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A pinch hit from earlweaver fan.....appropriate.

Every reader of Battersbox old enough to follow baseball in the sixties through eighties will have their own reasons for honouring Earl Weaver, one of the most wonderful personalities in baseball and among the most successful. Here are my personal top ten reasons:

1. Earl Weaver was the thinking man’s manager, long before Bill James, Billy Beane, and all the rest who have stood on his shoulders. He rejected what everyone else conventionally thought, substituting instead what he saw with his own curious eyes, and sticking with the courage of his convictions

2. Most of all, he cared intensely about worked, as he saw it. Pitching, defense, and three-run homers were famously at the heart of his success formula, and he built teams that could deliver that formula consistently, without fail. At the same time, he hated the hit-and-run, disdained the sacrifice bunt, and de-emphasized the stolen base – to his mind, they did not work. He hated giving up any of his precious 27 outs

3. As a boy in the sixties with, as yet, no Toronto Blue Jays, I decided to cheer for Earl Weaver’s Orioles, a team I could get behind, knowing they would not let me down, year in, year out. He was focussed on winning, he knew what it took to win, and he delivered a lifetime .596 winning percentage over his career, meaning that he was never fired once over his 17-year major league span

4. He was the first manager I knew about who insisted on a club philosophy about how to practice and how to play baseball at all levels in the system – all the tactical skills that every Oriole prospect had to know to make the club. Someone did not get promoted from AAA Rochester unless the basics were deeply embedded

5. His teams taught me about the power of matching genuine stars with key (niche) role players. For every Eddie Murray, Frank or Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, or Boog Powell, he had many like Mark Belanger, Bobby Grich, Tippy Martinez, or Elrod Hendricks who were critical pieces carefully selected and combined for the team to prepare for any eventuality both in-season and in post-season play

6. His teams delivered wonderful achievements – e.g., getting much stronger down the stretch after September 1 than up to that point or the 30 gold gloves. My favourite was the special time when Jim Palmer, Dave McNally, Pat Dobson and Mike Cuellar all won 20+ wins in the 1971 season. Sure, W-L is not that meaningful a stat for any one pitcher, but we may never see its like again for four pitchers on one team in one season

7. He was a guy with a famous temper with umpires or with a player that made him mad, but when it counted, he had great patience. Many is the year when he would have one of his most reliable players (especially relievers) start the year poorly, and he just kept putting him out there. He knew this guy would come around and he knew he would need to depend on him later in the year. He got the results he expected

8. Way back then, he loved making use of statistics – most of all, knowing whom each of his batters and pitchers performed well against. Today, the available tools would be so much richer and deeper, but he had great success managing the match-ups of his players to specific opponents, and managing the platoons that took best advantage of players’ strengths

9. He knew how to motivate players – not by being their friend, but by setting high expectations and insisting on them. He rarely spoke to his best players through the year. He never wanted to be inhibited from pulling a player in the moment, if the team required it

10. For Earl Weaver, the success of the team was everything. It was no coincidence that his teams were filled with quiet professionals who led by example. He created an environment where any new players who joined the team found themselves surrounded by those who expected to win, which became a recurring – and self-fulfilling – prophecy.

He was quite a guy. I will always be a total fan. Chances are, if you read Weaver on Strategy, you will be too.


Thank you to earlweaverfan

R.I.P. Earl Sidney Weaver (August 14, 1930 – January 19, 2013) | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, January 19 2013 @ 08:28 PM EST (#268123) #
His Teams were fun to watch and that was the most important thing for me then.
Smithers - Saturday, January 19 2013 @ 09:04 PM EST (#268126) #
I used to love playing Earl Weaver's Baseball on my Amiga computer back in the day, which really helped me get hooked on baseball stats.  My favourite part of the game was when the manager disagreed with a call and he'd come out and argue with the ump, kicking up a dust cloud just like the real Earl.  The mangling of player's names by the early-day computer game announcer was another little gem, I still remember that Omar Vizquel's name would come out as Ahm-err Viss-cull.

Crazy that on the same day that Earl Weaver passed away, the news has come out that Stan Musial has also passed.  Long live Stan the Man, the likes of him will never be seen again.
mathesond - Saturday, January 19 2013 @ 09:06 PM EST (#268127) #
Earl and now Stan. A truly sad day for baseball on earth, but heaven's team just got better.
Gerry - Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 08:33 AM EST (#268137) #
Earl was his own man. He loved the 3 run home run and his book was unique in its way.

Earl Weaver baseball was one of the first baseball computer games and that wasn't too long ago, 25 years. I just saw that EWB helped launch EA Sports, now a major brand.
Gerry - Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 08:35 AM EST (#268138) #
My memory thinks that the Orioles in Weaver's time platooned more than any other team. I don't know if that is just anecdotal but if Earl didn't have a full time player at a position he was likely to have a strong platoon.

It was easier to do that when a team carried more hitters and fewer pitchers.
CeeBee - Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 11:51 AM EST (#268143) #
A few pretty good platoons come to mind.
Rettenmund- Crowley
Magpie - Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 01:18 PM EST (#268149) #
My memory thinks that the Orioles in Weaver's time platooned more than any other team.

In Weaver's final season (1982 - I don't count the mid-80s comeback either!), the Orioles had the platoon advantage in 65.4% of the plae appearances; AL hitters overall had the platoon advantage 57.6% of the time. In 1981, it was Orioles 65.1, AL 57.8; in 1980 it was Orioles 66.9, AL 59.3.

Weaver achieved this by keeping his LH batters away from LH pitchers. There were seasons when his RH batters actually hit less often with the platoon advantage than AL RH batters overall. Weaver could live with that. But he liked watching LH hitters bat against southpaws about as much as he liked the hit and run ("I don't even have a sign for the hit and run.") Weaver's LH batters were either platoon starters or guys who came off the bench. During Weaver's lengthy tenure as Orioles manager, just two LH batters had 600 plate appearances in a season: Boog Powell (1969-70) and Al Bumbry (1979-80,82). Reggie Jackason would have made it three, but he missed almost a month with an injury.

Weaver didn't start out that way. In Weaver's first three full seasons - which were wildly successful, the Orioles went to the World Series each year - his teams had the platoon advantage less often than the AL average. In 1969, the Orioles batted with the platoon advantage just 50.1% of the time (AL 54.4); in 1970 it was Orioles 50.0 (AL 54.9); in 1971 it was Orioles 50.5, (AL 55.4).

Well, in those years his starting lineup was so good he hadn't had the need to develop the deep bench of his later teams. And Boog Powell, one of the best hitters in baseball, didn't need a platoon partner.
earlweaverfan - Sunday, January 20 2013 @ 10:29 PM EST (#268155) #
In reading up a number of articles since yesterday, I came across this one that I find particularly valuable, from the Baltimore Sun.  It provides a wonderful snapshot from Bill James on what made Weaver special, and frankly, this article could be really powerful in teaching managers in any type of organization to learn how to draw the most out of the people that work for them.  A great article:
Geoff - Monday, January 21 2013 @ 06:07 PM EST (#268180) #
That is a nice article on the 'leave no stone unturned' approach to management. Thanks for the find, and here's a link to it for those who find it handy.
R.I.P. Earl Sidney Weaver (August 14, 1930 – January 19, 2013) | 9 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.