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The Rule 5 draft, in one form or another, has been around in MLB for over 100 years; this is how the the Giants lost Hack Wilson to the Cubs in the 1920's. A writer named Steve Treder wrote an outstanding series about the Rule 5 draft for The Hardball Times several years ago. I can't post a link to them but if you are interested I'm sure they are readily available in the THT archives.
Ah yes, spring training in New Orleans; wasn't it the late Townes Van Zandt who said that "Louisiana would kill a healthy man"? I suspect that baseball maintains the tradition of six weeks of spring training mainly as an excuse to spend time outdoors in the warm sunshine.
I remember playing in a Strat league in the mid/late seventies that had no playing time restrictions and for that one season Roger Freed was an absolute beast. It may or may not have been the same season but Kurt Bevacqua had a small sample size breakout himself that made him a SOM hero as well.
Daniel, when you really start to feel old is when the last player older than you retires. For me it was either Chargin' Charlie Hough or Dave Winfield. I have clothes older than you :-)
Outstanding article, especially the comments about music. I had pretty much quit listening to commercial radio by 1987 by am familiar with most of your top 10, like you I never really understood the attraction of Bon Jovi but there you are. Somewhere in my closet I have the first three Guadalcanal Diary albums (vinyl of course); I still don't know why they never became stars. You should definitely write more about music, not if means less baseball however.
The short answer is that they were busy playing while we were busy watching and listening.
It's not for me to try and pass judgement but it never really looked liked Drew was enjoying himself while he was playing. He had as much or more talent than nearly anyone else on the field but always appeared that he would have rather been somewhere else. That he was one of the rare Cardinals' players to ever get regularly booed in St. Louis should tell you something. Drew hit one of the hardest balls I have ever seen in over 50 years of watching baseball; a screaming line drive off of the upper deck scoreboard in Busch II that was still rising when it hit. Of course he jogged around the bases and never cracked a smile, eyes downcast; I don't know, maybe his hair was hurting him or something.
Thanks for a great article; these are the ones that keep me resubscribing year after year. I don't know if Minoso is or is not a Hall of Famer, and, as time goes on, I find myself less interested in the HOF anyway. However, by all accounts Minoso comes across as a warm and personable human being and that is probably more important in the long run than enshrinement in any museum.
Not to put words into Mr. Parks' mouth but what usually causes minor league shortstops to morph into second basemen is a lack of arm strength. It doesn't really help to get to ground balls in the hole if you cannot make that long throw to first base. Some players can make up for a lack of arm strength with a quick release, especially if they can get to the ball quickly (Ozzie Smith would be a good example of this), but ideally you want your SS to have the cannon arm (vintage Rafael Furcal).
Anything that gets Valentine out of the Sunday Night Baseball booth is a positive in my opinion. Perhaps he can hire Orel Hershiser as his pitching coach and we will be doubly blessed.
The early abstracts were basically photocopied to begin with(and most likely on cheap copy paper which has likely started to dissolve by now). When you add in that they were sold in minuscule numbers, finding one for sale is akin to searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack.
It is articles like this that make me keep renewing my subscription. Other players that could have been considered for the article include Snuffy Stirnweiss (killed at age 39 when his commuter train ran off a bridge) and Len Koenecke, who was removed from a commercial flight for being drunk, chartered a small plane, became beligerant and tried to fight with the pilots. Eventually he had to be subdued by being beaten over the head with a fire extinguisher and died from a cerebral hemmorrhage. Keep up the good work.
Everybody is going to die. The death rate is the same as it has always been, one per person. Lighten up and enjoy :-)
I think the reason that ballpark concession stands don't sell fresh fruit is that many of them (oranges, apples, etc.) are just the right size and shape to throw at the visiting team, at least when whole.
I too enjoy the emphasis on humor; you have to have some relief from a constant display of numbers.
I wouldn't think moving Soriano to first base is the answer; then you just have a hacktastic, low OBP first baseman instead of the outmaker in the leftfield. Anyway, if Soriano is a terrible fielder (I don't know if he is or not), moving him to first base would result in him being involved in many more plays than if he stays in the outfield. Batting him eighth is probably not a good idea either; the one thing he does bring to the plate is power and hitting in front of the pitcher would just take the bat out of his hands. The Cubs are either going to have live with Soriano in LF for the remainder of his contract or pay some other team to take him off their hands.
Whether Francona was "fired" or not is a moot point; this is one of those times that "resignation" is a four syllable synonym that means the same thing.
One has to feel more than a little sorry for Quade. Here is a guy that has worked in baseball his entire life, paid his dues by coaching and managing his way up through the minors, and then, when he finally does get his shot in the majors, gets put into a situation where failure is practically a given. As was pointed out in the article, anything short of a miracle and Quade was certain to be gone, sooner rather than later. Life is very seldom fair.
The Astros' cupboard is really quite bare compared to most other teams. Most of their Top 11 Prospects appear to be either one dimensional corner types or pitchers with fairly low ceilings. Houston we have a problem.
That's all well and good but their opponents get to bat with the fences moved in (and lowered) as well. I know that there is a lot of anecdotal evidence pointing to the move to Citi Field hurting Mets' hitters, especially David Wright. I don't know enough about this to know for sure. I do know that tinkering with the fences seldom works out the way a team plans; the way it usually works is that moving the fences in increases offense across the board. Any increase for the home team is offset by increased production for the visitors as well. Be careful what you wish for.
"Boggs hadn’t pitched since October 13"
Boggs pitched the 9th inning Saturday night.
Escritura de la primera tarifa. Puedo hacer que mayor satisfaga.
If the Cardinals tied the game Laird was going to be in the game regardless, as he is the only other catcher St. Louis has active. He is a perfectly reasonable choice to run for Molina, absent anyone with blazing speed on the bench.
It is easier to excuse, if that is the correct term, physical errors, by players because they are caught up in the moment, trying to make play(s) on the field. It isn't as if Pujols, in this case, had time to think about what he needed/wanted to do and then made a bad decision. Instead he just missed the ball, perhaps because he stole a glance towards third base to see if Kinsler was being held up or was going home. In LaRussa's case he had time (not a lot of time to be sure) to think about what he wanted to do and then made that decision; in this case it didn't work out the way he wanted.
Personally I would have left Motte in to try and strike Hamilton out. Unless Motte was injured I think that would have been the Cardinals' best bet. Then if he struck Hamilton out I would have walked Beltre and hoped for the double play. A lot of ifs to be sure and no guarantee of success, but more likely than Rhodes and Lynn being able to retire the side without the ball being put in play.
LaRussa has had a long and successful career and will deservedly go into the Hall of Fame once he retires. He is not the first nor will he be the last HOF manager to have a decision back fire on him in a crucial game situation.
Absolutely, it was game 5 (an elimination game!) of a 7 game series. You have to ride your ace until he can't go any longer; he has four months to rest. The only realistic chance of Verlander getting another start in the ALCS is several days of heavy rain in Arlington.
Dusty Baker very much has his guys, not only on the pitching staff but also with the position players. With the Reds he continues to play has beens and never weres like Edgar Renteria and Johnny Gomes while younger (and better) players such as Zack Cozart and Chris Heisey were rotting away either at AAA or on the bench. It isn't only Baker, I'm sure that most managers tend to do this as well; the whole familiarity thing and not being willing to take chances. Probably the one thing that made Casey Stengel (at least the Yankees version) such a great manager was that he didn't have blind devotion to his "guys". Once a player started to slip, no matter what that player had done for the team in the past, that player was gone. Cold perhaps but the results speak for themselves.
If I were running the Reds I would try to find a replacement for Rolen. He is at the stage of his career where injuries make it unlikely he will be able to play anything close to a full season.
Cerv, who is still alive at age 85, played football at Nebraska and apparently took some of his gridiron instincts with him to the diamond.
If/when it comes to this I would say the Rangers either move Kinsler for pitching or just let him walk and use the money for pitching. When it comes down to it Kinsler will be on the far side of 30, and is really nothing special anyway. If you move him to the outfield all you do is weaken your team's offense. All of this, of course, presumes that Andrus and Profar continue to develop as planned.
This has nothing to do with baseball per se but how funny is it that the White Sox have a prospect named Addison.
Honus Wagner & Ty Cobb say hello :-)
I knew what you meant, couldn't resist.
In a way who could blame Desmond Jennings for being bored, he should be the starting CF for the Rays.
I would list Hendry as the first problem because he acquired all of the players and hired the manager. The Cubs have no hope of winning until Hendry is replaced.
I don't know that I would call Dauer a bust; he was a good defensive second baseman who provided doubles power with the occasional home run. Perhaps the expectations were higher as he was a 1st round draft pick but the Orioles got 6 pretty decent seasons from Dauer, out of the 10 that he played.
You can make all of the rules changes you want, putting more burden of "intent" on the umpires if you wish, and you know what, there will still be collisions between runners and fielders, and players will still get hurt. It is easy to sit back after the fact, disect plays and then say it should be done this way or that way or whatever. Unfortunately, while the game is being played, neither the runner nor the fielder has the luxury of being able to stop the action in order to decide the best course of action. Instead they have to make these decisions on the fly, usually while running full speed or while moving to catch an inaccurately thrown ball. Collisions under these circumstances are inevitable; changing the rules (or better enforcement of the existing rules) might lessen the risk of injury, however, as long as aggressive people continue to play baseball injuries are going to remain a part of the game.
And America's productivity takes another hit. Seriously this is fantastic; actually as a subscriber I presumably had access anyway but opening up the vault, as it were, is great news. I could easily spend hours at a time scrolling through past articles.
This article sums up why interleague play is held in low regard by at least some baseball fans. One of the great things about the "traditional" baseball schedule was that teams in the same league or division always played the same opponents and played them the same number of games each season. At least as much as was possible before expansion created too many opponents for this to be really feasible. Now, thanks to interleague play and the requirement that "traditional rivals" play every season, this is no longer the case. In a sport that plays nearly every day for six months and often finds pennant races decided by a game or two, this uneven scheduling is inherently unfair. To refer back to the article, the Reds will play their 18 interleague games against opponents with a projected winning percentage of .557 while the Brewers opponents for the same group of games has a projected percentage of .486. This is a huge difference for the Reds to have to make up over the remainder of the schedule (yes, I understand that it really isn't as simple as this example).
I am fairly sure that Lewis' wife has a medical condition (I believe that it is Graves' Disease) that potentially complicates pregnancy and childbirth. If this did not worry him, and cause him to perform at less than his best, it would be unreal. Ballplayers are human too.
If runners couldn't tag up when an outfielder juggles a fly ball, as opposed to catching it, there would be very few sacrifice flies. All an enterprising outfielder would need to do would be to juggle the ball back to the infield before "catching" it.
All outs are big outs, some outs are just bigger than others.
You can never have too many good prospects because it is inevitable that some will not make it. I'm not a Reds fan but their games are on TV where I live and I would rather see a good team play than a bad one. All I can say is good luck to them in the future.
One of the all time great ballplayer names, Biff Pocoroba; and yes, Biff is the man's given name.
Last season Burrell struck out 105 times in 437 PA's, which is right at 24%. For his career Burrell has struck out 1497 times in 6301 PA's, which is 23.7%; you have to say the man is consistent if nothing else. I wouldn't think that striking out 1 out of every 4 plate appearances is all that bad for a power hitter, after all an out is an out.
Showalter was the field manager, not the GM
Very interesting article, well written and informative. I don't know if this is true but it was represented to me as true and I can certainly envision it happening. As you may or may not know the main airport for Cincinnati is on the Kentucky side of the river. Several years ago the county where the airport was located (Kenton, Boone I forget) was suppposedly going to start taxing NL/NFL players for the "privelege" of transitting through on the way to Cincinnati to play. Again, I have no idea if this ever came to pass but, if it did, just one more nightmare for teams, players and everyone trying to keep the accounting straight.
Baseball-reference.com says 6'0" and 180 pounds. That sounds about right, certainly at the beginning of his career. I'm sure that he weighed more than that at the end.
Krausse may have been a better pitcher than WARP demonstrates. He pitched for some dreadful A's teams in Kansas City and then in Oakland as the team started to improve. He was then traded to Milwaukee for the 1970 season (their first), spent a couple of seasons there, and then bounced around before leaving baseball. In any cases his peripherals (career WHIP of 1.323) show that Krausse was more or less a league average pitcher who may have been hurt by the teams around him.
Not to pick nits, but wouldn't signing Lee force Huff into an outfield corner? I'm not so sure that Lee has much left anyway; from what I could see last season (small sample size for sure) it appeared that his bat had really slowed down.
Baseball has lost a unique individual in Bob Feller. Every time I used to hear some fool on TV talking about how some team had "dodged a bullet" when they had gotten out of some jam I always thought of Feller and his naval service during WWII. I would also think about, just once, taking that same fool to a rifle range and letting him trying his hand at dodging some bullets for real. RIP Bob Feller.
Is it some kind of rule that if you play baseball and your name is Chris Carpenter you have to be a right-handed pitcher?
Just give Fukudome the cash and tell him to go home. I'm no longer a Cubs fan but do watch them when WGN shows the occasional game. For the life of me I do not understand how Fukudome got that contract in the first place or how Hendry is able to keep his job.
That would be an interesting exercise. One thing that might make it difficult is that many players are "playing" for several teams in the various scenarios.
While it is true that Uggla is not a very good second baseman, neither is Prado, really. If you are the Braves you don't want your freshly acquired slugging second baseman to have to worry about learning a new position in spring training. In any case I'm sure the Braves are counting on Chipper Jones coming back and playing third base, with Prado as the fall back position for if/when Chipper gets hurt. I have no idea who the Braves plan on using in LF when Prado moves to 3B but it is usually easier to find outfielders, who can hit, than infielders. If Uggla is a butcher at second base the Atlanta pitchers will just have to live with it.
You are correct, it is not likely the Players Association would give this up without major concessions on free agency. Before arbitration (and free agency) players had no recourse but to accept whatever contract was offered unless they wanted to go to Japan, or quit. Without arbitration teams would be free to pay the MLB minimum or offer token raises, until a player was eligible to become a free agent. Just guessing here but the only way the Players Association signs off on eliminating arbitration is if free agency occurs much earlier, say after three years instead of six.
I love these GM for a day articles, one of the better things on BP for the last month or so. My only real quibble with this one is the comment that David Freese did not exhibit much patience at the plate. He drew 21 BB (none intentional) in 270 PAs, which is a 7.7% rate, not great but not terrible either. I agree that he does not display the power you want from a corner infielder and it is not likely he will develop into a star. However, I would keep Freese at third and spend my money elsewhere, as you point out, the middle of the Cardinals infield was a mess last season and needs immediate help.
For starters you can combine the Dakotas into one state, why do we need two of them :-)
Seriously, the last thing baseball needs is more playoff teams; all that does is increase the possibility of more mediocre teams in the post-season. If I were commissioner I would eliminate the wildcard, right after I got rid of the designated hitter rule. Baseball doesn't need to be like the NFL or the NBA, with half of the damned league in the post-season "tournament". Given enough time we will end up with the World Series being played in January, with just a couple of weeks off before the teams report to spring training.
I think the Rangers would be better off moving Feliz to the rotation and getting 180-200 innings/year from him than leaving him as the closer and getting 60. I would have to think that it would easier to find a closer on the FA market than a starting pitcher with Feliz's talent. You might end up having to seek out that closer every other year but I still say make Feliz a starter until he proves he can't do it.
Dukes is likely to end up in the Florida Penal League if he isn't careful. There are reports that he is extremely far behind on his child support and that the judge who ordered him to pay said support has issued a contempt order for Mr. Dukes.
Not to keep flogging the expired equine here but I have to agree, why was Feliz not in the game before it got completely out of hand? After the walk to Huff you have to take out Holland, who obviously didn't have it, but to bring in Mark Lowe? That might not have cost the Rangers the game since they didn't score but it certainly made their chances of coming back that much harder. I have never understood why managers insist on saving their best reliever for a save opportunity that might never happen.
I loved the articles and the comments. I have been a baseball fan for a long time; I can clearly remember racing home from school to watch the last parts of several games of the 1964 World Series. If I were suddenly made commissioner of baseball the first thing I would do would be to have at least one game of the Series (perhaps the Saturday game) start at 1:00 PM local time. Baseball was made to be played in the sunshine and baseball fans deserve the chance to see some of the World Series without having to stay up till midnight.
Four hours Christina? Tonight's game could easily end up taking five hours, with the final score (in 9 innings) being 12-9, or something. I will surprised if either starter makes it past the 5th inning.
Worse than listening to Sutton was seeing him with those artificial curls.
I don't have access to his minor league numbers but what would keep Crumbliss from having David Eckstein's career? I understand that Eckstein "played" shortstop for several years but teams might have been better off using him at second base all along. Eckstein has played in 1300 major league games and has hit 35 home runs (16 of those were in two years) so obviously he is not a power threat. You would think that teams would just bring the outfielders in and challenge him to hit the ball but there he is, in his age 35 season and more or less an everyday player on a team challenging for a post-season spot. I understand that the Midwest League is at the low-A level but I don't think that Crumbliss should be written off until he hits the wall and stops being an effective hitter.
But they're playing harder now and not giving away all those big innings!!!
Quite a ways behind actually; BP shows Posada to have 59.5 WARP (including 2010, so I suppose this is more or less up to date). The main problem is that Posada didn't become a regular until he was 26, at which point Chipper had already been a full-time player for two or three years while Rose became an everyday player when he was 22. As I understand it, WARP is a counting stat so getting a late start is going to hurt anyone's chances of accumulating huge numbers.
No, no, no, a thousand times no. The day that Pete Rose gets into the Hall of Fame is the day that I stop watching professional baseball for good. The reason that sports, all sports, is so compelling is because we genuinely do not know who the winner is going to be until the game gets played. If participants are allowed to gamble on the outcome of games, then spectators can no longer know for sure if the contest is 100% honest and the game sinks to the level of professional wrestling. Rose gambled on baseball games in which he was a participant and then lied about it for years. To this day Rose makes personal appearances at casinos (I realize that this is not illegal and he is entitled to make a living, but if he was really sincere you would think he would not do that). I don't have anything against Rose personally, I admired him as a player, at least until the end when he started putting his personal goals ahead of the team. However, he thought, and continues to think as far as I can tell, that he is bigger than baseball and somehow exempt from its rules. Not so and no Hall of Fame for Pete Rose.
Sandberg is already 51 or 52, how long would he be willing to wait? I don't really care who manages the Cubs; the problem usually isn't the manager, it is the players. Sandberg has done everything the organization has asked him to do, that is, gone to the minors and worked his way through the different levels. Who knows for sure what the Cubs will do but if they don't hire Sandberg now I suspect that he will leave the organization and not in a happy manner.
Unless the NCAA has changed the rule, a player can be a professional in one sport (baseball) and still retain eligibility in other sports. He cannot, however, be on scholarship in any sport once he signs a professional contract, he would have to be a "walk on" in order to play college basketball (for example).
Brothers, separated at birth.
"made me think that he was the drum, and the entire American League was Keith Moon."
This is why I continue to read BP on a daily basis; other baseball sites just give you the numbers, Christina adds life. I can still remember seeing The Who at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, the man certainly played the drums with intensity. RIP.
A game to George Steinbrenner but their lives to the people involved. Steinbrenner was the classic bully, using his position as owner of the Yankees to get his way and, when things did not go exactly as he wanted, using that position to extract a terrible toll on those who crossed his path. Billy Martin is hardly a sympathetic character but the way in which Steinbrenner used an obviously emotionally unstable person, not just once but repeatedly, in his quest to win is just inconceivable to me. Any person with a scrap of human dignity would have realized that Martin was ill and needed treatment instead of being exposed to the day to day grind of managing the New York Yankees. At some point winning has to become secondary to doing what is right.
This would be a heck of a team; second base seems a little light but I suppose someone has to bat 9th and provide good defense. You would probably need to include another outfielder to cover for the inevitable injuries to Rickey and Jim Edmonds.
Other sources have reported that Alex Gonzalez has been traded to the Braves for Yunel Escobar, with some minor leaguers involved as well.
If you play in baseball sim leagues such as DMB or OOTP you often end up with teams like the 1952 Pirates as teams rebuild. In many leagues one is better off finishing last than 4th so teams will start trading off veterans in mid-season to acquire young players they hope will help them in the future. It must be brutal to be involved with a team like this in real life as it has to make for a long season, going out there every day knowing that you are likely to lose.
Unless it has been improved since I was there (ca 2000) the area around Tropicana Field is rather marginal, especially after dark. I never really felt unsafe walking to the car but one wished for more lighting and a more noticeable police presence. I was there on vacation and was headed back to the St. Pete Beach area so access for me wasn't so bad; people coming/going to the Tampa side of the bay are faced with a long drive across a bridge. I don't know what the answer is; I do know that part of Florida is extremely hot so some sort covered stadium might be inevitable, whether the Rays stay at Tropicana or extort some new palace from the taxpayers.
Some sources are reporting Conor Jackson to the A's for someone I've never heard of (that doesn't mean the player might not be useful, just someone I've never heard of). Perhaps the D'backs can try putting their "extra" catcher in LF; probably not but they don't really have anything to lose at this point.
Well the Cardinals have apparently signed Suppan and are going to try him as the fifth starter. If Duncan can "fix" him this time he deserves serious consideration for the Hall of Fame; not that he might not deserve it already.
If you are fielding at a sub-Luzinski level you must have had a leg amputated or something.
Keep writing these; it is articles like yours that make BP worth the cost, at least to me. I especially like the little pieces of information about obscure minor league lifers from the distant past. If R.A. Bandy was willing to "man up" and pitch 23 innings in a game, then he (at the very least) deserves some recognition, even if it is 100 years past due.
For one thing you would never get the Player's Association and the teams to agree on where to set the age; too low and the teams would claim that they would not get sufficient return on their investment, too high and the players would claim that many players would never get to cash in as free agents. Teams can already control players for up to 12 years, if they so desire, that means most players are at least 30 before they can become free agents. It is only the top players, the ones who make the majors without spending a long apprenticeship in the minor leagues that end up signing multiple FA deals. For every Starlin Castro that reaches the big leagues when he is 20, there are dozens of Garrett Jones; players who spend years in the minors and who will be lucky if their career lasts long enough to achieve free agency.
Yes, any time spent on the active roster counts as service time.
I didn't realize that Jim Spencer had passed, and several years ago at that. RIP.
We will never know if Steve Bilko was just one of the all time great AAAA hitters or if he could have had a real major league career but you have to wonder. In 1955-56 (when Bilko was terrorizing the PCL and hit 92 home runs), the Cubs everyday first baseman was Dee Fondy, who managed a total of 26 homers in those same two seasons. The Cubs were 6th in 1955 and 8th (last) in 1956 so you would think they might have given Bilko a long look to see what he could do, but no. Not to rag on him or anything but before I looked I thought that Fondy might have been some kind of bat wizard who specialized in getting on base; nope, he led the Cubs in batter strike outs in both 1955 & 1956. This helps to explain why the Cubs were so bad in the fifties and sixties.
I agree with this to an extent, Leake did seem to be "squeezed" somewhat and a veteran pitcher may not have issued as many walks; even the less than observant Jeff Montgomery commented on this. On the other hand you might say that Leake was lucky to leave the game only behind 1-0; if the Cubs hitters had shown patience they might have broken the game open in the top of the first.
I read in the paper this morning (2/28) that Felipe Lopez had signed with the Cardinals on a one year deal. I'm sure that he will figure in the mix at third base but the article talked about him possibly playing short; I'm sure that the Cardinals pitchers would relish that move.
It isn't a question of if J.D. Drew gets hurt again, but when, and for how long. Talk about talent wasted.
Multiple sourcers are reporting that Mark DeRosa was traded to the Cardinals for Chris Perez and a PTBNL.
Bill Voiselle, who grew up in Ninety Six, South Carolina and wore the number "96" for at least part of his career.
The Pirates, to name one team, have been God-awful for more than the last 10 years, have accumulated the necessary draft picks and have, for the most part, not done anything worthwhile with them. It is one thing to be consistently bad and "earn" the right to high draft picks. It is another thing entirely to know what to do with said picks and not use them on players that top out at AAA.
Ruiz was a major league FA, signed from the Giants.
I\'m sure he is on the roster, he was warming up in the bullpen at the same time as Timlin. I suppose that Francona thought that Timlin was a better choice to pitch the 11th inning than Byrd.
In my seemingly never ending quest to acquire Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle cards I must have ended up with dozens of Woodie Helds and Willie Kirklands. It got to the point where I could spot a Hobie Landreth through the wrapper. I wish I still had those cards today (the lament of the middle-aged baseball fan).