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Nice guy.  Have some blogs.  Do baseball research.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dewayne Wise, the perfect pitcher.

Dewayne Wise was a reserve outfielder for the White Sox in 2008 and 2009, a role that he now has with the Yankees.  He is best known for preserving the perfect game of White Sox southpaw Mark Buehrle against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23, 2009.  Wise saved a home run late in the game with a spectacular leaping catch.

In last night's Yankee loss to the White Sox the 34 year old Wise faced his former team in a unique role.  The Yanks were being blown out 14-7, more like the Giants losing to the Bears, perish the thought.  Yankee manager Joe Girardi was desperately trying to not use another relief pitcher in a game the Yankees were very unlikely to win.  Yankee reliever Corey Wade was up to 55 pitches and climbing and Girardi finally changed from having Wade take one for the team to saving his pitcher's arm from damage.  Girardi walked to the mound to remove Wade.

I was, of course, watching the game the next morning on DVR and fast forwarding between each pitch as a real American would do.  I hit the fast forwarding to wiz through the commercials during the pitching change expecting to continue it through the final stage of the pitcher change ritual: the new pitcher warming up.


I was shocked to see the new pitcher ready to with a runner on first and one out.  One reason he was already out there, according to Yankee announcer Micheal Kay, was because he had warmed up in an area behind the dugout, not in the bullpen.


On the mound and ready to go was Dewayne Wise, a southpaw, making his Major Baseball League (MBL) pitching debut.  Wise had never even played the infield before.  He threw nice and easy, retiring both batters he faced on, I think, six pitches at speeds in miles per hour (mph) of: 79, 79, 79, 82, 80, 80.  I'm pretty sure about the speeds but not positive.


No throws to first.  OK, the White Sox wanted to complete the game expeditiously.  No jerking around.  No stepping off the pitching rubber.  Just throw the ball like he was playing catch.  In other words, the way the game must have originally been intended.  The objective of pitching is to facilitate having the batter put the ball in play.  Period.


 Dewayne Wise was the perfect pitcher, proving my contention that the count can be started at 3-2 and that free substitution is viable even for pitching changes, which should be made on the fly like all other substitutions.  These improvements would also help to get games within my two hour time limit. Perfect!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Eric Weiss post: Bob Lemon, Tommy John and the 1981 World Series

            I would first like to thank Ken for the opportunity to post this article on his blog, Radical Baseball.  Like Ken, I am a lifelong Yankee fan, although I am a few years younger than him.  My memories don’t go back to the 1960 World Series, one of Ken’s favorite topics.  Instead, among my first memories as serious Yankee fan are from the early 1980’s. 
                        I first started following the Yankees in the late 70’s, although, growing up on Long Island, I must admit I was a bigger Islander fan at that time.  The early 80’s Yankees teams are the first ones I followed on a day-to-day basis, which bring us to the 1981 World Series. 
                        As long-time fans may remember, the 1981 season was interrupted by a player’s strike.  After play resumed, the teams in first place in their division when the strike hit were declared “first half winners” and given a free pass into the playoffs.  They were to meet the second half (post-strike) division winners in a best of 5 series, with the winners to then meet in a best of 5 LCS (only four divisions, two in each league, at that time).
                        The Yankees and Dodgers won their “preliminary series” and met in the World Series.  The Yankees won the first two games of the World’s Series, but then lost four straight to the Dodgers, including the final game at home.  It was the first time ever that the Yankees had lost a series in six games.  It is that final game which I wish to focus on. 
                        In the 1981 World Series, there was no designated hitter.  Although the American League adopted the DH in 1973, Commission of Baseball Bowie Kuhn (perhaps the worst selection ever for the Hall of Fame) decided that the DH would not be used in the World Series.  It was not until 1976 that the DH was used in the World Series for the first time.  Series alternated between allowing the DH to be used in all games and not allowing a DH from 1976 through 1985.  In 1986, the present rule was adopted, which allowed the DH only in the home games of the American League team (this rule is now used for all interleague games). 
                        Therefore, in 1981, the Yankee pitchers had to hit in all games.  In game 6 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees trailed three games to two, and had Tommy John as their starting pitcher.  Most current fans will recognize Tommy John through the surgery which now bears his name, and has extended the career of many pitchers.  In 1981, he was one of the Yankee’s better starting pitchers, with an excellent 2.63 era.  He won at least 20 games in both 1979 and 1980 for the Yankees.  Over his career, he would win 288 games, and is a marginal Hall of Fame candidate. 
                        In the bottom of the fourth inning of Game 6, with the game tied at 1, Graig Nettles hit a one-out double off the Dodger’s starter, Burt Hooton.  After Rick Cerone struck out, Dodger manager Tommy LaSorda had Yankee’s shortstop Larry Milbourne intentionally walked to get to the pitcher, John.  This is a fairly standard managerial move you see in many National League games.  Unfortunately for the Yankees, their manager, Bob Lemon, panicked and sent up a pinch-hitter (Bobby Murcer).  Although Murcer was a more-than-capable pinch-hitter, he lined out to right, ending the inning. 
                        I have argued with Ken many times about what a terrible managerial decision this was.  Ken has attempted to defend Lemon, stating that the Yankees needed to score runs, and this was their big chance (in the fourth inning with two outs?).  Hooton, while a decent pitcher, was not exactly Pedro Martinez, either.  I would also point out that this is not a “second-guess”, because I knew at the time the move was made, it would be a disaster. Watching the game live, John was shown on the bench looking very distressed and upset, yelling at his manager, as he also knew this was a bad decision and would probably cost the Yankees the game and the series. 
                        After Murcer made the third out, the Yankee’s bullpen promptly surrendered three runs in the top of the fifth, then four runs in the top of the six, and another in the top of the eighth, with the Yankees ending up losing the game 9-2.  Let’s take a closer look at Lemon’s poor decision.                      The first question I would ask is, who the heck ever pinch hits for their starting pitcher in the bottom of the fourth inning, with the score tied, when said starter has given up only one run and isn’t injured?  Until recently, this was an unanswerable question.   The establishment of Retrosheet as a database for play-by-play, as well as the excellent website baseballreference.com, which uses the Retrosheet data and allows advanced searches for situations such as this, enables me to find an answer.    
                            I ran the query on starting pitchers, at home, who gave up only one run in four innings, and then were removed from the game for a pinch-hitter.  I then looked at each such game, and removed the games where the starting pitcher was removed because of injury.  There were also a few games which were end of season games in which the manager was using several pitchers to get ready for post-season play where his team had already clinched.   I omitted those games as well.            
              Between 1918 (the start of the Retrosheet data) and 1981, I found only FOUR games in which the manager made this move.  That’s right, four in 64 years (there was one after 1981, in 1985).  These games occurred in 1940, 1955, 1963, and 1977.  Interestingly, the same manager was responsible for two of these games, Tommy LaSorda’s predecessor as Dodger manager, Walter Alston.  On June 12, 1955, he pinch-hit for Russ Meyer in the bottom of the fourth inning at Ebbets Field with the score tied at one.  The New York Daily News story on the 1955 game said that the move demonstrated the Dodger’s bullpen maneuverability, in that they had “the finest crew of relief pitchers in the circuit.”  Of course, Russ Meyer was no Tommy John (he would win only two more games after 1955, and in 1955, he had a 5.42 era), and, more importantly for our evaluation, the Yankees middle relief in 1981 was struggling big-time in the World Series. 
                        Let’s look at the Yankee bullpen through the first five games of the series.  In game 1, after Ron Guidry left with a 4-1 lead, Ron Davis walked the first two batters in the eighth, getting no one out. Lemon then brought in Hall-of-Fame reliever Goose Gossage, who allowed both of Davis’ runners to score, but finished and saved the game without further damage.  In game 2, John pitched seven shutout innings, leaving with a 1-0 lead.  Gossage pitched the last two innings, allowing no runs, the Yankees beating Hooton 3-0. 
                        In the first game in LA, Yankees starter Dave Righetti gave up three first inning runs, then was knocked out in the third inning.  His successor, George Frazier, gave up two runs in the fifth inning, losing the game, 5-4.  In game 4, Yankees starter Rich Reuschel was knocked out in the fourth inning.  The Yankees’ relievers in that game (Rudy May, Ron Davis, and George Frazier) then gave up six runs total in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, and the Yankees lost the game 8-7, with Frazier again taking the loss. 
                        In game 5, Ron Guidry pitched well, but game up two solo homeruns in the seventh inning, and lost 2-1.  Gossage pitched a scoreless eighth inning.  So going into game 6, back at Yankee Stadium, you have a situation where the entire Yankee bullpen (except for Gossage) has been totally ineffective, but John and Guidry have pitched well as starters (John also pitched two scoreless innings in relief in game 4, but allowed two inherited runners to score).  The situation which Lemon should most want to avoid is having to use his ineffective (non-Gossage) relievers. And he did exactly that by pinch-hitting for his (pitching effectively) starting pitcher in the freakin’ FOURTH INNING!  A move which had been made only 4 times in baseball history to that point. 
                        Not to alibi for Lemon (who was the Yankees manager when they won the 1978 World Series), but he had not managed in a non-DH game situation since 1972.  But by pinch-hitting for John in the fourth inning, he exposed the Yankee’s biggest weakness at that point (their ineffective bullpen, except for Gossage) and that move lost the game and series for the Yankees. 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rafael Soriano, keep your shirt together!

George Michael Steinbrenner III must be turning over in his grave.  Spinning!  The late Yankee owner wanted his team to display class when pummeling opponents and we Yankee fans expect no less.

Rafael Soriano pulls his shirt out of his pants at the conclusion of a game in which he is the last pitcher as he did yet again yesterday after his latest John Wetland memorial death defying save.  Soriano did this in 2011 and I immediately found it offensive, embarrassing, classless.  You know, the usual snooty stuff Yankee haters would associate with Yankee fans, even though I'm just rooting for the home team (Yankees only 1958-1961) like most fans in other parts of the USA ... oh, and Toronto.

What the heck is this shirt pulling about?  Did Soriano do this in Tampa when he saved 45 games in 2010?  Thankfully, Soriano saved only two games in 2011 but he finished six others.  That must have been eight times that he pulled his stunt, yet apparently he was not admonished.  Maybe nobody wanted any trouble with a marginal pitcher who had no such opportunities in the five Yankee playoff games in 2011.  After all, the Yankees had the immortal, indestructible Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer of all time, for all that's worth, which obviously is not very much as the Yankees have gotten along quite well without Rivera since his season ending injury May 3, 2012 before the Yankees lost 4-3 in Kansas City.  Rivera's last appearance was a save on April 30 2012.

In 2012 Soriano has finished 21 Yankee games, saving 17.  Are we Yankee fans to be subjected to this clown pulling his shirt of of his pants immediately after each Yankee win that he finishes?  What does this act signify?  Do other players on other teams do this?  What am I missing?  Or is Rafael Soriano simply a slob?

Rivera finished 892 games, including 608 saves, without ever doing anything less than classy.  He was the coolest player on the field, exuding quiet confidence and humble superiority.

Why have no Yankees done anything about  Soriano's shirt pulling act?

- The four adult Steinbrenner children
- Yankee president Randy Levine (What is it he does now that the new Yankee Stadium has been built?)
- Yankee general manager Brian Cashman
Yankee manager Joe Girardi
Yankee captain Derek Jeter
Yankee announcers like Micheal Kay who has an opinion on everything and no inhibition on imposing those opinions on the captive Yankee TV audience
- Mariano Rivera (It never occurred to Rivera to take Soriano aside and explain to him that a Yankee does not act that way?)
- the rest of the Yankee coaches and players, including pitching coach

This conduct is embarrassing.  Soriano should be embarrassing the Mets, not the Yankees.  Geez!

Rafael Soriano, act like a Yankee!  Joe DiMaggio is watching.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mets chances for first MVP increase in 2013.

The Major Baseball League (MBL) plans to move the Houston team from the National Conference (NC) to the American Conference (AC) in 2013.  That will even the number of teams in each conference at 15.  In recent years there have been 14 AC teams and 16 NC teams.

Obviously, that means that it was more difficult for an NC player to win an award or to lead the conference in a stat.  Gee, maybe that's why the Mets have never had an MVP since inception in 1962.  That's part of the reason that the only Met in the Hall of Fame is pitcher Tom Seaver who won the Cy Young award three times.

Of  the 16 teams in 1960 only Cleveland has not had an MVP since; last Cleveland MVP: 1953 Al Rosen.

All but four of the other 13 expansion teams have had at least one MVP and three teams started at least 31 years after the Mets:
- Miami (1993) 2 WS
- Arizona (1998) one WS
- Tampa Bay (1998) one pennant
- Montreal Expos (1969)/Washington Nationals since 2005.

Angels (1961):
2004 Vladimir Guerrero
1979 Don Baylor

Texas (Washington Senators 1961-1971) (1961):
2010 Josh Hamilton
2005 Alex Rodriguez
1999 Ivan Rodriguez
1998 Juan Gonzalez
1996 Juan Gonzalez
1974 Jeff Burroughs

Houston (1961):
1994 Jeff Bagwell

Royals (1969):
1980 George Brett

Brewers (Seattle Pilots 1969) (1969):
2011 Ryan Braun
1982 Robin Yount
1981 Rollie Fingers

San Diego (1969):
1996 Ken Caminiti

Toronto (1977):
1987 George Bell

Seattle Mariners (1977):
1997 Ken Griffey, Jr.
2001 Ichiro Suzuki

Colorado (1993):
1997 Larry Walker

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mets and their fans should be embarrassed.

Read my previous post: I never met a Met fan who knew what he was talking about.

In addition to embracing a CARDINAL as their all time first baseman they ignored one of their own: Ed Kranepool.

Ed Kranepool Baseball Digest
page 2, August 1963 via Wikimedia Commons
The Bronx native attended James Monroe High School.  Unlike all but one (David Wright) member of the recently lauded all time Met team, Kranepool played his entire career for the Mets: September 22, 1962 through September 30, 1979.  Kranepool was the Mets school boy wonder playing first base at age 17.

Kranepool's career was not exceptional: one all star selection - 1965, OPS+ 98 but his 5,997 PA are 900 more than David Wright, the only all time Met with as many as 5,000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Kranepool

When he retired after the 1979 season at the age of 34, he left as the all-time club leader in eight offensive categories, of which he still leads in three (at-bats: 5436, hits: 1418, and sacrifice flies: 58). He has also played more games in a Met uniform (1853) than any other player.

Maybe Mets are ashamed or embarrassed that their all time player at first base was so mediocre.  But at least he was a Met and not a Cardinal like Keith Hernandez.  Would Kranepool have been selected had he, and not Hernandez, been doing color commentary in recent years on Met TV games?  Are Mets and their fans so shallow?  Hernandez competes against Paul O'Neill, the former Yankee right fielder who comments during some Yankee games, for the distinction of being the least prepared and least knowledgeable.

The Mets exiled their greatest prodigies: Tom Seaver, the only Met in the Hall of Fame, and the two bright Met stars who succumbed to illegal drugs: Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden.

Seaver won the Cy Young award in 1969, 1973, 1975 and led the Mets to their inexplicable 1969 World Series victory and yet the Mets exiled Seaver ... twice.  From baseball-reference.com:

June 15, 1977: Traded by the New York Mets to the Cincinnati Reds for Doug FlynnSteve HendersonDan Norman and Pat Zachry.

December 16, 1982: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Mets for Jason Felice (minors), Lloyd McClendon and Charlie Puleo.

January 20, 1984: Chosen by the Chicago White Sox from the New York Mets as a Free Agent compensation pick.

Lest Met fans forget their shameful heritage.  "Free Agent compensation".  Tom Seaver, the franchise as Met fans would moan, was no more to them than "Free Agent compensation".  Seaver won his 300th game at Yankee Stadium pitching for the White Sox on Phil Rizzuto Day.  Years later Seaver announced for the Yankees with Rizzuto.

And what of Strawberry and Gooden?  After their banishment they were brought back to New York and rehabilitated ... by the Yankees.  Yankee owner George Steinbrenner was personally responsible.  That no-hitter that Johann Santana finally provided to the Mets after 50 years was preceded by many years by a no-hitter thrown by Gooden ... for the Yankees.

And to demonstrate their lack of class, the day after Steinbrenner died, neither Strawberry nor Gooden said a word about him in their induction speeches into the lame Met Hall of Fame.  Both Strawberry and Gooden showed what no class ingrates Mets can be.

Mets, just go away.  You're an embarrassment to New York.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I never met a Met fan who knew what he was talking about.

Will Rogers said "I never met a man I didn't like".  I say:

I never met a Met fan who knew what he was talking about ... or a Boston fan of any sport.

I've been saying it for years: Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yesterday my friend Eric, whom I have been encouraging to write his own baseball blog, sent this link to me despite knowing that I am still pretty upset about the Yankees losing the 1960 World Series to Pittsburgh:

Click here: How Does The Mets 1962-2012 All-time Team Stack Up to The Yankees? - New York News - Runnin' Scared

How Does The Mets 1962-2012 All-time Team Stack Up to The Yankees?
By Allen Barra Fri., Jun. 22 2012 at 5:16 PM

Oh, the humanity!

I had already heard about the all time Met team, which seemed like junk with Cardinal Keith Hernandez at first base.  Neither the Mets, nor their fans have any real history or tradition even after that expansion team has been around for fifty years.  Fifty years and only one Hall of Famer: pitcher Tom Seaver.  Four Cy Young award winners: Seaver 1969, 1973, 1975 and Dwight Gooden 1985.  Zero MVP.  ZERO!  After FIFTY YEARS!

There does not appear to be any eligibility criteria for making the all time Met team.  I'll suggest some common sense stuff.

1. Play at least half your career with the team or at least play more games with the team than with any other team.  That seems pretty reasonable but obviously beyond the grasp of Met fans who are embracing a CARDINAL as their first baseman.  A CARDINAL!

2. Play at least eight full seasons with the team.  Let's use the very weak criteria for qualifying for leadership in annual averages: 502 plate appearances (PA).  Let's simplify that and round it to 4,000 PA.  Pretty lenient, right?

3. I'll ignore fielding stats because I don't trust or understand them and use OPS+ for batting because it's OK and also understandable to the pretty smart but not really smart among us.  All stats will be with the team unless otherwise indicated.

Now let's take a look at that all time Met team (plate appearances, OPS+):

Catcher Mike Piazza 3,941 136 (Dodgers: 3,017 160) Hey, Mets may finally get a second HoFer.
1st base Keith Hernandez 3,684 129 (CARDINAL 4,724 130; MVP; led in BA)
2nd base Edgardo Alfonso 4,449 113
SS Jose Reyes 4,840 107 plus 370 SB, 92 CS; led league in BA in 2011
3rd base David Wright 5,072 137 never led league in anything; MVP 4th in 2007
LF Cleon Jones 4,683 111
CF Carlos Beltran 3,640 129 (Royals 3,512 111); Met record HR: 41.
RF Darryl Strawberry 4,549 145 (1988: MVP 2, first: HR, SLG, OPS, OPS+)

Three of the eight have fewer than 4,000 PA: Piazza, Hernandez, Beltran.  Only Wright has more than 5,000.

RH Starter Tom Seaver Traded away ... TWICE.  Hall of Fame; 3 CY
LH Starter Jerry Koosman 2,545 innings, 113 ERA+

Now let's consider a Yankee team as Allen Barra did, from 1962 on.  Fair enough.  That pretty much eliminates Mickey Mantle (MVP 1956, 1957, 1962) and Whitey Ford (CY 1961 - note only one CY awarded 1956-1966).   Plate appearances, OPS+:

C: Jorge Posada 7,150 121  Yes, over 1963 MVP Elston Howard and 1976 MVP Thurman Munson.
1B: Don Mattingly 7,772 127  1985 MVP
2B: Robinson Cano 4,714 120 (265 more PA than all time Met Edgardo Alfonso); never led league in anything
SS: Derek Jeter 11,479 117 (3,180 hits)
3B: Alex Rodriguez 5,243 143 (Seattle 3,515 138; Texas 2,172 155) 2005 MVP, 2007 MVP (54 HR); 171 more PA than all time Met David Wright
LF: Roy White 7,735 121
CF: Bernie Williams 9,053 125 led in BA 1998
RF: Dave Winfield 5,021 134 (SD 4,512 134) Hall of Fame

Only Cano has fewer than 5,000 PA.

The criteria I applied eliminated from consideration for the Yankees Hall of Famers:
- Rickie Henderson 2,735 135 (Oakland 7,481 137)
- Reggie Jackson 2,707 148 (Oakland 5,432 145; Angels 2,721 114)

SIX of the eight Yankees are lifetime Yankees, compared to only one Met.  Which team has the hired guns?

RH: Mel Stottlemyre  What the heck, I like Mel and Seaver will win anyway.  What, you thought I'd pick Clemens?
LH: Ron Guidry 2,392 innings, 119 ERA+ 1978: CY, MVP 2

Now let's meld the teams; bold for players who played only for that team:

C: Mike Piazza Met
1B: Don Mattingly Yankee
2B: Robinson Cano Yankee
SS: Derek Jeter Yankee
3B: Alex Rodriguez Yankee
LF: Roy White Yankee
CF: Bernie Williams Yankee
RF: Dave Winfield Yankee

RH: Tom Seaver Met
LH: Ron Guidry Yankee

Bullpen:
- Mariano Rivera Yankee
- Goose Gossage Hall of Fame Yankee
- Sparky Lyle 1977 CY Yankee

Allen Barra made a mess of it in his article and did not even mention Dave Winfield or Roy White.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 Glory Days in New York

Real glory days: 1958-1961.  Just Yankees!

Ah, now I feel better.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ty Cobb: no Lebron James.

For some reason NBA pundits speculate on who is the greatest player to never win an NBA championship.  Candidates include: Charles Barkley, Carl Malone, John Stockton and, until yesterday, Lebron James.

We rarely consider that about baseball players.   There's Ernie Banks, Mr. Cub, who never even played in a World Series.  Ted Williams played in one but his Red Sox lost.  Ty Cobb, the greatest Detroit Tiger of all time, would seem to be the obvious choice. Cobb played his first Tiger game August 30, 1905 and his final game September 11, 1928 for the Philadelphia Athletics; Cobb played for Philadelphia in 1927 and 1928.  Philadelphia won the World Series in 1929 and 1930.

The Tigers played in the World Series in 1907, 1908, 1909 and lost all three.  Cobb was the greatest player in the American League each of those three seasons.  Cobb's WS OPS: .538, .821, .656.  The first two losses, ironically, were to the Chicago Cubs.  The final indignity was to the Pittsburgh Pirates led by the greatest player in the National League: 35 year old shortstop Honus Wagner in his final great season.  Wagner completely outplayed Cobb featuring an OPS .967.

Tyrus Raymond Cobb, The Georgia Peach, is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time.  Until yesterday when his Miami Heat won the NBA championship, Lebron James was the Ty Cobb of the NBA.

Dog Days: NBA season is over!

Saturday, July 18, 2009 Dog days: between NBA and NFL seasons.


The dog days of baseball are not in August. They begin the day after the final NBA playoff game in June. That's when we are exposed to MLB in its naked form, without basketball or football to entertain us. Baseball and only baseball. For almost two months, until NFL pre-season games. Argh!  ...


The great American pastime is being outsourced. Americans do not even want to play baseball. Why would they watch it?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Joe Maddon is a coward.

http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/21/maddon-and-johnson-feuding-over-pine-tar-drama/

Maddon said that Johnson was “underhanded” and that the umpires’ checking of Peralta’s glove was “possibly a form of cheating” and cowardly. He said the Nationals were willing to rat on former teammates and hinted that free agents might want to think twice before heading to Washington.
_____________________________________________________

Joe Maddon was OK with one of his players crashing into rookie Yankee catcher Francisco Cervelli and injuring him so badly that Cervelli missed several weeks ... in a 2008 spring training game.  That same spring training season Maddon's team also had incidents with the Red Sox and Mets.  All to show how tough he and his Tamp Bay Rays were.  Worst part about it was that it worked.  The three teams that he attacked did not retaliate.

Now, however, when opposing manager Davey Johnson gets the better of him, Maddon reacts like the coward that he is.  Shame on Joe Maddon.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

No-hitter and/or one hitter in consecutive complete games.

Max Scherzer almost ties Johnny Vander Meer's consecutive no-hitters. Saturday, June 20, 2015

In consecutive complete games Max Scherzer just missed a no-hitter (one hit, 7th inning), then just missed a perfect game (one HBP, 9th inning).
_______________________________

RA Dickey Mets 2012:
June 13 at Tampa Bay one hit 12 SO, 0 BB, 1 ROE
June 18 v. Baltimore one hit 13 SO, 2 BB, 0 ROE

Dave Stieb Toronto 1988:
May 31 V. Milwaukee one hit 5 SO, 0 BB, 0 ROE

Sept 24 at Cleveland one hit 8 SO, 2 BB, 0 ROE
Sept 30 v. Baltimore one hit 4 SO, 1 BB, 0 ROE - final appearance of season

Sam McDowell Indians 1966:
April 25 KC As one hit, 8 SO, 6 BB
May 1 White Sox one hit, 10, SO, 5 BB


Whitey Ford Yankees 1955:
Sept 2 v. Washington one hit 4 SO, 4 BB, 0 ROE
Sept 4 v. Washington no hits 1 SO, 0 BB, 0 ROE 1.33 innings in relief to save the game
Sept 7 v. Kansas City one hit 3 SO, 6 BB, 0 ROE

Jim Tobin Boston Braves 1944:
April 23 v. Philadelphia one hit 0 SO, 1 BB - second start of season
April 27 v. Brooklyn no-hitter 6 SO, 2 BB

June 22 v. Philadelphia no-hitter (FIVE innings) 1 SO, 2 BB - second game of doubleheader

Mort Cooper Cardinals 1943:
May 31 v. Boston Bees one hit 2 SO, 3 BB - first game of doubleheader
June 4 v. Philadelphia one hit 5 SO, 0 BB

Johnny Vander Meer Cincinnati 1938:
June 11 v. Boston Bees no-hitter 4 SO, 3 BB
June 15 at Ebbets Field Brooklyn no-hitter 7 SO, 8 BB - night game

Dazzy Vance Brooklyn Dodgers 1925:
Sept. 8 Phillies one hit, 6 SO, 0 BB
Sept. 13 Phillies no-hitter 9 SO, 1 BB

Howard Ehmke Red Sox 1923:
Sept. 7 at Philadelphia no-hitter 1 SO, 1 BB
Sept. 11 at Yankee Stadium one hit, 5 SO, 1 BB

Rube Marquard New York Giants 1911:
Aug. 28 Cardinals one hit
Sept. 1 at Philadelphia game 2 one hit
___________________________________________________

Three in a season but none in consecutive starts by three pitchers in addition to Stieb since 1918:

Nolan Ryan California 1973:
May 15 at Detroit no-hitter 12 SO, 3 BB, 0 ROE
July 15 at Kansas City no-hitter 17 SO, 4 BB, 0 ROE
Aug 29 v. Yankees one hit, 10 SO, 3 BB, 0 ROE

Virgil Trucks in 1952 pitched three nine inning shutouts, all 1-0:
May 15 v. Washington  no-hitter 7 SO, 1 BB, 1 ROE
July 22 v. Washington one hit 10 SO, 3 BB, 0 ROE
Aug. 25 at Yankee Stadium  no-hitter 8 SO, 1 BB, 1 ROE

Bob Feller Cleveland 1946:
April 30 at Yankee Stadium no-hitter 11 SO, 5 BB

July 31 v. Boston one hit 9 SO, 9 BB

Aug 8 at Chicago one hit 5 SO, 4 BB
________________________________

66 pitchers had two in a season but none in consecutive starts since 1918.
________________________________

June 22, 2015 added as a result of a comment by Cliff Blau: McDowell, Vance, Ehmke, Marquard.  Thank you, Cliff.

Damn Pirates: 1960 World Series Game 7 was the work of the Devil.

I had long thought that 1960 World Series Game 7 was punishment for the Yankees making mistakes, that the Yankees got what they deserved even after thrashing the Pirates in the three Yankee wins.  However, facts hidden in plain sight make it seem likely that the Pittsburgh Pirates sold their souls to the devil in order to win the 1960 World Series.  Game seven holds key facts to support this.

1. Pittsburgh had eight RBI with two outs: Hal Smith 3 run homer run eighth inning; Bill Virdon 2 run single second inning; Rocky Nelsonrun homer run first inningRoberto Clemente infield single eighth inning.

2. Pittsburgh scored ten runs but had only one runner left on base (LOB): Virdon who only got to second because Roger Maris made an error on Virdon's two RBI single in the second inning.  OK, there was this: GIDP: Vern Law; Bill MazeroskiRoberto Clemente.

3. Yankee manager Casey Stengel, the master of platooning, removed left handed pitcher Bobby Shantz with the only two lefty Pittsburgh batters in the game (Bob Skinner and Rocky Nelson) coming up in the pivotal eighth inning and replaced him with right hander Jim Coates who proceeded to blow the lead ... despite first retiring both Skinner (sac bunt) and Nelson.  Shantz is the only player to win the Gold Glove in fielding every season he was eligible and might have turned Skinner's bunt into a DP or might have fielded the high bouncer by Clemente that eluded Coates for an RBI single and preceded the the three run home run by Hal Smith.

4. Dick Stuart, Dr. Strangeglove, never played.  What would he have done on Yogi Berra's ninth inning smash down the first base line?  One can only imagine.  No wonder there were bomb shelters in those days.

And let's not forget the mysterious DP grounder hit by Pirate Bill Virdon that ricocheted up and maliciously struck Yankee shortstop Tony Kubek in the throat.  In the throat!  Poor Tony had to leave the game.  Virdon was credited with a single and all runners were safe.  Instead of two out and no base runners, it was no outs and runners on first and second.  The next batter, Dick Groat, singled through the SS-3B hole, a ball, which Kubek might have fielded.

Bill Mazeroski (Has another number 8 batter ever had a WS winning hit?) homered in game one off Coates in the fourth inning of a 6-4 Pirate win.  Pittsburgh did not hit another home run until game seven when three were hit.  Mazeroski, of course, hit the final  Pittsburgh home run in the bottom of the ninth to ostentatiously win the World Series and if you look closely at the grainy video you can see a distinct resemblance between Mazeroski and Tab Hunter who played Joe Hardy in the movie version of that Communist play "Damn Yankees", which even included actual footage of Mickey Mantle.

I rest my case.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Yankee starting lineups 1960 World Series

Click link to see.

What more?  I laid out the names in a spreadsheet and noticed some things for the first time.

1. Yogi Berra played but did not start games 3 & 5 when Pittsburgh started left handed pitchers.  In game 3 with Yanks up 10-0 Yogi replaced Roger Maris in RF and later singled.  In game 5 Yanks down 4-2 against righty reliever Roy Face, Yogi PH (ground out) for Elston Howard and replaced Howard as catcher.

2. Yogi started the other five games and batted 5th: catcher in games 1 and 4, LF in games 2, 6, 7.

3. Maris always batted higher than Mickey Mantle.  Maris batted second in games 3 & 5 against the southpaws.  Mantle batted third in game 3 and 4th in all the rest.

4. Bobby Richardson was the series MVP, the only ever from a losing team.  Bobby set a WS record with 12 RBI and batted: 8, 8, 7, 8, 7, 8, 1.

5. Third base: Clete Boyer started game one but Dale Long pinch hit for Boyer batting 7th in the second inning.  Gil McDougald replaced Boyer in the field and went 1 for 3.  McDougald started games 2 batting second, 3 (5), 4 (7), 5 (1).  Boyer started games 6 (1) and 7 (8).

6. Bob Cerv started in LF in games 3 (1), 4 (1), 5 (3).  Cerv PH 1B in game 1 his only other appearance.

7. Pirate second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit the first and last home runs for Pittsburgh.  Mazeroski homered in the 4th in game one and Pittsburgh did not homer again until game seven when Rocky Nelson (first inning,1 on), Hal Smith (three run HR in 8th) and Mazeroski (walk off bottom 9) homered.

8. SS Tony Kubek batted 1, 1, 8, 2, 8, 2, 2.  Kubek was dropped to 8th against the southpaws.

9. Only game 2 was longer than three hours: 3:14.  The other six games ranged from 2:29 to 2:41.

10. Attendance in game seven was only 36,683, second lowest of the four games in Pittsburgh.  Game six had 38,580, 1,897 more.  Odd.  Pittsburgh could have won the WS by winning either game six or game seven but the fans seemed to have lost faith following the loss in game six.  The same thing happened in Brooklyn in 1952 when the Dodger could have won their first WS but the Yankees won both games in Ebbets Field.

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Regular season games must end within two hours

FRIDAY, JUNE 8, 2012 Constitutional amendments for team sports.

1. Regular season games must end within two hours.  Playoff games may have an additional 30 minutes for overtime.

2. No overtime in the regular season.
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Yesterday's inter-conference Yankee game in Washington lasted four hours, forty-nine minutes (289 minutes) and took fourteen innings to determine a winner: Yanks 5-3.  Twenty of the 25 Yankees played.  Sixteen times Yankee batters failed to drive in a runner on second or third base.

I recorded four hours, starting with the pre-game talk.  The recording expired after the Yankees had batted in the 10th inning.  Four hours to play 9.5 innings.

Many counts went to 3-2, which is where I have long recommend that the count begin.

That's entertainment?

What other entertainment form lasts that long?  Movie?  Play?  Opera?  Maybe opera but who the heck watches opera?

We're killing baseball and don't even know it.  We fans are complicit.  Too many attend these feasts of boredom because attendees don't really watch, just hang out, talk, eat, read, get seen, etc.  Who the heck can watch this?  I watched while I was also watching round three of the U.S. Open in golf on another TV.  I was fast forwarding between each pitch and the golf was still more interesting, at least until Tiger fell back.  Golf!  Golf was more interesting than baseball.  OK, it was a major tournament but still.  W must be nuts to not be up in arms about what has happened to our national pastime.

By 2020 the Major Baseball League (MBL) will be in major trouble.  Attendance and TV viewing will be way down.  By the time MBL is alarmed enough to do something it will do too little, too late.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jason Bay's injury could have been prevented.

In yesterday's game Met left fielder Jason Bay dove for a fly ball in the left field corner and crashed into the wall injuring his head and possibly sustaining a concussion.  That injury could have been prevented.

THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2009 Wall protection.

Since MLB does not seem inclined to follow my recommendation and put pole vaulter pads along the walls, here's a no tech alternative to protect players from injuries due to crashing into the walls. Make the warning track off limits. A fly ball caught after a player has stepped onto the warning track is not an out but is in play. Yet another devilishly clever way to improve baseball. What's really amazing is that even simple stuff like this is beyond the grasp of baseball people, both fans and professionals.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Alex Rodriguez has the four run HROFOF record.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 27, 2011 Bases loaded home runs, aka, grand slams.

Lou Gehrig's home run log in baseball-reference indicates that his very first grand slam on July 23, 1925 bounced into the stands at Yankee Stadium under the old rule (fair balls bouncing into the stands were home runs) that was eliminated after the 1930 season.  That means that in a real sense Rodriguez has already tied Gehrig.  Gehrig's only other bounced home run was July 30, 1927 with the bases empty.

Gehrig hit 10 inside the park home runs (IPHR); one was a grand slam: July 5, 1934 at Yankee Stadium.  Rodriguez has no IPHR.
Also of interest: MONDAY, MAY 2, 2011 Grand Slams: more.
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Tuesday Alex Rodriguez extended his four run home run record: 23 home runs over the fence on the fly (HROFOF).  I've coined another phrase.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Major Baseball League: a new phrase is coined.

Major League Baseball (MLB) should change its name to Major Baseball League (MBL).  Maybe I'll do it for them.  Ladies and Gentlemen, now introducing the already existing Major Baseball League with its American and National conferences!  Get used to it.

Much better.  Now when some jerk like Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies takes it upon himself to hit a rookie like Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals with a pitch he can accompany his cowardly act with a paraphrase of the line used for decades by players in the National Football League (NFL): "Welcome to the Major Baseball League".

In case it is not obvious enough the intent of this name change is to drive home the point yet again that the old American and National Leagues merged into one league known as Major.  See:

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2011 Merger: AL and NL merged years ago. How come no one noticed?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Constitutional amendments for team sports.

Team sports really means baseball, football and basketball, the only sports that count.

Why constitutional amendments?  Obviously, the dominant professional organizations (MLB, NFL, NBA) have not understood the urgent need for fundamental reform.  Constitutional amendments will provide the much needed framework for the reforms.  The professional leagues will then need to change their rules to conform.

1. Regular season games must end within two hours.  Playoff games may have an additional 30 minutes for overtime.

2. No overtime in the regular season.

3. No trades during the season.

4. Arenas must be dry.

5. Temperature must be reasonable for the sport.

6. Teams in a division must play the same opponents the same number of times.

7. Teams must play at least 66% of games in division.

8. Divisions must have at least six teams.

9. Replays must appear on the large screen in the arena at the same time they are broadcast.

10. Players may not unload on other players.

11. Playing areas must be uniform.

12. No pre-season games.

13. The entire season including playoffs may not exceed 180 days.

14. No common player draft.

15. Playing rules must be the same for all teams in a league.

Monday, June 4, 2012

T-ball or a pitching machine.

Either would provide a better way of determining which team is better than letting the pitchers dominate games and be the deciding factor in who wins.

T-ball or a pitching machine would make it a contest between teams based on hitting, fielding and base running.  Wouldn't you rather have that than have the most important starting player, the pitcher, change each game?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

100 years ago more than the uniforms were different.

Yesterday the Giants wore old uniforms.  I'm not sure what prompted this particular costume party.  The Yankees and Red Sox did it in April noting the 100th anniversary of the opening of Fenway Park.

I recently wrote something called Radical Baseball: Born In The USA – 75%. May 23rd, 2012

the percentage of MLB players born in the USA has been below 75% since 2000 when it was 77%... 
trend … consistently above 92% from 1901 through 1959 to as low as 71% in 2006.

100 years ago none of the MLB players were black and well over 90% were born in the USA.  Of the few who were not, most were born in Canada.  There were no players from Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico or Japan.

So what are those players doing on the field in these recreation games?

Other than the costume, there is very little else that is from that time.  Even the uniform does not seem to be completely authentic.  The players are wearing modern hats with its longer brim and crown; only the colors are old.  The uniforms appear to be a modern comfortable fabric, not the heavy flannel of 100 years ago.

There would have two umpires, not four.

The catcher was probably standing, not squatting, much further behind the plate than now.

There would have been no helmets, pads, batting gloves.  Even the protective cup would have been metal not plastic and it would have rung like a bell when struck.

Gloves and mitts would have been much smaller and far less useful.

Players would have worn old metal spikes, not rubberized shoes.

Players would not have used contact lenses nor Oakley sun glasses.

Bats would have been heavier with thicker handles.  Players would have gripped such bats a few inches from the knob to improve control of the weapon.

The ball would be used until it was worn out.  It would have become dirty and softer.  Pitchers were allowed to put saliva on the ball in order to throw a spitball.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Vote for your favorite Radical Baseball Idea.

New feature: a poll has been added just to the right of the latest post.  This first poll closes on Independence Day, July 4, 2012, at 11:00AM.  You may vote for multiple choices.

Please send ideas for future polls.