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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-17-2019

[Juneau] Alaska Daily Empire, July 17, 1919:

Baseball is bidding for favor in parts of Mexico and may supplant bull fighting and other distinctly native pastimes, according to a Dallas sporting goods concern, which has just made a large shipment of baseball equipment to Monterey, Northern Mexico [sic]. This concern recently sent a salesman through the northern part of Mexico and he reported that baseball was rapidly gaining in favor and predicted it soon would become a national pastime in that country.

Baseball? In Monterrey? It’ll never happen.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:26 AM | 25 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history, mexican baseball, mexico

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:28 AM (#5862507)
A shaky pitching staff on today's Birthday Team. The starting rotation has two useful pitchers with three useful arms.

C: Sammy Holbrook (0.5 WAR)
1B: Adam Lind (11.9 WAR)
2B: Morimichi Takagi (Japanese baseball Hall of Famer)
3B/Manager: Lou Boudreau (63.0 WAR)
SS: Roy McMillan (25.6 WAR)
LF: Deron Johnson (6.3 WAR)
CF: Eddie Brown (6.9 WAR)
RF: Jerry Lynch (2.5 WAR)

SP: Jason Jennings (11.2 WAR)
SP: One Arm Daily (8.9 WAR)
SP: Chummy Gray (0.9 WAR)
SP: Jim Handiboe (0.7 WAR)
SP: Charlie Frye (0.0 WAR)
RP: Bobby Thigpen (7.8 WAR)

Owner: Emil Fuchs
General Manager: Ernest Barnard
Announcer: Charley Steiner
Spare infielder: Don Kessinger (9.0 WAR)
Fun names: Bock Baker, Eddie Fusselback, Papa Williams
Drafted as a pitcher, didn't play pro baseball, presumably fell off the sporting radar into obscurity after he quit baseball: Dan Marino
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:35 AM (#5862509)
3B/Manager: Lou Boudreau (63.0 WAR)

Boudreau has an odd career. Excellent player from 22-29, all-time great season at 30, and then falls off a cliff.

Anyone know what caused his decline? Injury? Booze? Just one of those things?
   3. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5862510)
AFAIK, Boudreau had a reputation as a fairly straight-laced intellectual, so I don't think it was drinking.

He had a bunch of injuries in 1948 and may not have fully recovered from them. Also, he and Bill Veeck didn't really get along, so it's entirely possible that off-field stuff distracted him.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:52 AM (#5862514)
He had a bunch of injuries in 1948 and may not have fully recovered from them.

In 1948? He had a bunch of injuries and still had a 10+ WAR season? Wow.
   5. Itchy Row Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:02 AM (#5862517)
Boudreau's SABR bio has this about his 1948 injuries-
Nothing was going to stop Boudreau from driving his team to the 1948 American League pennant, not even the plethora of injuries that befell him. During a hard collision at second base, Lou sustained a shoulder contusion, a bruised right knee, a sore thumb, and a sprained ankle. Managing from the dugout while icing down his injuries during a doubleheader against the Yanks, he watched the Indians fall behind, 6-1. The Indians bounced back and scored three runs to make it 6-4. The Indians then loaded the bases, and Lou called time. After selecting his bat he announced himself as a pinch hitter. Injuries or no injuries, he was going to take matters into his own hands. Boudreau ripped a single between the legs of Joe Page, tying the game. The Indians went on to sweep the doubleheader, 8-6 and 2-1.

It sounds like he was pretty stressed from managing too.
   6. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:03 AM (#5862518)
edit: Itchy Row posted the exact same paragraph I posted.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5862519)
It sounds like he was pretty stressed from managing too.

Giving your best player that added burden sure seems like a bad idea.
   8. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:18 AM (#5862527)
Giving your best player that added burden sure seems like a bad idea.


Well, Boudreau was given the manager position in 1940. At that point he had played 54 games and had yet to hit his first career HR. He became their best player eventually, maybe after 1942, but at that point he was just a young player with potential. Now, one could say that giving a 22 YO the manager reins wasn't smart either, but that's a different argument.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5862529)
Well, Boudreau was given the manager position in 1940. At that point he had played 54 games and had yet to hit his first career HR. He became their best player eventually, maybe after 1942, but at that point he was just a young player with potential. Now, one could say that giving a 22 YO the manager reins wasn't smart either, but that's a different argument.

Fascinating. I'd love to hear the thought process behind that decision.
   10. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:22 AM (#5862530)
Spare infielder: Don Kessinger (9.0 WAR)

Tough crowd when you're not even the best player/mananger on your own birthday team.
   11. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:23 AM (#5862531)
Whoops. It was after the 1941 season that he was appointed manager. Don't know where I got 1940 from. So yes, by then he was an established star and probably considered to be among the best players on the team.
   12. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:30 AM (#5862533)
Anyway, all things considered, Boudreau's 1948 season has to rank as one of the best of all time. World series winning manager who won the MVP with a 10 WAR season in the field. As an amazing coincidence, the only other WS title in Indians history was 1920, where the manager was Tris Speaker who managed an 8.5 WAR season. There was no MVP that year, but Speaker would have surely lost to Ruth.
   13. Itchy Row Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5862535)
So if Terry Francona activates himself and racks up about 9 WAR in the next two and a half months, the Indians will win the Series again.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:41 AM (#5862536)
I wonder how much extra work a player-manager had to put in back in those days? I assume that nowadays it's essentially impossible.
   15. Misirlou gave her his Vincent to ride Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5862542)
Boudreau's daughter BTW is married to Denny McLain. She divorced him during one of his incarcerations, but re-married him upon release and they are still together.
   16. bobm Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:02 PM (#5862544)
NY Post: Manny Machado goes on explosive Instagram rant against MLB Network analysts

“F–king Plesac,” Machado said. “Oh my God. This guy. Plesac and Byrnes – biggest tools out there. I don’t know what they’re talking about over there. They gotta talk about something at least. They gotta protect their people.”
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:05 PM (#5862547)
I wonder how much extra work a player-manager had to put in back in those days? I assume that nowadays it's essentially impossible.

I think managers did more back then, than they do today. They were heavily involved in talent evaluation, picking the roster out of spring training, deciding on trades, etc. There were no real "front offices" as we know them.

Now, with all the front office and analytics micro-management, being a player manager would be easy.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:09 PM (#5862548)
Plesac and Byrnes – biggest tools out there.
Machado is a douche supreme, but he's half right.
   19. PreservedFish Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5862551)
I think managers did more back then, than they do today. They were heavily involved in talent evaluation, picking the roster out of spring training, deciding on trades, etc. There were no real "front offices" as we know them.

I would bet that managers had more important tasks back then, but they actually spent less time doing them.

As an example ... how long does it really take to pick the 25-man roster out of spring training? If you're familiar with the players, probably about 5 minutes. At least 20 of those guys are no-brainers. Today they'll spend 500 hours on diminishing returns, and meanwhile the manager has 4 hours every day of media outreach, marketing and promotion, etc.
   20. Itchy Row Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5862552)
SABR says this too-
As the season neared its end in 1948, Boudreau saw that some of his players were becoming a little too anxious. He feared that one or more of his players would say something in anger, sparking an incident that would upset the club. He asked reporters not to come into the clubhouse and they complied, showing the journalistic mores that existed at that time.
   21. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 12:30 PM (#5862556)
Machado is a douche supreme, but he's half right.

Seconded. Who I hate more on MLB Network between Byrnes and Reynolds depends on which one was the most recent to say something, but they both rank higher than Chris Russo who provides exactly zero useful content. At least Reynolds is capable of useful insights when he's talking about the mechanics of playing baseball, just keep him far away from any and all forms of analysis and evaluation.

But DJ Daze? Those bits crack me up every single time.
   22. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: July 17, 2019 at 01:46 PM (#5862580)
Not really the right place to complain about this but: it's been three weeks since BA last updated their transactions page, at a time when rosters are in high flux. I'll take this delay over total non-provision, but it's pretty annoying.
   23. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: July 17, 2019 at 04:28 PM (#5862666)
What's up with Trea Turner's D? He's at -12 Rfield in just 54 games, which is Dunn-esque. Actually, on a rate-basis, Dunn had only one season worse than that. He was never a good fielder, but never a bad one either. Just a guy who could play shortstop.
   24. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:04 PM (#5862764)
I think managers did more back then, than they do today. They were heavily involved in talent evaluation, picking the roster out of spring training, deciding on trades, etc. There were no real "front offices" as we know them.

At the time of Boudreau, there was a GM who ran the farm system. But managers generally had power over veterans - including who to cut. There's no clear line on when all roster decisions went to the front office, but it was around 1950. Bill James wrote that the Dodgers were at the forefront of this shift of roster control, and it happened around then. That's also when player/managers all be ceased to exist. After Boudreau & Mel Ott, you get bits and nubs as guy about to retire become player-managers while hardly playing. (Joe Torre, for instance, became Mets manager a week before he played in his last game). Pete Rose had the most games played for a player-manager by anyone since the 1940s.

In general, the history of managers has been a history of gradually (if not steadily) losing authority. That's been the case for 100 years.

That said, I do think a player-manager would face more pressure and scrutiny now, because there is so much more media and attention put on them. And the money involved makes everything that much more intense. And the weirdness of having a player-manager would amplify all the attention/pressure that much more so.
   25. Rennie's Tenet Posted: July 17, 2019 at 10:10 PM (#5862767)
I think a player-manager today would probably delegate pretty nearly all game decisions to different coaches.

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