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How many reinventions does it take to get Bob Lemon on the list? He made it to the majors as an infielder before WWII, returned from the war to play center field for Feller's no-hitter in '46, THEN switched to the mound and had a Hall of Fame career as a pitcher. Got fired as manager of the White Sox early in '78, but replaced Billy Martin managing the Yankees a few weeks later -- and won the World Series.
"Then his record goes dark for three years" --
Those of us of a certain age will fill in that blank: it was the height of the Vietnam War, the draft was in effect, and he would have been ~20 years old, so he was probably in the service.
After the past season and winter, why in the world would ANYONE sign a long term deal with the Marlins? All it means is that you lose the opportunity to decide where you will be working after they dump your coontract.
I heard him mentioned on the radio when he first came up, before I saw his name in the newspaper, so for me he will forever be "Bill Mambo Cat."
Right -- I don't think anyone was kept out because there wasn't enough room on somebody's ballot. They were kept out because of the ridiculous 75% rule and the disgusting sanctimoniousness of too many of the writers.
I was appalled that the Rangers crowd booed Hamilton.
Veeck's other two books -- "The Hustler's Handbook" and "Thirty Tons a Day" -- are also worth a read.
I have a dim recollection that when I first read "Veeck as in Wreck" it included some non-PC thoughts (such as a speculation about physical differences that make black players faster than whites) that are not in the paperback reissue that I now own. Can anyone confirm this, or is it an old man's memory conflating two different books?
Why is the question whether the contract was a "good deal" always asked from management's point of view? Why don't articles like this ever ask whether the player got a good deal?
The first Bernie Williams was the most dominant American Legion player I ever saw. He was on a powerhouse team from Oakland that blitzed it way through the regional tournament I was covering for several newspapers.
So .... have they already quit on Valentine, or are they still busy quitting on Francona?
"Overhead athletes have unique mechanisms and unique disorders from which other athletes or patients do not suffer."
Are rotator cuff injuries common among swimmers? Tennis players? What other athletes use a frequent, forceful overhead movement?
I can't accept your premise that the standard should be "better than the average Hall-of-Famer." While there are certainly guys in the Hall who shouldn't be there, it is preposterous to says that HALF of them are unworthy. Not even Frankie Frisch had that much power. Figure out where the real cut-off line should be (lowest quarter? lowest third?), and set your JAWS line at that level.
The article seems incomplete without a mention of Ray Chapman.
Also, in the '60s Indians first baseman Tony Horton suddenly disappeared from the majors -- I remember the Sporting News saying he had been hospitalized for "mental illness" or a "nervous breakdown," but never heard anything more about it. His Wikipedia page says he had attempted suicide in despair during a slump. He never played ball again.
Ummmmm ... Don Larsen?
Bill Mazeroski got into the Hall mostly for his fielding, but he would surely have been just another glove man if it weren't for a certain home run.
McPherson's past big league stats and minor league equivalents stack up pretty well against the guys the White Sox have been using at DH in 2010-11.
Hmmmmm ... looks awfully similar to the 2010 final standings. Conventional wisdom remains stronger than analysis.
Many years ago, the PA announcer for the AAA Tucson Toros had nicknames for many players. The shortstop was always introduced as "Nelson Spider-Man Norman." BR lists Norman at 6-2 and 160, and this was when he was just 20, so the name certainly fit.
That was the most entertaining baseball team I've ever seen.
Great interviews -- brings back memories of when I was a kid, listening to the radio, and wondering about the pitcher with the coolest nickname ever: "Mambo Cat". Didn't know it was his real name until I got his baseball card.
Wait, Betemit did what?
Isn't there some guy named Konerko?
1960 -- the first time I paid close attention is still the best series ever. The Yankee routs, the Pirates counterpunching, the see-saw 7th game, Kubek's adam's apple, and the most memorable home run ever hit. I was hooked.
How do the BIS boys classify a hanging curve -- as a curve? as a changeup? do they have a separate category for "mistake"? or "Peggy Lee"? or "double in the gap"?
No surprise that Alex Rodriguez failed to get a triple to complete the cycle the most times. More proof that he just can't produce in the clutch, right?
And, oh yeah, Halladay threw a two-hit shutout to clinch the division last night. Game over.
Where's the love for Konerko -- 5th in BA, 2nd in HR, T-4th in RBI (despite lousy OBP at top of the order), 3rd in OPS.
My hypothesis: Teams tend to move a guy from 3rd to 2nd because he doesn't have the arm for 3rd but is a better hitter than the other available 2nd basemen. They tend to move him from 2nd to 3rd because they have another guy who can hit big league pitching but doesn't have as good an arm. Historically, of course, judgments like "as good a glove" and "a better arm" have been largely subjective, and often meant no more than "reminds the manager of a guy he used to play with who played that position."
The case for Piniella comes down to this: New York media love him. Period.
"Golden" = "when boomers were kids"
Has anyone else noticed that the 1972/1973 demarcation coincides with the first player strike?
Has anyone every played less than Ralph Houk?
From what I can tell, he was on the Yankees' active roster for the full seasons of 1950-51-52, was on released in Auguest of '53, re-signed the following spring and was cut again in July of '54. (Baseball Reference doesn't show any minor league stats for those years) and played 10-3-9-8-1 games -- 31 games, with 31 plate appearances, in a bit over 4 full seasons. Has any position player every been used less? Has any PITCHER ever been used less?
The White Sox rotation had BETTER be good, and they'd better go deep into games -- that two-runs-a-game offense won't leave any margin for error.
The "Fall of Empire" theory: less bread ---> more circuses
Why do you set your "Hallworthiness" standard at average of existing Hall members -- do you really think that HALF the guys in the Hall of Fame don't belong there? Certainly the writers and the old vets' committee made some mistakes in admissions, but I think realistically it's more like 20 or 25% than 50%. Where would a 20th percentile standard set your lines?
Three years ago Andruw Jones was in the express lane to Cooperstown. Who would have thought that you could get him for 2010 for $500,000?
If the quote from Richards' memoir is correct, he was trying to be a stathead -- just didn't have today's full panoply of data and analytical tools. He wasn't just acting on intuition, or going by "the book". His decision wasn't wrong in light of the information that was available to him. It may have been half-baked, but only because he didn't have a very good oven.
My question would be what is the "background level" or inherent likelihood of of pitcher arm falure, and what factors increase or decrease that level -- how to factor in things like age, innings pitched, number of appearances, number of warmups, style of pitching, etc. I have no idea whether someone has done this, or how one might construct such an analysis.
1. Home team batters know the light, so they see better.
2. Home team pitchers know the mound, so the pitch better.
3. Home team fielders know the ground, so they catch better.
I hope the series will address whether the 54% home field advantage stays them same when both home and visitor are good teams (above .500).
ROCCO BALDELLI and lowering expectations --
Go to Rocco's Baseball Reference page and scroll down to the Most Similar By Age table:
At age 21 he was Tris Speaker
At 22 he was Yaz
At 23 he was out all year with injury
At 24 he was Ellis Burks
At 25 he was Rondell White
At 26 he was Rip Repulski
In the department of curious coincidences, all but Rondell spent time as outfielders with the Red Sox, Baldelli's current job.
What is a typical player's day like? I know they get to the ballpark WAY earlier than we would think -- hours and hours before game time. What do they do once they are there?
What happens when a player gets DFAd? It seems like it would be a lot more complicated than getting sent down or getting released -- there is limbo for several days, trying to sort out the best course between taking the demotion, taking a release, or trying to work out some sort of deal.
Was the Peavy deal the BIGGEST (or at least the tallest) in history? Richard is 6'5"/240, Poreda is 6'6"/240, Carter is 6'6"/195,and Russell is 6'8"/250.
All the Chisox got in return was a puny 6'1"/180.
You can't RELEASE a player on the DL.
Much as I\'m a lifelong Sox fan, a realistic look says they have only one hitter on an upward career arc, and he is fragile. To contend, they would have to get productive years from Thome, Konerko and Dye -- they\'ve all been wonderful playters, but I just can\'t see ALL of them having another big year.
I feel better about the pitching, especially if early-spring reports about Contreras are anywhere near accurate. But I worry about the lack of gloves in the infield and range in the outfield.
On the other hand, it IS a lousy division . . . .
“The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that\'s the way to bet.” -- Damon Runyan
Who\'s your manager?
Tim McCarver had a long and successful major league career. He reached base more than 2,000 times. Is there any way to see how often he scored from first on a double to right?