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I've noticed that esteemed Bauxite emeritus Craig Burley, will from time to time discuss field managers in terms of their bloodlines. Like horses. Which makes sense, even if they don't actually shoot managers. But as we seem to have been talking about General Managers a fair bit lately, I thought I'd carry on in a similar vein.

The first general managers, for the most part, were generally either the team owners (think Connie Mack) or the team managers (think John McGraw.) For the most part, both these wondrous species have vanished from the earth. George Steinbrenner notwithstanding, the last owner who doubled as a GM was Charlie Finley (although Bob Short attempted to run his team in the 1970s). Even Bill Veeck, who always described himself as an old-fashioned owner/operator, hired a GM for his last lap around the park. And off the top of my head, Jack McKeon in San Diego and Whitey Herzog in St. Louis are the last managers who served as their own GM. Billy Martin acted as his own GM for his first two years in Oakland.

The first great GMs who neither owned nor managed their teams were probably Ed Barrow and Branch Rickey, both of whom started out as field managers.

It would be really cool if I could post an Enormous Diagram with circles and arrows going in every which direction - our modern GMs have connections that go as far back as Branch Rickey and Joe Cronin, and many points in between. You'll just have to use your imaginations, and try not to get dizzy.

We can begin with the local guy, and after we'll try to move to someone vaguely connected with him. Billy Beane, say. That in turn will lead us to Ken Williams (Why? Well, Ricciardi and Beane both started under Sandy Alderson; Williams got started under Ron Schueler, who in turn got started under Sandy Alderson.) And so on and so forth...

J. P. Ricciardi, Toronto (2001) - As everyone knows, Ricciardi worked for Billy Beane in Oakland. That's true enough, but it misses most of the story. When Ricciardi started out in the Oakland organization, back in 1986, Beane was still playing in the majors. Ricciardi is really a Sandy Alderson protege (so is Beane, of course). Alderson brought Ricciardi into the front office in 1996 (Riccardi had been National Cross-checker), and Beane made him Director of Player Personnel when he took over the following year.

Billy Beane, Oakland (1997) - Alderson hired Beane in Oakland; it's the only team he's worked for in the front office. So let's trace his predecessor. Alderson actually came to Oakland as a lawyer - he was a member of Roy Eisenhardt's law firm, and when Eisenhardt's family bought the team in 1981, he brought Alderson with him. Alderson started out as general counsel, and eventually became the GM (where he hired another lawyer, Tony LaRussa, to manage the team on the field.)

Ken Williams, Chicago (2000) - Williams has spent his entire post-playing career with the White Sox, where he started out as a scout in 1992. Jerry Reinsdorf took a liking to him, and he moved to head of player development under GM Ron Schueler before replacing him in 2000. Schueler had been a special assistant to Sandy Alderson in Oakland before joining the White Sox as GM in 1991.

Andy MacPhail, Baltimore (2007) - The third MacPhail to be a major league GM previously held similar posts with the Twins (1985-1994) and the Cubs (2000-2001). He started out in the Houston organization, and spent three years working under Al Rosen before he took the Minnesota job. Rosen at that time had quite little front office experience, having spent most of his post-playing days out of baseball. He had worked with Cedric Tallis in New York, however. Tallis had been the original GM of the Kansas City Royals. Tallis' previous major league job had been with another expansion team, working for Fred Haney during the first eight years of the Los Angeles Angels. Tallis had been a minor league GM before that, and Haney had been a field manager, so that's about as far back as we can track this line.

Andy MacPhail himself, of course, has some very serious GM bloodlines; he is a third generation general manager. He is the son of Lee MacPhail, who ran the Orioles (1958-1965) and the Yankees (1966-1973), and the grandson of Larry MacPhail, who ran the Reds, Dodgers, and Yankees in the 1930s and 1940s. Both his father and grandfather are in the Hall of Fame.

Bill Smith, Minnesota (2007) - Smith has just succeeded his long-time mentor Terry Ryan, who held the job for the previous fourteen years. Ryan was previously an assistant to Baltimore's Andy MacPhail back when MacPhail was running the Twins.

Walt Jocketty, Cincinnati (2008) - Jocketty was actually hired by Charlie Finley in 1980, when Finley was still acting as his own GM. Jocketty stayed in Oakland under Billy Martin and Sandy Alderson until getting the St. Louis GM post in 1994.

John Mozeliak, St. Louis (2007) - Mozeliak has spent most of his career with Walt Jocketty in St.Louis, but he actually started out with Colorado under Bob Gebhard. Gebhard had worked for Andy MacPhail in Minnesota, and for John McHale and Jim Fanning in Montreal.

Brian Cashman, New York (1998) - Cashman has spent his entire baseball career with the Yankees, where he started out as an intern. He worked under previous GMs Bob Watson and Gene Michael. Cashman became assistant GM in 1993, during Gene Michael's tenure as the Yankees GM.

Michael had moved directly from the playing field into the Yankee front office back in 1976, and would serve in almost every capacity possible: coach, field manager, general manager, head of major league scouting.

Watson spent two years as the Yankees GM between Michael and Cashman. Watson had been in the Houston front office before coming to New York; he had worked under GMs Bill Wood before assuming the role himself. Wood had been in Houston for a decade before he became the GM, working for Al Rosen (whom we met already - see Andy MacPhail) and Dick Wagner. Wagner had spent many years in Cincinnati before coming to Houston, and had worked under GM Bob Howsam for a decade before succeeding to the post himself. Howsam was a Branch Rickey protege, who had replaced Bing Devine in St Louis before coming to Cincinnati.

But the man who gave Watson his start in the Houston front office was Tal Smith, who started out under Paul Richards with the old Colt 45s and also worked with Spec Richardson, who was a Richards protege. Richards began as a field manager who took the GM's job as well when he went to Baltimore in 1954. He gave up the GMs post (to Lee MacPhail) after a few years, but would eventually resign as Baltimore's manager to become Houston's first GM.

Dayton Moore, Kansas City (2006) - Moore spent his entire career working for John Schuerholz in Atlanta before taking the Royals job, and the Schuerholz strain eventually leads us all the way back to Ed Barrow himself..

Schuerholz is from Baltimore, and he started out in the Orioles organization under Harry Dalton. Dalton had started out in the Orioles organization when Lee MacPhail, father of Andy, was the GM. Before replacing Paul Richards as the Orioles GM, MacPhail had run the Yankees farm system under George Weiss (who had previously run the Yankees farm system under Ed Barrow.) MacPhail was the heir apparent to Weiss in New York, as Weiss had eventually succeeded Barrow, but he presumably got tired of waiting for Weiss to move on. Anyway, Schuerholz then joined the expansion Royals under Cedric Tallis (see Andy MacPhail); he also worked for Joe Burke before taking the Kansas City GM job himself. Burke had been with the expansion Senators/Rangers, working for Ed Doherty, George Selkirk, and owner Bob Short before coming to Kansas City.

Andrew Friedman, Tampa Bay (2005) - Friedman had spent two years working for the man he would replace, Chuck LaMar, when he took over in Tampa Bay. LaMar had started out in the 1980s as a scout with Cincinnati during the Dick Wagner-Bob Howsam years. Marge Schott, of course, thought scouts were something of an extravagance. LaMar spent two years in Pittsburgh with Larry Doughty (who had also come from Cincinnati) before moving to Atlanta to serve as Director of Player Development for John Schuerholz.

Mark Shapiro
, Cleveland (2001) - Shapiro has spent his entire career in Cleveland; he arrived the same year (1991) that John Hart was hired to replace Hank Peters. Shapiro worked under Hart for a decade before succeeding him in the post.

Hank Peters, however, was the man who had actually got Shapiro the Cleveland job and he had also brought Hart aboard, first as a scout and then as director of baseball operations. Peters had had a long career as a major league executive - he had previously been the Orioles GM from 1975 through 1987. Peters Before that, Peters had worked for Gabe Paul and Alvin Dark in Cleveland, and for Pat Friday and Frank "Trader" Lane in Kansas City.

Dan O'Dowd, Colorado (1999) - O'Dowd started out in Baltimore under Hank Peters, and went with him to Cleveland. He stayed on to work with John Hart for many years before taking the Colorado job.

Jon Daniels, Texas (2005) - Daniels spent one year with the Rockies before being hired by John Hart in 2002 - he was promoted to assistant GM two years later, and succeeded Hart a year after that.

Josh Byrnes, Arizona (2005) - Byrnes started out in Cleveland with John Hart before going to Colorado to work for Dan O'Dowd. He then spent three years as Theo Epstein's assistant before getting the Arizona job.

Neil Huntington, Pittsburgh (2007) - Huntington got started with Montreal under Jim Beattie, before going to Cleveland where he worked for both John Hart and Mark Shapiro before landing the Pirates job.

Dave Dombrowski, Detroit (2002) - Dave Dombrowski started out with the White Sox during the Roland Hemond years.. Hemond had started out under Fred Haney in Milwaukee, before coming to Chicago, where the GM was a former football player named Stu Holcomb. Hemond was the baseball mind behind the White Sox operation, and spent 16 years as the GM before being sacked and replaced by broadcaster Ken Harrelson in 1986. Harrelson's disastrous year in charge would end up costing the White Sox dear - besides getting rid of Dombrowski, he also fired manager Tony LaRussa and made a number of extremely ill-advised trades. Dombrowski soon took over the GMs job in Montreal.

Tony Reagins, LA Angels (2007) - Reagins has spent his entire career working under Bill Stoneman in the Angels organization before succeeding him in the GM job. Stoneman worked for many, many years in the Expos front office under John McHale, Murray Cook, Dave Dombrowki, Dan Duquette, Kevin Malone, and Jim Beattie (Woody Woodward) before coming to Anaheim (he's actually spent one year as the Expos GM himself.) That's a great many bloodlines to trace, but here goes!

McHale started out in Detroit in the 1950s - he was promoted to the GM's job by owner Walter Briggs, who had been running the team himself. McHale also ran the Braves before coming to Montreal.

Dan Duquette started out in Milwaukee with Harry Dalton (whom we met along with Dayton Moore and John Schuerholz, above) before coming to Montreal.

Murray Cook spent many years in Pittsburgh working first for Joe Brown and later for Harding Peterson before he came to Montreal. Brown was a Branch Rickey pupil, and succeeded the Mahatma in Pittsburgh in 1955; Peterson was Brown's long-time assistant and eventual successor.

Dombrowski we've encountered already.

Kevin Malone started out in Minnesota under Andy MacPhail, and came to Montreal in 1991 during Duquette's tenure as GM.

Jim Beattie had worked for Woody Woodward in Seattle before coming to Montreal - Woodward had worked for Dick Wagner and Bob Howsam in Cincinnati (as well as a brief stint in New York while Clyde King was in charge. King had spent most of his career as a minor league manager before joining the Yankees front office. He had worked for a couple of years in Atlanta for Eddie Robinson, a Paul Richards man.

Jim Hendry, Chicago (2002) - Hendry started out in Florida with Dave Dombrowski, but joined the Cubs under Ed Lynch in 1995. Hendry stayed with the Cubs during Andy MacPhail's tenure, following Lynch, before succeeding him in the GM's post. Lynch had worked under Joe McIlvaine in both San Diego and New York. McIlvaine had got his start under Frank Cashen with the Mets. Cashen had worked under, and then replaced, Harry Dalton in Baltimore.

Frank Wren, Atlanta (2007) - Wren started out with Dave Dombrowski in Montreal and Florida, before getting his first crack at the GM's chair with Baltimore. That didn't work out, and he spent the last eight years in Atlanta with John Schuerholz before stepping up to the big chair this past off-season.

Omar Minaya, New York Mets (2004) - Minaya spent many years scouting in the Texas organization; it was Steve Phillips who hired him for the Mets front office in 1995. Phillips had worked for Gerry Hunsicker, Al Harazin, and Joe McIlvaine, all of whom got started under Frank Cashen (whom we met in connection with Harry Dalton, and Dayton Moore and John Schuerholz).

Bill Bavasi, Seattle (2004) - Bavasi is the son of long-time major league GM Buzzie Bavasi, and he spent much of his career working for his father in Los Angeles. He also spent two years with the Dodgers when Dan Evans was the GM.

Evans had worked in Chicago for Roland Hemond (see above), Ken Harrelson (left no marks!), Larry Himes, and Ron Schueler (an Alderson man, as we've seen.) Larry Himes had also worked for Buzzie Bavasi with the Angels.

Buzzie Bavasi spent most of his career with the Dodgers - he was originally hired by Lee MacPhail way back in 1939, and Branch Rickey brought him back to the Dodgers after the war. When Rickey lost his power struggle with O'Malley for control of the Dodgers, Buzzie replaced him as GM and held the post until 1968, when he took over the expansion Padres. He turned San Diego over to his other son, Peter, and replaced Harry Dalton in 1978 in Anaheim. He brought Bill into the Angels organization in 1981.

Bill Bavasi remained in Anaheim under Buzzie's successor and long-time protege Mike Port; he endured through the brief Dan O'Brien-Whitey Herzog period in the early 1990s before finally getting the Angels job himself.

Kevin Towers, San Diego (1995) - Towers came to San Diego in 1989 under GM Jack McKeon, but he seems to have been a Randy Smith protege. He joined the expansion Rockies along with Smith under Bob Gebhardt for their first season in 1993, but both he and Smith returned to San Diego a year later. Smith served as GM for the next two years, and Towers replaced Smith at the end of 1995. Smith moved on to Detroit, and Towers eventually hired him as a special assistant when the Tigers cut him loose in 2002.

Theo Epstein, Boston (2002) - The youngest GM in major league history when he was hired, Epstein started out under Kevin Towers in the San Diego organization.

Larry Beinfest, Florida (2002) - Beinfest started out with Woody Woodward in Seattle, and also worked with Jim Beattie in Montreal. He seems to be in the process of unloading his duties onto assistant Michael Hill.

Pat Gillick, Philadelphia (2006) - Gillick spent most of his pre-GM years in the Houston organization under Paul Richards, his protege Spec Richardson, and Tal Smith (see Brian Cashman, above). Gillick also spent a couple of years with the Yankees when Gabe Paul was running the show.

Brian Sabean, San Francisco (1996) - Sabean started out with the Yankees when Woody Woodward held the GM's seat, and also worked under Lou Piniella, Gene Michael, and most importantly, Bob Quinn.

Quinn got started in Milwaukee with Trader Frank Lane, but had spent many years in Cleveland, working for Phil Seghi before going to New York. Seghi had worked for Gabe Paul and Bill DeWitt. Sabean went to San Francisco with Quinn in 1993, and replaced him three years later.

Jim Bowden, Washington (2004) - Bowden starts out with Pittsburgh with Syd Thrift (who had worked under Joe Brown and Cedric Tallis; he then went to Cincinnati where he assisted Bob Quinn for a few years before getting the GM job himself in 1992.

Ned Colletti, Los Angeles (2005) - Colletti spent a year with Larry Himes in Chicago, but has spent the rest of his career with Bob Quinn and Brian Sabean in San Francisco.

Doug Melvin, Milwaukee (2002) - Melvin started out with the Yankees when Steinbrenner was changing his GM every year - Melvin worked for Bill Bergesch, Murray Cook, and Clyde King in just three years. He then had a long run in Baltimore working for Roland Hemond (although he may have actaully been hired by Hank Peters) before taking the Texas GM job in 1994.

Ed Wade, Houston (2007) - Wade worked as a PR director for the Pirates, and then with Tal Smith's consulting firm (arbitration cases our speciality!) before joining the Phillies front office as an assistant to Lee Thomas. Thomas had worked in the Cardinals system for Whitey Herzog, Joe McDonald, and Dal Maxvil before coming to Philadelphia. Maxvil essentially started out as Herzog's extension in the front office, although he ended up outlasting Whitey.

Herzog, of course, had mostly worked as a field manager; he had however been the Mets Director of Player Development from 1968 through 1972. He'd worked for Johnny Murphy and Bob Scheffing in New York, and that takes us back. Murphy played for Joe McCarthy, and worked in front offices run by Joe Cronin, Dick O'Connell, and Mike Higgins.

Joe McDonald also worked for Murphy while he was in New York; McDonald was actually hired when George Weiss was starting the Mets operation, and he also spent a year working for Bing Devine. Murphy was succeeded by Bob Scheffing; McDonald stayed in New York, and eventually replaced Scheffing, while Herzog went down to the field in Texas.

GM Bloodlines | 40 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
brent - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 04:19 AM EDT (#185040) #
What general manager and current one has produced the best set of proteges? We might want to do some research as we may be in need of someone new.
Mike Green - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#185044) #
Good training is important for a GM, but as we have seen with Ricciardi, the personal qualities are too. 

One of the (many) nice things about this piece is that it reminds us not to assume that the son has all the characteristics of the father.  Nepotism is dangerous.
Mick Doherty - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#185047) #

Mags,this is great. I ask this not as a challenge to your information, but because I am curious, never having seen anything remotely like this anywhere else ... what are your sources?

Gwyn - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#185048) #
Here is the information for the AL GMs in graphical/family tree form.  I'd love to add the NL too but I don't have the chops in vizio.
Craig B - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#185050) #
Never thought to use Visio... I sketched it out on paper for all 30, only using the really significant connections.  I'll post it at my blog and send back a link later.
Craig B - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 10:54 AM EDT (#185051) #
OK, I have posted the family tree here at Colamraino Has Titties.  Comments welcome - I am going to neaten this up later.  If there are truly significant links I am missing, let me know.  I know that Rollie Hemond is there twice.  I'd like to think it's because I think Mr. Hemond is that important (or because my esteem for him as a fellow SABR member is that nigh) but I just overlooked him when I was looking to hook up Bob Melvin.
Mike Green - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#185052) #
Whitey Herzog's GM Bloodlines are kind of spare, but his connection with Stengel seems to have been very important.  I guess that his career overlapped with Cedric Tallis in Kansas City.
Magpie - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#185053) #
what are your sources?

I generally pieced it together using Baseball America's Executive Database (which is really cool, but only goes back to 1950),  and a whole bunch of Wikipedia, which filled in some blanks.

Magpie - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#185057) #
I think I forgot to mention that Randy Smith is the son of Tal Smith. And an awful lot of lines these seem to run through Baltimore: the Harry Dalton-Frank Cashen-Hank Peters chain left its mark all through the majors (and their predecessors, Lee MacPhail and Richards, were significant fellows as well.) For roughly a generation, Baltimore was regarded as the model organization in the game. Until I actually did this, I didn't even know Schuerholz was born in Baltimore and started out working for the Orioles.
Magpie - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 12:03 PM EDT (#185058) #
I guess that [Herzog's] career overlapped with Cedric Tallis in Kansas City.

They missed each other by about a year. Joe Burke replaced Tallis in Kansas City in 1974. Stengel does seem a very large influence on Herzog the field manager - Casey wasn't a guy to just run out four starters and leave the game to them, and he loved to juggle his lineup. George Weiss was Stengel's GM, and seems to have left very little trace in all of this. The Yankees canned him (and Casey) after 1960; Roy Hamey (formerly Phillies) filled the GM chair in New York for two years, before Ralph Houk himself took over as the GM.
Magpie - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#185059) #
I must confess - I was developing a splitting headache (no!) after working on this for several hours, and left a couple of avenues unexplored. Two important figures (because other people would work for them) are Gabe Paul and Frank "Trader" Lane. Both Paul and Lane got started in Cincinnati, where they worked for Warren Giles, who ran the Reds for many years before becoming NL president. Giles has a Branch Rickey connection, he ran minor league teams in the St Louis organization when Rickey was building the game's first farm system.

I wish, I wish, I wish I could have somehow traced someone back to Ed Barrow. Barrow ran the Yankees from 1921 to 1945, which must be the greatest run any GM has ever had. Even better than Schuerholz. Barrow was succeeded upon his retirement by Larry MacPhail, whom the Yankees brought over from Brooklyn. Barrow must have had apprentices. but I don't know who they might be.

3RunHomer - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#185061) #

And an awful lot of lines these seem to run through Baltimore: the Harry Dalton-Frank Cashen-Hank Peters chain left its mark all through the majors (and their predecessors, Lee MacPhail and Richards, were significant fellows as well.) For roughly a generation, Baltimore was regarded as the model organization in the game. Until I actually did this, I didn't even know Schuerholz was born in Baltimore and started out working for the Orioles.

Then Angelos started hiring GMs and ...

Magpie - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 01:28 PM EDT (#185064) #
George Weiss was Stengel's GM, and seems to have left very little trace in all of this.

Well, silly me. And here's my Ed Barrow connection, as well. Barrow hired Weiss to run the Yankees' farm system in 1932. When Weiss took over as Yankees' GM in 1947, Lee MacPhail took over the Yankees minor league operation. MacPhail moves to Baltimore 10 years later, and gets Harry Dalton started....

I should have spent much more time on this...

ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#185078) #
This is the TDIB, so I'm putting this question here even though the discussion is on GMs ... any reason that Inglett is playing in LF today while Stewart and Mench are on the bench?  I'd guess it has something to do with the double-header, but it seems odd.

JohnL - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#185081) #

any reason that Inglett is playing in LF today while Stewart and Mench are on the bench?

Oh yes, the reason is "an impatient, near-panicky Jays management."

(at least according to Griffin today, "Unhappy Stewart looking like odd Jay out")


Chuck - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 05:54 PM EDT (#185082) #
I'd guess it has something to do with the double-header, but it seems odd.

Inglett was slated to start yesterday, so I don't think the double-header is the reason.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#185083) #
Bastian writes that the Jays have hinted Purcey will get inserted into the rotation later this week to get the pitcher's enough rest after today's doublehader.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#185084) #
Is 1 run in 3 games a franchise record for futility or have we ever been shut out three games in a row?

What about 1 run in 30 innings?
jmoney - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#185085) #
This is an awful offense. Simply awful to watch at that.

Cliff Floyd is about to take the mound. I guess we will get the pleasure of watching the Jays shutout yet again.

Imagine if Rios had been traded for Lincecum like it was rumoured... Not that Rios has been raking or anything.

jmoney - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#185086) #
Ooops I meant Lee is taking the hill. Jays might actually get a run if Cliff Floyd was pitching.
seeyou - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#185087) #
ChicagoJaysFan: The Jays got shut out three games in a row by the Red Sox from August 24-26 in the 1990 pennant race. 

But they scored in the 9th inning of the previous game, and the second inning of the following game, so the scoreless inning streak in that instance would have been 28 innings.  So, around the 7th inning of tonight's game, we could potentially be witnessing some history.
smcs - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#185088) #
May 12-16, 1981 saw a 35-inning scoreless streak.
christaylor - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 08:33 PM EDT (#185089) #
An unassisted triple play - please tell me that this is the lowest. Please. It can't get worse than this. It just can't.
CeeBee - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#185090) #
Actually seeing an unassisted triple play, even on TV is quite a treat given how rare they are. However it does reinforce the notion that baseball is probably one one of the most luck involved team sports in existence and in the last few weeks the Jays have really been on the negative side.
christaylor - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#185091) #
Yeah. When I was saying "worse" I mean the team's luck - while it was most certainly nice to see such a rare treat, it takes some awful bad luck for that to happen.

Also I find it curious how "bunched up" the unassisted triple plays are in history give their relative rarity. 4 have occurred since 2000 and 6 occurred in the 1920s. I wonder if the bunch can be explained by the rate of the double steal or something else unique to the 1920s and the new century.
CeeBee - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 09:00 PM EDT (#185092) #
or maybe the hit and run........ or maybe just luck?
King Ryan - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#185093) #
I just got home from work.

The bad news: I've already missed 16 innings of Blue Jays baseball.
The worse news: I haven't missed any Blue Jays runs.

And apparently I missed a triple play as well? Sweet. 

Dave Till - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#185094) #
I missed an unassisted triple play because I was doing my laundry. Sigh.

When a team is in a massive scoring slump, facing the guy with the 0.67 ERA (or whatever it is) is bad timing.

King Ryan - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 09:36 PM EDT (#185095) #
A team using its closer in a tie game on the road?!

My dream has finally come through!

Ryan Day - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#185096) #
Well, Shaun Marcum is still prettty darn awesome. That's good news.

Fun fact: The Jays have the 9th best OPS in the league at .702, just a titch behind Oakland's .706. And yet Oakland is second in the league in runs scored, while the Jays are second last. I suppose we can attribute that mostly to the fact that Oakland has hit 309/410/441 with runners in scoring position, while the Jays are an unbelievably atrocious 209/297/284.

Is there an explanation for this that doesn't involve mass hypnosis or a gypsy curse?

greenfrog - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#185098) #
Marcum's ERA down to 2.22...he's pitching like an ace.

When Stewart came up in the 10th, I thought: does Betancourt know about the other night (the flubbed extra-inning loss against Tampa Bay)? Because there was no way Shannon was going to take a first-pitch fastball strike again.
Magpie - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#185099) #
Is there an explanation for this that doesn't involve mass hypnosis or a gypsy curse?

Bats are afraid. Ask Jobu to come, take fear from bats.
HollywoodHartman - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 11:07 PM EDT (#185100) #

I've tried giving him rum, cigar, but he still doesn't let me hit a curveball.

John Northey - Monday, May 12 2008 @ 11:55 PM EDT (#185101) #
Wow, Marcum is really on fire this season.  A bit of luck as well I suspect given he has given up 25 fewer hits than Halladay in 6 1/3 fewer innings despite walking 6 more than Halladay, giving up one more home run, and striking out 2 more.  None the less, very, very sweet sign there.

We have Mr. run support tomorrow (OK, as good as it gets here) in Jesse Litsch with his 4.24 ERA but a 4-1 record.  Every start the Jays have scored 3 or more runs.  In fact his run support has been 1 game with 3 runs, 1 with 4 runs, 3 with 5 runs, 1 with 8 runs and 1 with 10 runs (!).  Guess having an ex-batboy on the mound makes the Jay players feel they gotta do something right or they'll be replaced by the current batboys (couldn't hit much worse eh?).

Litsch has gone 21 1/3 IP without a walk (he walked the 2nd last batter he faced in his horrid sworn at start, then gave up a single and was pulled).  His last 3 starts are 7 IP (one had an extra 1/3) giving up 5 hits, 0 walks, 4/3/2 K's (guess 1 K is happening tomorrow) and 2-2-3 runs.  Lets hope the D is working well tomorrow.  Looking forward to seeing the Jays score a few again too.

braden - Tuesday, May 13 2008 @ 12:41 AM EDT (#185104) #

(at least according to Griffin today, "Unhappy Stewart looking like odd Jay out")

I actually found that to be quite a depressing read. Poor Shannon seems miserable.

John Northey - Tuesday, May 13 2008 @ 08:18 AM EDT (#185108) #
Poor Stewart, so trod upon.  He is reduced to playing part time after being promised part time work last winter.  Why look at his recent lack of playing time.

May: Jays play 12 games, Stewart gets into just 10 of them - a pace for just 135 games over a full season.  A mere 39 plate appearances, or a pace of 527 per season.  Such a lack of time in the field for a guy hitting 220-298-275 for an OPS+ of 60 in the LF/DH slots.  Then the Jays release his best buds who actually were hitting better than Stew is!  How horrible!  We all must do something for this poor, poor man.

Griffin is really, really, really stretching it lately looking for ways to attack JP/Gibbons with this one.  I mean, c'mon, you want to attack them there is no shortage of other ways to do it that are legit (a backup infielder from AAA starting in LF due to poor options in the majors and minors, the lack of prospects in high minors, even the lack of clutch play if you feel it is a skill) but this story was just silly.  You want to talk about how Stewart has lost some friends on the team and how that is affecting his performance (which would be pretty unprofessional for a vet of 14 ML seasons) then you have something but to talk about his pain over seeing someone else in the lineup on one of the 2 games in May he hasn't played in just becomes silly.

ChicagoJaysFan - Tuesday, May 13 2008 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#185118) #
I dunno John ... I can see your complaint about Griffin, but at the same time, I'm a bit surprised at the lack of empathy for Stewart.  Don't lump the player in with the person who wrote an article about him.

I think Stewart has some legitimate feelings in there ... he doesn't seem to place any blame on the organization, he just doesn't like the situation he's in.  He's a guy that's performed as a solid stick almost his entire career and it has to be difficult for him to see it not happen anymore.  Looking at his quotes, the comments against management and an implied unfairness are due entirely to Griffin ... Stewart seems to place most of the blame for things on his own shoulders and that he knew what he was getting into.
  • This is like a bad dream ... things happen in life that are unexpected. I went through a lot in the off-season. It was kind of difficult just because of the situation. I knew I wasn't going to be the guy (here). The way I look at it, I was more like insurance. I've had the opportunity to play, but it's been weird.  - I don't think you can really disagree with anything he says in this quote.  He did go through a lot this offseason (left on the market for a long time after an ok season and ended up having a falling out / firing of his agent).  His assessment of expected playing time (being insurance) seems pretty accurate
  • I don't know too many guys in here like that, I'm learning the guys. On other teams, I've always been close to certain guys, but I think more guys (here) look at me like an older guy. They tell me to hang in there and I go, 'Yeah.'  - The guy is playing on a team and doesn't seem to have any great friends.  That doesn't sound like a fun position to be in for a 24-hour a day job for 6+ months of the year.  Stewart's obviously not playing for money this year (after earning $33 MM, what's another 300k?)
  • I don't think people really understand how hard it's been on me, Not saying just the (lack of) playing, but a lot of stuff. It's been difficult. It's been more of an eye-opener because I didn't think it was going to be like this. What can you do? If you don't go out there, if I don't play well, then the other guy's got to play. I haven't lit it up. To be honest, I haven't felt comfortable since the spring. - Here's the only quote that mentions lack of playing time - and Stewart is saying that's not the main issue - he spends a lot more time bemoaning his performance and lack of comfort.  Also, the "lack of" is inserted by Griffin - so who knows how this was brought up in the conversation.  What if Griffin asked him, "Has the lack of playing been difficult for you?"
  • The effect on the field is, I think when I play, I try and do too much now ... I know we're losing and you've got to play the guys that are producing. The organization's doing what they can to try to mix things up, but .. - It's hard to disagree with anything that is said here
  • The reality of it is that this role that I'm in, I'm not doing anybody any good right now. I'm not doing the team any good. I'm not doing myself any good. It's like, what am I going to do next year? Hopefully, I'll keep working till I find it. They might want to do something else. It might get to the point where they might want to bring in other guys and see what they can do - This seems to be a pretty fair statement - Stewart is disappointed in his performance and understands the team might have to look elsewhere
vw_fan17 - Tuesday, May 13 2008 @ 12:34 PM EDT (#185126) #
I've tried giving him rum, cigar, but he still doesn't let me hit a curveball.

Have you thought about a live chicken?
John Northey - Tuesday, May 13 2008 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#185129) #
CJF: good point.  Stewart appears to know what is going on, why, and accepts it without really complaining.  It is more a hack writer trying to shift it to create a story rather than working with what is really there.  Basically, a player who is near the end and is having trouble with it, as anyone would. 

I do feel sorry for Stewart in the respect that he has trouble knowing how the end has come so quickly on him.  All it takes is a slight decrease in bat speed or eyesight or hand-eye coordination (and all of us in our late 30's know how that happens) and suddenly instead of being a league average hitter he is sub-par and given his defense isn't what it used to be (and that wasn't great for the time) his playing days are quickly nearing an end as most GM's figured out last winter.  I suspect he felt coming to Toronto would feel like coming home, but it hasn't - guys on the '03 team who are still here are Wells and Halladay.  That's it.  Wow, I didn't notice it was that extreme.

I am glad JP gave Stewart a final shot.  Who knows, he could recover and hit like he has in the past but odds are against it and re-reading his quotes it appears Stewart knows this too.  From the sounds of it though he might become a good coach next year or in a couple of years. 

robertdudek - Wednesday, May 14 2008 @ 06:24 PM EDT (#185259) #
From Craig's site, last years data (from pfx):

The rightmost column is average fastball speed

Accardo (FB)
−7.4 10.2 94.9

Burnett (FB) −5.1 9.7 96.0

Downs (FB) 12.0 5.2 89.7

Frasor (FB) −3.6 13.0 94.3

Halladay (SNK) −8.5 5.3 91.6

Janssen (CUT) 1.9 5.9 89.8

Marcum (FB) −5.0 12.8 88.7

McGowan (FB) −5.7 11.1 95.7

Ohka (FB) −5.6 9.7 86.6

Tallet (FB) 10.9 10.1 91.4

Towers (FB) −3.9 10.8 87.5

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