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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-13-2021

New York Tribune, January 13, 1921:

The two major leagues [yesterday] signed the new national agreement making Kenesaw M. Landis baseball commissioner with supreme powers as their ruler…

Besides signing the national agreement, the individual major league club owners affixed their signatures to a contract in which they agreed not to publicly criticize each other or talk about one another and to accept any decision made by Judge Landis regardless of their personal opinion of it.

Getting this done was a heck of an accomplishment. Trying to get these owners to agree on anything was like herding cats.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 13, 2021 at 07:26 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 13, 2021 at 07:29 AM (#5999428)
Not a great Birthday Team today. Mitchell and Forsch were good players, but nobody with big-time star power.

I mention this every year on his birthday, but Brand had a super-weird career. After hitting .160/.261/.185 while backing up the adequate (93 OPS+) John Bateman with the '68 Astros, Brand wound up playing well as the starting catcher on the expansion Expos in '69, ahead of Bateman, who was alternately injured and ineffective.

And then, out of the blue, never before having played the position in the major leagues, Ron Brand was moved from catcher to shortstop in 1970.

C: Ron Brand (0.2 WAR)
1B: Billy Jo Robidoux (-2.4 WAR)
2B: Bama Rowell (5.5 WAR)
3B: Steve Mesner (1.8 WAR)
SS: Orlando Miller (1.6 WAR)
LF: Kevin Mitchell (29.1 WAR)
CF: Fred Schulte (15.8 WAR)
RF: Jud Smith (1.1 WAR)

SP: Bob Forsch (24.6 WAR)
SP: Elmer Dessens (11.8 WAR)
SP: Larry Jaster (3.6 WAR)
SP: Steve Comer (3.0 WAR)
SP: Kevin Foster (2.7 WAR)
RP: Akinori Otsuka (6.6 WAR)

Fun names: Cactus Keck, Bunny Hearn, Spades Wood
Not that one: Mike Tyson
Tall guy: Andy Sisco
   2. salvomania Posted: January 13, 2021 at 08:54 AM (#5999436)
Mitchell and Forsch were good players, but nobody with big-time star power.

Try saying that in 1989.
   3. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 13, 2021 at 09:32 AM (#5999443)
Elmer Dessens played his 1996 home games in Mexico City, Zebulon, NC, Calgary, and Pittsburgh.

Does anyome know why Mexican League stats are so limited on Baseball-reference? It seems the league has been part of the National Association since 1955, so you'd think their numbers would be stored somewhere.
   4. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 13, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#5999458)
I mention this every year on his birthday, but Brand had a super-weird career. After hitting .160/.261/.185 while backing up the adequate (93 OPS+) John Bateman with the '68 Astros, Brand wound up playing well as the starting catcher on the expansion Expos in '69, ahead of Bateman, who was alternately injured and ineffective.


One of the many weird things about this is that in the expansion draft, Montreal decided to take two Houston catchers. "You guys know what, I think the best way to build this new franchise is to replicate the Astros' catching situation, eh?"

That off-season, the Astros also traded their third catcher to the Cardinals for the veteran Johnny Edwards. Edwards had a mediocre season in Houston in 1969 (.232/.306/.323, 1.5 WAR), but for some strange reason, someone threw him a 10th-place MVP vote.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: January 13, 2021 at 10:54 AM (#5999461)
Elmer Dessens played his 1996 home games in Mexico City, Zebulon, NC, Calgary, and Pittsburgh.
This sentence reads funnier if you pretend Zebulon is the name of some obscure country (or planet).

Does anyome know why Mexican League stats are so limited on Baseball-reference? It seems the league has been part of the National Association since 1955, so you'd think their numbers would be stored somewhere.
Just the other day I was surprised they didn't have Erubiel Durazo's 1997-1998 Mexican stats.
   6. salvomania Posted: January 13, 2021 at 11:11 AM (#5999463)
SP: Bob Forsch (24.6 WAR)

Forsch has more career WAR as a hitter (5.7) than all but two of today's birthday position players.

He probably has to be the most unlikely of all the pitchers to have thrown multiple no-hitters; his career 3.64 K/9 is lower than any other of that group of 35 except deadballer Addie Joss (3.55). The only things going for him were a lot of innings (2,800) and a very generous hometown official scorer in the 8th inning of the first one.
   7. mathesond Posted: January 13, 2021 at 12:52 PM (#5999489)
The Jays signed Mark Shapiro to a five year extension.
   8. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 13, 2021 at 02:04 PM (#5999504)
A player who I'm 100% sure is better than Billy Jo Robidoux as a first baseman for today's birthday team is Makoto Matsubara, who hit 331 home runs while playing in NPB from 1962 to 1981, all but one season with the Taiyo Whales. Matsubara was an 11-time All-Star; he only accumulated a bit of black ink (he led the league in hits twice and doubles three times), and never made the Best Nine, but his career was spent in the same league, at the exact same time, as Sadaharu Oh, which explains the latter*. Nevertheless, he was a consistent power threat for many years, hitting over 20 home runs nine times. He finished his career with a line of .276/.330/.465 with 331 HR. As I mentioned, he played all but one year for the Taiyo Whales - they were usually a bad team in that era, and never won a pennant in the 19 seasons he played for them. He played his last season as a part-time player at age 37 for the Yomiuri Giants, getting only 60 AB and hitting only one home run. But the Giants won the pennant, and Matsubara finally got to play in a Japan Series. In game one of the Japan Series, he hit a pinch hit home run, and the Giants went on to win the Series. A nice end to a career.

* Matsubara played from 1962 to 1981; Oh made the Best Nine at first base every year from 1962 to 1979.
   9. Moeball Posted: January 13, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#5999533)
Has anyone heard anything yet about when Baseball Gauge is going to have their 2020 seasonal update done? Or Retrosheet, for that matter? So far Baseball Reference seems to be the only site that recognizes the 2020 season is completed. Asking for a friend!
   10. John DiFool2 Posted: January 14, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#5999711)
[So I can then make a post in the HoM]
   11. JJ1986 Posted: January 14, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#5999813)
I don't understand why a team with JD Davis needs Jose Martinez.
   12. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 19, 2021 at 05:21 PM (#6000638)
Don Sutton, dead at the age of 75. We lose yet another Hall of Famer.
   13. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 19, 2021 at 06:23 PM (#6000651)
Has anyone heard anything yet about when Baseball Gauge is going to have their 2020 seasonal update done? Or Retrosheet, for that matter? So far Baseball Reference seems to be the only site that recognizes the 2020 season is completed. Asking for a friend!

Retrosheet seems to have 2020 up, unless I'm missing something.

Also, RIP Don Sutton. Unbelievably brutal last few months for Hall of Famers - starting pitchers especially.

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