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Thursday, July 09, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-9-2020

Water Valley [Mississippi] Progress-Itemizer, July 9, 1920:

Carl Mays tells a story of how the Cleveland team stole signs to their own detriment against the Boston Red Sox. The Indians sent a couple of “sign hawks” out on the lines and grabbed off what they believed to be the right signs.

The Red Sox, however, switched their signs and the Cleveland batters stepping in to meet fast balls were beaned by curves until several had been hit.

At last one Cleveland batter stepped in and, never looking at the coaches, yelled: “Don’t tell me what they’re throwing; I don’t want to know, I don’t want to get hit.”

I’m not saying Mays was making this up. I’m just saying that Cleveland hadn’t had multiple hit-by-pitches in the same regular season game against the Red Sox since 1913, two years before Mays made his MLB debut.

Also: Carl Mays in 1920 telling a lighthearted story about Cleveland batters getting beaned. Yikes, Carl. Yikes. Carl, that kills people.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2020 at 10:19 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: beanballs, carl mays, dugout, history, llamas with hats

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: July 09, 2020 at 10:21 AM (#5961873)
A pretty ho-hum Birthday Team today. Myatt is out of position in right field and much worse than his WAR total suggests; he's a catcher who spent some time as a corner outfielder early in his career.

Looking at J.C. Linares's Cuban stats, I thought he might be a candidate to play right, but I hadn't realized he had defected and never made it to the majors.

C: Miguel Montero (14.3 WAR)
1B: Turner Barber (0.6 WAR)
2B: Mike Andrews (10.9 WAR)
3B/Manager: Buck Herzog (27.4 WAR)
SS: Jimmy Cooney (8.3 WAR)
LF: Wally Post (18.2 WAR)
CF: Willie Wilson (46.1 WAR)
RF: Rusney Castillo (1.6 WAR)

SP: Jack Powell (55.5 WAR)
SP: Phil Cockrell (Negro Leagues star)
SP: George Stone (6.7 WAR)
SP: Tex Clevenger (5.7 WAR)
SP: Guy Hoffman (3.5 WAR)
RP: Hal Haydel (0.6 WAR)

Owner: John Moores
Umpire: Marty Springstead
Fun name: Coot Veal
Not that one: Bud Black
Has perhaps the most Canadian name imaginable, is not Canadian: Gordon MacKenzie
   2. crict Posted: July 09, 2020 at 11:02 AM (#5961878)
Looks like Myatt was booted out of the team by Castillo, but the comment remained.

Linares was by far the best player at the 2002 World Junior Championships, which I attended. Fantastic hitter and pitched pretty well too. He looked better than the 2 American stars, among the top draft eligible players that year. Both ended up as busts: Delmon Young and Lastings Milledge.
   3. salvomania Posted: July 09, 2020 at 03:32 PM (#5961920)
SP: George Stone (6.7 WAR)

Stone was a starter/reliever in the late '60s/early '70s for the Braves and Mets, both for whom he pitched in the postseason.

In 1969, for the NL West Champion Braves, the 23-year-old Stone won 13 and saved 3 as a swingman, while his 26-year-old cousin Cecil Upshaw---who grew up about 70 miles from Stone in Louisiana---finished second in the NL with 27 saves. According to his bio at, Upshaw saved 11 of Stone's 43 wins as a Brave.

EDIT: Yikes, Upshaw's bio also contains background on the grisly nature of the injury that cost him the 1970 season, and almost his career: a former star prep basketball player, he caught his ring finger attempting to show his teammates how he used to dunk, and almost severed the finger. He ultimately had five operations, but the finger was saved, and returned in 1971 and had another good season for the Braves.
   4. Itchy Row Posted: July 09, 2020 at 03:48 PM (#5961923)
the finger was saved, and returned in 1971 and had another good season for the Braves
Makes it sound like his finger grew back or it was lost for a while and found its way home.
   5. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2020 at 09:07 PM (#5962005)
Looking at J.C. Linares's Cuban stats, I thought he might be a candidate to play right, but I hadn't realized he had defected and never made it to the majors.

Though (a) looks like some injury issues (or visa/legal ones?) and (b) still not clear why he didn't at least get a cup of coffee. Since he's up against fellow Cuban washout Castillo, he might still merit consideration.

That is ... looking at b-r ... I'm not sure exactly when he came over but he had just 64 PA in 2010 and 64 again in 2011. By this point he's 27 so no "prospect" but he put up a AA-AAA line of 316/364/510, hitting well at both levels in half-seasons. Given he had barely played in 3 years at that point, that seems pretty good. He started the next season in AAA, had a horrible first 40 PA and got sent down to AA where he did OK. That was it for his time in US leagues, leaving him with a combined (mostly) AA-AAA line of 286/345/466 in just 972 PA which is not super-good but isn't a wash-out either. He then played mostly in Mexico. Anyway, it would have been interesting to see how he did if he could have gotten full seasons at 25-26.

If we were comping him to almost anybody but Rusney, we wouldn't even consider him of course. But it looks like he slightly out-hit Rusney in Cuba. With that contract, Rusney was jumped to the majors pretty much right away where he had a really good 40 PA. In 2015, he started in AAA and hit a Linares-esque 293/341/440 in 82 PA then got called up ... and was terrible (544 OPS). So back down where he hit just 272/333/333 but back up anyway here he hit a bit better at 686 OPS. He only had 8 more ML PA after that. He was terrible in AAA at 28 but bounced back some after that.

So in about twice the minors PAs (and nearly all at AAA), Rusney has put up a line of 293/335/425 which looks pretty similar to Linares. His 1.6 WAR/0.4 WAA comes from apparently fabulous defense (+14 in 2015 in just 600 innings). I have no idea what Linares's defense was like.

Anyway, not trying to argue for Linares to get a spot, I just found it an interesting comp and trip through stats. Anybody know why Linares got so little PT in 2010-11? Also Rusney's contract finally ends after this season so with minors not playing, I suppose we've seen the last of him in the US leagues. I wonder how much money he gets this year.
   6. crict Posted: July 10, 2020 at 07:33 AM (#5962066)
Linares signed in July 2010, and also hit .397/.423/.662 in the Arizona Fall League that year. He missed most of 2011 with an ankle injury.

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