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Monday, January 27, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 1-27-2020

Pittsburgh Press, January 27, 1920:

“Peerless Hal” Chase has probably played his last game of baseball. Recognizing the near approach of the inevitable end of a long and sensational career, he is planning to retire from the national pastime before the opening of another season and may announced his voluntary passing at any time now.

There is no question of failure to negotiate a satisfactory contract with the Giants involved in Chase’s determination to quit the diamond. He simply realized that he is rapidly nearing the end of his baseball rope and is anxious to become established in some other profession while he is still a comparatively young man.

...also, he probably realized that it was best if he walked away before the Black Sox thing blew up and people started looking into match fixing in baseball.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 09:58 AM | 59 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5919511)
Here's today's ho-hum Birthday Team. It's not a great sign when one of your top position players (Lowenstein) is famous for being president of his own Apathy Club.

C/Manager: Eric Wedge (0.2 WAR)
1B: John Lowenstein (10.0 WAR)
2B: Tim Beckham (5.5 WAR)
3B: Charlie Duffee (6.2 WAR)
SS: Angel Berroa (1.0 WAR)
LF: Bibb Falk (22.5 WAR)
CF: Bryan Reynolds (3.9 WAR)
RF: Al Wickland (7.6 WAR)

SP: Julio Teheran (20.2 WAR)
SP: Milt Gaston (16.2 WAR)
SP: Gavin Floyd (15.6 WAR)
SP: Fred Heimach (7.3 WAR)
SP/Umpire: Bob Emslie (5.8 WAR)
RP: Sleepy Bill Burns (4.0 WAR)

General Manager: Dan Evans
One-year wonder: Phil Plantier (2.3 WAR)
Nickname should have been "eggs": Mike Overy
Designated Francophone: Pete LaForest
   2. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:16 AM (#5919517)
Phil Plantier: great stance.
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:20 AM (#5919519)
I think today's anagram of the day is the answer to the question "What will the Wrigley Field groundskeepers be concentrating on in October 2020?"

Gavin Floyd -> Ivy and Golf
   4. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:26 AM (#5919522)
Trivia - 11 pitchers reached the #1 ranking in the starting pitcher ratings during the 1940s. By days at #1:

695.
428.
306.
98.
91.
65.
43.
29.
16.
1.
1.

The '40s were... not the same as the '30s, when non-Hall of Famers combined for 6 days at #1. So... good luck!
   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:30 AM (#5919524)
Feller, Newhouser. Lemon? Spud Chandler.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:31 AM (#5919526)
Ted Lyons? Or is this too late?
Billy Pierce? Or is this too early?
   7. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:32 AM (#5919528)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306.
98.
91.
65.
43.
29. Spud Chandler
16.
1.
1.

Lemon is more of a '50s guy, although he did reach as high as #2 in 1949.
   8. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:34 AM (#5919529)
Ted Lyons? Or is this too late?
Billy Pierce? Or is this too early?


It's never too late for Ted Lyons, but he never actually reached #1. (He did, however, reach #3 in 1926 and again in 1942. He pitched for a long time, and it would have been even longer if not for the war.)

Too early for Pierce.
   9. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:41 AM (#5919530)
In my historical DMB league I drafted a guy named Nels Potter that was pretty good during the war years. I don't know if he ever bested Newhouser, but I'll guess Nels Potter anyway.

Also, Dizzy Trout?

   10. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5919531)
I semi-cheated by using BR, but Lefty Grove may have held the title on opening day of 1940. So, Lefty Grove.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5919532)
Ewell Blackwell?
   12. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5919533)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306.
98.
91.
65. Dizzy Trout
43.
29. Spud Chandler
16.
1.
1.

Nels Potter is an excellent guess, but as you expected, he peaked at #2 behind Newhouser.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5919534)
Red Ruffing?
Johnny Vander Meer?
Lefty Gomez?
   14. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:45 AM (#5919535)
Feller was #1 on Opening Day of '40; Grove's workload had been notably reduced in '38 and '39 (although he still won the ERA title both years).

Blackwell got as high as #2 in '47, but faltered for the next two years - which is unfortunate, because those two years were good chances for people to reach the #1 spot ('49, in particular, had the lowest season-ending #1 score up to this point).
   15. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:48 AM (#5919538)
Ruffing and Gomez were more '30s guys (and both reached #1 during the '30s); Feller dominated the early part of the '40s too much. Vander Meer peaked at #2 in '43, ended the season at #3, then (common theme) went to war for two years and never quite reached the same heights after returning.
   16. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 27, 2020 at 10:58 AM (#5919541)
Let's throw Mort Cooper out there. The Cardinals dominated the first half of the 1940s, but then again, so did Newhouser and Feller. Hank Borowy had a big year in 1945 when most of the good pitchers were in the military, but I doubt it was enough to get him to the top spot.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5919547)
Is Claude Passeau a possibility? He also had a very good run during the war years, although likely not good enough to get in front of Newhouser for even a short time.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5919548)
Warren Spahn?
   19. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:04 AM (#5919550)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98.
91.
65. Dizzy Trout
43.
29. Spud Chandler
16.
1.
1.

Feller went to war in '42, and Newhouser didn't climb the rankings until '44 (at least not in lasting fashion). Cooper was the dominant pitcher in the interim, going 65-22, 2.17 from '42 to '44.
   20. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:06 AM (#5919551)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98.
91.
65. Dizzy Trout
43.
29. Spud Chandler
16.
1. Warren Spahn
1.

Spahn and the other one-day #1 pitcher are similar in one respect, completely different in every other respect.

Passeau, like Nels Potter, peaked at #2 behind Newhouser. (Passeau was better outside those years, spending time in the top 10 in every season from '40 to '46. But he never reached the top spot.)
   21. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:08 AM (#5919552)
Now that Chandler and Cooper have both been guessed, I can mention the end of the '43 season. Cooper had held the #1 spot for the entire year until Game 5 of the World Series, in which Cooper and Chandler faced each other. Chandler outpitched Cooper, won the game, clinched the Series for the Yankees, and took the #1 spot on the last day of the season.
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:14 AM (#5919555)
Were Raschi or Reynolds good yet? Or is that early 50's?
   23. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:20 AM (#5919559)
Were Raschi or Reynolds good yet? Or is that early 50's?

More early '50s, though Raschi got as high as #4 in '49 (and Lopat, the third member of the trio, spent time at #5 in both '47 and '48).
   24. eric Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:35 AM (#5919562)
Bucky Walters?
   25. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:41 AM (#5919566)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98.
91. Bucky Walters
65. Dizzy Trout
43.
29. Spud Chandler
16.
1. Warren Spahn
1.

Walters actually has the most time in the top 10 of any starter in the decade (with all the requisite caveats, of course). He reached #1 in both '42 and '44; we're still missing one pitcher from each of those seasons. The other two came later in the decade.
   26. AndrewJ Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:50 AM (#5919570)
Schoolboy Rowe?
   27. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:51 AM (#5919571)
Bonus notes about the two best pitchers from the '40s: Newhouser has the second-longest streak so far of days at #1 (counting in-season days only), holding the top spot from 6/7/45 to 4/23/48 (492 days). Feller's 427-day streak (9/8/39 to 5/24/42) is third, and Feller also ended Newhouser's run at the top, giving him the longest gap between times at #1 (1030 in-season days, edging Walter Johnson, who also went nearly 6 years - from '20 to '26 - between visits to the top spot).
   28. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:53 AM (#5919573)
Schoolboy Rowe?

Not this decade (Rowe did get to #1 for six days in the '30s, though). Between injuries and the war, Rowe didn't really put together a stretch of consistent excellent pitching in the '40s.
   29. RickA. Posted: January 27, 2020 at 11:55 AM (#5919576)
Virgil Trucks?
   30. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:01 PM (#5919578)
Virgil Trucks?

Reached #3 in the very tumultuous '49 season, did not get to #1 during the decade though. (Also serves as a secondary answer to a decently challenging trivia question - name all of the pitchers who made more starts in a single World Series than they did in the regular season leading up to it. Jim Konstanty 1950 is the obvious answer, but Trucks also made two starts in the '45 Series after making only one in the regular season.)
   31. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:14 PM (#5919582)
The other 1 day wonder couldn't be Johnny Sain, could it?
   32. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5919583)
I really thought Sain would get to number 1 during the '48 season, but he peaked at #2 and finished at #3 that year, behind the 98-day pitcher who still hasn't been guessed.

The other one-day guy is the only pitcher to reach #1 so far while ending up with less than 100 career wins.
   33. Mark Donelson Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:24 PM (#5919587)
Dutch Leonard?
   34. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:29 PM (#5919590)
Leonard reached the top 10 in eight different years during the decade, but peaked at #3 in '48.
   35. Mark Donelson Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:33 PM (#5919595)
Two more tries and I'll give up. :)

Bobo Newsom? (More a '30s guy, admittedly, but maybe bled into the decade?)
Harry Breechen?
   36. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:39 PM (#5919598)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98. Harry Brecheen
91. Bucky Walters
65. Dizzy Trout
43.
29. Spud Chandler
16.
1. Warren Spahn
1.

Newsom reached #2 in both '39 and '40, ending both of those seasons at #3, and reached the top 10 in every season from '38 to '46. Among pitchers who never reached #1, he trails only Lyons and Tommy Bridges in the metric I'm using to capture ordinal position in the rankings over a full career (caveat for Eppa Rixey, who has some good seasons preceding what I have currently measured and isn't far behind Newsome as it is). But he never quite got to #1.

Remaining pitchers are a Dodger and two Red Sox.
   37. Don August(us) Cesar Geronimo Berroa Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5919600)
Castellanos to the Reds, 4 years /64 million (reportedly)
   38. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5919601)
Harry Breechen?

Also: First, this is an excellent guess (Brecheen was really, really good in '48, and a quality starter - albeit in relatively limited workloads at times - for the better part of the decade), and second, I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who thought his name was spelled this way.
   39. mathesond Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:42 PM (#5919602)
Sal Maglie?
   40. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:48 PM (#5919604)
Sal Maglie?

Maglie jumped to the Mexican leagues and got suspended for the last few years of the decade. Given how he pitched after returning, there's a very good chance he'd have reached #1 at some point otherwise (and he still might in the '50s). But he only made 10 (excellent) MLB starts in the '40s.
   41. Mark Donelson Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:49 PM (#5919605)
I'm glad to see I'm not the only person who thought his name was spelled this way.


Holy cow, you're right! I never noticed before. So I've also been mispronouncing it in my head all these years... This is what you get when you only know about a guy by (mis)reading about him.
   42. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5919610)
Holy cow, you're right! I never noticed before.

I had him spelled wrong in my spreadsheets for his entire rookie year before noticing; even then, it took typing "bree" in B-R's search bar and having him vanish from the dropdown of possible results before I figured it out.
   43. Mark Donelson Posted: January 27, 2020 at 01:35 PM (#5919625)
All right, I'm back, your Boston hint having bounced around in my head:

Mel Parnell?
   44. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 01:38 PM (#5919627)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98. Harry Brecheen
91. Bucky Walters
65. Dizzy Trout
43.
29. Spud Chandler
16. Mel Parnell
1. Warren Spahn
1.

Parnell actually closed the decade at #1, achieving a couple of (closely related) milestones in '49 - lowest score for an end-of-season #1, and biggest climb up the rankings to reach #1 in a single season (he started '49 at #34).

One Dodger and one Red Sock to go.
   45. JJ1986 Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:12 PM (#5919643)
Arizona is reportedly going to trade for Starling Marte.
The Cubs are interested in Scooter Gennett, because one Daniel Descalso isn't enough.
   46. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:21 PM (#5919645)
Preacher Roe?
   47. Qufini Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5919663)
Whit Wyatt?
   48. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:39 PM (#5919664)
Roe got as high as #5 in the '40s. Both remaining pitchers reached #1 before Roe was at his best - one in '42, the other in '44.
   49. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:42 PM (#5919666)
Only Dodger SP I can think of from that era is Newcombe, but it's got to be too early for him.

Edit: checking B-Ref he did have a hell of a '49 season.
   50. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:44 PM (#5919669)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98. Harry Brecheen
91. Bucky Walters
65. Dizzy Trout
43. Whit Wyatt
29. Spud Chandler
16. Mel Parnell
1. Warren Spahn
1.

One to go - the last guy left is probably the most obscure pitcher who's reached #1 so far (he would be competing with Ray Kremer).
   51. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:46 PM (#5919670)
Newcombe did reach #10 in 1949, one of a very short list of pitchers to go from unranked to the top 10 in one season. But not #1.
   52. Rennie's Tenet Posted: January 27, 2020 at 02:48 PM (#5919672)
Arizona is reportedly going to trade for Starling Marte.


I hope so. Nothing dumber than holding a guy who misses time every single year in the hope you'll get a big haul at the deadline.
   53. RJ in TO Posted: January 27, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5919676)
Gene Bearden? He had that great rookie season, and then quickly went to ####.
   54. AndrewJ Posted: January 27, 2020 at 03:12 PM (#5919677)
Tex Hughson?
   55. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5919679)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98. Harry Brecheen
91. Bucky Walters
65. Dizzy Trout
43. Whit Wyatt
29. Spud Chandler
16. Mel Parnell
1. Warren Spahn
1. Tex Hughson

Nice!

Tex Hughson is one of my favorite "discoveries" during this process. I had been hoping to find someone who was number 1 for exactly one day (Spahn of course has one day in the '40s as well, but - spoiler alert for next time - also reaches #1 during the '50s). An earlier version of the system had Wilbur Cooper at #1 for one day, but in this version he never quite made it.

Hughson was a terrific pitcher for the Red Sox around the war years, when he wasn't either (a) in the military himself, or (b) hurt after coming back. He was a major contributor to the '46 pennant winners, but his day at #1 was August 9, 1944, when he threw a 4-hit, 1-run complete game to pass both Trout and Cooper and grab the #1 spot. Trout and Cooper then both pitched on 8/10 and passed him again, marking two of the 1944 seasons' 21 changes at the #1 spot (the most I've seen so far by a good margin). Hughson was the fifth pitcher to reach #1 that year, which was also the most in one season to date.

Not only was August 9, 1944 Hughson's only day at #1, it was also his last start before going into the military. So that's pretty good timing.
   56. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 27, 2020 at 03:30 PM (#5919681)
695. Hal Newhouser
428. Bob Feller
306. Mort Cooper
98. Harry Brecheen
91. Bucky Walters


My Mom was a big Bucky Walters fan. She wouldn't have understood your list but she would have been proud of him for making it. ;)
   57. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5919698)
My Mom was a big Bucky Walters fan. She wouldn't have understood your list but she would have been proud of him for making it. ;)

The system likes Walters quite a bit - the aforementioned attempt at compiling ordinal position in the rankings into a single career measurement ranks him first among non-Hall of Famers so far (1918-50). Caveats for both weakened competition during the war (for Walters) and absence for two years during the war (for Tommy Bridges, who's not far behind). But this also isn't giving Walters any credit for his hitting, which was excellent for a pitcher - 7.8 WAR after moving to the mound full-time in '35.
   58. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: January 27, 2020 at 09:45 PM (#5919784)
OK, totally unrelated to the SP rankings except that I discovered it while going through 1951 data: On July 12, 1951, the White Sox and Red Sox played a doubleheader, and the second game went 17 innings. The next day, they played again - and that game went 19 innings. Including the first game of the original doubleheader, they played 45 innings of baseball in 2 days. That seems fairly likely to be a record. (Also, in each game of the doubleheader, one of the starters pitched 17 innings.)
   59. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: January 28, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5919998)
SF signed Yolmer Sanchez to a minor league deal - he supposedly turned down big league offers to get a shot at the starting 2B job.

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