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Friday, May 15, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 5-15-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, May 15, 1920:

The New York American League baseball club will have to hunt for a new home next season. A statement to this effect was made at Forbes Field yesterday by John J. McGraw, manager of the New York Giants…The Yankees’ leads on the Polo Grounds expires with this season and the Giants are not inclined to renew it.
...
[McGraw:] “The money is secondary…We wish the Polo Grounds to be known exclusively as the home ground of the Giants and therefore must ask the Yankees to get grounds somewhere else.”
...
[Yankees president Jacob Ruppert:] “If the Giants do not want us any longer on the Polo Grounds, there is no use staying around where one is not wanted. I do not know how successful the Yankees will be this season, but we probably will be able to find a home somewhere for 1921.”

This is approximately the keleventh time the Giants had attempted to become chuckers of their Polo Grounds tenants, and once again it didn’t take right away. The new stadium in the Bronx didn’t open until 1923.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:27 AM | 30 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:28 AM (#5950745)
Today's Birthday Team is AL Central-heavy and very good. Three Indians, at least two Twins, at least two Royals. Justin Morneau spent a season wearing White Sox and Smoltz was originally drafted by the Tigers.

There's some disagreement with regard to Tip O'Neill's birth date. BB-Ref lists May 15, 1860. MLB.com and the Canadian Biography Project via the University of Toronto and Université Laval say it's May 25, 1858. When there's a disagreement, I generally go with BB-Ref, mostly because that's easiest for me.

If O'Neill was born on May 25, Jimmy Wasdell (2.7 WAR) starts in the outfield in his place.

C/Manager: A.J. Hinch (0.0 WAR)
1B: Justin Morneau (27.0 WAR)
2B: Brian Dozier (23.5 WAR)
3B: George Brett (88.6 WAR)
SS: Steve Yerkes (6.9 WAR)
LF: Tip O'Neill (25.4 WAR)
CF: Bill North (26.8 WAR)
RF: Michael Brantley (28.7 WAR)

SP: John Smoltz (69.0 WAR)
SP: Josh Beckett (35.7 WAR)
SP: Al McBean (15.0 WAR)
SP: Rick Waits (14.2 WAR)
SP: Fred Goldsmith (12.4 WAR)
RP: Rafael Perez (4.3 WAR)

Not that one: 1959-60 Ben Johnson
What's the worst kind of steak?: Harry Salisbury
Sporting goods mogul: Rihachi Mizuno
Owner: James Stillwell
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2020 at 10:49 AM (#5950753)
C/Manager: A.J. Hinch (0.0 WAR)
Maybe next year.
   3. Born1951 Posted: May 15, 2020 at 11:17 AM (#5950766)
Those of you who have a stathead Play Index subscription, are your old saved reports there? Mine have all been gone for several days. I contacted BB Ref, but have yet to receive a reply. Fortunately I saved the list in an Excel file a few weeks ago. The ones I save now are listed.

I just subscribed to The Athletic. I was going to get the 90-day free trial, but noticed after it expires, they bill you 59.99 for a year. You can get a year without the trial for 29.99, half price. So that is a better deal overall. 30 bucks for a whole year of that publication is cheap.
   4. salvomania Posted: May 15, 2020 at 01:00 PM (#5950796)
CF: Bill North (26.8 WAR)

Bill North was one of the answers to a trivia question last week about post-WWII players with more than 20 career bWAR and fewer than 30 career homers.

I can't find it in Play Index (maybe the newer version will have the tools for it?), but North has to be on the short list for worst career postseason performance. Beginning in 1973 after a trade from the Cubs, the speedy centerfielder typically batted leadoff or second for the A's mid-'70s teams.

He missed the 1973 postseason and eventual World Series championship after a severe ankle sprain with 10 days left in the regular season, then in 1974 went 1-for-17 in the ALCS, and 1-for-18 in the World Series. In 1975, he went 0-for-10 in the ALCS as the Red Sox swept the A's in three, then, after a mid-season trade to the Dodgers in 1978, went 0-for-8 in LA's NLDS win vs. the Phillies, then ended his postseason run with a 1-for-8 in the Dodgers' World Series loss to the Yankees.

That adds up to a cumulative 3-for-51; with 8 walks, and two of his three hits being doubles, his final line was .051/.152/.085.

Since WWII, North has the third-highest career OBP relative to his slugging percentage (.365:.323) in MLB, behind Eddie Stanky (.419:.360) and Bud Harrelson (.327:.288).
   5. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:07 PM (#5950828)
   6. Itchy Row Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:23 PM (#5950834)
Orel Hershiser is the best of the major leaguers who went to Bowling Green. The most successful MLB players from there have been pitchers- Hershiser, Roger McDowell, Johnny Antonelli, Grant Jackson, and Doug Bair. Nolan Reimold is the only player with more plate appearances than Hershiser.
   7. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:43 PM (#5950843)
Antonelli didn't play for BG - he was already in the big leagues before he enrolled as a student - but yeah, he's one of a pile of good pitchers who went to school there. (You may ask yourself why an active MLB player from Rochester, New York attended a solid but unremarkable state school in rural Northwest Ohio. It's because his brother played quarterback for the football team there.)

I think it's appropriate that, for the foreseeable future, Jon Berti will likely be the final BGSU Falcon in the big leagues. He's a lot like the school itself: He's really good at the things he does well but limited in a lot of ways, he's largely underappreciated, and he seems to understand his role and get after it.

I'm an alumnus; I love the school and am proud to have gone there, but it's just weird to me that Ohio has a state university with 20,000+ students that has never bothered to have engineering or nursing schools.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:51 PM (#5950849)
Ohio has a state university with 20,000+ students that has never bothered to have engineering or nursing schools.
Well that's obviously because it's just an Ohio state university, and not The Ohio State University.
   9. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:53 PM (#5950852)
CF: Bill North (26.8 WAR)
Bill North was one of the answers to a trivia question last week about post-WWII players with more than 20 career bWAR and fewer than 30 career homers.
Bill North is also the 2nd best player on the roster of the truly crappy All Directional Team:

C, LF: Dick West (-1.1 WAR)
1B, OF: Max E. West (13.6 WAR)
2B, SS, C: Billy West (0.0 WAR)
3B: Harry East (-0.1 WAR)
OF: Buck West (-0.5 WAR)
OF: Max West (0.1 WAR)
CF: Bill North (26.8 WAR)
CF: Sam West (31.7 WAR)

P, RF: Carl East (-0.2)
P: Hugh East (-1.7 WAR)
P: Lou North (0.3 WAR))
P: David West (2.6 WAR)
P: Frank West (-0.1 WAR)
P: Hi West (-0.8 WAR)
P: Lefty West (-0.1 WAR)
P: Matt West (0.1 WAR)
P: Sean West (0.2 WAR)

Not to mention the umpire options.
   10. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:57 PM (#5950857)
I feel like Billy Southworth should be on that team. He would be the manager and third-best position player.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2020 at 02:59 PM (#5950858)
Billy Southworth would be your manager.

ETA: Coke to ElRoy!
   12. The Mighty Quintana Posted: May 15, 2020 at 03:01 PM (#5950859)
Not too good, but check out West's hoops team!

G- Jerry West (163 WinShares)
G- Delonte West (25 WS)
F- Doug West (18 WS)
F- David West (86 WS)
C- Mark West (42 WS)

Maybe? Russell Westbrook, Paul Westphal
   13. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5950865)
I didn't realize Bill North missed the 1973 postseason. Of course, Reggie Jackson broke his ankle stealing home in the deciding game of the 1972 ALCS, and missed the World Series, so that was two years in a row that the A's were without a starting outfielder for the World Series. They still won both of them.

The A's finally had their outfield intact for the 1974 World Series, but the 1975 AL champs carried on the tradition, when Vern Ruhle broke Jim Rice's hand a week before the regular season ended, knocking him out for the postseason.
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: May 15, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5950891)
For indirect directions, could Yonder Alonso make the team?

EDIT: imprecise would be a more precise adjective
   15. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: May 15, 2020 at 03:58 PM (#5950892)
Luke Easter probably doesn't count for the directional team, but I think Jamie Easterly (1.7 WAR) may.

Kelly Downs? Al and Brian Downing?
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: May 15, 2020 at 04:01 PM (#5950893)
For indirect directions, could Yonder Alonso make the team?
He'd have to come over here before we start the game.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 15, 2020 at 04:17 PM (#5950897)
Yes to Denny Sothern, no to Ron Northey.
   18. Born1951 Posted: May 15, 2020 at 04:48 PM (#5950911)
North has to be on the short list for worst career postseason performance.

The lowest career non-pitcher OPS in postseason history (min 60 PA), assuming my research is correct:

.231 Dan Wilson (93 PA) .091/.129/.102
.236 Bill North (67 PA) .051/.152/.085
.350 Travis Jackson (74 PA) .149/.186/.164
.361 Everett Scott (100 PA) 0.156/.183/.178
.372 Dal Maxvill (80 PA) .114/.215/.157
.373 Gorman Thomas (65 PA) .102/.169/.203
   19. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: May 15, 2020 at 05:11 PM (#5950939)
Since WWII, North has the third-highest career OBP relative to his slugging percentage (.365:.323) in MLB, behind Eddie Stanky (.419:.360) and Bud Harrelson (.327:.288).

Mickey Lolich: .215 OBP, .121 SLG.

That's in over a thousand plate appearances too. 105 walks and 90 hits.

How does that happen with a guy who cannot hit at all? If they had a historically bad leadoff man, maybe you might pitch around him to set up a double play? But Dick McAuliffe wasn't that bad.
   20. Itchy Row Posted: May 15, 2020 at 05:51 PM (#5950959)
In 1972, the last year before the DH, Lolich went 6 for 89 (all singles) but with 20 walks, so he had a .067/.245/.067 line. He didn't do his version of hitting again until he was a Met in 1976. He went 7 for 54 with only 5 walks that year.
   21. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: May 15, 2020 at 06:48 PM (#5951001)
That's in over a thousand plate appearances too. 105 walks and 90 hits.

Last I heard, Lolich was the only player with at least 1000 PA and more walks than hits. Which, if still true, makes him the answer to one of my favorite impossible trivia questions.
   22. Yanigan Posted: May 15, 2020 at 09:15 PM (#5951055)
All of which explains why in the '68 Series Nelson Briles wasn't worried about pitching Lolich too fine. But anybody with a bat in his hands, etc...
   23. Walt Davis Posted: May 15, 2020 at 09:18 PM (#5951056)
How does that happen with a guy who cannot hit at all?

Pitchers have far less control than we think. There was also never any reason to walk North or Luis Castillo or Yost. I've always liked the Castillo-Pierre comparison. Pierre did have a 295 BA but just a 066 ISO and walked just 5.6% of the time. Castillo hit 290 with a 061 ISO and walked 10.7% of the time. There was no reason to pitch more carefully to Castillo than Pierre, it was just Castillo had enough sense not to swing at stuff outside the zone knowing he wasn't gonna do all that much with stuff in the zone.

I have also proposed the Leiter Line. Al Leiter wasn't as impressive as Lolich but he still managed to walk 5.7% of the time despite striking out 47% of the time and being an awful hitter beyond that. And of course a good chunk of the time he was up there with the main goal of bunting. There's nothing particularly amazing about a 5.7% walk rate -- but there's no excuse for an actual position player walking less often than Al Leiter. If you walk less than Leiter it's because you are going out of your way to swing at stuff outside the zone. Pierre is just behind the Leiter Line. So are Willie Davis and Willie Wilson. And Garry Maddox. Starlin Castro and Starling Marte. Famous non-walkers like Frenchy, Buckner, Dunston and both Guillens but also the supposedly smart Doug Glanville. Good ol' Steve Garvey.

I contrast that with somebody like Gary Pettis who seemed to realize his only tool was outstanding speed. So he used that to run down fly balls and steal bases and, in order to do the latter, he took walks. Pettis was quite possibly even less useful in the box overall than Pierre but at least you knew he was doing everything he could to help.

Somebody asked about old P-I reports on stathead -- mine seem to be gone as well. Looks like they've made one or two tiny changes (I now have a b-r search box at the top) so I suspect they're updating and I assume those will be back.
   24. salvomania Posted: May 15, 2020 at 09:43 PM (#5951067)
The lowest career non-pitcher OPS in postseason history (min 60 PA), assuming my research is correct:

Born1951, how did you generate the list? I couldn't figure out how to do it in Stathead/PI, or maybe it's not possible there.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: May 15, 2020 at 09:53 PM (#5951074)
On directional matters, are we willing to stoop to the Upshaws and Uptons? Northrup? I vote no but Jerry Upp without question should qualify but i'm not sure he's good enough.

EDIt: George Mappes can be in charge of giving directions.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: May 15, 2020 at 09:57 PM (#5951075)
Lots of Leftys of course. Wrights but not rights although Ron Rightnowar might apply for the peace/protest team.

Hmmm ... Dennis Dove is not much help.
   27. Born1951 Posted: May 15, 2020 at 11:44 PM (#5951101)
how did you generate the list? I couldn't figure out how to do it in Stathead/PI

Game Finders, Player Batting, check Find Players With Most Matching Games in Multiple Years box, check Postseason box under Game Type. Player Filters, Batter's Defensive Position, uncheck P box, click Get Results. The 300 limit isn't enough here, so I then copied the results of the first 3 pages into Excel, deleted any PA under 60, and sorted the list by lowest OPS.
   28. salvomania Posted: May 16, 2020 at 10:42 AM (#5951154)
1B: Justin Morneau (27.0 WAR)
CF: Bill North (26.8 WAR)

I don't know if I'm more surprised that Bill North has essentially the same career bWAR as Justin Morneau---who won one MVP award and finished second another year---or that North's best two years by bWAR (7.0 and 5.7) crush Morneau's two best (4.7 and 4.3).

I guess that's defense, baserunning, and positional adjustment for you...

(although it also makes me question the defensive WAR numbers: he was +5.3 dWAR those two years, but a cumulative -1.5 over the rest of his career, with no season better than 0.7.)
   29. salvomania Posted: May 16, 2020 at 10:43 AM (#5951156)
Game Finders, Player Batting, check Find Players With Most Matching Games in Multiple Years box, check Postseason box under Game Type. Player Filters, Batter's Defensive Position, uncheck P box, click Get Results. The 300 limit isn't enough here, so I then copied the results of the first 3 pages into Excel, deleted any PA under 60, and sorted the list by lowest OPS.

Thanks---didn't realize one could use Game Finder for that type of thing.
   30. puck Posted: May 17, 2020 at 03:52 PM (#5951478)
Today's Fangraphs Sunday Notes (David Laurila) has something interesting I didn't know about Hidecki Matsui:

My interest was piqued last weekend when Toyko-based baseball writer Jim Allen mentioned that Hideki Matsui was forced to hit left-handed as a boy “because he was too good.” I asked Allen if he could elaborate, and he told me the following:

“Neither Matsui’s older brother, nor his brother’s friends, could drive the ball like the right-handed-hitting Hideki, so he was talked into batting lefty,” Allen explained. “Hideni’s favorite team growing up was the Hanshin Tigers, and their star third baseman, Masayuki Kakefu, had actually done the same as a youngster.

“The final part of the story is that when Matsui started playing rec ball in Manhattan after retiring, he was asked to hit right-handed as a handicap.”

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