Baseball History Thread

Discussion about other teams, non-cubs players, baseball history, sabr vs scouting, etc.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby Derwood » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:29 am

I want to know the story of Danny Goodwin. Draft #1 overall TWICE and a -1.7 career bWAR
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby Sammy Sofa » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:49 am

Derwood wrote:I want to know the story of Danny Goodwin. Draft #1 overall TWICE and a -1.7 career bWAR


http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-legend ... y-goodwin/

Expected to be a power-hitting catcher, but messed up his shoulder on his throwing arm and basically wrecked him as a catcher. Sucked defensively as a 1B and never panned out as a hitter in the bigs and that was that.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby Derwood » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:57 am

Sammy Sofa wrote:
Derwood wrote:I want to know the story of Danny Goodwin. Draft #1 overall TWICE and a -1.7 career bWAR


http://www.hardballtimes.com/the-legend ... y-goodwin/

Expected to be a power-hitting catcher, but messed up his shoulder on his throwing arm and basically wrecked him as a catcher. Sucked defensively as a 1B and never panned out as a hitter in the bigs and that was that.


That's a pity.

Then again, these 1st rounds are littered with wasted potential
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby OleMissCub » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:25 am

Derwood wrote:
Then again, these 1st rounds are littered with wasted potential


Like Matt Bush

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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby soccer10k » Sun Feb 05, 2017 7:20 am

OleMissCub wrote:
Derwood wrote:
OleMissCub wrote:Kinda surprised to see Burrell with so low an fWAR. He put up some pretty strong offensive numbers throughout his career. Although I guess that was the only thing he did well.


This is bWAR, not fWAR, though Fangraphs only has him slightly higher at 19.0


I see now. Regardless, that's pretty low for a guy with 300 HR.


Adam Dunn has 462 HR and he's got 16.9 bWAR and 25.4 fWAR.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby CaliforniaRaisin » Sun Feb 05, 2017 8:49 am

OleMissCub wrote:
Derwood wrote:
Then again, these 1st rounds are littered with wasted potential


Like Matt Bush

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Yeah, Matt Bush definitely wasted his potential but he was barely considered a top 5 pick. He was a signability pick with local ties - the top guys on most boards like Jered Weaver and Stephen Drew were Boras clients.

And I just typed out way more about the 2004 draft than anyone cares.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby cl smooth » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:18 pm

what's the consensus on harold baines? i see a player 134 hits away from 3,000 but a bWAR of 38.5 over 22 seasons. do people look at him as having a good career?
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby Derwood » Sun Feb 05, 2017 6:42 pm

cl smooth wrote:what's the consensus on harold baines? i see a player 134 hits away from 3,000 but a bWAR of 38.5 over 22 seasons. do people look at him as having a good career?


I think he's a good example of why counting stats are a bad way to measure HoF candidates
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby TBS Playoffs Insider » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:05 pm

harold baines horsefeathering owned.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby jersey cubs fan » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:08 pm

TBS Playoffs Insider wrote:harold baines horsefeathering owned.

he was also cloned to make Pedro Alvarez
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby UMFan83 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:31 pm

TBS Playoffs Insider wrote:harold baines horsefeathering owned.


I always loved Harold Baines. Mostly because he agreed to sign a Cubs hat for me at a suburban Jewel sometime around 1995. Not sure why I thought it was cool to make him sign a Cubs hat but whatever. I guess he was also a pretty good player too. Definitely more of a Hall of Very Good player though.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby davell » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:15 am



Ump decides to steal a hat.....
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby OleMissCub » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:25 am

That's awesome
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby NewUserName » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:57 pm

TBS Playoffs Insider wrote:harold baines horsefeathering owned.

Over-rated by Sox fans. I think most baseball fans have a good perspective on him. Good player for a lot of years.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby David » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:14 pm

Derwood wrote:
cl smooth wrote:what's the consensus on harold baines? i see a player 134 hits away from 3,000 but a bWAR of 38.5 over 22 seasons. do people look at him as having a good career?


I think he's a good example of why counting stats are a bad way to measure HoF candidates

WAR is a counting stat

it's not counting vs. rate. it's some stats are bad, some are less bad, and some are actually good.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby Derwood » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:24 pm

David wrote:
Derwood wrote:
cl smooth wrote:what's the consensus on harold baines? i see a player 134 hits away from 3,000 but a bWAR of 38.5 over 22 seasons. do people look at him as having a good career?


I think he's a good example of why counting stats are a bad way to measure HoF candidates

WAR is a counting stat

it's not counting vs. rate. it's some stats are bad, some are less bad, and some are actually good.


I know it is, I was referring to 3000 hits as a benchmark
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby biittner77 » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:30 pm

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/spor ... .html?_r=0

I feel like this has been discussed before but apparently Ty Cobb wasn't a racist piece of horsefeathers, just a regular piece of horsefeathers.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby TomtheBombadil » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:50 pm

biittner77 wrote:https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/sports/baseball/removing-the-fangs-from-ty-cobbs-notoriety.html?_r=0

I feel like this has been discussed before but apparently Ty Cobb wasn't a racist piece of horsefeathers, just a regular piece of horsefeathers.


I think this is becoming more popular to believe about Cobb. I know Bill James thinks he's massively misunderstood as a character, which isn't to say anyone thinks he was a good guy.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby jersey cubs fan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:00 pm

TomtheBombadil wrote:
biittner77 wrote:https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/sports/baseball/removing-the-fangs-from-ty-cobbs-notoriety.html?_r=0

I feel like this has been discussed before but apparently Ty Cobb wasn't a racist piece of horsefeathers, just a regular piece of horsefeathers.


I think this is becoming more popular to believe about Cobb. I know Bill James thinks he's massively misunderstood as a character, which isn't to say anyone thinks he was a good guy.


Bill James is also a Joe Paterno apologist so horsefeathers that guy. There's a certain segment of baby boomer and gen X white guys who don't like seeing old sports heroes being tarred with the truths about their dickishness.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby OleMissCub » Thu Apr 06, 2017 4:59 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:
TomtheBombadil wrote:
biittner77 wrote:https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/sports/baseball/removing-the-fangs-from-ty-cobbs-notoriety.html?_r=0

I feel like this has been discussed before but apparently Ty Cobb wasn't a racist piece of horsefeathers, just a regular piece of horsefeathers.


I think this is becoming more popular to believe about Cobb. I know Bill James thinks he's massively misunderstood as a character, which isn't to say anyone thinks he was a good guy.


Bill James is also a Joe Paterno apologist so horsefeathers that guy. There's a certain segment of baby boomer and gen X white guys who don't like seeing old sports heroes being tarred with the truths about their dickishness.


Or maybe people have heard lies about someone be repeated so often that the sheer repetition of it began to feel like evidence to them, especially when it has been repeated by respectable people.

Quite literally, the entire "Cobb as a racist monster" narrative that exists in our collective baseball ethos sprung entirely from Al Stump's biography of Cobb, which upon inspection is far more fiction than biography. That narrative simply didn't exist before the early 1960's when the book was published.

For example, when Leerhsen, former executive editor for Sports Illustrated, started to dig into the evidence about Cobb's fights in his quest to repeat the "evil Cobb" narrative for a new book, he realized that almost every black person involved in these fights were white according to census records. It turns out that the "black night watchman" that Cobb attacked for being uppity was actually a white person who ended up receiving a harsher penalty than Cobb because he was drunk on the job AND was the aggressor. Court records show that he pistol-whipped the hell out of Cobb.

What Leerhsen's book is saying is that Cobb, though not the easiest person to get along with and someone who battled childhood demons his whole life, was not "baseball's black mark" as Okrent said. Far from it. He was well liked by fans and most fellow players as evidenced by the fact that he was the first player elected to be in charge of what eventually became the Player's Union and was the first player elected to the HOF.

Going into the stands to attack a fan? That's certainly unacceptable behavior, but it actually happened quite a lot back then. Other Hall of Famers that did that: Cy Young, Christy Matthewson, Rube Waddell, Ed Walsh, and Ruth did it on two occasions. What's forgotten about during that incident with Cobb and the fan is that his teammates were also in the stands right behind him going after the guy. Then, when Cobb was suspended, the Tigers went on strike because they felt he was justified. It was the first players strike in MLB history. In fact, the reason that the incident had any notoriety at all wasn't because he went into the stands, and wasn't because the man was handicapped (he was missing fingers on both hands and it's unlikely Cobb could have known that before he went up there), but it was because of the player's strike and the farce that ensued because of it. Instead of cancelling the game, American League representatives went out to the local neighborhood and literally fielded a team of guys off the street. With the actual Tigers watching in street clothes from the stands, the "faux-Tigers" lost to the Athletics 24-2. The "faux-Tigers" pitcher still holds the MLB record for most hits given up by a pitcher in a single game at 26.

Was Cobb a racist? Of course he was. So was almost every other white person born in the country in that era. However, as Leerhsen points out, there is zero evidence for him being involved in any racially motivated hostility. On the contrary, he was one of the very first players to call for integration and was a staple at Negro League games, throwing out the first pitch on dozens of occasions. In fact, when he died several black newspapers mourned his loss for being a friend to the black ballplayer. How in the world does that jive with how Ken Burns' baseball portrayed him or how Tommy Lee Jones did? It doesn't jive because the Cobb as racist monster narrative was fabricated by Stump to try to make his book juicier. Him stabbing a black man for being uppity? Fiction. Him choking a black man for shaking his hand as he rounded third? Fiction. Him attacking a black waiter and nearly killing him? Fiction. Him pistol whipping someone to death? Nope. Him throwing a black maid down the stairs at a hotel? Made up.

I suggest that some of you go check out some of Leerhsen's interviews on YouTube. Pretty interesting to listen to. He was just so appalled to find out in his research just how much of Stump's book was entirely fabricated (as in "let me just make up a story and put it in the book"...it's that bad) and how the public's perception of Cobb before Stump and after Stump are so insanely disparate.

Indeed, Bill James is a bit of a kook. Leerhsen, on the other hand, is a very well respected journalist and author.

and ya, tl/dr
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby jersey cubs fan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:02 pm

OleMissCub wrote:That narrative simply didn't exist before the early 1960's when the book was published.


no horsefeathers, huh. The narrative that a good ole' boy from Georgia was a racist piece of horsefeathers didn't exist before the 60's?
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby OleMissCub » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:12 pm

jersey cubs fan wrote:
OleMissCub wrote:That narrative simply didn't exist before the early 1960's when the book was published.


no horsefeathers, huh. The narrative that a good ole' boy from Georgia was a racist piece of horsefeathers didn't exist before the 60's?


No. Go try and find that narrative about Cobb before Stump. I know you never will, but if you read the book you'd see that Cobb was always viewed as one of the more progressive baseball players regarding race relations during his playing days and after retirement. This is in contrast to the actual baseball bigots back then like Rogers Hornsby or Enos Slaughter, etc. For example, in one of his interviews regarding the prospect of integration, Cobb told the Sporting News: "the Negro should be accepted and not grudgingly but wholeheartedly"

Also, he was hardly what you would think was a "good ole boy". His dad was a Senator and he had an appointment for West Point lined up when he decided to go try and play ball instead. He was a theater actor and also wrote hundreds of articles for newspapers across the country during his playing years and after. He helped organize the first players union, negotiated his own contracts, and after baseball became a multi-millionaire businessman. He was no tobacco spittin' rube.

It's amusing how married you are to this idea about Cobb. Leerhsen talks a good deal in his lectures about people like you who are so bought into the current Cobb narrative that they are practically incapable of opening their mind to an alternative narrative. Even when presented with evidence that many of the Cobb stories they believe in were entirely fabricated or the facts of which were deliberately misrepresented, they still won't change their minds.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby Sammy Sofa » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:25 pm

Eh; ultimately that's a really long way of saying "Ty Cobb was not as racist or as much of an horsefeathers as you think." I mean, yeah, in a micro sense it's interesting to old timey baseball dorks, and it's obviously not a bad thing to see history corrected via something like Leerhsen's book...buuuuuuuuuuut is it really any kind of deal at all that the relatively few people who give a horsefeathers about Ty Cobb think he was more racist than he actually was?

Like, if anything, it weirdly hurts Cobb's legacy if he's less of a bastard. That people think he was such a remarkable scumbag is pretty much the only reason he's any kind of a widely known historical figure. Amazing stats, sure, but the dustbin of history is piled high with the almost totally forgotten legacies and lives of some of the greatest baseball players of all time. If you save Cobb's reputation, you're kinda just killing him, too.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby Duke Silver » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:26 pm

Usually I'm quick to take sides on any issue, but I still don't know how to handle this "Ty Cobb wasn't so bad" news, since hearing it a year or two ago. I have no idea how to feel.
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Re: Baseball History Thread

Postby OleMissCub » Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:43 pm

Sammy Sofa wrote:Eh; ultimately that's a really long way of saying "Ty Cobb was not as racist or as much of an horsefeathers as you think." I mean, yeah, in a micro sense it's interesting to old timey baseball dorks, and it's obviously not a bad thing to see history corrected via something like Leerhsen's book...buuuuuuuuuuut is it really any kind of deal at all that the relatively few people who give a horsefeathers about Ty Cobb think he was more racist than he actually was?

Like, if anything, it weirdly hurts Cobb's legacy if he's less of a bastard. That people think he was such a remarkable scumbag is pretty much the only reason he's any kind of a widely known historical figure. Amazing stats, sure, but the dustbin of history is piled high with the almost totally forgotten legacies and lives of some of the greatest baseball players of all time. If you save Cobb's reputation, you're kinda just killing him, too.


Thing is, there are NO DOCUMENTED instances of him being racist. There are no documented instances of him doing anything ugly with racial motivation, not by actions or words. This is something that Leerhsen harps on quite a bit in the book, which by the way is a fascinating read and has won tons of awards. He was stunned to not come across anything verifiable about him being a racist. As Leerhsen wrote: "“If you stick to the facts, and not the myth or the assumptions about someone born in Georgia in 1886, it's very hard to make a case for Cobb being racist.”

Quite the contrary actually. His grandfather was a notable Southern abolitionist and had to go into hiding to avoid being killed for it during the Civil War. His father was the most progressive Georgia politician during his time (before famously being killed by his own wife at 42 the day before Ty was called up to the bigs). His father repeatedly put forward legislation to improve black schools (always failed) and broke up multiple lynch mobs, physically putting himself between the black men about to be killed and the mob themselves.

So yes, it does matter because it's unfair to besmirch someone's character for being a racist when there is no evidence that they were (in early 20th century terms).
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