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Monday, April 12, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-12-2021

Washington Herald, April 12, 1921:

Washington has always done itself proud on the opening day of the baseball season, but take it from Clark C. Griffith, who is extremely well up on such matters, the celebration to be staged tomorrow afternoon on Georgia avenue will be the greatest ever.

New York will have more people, but what do mere numbers mean? Nothing, except a wad of juicy cash.

Will President Harding toss out the first ball at the Polo Grounds? He will not.
Will Gen. John J. Pershing participate in the flag raising at the Polo Grounds? Not a chance.
Will there be a flock of Cabinet officers and Senators, and so on, camped around in the boxes at the Polo Grounds to add color to the occasion? Absolutely no.

Harding, of course, would have attended opening day at the Teapot Dome if it had been an option.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 12:19 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 12:20 PM (#6012936)
Today's Birthday Team is extremely pitching heavy. The fifth starter put up 16.9 WAR, nearly as much as the top position player (17.9). And once you factor in the positional adjustment we'd cause by moving Lo Duca to first base, that puts all of the starting pitchers ahead of all of the position players.

C: Mike Macfarlane (14.7 WAR)
1B: Paul Lo Duca (17.9 WAR)
2B: Terry Harmon (1.9 WAR)
3B: Charlie Pick (4.5 WAR)
SS: Eric McNair (4.6 WAR)
LF: Buster Hoover (1.9 WAR)
CF: Justin Ruggiano (2.5 WAR)
RF: Walt Moryn (10.0 WAR)

SP: Vic Willis (63.1 WAR)
SP: Addie Joss (45.4 WAR)
SP: Johnny Antonelli (31.8 WAR)
SP: Woodie Fryman (17.0 WAR)
SP: Hisashi Iwakuma (16.9 WAR)
RP: Jack Wilson (11.1 WAR)

Owners: Tom Clancy, Tom Werner
Hitting coach: Charlie Lau
Umpires: Terry Cooney, Alfonso Marquez
Fun names: Kid McLaughlin, Trader Horne
Jared's dad: Jerry Goff
Not that one: Matt Williams (-0.2 WAR)
Won't you come home?: Bill Bailey
   2. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6012940)
I've added some new features to EveryBaseballScore.com. The most significant feature is that games in progress now have automatically-updating boxscores.

Games that have finished also have automatically-updating boxscores, but the updates become less significant when nothing changes.
   3. crict Posted: April 12, 2021 at 12:38 PM (#6012942)
Dan, just wanted to say that the Dugout is the reason I'm coming back to this website every day. The link of the day and the birthday teams are great, keep up the good work.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 12:39 PM (#6012943)
Where does this team rank in terms of worst position players? It's got to be pretty high up in terms of best pitching; especially when you consider the short careers of the SPs.

Iwakuma put up 17 WAR in just six seasons, Antonelli only really pitched eight full seasons, and Joss only pitched nine.
   5. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 12, 2021 at 12:45 PM (#6012946)
The fifth starter put up 16.9 WAR, nearly as much as the top position player (17.9). And once you factor in the positional adjustment we'd cause by moving Lo Duca to first base, that puts all of the starting pitchers ahead of all of the position players.


And that fifth starter won a Pacific League MVP and a Sawamura Award while going 107-69, 3.25 in 11 seasons in NPB, so you can make a good argument that his value was actually higher than that. With Ichiro and Joey Votto, Hisashi Iwakuma was one of my three favorite players during the 2010s.
   6. sanny manguillen Posted: April 12, 2021 at 01:15 PM (#6012967)
The birthday team has its own batting practice pitcher: Joe Vitelli was a pretty good minor league pitcher in the 1930s, went into the military and was discharged in 1944 at age 36. The Pirates were only carrying seven pitchers, so they took Vitelli on to throw batting practice. Injuries led to his addition to the active roster, and he got into four games, all of them with the Pirates well behind. He pinch ran once in 1945, and that was his career.

Joe Vitelli - SABR
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 12, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6012981)
I love stories like #6. A similar thing happened to Paul Schreiber. He was a pitcher who played briefly for the Dodgers in 1922/23. He later became a batting practice pitcher and coach for the Yankees, which he did from 1932 to 1945. In 1945, he was activated at age 42 and pitched in two games for the Yankees. His 22 years between appearances is a major league record.
   8. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 02:26 PM (#6013000)
Dan, just wanted to say that the Dugout is the reason I'm coming back to this website every day. The link of the day and the birthday teams are great, keep up the good work.
Thank you. It's been a bit spotty recently because my work situation and daily routine have changed*, but I enjoy doing it.

* - Anyone know of an employer in Daytona Beach/Orlando looking for a video production guy with a mild baseball history obsession? Asking for, um, a friend.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: April 12, 2021 at 05:34 PM (#6013057)
I was gonna make Snapper's point in #4. Iwakuma is pretty clearly our 4th starter here with 17 WAR and 9 WAA vs. Fryman's 17 WAR and -4 WAA but of course that's really no matter other than to say the pitching is even better than it looks.

Even more nit-picky is whether pitchers "should" be listed by total WAR or just pitching WAR. Fryman loses 1.2 WAR in batting while Iwakuma had the good fortune to be in the AL (0 for 11 with 8 Ks, 3 SH and a BB so it wasn't promising).

And the final nitipck ... And once you factor in the positional adjustment we'd cause by moving Lo Duca to first base

Per "dWAR theory" there is no such penalty. LoDuca retains his 8 dWAR no matter where he is placed on the diamond -- whatever he loses in Rpos, he gains in Rfield. This means he'd have been so good at 1B he'd have made Keith Hernandez look like Mike Piazza. Of course, by "dWAR theory" he'd have also been a fine SS so no need to push dWAR to its extremes unless you're in a nitpick-y mood.
   10. Itchy Row Posted: April 12, 2021 at 11:13 PM (#6013148)
Happy birthday to Lo Duca.

A New York state judge Monday ordered former MLB catcher Paul Lo Duca to pay umpire Joe West $500,000, plus interest, for a comment the player made on an Action Network April 2019 podcast in which he alleged the umpire took bribes for calls.

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