Author Topic: I surrender—let the NL have the DH  (Read 714 times)

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Offline EasyAce

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I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« on: February 07, 2019, 02:05:03 PM »
If the Cubs survived (and finally won a World Series playing) night ball, the National League can handle the DH. Seriously.
By Yours Truly
https://throneberryfields.com/2019/02/06/i-surrender-let-the-nl-have-the-dh/


They once said, “There’ll sooner be night games at
Wrigley than the DH in the NL,” didn’t they? Well,
now . . .


There was a time you would think the world would implode if the National League adopted the designated hitter, as the American League did in 1973 and as the Major League Baseball Players Association wants the National League to do soon. And some people still believe it. Well, there was also a time (and a rather noisy contingency arguing either way) when you would have thought the world would implode if the lights finally went on at Wrigley Field, which they did on 8 August 1988.

You still may find Cub fans who think that was a date equal in infamy only to the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, the Chicago Fire, or the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots. The only thing in Chicago infamous about the night the lights went on at Wrigley was the game between the Cubs and the Phillies being rained out before the fourth inning was finished.

Surely there were enough Cub traditionalists who believed the rains were God expressing His displeasure, as if decades of losing baseball with only the occasional rude interruption were worth the preservation of the great daytime at the Friendly Confines. All the rainout did was delay the inevitable. The following night, the lights went on at Wrigley Field again. And the Cubs beat the Mets, 6-4.

That and the world failing to implode on cue was the good news. The bad news was that the presidential campaign, the Preppie vs. Zorba the Clerk, continued apace. Little by little, from that day forward, Cub Country began assimilating the idea that some traditions weren’t worth keeping if they secured other distasteful traditions—like losing baseball. They finally won their first World Series since the Roosevelt Administration (Theodore’s) at night, too.

“Lovely, just lovely. The park is lovelier than my team,” Mets manager Casey Stengel said when he saw Shea Stadium for the first time. Cub fans finally figured out that their ballpark was lovelier than their team even under the lights. And maybe National League traditionalists are figuring out that the designated hitter isn’t the spawn of Satan, after all.

Sure it’s fun when Madison Bumgarner hits those home runs every couple of blue moons, the way he did twice on Opening Day once. But as NBC Sports’s Craig Calcaterra reminds us, Bumgarner’s lifetime slash line as a hitter is .183/.228/.313, with a 54 OPS+. If you think the Giants pay Bumgarner for the seventeen home runs he’s hit in ten major league seasons, hurry up before you miss the Orioles moving back to St. Louis.

Oho, but the NL’s lack of a DH “adds value to guys like Bumgarner and Kershaw and Scherzer who are good at all of baseball, not just part of it,” says one tweeting responder to Calcaterra’s reminder. “And it also adds strategy to the late innings.”

If Bumgarner’s batting slash line indicates he’s good at “all” of baseball, then I’ve been learning about law enforcement from Bonnie and Clyde. Clayton Kershaw’s batting slash is .163/.209/.188 with a 14 OPS+. Max Scherzer’s lifetime slash is .194/.227/.220 with a 22 OPS+. All you have so far is Bumgarner out-slugging two fellow pitchers, as well as batting lines like that indicating that none of the three is good at all of baseball. And they're only being paid to be good at one thing which is a full-time job.

The late-inning strategic argument now makes as much sense as trying to put out a factory fire with water pistols. For longer than you might care to think, managers haven’t been lifting as many pitchers as once upon a time for pinch hitters; assuming their incumbents and their defenses are getting the jobs done otherwise, the managers have been going to the bullpens to begin late innings, and they’re going to pinch hitters for other than pitchers (depending on the depth of their position playing roster) more often.

Incidentally, pitchers overall in 2018 batted .115. Those who think bringing the DH to the National League would reduce it to the “kiddie league” they think the American League is with it should ponder Thomas Boswell: “It’s fun to see Max Scherzer slap a single to right field and run it out like he thinks he’s Ty Cobb. But I’ll sacrifice that pleasure to get rid of the thousands of rallies I’ve seen killed when an inning ends with one pitcher working around a competent No. 8 hitter so he can then strike out the other pitcher. When you get in a jam in the AL, you must pitch your way out of it, not ‘pitch around’ your way out of it.”

Did you know that the first three World Series after the American League adopted the DH were played without it? It didn’t show up in the Series until 1976, when baseball decided all Series games would feature a DH. The Mustache Gang Athletics won the 1973 and 1974 Series (and the ’73 Series was closer than even its seven-game length suggests: the A’s scored only three runs more than the Mets); the Reds beat the Red Sox in the 1975 thriller.

Then came the 1976 Series with Dan Driessen, the Reds’ first baseman, as the National League’s first-ever designated hitter. He did that job for all four games of the Big Red Machine’s sweep of the revived Yankees. (He did it well enough to post a 1.152 OPS for the Series—second only to Series MVP and Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.) The Series featured the DH for all until 1986, when it was applied strictly in the American League park. Red Sox pitcher Bruce Hurst looked so inept trying to bat in Game One of that Series (in Shea Stadium, and Hurst struck out in all three plate appearances) that even the umpires fought not to laugh too hard.

Another question is why on earth would you care to risk a pitcher being injured while swinging a bat or running the bases? Stop laughing and remember Adam Wainwright. In his seventh game of 2015, in late April, Wainwright popped his Achilles tendon . . . while batting. He lost the rest of that season, the Cardinals lost the division series to the Cubs, and he’s never been the same pitcher since that he was before the injury.

Stop laughing and remember Chien-Ming Wang. He looked like a Yankee mainstay in the making, until a 2008 interleague game against the Astros, before the Astros were moved to the American League. Wang reached base as a batter and was rounding for home on a subsequent play when he tore the lisfranc ligament in his right foot.

He missed the rest of the season and never again looked like the pitcher who was the fastest Yankee to reach fifty pitching wins since Ron Guidry. His injury-pockmarked-from-there career ended in 2016, after three more major league teams tried to revive him and failed. But boy wasn’t it fun to see one of those American League pitchers have to run the bases and play real baseball!

(Don’t even think about uttering “Shohei Ohtani.” The Angels never let him bat on the days he pitched last year, and they never let him pitch on the days they plugged him into the lineup as the DH. Ohtani is an outlier, albeit an extremely talented one who earned his Rookie of the Year award.)

Sandy Koufax’s Hall of Fame career was shortened by elbow arthritis when he was, well, not at his peak but about ten dimensions beyond it. Do you remember how that arthritis made itself manifest after who knew how long it merely festered in gestation? It started in August 1964—on the bases. On a pickoff attempt. (I looked it up for you: Koufax only once ever tried to steal a base and was caught red handed, and probably red faced.)

If you remember how futile Koufax was with a bat in his hands overall, you’d think the idea of him on base at all, never mind trying to pick him off, was tantamount to sending Willie Mays out to pitch a no-hitter. When Koufax scrambled back (he was safe), he made a perfect four point landing on his elbows and knees, jamming his left elbow a little. Two starts and wins later, he awoke to a pitching elbow the size of his knee. Career days numbered, even if nobody realised it in the moment.

Koufax, Wainwright, and Wang are just three examples. You can also remember Randy Johnson’s career finish—four mere relief appearances in 2009 with the Giants. Until he made those, Johnson spent about a third of that season on the disabled list with a torn rotator cuff—incurred while he was batting. Was that the way you wanted to see a great pitcher mosey off into the proverbial sunset of a Hall of Fame career?

Sure, we all had a blast when Bartolo Colon, then a Met, bombed James Shields into the left field seats in 2016, in San Diego, for Colon’s first major league home run. It was a laugh and a half of pleasure watching Colon run the bases like a cement truck with a flat inner rear tire, and watching the Mets empty the dugout before he arrived after touching the plate.

It was such a blast we almost forgot Colon was 43 years old, in his nineteenth major league season, in only his 226th lifetime at-bat since he spent the big bulk of his career in the American League. His lifetime slash: .084/.092/.107, and an OPS+ of minus-45. And I didn’t notice the Mets in any big hurry to have him grab a bat and starting loosening up to pinch hit in the wild card game they lost that year.

You’ve probably heard it said often enough that American League teams with the DH can put what amounts to an extra leadoff hitter into the number nine batting lineup slot. Why would it be so terrible for National League teams to do that? Especially since sliding in an extra leadoff hitter might move the line appropriately enough for them to slide an extra potential run producer into the number two slot?

America is a country that has had growing pains enough in its comparatively young life that several traditions have died to no regret. Some died very hard, though die they must. (We fought a civil war over one of them.) Some died over longer and more cumulatively painful times, though die they must. Enough of them absolutely had to die and we are by and large better for that. The question to ask of tradition is not whether tradition qua tradition is to be preferred, it’s whether there are those traditions that are hazardous to a nation’s core principles or a game’s health.

Baseball’s had some growing pains, too. There was once a time when the nation and some of the game’s leading figures thought the home run would destroy the game. Ty Cobb and John McGraw objected to its impediment (so they alleged) to “scientific baseball.” (Which didn’t stop McGraw from nurturing and turning Hall of Famer Mel Ott loose when that National League home run king came under his wing and of age.) Ring Lardner once said the advent of the live ball and the home run ruined baseball for him far more than the Black Sox scandal could.

There was once a time when baseball feared such things as broadcasting, night ball (and remember, again, how long the Cubs held out against it), and shifting franchise locations would be the end of the game as we know it.

They thought free agency would make the game competitively imbalanced, too. As if the game was in perfect competitive balance when the Yankees won all those 20th Century reserve-era pennants and there were only two exceptions to New York World Series winners (the 1957 Braves, the 1959 Dodgers) during the 1950s.

The National League has held out against the DH about as long as the Cubs once held out against night ball. (The Cubs actually started planning night ball before Pearl Harbour and the world war to come compelled then-owner Phil Wrigley to send the planned lights and support structure materials away on behalf of the war effort.) And like the Cubs and their faithful regarding the lights, the DH in the National League won’t inflict  curved spines, hairy hands, or erectile dysfunction.

Baseball suffers more profound compromisings. Things like tanking teams. Things like hitters obsessed with launch angles. Things like hitters and coaches un-obsessed with busting the shifts by thinking about hitting into the wide-open spaces even (especially?) when there’s a no-hitter in the making against them. (You’re fool enough to leave that wide open a space for me when your guy’s pitching a no-hitter, you’ve bought your own busted no-no.) Things like the so-called “unwritten rules” to which too many players keep clinging. (I say again: you want to play baseball like businessmen, wear three piece suits on the field.)

The Opening Day Bumgarners and the Twilight Zone Colons are the extremely rare exceptions, not the rules. What would you prefer, really, the thrill that appears as frequently as Halley’s Comet; or, the thrills that come every day from men doing their proper jobs for nine innings or more, without risking losing one of them to injuries doing things they’re not being paid to do? (Speaking of thrills, I’m sure even die-hard National League fans weren’t immune to those provided by David Ortiz, to name one, for several postseason Red Sox conquerors.)

“We try every way we can think of to kill this game, but for some reason nothing nobody does never hurts it,” said Sparky Anderson, once upon a time. The sun will still rise, the moon will still shine, the flora will still bloom, the fauna will still roam, and life as we know it will go ever onward, even when the National League accepts reality and the designated hitter.
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Offline GrouchoTex

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2019, 02:25:06 PM »
I admit, when the Astros first moved from the National League to the American League, I was upset.
It wasn't real baseball.
They've taken away a strategic element, since the managers do not have those tough late inning decision to make.
You know the drill, tied game, seventh inning, your pitcher is doing well.
Do take him out for a pinch hitter?
If the hitter doesn't get on or move runners, and your relief corps isn't up to snuff, now what?
etc, etc.....

Now that I've watch the American League play more often, I'm okay with the DH.
There are still defensive, base running, and pitching substitutions (or not) at critical moments.

You've made a good case about the health of pitchers, but we have to remember, the rotation when I was growing up was a 4 man rotation, not so very long ago.
(Then again, it was a while ago. Father time has a funny way of manipulating the clock).
This may have played a greater role in the pitcher's longevity more so than how many at bats a pitcher had throughout his career.

Once again, a fine job @EasyAce.
Thank you.

« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 02:26:27 PM by GrouchoTex »

Offline skeeter

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2019, 02:53:02 PM »
How about the proposal to start each extra inning with a runner on second? There's a doozy.

Offline Bigun

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2019, 02:56:37 PM »
Nope!!!

Offline EasyAce

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 02:58:11 PM »
You've made a good case about the health of pitchers, but we have to remember, the rotation when I was growing up was a 4 man rotation, not so very long ago.
(Then again, it was a while ago. Father time has a funny way of manipulating the clock).
This may have played a greater role in the pitcher's longevity more so than how many at bats a pitcher had throughout his career.
I think the real reason behind longer pitching careers in the four-man rotation era is that until the 1960s pitchers didn't throw even half as hard as they've since come to throw. The torque of throwing that hard takes at least as much toll as that taken by throwing certain pitches whose grips put a stress on the forearms or elbows, especially dependent on whether you throw straight overhand, three-quarters, or sidearm/submarine.

One reason Warren Spahn had such a long career (He'll never get into the Hall of Fame---he won't stop pitching, Stan Musial once said about him) is that he never was a truly hard thrower. (Nolan Ryan is a kind of outlier when it comes to hard throwers with long careers.) His fastball couldn't break a sheet of paper and he lived on the screwball, which he figured out how to throw without putting stress on his arm. His most famous quote should give you a hint: Hitting is timing. Pitching is destroying timing. You don't have to throw hard to destroy a hitter's timing, you merely marry your arm to your brain. How else could pitchers like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who didn't throw hard at all pitch as long as they did (and into the Hall of Fame while they were at it)? Randy Johnson didn't have to push it throwing those hard dancing sliders and look how long his career lasted. Tom Seaver had a long career and while he did have a live fastball (If you don't want to stop you better know that I throw harder than you, you old fart, he once hollered at Bob Gibson at the plate, after he knocked Gibson down following a Gibson brushback), his real secret was pitching with 65 percent his legs. The leg driving he learned from Rube Walker kept most stress off his arm and shoulder.

But thanks for the kind words! I'm pretty sure others will have me burned at the stake as a heretic, but oh well . . .

Denny McLain was one of the hardest throwers in the pitching business. And it took a toll on him. All those innings pitched especially in his back-to-back Cy Young Award seasons (and especially his 31-game winner) and by 1970 his shoulder was trying to resign its commission. Within two years---dead and gone.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 03:02:55 PM by EasyAce »

Offline Bigun

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 03:01:48 PM »
I think the real reason behind longer pitching careers in the four-man rotation era is that until the 1960s pitchers didn't throw even half as hard as they've since come to throw. The torque of throwing that hard takes at least as much toll as that taken by throwing certain pitches whose grips put a stress on the forearms or elbows, especially dependent on whether you throw straight overhand, three-quarters, or sidearm/submarine.

One reason Warren Spahn had such a long career (He'll never get into the Hall of Fame---he won't stop pitching, Stan Musial once said about him) is that he never was a truly hard thrower. (Nolan Ryan is a kind of outlier when it comes to hard throwers with long careers.) His fastball couldn't break a sheet of paper and he lived on the screwball, which he figured out how to throw without putting stress on his arm. His most famous quote should give you a hint: Hitting is timing. Pitching is destroying timing. You don't have to throw hard to destroy a hitter's timing, you merely marry your arm to your brain. How else could pitchers like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who didn't throw hard at all pitch as long as they did (and into the Hall of Fame while they were at it)? Randy Johnson didn't have to push it throwing those hard dancing sliders and look how long his career lasted.

But thanks for the kind words! I'm pretty sure others will have me burned at the stake as a heretic, but oh well . . .

Denny McLain was one of the hardest throwers in the pitching business. And it took a toll on him. All those innings pitched especially in his back-to-back Cy Young Award seasons (and especially his 31-game winner) and by 1970 his shoulder was trying to resign its commission. Within two years---dead and gone.

The world is full of guys who thought they could live in the big leagues throwing heat. The guys who actually managed to do that for any period of time you can count on one hand and have a finger or two left over.

Offline Hoodat

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 03:06:54 PM »
The DH and Astroturf are the devil.
If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.

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Offline Polly Ticks

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 03:09:31 PM »
Good article.  I hate the DH, but the article is good. 
Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. -Yogi Berra

Offline Hoodat

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 03:10:59 PM »
I think the real reason behind longer pitching careers in the four-man rotation era is that until the 1960s pitchers didn't throw even half as hard as they've since come to throw.

Walter Johnson didn't throw hard?  Rube Wadell?
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Offline Jazzhead

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 03:44:09 PM »
Great article, as always, @EasyAce ,  but it will be a shame when the DH comes to the NL.    Baseball as a sport appeals to the cerebral,  and one of its joys as a spectator is to play along with the manager the chess match that occurs in the late innings when he's gotta decide between letting his pitcher bat and that runner in scoring position.   The game is rapidly losing these chess-match type moments; there are fewer stolen bases and sacrifice bunts, and soon, inevitably, the union will flex its muscles to make sure there are jobs for aging Dr. Strangegloves.   

I will rue the day.     
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Offline EasyAce

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2019, 03:49:53 PM »
Walter Johnson didn't throw hard?  Rube Wadell?
They threw fast, but you don't always have to throw a fastball that good that hard. If you've got the speed naturally, you don't have to pump it to get the ball to the plate fast.

Remember---one of the turnarounds to Sandy Koufax's career came in spring 1961, when a teammate and a scout figured out two things: 1) His windup pulled him back far enough that at his natural release point he couldn't see half the strike zone; and, 2) he didn't have to try throwing the ball through a wall to throw the lamb chop past the wolf, as they used to say. In his next exhibition game, when he got into early trouble, his catcher Norm Sherry went to the mound and told him to take something off the next fastball. After Koufax escaped the jam, Sherry told him, "Sandy, I don't know if you realise this, but when you didn't try to throw it so hard your fastball got to the plate a lot faster." It also helped turn his curve ball into a virtuoso weapon; without trying to throw it hard, Koufax's curve was voluptuous and more effective.

Offline EasyAce

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2019, 03:55:07 PM »
Great article, as always, @EasyAce ,  but it will be a shame when the DH comes to the NL.    Baseball as a sport appeals to the cerebral,  and one of its joys as a spectator is to play along with the manager the chess match that occurs in the late innings when he's gotta decide between letting his pitcher bat and that runner in scoring position.   The game is rapidly losing these chess-match type moments; there are fewer stolen bases and sacrifice bunts, and soon, inevitably, the union will flex its muscles to make sure there are jobs for aging Dr. Strangegloves.   

I will rue the day.   
I get your point, but anyone who thinks the DH has eliminated the chess matches hasn't really been paying attention to the game. It isn't the DH that reduced the running game or the sacrifice; its been hitters up and down the lineup (and coaches fool enough not to show them otherwise) worried more about their "launch angles" than just hitting the damn ball to wherever.

P.S. When Dan Driessen of the Reds became the first National League DH in the 1976 World Series (where the DH was used on both sides), he was an ancient . . . 24 years old. The idea of the DH being an aging Dr. Strangeglove is really a kind of canard. The DH has been remarkably without regard to a player's age, by and large.

I'd be way more alarmed about the revival of artificial turf. Which I think will be going into the Rangers' soon-to-be-built new ballpark.

Offline Bigun

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2019, 04:01:22 PM »
Professional baseball, like all other forms of Pro "sports" is no longer a game. It is a business driven by statisticians and bean counters and I, for one, HATE that with every fiber of my being!

Offline GrouchoTex

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 04:54:39 PM »
I think the real reason behind longer pitching careers in the four-man rotation era is that until the 1960s pitchers didn't throw even half as hard as they've since come to throw. The torque of throwing that hard takes at least as much toll as that taken by throwing certain pitches whose grips put a stress on the forearms or elbows, especially dependent on whether you throw straight overhand, three-quarters, or sidearm/submarine.

One reason Warren Spahn had such a long career (He'll never get into the Hall of Fame---he won't stop pitching, Stan Musial once said about him) is that he never was a truly hard thrower. (Nolan Ryan is a kind of outlier when it comes to hard throwers with long careers.) His fastball couldn't break a sheet of paper and he lived on the screwball, which he figured out how to throw without putting stress on his arm. His most famous quote should give you a hint: Hitting is timing. Pitching is destroying timing. You don't have to throw hard to destroy a hitter's timing, you merely marry your arm to your brain. How else could pitchers like Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine who didn't throw hard at all pitch as long as they did (and into the Hall of Fame while they were at it)? Randy Johnson didn't have to push it throwing those hard dancing sliders and look how long his career lasted. Tom Seaver had a long career and while he did have a live fastball (If you don't want to stop you better know that I throw harder than you, you old fart, he once hollered at Bob Gibson at the plate, after he knocked Gibson down following a Gibson brushback), his real secret was pitching with 65 percent his legs. The leg driving he learned from Rube Walker kept most stress off his arm and shoulder.

But thanks for the kind words! I'm pretty sure others will have me burned at the stake as a heretic, but oh well . . .

Denny McLain was one of the hardest throwers in the pitching business. And it took a toll on him. All those innings pitched especially in his back-to-back Cy Young Award seasons (and especially his 31-game winner) and by 1970 his shoulder was trying to resign its commission. Within two years---dead and gone.

Several pitchers come to mind, having their power derived from their legs.
Billy Wagner is one that I saw regularly in Houston, who had strong legs.

Offline GrouchoTex

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 04:56:17 PM »
The DH and Astroturf are the devil.

Astroturf, I can go along with 100% being evil.
Being from the home of it, I am sure glad the Astros play on grass now, as well as the Texans.

Offline GrouchoTex

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 05:01:26 PM »
Professional baseball, like all other forms of Pro "sports" is no longer a game. It is a business driven by statisticians and bean counters and I, for one, HATE that with every fiber of my being!

I don't know.
Arguing who's the best of all time at this or that position, stats are usually the facts used to make the point.

When I was about 10, my mother hollered at me, "You can remember the stats of a 3rd string, 3rd baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but you can't remember to take out the trash.
I started to tell her the the Pirates didn't have a 3rd string 3rd baseman, but I thought it would be better if I just took out the trash.

Offline GrouchoTex

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 05:03:00 PM »
@EasyAce

Wasn't Spahn, at one time, in a 3 man rotation?

Offline EasyAce

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 05:03:13 PM »
Several pitchers come to mind, having their power derived from their legs.
Billy Wagner is one that I saw regularly in Houston, who had strong legs.
It was standard procedure on Met pitching staffs when Rube Walker was their pitching coach; Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, just about all the pitchers the Mets developed in those years had the leg drive. (If any developed arm or shoulder trouble---as happened to Gary Gentry---it came for other reasons.) And if I remember right, Whitey Ford was as much a leg as arm pitcher. So was Ford's fellow Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, driving low off his leg with that wide sidearm throwing style he had.

Offline Bigun

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #18 on: February 07, 2019, 05:03:50 PM »
I don't know.
Arguing who's the best of all time at this or that position, stats are usually the facts used to make the point.

When I was about 10, my mother hollered at me, "You can remember the stats of a 3rd string, 3rd baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but you can't remember to take out the trash.
I started to tell her the the Pirates didn't have a 3rd string 3rd baseman, but I thought it would be better if I just took out the trash.

LOL!  Wise move I would say. 

Offline EasyAce

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2019, 05:09:09 PM »
@EasyAce

Wasn't Spahn, at one time, in a 3 man rotation?
Not really. That myth comes from the old doggerel, "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain." Those Boston Braves actually had a four-man rotation: Spahn, Johnny Sain, Bill Voiselle, and John Bickford. The 1950 Braves looked like they had a three-man rotation (Spahn, Sain, and Bickford), but swingmen Bob Chipman, Johnny Antonelli, and Normie Roy were the fourth man in the rotation at various times on the season, with Chipman getting sixteen starts to lead that group.

Offline EasyAce

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2019, 05:14:31 PM »
I don't know.
Arguing who's the best of all time at this or that position, stats are usually the facts used to make the point.
Statistics plus factors like parks and the general condition of the game as it was played. You have two .300 hitters, let's say. One played in the era before night baseball, one played in the night ball era where his games were two thirds or more at night. You can argue based on that that the guy hitting .300 in the night ball era was arguably better than the guy hitting .300 strictly in daylight because even with the stadium lights (and sometimes because of it) it's harder to hit at night, especially with the kind of power pitching in the night ball era that wasn't as widespread in the strictly day-ball era. You look at the entire game and its conditions.

When I was about 10, my mother hollered at me, "You can remember the stats of a 3rd string, 3rd baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but you can't remember to take out the trash.
I started to tell her the the Pirates didn't have a 3rd string 3rd baseman, but I thought it would be better if I just took out the trash.
At least your mother had an idea about the Pirates at all.

My mother would have thought not only that the Pirates had a third stringer at third but that he was probably on Captain Bligh's crew.


Offline Cyber Liberty

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2019, 07:40:08 PM »
No.
I will NOT comply.
                                                                            
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Offline Polly Ticks

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2019, 10:39:43 PM »
I don't know.
Arguing who's the best of all time at this or that position, stats are usually the facts used to make the point.

When I was about 10, my mother hollered at me, "You can remember the stats of a 3rd string, 3rd baseman of the Pittsburgh Pirates, but you can't remember to take out the trash.
I started to tell her the the Pirates didn't have a 3rd string 3rd baseman, but I thought it would be better if I just took out the trash.

As both a baseball fan and a mother, I'd say you made the wise choice.
Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. -Yogi Berra

Offline Polly Ticks

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Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too. -Yogi Berra

Offline SZonian

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Re: I surrender—let the NL have the DH
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2019, 11:05:03 PM »


Pitchers need to have more "skin" in the game, make 'em bat.
Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.


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