Sunday, July 5, 2015

Yankee charity starts at home. Steinbrenner Kids: add cheap to dumb, lazy and tacky.

Steinbrenner Kids: add tacky to dumb and lazy: trying to void A-Rod's bonus. Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why?  And why now?  Is this driven by family hanger on Randy Levine, club president of the New York Yankees?  Is out of control general manager Brian Cashman behind it?  Or are the four adult children of late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner simply exhibiting a family trait that goes back to their father trying to discredit his star player, Dave Winfield, and receiving a lifetime ban by commissioner Fay Vincent, which was overturned by Vincent's successor, Allan Huber "Bud" Selig, who led the cabal that removed Vincent? ...

Motive: petty vindictiveness and self loathing that they gave A-Rod a new contract that they now regret. If Randy Levine was responsible for that decision, then just fire Randy Levine. If it was Cashman, fire him.  If it was Hank Steinbrenner who was running the Yankees then, it's more difficult. So the next best thing is to take it out on A-Rod, even at the expense of the team overall.

Dumb. Tacky. Sell the team and give Yankee fans a break. Steinbrenner Kids, sell the Yankees.


A-Rod, just donate the bonus money to charity.  Call out Levine and the Steinbrenner Kids.  Thursday, January 29, 2015

Alex Rodriguez should call their bluff.  Offer to donate the bonus money to a charity agreed to by both parties.  Make them look like the fools they are...

This week I learned that the bonus money is not in the player contract between A-Rod and the Yankees.

When Alex Rodriguez passes Willie Mays in home runs ...  Friday, April 24, 2015

the Yankee owners have a beef with A-Rod over this specific issue, passing all time greats in career home runs...

The Yankees are now a ship of fools.  Yankee fans will deliver that message when they support A-Rod as he achieves historic milestones in home runs and other totals, including 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBI, both of which he is now likely to reach this season...

What fools denigrate their own brand and product?  Who devalues their biggest star?

Two Deals for Alex Rodriguez: One for Ball, One for Bonus
By JAY SCHREIBER and SETH BERKMAN JULY 3, 2015 The New York Times

Alex Rodriguez ... possession of the baseball he smacked for his 3,000th hit and ... resolved his longstanding dispute with the Yankees over a $6 million home run bonus. In both cases, the biggest beneficiaries will be designated charities...

Zack Hample, the fan who grabbed the ball from Rodriguez’s 3,000th hit. .. a home run at Yankee Stadium on June 19 ... handed it to Rodriguez, who said he would give it to his daughters...

In exchange, the Yankees assured Hample, who has achieved some fame for snaring baseballs hit into the stands, that they would donate $150,000 to a charity, Pitch In for Baseball, that aims to distribute baseball equipment to deprived areas in the United States and abroad. The Yankees said Hample had supported the charity for years...

A deal has been struck in which Rodriguez and the team have agreed that in lieu of the $6 million bonus being paid to Rodriguez, $3.5 million in contributions will be made by the Yankees to several charities: the Special Operations Warrior Foundation; the Boys & Girls Club of Tampa, Fla.; Pitch In for Baseball; and the MLB Urban Youth Foundation.


Time out.  So the Yankees are using part of that $3.5 million "deal" they struck with Rodriguez for the $150,000 they are donating to Pitch In for Baseball?  What the heck kind of donation is that?

And what happened to the remaining $2.5 million the Yankees were supposed to pay Rodriguez?  And what tax relief are the Yankees getting?  And wasn't the entire separate bonus contract just a means for the Yankees to close the deal on the new contract that they negotiated with Rodriguez in 2007 and to not have that extra $30 million count towards the luxury tax that the Yankees would have owed to the league?

Box score:
- Yanks owe Rodriguez $6 million
- Rodriguez gets zip
- Yanks send $3.5 million to charity and get tax relief and brownie points with a gullible media

What the heck?

And why isn't anyone else asking about this?  Why shouldn't the Yankees donate the entire $6 million?  Why does the team get a discount and the player, the one who risks personal injury for our amusement, gets zip in this "deal"?  Right, because Rodriguez is paid $22 million this season.  And the Yankees get to pocket $2.5 million?  Why?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Cobb and Musial hit five home runs in two consecutive games in the same park and Colbert watched Musial.

Ty Cobb did it in consecutive days in 1925. Stan Musial did in a doubleheader in 1954.  But they both did it in the same ball park even though that park had a different name.

Originally known as Sportsman's Park III
Name changed to Busch Stadium I in 1953
Inside Sportsman's Park ca. 1961-2.
From 1920–1953, Sportsman's Park was the home field of both the St. Louis Browns of the American League, and the St. Louis Cardinals of the National League, after which the Browns departed to become the modern-day Baltimore Orioles. The physical street address was 2911 North Grand Boulevard. This ballpark (by then known as Busch Stadium, but still commonly called Sportsman's Park) ...

Field sizeLeft Field: 351 feet (107 m)
Left-Center: 379 feet (115 m)
Deepest corner (just left of dead center): 426 feet (129 m)
Deepest corner (just right of dead center): 422 feet (128 m)
Right-Center: 354 feet (107 m)
Right Field: 310 feet (94 m)
Backstop: 68 feet (20 m)

A lefty batter pulling to right field had a pretty easy shot for a home run.  You can read about Cobb's performance in this post:

Ty Cobb hit five home runs in two consecutive games. Does that prove he could have hit like Babe Ruth?  Thursday, July 2, 2015

Musial's game one against the New York Giants:

Musial's greatest single day on the baseball field came on May 2, 1954, in a doubleheader in St. Louis against the eventual pennant and World Series winners, the New York Giants. He went 4-for-4 in the first game with three homers, including the game-winner, a three-run shot off Jim Hearn, and 2-for-4 in the second game (a Cardinals loss) with two more homers. Coincidentally, witnessing the five homers was an eight-year-old named Nate Colbert, who as a San Diego Padre would equal Stan's record of five home runs in a doubleheader, in Atlanta on August 1, 1972.

Nathan Colbert Jr. (born April 9, 1946 in St. Louis, Missouri) ...
Signed by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1964 ...
Colbert's best day in the majors was August 1, 1972, when he slammed 5 home runs - one of two players to have done so, Stan Musial being the other in 1954 - and drove in 13 runs in a doubleheader, breaking the record of 11 runs batted in. Coincidentally, a young Nate had attended the game where Stan originally set the HR record. This helped the Padres sweep the Atlanta Braves, 9-0 and 11-7.

Like Cobb, Colbert's team won both games while Musial's split.  Colbert was unlike Cobb and Musial:
- batted righty
- hit two homers in the first game, then three in the second; they hit 3, then 2
- not in the Hall of Fame.

Colbert's game one against the Braves in Atlanta Stadium (the launching pad):

I could not find anything to support the story that Colbert attended Musial's doubleheader.  It's obviously possible; Colbert would have been eight years old and was born in St. Louis.  It's also possible that Musial's accomplishment so impressed Colbert that he later imagined that he had actually been there.

Reggie Jackson Born: May 181946 in Abington, PA

Abington township is just north of Philadelphia.  Hershey, PA is to the west, just east of Harrisburg, where in 1962 Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points against the New York Knicks.  Reggie Jackson claims to have attended that game.

"I was there," Reggie says with pride. "I was there that night. One hundred. I saw it. How does one man score 100 points in one game?" ...

Reggie, his father and his brother were there

"My father had a dry-cleaning business in Lower Marion," Reggie said. "We cleaned the clothes of rich people. He had to make deliveries about 20 miles from Hershey, so he took us. We saw something very few people saw.

Attendance that night in an antiquated arena, including the three Jacksons, was merely 4,124. Few New York papers covered the game. The wire services sent stringers. No visual record exists, and most of the audio is from the fourth quarter only. But Reggie can speak of Wilt's night.

I'm inclined to think that Reggie attended Wilt's 100 point game.  Our fascination with these super achievements is very positive.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Is that old black magic (PED) back? Home run leaders way up.

No more than half way through 2015 ten players are on pace to hit at least 40 home runs.  In 2014 only one player hit 40: Nelson Cruz.  Stanton is injured but four others have a shot at 50.

Nelson Cruz of Seattle May 19, 2015 in Baltimore by Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Throwing at a batter without apologizing means it was intentional.

Yesterday I watched the end of a second round Wimbledon tennis match.  Rafael Nadal, who has won 14 grand slam tournaments, was upset by the player ranked number 102, Dustin Brown.  Near the end, Nadal was caught at the net and Brown belted an overhand smash from close range towards Nadal causing Nadal to cringe and duck his head as the ball whizzed by.  Brown issued a gesture of apology ... twice ... to make sure that Nadal had seen it.  After the match they shook hands.

When is the most recent time you have seen a pitcher offer such a gesture of apology to an opposing batter after throwing dangerously near a batter?  After hitting that batter?

I realize that there's a difference between individual and team sports, differences among team sports, even differences in baseball in different locations: USA, Japan, Central and South America.  I'm guessing that in Japan baseball apologies are issued.

So if pitchers in the USA do not apologize, doesn't that mean that the act was intentional?  How else to interpret the lack of apology?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Ty Cobb hit five home runs in two consecutive games. Does that prove he could have hit like Babe Ruth?

I've heard that Wade Boggs and Ichiro Suzuki had been observed in batting practice hitting fair balls into the stands.  The implication was that they could hit home runs in games if they wanted to.  Somewhat implied was that they chose to restrict their swings for more control, less power but for higher batting averages (BA).

This week on the MLB Network I heard the end of an interview with Danny Knobler, author of this 2015 book:

Numbers Don't Lie: Tigers
The Biggest Numbers in Tigers History

Knobler was stating that Ty Cobb had accomplished a home run (HR) feat that Babe Ruth had not: hit five home runs in two consecutive games.  The young interviewer was impressed and the two sounded as if that proved that Cobb could have hit like Babe Ruth, i.e., hit for both high BA and also many HR.

The 2015 book on Cobb by Charles Leerhsen makes no mention of Cobb hitting five home runs in two consecutive games.  Leerhsen does write that for the 1910 American League (AL) season the core of the ball was changed to make the ball more lively, which resulted in BA: Cobb .420, Shoeless Joe Jackson .408.  Supposedly Cobb did not like the more lively ball because it made it more difficult for Cobb to bunt.

SABR bio of Cobb by Daniel Ginsburg:

a scientific hitter who liked to beat out bunts and infield grounders for base hits. After 1920, Cobb became a passionate defender of the Deadball Era-style of play, derisively mocking the "swing crazy" batters of the modern game who had neglected the inside strategies mastered by the Georgia Peach.

Through 1920 here are the career HR leaders:

1Roger Connor1381880189722-391998884777971620246744123313231002455399244.316.397.486.883*35/4879TRO-NYG-NYI-PHI-STL
2Sam Thompson1261885190625-461410652559981261198834316113054512346313232.331.384.505.890*9/783DTN-PHI-DET
3Harry Stovey1221880189323-361486683261381492177134717490866345031509.289.361.461.8223798/1WOR-PHA-BOS-BSN-BLN-BRO
4Gavvy Cravath1191908192027-39122146423951575113423283719561578281058920.287.380.478.858*97/H83BOS-WSH-CHW-PHI
5Jimmy Ryan1181885190322-402014912481721643251345115710938044918365419.308.375.444.820897/6145CHC-CHI-WSH
6Hugh Duffy1061888190621-3917377841704415542293325119130266426829104574.326.386.451.837879/64532CHC-CHI-BOS-BSN-MLA-PHI
7Dan Brouthers1061879190421-4616737676671115232296460205129684023810520256.342.423.519.942*3/7195TRO-BUF-DTN-BSN-BOS-BRO-BLN-LOU-PHI-NYG
8Mike Tiernan1061887189920-32147867325915131618382571628537483764128428.311.392.463.855*978/1NYG
9Babe Ruth1031914192019-25534194815683605141183935934026411242714.328.451.6501.10171/9H83BOS-NYY
10Honus Wagner1011897191723-432795117481043917393420643252173296373512522172326.328.391.467.858*6935/847H1LOU-PIT
11Ed Delahanty1011888190320-351837840075111600259752218614667414399454455.346.411.505.916*7384/695PHI-CLE-WSH
12Sam Crawford971899191719-3725171059395701391296145830915257605802324136743.309.362.452.814*9837/HCIN-DET
13Cap Anson971871189719-45252411331102811999343558214220759843303234627716.334.394.447.841*352/794681ROK-ATH-CHC
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/1/2015.
Cobb was number 34 with 69 in 7,729 AB, about the same as Roger Connor, the record holder with 138.   In his first season with the Yankees Ruth had become the first batter to reach 30 HR in a season, the first to reach 40, the first to reach 50. Ruth roared past Cobb by hitting 54 HR. Through 1920 Ruth had 103 HR in 1,568 AB.  The next season Ruth would take over the career lead in HR, when he hit 59, and hold it until April 1974 when Hank Aaron past him. Ruth is currently number three behind Barry Bonds and Aaron.  Note Cobb's long time teammate Sam Crawford with 97.

Cobb hit 117 HR in 11,434 AB.  In 1920 and 1921 Ruth hit 113 HR (54+59).  In 1927 and 1928 Ruth hit 114 HR (60+54).  Of Cobb's 117: 46 were inside the park HR (IPHR) and 3 bounced over as was the old rule through 1930.  So only 68 went over the fence on the fly.
Cobb led the AL in HR only in his triple crown season: 9 in 1909, all IPHR:

1909 HRs#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcherScoreInnOutRBIBOPPosWPANotes
1212111909-06-20 (1)DET@SLBRube Waddellt 5229IPHR
1313211909-07-15 (2)DETWSHCharlie Smithb 139IPHR
1414321909-07-15 (2)DETWSHCharlie Smithb 529IPHR
1515411909-07-19DETNYYPete Wilsonb 5249IPHR
1616511909-07-29DET@NYYSlow Joe Doylet 719IPHR
1717611909-08-06DET@PHAHarry Krauset 219IPHR
1818711909-08-27DETNYYJack Chesbrob 4339IPHR
1919811909-09-01DETBOSEddie Cicotteb 129IPHR
2020911909-09-13DETSLBChuck Roseb 839IPHR

Supposedly the ball was juiced again around 1920 and many other players in addition to Ruth suddenly started hitting a lot of HR.

Home Run hitting on steroids: 1920s? Tuesday, December 4, 2012

For purposes of this topic, I'll consider the modern HR record to have been set at 24 in 1915 by Gavvy Cravath who had led the National League (NL) the previous two seasons with 19...

While Ruth is playing like he's from another planet (You don't think ...?) he is not alone.  Including Ruth, the 1915 record of 24 HR was broken 43 times in the 1920s.


Cobb played for the Detroit Tigers from 1905-1926 (ages 18- 39),then two years for the Philadelphia Athletics.  Cobb was the Tigers Player/Manager for his final six seasons: 1921-1926 (.519).

Cobb reached double digits in HR twice, hitting 12 in both 1921 (507 AB) and 1925 (415 AB).  In 1921 four of Cobb's twelve were IPHR.  In 1925 all 12 went over the fence on a fly; none bounced over as was the old rule through 1930.

9595411924-08-31DET@SLBElam Vangildert 3138
1925 HRs#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcherScoreInnOutRBIBOPPosWPANotes
9696111925-05-05DET@SLBBullet Joe Bushahead 1-0t 10238
9797221925-05-05DET@SLBElam Vangildertied 4-4t 22238
9898331925-05-05DET@SLBMilt Gastonahead 11-8t 80138
9999411925-05-06DET@SLBDave Danforthahead 2-1t 51238
100100521925-05-06DET@SLBChet Falkahead 8-4t 92338
101101611925-06-02DETCHWTed Blankenshiptied 15-15b 91148Walk-Off
102102711925-06-09DET@PHASlim Harrisst 8248
103103811925-06-10DET@WSHStan Coveleskit 6148
104104911925-06-17DET@NYYHank Johnsonahead 9-0t 60448
1051051011925-06-18DET@NYYUrban Shockertied 3-3t 80148
1061061111925-06-25DETSLBDave Danforthb 12248
1071071211925-10-04 (1)DET@SLBErnie Wingardt 8148
1926 HRs#car#yr#gmDate@BatPitcherScoreInnOutRBIBOPPosWPANotes

Cobb's last HR in 1924 was off one of the three pitchers off whom Cobb homered in one game. Note the dates: Aug. 31, 1924 and May 5, 1925.  That's a huge stretch without hitting any HR.  Cobb would then hit two HR the next day, May 6, 1925.  That's the five in two consecutive games.  Note also that Cobb hit six more HR in June 1925, then one final HR on OCTOBER 4, 1925.  Let's look at Cobb's game logs.

Cobb played 27 games in September, all in CF, and had at least 4 plate appearances (PA) in each game.  Cobb finished with 4 HR in 625 AB.

Cobb hit 11 HR from May 5 through June 25, 45 games.  Prior to Ma
y 5 Cobb had played in only 8 of the Tigers 19 games.  Cobb would play 121 games that season.  Cobb played in 69 games after June 25 but starting August 6 Cobb pinch hit (PH) a lot.  Cobb PH and had only one PA in 16 games.  In five games, only two PA.  In four games, three PA.  In 1925: 12 HR in 415 AB.

Let's take a look at the two consecutive big HR games.

Tuesday, May 5, 1925,, Sportsman's Park III
Attendance: 3,500, Time of Game: 2:44
Tigers 14, Browns 8

Ty Cobb CF: 6 for 6, 3 HR, 2B, CS
Heinie Manush LF: HR

Baby Doll Jacobson CF: HR

Bullet Joe Bush, L (2-3)1.25552118.071124
Elam Vangilder0.24441028.227
Joe Giard1.211110010.806
Ed Stauffer10001109.004
Milt Gaston36333016.8317
Brad Springer11102003.005
Team Totals9171413102413.005024

Wednesday, May 6, 1925,, Sportsman's Park III
Attendance: 3,000, Time of Game: 2:10
Tigers 11, Browns 4

Ty Cobb CF: 3 for 6, 2 HR
Harry Heilmann RF; 2 HR

Gene Robertson 3B: HR, 2B
Baby Doll Jacobson CF: HR

Dave Danforth, L (0-2)6.213662235.023424
Ed Stauffer0.10001107.712
Chet Falk255520116.2013
Team Totals918111153411.004924
In the first game Cobb hit three HR but two other players also homered.  In the next game Cobb hit two HR as did teammate Heilman, plus Jacobson homered again as he had in the previous and another Brown also homered.

In 1925 the Browns hitters tied the Yankees for the most HR with 110 while the Tigers were sixth with 50; AL average: 67.  Browns pitchers allowed the most HR: 99; Yanks second most: 78.  Tigers third most: 70.

Cobbs victims in those two games:
Dave Danforth: led AL with 19 HR (159 innings)
Joe Bush: second most: 18 HR (209 innings)
Elam Vangilder: 11th most: 11 HR (193 Innings)
Milt Gaston: tied 26th most: 8 HR (239 innings)
Chet Falk: 2 HR (25 innings)

So what happened?  Did Cobb intentionally swing for the fences in those two games to prove that anyone could hit homers?  Why would Cobb wait so long to make that point?  Was it just a coincidence that it was in the middle of a decade of unprecedented HR hitting?  Why would he go back to being scientific, especially since Cobb was already 38 years old in 1925?  How scientific was this:
1925 13 SB, 9 CS
1927 22 SB, 16 CS (led AL) while Ruth was hitting 60 HR?

Even at his peak (age 28):
1915 96 SB, 38 CS (led AL)

Cobb's SB record stood until Maury Wills broke it:
1962 104 SB, 13 CS  (led NL)

In his career Wills hit only 20 HR in 7,588 AB, no HR hitter he.