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Thursday, April 01, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-1-2021

Sports Illustrated, April 1, 1985:

The phenomenon the three young batters faced, and about whom only [Ronn] Reynolds, [Mel] Stottlemyre and a few members of the Mets’ front office know, is a 28-year-old, somewhat eccentric mystic named Hayden (Sidd) Finch. He may well change the course of baseball history.
...
On March 17, the [radar] gun was handled by Stottlemyre. He heard the pop of the ball in Reynolds’s mitt and the little squeak of pain from the catcher. Then the astonishing figure 168 appeared on the glass plate. Stottlemyre remembers whistling in amazement, and then he heard Reynolds say, “Don’t tell me, Mel, I don’t want to know….”

Finch was the best pitching prospect of my lifetime.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 12:09 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 12:10 PM (#6011017)
Not a deep Birthday Team today, but it will be a whole lot better if we can convince Niekro to pitch every inning of every game. Knuckleballers never get tired, right?

C: Jack Cummings (1.2 WAR)
1B: Willie Montanez (1.7 WAR)
2B: Rich Amaral (5.1 WAR)
3B: Daniel Murphy (20.4 WAR)
SS: Moe Franklin (0.1 WAR)
LF: Jeff Heath (37.6 WAR)
CF: Fred Mann (6.7 WAR)
RF: Rusty Staub (45.8 WAR)

SP: Phil Niekro (95.9 WAR)
SP: Frank Castillo (7.5 WAR)
SP: Jake Thies (1.3 WAR)
SP: Bob Brown (0.6 WAR)
SP: Jake Wade (0.5 WAR)
RP: Ron Perranoski (18.2 WAR)
RP: Matt Herges (6.1 WAR)

Manager: Hugo Bezdek
General Manager: John Quinn
Team President: Bo Schembechler
Writers: Norman Mac Lean, Nick Peters, Lew Freedman
   2. Itchy Row Posted: April 01, 2021 at 12:25 PM (#6011019)
The two best April 1 pitchers both died within the last six months. So they're rested for opening day, I guess.
   3. AndrewJ Posted: April 01, 2021 at 12:40 PM (#6011021)
Jeff Heath was among the greatest players of all time who, if BB-Ref is to be believed, never so much as made a Hall of Fame ballot. Same with Ed Konetchy.
   4. Rennie's Tenet Posted: April 01, 2021 at 01:04 PM (#6011026)
Masumi Kuwata, also born April 1, went 0-1, 9.43 with the Pirates in a couple months in 2007. He was 39, and muscling up a fastball in the low 80s. Before that, he went 173-141 in about 20 years with the Yomiuri Giants, so he could probably help today's team.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 01:23 PM (#6011033)
Jeff Heath was among the greatest players of all time who, if BB-Ref is to be believed, never so much as made a Hall of Fame ballot. Same with Ed Konetchy.

Wow, never heard of him. A 139 OPS+ is hard to fake.
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 01, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6011038)
No Opening Day OmniChatter? Sad. However, I will note that Indians @ Tigers are playing amidst snow. Could be amusing, although I’ll have to catch the lowlights later.
   7. Froot Loops Posted: April 01, 2021 at 02:16 PM (#6011045)
ESPN just showed a clip of a shirtless Vladdy Jr. working out in the off-season. He's built like a less-muscular Prince Fielder.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6011057)
ESPN just showed a clip of a shirtless Vladdy Jr. working out in the off-season. He's built like a less-muscular Prince Fielder.

Shudder.
   9. SandyRiver Posted: April 01, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6011062)
Looked up Jeff Heath, very good hitter and mediocre left fielder. One of his best years was with the Braves in 1948, he played through the end of September (and raked that month) but never batted in the WS. His platoon splits that year were horrific - 1.035 OPS against RHP and.520 against lefties - but Gene Beardon was the only LHP used by CLE in the series. Didn't wish to play against his old teammates? Injured?
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 01, 2021 at 03:48 PM (#6011073)
Didn't wish to play against his old teammates? Injured?
From the always informative SABR biography linked at BB-Ref:
Four games before the end of the campaign, playing in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, he suffered a gruesome injury when he broke his ankle sliding into home plate. After being tagged out by catcher Roy Campanella, he left the field in agony on a stretcher.
A really bad break, as they say.
   11. SandyRiver Posted: April 01, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6011089)
Thanks. Might be why he only played sparingly (though still hitting well) in 1949 and then was done.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: April 01, 2021 at 05:33 PM (#6011110)
No Opening Day OmniChatter?

MLBtv still hasn't figured out how to display the schedule in Aussie time ... well, minor improvement this year that they do have the starting times correct, they just don't know what day it is. I mean it's only been, what, 15 years now.

Castillo can pitch the games when Jerry Layne is behind the plate. My memory is the zone was so wide that Eric Gregg would have been embarrassed. Look at the box -- 25 Ks between the two teams in a 9-inning game in 1995.
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 06:16 PM (#6011135)
Jeff Heath was among the greatest players of all time who, if BB-Ref is to be believed, never so much as made a Hall of Fame ballot. Same with Ed Konetchy.

Wow, never heard of him. A 139 OPS+ is hard to fake.

Really? One of the few players to have 20 doubles, triples, and homers in the same season
   14. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 06:17 PM (#6011137)
   15. The Honorable Ardo Posted: April 01, 2021 at 06:25 PM (#6011143)
No one has cracked the 20-triple mark since Granderson and Rollins. Jose Reyes had 19 the following year; the next highest total is 16.

To be fair, 20-triple seasons are quite rare, period. There were NONE between Mays and Brett. The only other post-Brett ones were Willie Wilson (1985), Lance Johnson (1996), and Cristian Guzman (2000).

Guzman had 20 triples and an OPS+ of 70! That's incredible. (It was the height of silly ball, he hit .247 that year, and he rarely walked... but still!)
   16. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: April 01, 2021 at 08:46 PM (#6011174)
in 1984 it looked like Ryne Sandberg was a shoo-in to join the club, but he collapsed in September--had only 2 3B and 1 HR; ended 36-19-19

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