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You Can Blog It Up 

You Can Blog It Up

You Can Blog It Up by Steven Goldman is the place to get your history fix through "Dead Player of the Day," plus commentary on present-day events.

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06-12

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2

You Can Blog It Up: Nothing Ever Changes
by
Steven Goldman

06-03

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0

You Can Blog It Up: A Player Who Actually Meant to Hurt People
by
Steven Goldman

05-26

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4

You Can Blog It Up: You Saw the Game... Take What You Need
by
Steven Goldman

05-17

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13

You Can Blog It Up: Peace Be With You, Harmon Killebrew (Sadly Updated)
by
Steven Goldman

05-09

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8

You Can Blog It Up: Troy Tulowitzki... Outfielder???
by
Steven Goldman

04-13

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0

You Can Blog It Up: Casey Stengel Panel-now with BP Discount
by
Steven Goldman

02-27

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3

You Can Blog It Up: Only Willie Remains: Rest Well, Duke Snider
by
Steven Goldman

12-16

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4

You Can Blog It Up: Goodbye, Rapid Robert
by
Steven Goldman

08-14

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6

You Can Blog It Up: The Shockingly Non-Bunty Gene Mauch All-Stars
by
Steven Goldman

08-08

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2

You Can Blog It Up: The Surly, Hung-Over Billy Martin All-Stars
by
Steven Goldman

07-29

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9

You Can Blog It Up: The Happy, Happy Chuck Tanner All-Stars
by
Steven Goldman

07-24

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9

You Can Blog It Up: Just in Time for HOF inductions, the Whitey Herzog All-Stars
by
Steven Goldman

07-21

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12

You Can Blog It Up: Ralph Houk Has Died
by
Steven Goldman

07-19

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11

You Can Blog It Up: The Lou Piniella All-Stars (and a chat note)
by
Steven Goldman

07-16

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8

You Can Blog It Up: The Tony LaRussa All-Stars
by
Steven Goldman

07-15

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7

You Can Blog It Up: Yunel Escobar and the Bobby Cox All-Stars
by
Steven Goldman

06-14

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6

You Can Blog It Up: DPOTD: Ever Make Love to a Hall of Famerís Wife?
by
Steven Goldman

06-05

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9

You Can Blog It Up: The 2010 Orioles: One of the Worst Teams of All Time?
by
Steven Goldman

06-04

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7

You Can Blog It Up: DPOTD: The Worst Exchange of First Basemen Ever
by
Steven Goldman

05-27

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4

You Can Blog It Up: DPOTD: Pinky Higgins, Sick Bastard
by
Steven Goldman

05-25

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6

You Can Blog It Up: DPOTD: Stan Hack for the Hall of Fame
by
Steven Goldman

05-22

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2

You Can Blog It Up: DPOTD: Worst Hitting with John Gochnaur vs. Julio Borbon, plus Minors Players as Majors Managers
by
Steven Goldman

05-15

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5

You Can Blog It Up: DPOTD Thurman Munson: An Alternative History of the 1986 World Series
by
Steven Goldman

05-13

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1

You Can Blog It Up: Hey, KC Fans, a Trio of Ned Yost manager comments!
by
Steven Goldman

05-12

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1

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day #21 (the Strange Career of Jim Spencer Edition)
by
Steven Goldman

05-10

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8

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day #20 (Earle Combs)
by
Steven Goldman

05-05

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2

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day #19
by
Steven Goldman

05-04

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4

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Controversies #18
by
Steven Goldman

05-03

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3

You Can Blog It Up: The Shortstop Song
by
Steven Goldman

04-27

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2

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #17
by
Steven Goldman

04-22

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9

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Controversies #16
by
Steven Goldman

04-19

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3

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Controversies #15
by
Steven Goldman

04-16

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1

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #14
by
Steven Goldman

04-14

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4

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #13
by
Steven Goldman

04-13

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7

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day #12
by
Steven Goldman

04-12

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3

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #11
by
Steven Goldman

04-09

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6

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #10
by
Steven Goldman

04-08

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11

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #9
by
Steven Goldman

04-07

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8

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #8
by
Steven Goldman

04-06

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11

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #7
by
Steven Goldman

04-05

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0

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #6
by
Steven Goldman

04-02

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5

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #5
by
Steven Goldman

04-01

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8

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #4
by
Steven Goldman

03-31

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6

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #3
by
Steven Goldman

03-30

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6

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #2
by
Steven Goldman

03-29

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16

You Can Blog It Up: Dead Player of the Day and Other Notes #1
by
Steven Goldman

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Remembering the late Ralph Houk, catcher and manager.

Ralph Houk, "The Major," manager of two championship Yankees teams as well as the Tigers and the Red Sox, has died. Houk was many things: a legitimate World War II hero who received a Silver Star for courage under fire at the Battle of the Bulge; a backup catcher who was eternally stuck behind Yogi Berra and Charlie Silvera and thus maintained the least-valuable roster spot in baseball from 1950 through 1954; the manager who took over for Casey Stengel and became the feel-good, let 'em play alternative to the controlling older man; a guy who just had to lead off his bad second basemen; the general manager who hired, then undermined Yogi Berra; George Steinbrenner's first managerial scalp... I could go on and will in a longer consideration of Houk. For now, I'd like to share this brief passage from Season of Glory, the book that Houk co-authored with Robert Creamer. I've always been critical of Houk--he never won with a team that wasn't put together by Stengel and George Weiss, and his handling of Whitey Ford is ironically celebrated for the very reason that it was a bad idea--but he did have some ideas that might never have occurred to, say, Don Baylor. The reference to Baylor is pointed--this section refers to Houk's time as the manager of the Yankees' farm club at Denver from 1955-1957:

[Yankees co-owner Del Webb] loved baseball--he'd been a semipro pitcher... Denver was the top Yankee farm club and naturally Del and I would sit and talk about the ball club. He'd always say, "I like the way you handle pitchers." I had a tendency to leave a pitcher in a game a lot longer than other managers in the league did, even when they were being hit pretty hard. Del really liked that, being an old pitcher himself and from the old school where pitchers stayed in there and pitched.

Read the full article...

One more look at a manager's "best-of" team, this time the peak seasons at each position by Lou Piniella.

The by-now-familiar boilerplate: the inspiration here is Bill James' The Bill James Guide to Managers, which contains several of these "teams" for various historical managers. The idea is to find the peak player at each position and put together a “best-of” team. Previously I’ve compiled teams for Bobby Cox and Tony LaRussa.

This was the most surprising of the three managerial all-star teams we’ve done so far, because there wasn’t the same range of great players and seasons to choose from as there was for Cox and LaRussa; I’m pretty sure either of their teams would lick Piniella’s in any seven-game series. There is a reason that both of those managers are going to go to the Hall of Fame and Piniella might not; they’ve had the horses, or created them (if you chose to give them that much credit) while Piniella worked with some lesser rosters. Here is Sweet Lou’s team, featuring fewer Yankees than I expected:

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By popular request (okay, one guy), we follow up the Bobby Cox All-Stars with the best single-season performances that Tony has received at each position.

Inspired by the Yunel Escobar trade, I cobbled up the Bobby Cox All-Stars, a lineup of the best single-season performances that Cox has received at each position over the course of his 30-year managerial career. Due to a massive storm of requests--well, one guy, but I assume he stands for an army of millions--we now move on to LaRussa's best, culled from 33 seasons of managing. As with Cox, LaRussa's latest is for the most part his best--I couldn't find a place for early players like Chet Lemon 1980 or Harold Baines 1984. Those guys were very good, but didn't tower over their leagues the way some of Tony's later, possibly jet-fueled, hitters. 

Once again, the format is borrowed from Bill James' The Bill James Guide to Managers, which contains several of these "teams" for various historical managers. I've mostly relied on offensive measures to rank players, but did consult WARP, which does include defense, in the case of two similar players. I needed to do that here far more than with Cox; LaRussa has had so many good performances (everywhere except second base) that I had to add a DH and still didn't have room for everyone:

Read the full article...

Where does the dearly departed Escobar rank among the shortstops Bobby Cox has employed in 30 seasons as a manager?

In Bill James’ underappreciated book The Bill James Guide to Managers, James lists “All-Star Teams” for several of the great managers, choosing the best single-season performances the manager got at each position. This approach led to surprises, a subjective approach notwithstanding. Did Casey Stengel never have a better first baseman than Sam Leslie in 1934? Was Bobby Tolan really a better center fielder for Sparky Anderson than Chet Lemon? Al Bumbry ’80 for Earl Weaver’s center field instead of Paul Blair ’69?

It is premature to compile Bobby Cox’s all-time all-star team given that his players have through the end of the season to jump onto the list before the 69-year-old is expected to wrap up his Hall of Famer career. Despite this, I was inspired by the trade of Yunel Escobar to try to compile a list covering the manager’s 30-year career. The question I wanted to answer: did the Braves just trade the best single-season shortstop of Cox’s career? Escobar’s .299/.377/.436 and 14 home runs of last season would seem to be a strong year by a shortstop for a man who never managed any of the era’s Hall of Fame shortstops.

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We Open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on ballhawk Johnny Mostil and his Very Bad Day.

Dead Player of the Day (Johnny Mostil Edition)

#27 Johnny Mostil CF 1918, 1921-1929 (1896-1970)

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Ranking a team with a .273 winning percentage.

With their ninth straight loss on Friday, the Orioles’ team winning percentage to .273. This puts them on a pace for a record of 44-118. It is a very, very special place to be in historically. This is probably my favorite list in all of baseball:

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We open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on Jack Fournier, who everyone pretended was French.

Dead Player of the Day (Jack Fournier Edition)

#26 Jack “Jacques” Fournier 1B 1912-1918, 1920-1927 (1889-1973)

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We Open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on proud racist Mike "Pinky" Higgins.

Dead Player of the Day (Pinky Higgins Edition)

In which I open the encyclopedia to a random page and riff on what I find.

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We Open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on Cubs third baseman Smilin' Stan Hack.

Dead Player of the Day (Stan Hack Edition)

In which I open the encyclopedia to a random page and riff on what I find.

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We open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on the miserable John Gochnaur, plus career minor leaguers as major league managers.

Dead Player of the Day #23 (John Gochnaur Edition)

John Gochnaur SS 1901-1903 (1875-1929)

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We Open the Tomb of the Baseball Prospectus on Thurman Munson and the repercussions of his 1977 trade to the Cleveland Indians.

Dead Player of the Day #22 (Thurman Munson Edition)

Thurman Munson C 1969-1979 (1947-1979)

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Ned Yost manager comments from the BP annual, 2007-2009.

We started doing manager comments with the 2007 edition of the BP annual, so we got to review Ned Yost's performances from 2006 until the Brewers canned him with just 12 games to go in 2008. On the occasion of his hiring by the Kansas City Royals, a look back at what we thought of his Yost-ness during his Milwaukee blue period:


2007
Yost is one of the more conservative coaches in the business, making relatively few moves. He's not particularly worried about platoon matchups on either offense of defense, and as a result doesn't use a lot of lineups or go to the bullpen a million times a game; he pinch-hits infrequently for an NL manager, but gets decent results when he does. Yost isn't overly fond of the bunt, and the Brewers don't do it very well, but he does have a fondness for the squeeze play. He also likes the running game--another thing his Brewers haven't been particularly adept at--and the hit and run. With a young team that may soon deliver on its power-hitting potential, better Yost continues to observe his stay-the-course tendencies than give in to the smallball manager that's trying to break out.



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