Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, October 16, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-16-2020

Seattle Star, October 16, 1920:

Decision to force a change in the governing body of baseball has been made by the eight National league clubs, according to President John Heydler today. Heydler leaves for Chicago tonight, where the American league magnates have been invited to meet Monday with the National league owners and discuss the abolishment of the national commission.

“Despite the objection of President Ban Johnson, of the American league, we are going thru with the meeting,” Heydler said.

This was one of the early steps in eliminating the National Commission and replacing it with a Commissioner.

Elsewhere in the news, the Black Sox grand jury in Chicago wants to talk to Abe Attell, but Attell is in Montreal and gloating that nobody can touch him there.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:13 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5983312)
When one of your starting pitchers got his nickname as a result of all the line drives he gives up, you probably don't have a very good baseball team. Excellent outfield, though.

Birthday Team:
C: Brian Harper (12.3 WAR)
1B: Tim McCarver (28.3 WAR)
2B: Jonathan Schoop (13.2 WAR)
3B: Art Devlin (36.1 WAR)
SS: Rodney Scott (4.0 WAR)
LF: Bryce Harper (33.4 WAR)
CF: Kevin McReynolds (30.1 WAR)
RF: Goose Goslin (66.2 WAR)

SP: Garland Buckeye (8.3 WAR)
SP: Bob Cain (5.3 WAR)
SP: Don Hood (5.3 WAR)
SP: Boom-Boom Beck (4.2 WAR)
SP: Dave Sisler (3.0 WAR)
RP: Jack Baldschun (4.5 WAR)

Manager: Dan Howley
Power Forward: Dave DeBusschere
League President: Will Harridge
   2. Rally Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5983317)
I didn't know that Bryce and Brian Harper had the same birthday. I don't think they are related. Brian is definitely not Bryce's father but maybe they are distant cousins or something. Bryce does have a brother named Bryan, who is a minor league pitcher.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 16, 2020 at 10:40 AM (#5983319)
When one of your starting pitchers got his nickname as a result of all the line drives he gives up, you probably don't have a very good baseball team. Excellent outfield, though.
I think you're selling this team short. It's not just the outfield - the offense as a whole is very good. There aren't any particularly good pitchers, but no sub-replacement disasters either.
   4. salvomania Posted: October 16, 2020 at 01:54 PM (#5983356)
C: Brian Harper (12.3 WAR)

Harper is interesting: he was let loose by five teams (traded by Angels and Pirates, released by Cardinals, Tigers, A's) who used him primarily in the OF before the Twins picked him up as a free agent in 1988 and began using him as a catcher.

He played in 205 games at the big-league level with five different teams over seven partial seasons from 1979-1987, appearing as a catcher in just six games total (two starts).

Then the Twins sign him for '88, and all of a sudden he makes 41 starts at C and zero in the OF, and puts up an OPS+ of 114---pretty remarkable for a guy with career OPS+ of 70 coming into the season.

After that he was the Twins primary starting catcher for the next five seasons, starting at least 114 games behind the plate in four of them, and hitting well, never below a 114 OPS+ fueled by a high batting average between .294 and .325 each year.

It's too bad he had to wait until his age-28 season to see any regular time behind the plate, and with it, regular playing time. His first five years in the Angels system he was primarily a catcher, but gradually began seeing more time in the OF, so I wonder if he was so awful defensively that the thinking was he'd never be competent enough for the big leagues. Once he joined the Pirates system in 1982 he essentially stopped seeing any time at catcher, appearing there just 6 times in the minors and 6 times in the majors before joining the Twins six years later.

His defensive numbers with the Twins don't look so terrible, beyond twice leading the league in PB; he was a good hitter in the minors, too, so I have to wonder what the deal was with his just not catching for a half-dozen years while he cycled through five teams before the Twins put him back there and subsequently enjoyed five pretty good seasons out of their catcher.
   5. Rally Posted: October 16, 2020 at 02:13 PM (#5983363)
At the time the Angels thought if you were a good hitting catcher named Brian, you should really play in the outfield. At least they hit .500 on that theory.
   6. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 16, 2020 at 02:26 PM (#5983371)
His defensive numbers with the Twins don't look so terrible, beyond twice leading the league in PB;
IIRC he was pretty terrible at throwing out base-stealers - I played an early stat-based online sim game back then, and he was on my team. Good hitter, but his arm was a 1/5. The running game was for whatever reason way over-weighted in the sim, so putting him behind the plate was a significant drawback.
   7. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 16, 2020 at 02:42 PM (#5983377)
That's how I remember his arm, though the SBA and CS% he posted in the bigs were respectable. What's really striking about his catcher defense is how much of an error machine he was in the minors back there - frankly unplayable. Really cleaned that up a lot.
   8. Itchy Row Posted: October 16, 2020 at 03:02 PM (#5983384)
Harper would probably be moved to first base for today's team too.
   9. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 16, 2020 at 03:05 PM (#5983385)
I had a long weird post where I looked at Harper's minor league defensive numbers that got eaten - which is probably just as well but holy cow were they not good. In 1981 in AAA, for example, he committed 19 errors in 50 games. You should not have as many errors as assists as a catcher. (MLB ratio that year was 6.5)
Honestly, it's surprising the Twins gave him that shot - he committed errors less than a third as often had he had in any of the 7 previous seasons when he had caught 10 or more games and less than half the passed balls than his previous best as well.
   10. The Mighty Quintana Posted: October 16, 2020 at 03:05 PM (#5983386)
I remember Bill James writing about how the Angels had little use for "pitching prospects" unless they could throw a snowball through a gas furnace without it getting wet. And even less regard for positional prospects, especially if there was famous 30 year-old free agent available who once hit .300. And if you don't believe him, ask: Willie Aikens, Tom Brunansky, Carney Lansford, Ken Landreaux, Danny Goodwin, Jerry Remy, Julio Cruz, Randy Ready, Brian Harper, etc.
   11. salvomania Posted: October 16, 2020 at 03:24 PM (#5983390)
What's really striking about his catcher defense is how much of an error machine he was in the minors back there - frankly unplayable. Really cleaned that up a lot.

How does a guy go from being essentially unplayable behind the plate so he's moved to the outfield, then six years later is able to play as a serviceable MLB catcher?
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: October 16, 2020 at 03:56 PM (#5983395)
Not only serviceable, but the starting catcher on a team that won the World Series.
   13. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 16, 2020 at 04:32 PM (#5983401)
How does a guy go from being essentially unplayable behind the plate so he's moved to the outfield, then six years later is able to play as a serviceable MLB catcher?
Successfully frame about 4 more strikes per year, at least if you believe FanGraphs WAR :).
   14. Ron J Posted: October 16, 2020 at 05:26 PM (#5983405)
#11 If a guy has the athleticism for a position and a good work ethic there's a pretty fair track record of teaching people to play a position.
   15. Der-K's emotional investment is way up Posted: October 18, 2020 at 10:14 AM (#5983690)
Yeah but catching is different - the track record with guys like this is very poor. I dunno what they did.

(As a note - look at Atlanta’s work with Alex Jackson (a success story). Jackson was a FAR better defender in his early catching career than Harper was.)

———

Michael Hill out in Miami.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
TedBerg
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(10196 - 7:12pm, Oct 28)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogNBA Post-Bubble offseason thread
(136 - 7:09pm, Oct 28)
Last: Der-K's emotional investment is way up

NewsblogInside the political donation history of wealthy sports owners
(7 - 6:55pm, Oct 28)
Last: ramifications of an exciting 57i66135

NewsblogCardinals should extend Molina, but ask him to waive his Instagram account
(36 - 6:50pm, Oct 28)
Last: The Honorable Ardo

NewsblogMLB offseason begins: 147 players become free agents
(4 - 6:46pm, Oct 28)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMLB debt totals $8.3 billion as Manfred mulls options for next season
(22 - 6:37pm, Oct 28)
Last: The Honorable Ardo

NewsblogAre analytics to blame for Rays’ Kevin Cash pulling Blake Snell too early from Game 6 of 2020 World Series?
(69 - 6:35pm, Oct 28)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogJustin Turner of Los Angeles Dodgers pulled from World Series after positive COVID-19 test
(58 - 6:20pm, Oct 28)
Last: Ziggy: social distancing since 1980

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-28-2020
(9 - 6:09pm, Oct 28)
Last: Itchy Row

NewsblogChamps! The best Dodgers team ever ends L.A.'s 32-year title drought | ESPN
(37 - 4:48pm, Oct 28)
Last: Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens

NewsblogRob Manfred booed while presenting World Series trophy to Dodgers; fans confused by speech
(12 - 3:08pm, Oct 28)
Last: Barry`s_Lazy_Boy

NewsblogPadres’ Luis Campusano charged with felony marijuana possession in Georgia
(24 - 3:00pm, Oct 28)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

NewsblogHow Wrigley Field got lights, night games in 1988 | MLB.com
(11 - 11:23am, Oct 28)
Last: Meatwad

NewsblogWORLD SERIES 2020 OMNICHATTER!
(833 - 11:18am, Oct 28)
Last: bunyon

Newsblog‘Home, home, home!’ How Dodgers foiled Manuel Margot’s stealing home gamble
(32 - 8:45am, Oct 28)
Last: TJ

Page rendered in 0.3259 seconds
48 querie(s) executed