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Thursday, August 19, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-19-2021

Washington Times, August 19, 1921:

Southpaw Francis will cost the Washington Griffmen a pretty piece of change, according to President Griffith, who is traveling with his team on this final swing through the West.

“In addition to $20,000 in money,” says Griffith, “we are turning over to Seattle Outfielder Goebel, now with Reading; Pitcher Fisher, now with Shreveport, and Jimmy O’Neill, now ill at his home.

It wasn’t the best purchase Griffith ever made. Francis, a 29-year-old rookie, allowed 136 runs in 225 innings in 1922, lost 18 games, walked more batters than he struck out, and was traded to Detroit after the season for a utility infielder named Chick Gagnon.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:47 AM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:49 AM (#6035123)
A pretty good starting rotation on today's Birthday Team. Gaetti is out of position and wouldn't have been a 40+ WAR player exclusively as a first baseman, but there weren't any other options.

C: Tim Blackwell (1.1 WAR)
1B: Gary Gaetti (42.1 WAR)
2B: Bobby Richardson (8.1 WAR)
3B: Jim Finigan (3.4 WAR)
SS: J.J. Hardy (28.1 WAR)
LF: Matt Franco (0.2 WAR)
CF: Estel Crabtree (3.6 WAR)
RF: Ron Roenicke (2.9 WAR)

SP: Woody Williams (30.2 WAR)
SP: Ron Darling (19.6 WAR)
SP: Tex Carleton (16.3 WAR)
SP: David Palmer (11.1 WAR)
SP: Chris Capuano (8.9 WAR)
RP: Jeff Tam (4.2 WAR)

Manager: Pongo Joe Cantillon
The pitcher, not the third baseman/quarterback: Josh Fields
What's the biggest difference in music on the radio these days?: Les Rock
Fun names: Rags Faircloth, Speed Kelly, Rocky Cherry
Somehow played 609 MLB games as a position player and slugged .239: Luis Gomez (-4.4 WAR)
   2. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 19, 2021 at 01:16 PM (#6035141)
1B: Gary Gaetti (42.1 WAR)

holds the record for most lifetime homers (360) among all players who hit one in their first at bat
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 19, 2021 at 01:19 PM (#6035142)
Jim Finigan had 2.7 WAR as a rookie third baseman for the final iteration of the Philadelphia Athletics, then 0.7 WAR over the remaining five years of his career.
   4. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 19, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6035147)
Jim Finigan had 2.7 WAR as a rookie third baseman for the final iteration of the Philadelphia Athletics, then 0.7 WAR over the remaining five years of his career.

Made the AL All-Star team his first two years (a starter in 1955) and was never a regular again, partially due to eye problems.
   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 19, 2021 at 04:37 PM (#6035188)
I want the Washington Nationals re-named the Griffmen, complete with a griffin-like logo. Make it happen!
   6. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2021 at 05:55 PM (#6035208)
Whaddya know ... Los Dos Francos didn't last nearly as long as I remember and Franco Mui Blanco never had anything to brag about except those 233 excellent PAs in 2002.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: August 19, 2021 at 06:05 PM (#6035211)
Also I remember Woody Williams as a solid durable pitcher (which is correct) but I wouldn't have thought it added up to 30 WAR (28 pitching). I recall Darling as a darn good pitcher but really he was Woody Williams but I wouldn't have thought he was 10 WAR worse. I certaintly thought Darling would have the better ERA+

WW 2216 IP, 132-116, 4.19 ERA, 4.63 FIP, 103 ERA+, 27.6 WARpit
RD 2360 IP, 136-116, 3.87 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 95 ERA+, 19 WARpit

Even their peripheral WAR numbers are pretty close with the main difference being Williams faced much tougher competition. Despite the raw difference in ERA and FIP, their RA9 is actually quite close but their defensive help is also quite close. Kinda weird. By FIP+ they're much closer so I'm guessing fangraphs has a smaller WAR gap.
   8. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 19, 2021 at 11:33 PM (#6035267)
Context, context. Darling allowed 4.34 R/9 in a 4.26 league environment. Williams allowed 4.45 R/9 in a 4.83 environment. That's about a 1 WAR/250 IP difference.

Darling had strong offensive/poor defensive support. Williams had little support of any kind in Toronto and San Diego, a lot of both in St. Louis. Pretty much a wash.

And, as you noted, Walt, Williams' hitting is +3 WAR in his favor (Darling was a dreadful batter).
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 20, 2021 at 12:36 AM (#6035273)
About 2/3 of the difference is context, about 1/3 is unearned runs. Darling gave up 123, Williams only 65. Darling gave up a ton with the Mets who were not generally good defensive teams except that bWAR considers them about average. Anyway, for their careers, Williams defense is rated at -.01 while Darling's is at -.06 which comes out to just 12 runs Darling gets back. That's usually then an issue of K-rates or FB-rates but they certainly don't differ much one the first and don't seem to differ much on the second but we only have partial data for Darling.

Anyway, the RAA difference is 122 runs. If you translate Darling's ERA+ to Williams' era, that's a difference of about 86 runs leaving about 36 to the "extra" unearned runs. But yes the big surprise to me was the ERA+ gap which I would have guessed was the other way around. Darling started off strong but turned into a mediocre or worse SP (by results at least) at 26.

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