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Monday, August 30, 2021

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-30-2021

Pittsburgh Press, August 30, 1921:

In a recent [Adirondack League] game between Malone and Loon Lake at the latter resort, one of the Malone players busted one on the trade-mark for a humming bird into short right field. The outfielder came in fast, trying hard for a pickup, but as he stooped to scoop the ball, it faded from the scene.

A frantic search revealed that the old apple had shot cleanly into a woodchuck hole, down which it sailed so far that new ball had to be put in play. It was probably the shortest home run on record.

At least until Benito Santiago’s bunt home run off of Mike Witt.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2021 at 08:15 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: August 30, 2021 at 08:16 AM (#6037073)
If the problem with Ted Williams as a manager was that he didn't know how to deal with guys who couldn't play, he should be fine running the August 30 Birthday Team. This is an excellent roster.

C: Cal McVey (19.2 WAR)
1B: Bing Miller (29.5 WAR)
2B: Chris Getz (1.4 WAR)
3B: Billy Johnson (14.4 WAR)
SS: Dave Chalk (8.5 WAR)
LF/Manager: Ted Williams (122.1 WAR)
CF: Marlon Byrd (25.8 WAR)
RF: Kiki Cuyler (47.9 WAR)

SP: Cliff Lee (43.2 WAR)
SP: Adam Wainwright (44.0 WAR)
SP: Tom Seaton (11.2 WAR)
SP: Sean Marshall (9.3 WAR)
SP: Roger Erickson (8.1 WAR)
RP: Tug McGraw (21.8 WAR)

Fun names: Pol Perritt, Frank Funk, Bucky Jacobsen, Peaches O'Neill, Pete Weckbecker, Davey Dunkle, Carmen Fanzone
Not that one: Steven Wright, Archie Moore, Dave Smith
Designated Kiwi: Scott Richmond
   2. Ron J Posted: August 30, 2021 at 08:42 AM (#6037075)
Kiki Cuyler only had one major issue in his career. Freaked out when he was asked to bat #2. Back then batting #2 was a very distinct role -- bat control guy. Cuyler had a lot of positives (not least, fastest guy in the game in his prime) but bat control wasn't something he was good at.

I can certainly see Williams getting stubborn about this. Not that he believed in bat control, but he also couldn't be bothered to explain this.

All that to say I can see a young Cuyler as a member of the underminers.
   3. sanny manguillen Posted: August 30, 2021 at 10:15 AM (#6037088)
Now I've confused Pol Perritt with Paul Pettit.

   4. stanmvp48 Posted: August 30, 2021 at 11:14 AM (#6037104)
Without looking: Kiki Cuyler's real name?
   5. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 30, 2021 at 11:21 AM (#6037106)
Hazen Shirley.
   6. stanmvp48 Posted: August 30, 2021 at 01:31 PM (#6037145)
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2021 at 02:27 PM (#6037158)
3B: Billy Johnson (14.4 WAR)

Can we retroactively give him the nickname "White Shoes"?
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 30, 2021 at 02:29 PM (#6037159)
RF: Kiki Cuyler (47.9 WAR)

Any idea why Cuyler got so little PT in his first three seasons? He was raking in the minors the whole time.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: August 30, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6037245)
on the trade-mark for a humming bird into short right field

So that's new baseball slang to me. And was "humming bird" commonly two words back then? Or was "bird" more generic baseball lingo (a ball taking flight?) and a line drive then was a humming bird? (A fly ball a lazy bird?)
   10. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 30, 2021 at 06:09 PM (#6037258)
Kiki Cuyler only had one major issue in his career. Freaked out when he was asked to bat #2. Back then batting #2 was a very distinct role -- bat control guy. Cuyler had a lot of positives (not least, fastest guy in the game in his prime) but bat control wasn't something he was good at.

And that led to one of the more unusual benchings in MLB history - a future Hall-of-Famer in his prime having a good season for a team that would win the pennant, not only getting benched, but utterly and completely sent to the doghouse, and traded after the season ended. From his SABR bio:

"Rekindling his aggressive approach, Cuyler was batting. 329 for the first-place Pirates on May 28 when he tore ligaments in his ankle sliding into third. During the weeks after he returned to the lineup on July 9, tensions between the player and his manager flared, resulting in one of the most enduring mysteries in Pirates history. Not only upset that he was moved from center field to right field, Cuyler objected to batting fifth and especially second, instead of his customary third position.

The situation came to a head when Cuyler failed to slide during a force play at second base in a game against the New York Giants on August 6, earning him a $50 fine. The controversy became a national story when Cuyler was subsequently benched and started only one game for the remainder of the season even though the Pirates were battling for the pennant. The Sporting News reported that Dreyfuss instituted the benching because he still fumed over the player’s holdout after the 1925 season; others countered that the player was moody and egotistical, and wanted more publicity. The fans, however, were unanimous in their desire to see Cuyler on the field. Even without Cuyler, the Pirates captured the pennant and faced the New York Yankees in the fall classic. “The ‘Cuyler Case,’” wrote Ralph S. Davis, “almost overshadowed interest in the World Series.” While theories for his benching and rumors of his trade swirled, Cuyler did not play in the Series, and the Pirates were swept in four games by the Bronx Bombers. Other than a few superficial remarks, neither Dreyfuss, Bush, nor Cuyler ever publicly discussed the behind-the-scenes machinations of the controversy."
   11. Ron J Posted: August 30, 2021 at 06:52 PM (#6037273)
#8 Only two open spots in the OF. Carey obviously had one. Carson Bigbee doesn't look that good to us but he did hit .323, .350 and .299 in those 3 years and that's normally good enough. They had a different third guy each year and Russell and Barnhart had years that Cuyler would have signed for.
   12. sanny manguillen Posted: August 30, 2021 at 07:32 PM (#6037285)
The 1927 Pirates also let 20-year old Joe Cronin sit on their bench all year, then sold him to Kansas City. In 1926, they had a bizarre power struggle that resulted in Carey (nearly done) sold to Brooklyn, Bigbee and Babe Adams released, and Bill McKechnie fired at season's end.
   13. The Honorable Ardo Posted: August 30, 2021 at 09:06 PM (#6037299)
This is one of the best Birthday Teams. We need to include:

Man of mystery: "Fausto Carmona" (4.7 WAR)
4th OF/emergency pitcher: Johnny Lindell (15.2 WAR)
Futility infielder: Luis Rivas (-1.5 WAR)
Bring on 'da: Frank Funk (4.1 WAR)

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