Thursday, November 29, 2012

Game 27

Game 27 of the 1924 Season moved the Indians to a record of 11 and 16, a winning percentage of .497. This put them up 1 to 0 for the series with Portland. George Stueland's time in Seattle was the meat in a Cub sandwich. He started with the team managed by Red Killefer's brother Bill in 1921. He went back there for a handful of games in 1925. George was born on March 2, 1899 in Iowa. He died in Onawa, Iowa in 1964. After baseball, he managed a state park and later was a broom maker. Onawa is on the Nebraska border halfway between Sioux City and Omaha. Like many parts of the Pacific Northwest it has a park dedicated to Lewis and Clark. Stueland had pitched in Sioux City in 1920, making his way to Chicago the next September.


Portland Beaten, 3 to 2, in Extra Inning When New Twirler Smacks Two-Bagger to Left
George Stueland, Seattle's blonde twirler obtained from the Chicago Cubs in the Jacobs deal, found the key to his own troubles yesterday, went to the mound against Portland with only three days of rest, not only pitched the Beavers into submission but also paved the way for his own victory with a slashing double to left center in the tenth inning. Billy Lane scored him with the run that gave the Indians a 3 to 2 victory.

Stueland, who isn't backward about figuring things out for himself by any means, found that in the last four or five innings of every game his control was what it should be. Always it was in the early innings that he was prone to walk men who faced him.

So, before he started yesterday's ball game he commenced to warming up when the Seattle infield took its practice. For twenty minutes before the game started he pitched to Catcher Earl Baldwin. And when thegame started he was ready.

Only two men walked on the new twirler. Cox walked the first man up in the second, paving the way for the first Beaver tally.

McCann walked to start the ninth and eventually scored. BUT MCCANN WAS STRUCK OUT FIRST. Umpire Biff Schaller missed as perfect a third strike as was ever thrown.

Along with that all but perfect control Stueland was effective all the way. Six hits were all he allowed. He struck out six men. Distel three times in a row.

The battling Beavers looked puny, indeed, before such great pitching.

* * * *
Bowman Comes Through
Along with Stueland's fine work Elmer Bowman, the big first sacker, must be mentioned.

Bowman hammered a home run in to the left-field bleachers for the first Indian run. It was the first ball hit into the bleachers this season. It was a line drive that fairly whistled its way into the seats.

In addition, Bowman crashed out two hot singles to left field off the curve ball pitching of Buzz Eckert, the star of the Portland staff.

He pulled two weird throws out of the air, one from Stueland and Daly's swinging bunt in the fifth, the other from Tobin on Poole's sacrifice in the seventh.

The big fellow is beginning to look himself now after a poor start.
Red Switches Things
Manager Wade Killefer switched things all around in his endeavor to break up the Indian losing streak.

Jimmy Welsh went to left field in place of Ray Rohwer. Jimmy got two hits and scored the tying run in the ninth inning.

Ted Baldwin, who is hitting around .400, went into fifth place in the batting order, while Sam Crane was dropped from third to seventh, Bowman from fifth to sixth. Welsh went into Crane's niche.
* * * *

Indians Start Weakly

But even with those changes the Indians started as though yesterday's game was going to be a repetition of those other games of last week when nothing went right for them.

Lane opened with a single and advanced on two infield outs. Eldred walked and stole, but Ted Baldwin failed in his first reponsibility in the second clean-up position.

The Beavers got a run in their half of the second through a walk to Cox. Poole's force-out of the Beaver's centerfielder. Wolfer's infield out and Daly's pop fly which fell just out of reach of Brady and Eldred.

Bowman opened the Indian second with a single but on the hit and run play Eckert's pitch was a fast one at Crane's head and Bowman was thrown out stealing.

For three innings Eckert retired the Tribe in order while Stueland was also buzzing along in nice shape, Poole's double with two out in the fourth being the only scare until Cox doubled in the seventh as lead-off man. Stueland put on more steam here, Tobin took care of Poole's sacrifice and Wolfer and Daly were retired on weak rollers to Brady.

Eldred failed in the pinch after a boot and Welsh's single had put two men on for him in the sixth for the Indians. Baldwin was out in the seventh when Bowman connected for the circuit clout which tied the score.
Poor Umpiring Costly

The Tribe would have won the game in the ninth but for that slip of Biff Schaller when he missed a perfect strike on McCann for the third strike. Stueland walked him on the next pitch.

Stueland again bore down, took care of Miller on a fly to Welsh and fanned Cox. He had fooled Poole with two slow curves and on the third pitch elected to try a slow ball. McCann caught him, however, and stole second standing up. Poole singled to right on the next pitch, a line drive on whiche Eldred might have thrown McCann out had he fielded the ball cleanly.

Welsh dropped a double into left field, advanced on Eldred's infield out and scored when Ted Baldwin came through with a single to center. Bowman followed with another long single to left.

The Beavers pulled a smart play to extricate themselves from that difficulty. Eckert bluffed a play at second on Baldwin, whireled and threw to Poole who had nonchalantly slipped behind Bowman. The big first sacker was caught napping.
* * * *

Stueland and Lane Hit.

Stueland and Lane won the game in short order in the tenth. The pitcher came through with a line double to left center and romped home on Lane's single to the same spot.

Perhaps that finish means the jinx is chased and that the Indians will get going in their real stride again.

The Beavers are here without Tex Gressett and Charlie High, two of their left-handed hitting outfielders. Both men have tonsilitis.

Cox and Miller, who are performing in their places, however, are sturdy hitters and good fielders and it can hardly be said that the Beavers are very much weakened.

In Rabbit Benton and Distel they showed Seattle fans two good looking infielders.......

Friday, November 9, 2012

Recent Presentation on 19th Century Base Ball

Here's the Link to the presentation I gave recently. Whew. I will be getting back to the 1924 Seattle Indians this weekend!
Here's a few things that are discussed

Thursday, October 4, 2012

BBA Awards for 2012

Yay! Its awards time. As a member of the Baseball Bloggers Association, I am presenting my ballot for the American League winners of these awards. A couple of them are really easy.

Connie Mack Award (manager of the year): Bob Melvin
While I think Robin Ventura is a good choice, and certainly as both a Mariners fan and Red Sox hater, I should cast a ballot for former Mariner Bobby Valentine, I have to go with Bob Melvin. It pains me. I didn't think he was given much of a chance here, in Seattle, and its painful to see the A's be so successful year. The way he managed to take that club and juggle it into contention with so many one-run wins, that's managing in my book. That is all about putting people in the right spot at the right time, and keeping a giant sack of egos focused on one goal when they all have other agendas. Hats off to Bob Melvin.

Willie Mays Award (rookie of the year): Let's see, who could possibly be Rookie of the Year? Oh, yeah. I had told all my friends into fantasy sports to draft Mike Trout. I thought the Angels would play him, and I felt he had a chance to have a really good year in that lineup. Of course, he blew up just as Pujols came back to form. I think that was May 7. But Trout, wow. Even if I don't like WAR, the fact that he has one over 9, at 10.7 in the end, as a rookie, or at all, is astounding. He's just a spectacular ball player. He's got a bright future, but if Trout doesn't cut out/down the K's, he's in for a sophomore slump. If he does get more control of that, look for his OPS to climb over 1 next year and for him to move down the lineup in 2 years. As Pujols fades, Trout and Trumbo make a productive 3 and 4 holes for years to come.

Goose Gossage Award (top reliever): Boone Logan
Now, I know the obvious choice is Jim Johnson, and I'm pretty sure he'll win. I was also thinking Balfour deserves consideration, so does Soriano. In fact, there are better setup guys, and one's who had a better year. This may be the only vote Logan ever gets for anything. But, I think we need to start recognize middle relief and setup for the contributions it makes to the game. Consider this vote to be in that direction. Logan appeared in 80 games, winning 7, losing 2, and got 1 save in 4 opportunities, with 3 blown saves. He usually came in during the 7th inning, had 64 runners on base when he got there, and only 23% came in to score. Logan had 23 holds. Nothing glamorous, just solid pitching. But the number that sticks out to me is the large number of games and the number of runners on base. Other good ones I considered like Benoit and Thornton didn't have nearly that number of runners on base when they came in. Logan was putting out fires all year.  There is the obvious argument against making this gesture, that if he were better, he would be closing. I think that misses the point. He's not the closer, Soriano is, well, he's the placeholder really.  Either way, it doesn't matter,  lets evaluate the  pitcher based on effectiveness at function, and the importance of that function within the system that is the pitching staff. Starter and Relievers. If you have a pitcher who is highly effective at coming in the game with runners on and shutting that down, that is as valuable as a closer who starts the ninth and finishes the job. Really, it takes a whole staff anymore, and the setup guys are as important as the closer and starter anymore. Logan was highly effective at keeping the Yankees in games they were on their way to losing. This is very much a paradoxical, quizzical pick. The kind one makes to start an argument. Was Johnson better as a closer than Logan was as a setup man?  I wouldn't argue Logan is a better pitcher, or ever will be. What I will say is Logan had a difficult job, and did it very well. The key here is the large number of games he had a presence in. 80. 45 of the them the Yankees won. In 55 games he pitched on 1 or fewer days rest. He only gave up runs in 16 appearances. I did not take ERA into consideration here. I simply looked at the reliever as a binary form of success, yay or nay. What I see is a pitcher who came into 42 games with runners already on base, and he kept his team in a position to win, and then handed the ball over to the next guy.

Walter Johnson Award (Cy Young): David Price
 22 starts with 7 innings or more pitched and 3 runs or less earned.

Stan Musial Award (MVP): Miguel Cabrera
So the big choice here: do we go with Cabrera's Triple Crown, or take Trout because of his amazing performance in more advanced stats. For me, its easy. Cabrera moved so Fielder could be signed, and whatever he gave up by being at 3rd, he more than made up for at the plate, and yes, he won the Triple Crown. Clubhouse guy giving up his position, and frankly, he did better than expected at 3rd. Now, the Triple Crown. Its more real than the Neuheisel Northwest Championship. Like it or not, baseball is by nature a nostalgia machine. The Triple Crown does mean something. You go to the ballpark, people know what it means, and that counts for something. Fans connect to that. And the history. Look at the names. More than anything this year, this year will always be remembered for Cabrera. That Cabrera did this in the American League is even more amazing. He's a great hitter, and furthermore, where is Detroit without him? Who knows, you can't know. But what you can know is that Cabrera got on base and drove in runs. Really, the two guys are neck and neck, back and forth across various stats. But what I think gives Cabrera the real edge is the number of games in which he contributed to a win. Not a WAR number, but just look at the actual number of games each player was involved in that led to a win. Then look at the total number of games in the year that they actually made an offensive contribution towards.

For me, an important factor in evaluating a player is how many games they actually contribute to offensively, starting with getting to first, next getting a run in any way across the plate. Its a key number, because I like to see the best players contributing to the most games in a season. Is a .400 hitter good if he plays half the games? Well, only if you have him for the right half. Jeter led the AL this year, getting to first base in 146 games, followed by Fielder with 144. Adam Jones was at 141. Cabrera was in the top 10, at 136, Trout is further down the list at 123. Now, this award is for the Most Valuable Player, so I think every game in which you do not contribute should somehow not count towards a positive valuation. I'm sorry, but if you are in less than 75% of your team's games, I don't care how good you are, you're not showing up 25% of the time. If it doesn't, then Mazeroski is the greatest ball player of all time, and Ruth should be remembered for a failed attempt at stealing. The grind matters. Not being there matters. It doesn't matter if its out of your control, being there matters. Yes, that does mean there's only 22 guys in the AL who I would even consider qualified then, but that's life. Its the MVP award after all, it should be a little selective. Of those folks, Cabrera is 2nd in Times On Base with Error included, 1st in Batting Average, 3rd in OBP, 1st in SLG, and first in OPS. First in RBI's. He got on base more than anyone, and he drove in the people he found there as well. More than anyone else. And he had that high level of productivity across a greater number of games than the other people one could consider. Here's a link to the people I considered for this award:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Game 26, Played Sunday, May 4, 1924 (2nd game rained out)

The Seattle Indians played their 26th game of the 1924 season on Sunday, May 4. This was the final game of the fourth series of the year for the Indians, and their second series against the Salt Lake City Bees. The season had started out in Los Angeles against the Angels, followed by a trip to Salt Lake. The Tribe then wandered via train back to Seattle to open their home season against the Sacramento Solons, followed by another home series against Salt Lake. This most recent weekly stretch concluded with Seattle losing 6 to 3 to the visiting Bees. The second game was called in the third inning for rain, thus giving the series win to SLC, 4 games to 2. This put Seattle's record at 11 wins and 15 losses.

Just as a reminder, in the PCL of the 1920s, each team played a week-long series against their respective opponents. Generally, each series would run Tuesday to Sunday, ending the week with a double header. Then Monday was a travel day, with travel at that time meaning by train. Sometimes, depending on circumstances, you'll see a series go into Monday, but that's only if the following series between all teams involves a close distance, like Oakland/San Francisco or Vernon/Los Angeles. Rain-outs were difficult to make up, so winning percentage was a very important factor in determining which team won the League. Generally, each team ended up playing between 195 and 210 games in a given year. After four weeks of play, here's where the Pacific Coast League standings stood.
      Team               Wins       Losses      PCT
San Francisco         19             9            .697
Vernon                    18           10            .643
Salt Lake                14            12            .533
Portland                  14            13           .519
Los Angeles           12            16            .429
Oakland                 12             16           .429
Seattle                    11             15           .423
Sacramento             9              18           .333

For the fourth week, here's the results of each series:
Salt Lake 4, Seattle 2
Portland 5, Sacramento 1
San Francisco 6, Los Angeles 1
Vernon 5, Oakland 2

Where they will play for the fifth week:
Portland at Seattle
Sacramento at Salt Lake
Vernon at San Francisco
Oakland at Los Angeles

If you'll notice the scheduling, its almost like Pac-8 (10? [12]) basketball. A team like Vernon, which is in the Los Angeles area (and had been in a territorial dispute with the Angels over LA that required the intervention of Kennesaw Landis), would travel via train from LA to the Bay Area, play Oakland for a week, then take the short travel to San Francisco. LA would go to SF and Oakland. So its kind of the same travel that UW and WSU will do, going to play UCLA/USC on the same weekend, except the stay is a week at a time.
Sacramento's early season pitching seems to have been a blessing for whatever team faces them. The other thing I noticed is Los Angeles seems to always get clobbered in one side of a Sunday double header. But yes, Sacramento's pitching had caused a surge in the Indians' batting statistics, followed by a decline against Salt Lake. You can see from the compiled weekly stats that Frank Tobin, Brick Eldred, and Ted Baldwin were the main threat the Tribe had to smoke out the Bees. Although, if you look at Ray Rohwer, he was still putting forth close to a .500 OBP for the week, depending on how you look at the sacrifice hits, even if it was only one base at a time. Ted Baldwin's three walks gave him 12 times on base in 22 plate appearances. The sacrifice hit is something I think needs to be looked at more in regard to Wade Killefer's managerial approach. The Indians would sacrifice alot, it was obviously a part of the manager's game. However, I'm not so sure about how the official scorer awarded that and thus it would be hard to formulate an OBP that would calculate the same as today's interpretation of the OBP stat.
In this particular game, which turned out to be the Sunday finale of the series, there was a 'first inning onslaught'. Here's the box, I think the marking of Frederick at LF was wrong. He was a centerfielder and Duffy Lewis was, of course, a great left fielder:

Salt Lake-                   AB  R  H  PO   A   E
Vitt, 3B...................      5    2   2   1     2    0
Frederick, LF (CF?)..   5    1    2   6     0    0
Sheehan, RF............    4     0    2   3     0    0
Lewis, LF................    2     1    0   3     0    0
Leslie, 1B................    5     1    1   7     0    0
LaZerre, SS.............    5     0    2    3    0    0
Pittenger, 2B...........    3     1    1    3    0    0
Peters, C.................     4    0    1    1     1    0
McCabe, P..............     3    0    0    0    2     0
Totals ........                36   6   11   27   3    0
Seattle-                       AB  R  H    PO   A   E
Lane, CF.................     5   0    0     3     0   0
Brady, 2B...............     4   0    1     0     5   0
Crane, SS...............     4   1    1     0     1   1
Eldred, RF..............    4    2    2     1     1   1
Bowman, 1B..........    4    0    1   13    0    0
Rohwer, LF.............   2    0    0     2    0    0
T. Baldwin, 3B.......   4    0    1     3     4    0
Tobin, C..................   4    0   1     5      0    0
Sutherland, P..........    0    0   0     0     0     0
Gregg, P..................    3   0   1     0     4     0
*Welsh....................    1   0   0     0     0     0
Totals ........                35  3   9    27    15    2
*Batted for Gregg in the ninth.
Score by innings:
Salt Lake ...... 5 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 ---- 6
        Hits ...... 5 1 0 1 0 2 1 0 1 ----11
Seattle     ...... 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 ---- 3
    Hits     ...... 3 1 0 0 0 2 2 0 1 ---- 9
Summary: Innings pitched—By Sutherland, nothing
plus. Charge defeat to Sutherland. At bat—Off Sutherland, 3.
Hits batted—Off Sutherland, 3. Runs scored—Off Sutherland, 2.
Runs responsible for—Sutherland 4, Gregg 2, McCabe 3. Struck out--
By Gregg 5. Bases on Balls—Off Sutherland 1, Gregg 3, McCabe 2.
Stolen bases—LaZerre, Frederick. Three-base hit—Frederick. Two-
base hits—Eldred, Bowman, Sheehan, Leslie. Sacrifice hits—Pittenger 2,
Sheehan. Runs batted in—Frederick, Sheehan 2, Pittenger, Peters 2,
Bowman 2, T. Baldwin. Time of game—1:45. Umpires—Phyle
and Schaller.
The days news also featured a story about golf, which I include here because it features Wade Killefer talking about how golfing got him in trouble with Cincinnati and apparently ended his time there. He was traded to the New York Giants along with Buck Herzog for Christy Mathewson, Bill McKechnie and Edd Roush. I'm not sure, but has another player ever been traded for three hall of famers?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Game 25, played May 3, 1924

The Seattle Indians played their 25th game of the 1924 season on May 3, 1924. The game resulted in a 3 to 2 loss for the Indians.

The loss put Seattle down  2 to 3 in the series against Salt Lake, and left the Seattle ball club at 10 wins and 15 losses for the year.

The game featured Ted Baldwin getting the boot from umpire Biff Schaller. Schaller had played some for the 1919 Seattle Indians, when the team returned to the PCL.

Before that, Schaller played for several years with the Seals, and even had some major league experience. He was a backup outfielder for a few games in 1911 with the Tigers, and saw some time in 1913 with the White Sox.  As a total aside, I just noticed that Red Killefer and Bill Lelivelt both played on the 1909 Tigers. Bill is, of course, Jack's brother.

Some other tidbits in the news that day concerned the expensive hands of some PCL fielders, one of whom would prove to be worth quite a bit for Murderers' Row.

While I'm sure most are familiar with Tony Lazzeri, Johnny Frederick had a nice career as well. He finally hit the majors in 1929, joining Tony in New York City, albeit a little further south at Ebbets Field, wearing number 1 for the Brooklyn Robins. He led the NL in doubles with 52 in his rookie year, finishing ahead of the 42 hit by team mate Babe Herman.

Herman, incidentally, was, in 1924, still a year away from a strong year for the 1925 Seattle Indians. Frederick roamed center field between Herman in right that year and Rube Bressler. How many players got to go to work with Babe and Rube?

Curiously enough, Bressler had started out as a pitcher, much like the pitcher who started that day for Salt Lake, Lefty O'Doul. O'Doul and Frederick would be teammates with Brooklyn's outfield corps in 1931, along with Herman and Bressler. O'Doul would hit .368 in 1932, to win the NL batting title. From 1924 to 1932, O'Doul hit, in the PCL: .392, .375, .338, .378; and in the MLB: .319, .398, .383, .336, and .368.

The year O'Doul hit .398, he closed out the season on a 15 game hitting streak in which he batted .462. One more game that year, and he's probably in the Hall of Fame.

In addition, Mike Sexton was visiting Seattle that week. He was the commissioner of the minor leagues, a position he would hold for 22 years, and had been involved during the off season in settling a dispute in the PCL about the control of the Los Angeles market. More on that later during a road trip to Vernon.

That story also mentions the trip Sexton took to see Daniel Dugdale, and references the Duke and Dugdale battery. I'm guessing this is for the 1889 Minneapolis Millers, for whom Dugdale caught and Martin Duke had a banner year, winning 24 games and striking out 347 batters.

As far as Sexton's story about the origin of organized baseball in Rock Island, I found in Baseball Reference a team from 1883 that was independent, and an 1879 team for Davenport. I am guessing this would be a good lead as far as the origin of that Rock Island team. (okay, I kept looking. I found an obituary on Google News Archive. Sexton was born in 1863, and died in 1937. He was President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues from 1908 to 1933. Baseball Reference shows that as 1909 to 1931, which aligns with another story I saw which said he was the head of the minors for 22 years.)
Simply click on the image at left and it should expand to a legible size. I included the scan of the hair gel ad. I presume this was a popular hair style.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Game 24, Friday, May 2, 1924

Reported on Saturday, May 3, 1924.

Speedy Indian Is Death to Bees In Closing Innnings
In their 24th game of the year, the Seattle Indians evened up the week's series against the Salt Lake City Bees with a thrilling 5 to 4 victory in 12 innings. One of the more exciting games of th earlier part of the 1924 season, it brought the overall record for the Indians to 10 wins and 14 losses. Here's the caption for the Aunt Eppie photographs below:
"Aunt Eppie, The Times' big long range camera, caught some real action in yesterday's game between the Seattle Indians and the Salt Lake Bees. In the upper photograph Vitt is out because Cliff Brady thought faster than he did. Vitt was on second when Frederick grounded to the Indian second sacker. Brady juggled the ball, knew Frederick would probably beat his throw to first, so turned and shot the ball to Ted Baldwin, and Vitt, who had turned thrid, was out in a run down. Ted Baldwin to Earl Baldwin to Ted Baldwin. The latter player is catching the ball from his namesake. Sam Crane is backing Ted up and George Stueland with his back to Aunt Eppie is also set to get in the play if necessary. Duffy Lewis is the Salt Lake coacher – while Umpire Phyle also gets into the picture. The lower photograph is a riot scene and as aproof of the fact that Frank Tobin, the tousle-haired athlete in the background, won the argument in question, please note that he has his head up. Ted Baldwinhas entered as a peacemaker along with numerous others and stands between Tobin and his late antagonist, Les Sheehan, whose head is bowed in defeat, as it were. Nobody seems overly excited, but Lefty O'Doul, who got married Monday, can be seen leaving the scene of action. The trouble started when Tobin blocked Sheehan of fthe plate on an attempted double steal. Sheehan lost his head and started kicking. They rose to their feet and Tobin landed with both fists. Then the fight ended."

Regarding the column, here's a partial transcription:

George Stueland pitched unbeatable baseball after the third inning of yesterday's Salt Lake-Seattle battle and the Indians came through with a rally in the twelfth inning that netted them a run and a 5 to 4 victory over the Bees.

Apparently Stueland doesn't get warmed up properly. In his first start against Sacramento he walked three men in the first four innings. In the second game he walked five in the first four. Yesterday, he walked five in the first three. But after those spells of wildness he was pitching well nigh perfect baseball.
His poor start yesterday almost gave the Bees the game. In fact, except for a dropped fly ball by Fritz Coumbe they would have won 4 to 3 in nine innings. Two walks in the second and one in the third were turned into runs for the Bees when Jenkins and Sheehan delivered doubles.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

How many bases does it take to score a run?

Its a simple question, and four is of course the answer. It has been the subject of the research I am doing lately. I presented on the subject today at the Pacific Northwest SABR chapter meeting today. In a basic way, I presented my Total Bases Acquired formula. This is a formula I've devised based on combining offensive elements that have, when simply added together and then divided by games played, at least as high a correlation to team runs scored as OPS.

TBAq/G= [Total Bases + Walks + Hit By Pitcher + Reach on Error + Stolen Bases]/Games Played

Its a relatively simple formula, and quite similar to one Henry Chadwick used called TBA, which was total bases divided by games.

Now, this does not necessarily predict individual runs, but what it does do is predict team runs. Also, you can see with it that any team, by hook or by crook, pretty much that you have to simply produce bases to score runs. Interestingly enough, the more bases you produce, the efficiency with which you produce runs increases. Thus as your bases increase, the number of bases needed to score a run decreases, magnifying the impact of added bases.

Here are the teams in the MLB as of today. First is their runs scored per game, in the third column you'll see their TBAq. In between the two is something I call the Base Efficiency, which is how many bases it takes that team to score a single run. And these are only bases acquired without also creating an out, so a hit, walk, hit by pitch, reaching on error, or stolen base. The BEFF is reached by dividing TBAq and Runs Per Game. Next you see what would have been the expected bases based on their actual runs scored. If there is a negative, that means that team is inefficient in converting their acquired bases to runs. Thus, we could say Washington should have only needed 17.19 bases to produce 3.9 runs per game. However, it took them 18.27 bases, thus as a team, they have to produce more bases than say Toronto in order to score an equal number of runs. It doesn't mean their a good ball club, just that they make do better with what they've got. One thing that is interesting in this year of pitching dominance, is that 66% of teams are under-performing right now in terms of their ability to convert bases to runs (the model I use goes back to 1998). Some of those teams will see their run scoring increase. More than likely, it will be the teams with the high percentage differential as well as being near the top in runs produced. Basically, they have the crude oil needed to produce the gas in the first place, so that will show through.

RUNS BEFF TBAqG exp base diff % diff
2012 WSN 3.90 4.686 18.27 17.19 -1.08 -5.91%
2012 TOR 4.73 4.007 18.95 19.16 0.20 1.07%
2012 TEX 5.25 3.965 20.82 20.38 -0.43 -2.07%
2012 TBR 4.38 4.152 18.19 18.33 0.14 0.78%
2012 STL 4.86 4.118 20.02 19.46 -0.55 -2.76%
2012 SFG 4.03 4.379 17.65 17.50 -0.14 -0.82%
2012 SEA 4.02 4.233 17.02 17.48 0.46 2.72%
2012 SDP 3.37 5.063 17.06 15.94 -1.12 -6.56%
2012 PIT 3.24 4.806 15.57 15.64 0.06 0.41%
2012 PHI 4.29 4.274 18.33 18.12 -0.22 -1.18%
2012 OAK 3.80 4.607 17.51 16.96 -0.55 -3.14%
2012 NYY 4.76 4.325 20.59 19.23 -1.36 -6.61%
2012 NYM 4.52 4.040 18.26 18.66 0.40 2.18%
2012 MIN 4.25 4.314 18.33 18.02 -0.31 -1.70%
2012 MIL 4.31 4.408 19.00 18.16 -0.84 -4.40%
2012 MIA 3.67 4.854 17.81 16.65 -1.16 -6.52%
2012 LAD 4.35 4.195 18.25 18.26 0.01 0.07%
2012 LAA 4.03 4.428 17.85 17.50 -0.34 -1.93%
2012 KCR 3.82 4.678 17.87 17.01 -0.87 -4.84%
2012 HOU 4.25 4.165 17.70 18.02 0.32 1.80%
2012 DET 4.42 4.249 18.78 18.42 -0.36 -1.91%
2012 COL 5.21 3.936 20.51 20.29 -0.22 -1.06%
2012 CLE 4.32 4.262 18.41 18.19 -0.23 -1.22%
2012 CIN 4.41 4.283 18.89 18.40 -0.49 -2.59%
2012 CHW 4.78 3.991 19.08 19.27 0.20 1.03%
2012 CHC 3.69 4.637 17.11 16.70 -0.41 -2.40%
2012 BOS 4.98 3.969 19.77 19.75 -0.02 -0.10%
2012 BAL 4.56 4.225 19.27 18.75 -0.51 -2.65%
2012 ATL 4.66 4.030 18.78 18.99 0.21 1.11%
2012 ARI 4.27 4.409 18.83 18.07 -0.76 -4.03%

Another thing I'm interesting in is strikeouts. Did you know that players will have a higher OPS in games in which they strikeout vs games in which don't. Also, K's are way up the last few years. That K phenomenon shows up in the OPS of players even when you add in hits, like even 1 or 2 hits a game. In fact, its still about even for players in games in which they go 2 for 4 and have a K vs a game in which they go 2 for 4 and have a different kind of out. Some, at the top end have a higher OPS (all are high in that circumstance, since they start with a .500 BA and probably have a walk). What I think this has to do with is a strikeout is evidence of a pitcher advantage. There is no way to measure that advantage until you see it stretched out over 1,500 at bats. In the short term, strikouts don't make a difference, an outs an out. But just as a hit is not a hit, an out is not an out.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

delays delays

Okay, so I haven't posted for awhile. I have been in the throws, the troughs, of research on a separate project. Its a sabermetric thing. Soon, so soon, will I be getting back. But, in the meantime, I will do some quick posts.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Game 23, May 1, 1924

In the 23rd game of the year, the Indians finally saw their fortunes turn around against the pesky Bees. They managed to beat back the "Mormon tossers", as the newsman refers to Salt Lake, 2 to 1. Former Cleveland pitcher Jim Bagby pitched a winning side for Seattle, bringing their record to 9 wins and 14 losses, and put them at 1 win against two losses in the current series.

Game 22, April 30, 1924

Another quick posting here just to get caught up. So in the 22nd game of the year, the second game of the fourth series, the Seattle Indians dropped another one. This time they gave the nameless reporter of the Seattle Daily Times another chance to expound on his idea that to win, you have to hit in bunches. That is, string together hits, move the runners along. And really, that's true. That was the basics of dead-ball strategy, and it goes by different names these days, small ball for instance, but essentially that's baseball. In a nutshell. Of sorts. The Indians out-hit the honeycomb of hitters the Bees brought to the ballpark, but couldn't convert those bases to runs.

This one went down 5 to 3, Salt Lake taking the victory. Looks like from the column description that LaZerre, or Tony Lazzeri as he has become known to history, was picking up his defensive game with a nice throw to home plate. The 60 home runs he would hit next year would be an historic achievement. He would, of course, go on to great things with the New York Yankees. Although that team already had Babe Ruth and Bob Meusel, the team that would be soon known as one of the greatest ever was about to form. Lou Gehrig was playing his first full season of pro ball in Hartford with the Eastern League, and 1924 was the rookie year for Earle Combs. Lazzeri would arrive in 1926 go to 7 World Series in the next 11 years, winning 5. He would mostly bat 5th or 6th. However, he was good enough in 1930 that he replaced Lou Gehrig at cleanup for a few weeks. Well, maybe it was more Gehrig slumping.

So, I digress, now the Indians are once again flirting with the basement, but soon would make their charge.
The starting lineup was the standard in the 1 through 7 holes. Frank Tobin was the catcher and Suds Sutherland pitched for the Indians. Jimmy Welsh picked up another at-bat, pinch hitting for Tobin in the 7th inning, and then Earl Baldwin worked behind the plate to finish out the game for the Indians.
I've included some extra scans below from the front sports page of the Seattle Daily Times for this days reporting. The Times had acquired a nice long range camera that year, and was now able to do really nice photo essays, bringing fans closer to the action. At this time, advances in wireless and wired telegraphy, photography, and printing processes, created what we know today as the mass media. The Times named their camera 'Aunt Eppie', for some reason I don't know. But, as I wrote in a previous posting where they premiered its usage, I believe its related to a character in a comic by Fontaine Fox.
Anyway, here we see reports about French boxer George Carpentier and, below that, a far more important article. If you are interested about the intersection of race and sports in American society, the way the potential Jack Dempsey/Harry Wills fight played out is an education unto itself. You can see in the column there are two conflicting reports.
This story will play out over the summer. But, I should point out, all of these stories have race as an underlying subject. After all, the team is called the Indians. We could almost look at that history as the aspirations of race played out in the dialogue about the integration of baseball while the reality of race played out in the boxing ring. 
Of course, what we need to think about then is what does the competitiveness and the desire to see a good fight by the fans represent something of the character of America? Or the rest of the world? After all, no one denies the exclusionary aspects of racism, but think for a bit about those who integrate, if even for only dollars? The Tex Rickards of the world, or the fans who didn't care as long as the punches being thrown were the best? As we look at history, we must be careful to not overemphasize the negative, because that is simply projection.

The reality is, when Jack Johnson beat Jim Jeffries, it was the people in power who were scared. The match itself happened because the marketplace demanded Johnson's aspirations be fulfilled. Of course, we can't ignore what happened to Johnson afterwards, but lets not forget those events did not occur in the arenas and gambling dens. Racism requires a fixed outcome. The free market doesn't. In a free market, which is of course not freedom, the value of the object being exchanged is simply free to move up and down. Then of course there's the racist free market, but that's another story entirely.

By that I mean, there's the apparent market, but its actually fixed at the outset through advantages that maintain the fixed position which power desires or rather necessitates so that it may continue to exist. I think what we actually see over time in resistance and revolution is the gradual alteration. The exchange price of freedom moves slowly through history, but it moves. Some of these ideas were best expressed by a study that was done starting in 1924 by Robert and Helen Lynd. Remember, its always back to 1924. The results of this study would be published in 1929. The Lynd's focused on Muncie, Indiana. Mainly, they developed the idea that social institutions functioned as buffers which maintained apparent rightness of our social structures.

The institutions, our political parties and machines, churches, schools, social clubs, etc., create a resistance to change.  This, of course, includes the newspapers. Marxist theoreticians had similar ideas. The Middletown studies were seen by Marxists to confirm the views held by Gramsci, and further back, to Engels. Engels idea at the root of this was that there was a false consciousness which functioned to keep the proletariat and working classes from realizing their revolutionary potential. It was this idea, expanded by Gramsci as the concept of ideological hegemony and then elucidated by the Lynd's as social institutional buffers, that attempted to explain why the working classes essentially remained as such. That is, when things didn't change, an explanation was needed to explain the lack of change.
Of course, things did change. It just took a lot longer. Eventually, baseball would have to change. However, when baseball integrated, it also wiped out the Negro Leagues as the best players in those teams gradually integrated into professional minor leagues owned and organized by interests related to Major League Baseball. Then the mere fact of integration became the 'apparent' equality or nature of the system. That freedom had happened. Something else though, African-American ownership of its baseball teams had disappeared. Real integration would have been to include a minority owned team.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Game 21, Salt Lake Bees at Seattle

Well, these things keep taking longer and longer so I am going to just post the next two or three series in full order without the transcriptions of the dailies. I will still scan all the stories and the box scores, and maybe highlight something here and there, and maybe do a few other things to make this run on a little further.

For the 21st game of the season, the Indians welcomed the Salt Lake City Bees to Seattle. The Bees had opened quite the can of Bonneville Park whoop-ass on the Indians. Now, we get to see if the Indians can take advantage of their own home field. As luck would have it, the rain gods were not in Seattle's favor, as they lost 2 to 0 in a rain-out.

As usual, the scribes of sportswriting's golden era had fun with this one, making up a nice little story to go with the rain out.
Seattle's Starting Lineup:
Billy Lane, Center Field
Cliff Brady, Second Base
Sam Crane, Shortstop
Brick Eldred, Right Field
Elmer Bowman, First Base
Ray Rohwer, Left Field
Ted Baldwin, Third Base
Earl Baldwin, Catcher
Wheezer Dell, Pitcher

George Steuland came into the game in the fifth to run for Wheezer Dell. Dell was replaced on the mound by Vean Gregg. George Cutshaw then batted for Gregg, and Jimmy Welsh batted for Earl Baldwin. Then the rain was just too much. Read the Salt Lake part of the box score, some pretty legendary names there.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Okay, almost back into the swing

Well, I've been doing a bunch of research on leadoff hitting. Trying to get that in order. I am almost ready to go back and continue transcribing the 1924 Indians season. In the meantime, here's the 1948 Cleveland Indians in the World Series