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Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-3-2020

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, June 3, 1920:

New York and Washington divided a doubleheader [in New York yesterday], the home club winning the first, 8 to 1, and losing the second, 7 to 5. Babe Ruth made three home runs, bringing his total for the season to 15.
...
In the eighth [inning of the second game] he drove out his fifteenth home run, knocking the ball over the exit gate in the right field bleachers for what it believed to be the longest hit ever made at the Polo Grounds.

Yeah, the Red Sox are probably better off without Ruth. Good trade, Mr. Frazee.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 10:00 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 10:01 AM (#5955070)
Not a great Birthday Team today, but it has solid depth at catcher and first base. Travis Hafner played third a few dozen times in the minors, so if you're feeling adventurous (or insane), you can move him to third, bench one of the other infielders, and play Gentile at first.

But I sure wouldn't.

C: Johnny Bassler (21.3 WAR)
1B: Travis Hafner (24.8 WAR)
2B: Nelson Liriano (3.0 WAR)
3B: Aaron Ledesma (2.5 WAR)
SS: Munenori Kawasaki (1.7 WAR)
LF: Carl Everett (20.5 WAR)
CF: John Dobbs (6.2 WAR)
RF: Jim Dwyer (6.1 WAR)

SP: Yordano Ventura (7.7 WAR)
SP: Bryan Rekar (1.9 WAR)
SP: Lucas Harrell (1.1 WAR)
SP: Eric Lauer (0.9 WAR)
SP: Wild Bill Widner (-1.5 WAR)
RP: Ed Glynn (0.9 WAR)

Backup 1B, proto-Pronk: Jim Gentile (17.1 WAR)
Not that one: George Armstrong
Fun names: Chappie Geygan, Urbane Pickering, Woody Wagenhorst
NFL kicker's kid/Minor league fun name: Duke von Schamann
   2. Hysterical & Useless Posted: June 03, 2020 at 10:11 AM (#5955072)
Gentile had the one awesome season in '61, the first expansion year. [Funny how many huge offensive seasons there were in the AL that year, innit?] I also remember reading when I was a kid that he was a master at stealing calls at 1st base by slapping his glove closed in advance of actually receiving the throw (as the umpire watches the base for the arrival of the runner's foot, while listening for the ball striking the glove). How he managed to slam his glove closed loudly enough to approximate the sound of ball against leather, then reopen it in time to actually receive the throw I never quite understood.
   3. puck Posted: June 03, 2020 at 10:22 AM (#5955074)
I wonder how Yordano Ventura's career would have progressed.

Would he have imnproved his command? (His walk rate did not improve in his 3 seasons and the 3rd was actually the highest). Or would it have been an Ubaldo Jimenez type path, where he eventually loses a few mph off his fastball and becomes more and more ineffective. And I'm sure there'd be an injury in there somewhere, since he'd be throwing a baseball for a living.
   4. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: June 03, 2020 at 10:26 AM (#5955075)
How he managed to slam his glove closed loudly enough to approximate the sound of ball against leather, then reopen it in time to actually receive the throw I never quite understood.
That's because the story was made up!
   5. salvomania Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:27 AM (#5955087)
C: Johnny Bassler (21.3 WAR)

I'd never heard of Bassler, even though he has a very respectable career WAR and I've heard of most players with very repsectable career WARs, at least since the dead-ball days.

Turns out Bassler is one of just 10 players since the dead ball era (1920-) to have just 1 (or zero) career home runs (2000 PA min). Not only does he have far and away the most career WAR among those players, but he has more career WAR than the other nine players *combined*.


Three expansion-era players make the list: Woody Woodward (1.6 career bWAR), Duane Kuiper (2.5), and Al Newman (4.2).

   6. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 11:32 AM (#5955089)
Gentile had the one awesome season in '61, the first expansion year. [Funny how many huge offensive seasons there were in the AL that year, innit?] I

yeah--him, Cash, Rocky, and somebody named Maris all had their career high in homers; 4 players hit between 40-49 dingers, one hit 54 and one hit 61--BUT , in a statistical oddity, no one hit between 30-39 homers. So, although that season set a new record for homers/game there were more homers in the AL in 1962, even though only one player (Killebrew) hit more than 40, because you had a more normal distribution
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: June 03, 2020 at 01:11 PM (#5955125)
I'd never heard of Bassler, even though he has a very respectable career WAR and I've heard of most players with very repsectable career WARs, at least since the dead-ball days.


Bill James once wrote about Bassler in the context of his strong MVP showing - he finished in the Top Ten in the voting three straight years. He had no power whatsoever, but consistently posted OBPs well above .400 and looks to have been a very good defensive catcher. The respectable WAR number is picking up on something that was definitely noticed at the time.
   8. AndrewJ Posted: June 03, 2020 at 01:29 PM (#5955130)
Bassler had 21.3 WAR in only 2319 at bats. Impressive ratio.
   9. Itchy Row Posted: June 03, 2020 at 01:45 PM (#5955135)
If you don't count active players and players who started in the 1870's, Bassler is tied with Monte Irvin for the most WAR for hitters with less than 3000 PA. Kal Daniels is next, at 16.9.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 04:40 PM (#5955161)
If you don't count active players and players who started in the 1870's, Bassler is tied with Monte Irvin for the most WAR for hitters with less than 3000 PA. Kal Daniels is next, at 16.9.

the list of players with >15 WAR and <3000 PA includes Jim Pagliaroni(15.2/2853), which floors me because I can't believe he had that few PAs--he was around FOREVER
   11. Itchy Row Posted: June 03, 2020 at 05:20 PM (#5955168)
Pagliaroni was a bonus baby, so he spent his age 17 season (1955) with the major league team. He only played in one game and hit a sac fly in his only plate appearance. He spent the next two years in the Army and the two and a half years after that in the minor leagues, so his second MLB appearance was almost five years after his first.
   12. Moeball Posted: June 03, 2020 at 08:29 PM (#5955194)
Speaking of Gentile in 1961, he ranks very high in some unusual categories for that season per B Ref:

1) He had 141 RBI in only 486 AB, the only player since 1900 to reach 140 RBI in a season in under 500 AB

2) He hit 30 of his 46 HRs on the road that year and posted a road OPS+ of 215, even beating Mantle in one of Mickey's greatest seasons that year. In fact, he is on a very short list of players to achieve this rare feat. The only ones to surpass his road OPS+ with at least 30 HRs in history are Babe Ruth in 1927, Eddie Mathews in 1953 and Barry Bonds in 2001.

3) 30 of his 46 HRs that year came with runners on base, a remarkably high percentage. In fact, in the modern game, of all players who ever hit at least 30 HRs with runners on in a season, only Hank Aaron in 1970 has a higher percentage with 30 of his 38 HRs that season coming with runners on.
   13. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 09:01 PM (#5955200)
Gentile also hit 5 salamis that year (including 2 in consecutive innings), which tied the record at the time--since broken. He was the classic "wrong organization wrong time" player--stuck in the Dodgers minors while Hodges was in Brooklyn. So, although he mashed at all levels of the minors, there was no chance of him being called up.
   14. The Honorable Ardo Posted: June 03, 2020 at 09:07 PM (#5955204)
Fun trade progression involving Jim Gentile:

The Orioles eventually traded Gentile to the Kansas City A's for Norm Siebern.

On December 2, 1965, they traded Siebern for Dick Simpson, an uber-prospect who never panned out.

Four days later, they traded Jackie Brandt, a useful tweener outfielder, and pitching prospect Darold Knowles for established relief ace Jack Baldschun, even though they already had Stu Miller.

Three days after that, they packaged Simpson, Baldschun, and Milt Pappas... and the rest is history. Simpson and Baldschun did nothing for Cincinnati, to the point where the trade is remembered solely as Pappas for Frank Robinson.

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