2013 is looking good so far.
Despite injuries to their #1 starter, starting leftfielder and cleanup hitter and catcher, the Reds are thick in the race for the Division as Memorial Day awaits. Their MVP is a Boy Named Choo, Votto is hitting like Votto and Bruce looks like he is in the beginning [...]
The state of the Nation is strong. For now. Will it stay that way?
No, I’m not talking about the team. The Redlegs are in tall clover right now. Out of town tryouts in Arizona are underway for the team that won 97 last year. Leading roles have been cast. Understudies will be determined [...]
August 31, 1904 From baseball-reference.com:
In a rowdy 3 – 2, 11-inning Giants win in Cincinnati, the high point comes in the 6th when New York catcher Frank Bowerman slugs a fan, a music teacher named Albert Hartzell, who has been heckling him. Police escort the catcher from the field. Bowerman will be released from custody tomorrow when the fan drops the charges. The Giants win the second game as well, 4 – 1, in seven innings, with the game shortened to allow the Giants to catch a train for New York. The Giants leave Cincinnati with a 15-game lead over Chicago in the National League.
“Redleg Journal” (by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder) adds a little more: Hartzell, the music teacher, was a Northside resident who taught in the Cincinnati Public School system. Vice Mayor Harry Gordon ordered Bowerman’s arrest after the blow caused Hartzell to receive a cut in the jaw. Bowerman went on to play 15 major league seasons.
The doubleheader loss dropped the third place Reds into fourth place behind the Giants, Cubs, and Pirates. The Reds would rebound to pass the Pirates and finish in third place with an 88-65 record, 17 1/2 games out of first place. The 1904 Reds were a balanced team, finishing third in the league in earned run average at 2.34 and second in offense, averaging 4.41 runs per game.
The Reds used a five man rotation in 1904. Noodles Hahn was the staff ace despite suffering a “hard luck” season; he finished 16-18 with a 2.06 ERA. It was Hahn’s last effective major league season due to injuries (career: 130-94, 2.55 ERA). Teammate Jack Harper, who had jumped from the American League’s St.Louis Browns the previous season, had his best year going 23-9 with a 2.30 ERA. Rookie Tom Walker only played two full major league seasons, but this was his best one (15-8, 2.24 ERA). Win Kellum (15-10, 2.60 ERA) had the best season of his three year career. Bob Ewing (career, 124-118, 2.49) was 11-13 with a 2.46 ERA. As far as hitters go, the Reds were led by outfielder Cy Seymour (.313, 5 HR, 58 RBI, 134 OPS+). The next year was Seymour’s near Triple Crown season (.377, 8 hr, 121, rbi, 69 XBH, 191 OPS+).
August 31, 1974: The Reds pull within 2 1/2 games of the first place Los Angeles Dodgers with a 10-3 victory over the Montreal Expos in Cincinnati. Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench drives in seven runs with a grand slam home run and a bases clearing double.
Continue reading This Day in Reds History: A Bench, a Robin, and a Music Teacher?
Baseball-reference.com has another nifty little feature this week. On each team’s franchise encyclopedia page, it now includes the season’s Wins Above Replacement (WAR) leader. In this way, you can check out the best players for any team ever in a particular season, and it just so happens that the best teams usually have high totals for a leader and the worst teams typically have low totals for the leader.
Perhaps it’s the “80/20 rule” where 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people? At least, that always seems to be true, so it’s probably true in baseball too.
For those who don’t accept these kinds of measurements, you’re not alone and not unappreciated. That’s why I continue to list Triple Crown stats in my comments, too. Anyway, Bobby Abreu doesn’t know what WAR is either and he seems to have had a pretty decent major league career. In fact, he’s 121st on the all-time WAR list, ahead of such luminaries as Will Clark, Willie Stargell, Darrell Evans, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, and Hank Greenberg.
Meanwhile, here’ the 10 highest WAR-rated Reds single seasons, along with the team’s finish:
1. Will White, Pitcher, 12.5 WAR, 1882 season, 55-25 Reds season record, .688 percentage, 1st of 6
2. Joe Morgan, 2B, 12.0, 1975, 108-54, .667, 1st of 6
3. Mike (Elmer) Smith, P, 11.4, 1887, 81-54, .600, 2nd of 8
4. Will White, P, 11.0, 1883, 61-37, .622, 3rd of 8
5. Dolf Luque, P, 10.1, 1923, 91-53, .591, 2nd of 8
6. Joe Morgan, 2b, 10.0, 1972, 95-59, .617, 1st of 6
7. Joe Morgan, 2b, 10.0, 1976, 102-60, .630, 1st of 6
8. Joe Morgan, 2b, 9.9, 1973, 99-63, .611, 1st of 6
9. Jesse Duryea, P, 9.8, 1889, 76-63, .547, 4th of 8
10. Billy Rhines, P, 9.4, 1890, 77-55, .583, 4th of 8
Well, we have Joe Morgan and a flock of early pitchers. Morgan must have been pretty good. Let’s go 11-20:
11. Bucky Walters, Pitcher, 9.3 WAR, 1939 season, 97-57 Reds season record, .630 percent, 1st of 8
12. Jose Rijo, P, 9.3, 1993, 73-89, .451, 5th of 7
13. Joe Morgan, 2b, 9.1, 1974, 98-64, .605, 2nd of 6
14. Jim Maloney, P, 8.7, 1965, 89-73, .549, 4th of 10
15. Frank Robinson, OF, 8.5, 1962, 98-64, .605, 3rd of 10
16. Cy Seymour, OF, 8.4, 1905, 79-74, .516, 5th of 8
17. George Foster, OF, 8.2, 1977, 88-74, .543, 2nd of 6
18. Ted Kluszewski, 1b, 8.1, 1954, 74-80, .481, 5th of 8
19. Eric Davis, OF, 8.0, 1987, 84-78, .519, 2nd of 6
20. Noodles Hahn, P, 7.7, 1902, 70-70, .500, 4th of 8
Next 10: Tony Mullane P 1886, Ewell Blackwell P 1947, Frank Robinson OF 1961, Frank Robinson OF 1964, Will White P 1884, Barry Larkin SS 1996, Don Newcombe P 1959, Mario Soto P 1982, Fred Dwyer P 1896, Ted Breitenstein P 1897.
Of the top 30 finishers, only five played on losing teams, with Soto’s 1982 being the far worst.
Continue reading Going to WAR
Baseball historian and current Boston Red Sox executive Bill James was recently asked about the impressive back-to-back pitching performances of Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey on his website the other day. His response?
The back-to-back pitching performances of this quality are certainly unusual, and my intuition would be that it is more likely meaningful [...]