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Wednesday, January 20, 2021

DORKTOWN: THE 1976 OAKLAND A’S STOLE NEARLY A MILE WORTH OF BASES VS. ONE TEAM

But one team in particular, way more than any other team, was the subject of their wrath. And the identity of that team — the Minnesota Twins — does not make a whole helluva lot of sense.

Across 18 A’s-Twins games, Oakland thrice stole at least seven bases. That was half of the entire MLB total:

The Minnesota Twins employed three catchers 1976: Butch Wynegar, Glenn Borgmann, and Phil Roof, and each of the three had one of those games done on their watch. In two of the three, the A’s reached nine stolen bases against ’em, which:

In one of those games, they stole twelve (12) bases. No one else in the live-ball era has ever stolen 11 bases in a game, and only twice (a 2000 Marlins game and a 1996 Rockies game) has a team stolen 10.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 20, 2021 at 09:57 PM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics

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   1. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 20, 2021 at 10:16 PM (#6000902)
And yet the Twins won 11 of 18 games against the A's that year.
   2. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: January 21, 2021 at 06:29 AM (#6000923)
Not gonna lie, in the preview I read the headline of "The 1976 Oakland A's stole nearly a mile worth of ..." and my brain autofilled in "cocaine" to complete the sentence.
Mea culpa, Oakland A's, my bad, 1970's ...
   3. Rally Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6000936)
I started following the Angels in 1982. I remember Don Baylor as a big beefy guy who never played the field and hit the ball out of the ballpark. It was amazing to me to look at the back of his baseball card and see only 6 years earlier he stole 52 bases. It was a career high, but not really a fluke, Baylor stole 20+ every year from 1972 to 1979.

Even by 1982 he had some speed, 10 steals in 14 attempts, and a year later he stole 17. But he sure didn't look like a base stealer then.

And they stole all those bases without help from Rickey Henderson, who was 17 that year and playing in the Northwest League after being drafted in the 4th round.
   4. winnipegwhip Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:44 AM (#6000939)
I went through the box scores. The Twins had their share of base stealers as well. So Gene Mauch probably did not have a problem with the strategy but rather with the inability to stop the A's.

When I kept looking at the numbers I kept thinking Billy Martin was managing this team. It just seems like this would have his signature all over this type of stuff.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:52 AM (#6000942)
When I kept looking at the numbers I kept thinking Billy Martin was managing this team. It just seems like this would have his signature all over this type of stuff.

I watched the Reggie game from the 1977 World Series early in lock-down, and the announcers (Cosell and Keith Jackson I think) were commenting that Martin was actually a quite conservative manager in terms of tactics. Haven't checked the stats, but I was surprised to hear that.
   6. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 10:10 AM (#6000945)
Don Baylor had 52 steals at an 81% success rate that year. Speed is not exactly what my mind goes to when I think of Baylor.
   7. puck Posted: January 21, 2021 at 10:52 AM (#6000956)
We were all young once.
   8. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:08 AM (#6000968)
#6 He was a pretty good athlete as a young player.
   9. Nasty Nate Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#6000989)
I started following the Angels in 1982. I remember Don Baylor as a big beefy guy who never played the field and hit the ball out of the ballpark. It was amazing to me to look at the back of his baseball card and see only 6 years earlier he stole 52 bases.
Red Sox fans of a certain age like me had the exact same experience a few years later, when he might have been even bigger and beefier and further removed from owning a glove.

Maybe Hanley Ramirez is a recent example of the phenomenon. Would kids who saw his late career be shocked he was a 50-SB shortstop when younger?
   10. The Mighty Quintana Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:54 AM (#6000990)
Hey, John Kruk was an all-state basketball player when he was in high school! These guys are generally great athletes when they are young.
   11. Gary Truth Serum Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:00 PM (#6000992)
After Baylor died in 2017, there was a stat passed around that said that, among players who at one point qualified for the batting title with zero stolen bases (which Baylor did in 1985), Don had the most steals in another season (the 52 in 1976) as well as the most career steals. It was certainly surprising unless you remembered him from 1976.
   12. winnipegwhip Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#6000993)
I was watching the 1962 All Star game from Chicago the other day. Conversely it amazes me the power some of those smaller guys had. Pete Runnels (a small left handed hitter) driving the ball to left center for a home run.

The most amazing thing was Johnny Podres hitting a ball in front of Rocky Colovito in right and when Rocky doesn't field it smoothly, Podres (the pitcher!!) aggressively turns it into a double with a hard slide at second base. He scores on a base hit right after that.

And I got a sense of how much Roger Maris was hated. He got booed at Wrigley moreso than any other Yankee.
   13. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:08 PM (#6000995)
#11 I remembered him as a young player. The question was whether he could play CF well enough to consider trading Paul Blair. They did decide that the answer was "no" around 1972 (he started 11 games there) but it's still surprising when you think of the player he eventually became.
   14. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#6000996)
Dupe
   15. Kiko Sakata Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:16 PM (#6000997)
I watched the Reggie game from the 1977 World Series early in lock-down, and the announcers (Cosell and Keith Jackson I think) were commenting that Martin was actually a quite conservative manager in terms of tactics. Haven't checked the stats, but I was surprised to hear that.


Flip side of this. One of the more surprising team stats I've seen is that the 1973 Orioles - managed by Earl Weaver, advocate of "pitching and 3-run homers" as his primary strategies - led the AL in stolen bases. And to tie this to the 1976 A's and the discussion here, the Orioles leading base-stealer in 1973 was Don Baylor with 32.
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:41 PM (#6001004)
Flip side of this. One of the more surprising team stats I've seen is that the 1973 Orioles - managed by Earl Weaver, advocate of "pitching and 3-run homers" as his primary strategies - led the AL in stolen bases.


One of Weaver's greatest strengths as a manager was to recognize what a player could or could not do, and put him in a situation where he was likely to succeed. In Bill James's book on managers, he writes about how he would get value from fringe players by sticking to what they did well, and minimizing their use in situations they were not as good at; using players to hit certain types of pitchers, not only regular lefty/righty platooning, but fastball or breaking ball pitchers, or removing them early for defensive subs etc. It doesn't surprise me that Weaver would use a strategy he personally disliked if the personnel he had warranted the use of a certain strategy, and it could help the team to win.
   17. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 12:50 PM (#6001006)
#15 Weaver wasn't stubborn. He never selected for base stealing but if a guy could run Weaver used it. He hated the hit and run but was fine with the run and hit. He didn't like to bunt but Belanger bunted more than a little. But then Belanger's a sensible choice to bunt with. Not much of a hitter. Good bunter. Fast enough to have some chance of beating it out.
   18. JRVJ Posted: January 21, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6001007)
I do miss jack-rabbit baseball.

One would hope MLB eventually changes things so that we can have base stealing again (anything from making bases a little bigger to limiting the number of throws to first by a pitcher per AB to even turning a throw to 1B into a balk if the runner is behind a line, say 6 feet from 1B).
   19. alilisd Posted: January 21, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6001027)
 Rally Posted: I started following the Angels in 1982. I remember Don Baylor as a big beefy guy who never played the field and hit the ball out of the ballpark. It was amazing to me to look at the back of his baseball card and see only 6 years earlier he stole 52 bases. It was a career high, but not really a fluke, Baylor stole 20+ every year from 1972 to 1979.


Baylor is really interesting as a player. Going a bit further with his base stealing, by age 30 he had 240 SB's at about 74% success rate, and he was a positive 12 Rbaser, yet he was -49 Rfield mostly as a LF. Now I know speed is not the only component of OF defense, but both his speed and success on the bases indicate a guy who was fast enough and probably had decent baseball intelligence. How does he end up being such an awful fielder at a relatively easy position? It's strange to me
   20. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 21, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6001029)
I do miss jack-rabbit baseball.


Cleaning out some stuff in my parents' basement recently, I came across a portrait I drew of . . . Vince Coleman. I was a pre-teen in the mid-80s and loved the base thieves of the day - Rickey, Vince, Tim Raines, et al.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6001033)
Don Baylor played in 3 straight World Series for 3 different teams. I think only 1 other guy has done that.

In a way, Kenny Lofton almost did it from 2002-2004.
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:17 PM (#6001034)
Eric Hinske did it - Boston (2007), Tampa Bay (2008), NY Yankees (2009)
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:42 PM (#6001043)
Going a bit further with his base stealing, by age 30 he had 240 SB's at about 74% success rate, and he was a positive 12 Rbaser, yet he was -49 Rfield mostly as a LF. Now I know speed is not the only component of OF defense, but both his speed and success on the bases indicate a guy who was fast enough and probably had decent baseball intelligence. How does he end up being such an awful fielder at a relatively easy position?


Part of it was that he had the worst throwing arm in baseball, non-Garvey division. In 822 career games in the outfield, Baylor had just 27 assists and no - zero - outfield double plays. There cant be too many outfielders who finish their careers with more errors than assists.
   24. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6001049)
Further to #23 my memory of his rep was that he didn't have a good initial reaction. Not Kevin Reimer bad (he ran as hard as he could in a random direction). More like Dave Collins. But Collins was faster and better able to outrun bad reads.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:04 PM (#6001050)
There cant be too many outfielders who finish their careers with more errors than assists.


Dave Parker and Vlad came oh-so-close, though in their cases it was the result of a #### ton of errors (143 A, 142 E for Cobra, 126-125 for Vladdy the Elder)

   26. Tom is wrong when he calls you stupid Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:08 PM (#6001052)
In all the discussions in that article it doesn't mention the pitchers at all. The 4 pitchers who gave up the most:

Bill Campbell, 11sb/0cs in 14.1 IP, he pitched 167 innings in relief that year, a phenomenon we don't see any more, and he was one of those guys who didn't worry about base runners his entire career, the A's took advantage of that.

Dave Goltz, 9sb/3cs in 44.1 IP, he pitched the most innings against the A's and actually held them below their season rate.

Pete Redfern, 7sb/0cs in 11.2ip, this one is interesting. He was a rookie and the A's took advantage, he gave up 19sb in 24 attempts that year, but somebody fixed his issues. The next year he gave 14sb in 25 attempts and then teams stopped running on him, less than one attempt per game and less than 50% success rate for the rest of his career.

Joe Decker, 7sb/2cs in 9ip, the opposite of Redfern, he had pitched really well in a lot of innings 2 years before, and blown his arm out, never good at holding the runners, he was bad that year. and he gave up 17 base runners in his 9ip vs. the A's (but only 3 runs).

They were all right handers.
   27. Itchy Row Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:16 PM (#6001055)
There cant be too many outfielders who finish their careers with more errors than assists.
Rickey Henderson, Lou Brock, and Reggie Jackson managed to do that. The top 81 in OF errors are almost all people who played 100+ years ago. Brock is #35.
   28. Howie Menckel Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:26 PM (#6001057)
1976 A's Steals Leaders (SB/CS)

Bill North 75/29 - age 28, lead AL in SB and in CS. only season over 60 SB but had 3 in the 50s.

Bert Campaneris 54/12 - age 34, 7th and final time he swiped 50. never stole 30 again. was 27 for 47 upon leaving for Texas in 1977.

Don Baylor 52/12 - age 27, also never stole 30 again. was 26 for 38 upon leaving for California in 1977.

Claudell Washington 37/20 - age 21, never stole as many again. was 21 for 29 upon leaving for Texas in 1977.

Phil Garner 35/13 - age 27, never stole as many again. was 32 for 41 upon leaving for Pittsburgh in 1977.

Larry Lintz 31/11 - age 26. 0 for 1 with 2 BB in 4 PA when he wasn't pinch-running. career 28 SB in 756 PA.

Sal Bando 20/6 - age 32, never stole 20 before or after. was 4 for 6 upon leaving for Milwaukee in 1977 (in more PA).

Matt Alexander 20/7 - age 29. went 1 for 30 - a single - when he wasn't pinch-running. career 103 SB, 195 PA.

weirdly, all of the other batters combined only stole 17 bases in 28 attempts.

so 8 green lights, and the rest stop signs, for this crew with Chuck Tanner at the helm.

the purge of this roster led to a collapse in 1977 - and a bizarro band of itinerants much better known elsewhere in MLB that included Manny Sanguillen (acquired from Pirates for Tanner), Earl Williams, Dick Allen, Mike Jorgensen, Willie Crawford, Stan Bahnsen, Doc Medich, Dock Ellis, Joe Coleman, Mike Torrez, and Dave Giusti.

all but Coleman were gone by Opening Day 1978 - and Coleman was traded in May.

Rico Carty, Willie Horton, Tito Fuentes, and Steve Renko were the new bizarro A's.
   29. Itchy Row Posted: January 21, 2021 at 03:50 PM (#6001060)
Nate Colbert started his career by going 0 for 7 for the 1966 Astros, who finished 8th in a 10-team league. He ended it by going 0 for 5 in two appearances for the 1976 A's, who finished second. In between, every team Colbert played for (one other year with Houston, six with San Diego, part of one with Detroit, and part of two with Montreal) finished in last place.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 21, 2021 at 04:11 PM (#6001066)
Was Joe Rudi really slow? Weird to see an OF in his prime attempt just seven steals on a team that stole 341 bases.
   31. Ron J Posted: January 21, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6001067)
#30 Yes. Notorious for his lack of speed -- non-catcher division.
   32. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#6001091)
How does he end up being such an awful fielder at a relatively easy position? It's strange to me

Can't answer how but it happens a fair bit. We'll start with some quite bad OFs who stole a reasonable amount: Sheffield had 253 career SBs; Sarge had 183; Ralph Garr had 172. Among speed guys, Brock is the only one I've found considered a poor LF but Coleman, Raines, Lonnie Smith were pretty average out there. LeFlore was left in CF most of his career but wasn't good at it. Claudell didn't play much CF and TZ rates him poorly in RF.

If you look at the top 11 post-expansion OFs in terms of steals, Brock (2), Raines (3), Coleman (4) and Bonds (11) were primarily LF and Pierre (8) spent about 1/3 of his career there. Crawford (14) and Bobby Bonds (15) probably could have held down CF just fine but spent their careers mainly playing good defense in corners. LeFore (16), Rajai Davis (18) and Tommy Harper (20) are the other pretty mediocre OFs in the top 20.

Granted I'd have never guessed Baylor had a 52 SB season nor that he still stole 22 when he won his MVP but I do remember the young Baylor as a guy with decent speed, etc. Maybe it was just the steal-happy era but there did seem to be a lot of those guys (solid hitting OF who could grab you some steals) in those days -- Sarge and Garr are of about the same era; Jose Cruz had good speed; even Reggie still had 120 steals across 73-78.

Not all OFs by any stretch but in the 70s there were 225 seasons with a 110+ OPS+ and 15+ SB, 151 with 20+. Larry Hisle used to be good for 15-20; so did Brett. Mcrae had to be moved to DH because he blew out his ankle (?) but got back to stealing a bit in his 30s; Dan Driessen swiped 31 then 28; Madlock had 128 steals over 7 years. Among the many fine things he did, Roy White tossed in 20 SB a year.

It's less common but it hasn't disappeared. For 2010-19, 110+ OPS+, it was 187 with 15+ and 118 with 20+.
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 21, 2021 at 08:15 PM (#6001101)
the purge of this roster led to a collapse in 1977 - and a bizarro band of itinerants much better known elsewhere in MLB that included Manny Sanguillen (acquired from Pirates for Tanner), Earl Williams, Dick Allen, Mike Jorgensen, Willie Crawford, Stan Bahnsen, Doc Medich, Dock Ellis, Joe Coleman, Mike Torrez, and Dave Giusti.

all but Coleman were gone by Opening Day 1978 - and Coleman was traded in May.

Rico Carty, Willie Horton, Tito Fuentes, and Steve Renko were the new bizarro A's.


The '79 A's were kind of like the '79 Boston Celtics, hitting rock bottom before staging a remarkable rebound the next year.
   34. alilisd Posted: January 21, 2021 at 08:37 PM (#6001104)
There cant be too many outfielders who finish their careers with more errors than assists.


I noticed that, Tom. It was rather glaring in his D stats. :-)
   35. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:06 PM (#6001110)
Bill James had an article in his "New Bill James Historical Abstract" about Left Fielders, and that they had a binomial distribution - "you can either be too fast for left field, or too slow". That basically Left Fielders have a binomial distribution, consisting of fast guys with a poor arm (Rickey Henderson) or slow guys with a good arm (Alex Gordon), but if you had a good arm but were slightly faster than slow you would end up in Right Field, and if you were fast but had a slightly average arm, then you'd end up in Center Field. Of course, none of this explains Juan Pierre or Mickey Rivers, and nothing really explains Gorman Thomas.

Here's a game:

fast but no arm: Lou Brock, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Khris Davis (early), Don Baylor (early) ???

slow but good arm: Greg Luzinski, Dave Kingman (not slow but poor instincts), Frank Thomas (early), ???

inexplicably not left fielders: Mickey Rivers, Juan Pierre, ???

   36. Jose Canusee Posted: January 21, 2021 at 09:40 PM (#6001117)
Pick any 35 year old former NFL fullback even in good shape and they wouldn't look fast but you couldn't deny they were fast when they got out of college or they couldn't have made the pros. Of course they have been retired for 5-10 years while Baylor was still an all-star caliber player at that age.
Matt Alexander and the 1 for 30 looks like Finley's first pinch running specialist Herb Washington who wasn't even a minor league baseball player, but in '77 he started hot like the rest of the surprising team, often batting leadoff on the road and then being removed to take a PA away from weak-hitting shortstop Rob Piccolo rather than pinch running. Even in July after the team was heading down the standings he was still over .300.
Tanner got him on the Pirates when he was managing there and he went 13/14 on the bases and 7/13 (.538) at the plate. Alas, put in as the potential winning run in the 9th of 1979 WS game 2, he was thrown out by Rick Dempsey in his only WS appearance.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: January 21, 2021 at 10:40 PM (#6001122)
#35: Damon in the last group. Probably lots of fast guys without much of an arm have played CF -- the speed and break are much more important than the arm.

Slow but good arm includes the former Cs Schwarber, Downing, Moreland (who played mostly RF). Sarge was more of a decent speed, decent arm (as I recall), no read whatsoever.

Of course where a guy plays depends on who else is around. Sarge was gonna be in LF, Moreland had to be in RF. Damon did got shoved to LF for Beltran one season. Rickey and Bonds might well have stuck in CF for several seasons if not for Murphy and Van Slyke. Willie Wilson started in LF in favor of Otis (maybe not the best decision).

Wilson probably also not much of an arm -- more errors than assists in CF.
   38. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:34 PM (#6001123)
Rickey and Bonds might well have stuck in CF for several seasons if not for Murphy and Van Slyke.

Rickey moved to center immediately after being traded to the Yankees in '85, and stayed there in '86 and part of '87. The Yankees then acquired 32-year-old Claudell Washington, who had never been a regular CF before, put Washington in center and moved Rickey back to left.

TotalZone thinks Rickey did fine in center for those 2.5 years, but I assume the Yankees weren't as impressed.
   39. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 21, 2021 at 11:44 PM (#6001124)
Probably lots of fast guys without much of an arm have played CF -- the speed and break are much more important than the arm.


Among older center fielders, Earle Combs was fast but had a very poor arm; he didn't steal that many bases, but playing on the Yankees Murderer's Row teams, he didn't need to steal that often. He had 20+ triples three times in four seasons, which backs up the thought that he was fast. There was also Eddie Brown, a center fielder/left fielder for the Dodgers in that era nicknamed "Glass Arm Eddie". I don't know how fast he was, but that nickname suggests he couldn't throw well...

Among later left fielders, Willie Stargell was another who was slow but had a good arm.
   40. Ron J Posted: January 22, 2021 at 01:21 AM (#6001129)
Frank Howard had an extremely strong arm and while he had a good top speed he had next to no acceleration So in practical terms he graded out as among the slowest guys in the game. Stargell of course played left because of some guy named Clemente.

Kiki Cuyler was supposedly the fastest guy in the game when he came up. Moved around according to the demands of the team. Pretty sure he played right for the Cubs because Riggs Stephenson had a legendarily bad arm and Hack Wilson was thought to not have the arm for right.

For a while the Yankees moved Ruth and Meusel around to take maximum advantage of Meusel's arm.
   41. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 22, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6001185)
For a while the Yankees moved Ruth and Meusel around to take maximum advantage of Meusel's arm.

Ruth played RF in Yankee Stadium and LF on the road in parks where the sun field was in RF. That was what was behind the maneuvering more than Meusel's arm, and the Babe had a pretty good arm himself.
   42. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 22, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6001186)
Probably lots of fast guys without much of an arm have played CF -- the speed and break are much more important than the arm.

The two best examples I ever saw of that were Mickey Rivers and Gary Pettis, both of whom ran like the wind but couldn't break a pane of glass with a baseball from 100 ft. away.
   43. Rally Posted: January 22, 2021 at 12:06 PM (#6001207)
I just watched a game from 1986, Angels vs Red Sox regular season with Sutton and Seaver on the mound. Pettis was unable to catch a fly at the track in CF, but made a fine throw to cut the runner down at 3B. He was no Dwight Evans (who had 2 assists in the game), but he certainly did not look like a liability on that play. He may have not thrown as well later in his career.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2021 at 12:30 PM (#6001215)
Pettis surely threw better than two of the CF that Andy watched fairly recently, Bernie Williams and the man who replaced him, Johnny Damon.

By the way, the most improbable part of that sentence was Pettis being unable to catch a fly ball at the track.
   45. Rally Posted: January 22, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6001219)
The batter was Rey Quinones, rookie SS who would be traded to Seattle for Spike Owen before the playoffs. Pettis did not look great on the play. Maybe he was playing too shallow, or misjudged it, or there was wind. Certainly an anomaly for him, as mid 80s Gary Pettis is on the short list of greatest CF defenders I have ever seen.
   46. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 22, 2021 at 03:36 PM (#6001265)
Pettis surely threw better than two of the CF that Andy watched fairly recently, Bernie Williams and the man who replaced him, Johnny Damon.

Maybe Damon, but not Williams, and I know that Bernie's arm was horrible towards the end of his career. But Pettis was just godawful.

Small sample size, I know, but I was at a Tigers-Red Sox game in 1989 where in the top of the 9th, with the score tied, Pettis caught a short-medium fly in CF and tried to throw out the runner who took off from third. Not only did the runner score easily and the other two runners advanced easily, but the throw came closer to the 3B coach's box than it did to home plate. I was keeping score that night, and my scorecard was annotated with my note that this was the worst throw I'd ever seen in all my years of watching baseball.

This was the game.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6001287)
Small sample size indeed.

If you go to the 2:09 mark of this video, you'll see Pettis range far into right to hold Greenwell to a single. There ain't no way in hell Damon was ever making that throw, and I doubt best-day Bernie could either.
   48. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 22, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6001290)
If you go to the 2:09 mark of this video, you'll see Pettis range far into right to hold Greenwell to a single. There ain't no way in hell Damon was ever making that throw, and I doubt best-day Bernie could either.


Pettis in centre and Devon White in right. They could have played with a six-man infield!
   49. SoSH U at work Posted: January 22, 2021 at 05:45 PM (#6001291)
Pettis in centre and Devon White in right. They could have played with a six-man infield!


No kidding. That's a lot of ground being covered.

   50. bfan Posted: January 23, 2021 at 08:33 AM (#6001353)
I started following the Angels in 1982. I remember Don Baylor as a big beefy guy who never played the field and hit the ball out of the ballpark. It was amazing to me to look at the back of his baseball card and see only 6 years earlier he stole 52 bases. It was a career high, but not really a fluke, Baylor stole 20+ every year from 1972 to 1979.


Adam Dunn, who has emerged over time as the poster-child for fat useless outfielders, stole 19 bases his 2nd year in the league. It just was a different game.
   51. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: January 23, 2021 at 02:31 PM (#6001375)
Small sample size indeed.

If you go to the 2:09 mark of this video, you'll see Pettis range far into right to hold Greenwell to a single. There ain't no way in hell Damon was ever making that throw, and I doubt best-day Bernie could either.


It was a good throw, but the young Bernie could've made it, though obviously not Damon.** But more to the point, you'll note that the announcer criticizes Greenwell for his overly conservative base running, strongly suggesting he could've made second if only he'd gone for it.

** After Damon took his free agency to the Yanks, the first time he came back to Fenway he was greeted with signs that read "Looks like Jesus, acts like Judas, throws like Mary". Even us Yankees fans had to laugh at that one.

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