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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-5-2019

Pittsburgh Press, November 5, 1919:

PROBING SERIOUS CHARGES

Owner Charles A. Comiskey, of the Chicago Whitesox, and the members of the National commission, are quietly investigating scandalous stories involving the American league champions in the recent world’s series. A Chicago sporting writer the other day published a bitter attack on several members of the Whitesox who were mentioned by name.
...
No accusations reflecting on the honesty of the Chicago players appeared in this, but the sporting paper threatened to make further disclosures that would compel the governors of the sport to take drastic action.

Meh. It’s probably nothing.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 09:54 AM | 23 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: black sox, dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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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: November 05, 2019 at 09:55 AM (#5898732)
The good news is that today's Birthday Team has a Hall of Famer in right field. The bad news is that he's in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. There weren't any managers born on November 5, but I'd probably give the job to Neale. The guy coached friggin' Washington and Jefferson College to the Rose Bowl, so he seems to know what he's doing as a leader.

C: Javy Lopez (29.7 WAR)
1B: Bryan LaHair (-0.2 WAR)
2B: Mike Goliat (0.9 WAR)
3B: Jim Tabor (9.4 WAR)
SS: Fred Manrique (2.6 WAR)
LF: Johnny Damon (56.4 WAR)
CF: Lloyd Moseby (27.5 WAR)
RF: Greasy Neale (5.9 WAR)

SP: Ice Box Chamberlain (30.7 WAR)
SP: Pete Donohue (18.8 WAR)
SP: Harry Gumbert (17.3 WAR)
SP: Jon Gray (10.6 WAR)
SP: Carl Fischer (4.9 WAR)
RP: Craig McMurtry (4.6 WAR)

Fun Names: Flame Delhi, Yam Yaryan, Merkin Valdez
Umpire: Jim Evans, John Mullin
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 05, 2019 at 10:06 AM (#5898742)
We may have done this before, but how many All-Stars finished their career with negative WAR? There's LaHair's fellow Cub Steve Swisher... who else?
   3. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 10:29 AM (#5898752)
We may have done this before, but how many All-Stars finished their career with negative WAR? There's LaHair's fellow Cub Steve Swisher... who else?

Bref PI finds 12 position players, with the worst being Joe DeMaestri (-4.0), Myril Hoag (-3.5) and Ken Reitz (-3.1). For pitchers Tyler Green and Hal Gregg are at -1.0; Jeff Locke (-0.5) and Jim Coates (-0.2)

EDIT: it should be noted that each of the position players named above made the ASG exactly once
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 10:37 AM (#5898757)
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 05, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5898767)
There's a distinction to be made between someone like Cito Gaston, who put up 5.1 WAR in his second full season but spent the rest of his career giving all of that back, and Biff Pocoroba, who was never any good and had -1.1 WAR in his All-Star season. It's not like Gil Hodges (or whoever it was that picked the NL All-Stars in 1970) could tell that Gaston was going to be horrible from there on out.

If you really want to focus on the worst All-Stars, you should go with someone like Tyler Green, who had negative WAR in each of his four major league seasons, including his All-Star year. Even birthday boy Bryan LaHair didn't manage to do that.
   6. RJ in TO Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:38 PM (#5898797)
I was wondering how Green managed to make an All Star game, given his seasonal line of 8-9 with a 5.31 ERA, pitching for a Phillies team that still had a bunch of notable, if no longer great, players. It appears he did so by putting together a first half with an 8-4 record and 2.81 ERA.

Unfortunately, his second half was 0-5 with a 10.68 ERA, in which he was only able to throw 44.2 IP, despite 11 starts and 1 relief appearance. That's an incredibly bad stretch of pitching.
   7. The Mighty Quintana Posted: November 05, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5898803)
Speaking of one-time allstars....I always thought Gerald Perry was good in my youth, but in the cold light of day, yechh....

How do you hit .300 and have negative WAR?

- Play first base (poorly) and compound that with no power or walks.
- Be fast enough that your manager gives you the green light on the basepaths, but not quite fast enough to break even on the gamble.
- Play for a bad team that has no other options.
   8. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 05, 2019 at 01:06 PM (#5898811)

How do you hit .300 and have negative WAR?

- Play first base (poorly) and compound that with no power or walks.
- Be fast enough that your manager gives you the green light on the basepaths, but not quite fast enough to break even on the gamble.
- Play for a bad team that has no other options.


Take it to the Buckner thread.
   9. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5898813)
the All-star that I cannot understand from the list in #4 is Billy Hunter in 1953--he slashed 219/253/259 that year, good for an OPS+ of 37 (!!). Well, you say, maybe he had a hot first half---no, at the break he was sitting at 245/283/281. What WERE they thinking?

EDIT: I should add that all 12 players listed in #4 made the ASG exactly once, and frankly, except for Gaston, who DID have a good year, it's very difficult to figure out why any of them made the team
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 01:07 PM (#5898814)
How do you hit .300 and have negative WAR?

To be fair, he rarely hit .300. Perry had a .265 lifetime BA. If he did hit .300, he wouldn't have had negative WAR.
   11. stanmvp48 Posted: November 05, 2019 at 01:15 PM (#5898819)
Possibly some of these selections were explained by the one player per team rule
   12. crict Posted: November 05, 2019 at 01:39 PM (#5898832)
From Hunter's bio:

Despite his low batting average at the end of the season, Hunter was hitting well enough at All-Star time to make the American League team for the All-Star Game, representing the Browns along with Satchel Paige. He didn’t get to bat in the game, but he pinch ran for Mickey Mantle. “I was in the top 10 in hitting at the end of June,” Hunter later said. “I always joke that I must not have got another hit the rest of the year because I ended up at .219!


Looking at the game log, he was hitting .307/.350/.340 on June 4. By June 7 he was at .285, by June 14 at .273, and by June 21 at .251.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 02:00 PM (#5898838)
I find the St. Louis Browns fascinating. It's like they've been disappeared by the O's and MLB.

   14. Traderdave Posted: November 05, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5898842)
I find the St. Louis Browns fascinating. It's like they've been disappeared by the O's and MLB.


For reasons I cannot explain, I am also fascinated by the Browns. Have read several books about them.

My oldest brother has lived in Baltimore about 30 years and is a strong O's fan. He follows them daily and sees a couple dozen games a year at Camden. Until last year, when I told him, he had never heard of the Browns. They really have been erased.
   15. RJ in TO Posted: November 05, 2019 at 02:36 PM (#5898853)
The Browns played their last game in St. Louis in 1953, so the massive majority of people who ever saw them play are long dead. A team remained in the city, which was wildly more successful than the Browns ever were, so it wasn't like the market was abandoned, and the Orioles became much more successful than the Browns as well, so there was no eulogizing of the good old days.

They also had virtually no major stars for the last couple decades of their existence either, with their best regulars being Harlond Clift (who is forgotten) and Vern Stephens (who is best remembered for his time with the Red Sox), so you don't get writers or historians talking about how "It's a shame x isn't in the Hall of Fame". Their name was also abandoned in baseball, unlike most other franchises which relocated, so there's no reminder of their history, unlike the Dodgers, Giants, Braves, and so on.

Also, and this can't help, their name is now easily best known for another sport, with the Cleveland Browns, so there's not even that left over.

Their only real era of success was also during the Second World War, in a series described as "the tall men against the fat men at the company picnic," so even their success was a bit of a joke.

If you wanted to create a forgettable franchise, it would be hard to do better than this.
   16. tolbuck Posted: November 05, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5898859)
I had time to kill, so I looked up the batters listed in #4 to see if their selection can be explained.

Reitz-In 1980 the NL named 3 third basement (Knight and Schmidt were the others. Schmidt was hurt and didn't play). His first half numbers were .282/.311/.388, good for a 104 OPS+. Only one other NL 3B left off the team had better numbers than Reitz at the break, Lennie Randle. Reitz had a much better defensive reputation the Randle at the time, though the numbers now suggest this wasn't correct. Some of the bigger names that played third, (Hoerner, Madlock, and Darrell Evans) had terrible first halves. All in all this doesn't seem like an inexplicable choice.

Joe DeMaestri was the only A's player on the '57 team, so his selection is explained by the one player per team rule. He had a solid first half, the best stretch of his career. Of the A's, Hal Smith was better, but at best he was the fifth best catcher in the AL. Gus Zernial was better, but even though Zernial was still good he had started his decline, and I'm sure that was held against him. Hector Lopez, the 3B, was better, and probably should have been the choice. DeMaestri looks inexplicable, but the context of the times probably explains why he was chosen and not Lopez.

Myril Hoag hit .319/.354/.470 with a 120 OPS+ in the first half of 1939. He was one of 3 shortstops named to the AL All Star team, and during the first half of 1939 he was one of the 3 best shortstops in the AL. This was a defensible choice. For the record, Cecil Travis had a terrible first half of 1939, then returned to his usual pre-war self in the second half.

Hunter is an inexplicable choice. The AL named four shortstops to the All Star team that year (Carrasquel, Rizzuto, and Kuenn were the others). Yet, even at the break Hunter was arguably the worst shortstop in the league, and he was a rookie to boot. The one player per team rule doesn't explain it as Satchel Paige was also an All Star. Hunter being named as a late replacement doesn't make sense-the game was in Cincinnati, and if the AL needed a replacement shortstop George Strickland was just up the road in Cleveland, and he was having a much better year.

Of the four, Hoag deserved his spot, Reitz had a legitimate argument, DeMastri didn't but probably benefited from the era he played in, and Hunter was completely inexplicable.
   17. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: November 05, 2019 at 02:57 PM (#5898865)
you could also probably make a case for Domonic Brown in 2013--he was at 273/320/535 at the break, and he was he only Philllie on the team. He ended the season with 2.8 WAR
   18. Tom Nawrocki Posted: November 05, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5898897)
Reitz-In 1980 the NL named 3 third basement (Knight and Schmidt were the others. Schmidt was hurt and didn't play). His first half numbers were .282/.311/.388, good for a 104 OPS+.


Don't forget, the teams are named a week or so ahead of the game, and guys get on the radar before then. Reitz was hitting .400 at the beginning of May 1980, and was still at .378 on June 1. He hit .196 in June, but his average was still at .300 on July 1, which is probably when the All-Stars were named.

Reitz was actually famous for this back in the day: He'd hit .300 in April, then do nothing the rest of the year. His career April BA was .314, but around .250 for the other months of the year.
   19. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: November 05, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5898923)
the Cleveland Browns


Another team best forgotten. It's like the name is cursed.
   20. vortex of dissipation Posted: November 05, 2019 at 08:29 PM (#5898953)
I like the fact that the Cardinals have a statue of George Sisler, the best-known player the Browns ever had, at Busch Stadium. It is at least an acknowledgement that the team existed.
   21. salvomania Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:13 AM (#5899050)
I always thought Gerald Perry was good in my youth, but in the cold light of day, yechh....

He was an outstanding PH for the Cardinals towards the end of his career in 1993-94: In 129 PH plate appearances, he slashed .327/.448/.518, with 24 rbi.

By WAR, those were his two best seasons (0.9 and 0.8) despite getting only 116 and 92 PA, in a career that had three seasons with 500+ PA and another two with 300+ PA.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: November 06, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5899053)

For reasons I cannot explain, I am also fascinated by the Browns. Have read several books about them.


I'm sure you've seen this documentary, but others should check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC_dpKONlhg

It's also interesting that Baltimore took both Browns.
   23. Karl from NY Posted: November 06, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5899197)
Well, the 1901-1902 Baltimore Orioles have also been disappeared, so Baltimore is just paying it forward from that treatment.

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