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Monday, October 12, 2020

Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Morgan dead at 77

Two-time National League MVP Joe Morgan has passed away at the age of 77….

Morgan was the engine of the Big Red Machine which won back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. Morgan was the National League MVP both seasons. He also was a 10-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner.

Morgan’s 22-year MLB career began in 1963 with the Houston Colt .45s.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:31 AM | 156 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: joe morgan, obituaries

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   101. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: October 13, 2020 at 06:39 PM (#5982857)
79>> Don't worry — we’ll be back to our insufferable selves soon enough...

Prescient.
   102. flournoy Posted: October 13, 2020 at 06:52 PM (#5982861)
According to BB-Ref, Scranton didn’t become a Yankee minor league affiliate until Joe Biden had been in the Senate for almost 35 years.


Sure, but that was 87 years ago; you can't expect him to remember it that clearly.
   103. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 13, 2020 at 06:57 PM (#5982863)
I completely believe that Biden grew up as a Yankees fan because his family were Yankees fans, even if he doesn't accurately remember / know why they were. Not sure this requires any deeper thought than that.

Maybe he was thinking of the Yankees' Binghamton affiliate, which was only an hour away. Or maybe they were just Yankees fans because it was the 40s/50s and they were the Yankees.
   104. SoSH U at work Posted: October 13, 2020 at 07:05 PM (#5982865)
Scranton's about as close to New York as it is to Philly. And the Yankees tended to be a wee bit better than the Phils during, well, all of the years. I would imagine there were quite a few Yankee fans in the area.
   105. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: October 13, 2020 at 07:09 PM (#5982867)
You appear to be a bit thin-skinned about anything that doesn’t coincide with what you prefer to see. Not my problem.
I almost never literally laugh out loud because of something I read on the Internet, but I genuinely LOL'd a good hearty laugh at this.
   106. something like a train wreck Posted: October 13, 2020 at 07:46 PM (#5982873)
He's not the smartest strategist in the world, but he's the best of getting the most out of the players he has. The most overrated idea in baseball is that a manager wins and loses games with strategic moves on the field.

I agree with the basic philosophy, but I'm not sure Sparky is a good example. His Tigers definitely underachieved and I'm hard-pressed to say that his Reds over-achieved. He was good at not letting BS get in the way of talent, but apparently there is more to managing than that.
   107. Howie Menckel Posted: October 13, 2020 at 07:56 PM (#5982877)
regrets, he's had a few...

"There is certainly a case to be made for Fire Joe Morgan as the most influential of all the sports blogs. Its coaching tree is quite expansive and some of the bloggers who were inspired by it are still working today — a not-insignificant thing considering how the arena has increasingly steered directly toward Bad Place territory.

Michael Schur, better known as Ken Tremendous, has gone onto bigger and better things from Parks & Recreation to The Office to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and was among the driving forces behind the site devoted to approaching baseball coverage from an analytical place, which often found him at odds with Morgan. Countless paragraphs were spent refuting a Morgan sentence that displayed what can be described as a harshly indifferent or even downright antagonistic approach to sabermetrics.

Schur spoke about his sadness and said that he and the other writers always regretted the site's name.

"We didn't want the guy to be fired, really," he said. "It was a crass sort of early internet version of making noise and banging on a pot and calling attention to yourself. What we were complaining about was that this guy, who in his career, did everything right. Every single aspect of his game was incredible.

He was an incredible defensive second baseman, he led the league in on-base percentage four times. He was a 5-foot-7 second baseman who twice, I think, led the league in OPS.

He was a marvel and not only did he do everything right, he specifically did the things right that the sort of modern analytic movement had shown to be the most valuable possible things you can do. He was just an incredible player in exactly the ways the Moneyball era was beginning to point out how undervalued guys like him actually were.

And then he got into the broadcast booth and it also spoke to this kind of generational divide where this sort of old-school, 60's-70's kinds of players were fighting against the modernization of the way that we look at the game analytically. "
   108. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 13, 2020 at 08:32 PM (#5982880)
Mike Schur does a delightful podcast with Joe Posnanski, and they had a "Fire Joe Morgan" reunion a few months ago (Alan Yang and a couple other guys), and they did express regreat about making Joe Morgan the avatar of luddite sportscasting.

Here is the episode.
   109. bachslunch Posted: October 13, 2020 at 09:34 PM (#5982886)
Loved Joe Morgan the player. One of the best at his position all-time and an inner-circle HoFer. Got a metric ton out of what he was dealt physically, fully deserving of the highest respect.

Hated Joe Morgan the announcer, the anti-PED prig, and the anti-sabermetric crusader. His awful announcing was a lot of the reason I stopped watching baseball on TV, and his strident "anti"-approach is one of many reasons I have zero respect for the HoF process nowadays.

Still, his playing days contributions very much deserve celebration. RIP.
   110. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: October 13, 2020 at 09:54 PM (#5982890)
I remember reading Morgan's autobiography when I was a kid, and a big part of the chapters on his early career was how much of an impression Nellie Fox made on him when he first made it to the big leagues. The mentoring must not have lasted long (they didn't overlap on the Colts for very long), but hopefully Nellie is hitting him a few more fungos today.
   111. Howie Menckel Posted: October 13, 2020 at 10:19 PM (#5982895)
the 1963 Colt .45s had 19-year-old Rusty Staub as their everyday 1B, 22-year-old John Bateman behind the plate, a 21-year-old part-time OF named Jim Wynn - and cups of coffee for Morgan (19), Sonny Jackson (18), and Jerry Grote (20), plus grizzled vet Don McMahon who at age 33 was early into his age 27-44 career in relief. (Fox arrived in 1964, along with a very effective Don Larsen.)

and don't forget 1962 AL batting champ Pete Runnels (he also won in 1960), who was then dumped by the Red Sox on the Colt .45s at age 34 for Roman Mejias, who had a decent first full year for Houston at age 31. neither player had much left.

and of course this is the squad that had John Paciorek, who by some (suspect) measures is the greatest hitter in baseball history. at age 18, Paciorek went 3 for 3 with 2 walks, 3 RBI, and 4 R.

he stuck around in the minors until 1969, but he never got back to The Show.

his brother Jim - 15 years younger - had to wait 24 years after John to make his debut - 116 feeble PA as a corner infielder for the 1987 Brewers.

but we know the name best from middle brother Tom, a OF-1B from 1970-87. the mainly Mariner and White Sock got an NL pennant with the Dodgers in 1974.

   112. The Duke Posted: October 13, 2020 at 10:27 PM (#5982897)
I wonder if any of the HOF’s will take up the baton and continue the anti-PED crusade. I suspect there are very few who want to be out there. Joes been all alone on the PR side although he claims he has a lot of backing.
   113. DFA Posted: October 14, 2020 at 12:07 AM (#5982914)
That is interesting, DFA - but unless I missed it, it lacks any explanation, or even speculation, as to why or how Showalter was (purportedly) able to get consistently better-than-expected performances out of his bullpens. Of course I get that that's a tough thing to get at, but without it, I'm skeptical that there must be causality.


As I recall, Showalter essentially had an A group of relievers and a B group of relievers, and he was able to maximize the value of his better relievers. Of course, this would be true with every manager? People point to how well Showalter did in close games, extra inning games, and use that as evidence to support his bullpen management. Could that be post hoc analysis? Has there been some sort of analysis akin to a +/- that basketball players use for relievers? Would that demonstrate bullpen management acumen? IDK. Your skepticism is warranted, certainly, prior to Showalter I was firmly in the managers don't matter camp. But it seemed anyway that the sum was greater than the parts with him. But maybe it was just karma for Oriole fans for all the sh!t we lived with day in and day out for the decade prior.
   114. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: October 14, 2020 at 07:34 AM (#5982928)
Scranton's about as close to New York as it is to Philly. And the Yankees tended to be a wee bit better than the Phils during, well, all of the years. I would imagine there were quite a few Yankee fans in the area.

Coming from Philly and driving through NE PA for work on several occasions, I can confirm that the Yankee fandom is stronger, or at least more visible. And this is when the Phillies were really good during the prime Utley/Howard years. There really is no special allegiance to the Philly teams by virtue of being in the same state.
   115. Rally Posted: October 14, 2020 at 08:31 AM (#5982930)
I certainly got the impression that Showalter got more results from the Orioles than the random yearly managers who preceded him would have. At least for a few years.

Interesting fact: Showalter had a losing record as the Oriole manager. He managed the team for 9 years, 5 were winning seasons, one was a .500 year, and only 3 were losing seasons. But that's what 47-115 will do yo your record.
   116. DL from MN Posted: October 14, 2020 at 09:20 AM (#5982935)
I wonder if any of the HOF’s will take up the baton and continue the anti-PED crusade.


I will not be shocked when Alex Rodriguez leads this charge.
   117. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 14, 2020 at 10:25 AM (#5982946)
I will not be shocked when Alex Rodriguez leads this charge.
If ever there was a player built for leading charges...
   118. flournoy Posted: October 14, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5982954)
That's really putting the cart before the horse with regard to his Hall of Fame induction.
   119. bunyon Posted: October 14, 2020 at 11:33 AM (#5982975)
Michael Schur, better known as Ken Tremendous, has gone onto bigger and better things from Parks & Recreation to The Office to Brooklyn Nine-Nine,

Hang on. He's that Mike Schur? I'm having serious Mandela effect in my head right now.
   120. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 14, 2020 at 11:47 AM (#5982980)
which explains the baseball easter eggs in his shows (like the law firm in pnr). other fjm guys are sitcom writers too...
   121. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 14, 2020 at 11:59 AM (#5982989)
Hang on. He's that Mike Schur? I'm having serious Mandela effect in my head right now.


Yep, although Joe's been doing the podcast with him forever (it's a running gag on the show that they've been doing it for like 37 years, but it's really been like 8 - 10, maybe). They've talked about meeting at a minor league game or spring training game or something, and it was after Schur had started writing for The Office, but I don't know if he had completely blown up yet with Parks and Rec fame.

I highly recommend that podcast. Schur is only on the show about half the time now, but when he and Joe are just talking baseball, it's really fun to listen to. Joe gets a little too cute with things sometimes since he's become a little TOO self-aware that the podcast is really just people chatting about sports with no agenda and often delves into meaningless rabbit holes. But I'd still recommend checking it out if you enjoy sports podcasts.
   122. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 14, 2020 at 12:59 PM (#5982999)

I didn't realize that Alan Yang (co-creator of "Master of None" with Aziz Anzari, also wrote and directed the movie "Tigertail" on Netflix this year) was also part of FJM until this thread, probably because I had no idea who Yang was until I watched MoN.
   123. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: October 14, 2020 at 01:28 PM (#5983003)
The podcast is really good, Schur and Posnanski are funny and know baseball pretty well. The dumb little jingle, "Can Khris Davis hit .247...five years in a row" still gets stuck in my head.
   124. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: October 15, 2020 at 07:31 AM (#5983088)
Seriously, get your political agenda the #### outta this thread. Thanks.

Especially since it's the wrong political agenda! This is Primer, not Fox News!
   125. Gazizza, my Dilznoofuses! Posted: October 15, 2020 at 10:39 AM (#5983105)
I remember Morgan with the Phillies in 1983 and watching him take a HBP. To me it was obvious that his "jump out of the way" kept him in the way of the pitch. I saw him do the same thing at least once more that year. I would swear he was letting the pitch hit him while only pretending to get out of the way. To the 8 or 9 year old me, that was proof he was a smart player.
   126. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 15, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5983106)
Especially since it's the wrong political agenda! This is Primer, not Fox News!
And get your right-wing persecution #### outta this thread too. None of it has any place here.
   127. SoSH U at work Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5983115)
I saw him do the same thing at least once more that year. I would swear he was letting the pitch hit him while only pretending to get out of the way.


Don Baylor was a master at the shoulder turn HBP. Rotate the body slightly, but don't in any way make it less likely to get hit (but take it in a nice soft place on the body).

If Ron Manfred listened to my kooky ideas instead of all the other kooky ideas, players wouldn't have to pretend to get out of the way. If the pitcher throws the damn ball into the batter's box, it shouldn't be up to the batter to bail him out of a HBP.
   128. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:11 AM (#5983118)
If Ron Manfred listened to my kooky ideas instead of all the other kooky ideas, players wouldn't have to pretend to get out of the way.
They don’t. I’ve only seen that rule enforced once in my life (a couple weeks ago).
   129. Ron J Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:12 AM (#5983119)
#127 And that goes back to Ron Hunt. He moved a lot, but never out of the way of the ball.
   130. Ron J Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:15 AM (#5983123)
#128 The most famous enforcement was in Don Drysdale's scoreless inning streak. Bases loaded non call.

Not sure how old you are, but I had just started to really follow baseball when that happened.

EDITED
   131. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:18 AM (#5983125)
I was aware of the Drysdale thing, but yeah, it was 9 years before I was born.
   132. SoSH U at work Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:36 AM (#5983127)
They don’t. I’ve only seen that rule enforced once in my life (a couple weeks ago).


Nah, it's usually about once a season. I just wish they'd get rid of it altogether. If you get hit with a pitch in the box, it's a HBP. No need for the batter to try to dance out of the way if he doesn't want to.

If you get hit with a pitch that's outside of the batter's box, it's a ball/strike, depending on location.

Edit: And many of them do pretend (or, for those who don't want to get hit, legitimately try). It's just rare to call it on the players who don't.
   133. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:59 AM (#5983136)
If you get hit with a pitch that's outside of the batter's box, it's a ball/strike, depending on location.


I completely agree with the spirit of your idea, but I am curious if umpires would be able to accurately enforce this. I've umpired quite a few games myself (although none at higher levels), and I feel like it would be difficult to gauge whether a pitch was inside or outside the box. Maybe it would be easier than I think. I know a lot of players crowd the plate now, so if that elbow is hanging outside the box and gets hit, will that be something a plate umpire can reliably judge?
   134. SoSH U at work Posted: October 15, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5983137)
I completely agree with the spirit of your idea, but I am curious if umpires would be able to accurately enforce this. I've umpired quite a few games myself (although none at higher levels), and I feel like it would be difficult to gauge whether a pitch was inside or outside the box. Maybe it would be easier than I think. I know a lot of players crowd the plate now, so if that elbow is hanging outside the box and gets hit, will that be something a plate umpire can reliably judge?


The home plate umpire is focused entirely on the ball, so he should have a good sense. He can also ask for help.

And, obviously, you could ignore that and just use replay if you wanted.

It just makes more sense to me to punish the pitcher when he throws the ball where he's not supposed to (inside the batter's box), while not rewarding the hitter for being where he's not supposed to be.
   135. Mefisto Posted: October 15, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5983138)
@130: You mean "notorious". It was a chickenshit call (they were in Dodger Stadium).
   136. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 15, 2020 at 03:40 PM (#5983209)
How about 2 bases if you get hit in the face or helmet? Deterrence.
   137. SoSH U at work Posted: October 15, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5983212)

How about 2 bases if you get hit in the face or helmet? Deterrence.


No, but immediate ejection and suspension are in order.

   138. . Posted: October 15, 2020 at 04:29 PM (#5983221)
The people who had the "Fire Joe Morgan" obsession are pathetic losers who should be ashamed of themselves.

Schur spoke about his sadness and said that he and the other writers always regretted the site's name.

"We didn't want the guy to be fired, really," he said. "It was a crass sort of early internet version of making noise and banging on a pot and calling attention to yourself. What we were complaining about was that this guy, who in his career, did everything right. Every single aspect of his game was incredible.

He was an incredible defensive second baseman, he led the league in on-base percentage four times. He was a 5-foot-7 second baseman who twice, I think, led the league in OPS.

He was a marvel and not only did he do everything right, he specifically did the things right that the sort of modern analytic movement had shown to be the most valuable possible things you can do. He was just an incredible player in exactly the ways the Moneyball era was beginning to point out how undervalued guys like him actually were.

And then he got into the broadcast booth and it also spoke to this kind of generational divide where this sort of old-school, 60's-70's kinds of players were fighting against the modernization of the way that we look at the game analytically. "


And you can dress it all up however you want, but that's just a really pathetic thing to spend so much time and effort and obsession on, not to mention that the "analytical," "modern" game sucks compared to the game in the 80s and 90s and the game that Morgan was endorsing. What a low and dishonest thing in which to find an actionable "generational divide." Grow up.
   139. . Posted: October 15, 2020 at 04:31 PM (#5983222)
I didn't realize that Alan Yang (co-creator of "Master of None" with Aziz Anzari, also wrote and directed the movie "Tigertail" on Netflix this year) was also part of FJM until this thread, probably because I had no idea who Yang was until I watched MoN.


As I've always said, the entrance of this kind of person onto the baseball scene, and their insistent attitude about so many things, doesn't find its ultimate source in baseball -- but instead someplace else.
   140. baxter Posted: October 15, 2020 at 06:42 PM (#5983238)
130 A little before my following baseball, but seen it enough, Dick Dietz (who later played for LA) was the SF batter?
   141. Mefisto Posted: October 15, 2020 at 07:06 PM (#5983244)
That's right, and the bases were loaded. A HBP would have forced in a run breaking Drysdale's streak.
   142. Howie Menckel Posted: October 15, 2020 at 07:32 PM (#5983251)
The Blackballing of Dick Dietz

for those who don't remember Dietz, check out his 1970 age 28 season as the Giants' catcher: .300 AVG in 612 PA, 22 HR, 107 RBI, 153 OPS+ (5th in the NL) thanks to 109 walks.

a stellar 130 OPS+ as the Giants' catcher in 1971.

the Giants then waived him in spring training 1972 (see link), and the Dodgers (of all teams) claimed him.

lost season ends in July with a broken wrist.

Dietz is sold to the Braves in March 1973, where as a part-time 1B-C he has a 145 OPS+ - boosted by a preposterous .474 OBP in 191 PA.

and that was it - career over at age 32


   143. It's regretful that PASTE was able to get out Posted: October 15, 2020 at 09:41 PM (#5983280)
I wonder if any of the HOF’s will take up the baton and continue the anti-PED crusade. I suspect there are very few who want to be out there. Joes been all alone on the PR side although he claims he has a lot of backing.


Goose Gossage wants the damn baton. Give him the baton.

Yep, although Joe's been doing the podcast with him forever (it's a running gag on the show that they've been doing it for like 37 years, but it's really been like 8 - 10, maybe). They've talked about meeting at a minor league game or spring training game or something, and it was after Schur had started writing for The Office, but I don't know if he had completely blown up yet with Parks and Rec fame.


Schur quit FJM partly because it had pretty much run its course, and partly because his time was being consumed by a new TV project, which turned out to be Parks & Rec. He is an amazingly talented dude, who is now a media insider and darling--hell, one might even call him the Joe Morgan of his field. :)
   144. baxter Posted: October 15, 2020 at 10:29 PM (#5983286)
142 Interesting; never had heard that.

Understand LA's decision given Ferguson, Yeager (Dietz would be improvement over Duke Sims)
But, had to understand why he wouldn't catch on somewhere. If Bob Barton got a job, it surprises me. Another former SF catcher, I remember him as a terrible hitter (for SD); maybe he was better defensively. I know Tom Haller was on LA; he came from SF also, I think, better player than I remember; never saw Roseboro.

I remember seeing that Dietz play on Sports Challenge, repeatedly shown, it seemed (or maybe I was watching the same episode multiple times). I couldn't recall another instance of that call being made. Sports Challenge could mislead me, however. For years, I thought that Lolich homered off Gibson (as a poster on this site corrected me several years ago, Nellie Briles, maybe); it's the way they edited the clip.

126 Well, so if the story had been accurate about Morgan, what difference would have made? Your own comment about the 72 election is a little more perceptive, if you actually remember '72. There is an interesting documentary about Shirley Chisholm and her attempt to run for president that year (and both parties' changing the convention rules to frustrate such runs). Of course, maybe you would care to explain why McGovern was clueless (although he failed to carry his own state). The voters like what they like; those times ended up pretty tough, though it fell more on Ford (stagflation).

Someone posted an interesting link on this site about "spite voting." It is good to feel passion for something, I suppose. If you feel passion about the current president, more power to you. Then again, you could be a Russian plant, fomenting dissent among baseball fans. Or, I could a be a bot (a rather ineffectual one, though). Richard Nixon would probably get the nomination these days, but from the democrats. Maybe the democratic party leaders would balk at Mr. Nixon's liberalism. He would definitely be too liberal for the republicans. A new book called "Reaganland" documents the shift in the US the last 40 years. If you think they've been great, keep advocating for it. But, maybe it hasn't been so great for a lot of people (your come back is maybe they deserve it)

I wish good times and health for everyone, but we'll see.
   145. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:11 PM (#5983292)
Baxter- I think you might have been referring to something other than my post 126?
   146. baxter Posted: October 15, 2020 at 11:46 PM (#5983295)
Yeah, the one you quoted, not yours. 124, it looks like, and 94, but glad to read those posts to see how different people view the world differently than I do.

There was something (not the Arod comments, but something else) you wrote within the last couple of days that made me laugh when I read it, you have a gift (found it, Altuve joke about the shoulder, + made me think about Guerrero's comment (probably apocryphal) please don't it hit to me/don't hit it to Sax.

   147. Mefisto Posted: October 16, 2020 at 08:12 AM (#5983301)
I remember seeing that Dietz play on Sports Challenge, repeatedly shown, it seemed (or maybe I was watching the same episode multiple times). I couldn't recall another instance of that call being made.


I listened to and watched games constantly in the 60s and that call NEVER got made. The very next year Ron Hunt made a mockery of the game by letting himself get HBP 50 times, but still no such call. That's why I say it was possibly the worst call I've ever seen -- the ump let the pursuit of a record influence his decision.

One of the best things to happen was Hershiser breaking that "record" so that we had a legit mark.
   148. Ron J Posted: October 16, 2020 at 09:15 AM (#5983310)
#147 In fact Hunt got hit without getting a base a pretty fair number of times. Somewhere (late summer iirc) in the 1971 season the NL office went public with a warning to the umpires specifically about Hunt. (The Dietz/Drysdale thing happened in 1968 and Hunt's 50 HBP was 1971)

Hunt's HBP total in 1971 was a one year blip -- though his HBP totals stayed high.
   149. Rally Posted: October 16, 2020 at 09:40 AM (#5983311)
I wonder if Shane Victorino would have challenged Hunt's record if he had hit right handed full time. In 2013 he gave up switch hitting for a while. Batting righty against RHP, he had 115 PA and was hit 11 times. When batting lefty against RHP, he had 229 PA and was hit only once. For most of his career his HBP rates were ordinary, but that season he led the league with 18.

Might have something to do with not being able to pick up the spin on breaking balls from RHP, however he also had a .500 SLG against them. Strange season, doesn't make a lot of sense. After that season he went back to being a regular switch hitter. For his career he had 25 other PA as RHB vs RHP, all before 2013 and I'd guess he did that against a knuckleballer or something like that.
   150. SoSH U at work Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5983318)
I wonder if Shane Victorino would have challenged Hunt's record if he had hit right handed full time. In 2013 he gave up switch hitting for a while. Batting righty against RHP, he had 115 PA and was hit 11 times. When batting lefty against RHP, he had 229 PA and was hit only once. For most of his career his HBP rates were ordinary, but that season he led the league with 18.


No, he would have adjusted. His HBPs were almost certainly a byproduct of a) standing as close as humanly possible to the plate as a righthander, and b) simply not having the recent history of seeing the ball come at him from the same side. The first would have helped, but as he wasn't even in the Carlos Quentin/Don Baylor/Reed Johnson class of beansmen, I don't think he would have kept up his glorious pace.

   151. Mefisto Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:24 AM (#5983325)
@148: You're right that I was off on the year Hunt set the record. But Hunt led the league in HBP for 7 consecutive years. And he could do that because he knew that he'd never get called for "failed to avoid the pitch"; the fact that the league had to intervene in the extreme circumstances of 1971 shows just how rare that call was.
   152. Rally Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:37 AM (#5983326)
I learned to take a pitch by watching Don Baylor. If the pitch is high and tight, turn your head towards the umpire. In doing so (as a RHB) your left shoulder moves close to the strike zone. You increase your chance of getting hit and on base, and also avoid damage to the face. Worked well for Baylor in a long career. Worked a few times for me too.
   153. Ron J Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:40 AM (#5983328)
#151 Right. In 1971 he perfected a move that basically had him diving into the pitch but twisting around in a way that made it seem like he was trying to get out of the way. After the league intervened he went back to the old, all inside pitches are a free trip to first base.

But even so he'd still get a non-call occasionally. The umpires were not fans of his approach.
   154. Rally Posted: October 16, 2020 at 11:48 AM (#5983330)
No, he would have adjusted. His HBPs were almost certainly a byproduct of a) standing as close as humanly possible to the plate as a righthander, and b) simply not having the recent history of seeing the ball come at him from the same side.


Not sure what his incentive to adjust would be. He was getting on base a lot through the HBP and he was crushing the ball. Sure, a HBP can hurt or injure, but I don't see the incentive on his part to move away from the plate, move away from the success he was having, and make himself vulnerable to curves and sliders that I think we agree he was not able to pick up well.

He did of course adjust - by going back to switch hitting full time. He went 2 for 3 with 4 RBI as RHB v RHP in the last game of the 2013 world series, and never tried it again. Did he think that what he was doing was dangerous - risking serious injury because he didn't see the breaking ball well from that side - even though he was extremely successful at it?

I have to say that I am amazed that he was as successful as he was for that time if it's true that he wasn't able to see the ball well due to the unfamiliar angle. Knowing that, I would expect he'd hit .120 or something trying to hit that way.
   155. asinwreck Posted: October 16, 2020 at 02:17 PM (#5983364)
Schur was the guest analyst with Jason Benetti on a Sox-Angels game in 2019. Benetti kept wanting to talk about show business, while Schur wanted to wax enthusiastic about the all-around brilliance of Mike Trout.
   156. SoSH U at work Posted: October 16, 2020 at 02:56 PM (#5983382)
Not sure what his incentive to adjust would be. He was getting on base a lot through the HBP and he was crushing the ball. Sure, a HBP can hurt or injure, but I don't see the incentive on his part to move away from the plate, move away from the success he was having, and make himself vulnerable to curves and sliders that I think we agree he was not able to pick up well.


The more time he spent hitting righthanded, the quicker he would have gotten at recognizing the ball that was headed for him and responded accordingly. Outside of 2013, he was not a double-digit HBP guy (more high-single), so he was not the guy where the HBP was a truly welcome part of his offensive arsenal.

To be a consistent high-double digit HBP player, you have to embrace it. Victorino, for the most part, was not that player.
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