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Friday, August 07, 2020

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Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 07, 2020 at 02:40 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 07, 2020 at 05:21 PM (#5968355)
   2. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 07, 2020 at 07:49 PM (#5968375)
Marly Rivera, ESPN Writer

Humberto Mejía, who is the first Marlins pitcher to debut as a starter without pitching above High-A since the late José Fernández, struck out the first three Mets he faced.
Marlins leading 3-0.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: August 07, 2020 at 08:12 PM (#5968377)
Pointless random factoid-y wander around b-r for today: Milt May's picture was on the front page for me today. Not that I recognized him but sometimes I recall images from old baseball cards (I should know that guy) or otherwise try to test my memory of 70s and 80s players (I'm not particularly good).

Anyway, I wondered if Milt May was as useful as I remember him. (LHB C for those not old enouugh.) He was -- 16 WAR, 3 WAA over 15 seasons as platoon/backup C. An odd shape to his career though. Drafted out of HS, he managed 200 PA in the minors at 17, was in A ball at 18, AAA and a cup of coffee at 19, in the majors for good at 20. That's impressive for anybody but especially a C who usually need time to master the position. Not May apparently as b-r puts him a bit above-average.

So through age 23, he's really impressive -- 109 OPS+, 6 WAR, 2.5 WAA. Good enough the Pirates were able to trade him straight up for Jerry Reuss. Then for ages 24-27, just when he might be peaking, the bat collapsed to a 79 OPS+, 3 WAR, -1 WAA, missing pretty much all of his age 25 season. You'd think that might be it but he then bounced back to put up a 98 OPS+ from 28-32, 8 WAR, 2 WAA. Then he was terrible at 33 and done. A bit extra weird, and a sign of how long it took teams to get their heads around FA, at age 29, after that first decent year in the last 5, the Giants signed him for 5 years ($1.4 M which probably wasn't even that much money in 1980 but still). He was fine for them ... and he might have been one of the first salary dumps as he was traded with cash to the Pirates for Steve Nicosia (who had a big 1984 for the Giants).

But what I didn't recall at all, maybe never knew, is that May was the son of a MLer, Pinky May, who also had a bit of an odd career. He doesn't appear in the records until age 21 and slogged away reasonably successfully stuck in the Yankees system, mainly at Newark AA, finally hitting the majors at age 28 after the Phils grabbed him in the rule 5 draft. He was perfectly solid with 6 WAR, 0 WAA before the war and added 5 WAR, 2 WAA in 42-43 before, I assume, heading off to war himself. Came back in the minors in 47 for one more good year then faded away ... before picking up a PA at age 47 in the Carolina League (a coach?)

Milt May is also the brother-in-law of Pat Osborn who pitched 20 ML innings. Osborn's a bit weird too -- he went to 2 high schools, 4 different "colleges" and was drafted 5 times (some secodary phase).

Since May is 70, this has been old-timers twice removed for most of you but no Cubs-Cards game today so whatcha gonna do?
   4. Howie Menckel Posted: August 07, 2020 at 08:39 PM (#5968379)
the Pinky May story, presented by SABR

"May was frustrated at being trapped in the Yankee farm system for so long. In those days, only one ballplayer could be drafted off any one minor-league club. The Yankees had Double-A clubs in Newark and Kansas City and a working arrangement with Oakland in the Pacific Coast League. “They put their best players on the Newark roster so when one was drafted, the others were protected,” May told a sportwriter.

After the 1938 season, May was drafted by the last-place Philadelphia Phillies, and he finally made it to the majors with Philadelphia in 1939 at the not-so-tender age of 28. “I was fortunate that I got drafted at the end of that 1938 season,” he said. “That gave me a chance to play in the major leagues. It didn’t bother me that the Phillies were a last-place team. It was still major-league baseball, and I was going to get my chance.”

May was named to the All-Star team in 1940, in his second major-league season. He was part of a Phillies infield (Art Mahan, 1B; Herman “Ham” Schulte, 2B; Bobby Bragan, SS; and May) that was described as the “Pepper Pots” by sportswriters for their sure-handed fielding.

He enlisted in the Navy after the season, and played for Lieutenant Mickey Cochrane‘s Great Lakes Naval Station team in 1944, then was sent to Hawaii at the beginning of 1945 as part of the Western Pacific Tour squad that played before fighting troops on Pacific Islands. He was then assigned to the island of Tinian, where the Quonset hut he lived in was less than 100 yards from an airstrip. He spent many evenings watching B-29s take off to bomb Japan. On August 6, 1945, he was watching as the Enola Gay took off at 2:45 A.M. and headed toward Hiroshima.

May returned to the Phillies after the war, only to be released on May 7, 1946. He had an opportunity to resume his playing career with the Pirates in 1947; in need of third-base help, they offered him a job. But Pinky elected to forgo playing in the majors, and embarked on a managerial career."

"On June 21, 1966, May became the last man to manage Satchel Paige. The Grays brought in Paige as a publicity stunt and the ancient one, then age 59, pitched his last two professional innings."
   5. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: August 07, 2020 at 09:11 PM (#5968381)
the Giants signed him for 5 years ($1.4 M which probably wasn't even that much money in 1980 but still).

That was a biggish contract. Just the year before the Phils astonished MLB by paying Pete Rose 3.2M for 4 years.
   6. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: August 07, 2020 at 09:40 PM (#5968385)
Trout seems to always homer on his birthday.
   7. Astroenteritis Posted: August 07, 2020 at 09:48 PM (#5968387)
Since May is 70, this has been old-timers twice removed for most of you

I remember May from his brief time in Houston. I was in high school at the time, and remember him being a decent hitter. In looking at his record he did have arguably his best offensive season with Houston in 1974, but I had forgotten that was only with the Astros for two years. I don't know what the metrics say about his defense, but my memory is he was a little above average with the glove. Time flies.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:13 PM (#5968393)
Of the salaries listed at b-r for 1980, May is 42nd in the majors. In comparison though, the Giants (maybe not the wisest financial bunch) signed Rennie Stennett that same offseason for 5/$3.25, so 2.5 what they gave May. Skip Lockwood -- never heard of him -- a non-descript 33-year-old reliever coming off the best 42 innings of his career got $300 K from the Red Sox that offseason (don't know how many years). The 38-year-old Tony Perez signed what appears to have been a multi-year contract with the Red Sox that offseason for about $400 per, so we can add them to the "maybe not so sharp" pile.

FWIW, the 42nd best salary this year is Castellanos (among several) at $16 M. Grandal just signed for a bit more than that and Salvador Perez (on that extension from a couple of years ago) is not far below that so, if we assume the 1980 salary data is reasonably complete and accurate which we probably shouldn't, that's roughly how the Giants were valuing May which is weird given his previous few seasons. The first guys I notice who might be more the May type are Jason Castro and Suzuki, both much older than he was at the time, and they're making $6-7 M.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 07, 2020 at 10:58 PM (#5968396)
Marlins win again; now 5-0 since being ravaged by the coronavirus; and 7-1 overall.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 07, 2020 at 11:37 PM (#5968399)
Marlins win again; now 5-0 since being ravaged by the coronavirus; and 7-1 overall.
Do you keep pointing this out as some sort of virus-minimizing thing?
   11. Howie Menckel Posted: August 07, 2020 at 11:37 PM (#5968400)
Peter Botte
If Boone had pinch-hit Wade for LeMahieu that inning, it would have been Roe vs. Wade followed by Judge.


Skip Lockwood!

1965 bonus baby who spent the 1965 season on the Kansas City Athletics roster as an extra 3B with a 23 OPS+ in 41 pathetic PA.

Skip was then reborn as a 1969 Seattle Pilot pitcher, and became a middling SP for the Brewers.

back in the minors by 1975, and seemed done. then the Mets got him from Oakland for a box of balls in late July and soon promoted him back to the bigs.

stunning 1.49 ERA in 48 relief IP, and the mystified Mets made him their closer 1976-78. he went 21-28 with 54 SV in that span, which to a modern fan would look like a stats misprint. but he threw 289 innings of relief in 3 years.

Skip was even better in 1979, with a silly 1.49 ERA (again!) and 9 SV before blowing out his arm in June.

Skip was from the Boston area, and the 1965 KC A's manager happened to be 1980 Red Sox GM Haywood Sullivan. hence the dopey contract.

after that forgettable season, Skip earned his second Masters degree - this one from MIT.

fascinating career, compared to many ballplayers.

June 10, 1964: Signed by the Kansas City Athletics as an amateur free agent.

November 28, 1967: Drafted by the Houston Astros from the Oakland Athletics in the 1967 rule 5 draft.

April 3, 1968: Returned (earlier draft pick) by the Houston Astros to the Oakland Athletics.

October 15, 1968: Drafted by the Seattle Pilots from the Oakland Athletics as the 46th pick in the 1968 expansion draft.

October 22, 1973: Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers with Ollie Brown, Joe Lahoud, Ellie Rodriguez and Gary Ryerson to the California Angels for Steve Barber, Ken Berry, Art Kusnyer, Clyde Wright and cash.

December 3, 1974: Traded by the California Angels to the New York Yankees for Bill Sudakis.

April 7, 1975: Released by the New York Yankees.

April 14, 1975: Signed as a Free Agent with the Oakland Athletics.

July 28, 1975: Purchased by the New York Mets from the Oakland Athletics.

November 1, 1979: Granted Free Agency.

November 27, 1979: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.

April 6, 1981: Released by the Boston Red Sox.
   12. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 08, 2020 at 12:04 AM (#5968403)
Marlins win again; now 5-0 since being ravaged by the coronavirus; and 7-1 overall.
Do you keep pointing this out as some sort of virus-minimizing thing?
Don’t see any minimizing - just not what many expected from the Marlins, before or after they were stricken. Is there a bigger surprise so far this season?
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: August 08, 2020 at 01:01 AM (#5968406)
Fair enough. I can’t think of a bigger surprise off the top of my head, at least at the team level. But ‘crappy team plays well over 8 games’ isn’t exactly unprecedented.
   14. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 08, 2020 at 01:31 AM (#5968409)
But ‘crappy team plays well over 8 games’ isn’t exactly unprecedented.
In this case, it’s “half of ‘crappy’ team goes on the IL, kicking off a winning streak”, which does seem unprecedented.

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