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Friday, March 20, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 3-20-2020

Pittsburgh Press, March 20, 1920:

It seems that a gross injustice has been done Heine Zimmerman of the Giants. When the story came out sometime ago that the majors had established a virtual blacklist against certain players for their gambling activities, Zimmerman’s name was mentioned as being one of the unfortunates.

Now it is said that no such charges were ever brought against him. He got into trouble with McGraw last season by breaking the club’s rules. He was tendered a contract some time ago, but it called for a small salary, and Heine refused to sign it. He did not report at the training camp. That is the whole Zimmerman story in a nutshell, according to those in a position to know.

Narrator: “It wasn’t.”

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2020 at 10:08 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: March 20, 2020 at 10:09 AM (#5932220)
A shaky infield on today's Birthday Team: Mike Griffin is an outfielder who tried and failed to play shortstop a couple dozen times, Chris Hoiles is a catcher playing out of position at first, and Manny Alexander is Manny Alexander.

C: Walter Schmidt (5.5 WAR)
1B: Chris Hoiles (23.5 WAR)
2B: Manny Alexander (-2.4 WAR)
3B: Johnny Butler (0.2 WAR)
SS: Mike Griffin (40.8 WAR)
LF: Mike Young (6.4 WAR)
CF: Stan Spence (22.5 WAR)
RF: George Altman (13.0 WAR)

SP: Joe McGinnity (58.3 WAR)
SP: Vern Kennedy (12.2 WAR)
SP: Rick Langford (10.8 WAR)
SP: Joe Boehling (10.3 WAR)
SP: Steve McCatty (9.3 WAR)
RP: Clyde Shoun (8.2 WAR)

Fun names: Mellie Wolfgang, Hosea Siner
Manager: Pat Corrales
Not played by Ray Walston: Brad Hand (6.4 WAR)
NPB Hall of Fame 1B-OF: Minoru Yamashita
NPB Hall of Fame administrator: Takizo Matsumoto
Three Tommy John surgeries, made it back to The Show: Jonny Venters (3.8 WAR)
An absolutely staggering career WAR total, also the only MLB casualty of the Spanish-American War: Bill Stearns (-9.5 WAR)
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: March 20, 2020 at 11:07 AM (#5932235)
Stan Spence was a terrific player for a little while there. He didn't get a starting job till he was 27, missed time for the war, and was done as a productive player at 33. But he got MVP votes in four different years, and had a five-season stretch where he averaged .296/.377/.453, for a 138 OPS+, while playing center field for the Senators.

This as back when Griffith Stadium made home runs nearly impossible; for his career, Spence had more than twice as many homers on the road as at home. Spence's career high in homers was 18, but he led the Senators in HRs four times.
   3. The Mighty Quintana Posted: March 20, 2020 at 11:44 AM (#5932243)
Let's see if Pat Corrales can extend Langford and McCatty's careers! He had a much quicker hook than Billy.
   4. Sweatpants Posted: March 20, 2020 at 12:03 PM (#5932248)
Jonny Venters (3.8 WAR)
I'd have guessed he had more WAR than that. Looking at his page, I see that he did, but he brought it down with -1.1 in 8 IP last year.

Back when he, Craig Kimbrel, and Eric O'Flaherty were the main guys in Atlanta's bullpen, Venters was my favorite of the three. He had a wicked mid-90s sinker and a nasty slider, both of which had so much movement that I couldn't understand how anyone got hits off them. It did mean that he always struggled with walks, though. I don't remember whether that run came after his first Tommy John or his second.
   5. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 20, 2020 at 12:15 PM (#5932251)
Yeah, even though he was a hated Brave, he was fun to watch. Nasty, nasty stuff.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: March 20, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5932312)
had a five-season stretch where he averaged .296/.377/.453, for a 138 OPS+

Let's give him the locker next to Manny to see if we can bump those up a bit ...

Altman also had two monster years with the Cubs (before my time) at 311/374/535, 138 OPS+. He didn't debut until 26 and had his last decent season at 30 (14 WAR, 4.5 WAA in those years) then fell apart completely. Per his bio, he then headed to Japan for several years ... and apparently his autobiography was released in 2013. That should be an interesting read -- Negro Leagues to MLB to Japan from 55-75. Even played in Cuba a bit, Buck O'Neill played a big role, hit 2 HRs in a game off Koufax (only LHB to do so; Banks and Felipe Alou from RH).
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: March 20, 2020 at 06:33 PM (#5932347)
An absolutely staggering career WAR total, also the only MLB casualty of the Spanish-American War: Bill Stearns (-9.5 WAR)

His career pitching winning percentage of .169 (13-64) is equally staggering.
   8. Eric L Posted: March 20, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5932353)
Let me guess ,he pitched for the A's.
   9. caspian88 Posted: March 20, 2020 at 06:52 PM (#5932355)
Not if he died in the Spanish-American War.

National Association player who played exclusively for bad teams and was himself bad. The 1872 Washington Nationals went 0-11 in association games. Stearns was their only pitcher - he started, completed, and lost all 11 games. He did get to play with John Glenn, though.
   10. Itchy Row Posted: March 20, 2020 at 06:54 PM (#5932356)
Stearns won his first two appearances and was worth .7 pitching WAR in those two games. He wasn't as good the rest of his career.

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