low - he couldn't even bunt?
   5. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 06, 2006 at 03:56 PM (#1885458)
While the low run support obviously affected Curt Schilling, during his peak seasons (I woudl say 99-04) I always thought he got some decent run support, But I guess not. The late 90's Phillies couldnt' have been that bad could they?

Still, Schilling will have to be a check your emotions guy for me, there are very few guys I have such a strong dislike for in baseball history.

And about Bob Friend, he doesn't look to be good enough to make my top 75.
   6. Dr. Chaleeko Posted: March 06, 2006 at 04:29 PM (#1885531)
Maybe Schill's stingy-with-the-runs teammates have all been Democrats?
   7. Dag Nabbit at Posted: March 06, 2006 at 04:34 PM (#1885542)
I don't have the info with me at the moment, but the Schilling data might pre-date 2004 as well. I put up that table using a really out of date print out, & from memory, the 90 number sounds like pre-04 & he had really nice run support in '04. Sorry for the mistake.
   8. Mark Shirk (jsch) Posted: March 06, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#1885664)
Still, '04 cant' have that much of an effect can it? Not challenging yoru data just a little surprised that the late 90s Phillies were THAT bad. Though I guess he didn't receive great run support in Arizona either, even when they were winning.
   9. Dag Nabbit at Posted: March 06, 2006 at 05:45 PM (#1885686)
Depends what you mean by that much of an effect. He had 338 GS before '04 and 32 more in '04. If his RSI was 120 (which my incredibly hazy memory recollects him having), he moves up to 92.68. Run support still stinks, but if it was higher than 120, it moves up more. I think he's now around (but still under) 93.
   10. jingoist Posted: March 07, 2006 at 07:04 PM (#1887144)
Bob Friend.
He was well liked in Pittsburgh; he and Vern Law were probably our two "pitching favorites" during the 50's and 60's.

Both had very good years in 1960 (duh) when the Bucs won the whole shebang, but the Pirate pitcher who never seemed to get any run support was Ronnie Kline: "the Callery, PA hummer"!

All during the mid-to-late 50's Ronnie struggled to get run support and grew very frustrated. I remember a Bob Prince interview after a game with Ronnie and his alluding to the fact that the Bucs bats would go silent whenever Ronnie pitched. Of course, like Friend, Kline was a terrible batter and seldom ever helped his own cause.

Bob Friend, Pittsburgh's (discount) version of Warren Spahn.
Steady performer; pencil him into the lineup every 4 days.
Unfortunately for Bob, and us Pirate fans, he had about 1/2 of Warren's level of talent.
   11. Paul Wendt Posted: March 08, 2006 at 11:37 PM (#1889645)
On Bob Friend there is a remarkable disagreement between the two systems, Win Shares and WARP.

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