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Tuesday, June 08, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 6-8-2021

Toledo News-Bee, June 8, 1921:

Writing in the Detroit News, H.G. Salsinger has the following to say about the lively ball being used in most of the leagues this season…
...
Red Oldham and Ira Flagstead got hold of one of the balls used [in Philadelphia] and cut it open. They found several layers of a peculiar celluloidlike substance in the outer wrapping, and in the center was a rubber ball the size of a golf ball, if not larger. On cutting this rubber ball they discovered that it had a cork center.

It would be impossible to continue using these trick balls if the owners of American League clubs did not give full consent to the use. The home run craze is at the bottom of all this faking, and the sooner the league abolishes this brand of ball the better it will be, for the home run is getting to be the commonest thing in baseball.
...
But it proves what has been said before: Philadelphia’s hitting is artificial and faked. This does baseball only harm.

I don’t really understand if the writer is referring to Shibe Park being a launching pad, which it was, or if he’s suggesting that the baseballs were juiced in Philadelphia only, which is crazy.

Either way, it’s definitely strange to read a call for a return to the dead ball era.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 08, 2021 at 08:21 AM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: June 08, 2021 at 08:22 AM (#6023147)
Today's Birthday Team has a strong pitching staff, which is good because its relief ace is one of the best hitters on the roster.

C: Kenji Johjima (5.3 WAR)
1B: Art Mahan (-0.5 WAR)
2B: Lenn Sakata (3.9 WAR)
3B: Dee Phillips (-0.1 WAR)
SS: Mark Belanger (41.0 WAR)
LF: Pete Orr (0.6 WAR)
CF: Carmelo Castillo (-1.2 WAR)
RF: Del Ennis (29.9 WAR)

SP: Van Mungo (32.8 WAR)
SP: Kevin Gross (27.7 WAR)
SP: Britt Burns (17.9 WAR)
SP: George Brunet (7.7 WAR)
SP: Dave Mlicki (6.1 WAR)
RP: Don Robinson (17.4 WAR)

Fun names: Tacks Neuer, Webbo Clarke, Cub Stricker
Manager: John Gibbons
Pinch Hitter: Eddie Gaedel (0.0 WAR)
Pinch Runner: Terrance Gore (0.2 WAR)
   2. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: June 08, 2021 at 09:36 AM (#6023155)
SS: Mark Belanger (41.0 WAR)

39.5 dWAR, 14.7 oWAR--I wonder if that's the most defense-skewed total in history
   3. Itchy Row Posted: June 08, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6023168)
Eddie Brinkman had 20.4 dWAR and 5.5 oWAR. Ozzie Guillen (23.0/10.3) and Belanger are the only two with 10+ oWAR and twice as much dWAR.
   4. crict Posted: June 08, 2021 at 11:44 AM (#6023174)
Kevin Gross has way more WAR than I would have thought. Granted, I mostly remember his two seasons with the Expos.
   5. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: June 08, 2021 at 01:28 PM (#6023187)
Kevin Gross has way more WAR than I would have thought. Granted, I mostly remember his two seasons with the Expos.

2500 innings of averagish pitching gets you 27.7 WAR! We kept hoping for stardom in Philly, but he was only a decent innings eater.
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 08, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6023200)
1B: Art Mahan (-0.5 WAR)


The holder of an NL record - his 591 plate appearances in 1941 is the National League record for most plate appearances by a player who appeared in only one major league season. Erv Waldron holds the AL record with 651 PA in 1901 (he led the league in PA, hitting .311, but never played another ML game, playing 10 more seasons in the minors), and Al Boucher had 594 PA in the Federal League in 1914. Only three players in the history of MLB have been named Boucher - two of them made their only appearance in the Federal League in 1914, but they weren't related.
   7. salvomania Posted: June 08, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6023205)
Sparky Anderson had 527 PA in his only MLB season, with the 1959 Phillies.
   8. crict Posted: June 08, 2021 at 02:56 PM (#6023208)
2500 innings of averagish pitching gets you 27.7 WAR! We kept hoping for stardom in Philly, but he was only a decent innings eater.


The other thing I remember about Gross is a story about how he would train his arm by pushing it in a barrell full of rice. These days that would trigger a "have you tried rice" meme anytime a pitcher complains of elbow/shoulder pain.
   9. mathesond Posted: June 08, 2021 at 03:54 PM (#6023213)
#6, and I'm guessing the third is Montreal-born Denis Boucher, who the Jays offered to the Expos for Dennis Martinez back in the early '90s. For some reason, Montreal didn't bite...
   10. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 08, 2021 at 04:48 PM (#6023221)
#6, and I'm guessing the third is Montreal-born Denis Boucher, who the Jays offered to the Expos for Dennis Martinez back in the early '90s. For some reason, Montreal didn't bite...


That's correct.
   11. Snowboy Posted: June 08, 2021 at 05:42 PM (#6023226)
[9] mathesond Montreal turned down the trade offer, but Toronto did trade Boucher in 1991, as part of a deal with Glenallen Hill, cash, and Mark Whiten, to Cleveland, getting back Tom Candiotti and Turner Ward in return.

The Rockies plucked Boucher from the Indians in their 1992 expansion draft, but he never appeared in the majors for Colorado. He was traded in a minor league deal to San Diego, but also never appeared in the majors for the Padres.

Montreal always had an eye on their native son, and swung a deal for Boucher in 1993, probably bringing him back home to the place he was always destined. He went 3-1 in 5 starts in Sept 1993, 1.91 ERA. That was a time when Montreal was goooood, and there were lots of fans. Before the strike, and the missed World Series, and Jeffrey Loria. Jonah Keri interviewed Boucher for his history book on the Expos, and Boucher said he felt extra pressure as the hometown guy, and with the stands full of fans lustily screaming for him. But let the record show that he delivered. He's been pitching coach for Team Canada in many international events, including the Olympics and PanAms.

Interesting trivia that I don't know the answer to: Canadian born players for both Montreal and Toronto? Denis Boucher, Matt Stairs, and anyone else?
   12. vortex of dissipation Posted: June 08, 2021 at 06:37 PM (#6023237)
Interesting trivia that I don't know the answer to: Canadian born players for both Montreal and Toronto? Denis Boucher, Matt Stairs, and anyone else?


Rob Ducey.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: June 08, 2021 at 07:03 PM (#6023243)
I don’t really understand if the writer is referring to Shibe Park being a launching pad, which it was, or if he’s suggesting that the baseballs were juiced in Philadelphia only, which is crazy.

I think he's just griping the same way so many of us gripe today. Too many HRs!! Things were better before! This isn't real baseball! I think he's bringing up the A's as his example of "c'mon, these numbers are ridiculous" rather than accusing them of an unfair advantage. Baseball is always doomed, there are always too many pitchers on the roster, there are always too many run scored except when there are too few and the modern game is always a mockery of real baseball.

It's an odd choice as the 1921 A's were terrible and the lowest-scoring team in the AL and last in BA (274!) ... but they were 2nd in HR with a whopping 82, led by Tillie Walker's Bakerian 23. The AL as a whole had a 1% HR/PA rate -- oafball!! The A's were at 1.4% trailing only the Yankees untouchable 2.2%.

The AL stayed around 1% throughout the 20s. In 1930, the league finally matched the A's 1.4%. 1937 was the first year that the average team hit 100 HR. They didn't crack 2% until 1950 (avg team 122).

That said, the 1920 A's hit just 252/304/337 and in 21 they hit 274/331/389, an 80 point jump in raw OPS and they scored nearly 100 more runs (still last both years). The whole AL went up a bit but nothing like that so the A's OPS+ did jump from 70 to 83 (not last!). No doubt Salsinger was keeping a close eye on OPS+.
   14. Hank Gillette Posted: June 08, 2021 at 11:24 PM (#6023307)
The other thing I remember about Gross is a story about how he would train his arm by pushing it in a barrell full of rice. These days that would trigger a "have you tried rice" meme anytime a pitcher complains of elbow/shoulder pain.
Wasn’t that one of Mike Marshall’s ideas?

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