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Thursday, July 01, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-1-2021

Toledo News-Bee, July 1, 1921:

Walter Johnson, famed fireball pitcher of the American League for 14 glorious years, has been trying to come back.

“I never had a sore arm in my life until after the no-hit, no-run game I pitched against Boston last year. It was not the game that caused it. I took cold in the muscle. It got hard and knotted and pained a lot”
...
If Walter’s arm was in 1913 form, the Senators would come close to walking into the pennant this year. But his wonderful arm will never come back. He is too old.

After this, Walter pitched seven more seasons, won 112 more games, an MVP award, an ERA championship, two pennants, a World Series, and led the league in wins once.

And he never really did return to his pre-1920 form. That’s how great he was for the first decade or so of his career.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 01, 2021 at 08:18 AM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 01, 2021 at 08:20 AM (#6027174)
Three Hall of Fame players and a GM with a pretty good HoF case of his own on today's Birthday Team. The corner outfield has gotten much better in the past 5-10 years.

C: Jim Duncan (-0.4 WAR)
1B: Ben Taylor (18.8 WAR)
2B: Jake Atz (3.1 WAR)
3B/Manager: Roger Connor (84.3 WAR)
SS: Louis Brower (-0.7 WAR)
LF: Charlie Blackmon (18.9 WAR)
CF: Babe Young (11.3 WAR)
RF: Nelson Cruz (42.1 WAR)

SP: John Clarkson (83.2 WAR)
SP: Jack Quinn (58.6 WAR)
SP: Aaron Sanchez (9.4 WAR)
SP: Michael Wacha (7.0 WAR)
SP: Frank Baumann (5.1 WAR)
RP: Mike Montgomery (6.1 WAR)
RP: Chris Perez (4.7 WAR)

GM: Brian Sabean
Fun Names: Foghorn Bradley, Wedo Martini, Charlie Nyce, Boots Poffenberger
Not that one: Charlie Daniels
Retired minor leaguer, would have been the longest last name in MLB history: Seth Schwindenhammer
Struggled in AAA and got annihilated in the majors at the start of his career, but went to Korea and turned it around: Chris Flexen
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 01, 2021 at 08:31 AM (#6027175)
Schwindenhammer (all 15 letters of him) hit .194 in Rookie Ball, then .190 in his three years in short-season A ball, then .208 in indy ball.

To quote Bill James, he was what you'd call a consistent hitter.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: July 01, 2021 at 09:19 AM (#6027180)
To be fair, Schwindenhammer did have a bit of pop: he led the 2011 Lowell Spinners in home runs with nine, one more than his teammate, the future Mayor of Ding Dong City. (That's got to be the best/worst baseball nickname since The Freshest Man on Earth...)
   4. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 01, 2021 at 10:39 AM (#6027197)
Aroldis Chapman thru June 6: 0.39 ERA, 0.785 WHIP; since then: 17.47 ERA, 4.25 WHIP--coincidence?
   5. sanny manguillen Posted: July 01, 2021 at 12:26 PM (#6027218)
a GM with a pretty good HoF case of his own on today's Birthday Team.


Jake Atz part of the inaugural class of the Texas League Hall of Fame.

   6. bobm Posted: July 01, 2021 at 01:31 PM (#6027230)
NY Post: Mint Mobile gets in on Bobby Bonilla Day with ‘fiscally irresponsible’ offer

In celebration of Bobby Bonilla’s infamous deal with the Mets, which pays him nearly $1.2 million every July 1 through 2035, Mint Mobile is offering new customers “the Bobby Bonilla deal of wireless,” as Bonilla says in a new commercial. The deal is 25 years of service for $100 per year.
   7. bobm Posted: July 01, 2021 at 01:32 PM (#6027231)
   8. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: July 01, 2021 at 02:20 PM (#6027242)
this one is just as bad--just doesn't get the attention

But an even sweeter deal is too often overlooked. It involves the Atlanta Braves and Bruce Sutter.
Back in 1985, according to Fansided.com, the HOF pitcher inked a deal for six years that was worth $4.8 million and another $4.8 million deferred at 13 percent interest. It meant a guarantee of no less than $1.12 million annually for 30 years after the contract was up. The New York Times estimated an amount closer to $1.3 million per year.Unfortunately, the gravy train is approaching the station, with Sutter payments set to end in 2021, more than 3 ½ decades after it began and almost as long since his MLB retirement.

He’ll now have to find another source of retirement income. We wish him well.
   9. BDC Posted: July 01, 2021 at 02:44 PM (#6027248)
13% interest now seems dystopian, but of course the prime rate in 1985 was about 10% and had briefly been at 13% just the year before.
   10. bobm Posted: July 01, 2021 at 02:51 PM (#6027252)
   11. Walt Davis Posted: July 01, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6027279)
That birthday team drafted well in the 1880s and again around 1908 but has been in a bit of a slump for the last 100+ years.
   12. AndrewJ Posted: July 01, 2021 at 07:16 PM (#6027292)
Three Hall of Fame players [...] on today's Birthday Team

Hmm, I only count two, Connor and Clarkson. Jack Quinn pitched forever, but just like Jamie Moyer he's not in the Hall and was never even a serious candidate.
   13. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 01, 2021 at 07:18 PM (#6027293)
Three Hall of Fame players [...] on today's Birthday Team

I only count two, Connor and Clarkson.


Ben Taylor, inducted in 2006.
   14. AndrewJ Posted: July 01, 2021 at 07:42 PM (#6027295)
My bad -- I skimmed today's lineup and mistook him for the Red Sox/Indians pitching prospect.

In that case, Quinn's a very strong 4th-best player on the team.
   15. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: July 02, 2021 at 08:01 AM (#6027369)
That birthday team drafted well in the 1880s and again around 1908 but has been in a bit of a slump for the last 100+ years.


???
With 2 OF, 2 SP, 2 RP of current or recent vintage, I don’t think your conclusion is terribly accurate
   16. Eddo Posted: July 02, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#6027395)
In that case, Quinn's a very strong 4th-best player on the team.

And Cruz must be a pretty strong 5th-best, no?
   17. Ron J Posted: July 02, 2021 at 12:31 PM (#6027397)
#16 He's on pace to get Clarkson/Connor in a little over a decade.
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 02, 2021 at 12:42 PM (#6027398)
Ben Taylor, inducted in 2006.

It's odd. The inclusion on NeLB stats as MLB stats in this case makes the player look much worse than reality. On career totals, Negro leaguers are always going to look mediocre, b/c of the short season.
   19. Kiko Sakata Posted: July 02, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6027401)
It's odd. The inclusion on NeLB stats as MLB stats in this case makes the player look much worse than reality. On career totals, Negro leaguers are always going to look mediocre, b/c of the short season.


In the specific case of Ben Taylor, it's also the fact that BB-Ref has chosen to only include official Negro League seasons. Ben Taylor turned 32 in the middle of the inaugural Negro National League season, having been playing high-level Black Baseball for about a decade before that. Seamheads shows Taylor with 35.4 career WAR, which still has the problem of short seasons (which are even shorter pre-1920) but looks to add at least four very high-quality (but relatively short) seasons to his career.
   20. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 02, 2021 at 02:23 PM (#6027445)
From 1921-1927 - the final seven years of his career - Johnson averaged a 16-11 record, 3.35 ERA, and 240 IP. Do that twice and it's a Hall of Fame career, just shy of 60 WAR. It would resemble Juan Marichal's or Don Drysdale's career lines.

(dramatic pause)

Of course, in the teens, he had averaged a 26-14 record, 1.59 ERA, and 343 IP, accumulating 108.3 WAR for the decade. Wow.
   21. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 02, 2021 at 03:31 PM (#6027463)
The White Sox have sent Yermin Mercedes down to AAA. Since the infamous 3-0 home run off Willians Astudio, Mercedes has been hitting .162/.236/.207.
   22. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 02, 2021 at 03:53 PM (#6027469)
sent Yermin Mercedes down to AAA.


That's great. It means Mercedes can get roadside assistance if he breaks down.
   23. sanny manguillen Posted: July 04, 2021 at 01:01 PM (#6027624)
I posted an Independence Day team back around 2017. No idea how outmoded it is now:

It's an old team: if you exclude the new-fangled relievers, the majority ended their major league careers 100 or more years ago. I think that they cover all of the "official"* major leagues except for the Players League. Duke Kenworthy (it sounds made up) rang up all of his official WAR in the Federal League, but he was good enough to make 224 hits in the PCL when he was 34 years old, so I'm pretty sure he could play a little. There's very strong front-line pitching, and Mullin can pinch hit when he's not on the mound.

*Outmoded.

C: Chris Fulmer (6.5 WAR)
1B: Chief Roseman** (3.7 WAR)
2B: Jose Oquendo (13.4 WAR)
3B: Vinny Castilla (19.3 WAR)
SS: Hal Lanier (-0.9 WAR)
LF: Duke Kenworthy (6.7 WAR)
CF: Jim McTamany (13.5 WAR)
RF: Bill Tuttle (5.4 WAR)

SP: Mickey Welch (63.1 WAR)
SP/PH: George Mullin (47.6 WAR)
SP: Jack Warhop (17.1 WAR)
SP: Jim Beattie (15.4 WAR)
SP: Jim Nelson (1.7 WAR)
RP: Brendan Donnelly (7.8 WAR)
RP: Jared Hughes (4.2 WAR)
RP: Sergio Santos (2.2 WAR)

Manager: Chuck Tanner
Traveling Secretary: Abe Saperstein

Could these two co-owners share an apartment without driving each other crazy?: George Steinbrenner, Peter Angelos

Fun names: Jabari Blash, Stump Edington, Coco Laboy
Not quite a not THAT one: Dan Larson
Part of an unusual three-way: Wayne Nordhagen
For opera/Frasier fans: Pinky Swander ("the Bagpiper")

**Chief Roseman also died on the 4th of July
   24. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 04, 2021 at 01:33 PM (#6027628)
Fun names: Jabari Blash


Jabari Blash is one of those classic examples of a player who had good power numbers in the US minors, but couldn't make an impact in the majors, and ended up going to Japan, where he had some success, although in his case it only lasted one season. In 2019, his first season with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, he had 33 HR and 95 RBI while putting up a line of .261/.397/.540. Unfortunately for him, the slumped badly in the shortened 2020 season, batting just .235 with 2 HR in 37 games, and his contract wasn't renewed at the end of the year. He retired on January 13 of this year at age 31.
   25. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 04, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6027629)
Hal Lanier put up that -0.9 WAR despite playing as a regular for six-plus seasons. It's kind of stunning what a bad hitter he was. He played in 100 games in seven different seasons, and these were his career highs:

Home runs: 3
Walks: 25
Runs: 41
RBI: 42
Stolen bases: 2

He hit a decent .274/.283/.347 in 98 games as a rookie, but after that his top marks were .233, .283 and .290. Imagine being a regular for most of a decade and never OBPing or slugging as high as .300. I think one key to his longevity was that his seasonal batting average never dropped below .200, so he never looked THAT bad. But he was.
   26. Ron J Posted: July 04, 2021 at 02:32 PM (#6027631)
#25 I'm old enough to remember Lanier. Baseball Digest always had a "Giants are confident Lanier will hit .280" preseason article. Now of course he'd have been bad even if he'd hit .280 because he didn't walk, had zero power and no speed. But an empty .280 beats what he'd end up giving them.

He parlayed that decent play as a rookie into a pretty long run. There was a weirdly widely held belief that that was his true talent level.
   27. sanny manguillen Posted: July 04, 2021 at 02:48 PM (#6027632)
Raffy Belliard managed 12 straight seasons over .200, never reaching .250.

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