ghost of miles

Play ball! 2019 MLB season thread

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Steve Wallace's Yogi piece.  Good research, good writing...

A while back I had occasion to look over Yogi Berra’s career stats and noticed something for the first time which shocked me a little: in his long and storied career, he never led his league in a single offensive category. That’s not to take anything away from him, but I just assumed a player that great would have led in something – maybe doubles or sac flies or RBI – at least once.

Because he looked funny and sounded so funny, a lot of people don’t get how great Berra was as a player, they just think he’s famous because he played for the Yankees and said all those goofy things. But to me, he’s still the easy pick as the greatest catcher ever to play, and it’s not real close. He won 3 MVP awards, a record for catchers equalled by Roy Campanella during the same era. But Berra was more consistent than Campy, who had a habit of alternating monster seasons when he won the MVP with average ones. Berra also finished in the top 4 in MVP voting four other times. Think about that for a second. That means that professionals who watched him play every day went on record to say he was one of the best 4 players in the AL 7 times – that has to carry some weight. Then there’s the 10 World Series rings, also a record for a player, and the most important one there is. Joe D is next with 9, and obviously some of those were the same rings. It’s universally accepted that great teams have great catching and Berra was the catcher for the greatest team in history. Case closed.

He wasn’t the best at any one thing. There were catchers who played better defense or threw better, catchers who had more power (though not many) and catchers who were better all-around hitters. I doubt any catcher was ever any smarter or better at handling pitchers. But Yogi combined all the things a catcher had to do with a really productive bat and he did it longer and better than anyone else.

Anyway, it turns out I shouldn’t have been so surprised that Yogi never led his league in any hitting category. I looked into a bunch of other really good catchers who played a long time and very few of them did either. Basically, I learned three things. One, the rigours of the position and all the nagging injuries make it really hard for a catcher to lead his league in even one batting category. Two, the list of really good-hitting catchers is a short one, maybe 20 guys, and their long suit is usually power. And three, if a catcher is going to lead his league in anything, it will be grounding into double plays (GIDP), because they’re usually so slow.

Other terrific catchers who never led their league in any hitting stat include Pudge Rodriguez, Yadier Molina, Bob Boone, Thurman Munson, Bill Dickey, Jorge Posada, Benito Santiago, Mike Piazza (maybe the best hitting catcher of them all) and quite a few others. Well………….. Piazza, Pudge and Santiago each led the league in GIDP once, but that’s a negative thing. Posada did it twice and Ernie Lombardi, maybe the slowest player ever, did it 4 times. Gabby Hartnett, one of the best NL catchers ever, led his league once – in strikeouts. Carlton Fisk was one of the best ever and ked the league once – in being hit by pitches.

 

Basically, it comes down to a few catchers who have been offensive leaders, even just a few times.

 

They’ve won just seven batting titles, and it was four guys. Joe Mauer won three (an amazing accomplishment in itself), Ernie Lombardi won two, Buster Posey won one and so did an old-timer named Bubbles Hargrave way back in 1926, the first to do so.

Mickey Cochrane won two MVPs and led the league once in OBP. Gary Carter was no slouch – he led the NL in RBI and sacrifice flies once, but also in GIDP once. Campanella led the NL in RBI once.

Apart from the three batting titles, Mauer also led his league in OBP twice, and in slugging, sac flies and OPS once, all between 2006 and 2012. The most dominant guy was Johnny Bench, who led the NL in RBI and sac flies three times, homers twice, and total bases and intentional walks once, all from 1970-74. Because of injuries and wear-and-tear, he wasn’t able to sustain his dominance after that, but for five years there he established a peak level that was the highest for a catcher ever. But Yogi was great for 11 years as a full-time catcher, 1949-59.

The most surprising fact I discovered is that Tim McCarver, who caught even longer than he’s yakked on TV – 1959-1980 – led the NL in triples in 1966 with 13. I’m not sure but I’d bet money he’s the only catcher to do that. It’s a good bet that no catcher ever led the league in stolen bases, that just doesn’t compute.

Getting back to Yogi, I’m no Yankees fan but if I was choosing players for an imaginary all-time great team, he’d be my second pick behind Honus Wagner. Any team with Yogi on it would win a lot and laugh even more. It’s a hard combination to beat.

As to what catchers might do as the game changes, who knows? As Yogi said once (maybe) – “Never make forecasts, especially about the future.”

1 minute ago, Dan Gould said:

Nice but in this day and age of expert pitch framing, you do notice a catcher who is doing his job.  I'm surprised he doesn't compare a tired bassist to a first-string catcher whose bat inevitably tires out in August/September.

Good thought!  I'll let him know.

I wonder what the Strike-Calling-Robo-Ump is going to change about pitch-framing.  That skill will be minimized, I'd think.

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7 minutes ago, Dan Gould said:

I'm surprised he doesn't compare a tired bassist to a first-string catcher whose bat inevitably tires out in August/September.

You mean when it gets hot outside?

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23 minutes ago, Ted O'Reilly said:

There's something about both jazz and baseball that links them

Yeah, Ken Burns.

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1 hour ago, JSngry said:

You mean when it gets hot outside?

I mean when the grind of squatting/catching/all the travel seems to catch up to catchers.  Catchers put in so much time with pitchers its hard to maintain their batting.

At least that was Jason Varitek's excuse for each one of his late season hitting swoons.

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" I wonder what the Strike-Calling-Robo-Ump is going to change about pitch-framing.  That skill will be minimized, I'd think. "

Ted, I just read an article about the Atlantic League two days ago, and it said that pitch framing meant nothing to the robot umpire.  A waste of effort.

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Posted (edited)

On 8/7/2019 at 3:43 PM, Ted O'Reilly said:

Steve Wallace's Yogi piece.  Good research, good writing...

A while back I had occasion to look over Yogi Berra’s career stats and noticed something for the first time which shocked me a little: in his long and storied career, he never led his league in a single offensive category. That’s not to take anything away from him, but I just assumed a player that great would have led in something – maybe doubles or sac flies or RBI – at least once.

Because he looked funny and sounded so funny, a lot of people don’t get how great Berra was as a player, they just think he’s famous because he played for the Yankees and said all those goofy things. But to me, he’s still the easy pick as the greatest catcher ever to play, and it’s not real close. He won 3 MVP awards, a record for catchers equalled by Roy Campanella during the same era. But Berra was more consistent than Campy, who had a habit of alternating monster seasons when he won the MVP with average ones. Berra also finished in the top 4 in MVP voting four other times. Think about that for a second. That means that professionals who watched him play every day went on record to say he was one of the best 4 players in the AL 7 times – that has to carry some weight. Then there’s the 10 World Series rings, also a record for a player, and the most important one there is. Joe D is next with 9, and obviously some of those were the same rings. It’s universally accepted that great teams have great catching and Berra was the catcher for the greatest team in history. Case closed.

He wasn’t the best at any one thing. There were catchers who played better defense or threw better, catchers who had more power (though not many) and catchers who were better all-around hitters. I doubt any catcher was ever any smarter or better at handling pitchers. But Yogi combined all the things a catcher had to do with a really productive bat and he did it longer and better than anyone else.

Anyway, it turns out I shouldn’t have been so surprised that Yogi never led his league in any hitting category. I looked into a bunch of other really good catchers who played a long time and very few of them did either. Basically, I learned three things. One, the rigours of the position and all the nagging injuries make it really hard for a catcher to lead his league in even one batting category. Two, the list of really good-hitting catchers is a short one, maybe 20 guys, and their long suit is usually power. And three, if a catcher is going to lead his league in anything, it will be grounding into double plays (GIDP), because they’re usually so slow.

Other terrific catchers who never led their league in any hitting stat include Pudge Rodriguez, Yadier Molina, Bob Boone, Thurman Munson, Bill Dickey, Jorge Posada, Benito Santiago, Mike Piazza (maybe the best hitting catcher of them all) and quite a few others. Well………….. Piazza, Pudge and Santiago each led the league in GIDP once, but that’s a negative thing. Posada did it twice and Ernie Lombardi, maybe the slowest player ever, did it 4 times. Gabby Hartnett, one of the best NL catchers ever, led his league once – in strikeouts. Carlton Fisk was one of the best ever and ked the league once – in being hit by pitches.

 

 

 

Basically, it comes down to a few catchers who have been offensive leaders, even just a few times.

 

 

 

They’ve won just seven batting titles, and it was four guys. Joe Mauer won three (an amazing accomplishment in itself), Ernie Lombardi won two, Buster Posey won one and so did an old-timer named Bubbles Hargrave way back in 1926, the first to do so.

Mickey Cochrane won two MVPs and led the league once in OBP. Gary Carter was no slouch – he led the NL in RBI and sacrifice flies once, but also in GIDP once. Campanella led the NL in RBI once.

 

Apart from the three batting titles, Mauer also led his league in OBP twice, and in slugging, sac flies and OPS once, all between 2006 and 2012. The most dominant guy was Johnny Bench, who led the NL in RBI and sac flies three times, homers twice, and total bases and intentional walks once, all from 1970-74. Because of injuries and wear-and-tear, he wasn’t able to sustain his dominance after that, but for five years there he established a peak level that was the highest for a catcher ever. But Yogi was great for 11 years as a full-time catcher, 1949-59.

 

The most surprising fact I discovered is that Tim McCarver, who caught even longer than he’s yakked on TV – 1959-1980 – led the NL in triples in 1966 with 13. I’m not sure but I’d bet money he’s the only catcher to do that. It’s a good bet that no catcher ever led the league in stolen bases, that just doesn’t compute.

 

Getting back to Yogi, I’m no Yankees fan but if I was choosing players for an imaginary all-time great team, he’d be my second pick behind Honus Wagner. Any team with Yogi on it would win a lot and laugh even more. It’s a hard combination to beat.

 

As to what catchers might do as the game changes, who knows? As Yogi said once (maybe) – “Never make forecasts, especially about the future.”

Good thought!  I'll let him know.

I wonder what the Strike-Calling-Robo-Ump is going to change about pitch-framing.  That skill will be minimized, I'd think.

Very interesting on Yogi, et al. No one leading the lead in anything....of course, anyone writing on catchers, always, ALWAYS forgets.... Ted Simmons.

Had the bad luck to play when Johnny Bench also played...and Simmons played on a bunch of mediocre teams in the STL. Was Johnny Bench a better catcher? sure, offensively and defensively, but  Bench have been the best catcher (defensively) ever. Ted Simmons did stuff Johnny never did though, like hit .300. (7 times, and hit .332 once, 1975 , he was only behind Bill Madlock, .354) Both were basically done at the age of 33, at least being elite players.

I know no one cares about RBI's anymore, but Simmons has (a few) more than Bench (1389 to 1376) . More Rbis than HOF'ers Dwight Evans, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Mize, Mike Piazza, Carlton Fisk, Ron Santo, etc, etc, etc..

Simmons never struck out more than 51 times in a season either. Was certainly the best switch hitting catcher of all time, and I would argue he was in the top 10 of switch-hitters all time.

and, what am I forgetting? Oh yeah , he was a Mother____ing Catcher!!!! get this, would they do this to ANY catcher today? in 1973, he played in 161 games! I know, he didn't catch 'em all for sure , but still, 161 games as a catcher, 1st baseman, or a pitch hitter. In St. Louis, on astroturf that could get up to 120 degrees. In fact, from 1972 to 1978, Simmons was in at least 150 games each season.

Simmons had 2472 hits. How many catchers had more? 1. Ivan Rodriguez (and like Piazza, he may have had a little help from steroids, or HGH, Simmons drug of choice? Cigarettes)

but whenever the best catchers are mentioned, Simmons isn't....it's a damn shame.

   
Edited by BERIGAN

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18 hours ago, BERIGAN said:

Very interesting on Yogi, et al. No one leading the lead in anything....of course, anyone writing on catchers, always, ALWAYS forgets.... Ted Simmons.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

but whenever the best catchers are mentioned, Simmons isn't....it's a damn shame.

   

Berigan, I sent your reply to Steve, and he's replied, via email to me...  (Don't shoot the intermediary!):

Yeah, he’s right, I totally forgot about Simmons, but thought about him later along with a few other guys. Without a doubt, he was one of the best-hitting catchers of all time, and he walked more than he struck out, which you have to like. But he never led his league in anything either, which surprised me. Well, like a lot of other catchers, he led  in GIDP once, but that’s a negative.

 

Simmons was universally admired as a hitter but I get the definite sense that he left a lot to be desired as a receiver – defense, throwing, handling pitchers, blocking the plate, etc. Also that he was somewhat polarizing in the clubhouse, not very disciplined. That may have been partly a racist perception as Simmons, known as “Simba”, was part, if not all, Native American. Baseball is hardly immune to that sort of thinking.

 

When Whitey Herzog took over the Cardinals in 1981 he soon came to the conclusion that he’d have to get rid of Simmons, he just didn’t think he could win with him behind the plate. Herzog dealt for Darrell Porter and Gene Tenace to do the catching, which set up a huge trade between the Cards and Brewers in February of 1981. The Brewers got Simmons, Rollie Fingers (by way of the Padres) and pitcher Pete Vukovich, and the Cards got outfielders Sixto Lezcano, David Green, and pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint. At first it looked lopsided for the Brewers, but Herzog was that happy to be rid of Simmons. In truth it helped both teams, who faced each other in the 1982 Series, the Cards coming out on top in seven.

 

This guy [Berigan} makes the point that Simmons played on a bunch of mediocre St. Louis teams in the ‘70s, which is true – sort of. I would make the point that catchers are very impactful and if Simmons was that good the Cardinals wouldn’t have been so mediocre. Or to put it another way, he was part of the reason for that mediocrity. To underline that, as soon as they got rid of Simmons, they became a winning team in the ‘80s, with pennants in 1982, ’85, and ’87. To be fair, it wasn’t just Simmons, they made a lot of moves. I think Ted Simmons was a terrific hitter playing out of position – he should have been an outfielder – he ran pretty well - or a first baseman. I should have remembered him, though.

 

Feel free to pass this on to Organissimo if it doesn’t break any rules.

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Steve has since had additional/second thoughts, Berigan...

I may have been a bit unfair to Ted Simmons earlier. In 2001, Bill James ranked him #10 all-time among catchers, which is impressive. James also said Simmons was underrated defensively early in his career, mainly because he came up at about the same time as Johnny Bench and like every other catcher then he suffered in comparison. He did develop defensive issues later on though, in particular throwing. Remember, the mid-seventies to mid-eighties were a time when there was a lot of speed and base-stealing, so not throwing well was a problem. I think that’s mainly why Herzog got rid of him – Whitey was obsessed with running on offense and stopping it on defence. Also I think Simmons was a bit “modern” and “independent” in his outlook to suit a hard-ass like Herzog. I’m going to edit the Yogi blog to include Simmons – he deserves to be there, my oversight.

Steve Wallace got back to Yogi, in a way...  (Ex-catcher/manager Buck Martinez calls the Toronto Blue Jays on TV, as you may surmise here):

On a Jays telecast the other day Buck Martinez told a funny story about Charlie Silvera, who was the backup catcher to Yogi Berra with the Yankees 1948-56.  Talk about being the ultimate caddy, his sole function was to give Yogi a day off every once in a while so he didn’t get to play much. It was a pretty cushy setup though, because he got to cash a World Series winner’s cheque like everybody else – in 1949- 53, and 1956. I looked him up, and the most at-bats he ever had in a season was 130 in 1949. He was adequate defensively and hit for a decent average - .282, but had zero power, hitting 1 homer in his whole career. In spring training of 1957 the Yankees traded him to the Cubs and as Buck told it, Silvera was dejected at the news. He was sitting slumped over in front of his locker and Mickey Mantle tried to cheer him up – “Charlie, this is great for you, you’ll get to play a lot more games.” And Charlie said, “Mick, I can’t play more games!” And he was right – after 26 games and 53 at-bats with the Cubs that year, he called it quits at 32.

 

I doubt if there was ever a player so marginal who got to experience more glory and cash more WS cheques than Silvera.

 

 

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19 hours ago, BERIGAN said:

Very interesting on Yogi, et al. No one leading the lead in anything....of course, anyone writing on catchers, always, ALWAYS forgets.... Ted Simmons.

Had the bad luck to play when Johnny Bench also played...and Simmons played on a bunch of mediocre teams in the STL. Was Johnny Bench a better catcher? sure, offensively and defensively, but  Bench have been the best catcher (defensively) ever. Ted Simmons did stuff Johnny never did though, like hit .300. (7 times, and hit .332 once, 1975 , he was only behind Bill Madlock, .354) Both were basically done at the age of 33, at least being elite players.

I know no one cares about RBI's anymore, but Simmons has (a few) more than Bench (1389 to 1376) . More Rbis than HOF'ers Dwight Evans, Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Mize, Mike Piazza, Carlton Fisk, Ron Santo, etc, etc, etc..

Simmons never struck out more than 51 times in a season either. Was certainly the best switch hitting catcher of all time, and I would argue he was in the top 10 of switch-hitters all time.

and, what am I forgetting? Oh yeah , he was a Mother____ing Catcher!!!! get this, would they do this to ANY catcher today? in 1973, he played in 161 games! I know, he didn't catch 'em all for sure , but still, 161 games as a catcher, 1st baseman, or a pitch hitter. In St. Louis, on astroturf that could get up to 120 degrees. In fact, from 1972 to 1978, Simmons was in at least 150 games each season.

Simmons had 2472 hits. How many catchers had more? 1. Ivan Rodriguez (and like Piazza, he may have had a little help from steroids, or HGH, Simmons drug of choice? Cigarettes)

but whenever the best catchers are mentioned, Simmons isn't....it's a damn shame.

   

Dwight Evans never made the HOF.  Damn good outfielder but not in the hall.

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Posted (edited)

Aaron Judge promises to hit home run for elderly fan in wheelchair (whom he'd gone over to greet because said fan, a retired Los Angeles school teacher, is the father of a Yankee bullpen coach), then delivers.  :)

 

 

Edited by ghost of miles

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Judge is heating up.  Stanton should be back soon...hopefully ready to contribute.  Starting pitching remains a concern.  Severino?  All things considered, it's a wonderful day in the neighborhood.  

Speaking of Judge, if you haven't seen this video, it's pretty funny:

 

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47 minutes ago, Dave James said:

Judge is heating up.  Stanton should be back soon...hopefully ready to contribute.  Starting pitching remains a concern.  Severino?  All things considered, it's a wonderful day in the neighborhood.  

Speaking of Judge, if you haven't seen this video, it's pretty funny:

 

Saw that shortly after it aired back in 2017.  Judge is genuinely likable, unlike, say, Derek Jeter, whom I loved and admired as a player, but who even in his glory years struck me as a cold and somewhat prickly dude at heart.  

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Season of the juiced-up ball: the Twins have already broken the season record for most HRs by a team that the Yankees set just last year. The Yankees hit 74 HRs in August, shattering the previous record for most HRs by one team in a single month (58). And with Mike Ford’s 10th HR today, NY has tied the record they set last year of most players on a team with 10 or more HRs (12). 

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On 8/12/2019 at 0:29 PM, Ted O'Reilly said:

Berigan, I sent your reply to Steve, and he's replied, via email to me...  (Don't shoot the intermediary!):

Yeah, he’s right, I totally forgot about Simmons, but thought about him later along with a few other guys. Without a doubt, he was one of the best-hitting catchers of all time, and he walked more than he struck out, which you have to like. But he never led his league in anything either, which surprised me. Well, like a lot of other catchers, he led  in GIDP once, but that’s a negative.

 

 

 

Simmons was universally admired as a hitter but I get the definite sense that he left a lot to be desired as a receiver – defense, throwing, handling pitchers, blocking the plate, etc. Also that he was somewhat polarizing in the clubhouse, not very disciplined. That may have been partly a racist perception as Simmons, known as “Simba”, was part, if not all, Native American. Baseball is hardly immune to that sort of thinking.

 

 

 

When Whitey Herzog took over the Cardinals in 1981 he soon came to the conclusion that he’d have to get rid of Simmons, he just didn’t think he could win with him behind the plate. Herzog dealt for Darrell Porter and Gene Tenace to do the catching, which set up a huge trade between the Cards and Brewers in February of 1981. The Brewers got Simmons, Rollie Fingers (by way of the Padres) and pitcher Pete Vukovich, and the Cards got outfielders Sixto Lezcano, David Green, and pitchers Lary Sorensen and Dave LaPoint. At first it looked lopsided for the Brewers, but Herzog was that happy to be rid of Simmons. In truth it helped both teams, who faced each other in the 1982 Series, the Cards coming out on top in seven.

 

 

 

This guy [Berigan} makes the point that Simmons played on a bunch of mediocre St. Louis teams in the ‘70s, which is true – sort of. I would make the point that catchers are very impactful and if Simmons was that good the Cardinals wouldn’t have been so mediocre. Or to put it another way, he was part of the reason for that mediocrity. To underline that, as soon as they got rid of Simmons, they became a winning team in the ‘80s, with pennants in 1982, ’85, and ’87. To be fair, it wasn’t just Simmons, they made a lot of moves. I think Ted Simmons was a terrific hitter playing out of position – he should have been an outfielder – he ran pretty well - or a first baseman. I should have remembered him, though.

 

 

 

Feel free to pass this on to Organissimo if it doesn’t break any rules.

Don't shoot the intermediary

Heh, if that's not the title of some book/song/movie...it should be! ;) thanks for passing it on to Mr. Wallace.

 

 

Quote

This guy [Berigan} makes the point that Simmons played on a bunch of mediocre St. Louis teams in the ‘70s, which is true – sort of. I would make the point that catchers are very impactful and if Simmons was that good the Cardinals wouldn’t have been so mediocre. Or to put it another way, he was part of the reason for that mediocrity. To underline that, as soon as they got rid of Simmons, they became a winning team in the ‘80s, with pennants in 1982, ’85, and ’87. To be fair, it wasn’t just Simmons, they made a lot of moves. I think Ted Simmons was a terrific hitter playing out of position – he should have been an outfielder – he ran pretty well - or a first baseman. I should have remembered him, though.

 

well, perhaps Ted Simmons and the Cardinals would have been a better team if...perhaps...they didn't trade Jerry Reuss away after the 1971 season, when he was 22. (220 wins, almost 3700 innings, but hey, they got back Lance Clemons and Scipio Spinks. !)

someone else that brilliant GM traded away(don't even know his name, probably shouldn't look it up as I would want to put a curse on him EDIT: Looked him up, Bing Devine, who have certainly heard of, and had a hand in the Cards winning 3 W.S. in the 60's, how did he turn into a terrible GM the 2nd time around?

who am I forgetting? another pitchers the Cards traded away, that very same offseason. Oh yeah, STEVE CARLTON!!!!! I wonder if those 2 young, left handed starters would have helped Ted be better? :P

I'm glad Mr Wallace did some more checking on Simmons...I do recall reading that  Bill James had praise for Simba. I have also heard everyone from Keith Obermann, to Tim Kurkjian  write that Simmons should be in the hall...I also read somewheres the horrible (in my book) Whitey Herzog has had a hand in keeping Simmons from getting voted in by the veterans committee .

Simmons, may, may have been doing drugs, that was one excuse given in trading away another favorite of mine, Keith Hernandez (and Gary Templeton as well) Darrell Porter had quit by the time the Cards traded for him (he sadly died of a drug overdose years later)

so hard to judge anyone , least of all catchers, towards the end of their careers. Gary Carter was a great defensive catcher, but really didn't seem all that good by the time his career was ending...

 

hey, who could ever get enough Ted Simmons talk  eh?

found this link while trying to see If I could find where I read ol' Whitey was keeping Simmons from the Hall... very interesting read....still feel he underrates Simmons defense....sad there isn't a way to watch full games from the 70's and 80s (sure, earlier too) to see if folks like me are looking thru rose colored glasses a bit...I just don't recall him not being excellent at blocking balls in the dirt, later on in his career.

https://www.cooperstowncred.com/will-ted-simmons-ever-make-hall-fame/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by BERIGAN

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On 8/12/2019 at 1:35 PM, jazztrain said:

Dwight Evans never made the HOF.  Damn good outfielder but not in the hall.

Damn! I sure thought that error had been rectified! I must have dreamed that it happened.

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I think you can consider the Gary Templeton for Ozzie Smith trade a win for St. Louis... Templeton was never that great with the Padres.

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Yelich fractures kneecap on foul ball, out for remainder of season. :(

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28 minutes ago, jlhoots said:

Yelich fractures kneecap on foul ball, out for remainder of season. :(

Sorry for your guys and him but maybe this helps the Cubs sneak back to the playoffs. They just have the worse luck right now for injuries themselves.

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1 hour ago, Dan Gould said:

Sorry for your guys and him but maybe this helps the Cubs sneak back to the playoffs. They just have the worse luck right now for injuries themselves.

I have a friend who is a huge Cubs fan, who says they're (the Cubs) in "beginning of the end" mode.

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5 hours ago, Matthew said:

I think you can consider the Gary Templeton for Ozzie Smith trade a win for St. Louis... Templeton was never that great with the Padres.

eventually, I had to of course agree. Ozzie was as good as you can be as a SS.  but for a few years, Templeton was one of the most exciting players in the game. from 1977-79, he lead the league in triples. In 1979 he lead the league in hits, and I think he was the first switch hitter to get 100 hits from each side of the plate..Flipping off the STL fans sealed his doom there....bad knees seemed to turn him into an all glove no hit guy with S.D.

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1 hour ago, jlhoots said:

I have a friend who is a huge Cubs fan, who says they're (the Cubs) in "beginning of the end" mode.

saw the end of their game in S.D. 3 walks after a single, for a walk off walk...just don't know how they can do it now losing Baez. Of course, Cards looked beyond terrible for most of the season, still a little time for the cubs...didn't know they are holding the 2nd wild card position as of today....most amazing team to have a change for the Wild card? the Diamondbacks. Traded away Paul Goldschmidt , lost Patrick Corbin to free agency, and traded Zack Greinke  away a month ago, yet only 2 1/2 games back in the W.C. race!

3 hours ago, jlhoots said:

Yelich fractures kneecap on foul ball, out for remainder of season. :(

for some reason, I think of him as a left handed Joe Dimaggio....He may still win the MVP....

buy hey, sure was smart of the Marlins to trade away their young , all star outfield cuz...umm, they wouldn't be the powerhouse team they are now. The braves, Mets, Nats, Phils will be better than them for at least the next 5 years....and even when they get decent, why would any fans bother to show up, knowing they will just trade away anyone that becomes good in short order? they should just move the team to Vegas now, but they won't

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10 hours ago, BERIGAN said:

Don't shoot the intermediary

Heh, if that's not the title of some book/song/movie...it should be! ;) thanks for passing it on to Mr. Wallace.

 

 

 

well, perhaps Ted Simmons and the Cardinals would have been a better team if...perhaps...they didn't trade Jerry Reuss away after the 1971 season, when he was 22. (220 wins, almost 3700 innings, but hey, they got back Lance Clemons and Scipio Spinks. !)

someone else that brilliant GM traded away(don't even know his name, probably shouldn't look it up as I would want to put a curse on him EDIT: Looked him up, Bing Devine, who have certainly heard of, and had a hand in the Cards winning 3 W.S. in the 60's, how did he turn into a terrible GM the 2nd time around?

who am I forgetting? another pitchers the Cards traded away, that very same offseason. Oh yeah, STEVE CARLTON!!!!! I wonder if those 2 young, left handed starters would have helped Ted be better? :P

I'm glad Mr Wallace did some more checking on Simmons...I do recall reading that  Bill James had praise for Simba. I have also heard everyone from Keith Obermann, to Tim Kurkjian  write that Simmons should be in the hall...I also read somewheres the horrible (in my book) Whitey Herzog has had a hand in keeping Simmons from getting voted in by the veterans committee .

Simmons, may, may have been doing drugs, that was one excuse given in trading away another favorite of mine, Keith Hernandez (and Gary Templeton as well) Darrell Porter had quit by the time the Cards traded for him (he sadly died of a drug overdose years later)

so hard to judge anyone , least of all catchers, towards the end of their careers. Gary Carter was a great defensive catcher, but really didn't seem all that good by the time his career was ending...

 

hey, who could ever get enough Ted Simmons talk  eh?

found this link while trying to see If I could find where I read ol' Whitey was keeping Simmons from the Hall... very interesting read....still feel he underrates Simmons defense....sad there isn't a way to watch full games from the 70's and 80s (sure, earlier too) to see if folks like me are looking thru rose colored glasses a bit...I just don't recall him not being excellent at blocking balls in the dirt, later on in his career.

https://www.cooperstowncred.com/will-ted-simmons-ever-make-hall-fame/

On behalf of Steve Wallace, Berigan

"... interesting comments and thanks. Whether Herzog interfered or not, I don’t really see ted Simmons as a Hall-of-Famer. It wouldn’t be a total injustice if he was in there, but there are a lot of really good players from that time who didn’t make it either. Al Oliver, Keith Hernandez, Amos Otis, Ron Cey, Kent Hrbek, Ken Singleton, Jack Clark, and on and on."

And I (O'Reilly) will add that Curt Flood might qualify in his own way, too...  If Marvin Miller, why not Flood?

Edited by Ted O'Reilly
addition

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