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Thursday, February 27, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 2-27-2020

Bridgeport Times, February 27, 1920:

Zimmerman And Hal Chase Are Dropped

Report That No Club In Either League Will Claim Them—Has This Any Connection With Crusade Against Gambling By Players?

The biggest sensation in modern baseball is due to break within the next few days. It is understood that Hal Chase, first baseman, and Heine Zimmerman, third baseman, of the Giants, have played their last big league game, and their retirement at a time when both are valuable assets to the Giants, will cause nationwide surprise.
...
[Earlier this week a] newspaperman spoke to Magee about this matter. His reply was: “Well, Bill, if they are going to [release and blacklist] me I guarantee you that I won’t be the goat alone; at least one other player will go along with me.” He did not specify who the other player was.

Everyone sort of knew, though; this wasn’t the first time organized baseball looked into Hal Chase and gambling.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 27, 2020 at 09:53 AM | 22 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, game-fixing, history

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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: February 27, 2020 at 09:55 AM (#5926746)
I can imagine the conversation between Birthday Team manager Johnny Pesky and center fielder Denard Span:
"Listen, Denard, Matt Stairs is in right field. You're maybe going to want to shade a bit to your left."
"Okay, I can do that. Who's in left?"
"Johnny Wockenfuss. So maybe you're going to want to shade everywhere."

C: Cy Perkins (11.3 WAR)
1B: Ron Hassey (14.7 WAR)
2B: Chick Fullis (1.5 WAR)
3B: Connie Ryan (16.9 WAR)
SS/Manager: Johnny Pesky (31.9 WAR)
LF: John Wockenfuss (7.1 WAR)
CF: Denard Span (26.2 WAR)
RF: Matt Stairs (14.2 WAR)

SP: Hilton Smith (0.0 WAR, Negro Leagues great in the Baseball Hall of Fame)
SP: Anibal Sanchez (26.7 WAR)
SP: Yovani Gallardo (21.9 WAR)
SP: Greg Cadaret (6.6 WAR)
SP: Rube Melton (5.8 WAR)
RP: Pete Smith (5.0 WAR)

Owner: Walter Briggs
Fun name/Fun player: Jumbo Diaz
Fun name: Bud Teachout
   2. Mefisto Posted: February 27, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5926773)
A cynic might note that Chase was 37 and near the end of his career (1.3 WAR in 1919). His departure opened the door for Highpockets Kelly who, while not a deserving HOF'er, was a productive player (24 WAR over the next 7 years). Zimmerman was still useful at 33 (2.2 WAR in 1919) but aging and the Giants replaced him quickly and won 4 consecutive pennants.
   3. Ron J Posted: February 27, 2020 at 11:49 AM (#5926787)
#2 Worth noting that there was an unusually large difference between Chae's rep as a player and how good he was. Aging stars tend to have to play themselves out of a job. Though in this case McGraw had a complicated relationship with Chase, was a good judge of who was ready and wasn't afraid to make agressive moves.

One of the WTF moments that sums up the difference between his rep and his value -- Ruth picked Chase for his all time team.
   4. RJ in TO Posted: February 27, 2020 at 11:56 AM (#5926792)
Matt Stairs had a 117 OPS+ over 6042 PA, which you'd think would generally result in more than 14.2 WAR.
   5. Mefisto Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:07 PM (#5926796)
One of the WTF moments that sums up the difference between his rep and his value -- Ruth picked Chase for his all time team.


I remember that, at least now that you reminded me. Chase must've been the Jeter of his day. :D
   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:08 PM (#5926797)
Matt Stairs had a 117 OPS+ over 6042 PA, which you'd think would generally result in more than 14.2 WAR.

Bref has him at -17.0 dWAR
   7. RJ in TO Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:13 PM (#5926798)
Oh, don't get me wrong. Stairs was definitely not great in the field. It's just kind of impressive that he was bad enough out there to turn that sort of offense over that length of time into a career where he was below average.
   8. Ron J Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:20 PM (#5926802)
#7 Was mulling that over. I think the issue is that Stairs always gave an honest effort. Maybe made his managers more willing to stick him in situation (like playing RF regularly) that he couldn't handle -- at least not well.
   9. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: February 27, 2020 at 12:28 PM (#5926806)
The thing that just blows me away about Matt Stairs is that he was a 2B/SS in the minor leagues. I can't even envision what it would look like to have him try to pivot on a double play - even when he was young, he wasn't at all athletic.
   10. asinwreck Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:09 PM (#5926841)
Matt Stairs played SS a bit in the minors. Imagine it. It's like Astudillo today, but with less range.
   11. Ron J Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:11 PM (#5926842)
#9 but he was short and sometimes that matters initially.
   12. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 27, 2020 at 02:15 PM (#5926845)
The thing that just blows me away about Matt Stairs is that he was a 2B/SS in the minor leagues. I can't even envision what it would look like to have him try to pivot on a double play
Like R2D2 turning a corner.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:02 PM (#5926876)
Well ... except for those of us who were big fans of the Expos' low minors teams (not me), none of us saw Stairs when he was "young." :-) 300 PA over 5 calendar years through age 28. A lot can happen to a Canadian's body between the ages of 21 and 29.
   14. mathesond Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:18 PM (#5926878)
A lot can happen to a Canadian's body between the ages of 21 and 29.


I can personally attest to that.
   15. vortex of dissipation Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:20 PM (#5926880)
I can imagine the conversation between Birthday Team manager Johnny Pesky and center fielder Denard Span:
"Listen, Denard, Matt Stairs is in right field. You're maybe going to want to shade a bit to your left."
"Okay, I can do that. Who's in left?"
"Johnny Wockenfuss. So maybe you're going to want to shade everywhere."


So...he's expected to span the entire outfield?
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:23 PM (#5926881)
Stairs is 17th in career WAR among Canadian-born players, behind such stalwarts as Pete Ward, Twinkletoes Selkirk, and Terry Puhl

I didn't know those guys were Canadian
   17. bbmck Posted: February 27, 2020 at 04:28 PM (#5926883)
Debut since 1951, there are 128 players with 3000+ PA and 114-120 OPS+, collectively they have 4149 WAR and 823772 PA or 1 WAR per 198.55 PA or 3.3 WAR per 650 PA. WAR per 650 PA among the group:

1.2 - Dick Stuart
1.3 - Lucas Duda, Billy Butler
1.5 - Dmitri Young, Dave Kingman, Matt Stairs
1.6 - Leon Wagner
1.7 - Mike Marshall
1.9 - Cecil Fielder, Pat Burrell, Paul Konerko, Steve Henderson

3.1 - Richie Hebner, Ken Caminiti, Floyd Robinson, Eugenio Suarez, Gary Roenicke, Justin Upton
3.2 - Yasmani Grandal, Luis Gonzalez, Kevin McReynolds, Mark Grace
3.3 - Pete Rose, Rusty Greer, Mike Napoli
3.4 - Johnny Callison, Amos Otis, Ted Simmons, Darren Daulton, Ryan Zimmerman
3.5 - Michael Brantley, Willie Crawford

5.1 - Gary Carter, Barry Larkin, Manny Machado, Thurman Munson, Adrian Beltre
5.2 - Lenny Dykstra, Jose Ramirez
5.3 - Troy Tulowitzki
5.4 - Chase Utley
5.7 - Francisco Lindor

The other career WAR leaders among the group: Robin Yount 4.1, Lou Whitaker 4.9, Derek Jeter 3.7, Carlos Beltran 4.1, Carlton Fisk 4.5, Ryne Sandberg 4.8 and Roberto Alomar 4.2.
   18. eric Posted: February 27, 2020 at 05:10 PM (#5926907)
Johnny Wockenfuss.


I was about 100 years off in my guess for when a guy with a name like that would have played.
   19. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2020 at 06:29 PM (#5926938)
Huh ... I was surprised to see the "Johnny" since I remembered referred to as "John" ... and lo and behold his main name at b-r is "John" but apparently his full name is "Johnny."

I was about 100 years off in my guess for when a guy with a name like that would have played.

He was born in the hills of WV so close enough.
   20. bbmck Posted: February 27, 2020 at 11:34 PM (#5926981)
Position player rank in MVP voting for 9+ position player WAR seasons since 1931, 75 seasons lead the league, *18 are 2nd and **2004 Scott Rolen is 3rd, no player has changed teams during a 9+ posWAR season in the MVP era.

1st (42): 1932 Foxx, 1933 Foxx, 1936 Gehrig, *1941 DiMaggio, 1943 Musial, 1946 Ted, 1948 Boudreau, 1948 Musial, 1949 Ted, 1949 Jackie, 1953 Rosen, 1954 Mays, 1956 Mantle, 1957 Mantle, *1958 Banks, 1959 Banks, 1965 Mays, 1967 Yaz, 1975 Morgan, 1976 Morgan, 1977 Carew, 1980 Brett, 1982 Yount, 1990 Rickey, 1990 Barry, 1991 Ripken, 1992 Barry, 1993 Barry, 1997 Griffey, 1997 Walker, 2001 Barry, 2002 Barry, 2003 Barry, 2004 Barry, 2005 A-Rod, 2007 A-Rod, 2008 Pujols, 2009 Pujols, 2015 Harper, 2016 Trout, 2018 Betts, 2019 Bellinger

2nd (21): 1935 Arky, 1941 Ted, 1942 Ted, 1947 Ted, *1949 Musial, *1951 Musial, *1957 Ted, 1958 Mays, 1961 Mantle, 1962 Mays, *1963 Aaron, 1966 Mays, *1996 A-Rod, 2001 Giambi, *2001 Sosa, *2004 Beltre, 2012 Trout, 2013 Trout, 2015 Trout, *2016 Betts, *2018 Trout

3rd (6): 1934 Gehrig, 1953 Snider, 1960 Mays, 1963 Mays, 1985 Rickey, 2000 A-Rod

4th (12): 1931 Ruth, 1951 Jackie, 1955 Mays, *1961 Cash, 1967 Santo, 1970 Yaz, 1972 Morgan, 1973 Morgan, *1985 Boggs, 1996 Griffey, *1997 Biggio, **2004 Rolen

5th (4): 1955 Mantle, *1969 Reggie, 1974 Schmidt, 1996 Barry

6th (3): 1964 Mays, 1968 Yaz, 1969 Petrocelli

7th (2): *1934 Foxx, 1961 Aaron

Other (3): 15th *1973 DaEvans, 23rd 1984 Ripken, 12th *2008 Utley

42 out of 75 or 56% win MVP
63 out of 93 or 68% finish top 2
69 out of 94 or 73% finish top 3
81 out of 94 or 86% finish top 4

Dropping to 8+ posWAR adds some reasonably sabr famous league leaders like 1995 John Valentin and 2009 Ben Zobrist who get little MVP support while in many cases like with 9+ WAR the player receives considerable MVP support with Snuffy Stirnweiss getting the 2nd most position player MVP support both times he leads the league but does so in seasons the MVP voters are aware it's not T-Ball. It also means 2004 NL with 6 players who finish 1st-4th, 6th and 14th, 3 seasons with 4 players, 23 seasons with 3 players and 40 seasons with 2 players.

Dropping to 7+ posWAR there are only 33 seasons with only 1 player meeting the criteria including 2008 Nick Markakis getting no MVP votes which forms a central pillar of a view on how WAR has(n't) impacted MVP voting. Looking at it another way, the best seasons according to posWAR have been pretty consistently recognized by MVP voters.

9+ pitWAR is completely separate, since Pedro finished 2nd in 1999 with 9.8 pitWAR those with 9+ pitWAR are 15th 1999 Randy, 5th 2000 Pedro, 11th 2001 Randy, 7th 2002 Randy, 17th 2009 Greinke, 7th 2015 Greinke, 5th 2018 deGrom and 13th 2018 Nola.
   21. Mefisto Posted: February 28, 2020 at 12:40 PM (#5927110)
That 1964 MVP voting must have been wild. Mays finished 6th with not just 9 posWAR, but 11!
   22. Itchy Row Posted: February 28, 2020 at 02:52 PM (#5927136)
Dick Allen (8.8) and Ron Santo (8.9) just missed 9 WAR and finished 7th and 8th in 1964.

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