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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-25-2020

New York Tribune, February 25, 1920:

Ball players may storm and raise ructions on the ball field and they may disobey their managers at times; but in their own home they are like any other married citizen. Heinie Groh, it has been reported, is a hold-out. As a matter of fact, Heinie’s wife is the hold-out. As a matter of fact, Heinie’s wife is the hold-out and Heinie is only acting as the spokesman or middleman.

Groh recently returned his contract to President Garry Herrmann, of the Champion Cincinnati Reds, demanding more money. Herrmann figures that he can pay no more than the amount stipulated in little Heinie’s contract. Enter Mrs. Groh, manager of the Groh household.

A dispatch from Cincinnati last night had it that the directress has forbidden Heinie to sign the contract until Mr. Herrmann comes across with more money. And as yet Heinie hasn’t dared to sign.

I don’t love the image of the domineering wife they’re trying to paint here, but it’s an interesting snapshot of negotiations at the time.

Groh was a heck of a player - at this point, he had three consecutive seasons with an OPS+ over 140, had led the league in doubles and OBP twice in three years, and had been the best player on a World Series champion the previous year. I’m not saying you give the guy a blank check, but it sure seems like if his demands weren’t crazy, Herrmann should have just paid the man. I assume that’s what happened; Groh played 145 games in 1920.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:18 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:19 AM (#5926317)
An excellent group of position players on today's Cub-heavy Birthday Team. One of the stronger starting lineups you'll see all year.

C/Manager: Bob Brenly (12.7 WAR)
1B: Monte Irvin (21.3 WAR)
2B: Johnny Schaive (-0.3 WAR)
3B: Ron Santo (70.5 WAR)
SS: Jack Lohrke (2.3 WAR)
LF: Andy Pafko (36.7 WAR)
CF: Cesar Cedeno (52.8 WAR)
RF: Paul O'Neill (38.8 WAR)

SP: Denny Lemaster (18.4 WAR)
SP: Al Hollingsworth (12.0 WAR)
SP: Ed Lynch (6.5 WAR)
SP: Dana Kiecker (1.5 WAR)
SP: Felix Pena (1.4 WAR)
RP: Ken Dayley (3.3 WAR)

Backup Outfielder: Shannon Stewart (24.9 WAR)
General Manager: Syd Thrift
Owner: Jerry Reinsdorf
Not related, as far as I know: Dave Vineyard, Bob Vines
Not that one: Charlie Kelly
   2. RJ in TO Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5926321)
I can't imagine there are that many birthday teams where 24.9 WAR won't get you a starting job.

Shannon Stewart was one of three minor leaguers followed in this documentary, which is worth watching.
   3. bobm Posted: February 25, 2020 at 10:58 AM (#5926326)
I don’t love the image of the domineering wife they’re trying to paint here, but it’s an interesting snapshot of negotiations at the time.

So, are you saying Heinie's wife could raise a ruction?
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:05 AM (#5926331)
I don’t love the image of the domineering wife they’re trying to paint here, but it’s an interesting snapshot of negotiations at the time.

Strikes me as an accurate description of every household in my family of my parents' and grandparents' generation. Every wife ran the household, and the husbands would turn their paychecks over to their wives. My Dad got spending money from my Mom just like we kids did. :-)
   5. Itchy Row Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:42 AM (#5926340)
She wanted more money so she could sit at home and let her heinie groh.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: February 25, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5926341)
If you raise a ruction, does it create a ruckus?
   7. The Run Fairy Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:04 PM (#5926373)
Groh was a heck of a player - at this point, he had three consecutive seasons with an OPS+ over 140, had led the league in doubles and OBP twice in three years, and had been the best player on a World Series champion the previous year. I’m not saying you give the guy a blank check, but it sure seems like if his demands weren’t crazy, Herrmann should have just paid the man. I assume that’s what happened; Groh played 145 games in 1920.


If they did wind up paying him, Herrmann didn't learn anything from the holdout. From his SABR bio:

[In 1921] Groh became embroiled in a bitter salary dispute with Reds owner Garry Herrmann. Several players held out, including Roush and pitcher Ray Fisher, to protest what they thought were outrageously low salaries. Roush returned on May 1. Fisher elected to take over as baseball coach at the University of Michigan. Groh, however, vowed never to rejoin the Cincinnati club. To resolve the impasse, Groh and the Reds worked out an agreement under which he would sign a contract and be immediately traded back to the New York Giants. Fearing an "unhealthy situation if a dissatisfied player could dictate his transfer to a strong contender before he agreed to sign a contract," Commissioner Landis voided the deal and ruled that Groh could play only with the Reds for the remainder of the season. While Landis insisted that this ruling should not be regarded as establishing a precedent, in fact it did.

Nobody liked this solution—not the Reds; not the Giants; and certainly not Heinie Groh. Once the season ended, the parties finally gained some measure of satisfaction by consummating the trade, and Groh re-joined John McGraw's Giants a decade after he had started his big-league career with that team.


Also: "[Groh] hit in each of the five games (of the 1922 WS), finishing with a Series-best .474 batting average as the Giants swept the New York Yankees. From that point on, Heinie's Ohio license-plate number was 474."

That's fantastic.
   8. The Run Fairy Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:05 PM (#5926374)
I never noticed it before, but Paul O'Neil's bb-ref page includes

"Bats: Left • Throws: Left • Kicks: Left"

with a link to the appropriate highlight.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 25, 2020 at 02:25 PM (#5926378)
MLB.TV just has the Blue Jays radio feed available for the Yankees game. Lots of commercials for ‘Great Canadian Meats’.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 25, 2020 at 03:22 PM (#5926391)
Luis Severino headed to Tommy John Surgery, as the injury jinx persists. Hopefully, the Magic of Pinstripes will suffice once again.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 03:31 PM (#5926398)
Luis Severino headed to Tommy John Surgery, as the injury jinx persists. Hopefully, the Magic of Pinstripes will suffice once again.

Oh come on!!
   12. Walt Davis Posted: February 25, 2020 at 03:44 PM (#5926400)
Is that TJS #1 or #2 for Severino?

Not that I would recommend this but Pafko had 210 starts at 3B and Santo had that silly half-season at 2B for the White Sox so you could get Stewart into the lineup that way. (The young Santo probably would have been OK but nothing special at 2B.) Also not recommended but Cedeno had more starts at 1B than Irvin and Stewart has more MLB WAR than Irvin ... but of course nothing wrong with giving Irvin Negro League credit and war credit, clearly better than Stewart.
   13. AndrewJ Posted: February 25, 2020 at 07:31 PM (#5926435)
Heinie Groh was always on the list of "Players I Mistakenly Thought Were in the Hall of Fame" alongside Pepper Martin, Johnny Pesky and Jack Coombs...
   14. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 25, 2020 at 08:03 PM (#5926438)
Is that TJS #1 or #2 for Severino?

Pretty sure #1.

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