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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 12-31-2020

Ogden Standard-Examiner, December 31, 1920:

Swede Risberg…one of the indicted players on the Chicago White Sox team, sends word from the Pacific coast that he will be back in the American league during the 1921 season.

Narrator: “He wasn’t.”

Risberg spent the next 10-15 years making a living playing in outlaw and semipro leagues.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 10:37 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 10:38 AM (#5996874)
A strong pitching staff on today's Birthday Team. As for the position players...well, there's a strong pitching staff on today's Birthday Team.

Presumably, this team would have a group of fans called The Byrne Ward.

C: King Kelly (46.0 WAR)
1B: Nate Freiman (0.0 WAR)
2B: Jose Baez (1.5 WAR)
3B: Bobby Byrne (13.9 WAR)
SS: Jerry McCormick (0.1 WAR)
LF: Sil Campusano (0.0 WAR)
CF: Walt Goldsby (-0.4 WAR)
RF: Donell Nixon (1.4 WAR)

SP: Syl Johnson (27.4 WAR)
SP: Esteban Loaiza (22.7 WAR)
SP: Rick Aguilera (21.8 WAR)
SP: Tommy Byrne (11.0 WAR)
SP: Brian Moehler (10.8 WAR)
RP: Kelvin Herrera (10.2 WAR)

Manager: Jim Tracy
Umpire: Tom Connolly
Writer/Researcher: Clem Comly
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5996888)
So, I just had a weird thought about who were the "most replacement level" players ever. Played a lot with ~ 0 WAR. Here's the team. I focused on relatively modern players so we'd know the names.

C Mike Matheny 4287 PA -0.5 WAR
1B Willie Montanez 6407 1.7
2B Neifi Perez 5510 2.6
SS Alfredo Griffin 7331 3.0
3B Bob Aspromonte 4799 1.1
LF Bob Kennedy 5067 -2.8
CF Jerry Morales 4984 -2.0
RF Jesus Alou 4577 0.8

P Tony Cloninger 1767 2.1
P Mike LaCoss 1739 1.2
P Andy Hawkins 1558 2.9
P Blue Moon odom 1509 2.2
P Kaiser Wilhelm 1432 1.9
   3. Itchy Row Posted: December 31, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5996890)
Heinie Sand has the most PA (3530) of anybody with 0.0 bWAR. Always replace your heinie sand whenever possible.
   4. The Mighty Quintana Posted: December 31, 2020 at 12:35 PM (#5996891)
Yeah, I feel like Jim Tracy is the appropriate manager for both of these crappy teams.
   5. salvomania Posted: December 31, 2020 at 01:53 PM (#5996904)
So, I just had a weird thought about who were the "most replacement level" players ever. Played a lot with ~ 0 WAR.

I saw Montanez's name and I thought, well, he's not a great example because he had a couple decently high-WAR years in there, but man, I looked at his numbers and was really surprised by how mediocre---or replacement level---he was, year in year out, even during his "big" seasons that made him seem like at worst a lesser-tier star, at least to my young fan's brain.

He had that 30-homer 99-rbi rookie season (with a career-high 1.9 WAR) in 1971 that put him on the map, but every other season of his career was between 1.3 and -2.0 WAR.

He fell off a bit in '72 but still tied for the NL lead in doubles, then he fell off even more in 1974.

But then he had three straight seasons batting over .300 (when that more of a big deal), in one year driving in over 100 runs and in another banging out 206 hits while hitting .317. That was a guy who at the time I think most people considered a decent player, even though he accumulated just 2.4 WAR in the three seasons.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5996915)
#5: I had that same experience with Montanez a few years ago. He even made the 1977 AS team in a season with -0.7 WAR.

We could slot in another Gerald Perry (also a Braves 1B) with 3527 PA and a flat -0.1 WAR. He made the 1988 AS team in a season with 0.2 WAR.

I know we're going for "most replacement level" as opposed to "wow, even worse" but it seems a shame not to mention Doug Flynn with 4085 PA, -7 WAR and part of the package the Mets got for Seaver.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 31, 2020 at 03:45 PM (#5996918)
I saw Montanez's name and I thought, well, he's not a great example because he had a couple decently high-WAR years in there, but man, I looked at his numbers and was really surprised by how mediocre---or replacement level---he was, year in year out, even during his "big" seasons that made him seem like at worst a lesser-tier star, at least to my young fan's brain.


Same here. I remember him from Strat-O-Matic in 1975 - a "1" fielder, hit over .300, drove in over 100 runs. How could he not be a star?
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 05:20 PM (#5996924)
I know we're going for "most replacement level" as opposed to "wow, even worse" but it seems a shame not to mention Doug Flynn with 4085 PA, -7 WAR and part of the package the Mets got for Seaver.

Different team, but Bill Bergen's got C!
   9. Ron J Posted: December 31, 2020 at 05:49 PM (#5996927)
Interesting thought experiment with Bergen. How good would his glove have to be to make his worth playing regularly?

I mean if he threw better than anybody in the game and was a god at stealing strikes (I don't think the available data supports anything more than "good glove -- which has to be a given" would you want him?
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 31, 2020 at 06:01 PM (#5996928)
I don't think there's ever been a good enough glove, at any position, to carry a 21 OPS+. Dude was -56 Rbat per 650 PA.
   11. EddieA Posted: December 31, 2020 at 06:21 PM (#5996932)
Blue Moon is a little bit better than 0 thanks to hitting. He had a 5 HR season in 1969. All his positiveness was in 1968 and 1969.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2020 at 07:34 PM (#5996941)
All his positiveness was in 1968 and 1969.

And that useful postseason ERA of 1.13 in 40 innings across 72-74.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 31, 2020 at 07:44 PM (#5996942)
Man, G3 of the 73 ALCS -- A's win 2-1 in 11, complete games from Holtzmann and Cuellar, Campaneris with the walk-off HR.
   14. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 02, 2021 at 05:50 PM (#5997153)
Willie Montanez WAR
1971 = 1.9
1972 = 1.3
Rest of 14-year career = -1.5
   15. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 02, 2021 at 06:34 PM (#5997155)
Man, G3 of the 73 ALCS -- A's win 2-1 in 11, complete games from Holtzmann and Cuellar, Campaneris with the walk-off HR.


Being the Oakland A's, the defending world champs returned home with the ALCS split 1-1, and drew... 34k, about a 2/3 capacity crowd.
Then for Game 4, attendance dropped to 27k.
Then, for Game 5, Catfish Hunter vs Doyle Alexander with the AL pennant on the line: down to 24k.
   16. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 02, 2021 at 08:23 PM (#5997171)
SP: Tommy Byrne (11.0 WAR)


Tommy Byrne in 1951 walked 150 batters in 144-2/3 innings. I'm wondering if that is the most innings pitched in a season by someone who walked over a batter per inning?
   17. puck Posted: January 03, 2021 at 12:29 PM (#5997229)
Yeah, I feel like Jim Tracy is the appropriate manager for both of these crappy teams.


I am surprised that Bud Black is above.500 overall as Rockies manager. He thanks the coronavirus for that.
If the Rockies play 162 in 2021, they need to win 72+ games for Black to retain the highest winning pct among Rockies managers. Otherwise Jim Tracy reclaims the #1 spot (.488).
   18. EddieA Posted: January 03, 2021 at 12:51 PM (#5997230)
Tommy Byrne in 1951 walked 150 batters in 144-2/3 innings.


with another 15 HBP, leading the league. Like Blue Moon, good hitter. 4.7 WAR hitting, 6.3 pitching.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: January 03, 2021 at 08:20 PM (#5997278)
Being the Oakland A's, the defending world champs returned home with the ALCS split 1-1, and drew... 34k, about a 2/3 capacity crowd.
Then for Game 4, attendance dropped to 27k.
Then, for Game 5, Catfish Hunter vs Doyle Alexander with the AL pennant on the line: down to 24k.


Not that it's an excuse but Tues-Thurs day games. But they didn't do any better the previous year with the 2 weekend games at home. The Tigers didn't do too well (but better) in Gs 3 and 4 in 72 but got a big crowd for G5.

(1) Attendance in those days stunk by today's standards, playoffs or not, leaguewide. In 1972, the A's drew fewer than 1 million -- which was good enough for 5th in the AL (it was a shortened season due to the mini-strike). The biggest draw in 1972 was the Mets at 27,300 per game. The O's coming off a long run of excellence drew under 12,000 per game. The Brewers drew a mere 7,600. In 73, the Dodgers led drawing just over 26,000; the Dodgers took a big leap to 32,000 in 74. Meanwhile in 73, Cleveland and SD were in the 7500-7600 range; in 74, the Giants (!) fell to 6400. So combined across Giants/A's, that was just 1.36 M total.

(2) Oakland attendance has pretty much always sucked except for a few of the LaRussa years (when the Giants kinda stunk). Winning the WS in 72, attendance barely went up in 73 but they dropped to 8th. Drawing just over 12,000 per in the regular season, those playoff attendances represent 200-250% their usual crowd. But Balitmore was again under 12,000 but did well in weekend Gs 1 and 2, drawing 300-350% usual. With 2 WS under their belt, A's attendance dropped to 10,400 per game but they did draw prety well in their two ALCS weekend games at 41-42,000.

(3) I don't recall how playoff ticket sales worked in those days. I assume they sold "when necessary" game tix in advance but I don't know for sure. I'm pretty certain tix (or the right to buy tix) didn't go on sale until the division was clinched so you might only have a few days to sell them. I suspect in those days you could rock up early on the day and tix would still be for sale.

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