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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 9-15-2020

New York Sun, September 15, 1920:

Word painter touring the West with the Yankees refers to Detroit as the “picturesque city of straits.” To others the only thing picturesque disclosed by repeated visits to Detroit is the sight of pedestrians, seemingly with little or no rights dodging automobiles as they risk life and a few limbs in timorous attempts to cross the street.
...
Bancroft, the best shortstop in the game, made an unusual catch. He backed out for McHenry’s tall fly, slipped and sat down while waiting for it, arose and brushed himself off and when the ball arrived from its celestial travels caught it.

Must have been one heck of a pop fly.

Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 15, 2020 at 10:23 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dugout, history

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   1. Jefferson Manship (Dan Lee) Posted: September 15, 2020 at 10:24 AM (#5976468)
Herb Perry was one of my favorite Indians farmhands back in the day, but if he's one of your best position players, you have a bad big league baseball team.

C: Doc Bushong (3.6 WAR)
1B: Harry McCurdy (2.7 WAR)
2B: George Rohe (3.1 WAR)
3B: Charley Smith (4.9 WAR)
SS: Jim Snyder (0.4 WAR)
LF: Herbert Perry (5.1 WAR)
CF: Damian Rolls (-0.3 WAR)
RF: Rap Dixon (Negro Leagues, career .325/.406/.538 hitter)

SP: Gaylord Perry (90.0 WAR)
SP: Fritz Ostermueller (35.9 WAR)
SP: Jean Dubuc (11.6 WAR)
SP: Nick Altrock (9.0 WAR)
SP: Hugh McQuillan (8.4 WAR)
RP: Matt Thornton (13.4 WAR)
RP: Frank Linzy (13.1 WAR)

Fun names: Slow Joe Doyle, Speed Martin
Manager: Dave Garcia
Not that one: Jim Davis
   2. Itchy Row Posted: September 15, 2020 at 10:58 AM (#5976475)
Herb Perry was the fourth best position player on a pretty good team with a great offense. And he's probably one of the best farmhands in modern baseball history. He's still only the second-best Perry on the team.
   3. salvomania Posted: September 15, 2020 at 11:38 AM (#5976481)
My Twitter feed just mentioned the circumstances of Snuffy Stirnweiss's demise (62 years ago today), which I did not know about.

It's hinted at here in his bb-ref page:
Died: September 15, 1958 (Aged 39-324d) in Newark Bay, NJ

(and I never noticed until today that bb-ref puts a "black band" in the corner of a player page on the anniversary of their death)

Apparently the commuter train he was on blew through a stop signal and towards an open drawbridge, plunging into Newark Bay, killing Stirnweiss and 47 others.

Stirnweiss got his big break in 1944, replacing the HoF Yankee 2B Joe Gordon during the latter's military service, and had two of the top 10 seasons in steals in 1940s MLB---55 steals in 1944 (3rd most in the decade) and 33 in 1945 (10th most).

He managed to hang on to more or less regular playing time after Gordon returned in 1946, playing mostly 3b and filling in at 2b, and after Gordon was traded for Allie Reynolds following the season, he continued as a serviceable but unspectacular 2B starter in '47 and '48.

During the war years of 1944-45, though, Stirnweiss was one of the best players in the AL, finishing 1st both years in WAR among position players (8.6 and 8.8), as well as 1st in defensive WAR, while finishing 3rd and 4th in MVP voting (Hal Newhouser won both years). In 1944 he led the AL in runs, hits, triples and SB, and in 1945 he led the league in runs, hits, triples, SB, batting average, slugging, OPS, and total bases.
   4. JJ1986 Posted: September 15, 2020 at 11:47 AM (#5976485)
I remember Herb Perry being a star in AAA, but he really only has one full season there (1994) before his time in the majors.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 15, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5976496)
SP: Fritz Ostermueller (35.9 WAR)

That's gotta be the least distinguished 35 WAR career I've seen.
   6. Eric L Posted: September 15, 2020 at 01:30 PM (#5976508)
#3. I grew up in the area with a trainspotting dad. That was a much remembered event. Coincidentally,, I was reading about northern New Jersey transportation last night and was thinking about that accident. /nerd life
   7. salvomania Posted: September 15, 2020 at 03:16 PM (#5976536)
That's gotta be the least distinguished 35 WAR career I've seen.

Yeah, 13 wins for a career-high is the lowest of any pitcher with 30+ career WAR (except for relievers Mariano River, 8 wins, and Rich Gossage, 13 wins).

Every other pitcher with at least 30 WAR has a career high of at least 15 wins, including Hoyt Wilhelm, Danny Darwin, Jacob de Grom, Jose Rijo, Jim Barr, and the immortal Bump Hadley, all with career highs of 15.
   8. Itchy Row Posted: September 15, 2020 at 03:51 PM (#5976547)
Even John Hiller had a 17-win season. He went 17-14 with no starts in 1974.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: September 15, 2020 at 10:16 PM (#5976736)
That is an interesting career record. Basically a swingman for his entire career until the very end. He only made it over 200 innings twice in 15 seasons which does make winning games hard but you'd think a 132 OPS+ in 246 IP, during the war for a 90-win team you'd at get above 13 wins. Still pitching effectively at 40.

And 3 seasons with 5.5 WAR. Not 3 seasons with 5.5+ WAR, 3 seasons with 5.5 WAR. (Remember to add together his 1944s.)

So he didn't get there by compiling with just over 2000 career IP and a very solid 15 WAA. Works out to 3.3 WAR per 200 IP.

I wondered who he might comp to and I thought of a guy who was near the end when I was a kid -- Juan Pizarro. And superficially they are quite close. Pizarro with 2034 IP, 104 ERA+, 131-105 record, 245 starts vs 2066 IP, 109 ERA+, 114-115, 246 starts for Fritz. You'd have a hard time finding a closer match (just luck on my part they came out close at all) but Pizarro had just 16 WAR and 0 WAA. The main WAR differences is that Fritz pitched in hitters parks in front of below-average defenses while Pizarro in pitchers parks with above-average defenses. All of that adds up to Pizarro giving up exactly the expected number of runs while Fritz gave up 0.6 fewer runs per 9 than expected for an average pitcher. I don't know that I'd put too much stock in the defensive backing numbers, which is nearly half of that wRA/9 difference, but the park effects should be about right.

Heck, the man even pitched to the score -- 3.60 ERA when his team scored 0-2, 4.06 at 3-5 and 4.33 when 6+ and he still couldn't rack up wins.

You'd think a guy that effective would just get left in the rotation. Maybe his managers did a great job with deciding which teams he started against. He had slightly better numbers as a reliever but over 80% of his innings were as a SP. Maybe he was fragile, dead arm.
   10. The Honorable Ardo Posted: September 15, 2020 at 10:44 PM (#5976747)
Detroit is still the "picturesque city of straits". And, thanks to gentrification, drivers once again have to dodge pedestrians, at least downtown and in the Museum District.

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