The DMB All Time League
| Base Ball With A
Welcome, the 19th Century!
Cal McVey, Ross Barnes and Lip Pike stood in a loose group, swinging new lumber lazily in the air. Each hefted the bat, felt the number of hits within the glorious branch, and smiled a reflection of the sun on a green diamond. Al Spalding, Candy Cummings and Cherokee Fisher came striding up, tossing immaculate white orbs up and down in questing grips searching for sudden release. Little Davy Force came scampering with a glove nearly as big as he, and with the excitement of springtime, cried out: "Didja ever think? Huh? This is gonna be fun!"
The 19th Century Player Set will be made available at our Yahoo! Group site, and at all the usual sites we use for the league. Also make sure you read the write-up on the 19th Century Set on the Player Values page -- it's important. I hope you enjoy bringing these players onto the emerald diamond once more.
ATL Memorial Player!
The end of 2005 brought sad news to the baseball world, and special sympathies go out to all Baltimore Orioles fans. Elrod Hendricks, longtime Orioles catcher, coach and fan-favourite, died at age 64. The All Time League will honour his contribution to Baseball with his inclusion into our league player database. The normalization process for the Ellie Hendricks player was done by John Mortimer. Ellie enters the ATL as a Free Agent during the last week of the 2006 Exhibition Season. May he play on a World Champion Team once again.
For a nice read of what Ellie meant to Baltimore Baseball, check out this article by the Baltimore Sun. The URL is here, but I also have reproduced the article whole just in case the newspaper removes or changes the URL:
Elrod Hendricks: 1940-2005
Longtime beloved Oriole dies at 64
Affable Baltimore sports figure had 'a smile for everybody'
By Jeff Zrebiec, Peter Schmuck, Nicole Fuller
Originally published December 22, 2005Elrod Hendricks, an affable and beloved sports figure in Baltimore who spent 37 of his 45 seasons in professional baseball in an Orioles uniform as a player or coach, died last night.
Hendricks would have turned 65 today.
Orioles executive vice president Mike Flanagan, a friend of Mr. Hendricks', confirmed the death but didn't want to comment until he had notified other members of the organization.
Mr. Hendricks died at Baltimore-Washington Medical Center in Glen Burnie, hospital spokeswoman Allison Eatough told the Associated Press. She did not know the time of death.
Acting Lt. Will Bethea of the Anne Arundel County Fire Department told the news service that the department received a report at 8:17 p.m. of an unconscious man at the BWI Marriott hotel in Linthicum. A department ambulance took the man to the medical center, he said.
Washington Nationals manager Frank Robinson, a Hall of Fame outfielder who played alongside Mr. Hendricks and later managed teams that Hendricks coached, told The Sun last night: "You can't do justice to the man. You can say nice things about him, but you can't do him justice. He was such an outstanding individual and outstanding baseball person. He had a kind word for everybody and a smile for everybody."
Reached at his home last night, Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos declined to comment, saying he needed to get his thoughts together first.
Mr. Hendricks, known for his quick wit and smile, dressed as Santa Claus at the Orioles' Christmas party Monday and delivered gifts to children from economically disadvantaged areas in Baltimore.
Before putting on the Santa suit, he talked about how much he enjoyed the annual Christmas party where he interacted with kids and served them lunch.
Hendricks, who had a minor stroke in mid-April, also said he felt great health-wise, but joked that at "age 65, you always wake up with different aches and pains."
Mr. Hendricks suffered the stroke during the final game of a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in mid-April. He missed 19 games while recovering, and when he returned to the Orioles' clubhouse, he said he had gained a new perspective after the health scare.
In early October, Mr. Hendricks said that he had gotten a clean bill of health from his doctor.
He was named bullpen coach after the 1977 season, during Earl Weaver's first stint as Orioles manager, and was reassigned in October as club officials cited concerns about his health.
Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo said at the time that it was "probably the hardest decision" he has ever had to make.
"I consider Elrod one of my best friends," Mr. Perlozzo said in October. "Elrod is someone we love dearly, and we want to make sure he is going to be OK."
Mr. Perlozzo couldn't be reached for comment late last night. Mr. Hendricks' role with the organization for next season was undecided, but the club was hoping he would continue as team ambassador. Mr. Hendricks routinely spent the hours before the first pitch meeting fans, posing for pictures and singing autographs.
He said Monday that he was not looking forward to being out of uniform during games.
"I know no other way," he said Monday. "This spring, when I got sick, I didn't like watching the games on television, so I can't imagine this would be any better. At least right now, I am thinking of not watching or listening to the games. We'll see what happens. But it is going to be difficult."
Last season was Mr. Hendricks' club-record 37th in an Orioles uniform and 28th as bullpen coach. Since 1968, when Hendricks joined the organization as a catcher, he had been with the Orioles for all but 1 1/2 of 37 seasons.
"He touched an awful lot of people both on and off the field," Robinson said. "He was a tremendous ambassador for the game of baseball and for the Orioles. He cannot be replaced. No one was like him. No one is going to be like him after this.
"When he came over to the Orioles, everybody told me he was the Babe Ruth of Mexico. I don't know about that, but nobody could throw a fastball by him. He was a tremendous asset when we won our world championships. He was a good friend. I'm stunned. I send my condolences to Merle and his family."
Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer, a former teammate said: "We all are stunned. Elrod's Elrod. All the great things the franchise has accomplished, he has been a part of. ... What's not like about Elrod? He always had a smile on his face.
"Unfortunately, that's part of growing older. You get robbed of your good friends and compatriots. Elrod is the kind of guy who made it all worthwhile. Not only because of what he did for the Orioles, but also in the community. He was a great goodwill ambassador. He was kind of a rock."
Rick Dempsey, a current Orioles coach and former teammate of Mr. Hendricks', said: "I'm pretty shocked. We thought that Elrod was out of the woods and that everything was going to be OK. I talked to people who saw him this morning and said he looked great. With Pat Kelly leaving because of a heart attack and now Elrod, what next? This organization has just been through hell. It's just been one thing after another.
"He's been kind of a mentor for all of us. He's been there and seen so much and done so much. Even when I came back to the Orioles, I looked to Elrod for advice about everything with the ballclub. He was such a good man. This is a sad day for the Orioles. It really is."
Mr. Hendricks, a catcher who was born in the Virgin Islands, spent 12 seasons in the major leagues, including 10 1/2 with the Orioles. He played in more than 100 games in each of the Orioles' pennant-winning seasons from 1969 through 1971.
The Orioles drafted him from the California Angels' Triple-A affiliate in 1967 after Hendricks had played for Mr. Weaver in Puerto Rico.
Mr. Hendricks broke into professional baseball in 1959 and made his major league debut with the Orioles in 1968. He played in 711 games - including 658 with the Orioles - before retiring in 1979.
Mr. Hendricks was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame on Aug. 26, 2001.
"All my rewards come from being in this uniform," he said the day he was inducted. "This is a bonus and something I never expected. The rewards I've gotten from this game far outweigh what I've put into it. For me, this is icing on the cake."
Mr. Hendricks filled in as manager twice in 1988, when Robinson was away from the time. Mr. Hendricks interviewed in 1994 for the managerial job after Johnny Oates was fired. The position went to Phil Regan.
Mr. Hendricks is survived by his wife of 35 years, Merle; their sons, Ryan, 33, and Ian Christopher, 29; and four children from Mr. Hendricks' previous marriage, Abegail, 43; Elrod Jr., 41; Elroy, 40; and Berecia, 38.
Issue 48, The Season Opener!
The Sophomore Season is finally here! The off-season saw quite a shakeup of owners and franchises, but the ATL comes into its second season with a roar of controversy and the vigor of a strong league seeking identity.
Phew! That was a mouthful, but not of my special chaw. Enough of that, we have some games to play! Time to bring our attention to the green diamond before us, and under blue skies cheer on the home team against all comers. So as the players take infield practice let me prognosticate just a little. I think the entire Union League will be hotly contested, all three divisions. I don't subscribe to the theory that the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Newark Eagles are a lock to repeat, and I don't think there are any bad teams. It all depends on which way the ball bounces, and whether or not the Owner is on his toes. If the Owner is flat-footed in regards to lineups, rotations, substitutes and trades . . . well then, there is no greater weakness than that. The players will give their all every game --it is up to the Owner to use that potential properly. But if you press me for predictions, I will predict this: Division Winners in the Union League will be Washington, Detroit & Orix. In the Legends League I am picking: Oakland, Cincinnati & Baltimore. OK, so I went for some dark horses this year -- somebody's gotta do it!
Issue 49, Ah! The First Stats of the Season!
Nothing like having baseball stats to peruse with your morning coffee. Ah, that's the life of a baseball fan. The more stats, the better, and if they happen to be of a team I can control, even a fantasy team as we have, well then, I can spend endless moments comparing and contrasting and deciding and tweaking. Ah, baseball!
The first series is over and we have lots of surprises of all types for everyone! After countless sims run by countless owners, now we have the only stats that matter -- and we are able to watch them unfold as the season progresses. What more can anyone ask for?
Issue 50, Records Are Made to be Broken!
Nothing like having baseball stats to peruse with your morning coffee. Oh, wait, I opened last issue like that. But, hey, it's even better now that there are more games to put into stats!
Here's a stat for you, Ted Williams started the season off by hitting a home run in each of his first four games. He hit 5 homers, to be exact. After 8 games he has 8 homers, but he missed putting one out of the park on game #5, or #8 for that matter. So he gets stopped at four in a row to start the season. Looks like he's going to make up for his relatively poor showing last year.
Sandy Koufax was given a poor scouting report in the pre-season, but he currently sits atop the strikeout list with 21 K's. He's 2-0 so far, with a shutout and a 1.69 ERA.
In the "What a Difference a Year Makes" Department, Bingo DeMoss, traded to more teams than anyone else in the ATL, seems to have finally found a home. After 8 games for Houston Bingo's batting a cool .500, with 7 extra-base hits, including 4 Triples, 10 Runs, 12 RBI and 2 Stolen Bases. As expected, his fielding has been flawless. Bingo!
Issue 51, The Team Buses Are Rolling!
"There'll be two buses leaving the hotel for the park tomorrow. The two o'clock bus will be for those of you who need a little extra work. The empty bus will leave at five o'clock." Those words were spoken by then Milwaukee Brewers Manager, Dave Bristol. The players on some ATL teams are hearing very similar words . . . and the rest of the teams? Well, I don't know what magic words they are listening to, but this is what they're reading!
The Base Ball Beat!
Tex Slazenger & Coming Home!
King Cole & Monarchs Base Ball
Shakey McGuiness & Iron City Base Ball
Questionmark & Mid-April Power Rankings
Sayonara Shuto & Which Way to the Pennant?
Issue 52, Ahoy Matey! Prepare to be Boarded!
The ATL 2005 World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates are ravaging the Legends League Central. At 13-3 they are 11 games in front of the Cincinnati Reds, and 9 games past the Toronto Blue Jays -- after only 16 games! They are taking no prisoners, and piling up the treasure! However there's another silouette on the horizon, and its that of the Cubs of Chicago. The Denizens of the Windy City think the best defense against Pirates may be Charlie Hough's (3-0, 1.04) knucklball, and an equal number of tallies in the W column. At 13-3 the Cubs and Pirates next 4 games are against the hapless Reds and Blue Jays respectively. The entire season for the Central Division may be decided in this early April set. Can the Jays & Reds pull out of their nose dives? Can Muggsy McGraw (.339/.438/.500) set the table for a Reds comeback? Can Ernie Whitt (.333/.391/.500) provide the leadership necessary to change course for the Jays? Or will Rogers Hornsby (.458/.568/.913) continue to maraud the division for the Pirates, and will new Cubbie, Ty Cobb (.283/.362/.467), pull out of his funk just in time for the 6-game series against the Pirates after these 4 games?
Issue 53, Boston Rocks!
There are two teams in Boston this season, and base ball fans are getting their money's worth in April. The Legends League Red Sox are sprinting out in front of the East Division with a 16-4 mark, all but a single game, a win, against inter-division rivals. The Red Sox entertain other division teams for another 7 games before hosting the Baltimore Orioles (7-13) on May 2nd.
19th Century superstar second sacker, Ross Barnes (.381/.429/.631), has teamed up with Negro Leaguer hot corner great, Jud Wilson (.367/.393/.532), and one of Baseball's Banned, Joe Jackson (.341/.404/.500),, to establish early that the Red Sox are a team that must be reckoned with this season. Leading the pitching corps on the mound for the Red Sox is closer Dennis Eckersley (3-1, 5 Sv, 1.29, 12 G), setup guys John Smoltz (1-0, 1 Hld, 1.69) and Leroy Matlock (1-0, 3.86). Those three provide able backup to rotation starters Kevin Brown (3-0, 2.25), Greg Maddux (1-2, 3.66), Larry Corcoran (3-0, 4.26), and Robin Roberts (2-1, 5.04).
The Union League counterpart to the Red Sox, the Red Caps, have not had quite the success of the Red Sox, but Boston's other Team is in the thick of things at 10-10 and 3 games back of the Newark Eagles. Pitching has defined the Red Caps April so far. Kid Nichols (2-1, 1.64, 1 Shu), Bruce Sutter (1-2, 1.74, 4 Sv) and Art Nehf (1-0, 0.00, 1 Sv, 1 Hld)
Issue 54, Gateway to the Pennant!
There's a couple other cities in the ATL that have two team, and one of them is Saint Louis, the Gateway City. The Stars of Sanit Louie own the best record at this point by virtue of a 19-4 .826 mark. At first glance the Stars fall in the broad middle of the league in batting, pitching and fielding. What the Stars have excelled in thus far is scoring Runs. They are 1st in both leagues in RBI (160) Runs (166), and 2nd in getting the Base on Balls (113). On a connected note, the Stars cautious attitude toward the Stolen Base, only 9 attempts in 23 games, the fewest attempts by any club in the ATL, have not wasted runners once they get on base as they also have the least number of players Caught Stealing (2) in both leagues. At the plate, Lou Gehrig has been torrid since joining the team, hitting .378, 9 HR, 31 RBI & 24 Runs in 82 AB. He gets plenty of backup from Mickey Mantle (.337, 10 HR, 28 RBI, 23 Runs, 21 W) and Ted Williams (.300, 12 HR, 27 RBI, 32 Runs, 20 W). On the mound Leon Day is bucking for Pitcher of the Month with a 3-0, 2.56 mark that includes 2 CG and 41 K in 31.2 IP.
The new team in Saint Louis is the Cardinals, and while they are in last place in the Union League's Continental Division, they can take heart that they suffered through April with 3 very important pitchers on the Disabled List, and they are only 3 games under .500, and less than that from first place. All the teams in the Continental Division appear to be equally matched to each other, and this pennant race may run four ways until the end. The Cardinals are led by Hank Aaron (.301, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 21 Runs) and a revitalized Eddie Murray (.291, 7 HR, 16 RBI, 15 Runs) who seems very glad to have moved out of last year's residence in Boston. The pitching has been inconsistent at best, except for the spot starting calls to Ken Holtzman (2-0, 1.50, 2 GS, 2 CG), and the nods to Greg Olsen to close (3.86, 3 G, 3 Sv).
Saint Louis fans of both teams are still in the hunt for an All-Saint Louis World Series!
The Base Ball Beat!
Shakey McGuiness & Iron City Base Ball
Issue 55, Winds of Change!
Issue 55, Winds of Change!
The Windy City also has two ATL teams, the Cubs and the White Stockings. All Chicago fans have something to be excited about this season. The Cubs are battling it out with the Pirates of Pittsburgh for Central Division dominance, while the White Stockings have a sprang a surprise on the Union League when they brought Slim Jones in from last year's bullpen (4-3, 3.91 in 2005) and wrote his name in as the starting pitcher seven times in April. Jones responded by winning the most games in a month by any ATL pitcher ever (OK, it's a short ever). At 7-0, 2.98 with 1 CG Shutout, Slim has made sure his Chicago ballclub stays in the hunt for the pennant, and the White Stockings at 15-12 are only a half game back of the Detroit Tigers. The Cubbies, on the other side of Chicago, are two and a half back of the Pirates, but at 19-8 they have the fifth best mark in the entire ATL. Not too bad, and they've been doing it with some clutch pitching and an unhittable knuckler from Charlie Hough (4-1, 1.05, .178 Opp BA).
Like the fans in the other Two-Team Cities we've visited previously, the cranks in Chicago can also see an All-Chicago World Series in the future!
The Base Ball Beat!
Question Mark & Updated Power Rankings
Issue 56, The Big Apple!
Our tour of ATL cities with two teams has brought us from Boston to Chicago through Saint Louis. Now we will visit the King of Baseball Cities, New York. Here in the ATL, New York has three teams: Brooklyn Didgers & New York Giants battle it out in the Legends League East Division, while the New York Yankees seek dominance in the Union League's Atlantic Division.
The Yankees are doing the best of the lot, which is surprising given last year's showing. At 17-15 and 4 games behind the Newark Eagles, the Yankees are making their move. Luis Gonzalez (.321, 8 HR, 20 RBI, 14 Runs) and Earle Combs (.337, 5 HR, 9 RBI 13 Runs) are giving Roy Partlow (5-1, 2.53) and Warren Spah (4-1, 3.81) enough backing to put W's in the standings.
On the other hand, the Giants of New York are but a shadow of last year's team, it seems. At 11-20 the pennant looks a long way off, 9 and a half games at this point. The pitching has let the Giants down so far, as the team has accumulated a 5.98 ERA. Even early season heroics by Wade Boggs (.323, 5 HR, 19 RBI, 18 Runs), Stan Musial (.298, 9 2B, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 22 Runs) and Cristobal Torriente (..282, 7 HR, 22 RBI, 20 Runs) can't make up for the poor performances of Hal Newhouser (0-2, 9.15), Hippo Vaughn (2-2, 9.50) and Red Ruffing (0-1, 16.39).
The Brooklyn Dodgers are doing a bit better . . . one game better, at 12-19. However, the Dodgers have run afoul of a different nemesis than their city rivals. The Dodgers seem to have a cloud of bad luck over them. They own the Legends league average team batting average (.260), 7th in the league, and are 6th in the league in Team ERA (4.33). In Fielding, they are 8th. Overall a mid-level showing, but the W-L columns add up to a .387 Winning Percentage, and that is not good. Rod Carew (.313, 24 Runs, 5 SB) and Sandy Koufax (3-1, 2.44, 2 Shu) have been the leaders, but someone needs to find a magic charm quickly.
The Base Ball Beat!
Senator Slamm & The State of the Nats
Issue 57, Slim Pick'ins?
The first Monthly Awards have been voted and decreed! April is in the books, and the race to the ATL Championship is speeding away in earnest! The Season is in full swing! The top players are making their move, and we have chosen the best of the lot to spotlight. Slim Jones of the Chicago Cubs in well on his way to the first 20-win season in the ATL, in fact he's on pace for 41 wins by virtue of winning his first 7 games of 2006. That was enough for Slim to capture the April Pitcher of the Month Award. Can he continue? We all will be watching him.
At the plate, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been depending on the batting eye of Rogers Hornsby, and he hasn't been straining those eyes on any reading material -- that's for sure! Rajah has been eyeing baseballs; baseballs coming at him, and then going away even faster after he swings his custom lumber in a perfect arc. Hornsby's on pace for an astounding 231 RBI! How many will he knock in? Stay tuned!
Of course Slim Jones won't win 41, and Rogers Hornsby won't knock in over 200 runners, but they have taken sharpshooter aim at the ATL records in those two categories, and are odds-on favourites to set new records. Last year the winningest pitcher had 15 victories. Slim is well on his way to surpass that. At the plate, the top RBI mark was Joe DiMaggio's 138. That's a goodly number, 138 in 154 games, but Hornsby can slow down a bit and still get there.
Issue 58, Back to Boston!
Boston fans must be happy in the ATL this season, the Legends League Red Sox have the largest lead of any first place club, at 8.5 games ahead of the Brooklyn Dodgers in a division where the Red Sox are the only team above .500. Their counterparts in the Union League, the Red Caps, happen to be the last place team closest to first place, at 4.5 games behind in a division where the Red Caps are the only team below .500.
Joe Morgan of the Red Sox is leading both leagues in Stolen Bases with 23 swipes, and his team mate Joe Jackson has more doubles than anyone else in the ATL, with 17 two-baggers. On the mound, Sox star Kevin Brown is undefeated in 6 decisions, while Dennis Eckersley leads both leagues in Save Percentage at .889, tied with Bob Wickman of the Chicago Cubs.
For the Red Caps it has been a season of pitching so far, as the pitching corps has a composite team ERA a full run (3.34) below the league average (4.34). The Red Caps trail only the Legends League Pittsburgh Pirates in that regard. The team also leads the ATL in Complete Games, tied with the Kansas City Monarchs with 12. The Red Caps have allowed the least home runs of any team in the ATL, though that may change once they play a few games in one of their division rival's home fields, the already notorious American League Park I in Washington D.C.. Leading the club in accolades is Kid Nichols with his 2.37 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, but at 3-4 in the W-L columns he isn't getting the backing to move those numbers more to the left. The problem is his Run Support, a measly 2.9 RS/G.
Issue 59, The Bambino & The Splendid Splinter!
Last season Ted Williams had a miserable year, for him. Last year he did finally get his batting average up to .295, and he did hit 34 doubles and 33 home runs, and he did knock in 110 runs and score 108, but he was not the Splendid Splinter we all know and love. This year, however, he seems to have attacked the ATL with a vengence! Starting out the season hitting Home Runs in the first four games, and continuing the power display to the point where he now leads the Legends League with 20 homers, 4 ahead of Mickey Mantle, 5 ahead of Lou Gehrig, and 6 ahead of Josh Gibson & Oscar Charleston. While Teddie's Batting Average still hovers below .300, currently .298, I have a strong feeling it won't be that low at season's end this time, and the Saint Louis Stars are thinking the same thing.
The Bambino, on the other hand, played extremely well last year . . . when he played. Ruth appeared in only 107 regular season games because of injuries. Still, he powered out 30 home runs, and knocked in 76 while scoring 95 runs and hitting .294. This season he has been healthy in Detroit, and extremely anxious to prove that he is the Best of the Best, bar none. Babe leads the Union League in Batting Average with a .382 mark, a 36 point cushion over Jerry Benjamin in second place. The Sultan of Swat also leads the Union League in On Base Average (.519), Slugging Average (.861), RBI (42), Home Runs (21), Extra Base Hits (26), Walks (39), Intentional Walks (11), and a host of secondary and analytical categories. He is the Union League right now.
Issue 60, The Heartland!
The heartland of ATL Baseball at this juncture seems to be defined by the pentagram composed with the following five cities at the corners: Saint Louis, Houston, Pittsburgh, Chicago and Kansas City. These five all have 30 or more victories, and even though two of them, Chicago & Houston, are not in first place in their divisions, they are hot on the heels of the team in front of them -- Pittsburgh and Saint Louis, respectively.
Four of the five are in the Legends League, while Kansas City, the new team in the Pacific Division, is the only Union League representative in that Gang of Five. What that means is that the Legends League, at this point, is a more lopsided league with little competition, while the Union League is more evenly spread out, with lots of competition in the pennant races.
Let's take a quick look at where these five teams stand in relation to the rest of the ATL in Team Totals. Perhaps then we can discern the motivating character of each of these Fabulous Five teams. Kansas City leads the ATL in Batting Average (.284), Hits (477), Shutouts (5), and Quality Starts (30) Pittsburgh leads in On Base Percentage (.364), Saves (14-tied), and Inherited Runners Scored Percentage (.236). Saint Louis leads in Slugging Average (.501), Runs Scored (323), Home Runs (94), Runs Batted In (310), Base on Balls (264), Total Bases (827), Runs per Game (6.9), OPS (.861), and Wins (36). Houston leads in Stolen Bases (101), Offensive Intentional Walks (24), and Least Hits Allowed/9 (7.7). Chicago leads in Saves (14-tied), Pitcher K's (346), and Pitcher K/BB Ratio (2.3).
The Base Ball Beat!
Blackie Goldmann & Freelance Sports Reporting
Issue 61, Pitching Problems?
Before the season started, some of the ATL wags were decrying the lack of pitching prowess in this league. It was a travesty that some of these guys, the greatest pitchers of all time, don't perform a bit better, don't fill the ace role good enough, don't dominate as they should. True, last year pitchers across the board had problems. Sure, some had brilliant streaks, after all, we got a Pitcher of the Month every month, right? Some of those guys did pretty well for those months. It just wasn't who we expected, and it wasn't the way we expected.
Let's take a look at some of the pitching performances so far, and compare to the all time ATL records (i.e. last year's top numbers). I think you'll agree that pitching has come into it's own this season.
After 9 starts and 5 Complete Games, Charlie Hough of the Chicago Cubs has got his knuckler baffling opponents to the tune of a ATL-leading 1.71 ERA, 42 points ahead of reliever Mark Eichorn in 2nd place with a 2.13 ERA. Eichorn is the Orix workhorse, appearing in 29 games so far, with a 3-1 mark, 5 Saves and a .211 IRS%. Right behind Eichorn, at 2.14, Is Tommy Bridges of the Detroit ballclub. Bridges is unbeaten, at 7-0 in 13 Starts with 3 CG & 1 Shutout. All in all there are 7 pitchers with ERAs lower than last year's record set by Stan Coveleski at 2.55.
As well, last season saw the following high marks be set:
Wins: Greg Maddux....................16
K: Randy Johnson.................228
Opp.BA: Hideo Fujimoto................197
Shutouts: Maddux & Fergie Jenkins.........5
Quality Starts: Mutsuo Minegawa..........22
Saves: Troy Percival..................36
Holds: J.Nelson, Jo.Franco, T.McGraw..14
This season, so far, here are the guys setting their sights on those marks. You decide, here at the 1/3 mark into the season, if they'll be broken. For Wins we have Pittsburgh's Bob Feller, Newark's Iron Man McGinnity, the New York Yankees' Warren Spahn, and the Chicago White Sox' Slim Jones all with 8 wins. Odds look good for a 20-game winner this year, I think,
For K's there's Cubs starter, José Munoz, on top with 89, while in Opponent Batting Average, Tommy Bridges of Detroit clocks in at .187. In Shutouts, Sandy Koufax of Brooklyn, and Bob Stanley of Kansas City each have 2. Over in that minimized stat, Quality Starts, we have Kid Nichols leading the pack with 10 already. The Saves column sees Troy Percival Of Pittsburgh with 12, right on pace to tie his mark of last season. And finally, in that most neglected of pitching categories, Holds, this year we have Detroit's Todd Worrell, Tokyo's Yutaka Ono, and the Saint Louis Stars Kent Tekulve all tied with 7. I got a feeling all three will shatter last year's mark.
I think pitching has come into it's own this season!
The Base Ball Beat!
Issue 62, Wrap Up.
Roughly sixty games into the season and four divisions seem to be "locks" while the other two are still up for grabs. Unless a current non-contender gets white-hot, or conversely, a division leader falters, the Red Sox, and Stars can start printing playoff tickets any time they want. The smallest lead between the two belongs to the Sox, and the second place team in their division is playing at a .414 clip, not a record that would inspire confidence. Of course, there's plenty of time for change, and in baseball anything can happen, that's the only thing that is for certain. But the smart money says those two teams make the playoffs.
The other divisions are not so easy to predict. The Pirates may be the defending champs, but they are being matched step for step by the surprising Cubs. The Cubbies are riding on the backs of a strong and deep rotation, led by the Cuban sensation Jose Munoz at 8-1. Willard "Homerun" Brown, who was shopped around quite a bit in the preseason and passed on by many, has been leading the offense since his arrival from the Orioles, averaging almost an RBI a game and pacing the club in homers. The Pirates, as always, are relying on their pitching to compete, and they remain the Legends League leaders in team ERA. Their rotation is as solid as ever on paper, but spit baller Ed Walsh has been sub par so far and ace Randy Johnson has a sore arm and is currently disabled. Now that Rogers Hornsby has cooled off, the rest of the lineup will have to pick up the pace offensively, however. They've shown signs of slowing after a red hot start, so the Cubs have a serious shot at taking over the division lead here.
In the Union league, the Monarchs have a six and a half game lead on the newest Boston team, the Red Caps. That is a fairly solid lead--for now. Over the remaining 90-some games, anything can happen. The KC squad has Bob "Hoot" Gibson and Pedro Martinez riding high at a combined 16-1, a gaudy record which comes replete with six complete games. But the Red Caps have newcomers Lefty Grove and Nomar Garciaparra keeping them close. This could be an interesting division to watch. The Tigers and the Spiders are separated by just three games while the White Sox are just four and half back themselves. This division is definitely up for grabs. Who will get hot--or injured at an untimely juncture? Just ask the Sox about that one. last year they seemed a lock for the playoffs until slugger Richie Allen went down hard and missed a large chunk of the home stretch. The Sox fell hard and lost their playoff slot as a result.
There is plenty of baseball left, and even those divisions that are "locks" can turn around. Of such things baseball legends are born.
The Base Ball Beat!
Blackie Goldmann & The Orioles Report
Issue 63, Glovemen!
Issue 63, Glovemen!
Fielding one's position is an aspect of the game that is all too often overlooked. That's easy to explain, of course. More than any other talent, fielding skills are hard to quantify. For starters, there's the fact that some pitching staffs throw more fly balls than ground balls, and vice-versa. That obviously affects fielding range numbers, of course. If Tommy John is on the mound then you can expect more ground balls than if Sid Fernandez is, for example. So an infielder who plays behind more TJ-like hurlers should field more ground balls than one who backs up El Sid. So by extension, he'll look like the better fielder, having more chances to begin with. Then there's the strikeout factor. If Walter Johnson is on the hill, the fielders will have less of a chance to catch a ball in the first place than if Bob Tewksbury is making the pitches. Then there's double plays. An infield that turns the most double plays is not necessarily the best at actually making the twin killing. They just might have more chances--their pitchers might allow more base runners, hence they have more chances to turn two to begin with. Clearly discerning the best fielders is not a simple process
compared to say, crowning a batting or ERA champion. Still, lets take a look at the leaders in the various fielding categories, flawed as they may be, bearing in mind the various factors that influence these stats.
Total Chances Per Game is one way to look at range. Using this stat, the top fielders at each position are as follows:
1B: Jimmie Foxx, Bill Terry, Eddie Murray
2B: Frankie Frisch, "Tubby" Scales, "Bingo DeMoss
3B: "Boojum" Wilson, Shigeo Nagashima, Ron Santo
SS: Dobie Moore, George Davis, Tony Fernandez
LF: Carl Yastrezemski, Ed Delahanty, Al Simmons
CF: Tris Speaker, "Wild" Bill Wright,"Jet" Jethroe
RF: Reggie Jackson, Hank Aaron, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
CA: "Gabby" Hartnett, Louis Santop, Wally Schang
PI: Camillo Pascual, Juan Marichal, "Iron" Joe McGinnity
Clearly, some of these fielders are excellent at what they do, however some others are average at best. Fielding Pct. combined with TC helps somewhat, but still yields less than a perfect answer:
1B: Darrell Evans, Don Mattingly, Bill Terry
2B: Martin DiHigo, "Bingo" DeMoss, "Newt" Allen
3B: Brooks Robinson, Alec Radclffe, Stan Hack
SS: Dobie Moore, George Davis, Pelayo Chacon
LF: Joe Kelly, Ed Delahanty, Chuck Klein
CF: "Rock" Raines, Mickey Mantle, Oscar Charleston
RF: "Marvelous Melvin" Ott, "Jelly" Gardner, Paul Waner
CA: Quincy Trouppe, Johnny Kling, "Muddy" Ruel
PI: Monte Ward, Dean Chance, "Three Finger" Brown
If a player is found on both these lists, he might be considered among the best, still bearing in mind the caveats described earlier. As for catchers, arguably the most important stat is SB % against. Here's those the leaders in that category:
CA: "Muddy" Ruel, Roy Campenella, "Gabby" Hartnett
For outfielders, assists is an important stat. Bear in mind, of course, that a high assist total might simply indicate a weak arm. After all, if a runner is more likely to "steal" that extra base, he's more likely to attempt to advance--and thus an outfielder with a rag arm has more chances to pile up assists. Keeping that in mind, here's the assist leaders for outfielders:
LF: Carl Yastrezemski, Barry "Flaxseed Oil" Bonds, Jeff Heath
CF: Willie Mays, "Rock" Raines, Valentin Dreke
RF: Roberto Clemente, Elmer Flick, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Clearly, there are both extremely strong and weak arms on this list. No conclusions can be made by looking at these few stats. This little exercise merely scratches at the surface of interpreting the fielding stats available to us. Even still, the overriding pint is that fielding is an often under-appreciated and under-valued aspect of the game of baseball. If we look deep enough, the best fielders will often emerge from the morass of murky statistics that define this skill. More important, the skilled fielder can often make the difference between a run scored on a grounder to short and a rally ending twin killing. He can make the difference between a clean tag at the plate and a dropped ball on a sweep tag. He can make the difference between a runner taking an extra base or one who stays put, or is thrown out trying to advance. None of these plays appear in the box score, but they all can be as important as that dramatic long ball, or timely base hit.
The Base Ball Beat!
Question Mark & End of May Power Rankings
Issue 64, Chicago, Chicago!
The big story in Chicago right now is that the Windy City now has a first place team for the first time all year. Maybe their margin is a mere half a game, but they moved up in style, taking two straight from the front runners after trailing them all year. Ramon Bragana and newly acquired spitballer Urban Shocker pocketed the wins, as the Cubs won both games easily, 10-5 and 11-1. The badly slumping Pirates, who have played .500 baseball after a torrid 20-4 start, finally fell from the top spot in the Central Division after Shocker's complete game gem. Mr. Shocker, it should be noted, played for a time last season with the Pirates, compiling a 2-1 ledger with a 3.31 ERA over 7 starts and 3 relief appearances.
Over the past month the Cubs have hit the opposition hard, batting .296 as a team. They have been led by an incredibly hot Tyrus Raymond Cobb, who's been swatting the sphere at a .464 clip. Willard "Homerun" Brown (.280,8,35), Chino Smith (.316,11,32), Martin "El Maestro" Dihigo (.331,6,28) and Dan Brouthers (.330,3,19) have also helped lead the charge to the top during this span. The Cubs' top hurlers over the past month have been Jose Munoz and Ramon Bragana, both with records of 4-2 and ERAs of 3.00 and 3.80, respectively. Meanwhile, the Pirates vaunted staff has fallen from first in team ERA to fourth, and from first in team BA to second--behind the Cubs.
Chicago's "other" team is still in the mix in their division, although they are not playing their best ball by any means. With a record of 31-36 they are struggling just to reach the .500 mark even as they sit just 6 1/2 games in back of the Continental Division leading Tigers. But today Chicago belongs to the Cubs, while the Sox look to find the same kind of magic that has propelled their neighbors to the North to the top spot in the standings.
The Base Ball Beat!
Issue 65, Late to the Party!
The e-zine was late this period, so late that it's time for the next issue! But don't fret, ATL fans, we'll have another article out today or tomorrow and we'll catch up to ol' Father Time.
While we're on the subject, we have a new owner for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Terry Buchanan's come late to the season, but his credentials are impeccable. The Dodgers are having a rough time of it this season, at 27-44 they are last in the Legends League East Division. But Owner Buchanan has pledged that the Dodgers will remain in Brooklyn, and that must count for something -- morale and Luck, if naught else. The Dodgers have their share of talent, however, all they need do is get untracked. Sandy Koufax (5-3, 2.27) leads a staff that includes Tom Seaver (5-5, 4.10), Catfish Hunter (4-8, 3.99), Tommy John (1-0, 2.00), Andy Messersmith (1-0, 2.77), Orel Hershiser (1-1, 4.71), Ron Perranoski (1-0, 5.03 1 Sv), Sparky Lyle (2-6, 7.99, 4 Sv), and Frank Tanana (0-0, 6.75) . . . they could do much better than they have been doing, and when they do . . . watch out! Pitching is everything, and this team has the pitchers . . . if they can just settle down and do what we know they can do. Perhaps a new owner shakeup is exactly what the East Division, and Brooklyn, have been waiting for.
The Base Ball Beat!
Issue 66, Around the Horn!
Some random statistical samplings from around the ATL at this point in the season follow . . . This "point" being just a tick past half way through the season . . . to say that Ty Cobb (CCL) is on a roll doesn't do him justice. With a BA of .399 he's on the verge of topping the magic .400 mark, and has been tearing the hide off the ball at a .471 clip over the last month . . . Barry Bonds (45L) has continued to be as inept at the plate this year as he was last (.242, albeit with an impressive 40 HRs to go with 84 RBI), posting a less than stellar BA of .223, but he continues to pile up the IWs, pacing the league with an amazing 36 of them. He also has 44 of the "unintentional" variety. Never has a .223 hitter commanded such respect . . . Jimmie Foxx (RSL) has found his power stroke, with 18 long balls and 49 RBI in the last month. Double X now has 82 RBI for the season, topping all batters in that category . . . Carl Hubbell (DTU) seems to have straightened out his problems, posting a 1.81 over the past 30 days . . . Lefty Gomez (BWU) and Lefty Grove (RCU) also have ERAs in the 1.80s over that time frame, so I think we can put the "lefty pitcher no good" theory to rest now . . . "Iron Man" Joe McGinnity (NEU) is very quietly having himself an extraordinary season in Newark so far. He's posted a 12-2 record to go with a 2.24 ERA, both tops in the ATL . . . Rick Aguliera (WNU), not usually associated with the all time best closers, has nevertheless been the most reliable in the league this season, collecting 15 in 16 tries . . . "The Eck", Dennis Eckersley (RSL) currently tops the leader board in that category with 16 (in 22 chances) . . . On the other hand, big time reliever Goose Gossage (WSU) has the worst save percentage so far this season among qualifiers, nailing only 60% of his chances . . . Most Runs Per Game: the St. Louis Stars, at 7.0, the worst: the New York Yankees: 4.0, League Average: 4.9 . . . Best ERA: Boston Red Caps: 3.48, worst, New York Giants: 5.55, League Average, 4.40 . . . the Houston Colt 45s have the highest Fielding Percentage checking in with a .989 mark, while the Oakland A's and Cincinnati Reds bring up the rear at .972. League Average, .978 . . . The New York Giants have turned the most DPs (70) while one of their cross city competitors, the Brooklyn Dodgers, have turned the least (39), League Average is 54.25 . . . What does it all mean? Who knows? But there are some interesting trends out there . . .
The Base Ball Beat!
Issue 67, Midland Pacific?
Their star slugger is hitting a very un-star like .241. Their most celebrated draft selection isn't doing much better at .263 with a puny OBA of .329. Yet despite the season long travails of "Marvelous Melvin" Ott and Sam "The Jet" Jethroe, the Kansas City Monarchs remain perched atop the Union League's Pacific Division with a 13 1/2 game lead over the Tokyo Giants. How are they doing it? Well, Ott _has_ gone yard 18 times and Bill Terry (.315-8-49), Pelayo Chacon (.300-6-39, 13 SB) and Deacon White (.291-1-29) also help keep the Monarchs moving along on the bases. These guys _are_ second in the league in scoring, so they are doing something right offensively. But the brightest star has to be Bob "Hoot" Gibson. With a gaudy 12-1 record and a fine 2.75 ERA, Hoot has serious pitcher of The Year qualifications. Team him up with Pedro Martinez who signs in with his own glitzy 9-1, 2.55 ledger and that's a serious 1-2 punch atop the rotation. Maybe that's why the Monarchs are first in Team ERA. Throw in a surprising Bob "The Steamer" Stanley with his 7-2, 2.94 marks and Japanese import Masaji Hiramitsu with his 8-2,
3.19 record and you could almost forget that all-time great Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown (8-5, 3.62), who won 14 games last season is on the staff. If old "Miner" Brown can get his groove back and post numbers like Gibby and Pedro, watch out, there might be a new sheriff in town. In fact, he might be here already.
The Base Ball Beat!
Issue 68, Texas Bull's Eye!
If you had to choose two things that were sure bets about the Houston Colt 45's going into the season you would not be off base if you said Bingo DeMoss would be an asset on the field but he'd carry a weak bat, and Barry Bonds would be a terror wielding the club. Well, DeMoss is not
only flashing fancy with the leather as expected, he's sporting a gaudy .322 BA and an equally garish OBA of .394. Meanwhile, Barry continues to struggle, posting the lowest BA of any Houston starter: a very un-superstar like .234. What gives? Well, there's just no telling what a
season will give you. If there is such a thing as a "lock" for big numbers, Ruth would be the number one obvious choice, and that guy is not letting us down. Try out these numbers: .360-39-86! But Bonds would certainly be in the top five, right? Well, forget about locks, because there's no such thing. Seasonal variation is very real, and Bonds is exhibit number one. Chances are next year he'll bang out 40 homers again and probably hit around .300, but don't cash that check just yet. Chances are Bingo will go back to his expected .250 or so, but hey, maybe he'll go back to back with the big numbers. The only lock is that there will always be surprises in store, so keep an eye out for those over and under performers. That's where things get really interesting. That and watching Ty Cobb contribute his assault on the .400 mark: he's at .404 at the moment. He had a great year last year, but that .332 mark he posted pales in comparison to this year's numbers!
The Base Ball Beat!
Issue 69, Not Done Yet!
Led by "The Flying Dutchman", Honus Wagner, Leon "Goose" Goslin, and Eddie "Cocky" Collins, the Baltimore Orioles are making a mid-season charge toward respectability--and just maybe more. They are a long ways behind the Red Sox in the Legends East Division, and even the Wild Card is a long shot, but the Camden Crew is not conceding anything yet. During the month of June the Orioles have begun flying high, if you'll excuse the play on words. But a 19-11 record is just what the Doctor ordered for the black and orange after a dismal take off to the season. Spurred by an offense that has scored over six runs a game, the O's have now climbed into second place, albeit a distant second to the boys from Bean Town. But while performances like Wagner's (.384-4-32), Goslin (.357-10-26), Collins (.313-3-19) have highlighted that high powered offense over the past month, Tom Glavine (5-1, 4.10) and Bill Hands (4-2, 2.76) among others have pitched well enough to make a difference. This all comes while staff ace Pete "Grover Cleveland" Alexander is recovering in rehab. For an on-field injury, the team maintains, despite
what the wild rumors circulating in the tabloids lately say. And if Jim Palmer (14-13, 3.97 last season) and Juan Marichal (15-10, 3.58 last season) can recover some of their old magic things can really get interesting in the land of Beer and Blue Crabs.
Taking a quick look at the ATL Leader Boards at this point shows Honus Wagner out in front of everyone with 12 Triples, 3rd in Hits with 120, and 4th overall with a .341 Batting Average. Newcomer Mike Schmidt is 9th in the ATL with 23 Home Runs, 11 of them for Baltimore. Over in the pitching corps, Bill Hands is 7th in the ATL in ERA, with a sterling 2.85 mark.
The Base Ball Beat!
DMB All Time League's very own e-zine!
This is Page Three of the web
newsletter of the Diamond Mind
Baseball All Time League (DMBATL). From this vantage point we will archive
articles on every aspect of this league's sophomore season in the
|fantastic realm of base ball history and imagination. The league uses the world class Diamond Mind Baseball computer simulation and the Diamond Mind All Time Greatest Players disk in conjunction with an All Time Negro League player set and an All Time Japanese League player set. This allows us to bring the best of Major League history||onto
the same field together,
and to open the gates to the best players of the rest of the world as
well. We are reminded of what
Yogi, the plainspoken philosopher of base ball, once said: "You win some, you lose some. some get
rained out, and some you never get to play - but you got to suit up for
every one." Here in the DMBATL we get to play them all.