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28 Guys Who Never Would Have Worked For Earl Weaver

Posted by Steve Lombardi on December 28, 2010

Earl Weaver believed that "On offense, your most precious possessions are your 27 outs."

I doubt these guys would have lasted long playing for Earl.  Why?  They made a lot of outs!

Rk Player OBP 5 PA From To Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA SLG OPS Pos Tm
1 Bill Bergen .194 3228 1901 1911 23-33 947 3028 138 516 45 21 2 193 88 0 81 0 112 0 0 23 0 .170 .201 .395 *2/3 CIN-BRO
2 John Vukovich .203 607 1970 1981 22-33 277 559 37 90 14 1 6 44 29 3 109 2 12 5 9 4 5 .161 .222 .425 *5/436 PHI-MIL-CIN
3 Jack Ryan .226 852 1901 1913 32-44 228 796 68 161 15 10 1 55 21 0 0 3 32 0 0 9 0 .202 .250 .476 *2/34569 STL-WSH
4 Bert Adams .229 725 1910 1919 19-28 267 678 37 137 17 4 2 45 23 0 79 1 23 0 0 9 1 .202 .248 .477 *2/3 CLE-PHI
5 Angel Salazar .230 932 1983 1988 21-26 383 886 69 188 33 6 2 59 19 1 150 3 20 4 13 6 6 .212 .270 .500 *6/45 MON-KCR-CHC
6 Fritz Buelow .234 1433 1901 1907 25-31 418 1302 119 245 25 16 6 107 67 0 0 11 53 0 0 20 0 .188 .246 .480 *2/395 DET-TOT-CLE-SLB
7 Jack O'Connor .237 946 1901 1910 35-44 269 894 56 189 15 6 1 79 25 0 0 5 22 0 0 12 0 .211 .245 .482 *2/39 PIT-NYY-SLB
8 Ned Yost .237 640 1980 1985 25-30 219 605 54 128 15 4 16 64 21 0 117 0 12 2 13 5 3 .212 .329 .566 *2 MIL-TEX-MON
9 Pete Noonan .238 514 1904 1907 22-25 162 479 40 98 11 7 4 38 21 0 0 0 14 0 0 5 0 .205 .282 .520 *2/3 PHA-TOT-STL
10 Tommy Dean .240 594 1967 1971 21-25 215 529 35 95 15 3 4 25 42 7 105 1 19 3 10 3 3 .180 .242 .482 *6/54 LAD-SDP
11 Luis Pujols .240 922 1977 1985 21-29 316 850 50 164 27 6 6 81 52 11 164 2 12 6 26 1 3 .193 .260 .500 *2/35 HOU-KCR-TEX
12 Mack Wheat .241 642 1915 1921 22-28 225 602 34 123 23 5 4 35 19 0 102 10 11 0 0 7 1 .204 .279 .520 *2/798 BRO-PHI
13 Fred Raymer .242 1462 1901 1905 25-29 371 1380 95 301 40 7 1 101 32 0 0 11 39 0 0 50 0 .218 .259 .501 *4/5637 CHC-BSN
14 Otto Williams .244 605 1902 1906 24-28 170 558 48 113 13 3 0 34 29 0 0 2 16 0 0 24 0 .203 .237 .481 /*643985 STL-TOT-CHC-WSH
15 Mike Kahoe .244 1152 1901 1909 27-35 341 1088 83 238 39 10 3 92 35 0 0 2 27 0 0 17 0 .219 .281 .526 *2/35869 TOT-SLB-PHI-WSH
16 Doc Powers .245 1908 1901 1909 30-38 550 1782 152 378 58 8 3 155 60 0 0 17 49 0 0 25 0 .212 .259 .503 *2/39 PHA-TOT
17 Wickey McAvoy .245 730 1913 1919 18-24 235 674 38 134 18 8 1 53 38 0 87 3 15 0 0 6 2 .199 .254 .498 *2/139 PHA
18 Mario Mendoza .245 1456 1974 1982 23-31 686 1337 106 287 33 9 4 101 52 4 219 6 49 12 38 12 8 .215 .262 .507 *6/541 PIT-SEA-TEX
19 Rob Picciolo .246 1720 1977 1985 24-32 731 1628 192 381 56 10 17 109 25 1 254 3 58 6 34 9 11 .234 .312 .558 *64/5379 OAK-TOT-MIL-CAL
20 Luis Alvarado .247 1231 1968 1977 19-28 463 1160 116 248 43 4 5 84 49 10 160 3 14 5 27 11 10 .214 .271 .517 *64/5D BOS-CHW-TOT-STL
21 J.R. Phillips .247 545 1993 1999 23-29 242 501 52 94 19 1 23 67 38 4 180 2 2 2 6 2 1 .188 .367 .614 *3/97 SFG-TOT-HOU-COL
22 Fred Abbott .248 560 1903 1905 28-30 160 513 48 107 21 6 1 49 19 0 0 8 20 0 0 14 0 .209 .279 .527 *2/3 CLE-PHI
23 Al Lakeman .248 689 1942 1954 23-35 239 646 40 131 17 5 15 66 36 0 137 3 4 0 15 0 0 .203 .314 .562 *2/31 CIN-TOT-PHI-BSN-DET
24 Tony Pena .248 870 2006 2009 25-28 327 829 95 189 32 8 4 66 20 3 150 4 10 7 19 8 7 .228 .300 .548 *6/415 ATL-KCR
25 Kevin Cash .248 714 2002 2010 24-32 246 641 51 117 25 0 12 58 49 1 195 9 8 7 26 0 0 .183 .278 .526 *2/51 TOR-TBD-BOS-NYY-TOT
26 Bud Sharpe .249 670 1905 1910 23-28 165 625 40 139 17 6 0 41 21 0 33 1 23 0 0 4 0 .222 .269 .518 *3/92 BSN-TOT
27 Bob Davis .249 734 1973 1981 21-29 290 665 50 131 19 3 6 51 40 7 118 7 19 3 24 0 1 .197 .262 .511 *2 SDP-TOR-CAL
28 Billy Sullivan .250 3652 1901 1916 26-41 1053 3335 317 692 111 33 11 325 160 0 0 28 129 0 0 92 2 .207 .270 .520 *2/35479 CHW-DET
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 12/28/2010.

.

Forget the Mendoza line. Maybe we should have the Billy Sullivan line instead?

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2010 at 8:56 am and is filed under Season Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

48 Responses to “28 Guys Who Never Would Have Worked For Earl Weaver”

  1. Even Davey Johnson (559 walks-675 Ks) and Boog Powell (1001 walks-1226 Ks), two guys who I assumed to be big strikeout types, had more-than respectable career ratios.

  2. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    Not a player, but I would feel remiss if any mention of people who could not work for Weaver didn't somehow include the late {if not so great} umpire, Ron Luciano.

  3. Weaver’s stamp was all over the Orioles transactions from the 1968-69 offseason.

    In the expansion draft the Orioles gave up first baseman Mike Fiore (no power, .273 OBP), starting pitcher Wally Bunker (washed up at 23; anyway, better to lose him than Palmer), reserve catcher Larry Haney (.236 OBP), reliever Moe Drabowsky (Weaver reacquired him in mid-1970), and reliever John Morris (too many walks).

    In the major league draft they lost Bobby Darwin, who would become a serviceable power hitter but at that point was still splitting time between pitching and the outfield, and minor-league outfielder Fred Rico, whom the Royals would eventually parlay into Cookie Rojas. Nothing serious there.

    During the winter the Orioles traded first baseman/outfielder Curt Blefary (power, no glove, .301 OBP) to Houston for veteran starter Mike Cuellar and minor-league infielder Enzo Hernandez (who was traded the following winter for starter Pat Dobson). Weaver planned to give Blefary’s at-bats to on-base stud Don Buford and rookie Merv Rettenmund. They also traded outfielder Ron Stone (.644 ML OPS) to the Phillies for veteran catcher Clay Dalrymple (a tutor for Elrod Hendricks?).

    During the spring they traded Gene Brabender (a swingman who was not going to fit into Weaver’s pitching scheme) and infielder Gordy Lund (one career ML XBH) to the Seattle Pilots in exchange for veteran Chico Salmon and his defensive versatility. Then they signed free agent reliever Dick Hall, who never walked anyone, pretty much as Drabowsky’s replacement.

  4. Maybe. If they were good enough with the glove, Weaver would make an exception. After all, Mark Belanger has one of the worst OBP for a starter during his day - and he was a Weaver man.

  5. An 80 OBP+ for a catcher (Sullivan) may not necessarly be totally horrible

  6. @#3

    If I remember correctly, Bill James noted in his Historical Abstract that the Orioles left Palmer unprotected through a couple of rounds of the expansion draft, but neither the Royals or Pilots grabbed him; he'd had arm trouble in '67 and '68, and was probably viewed as damaged goods.

  7. I was looking through the list of out makers and saw a PUJOLS and a WILLIAMS...I imagine there are no bad players named RUTH, MUSIAL or BONDS....

  8. The way the question was worded I find interesting. Perhaps most of the players never would have planed under Weaver long, but had other skills Earl could have used,such as coaches or scouts.
    Ned Yost has become a good manager, who always seems to have a job. The late John Vukovich became a good coach who related well to his players. He even managed a little in the big leagues. Luis Pujols managed the Tigers for a year. I am sure he got that job because he was first a good coach.
    Bill Bergen, the player 100 years ago, who had the worst batting average ever, also holds the record for the most assists for a catcher.
    Under today's playing conditions he may have made a good bullpen coach, and maybe could have developed skills for catchers as receivers.
    Cal Ripken, Sr. never played in the majors, but he did a great job with Baltimore, and much of this was under Weaver. Ron Shelton, writer of Bull Durham, Cobb and other movies, played in the Oriole chain five years. I was talking to him, and he said Cal, Sr. ran a great minor league camp, and the Orioles would always have a job for him.

  9. The guy under Mendoza, Picciolo, hung on for 9 years, including 1 fairly good one, so maybe Mendoza can still be the standard.

    Picciolos teammate, Tony Armas, had a .287 OBP with 149 GDPs.That he finished 4th in the MVP vote in 1981 with a .294 OBP as the worst outfielder on his team - well, at least the NL had the sense to give it to Schmidt that year.

  10. Kahuna Tuna Says:

    I don't think Weaver would have wanted Stuffy McInnis as his first baseman — eight seasons with more sacrifices than walks.

  11. Spartan Bill Says:

    Looks like Brandon Wood is about to crack the list (assuming he makes the Angels roster) his .198 is good er I mean bad enough to rank him number 2; and he is only 21 excruciating plate appearances

  12. @4 the guys on this list would have to be of Belanger quality on defense (which is quite good) to play for Earl. Or anybody for that matter. Only nine managed 4 figures in plate appearances, and most of those petered well before 2000. I am curious as to what qualities Billy Sullivan and Bill Bergen had that allowed them to reach over 3000 plate appearances.

  13. Looked both players up and it turns out both were catchers who did well in defensive statitistics. Whether that translated to them being as good catchers defensively as Belanger was at shortstop heaven only knows. Something tells me probably not. Still, I can see carrying a player who is a liability on offense if he is a plus on defense, particularly at catcher. Although these guys strain the limits of the "no-bat, all-glove" model.

  14. Ken in Baltimore Says:

    As everyone knows, Weaver's philosophy was simple, pitching and three run homers. To have three run homers, you need people on base. And to have people on base you need people that can GET on base. Unfortunately, many of Earl's lineups had serious OBP issues.

    Take his first full year, 1969. One of the things he did upon taking over for Hank Bauer mid-season of 1968 was install Don Buford as the full time lead off hitter. Don held that spot in 1969, but the number two hitter was Paul Blair. Paulie, the great defensive CF, had a 327 OBP. His power numbers that year were the best of his career, 32 D and 26 HRs, and an OPS+ of 122. Wouldn't those power numbers be better served down in the order? Paul drove in 76 runs in 150 games that year, batting 130 times in the two hole. Weaver had two other excellent candidates for number two, Dave Johnson and Mark Belanger. Both had OBPs of 351, indeed that was the Blade's career year with the bat, a 287/351/345 line in 150 GP. Johnson mainly batted 6th, Belanger 8th. Certainly, Blair's power numbers were helped by being protected by the two Robby's and the league's second place MVP, Powell. Killer won MVP that year for the Twins, Boog a distant second, but with six first place votes.

    More of the same in the Series winning year of 1970. Blair and Belanger pretty much split the number two duties, combining for 104 starts. Even light hitting Chico Salmon got 16 starts as number two, with his 287 OBP. Blair did increase his OBP to 344, very respectable, but Blade Belanger regressed into his normal offensive numbers, with a 218/303/259 line. That was the year Booger won the MVP, with his 962 OPS and an OPS+ of 163.

    More of the same in 1971, the year of the Pirate. Blair's OBP fell off to 306, yet he batted two a team leading 76 times, while Belanger picked his offense back up for his career best overall year, a 266/365/320 and a career high 73 walks, vs 43 K's. He batted second 27 times. The very under appreciated Merv Rettenmund, one of my all-time favorites, batted second 21 times, with an OBP of 422 in 141 games. Indeed, Merv was an offensive force those two years, with an OBP of 390 in 1970. He batted second a total of 42 times those two years.

    Blair even led off 21 times in 1971, meaning a guy with a 306 OBP was one or two more than 90 times. The thing was, with the power those clubs had, with Brooks, Frank, Boog, and a deep bench, they still scored runs. leading the league in both 70 and 71 and finishing second in RS in 1969. The problem was, those weaknesses at the top of the order were apparent in the WS of 69 and 71. We all know what happened in 69, I don't think the 27 Yankees would have beaten the Amazing Mets that year, but they should have beaten the Pirates in 71. In the four games they lost in 1971, Belanger, Blair, Johnson, and Rettenmund all batted two and the Orioles were shutout once and scored just five runs in those four games. They scored 11 in game two alone.

    The other amazing fact about looking at Weaver's lineups during the dynasty years was that he had so many of them. For a club that appeared to be pretty much set, Earl used 70 different batting orders in 69, 106 in 70, and 129 in 71. By contrast, the Pirates used 107 in 71 and AL West winners Oakland used 83.

    Weaver continued his ways even in Oriole Magic year of 1979. Bumbry led off, but Weaver used Garcia, Dauer, and Belanger in 116 games, they had a combined OBP of 300. In 1980, when Bumbry was simply magnificent, becoming the first Orioles to have 200 hits, Dauer batted two 83 times. He did post a career high 33 OBP, but still.
    The Orioles used 138 different lineups in 1980, and 140 in 1979.

    The Orioles won over 100 games in each of the years I noted, which shows you how much I know and also how well balanced those teams were. But in other years, when there was a lack of power to back up the low OBPs, the Orioles didn't fare as well. Indeed, in the mid-70s, the Birds were known as a speed team, leading the league in SBs in 1973 with 146. earl would have rather had more HRs. What kept the Orioles winning in those down offensive times was the great pitching. Even in 1972, when the team OBP was 302, the team ERA was 2.53. TWO POINT FIVE THREE!!!! Think about that for a second. They went 80-74 in that strike delayed year.

    The Orioles made it back to playoffs in 73 and 74, losing both years to the A's and didn't get back to post-season until 79.

    In the Bill James Abstract of 1987, he made note of Weaver's lineups, criticizing especially the choice of leading off T-Bone Shelby in 35 games, Wiggins in 53, and Bonilla(not that Bonilla) in 37 more. The combined OBP was under three and the Orioles ended Weaver's career, after he replaced Altobelli the year before, with his only last place finish. I worked in local radio that year and covered the Orioles and when the media saw Weaver after games that year, you could tell he was dying inside. It was so sad.

    I do have a question for all of you. Would Weaver have wanted new Orioles 3B Mark Reynolds? Weaver would have loved his power, 76 HRs the past two years, but not his Ks or the 198 last season. What do you think?

  15. Wow, I always liked Ken Singleton, yet I never realized he had such a high OBP. He had 7 seasons with an OBP of .390 or higher. For the 1970's, that is very impressive.

  16. @14 - Ken in Baltimore: Weaver shared the pitching, defense, and 3-run homer philosophy with GM Frank Cashen, who later brought it to the Mets and implemented it with Davey Johnson - who, ironically, hit a can of corn to Cleon Jones in LF to make the final out of that wonderful '69 Series - as manager. But maybe you can explain something I've never understood. Why the specific emphasis on the 3-run homer? 2-run shots are almost as good, and grand slams are better.

    A couple of interesting things about the 1969 Orioles. As great as they were, they got beat at their own game by Gil Hodges and the Mets. Bud Harrelson tells the story of Don Buford, after hitting a homer to lead off game 1, shouting as he passed shortstop, "You ain't seen nothing yet!"
    To which Buddy replied, "First inning, first game, you ain't seen nothing yet either!" Harrelson, of course, was right. But to their eternal credit, the Orioles came right back and beat the Reds in '70 and got back to the Series in '71, so that was a well-constructed team.

  17. @4. Belanger isn't even close to making this list, with a career OBP of .300. From 69-76, the heart of his career as the starting SS, it was .315 and his oWAR was 12 for those years. Even though he batter 8th a lot before the AL instituted the DH, his OBP is not "padded" with intentional walks - 5 in '60, 6 in '71, 22 in his career. I suspect that os because he was considered to be only slightly more dangerous than the pitcher.

    The rest of his career he was essentially replacement level or below offensively. While not an offensive force, he was in fact better than most peope remember in his prime.

  18. Ken in Baltimore Says:

    Stu, Weaver was who said, "Pitching and three-run homers," not me. I think it was just a figure of speech. He certainly didn't tell someone who hit a two-run blast, "Why didn't you wait until two men were on base?" He just believed that HRs were the most efficient way of scoring runs and built teams to do just that.

    But he could adapt, as evidenced by the high SB totals in 73-74. They were third in the league in steals in 74, the year they beat the Yankees in the pennant race and O's pitchers threw five strike CG shutouts. They led in 73. They made the playoffs both years, but lost to the A's. In 76, they had Reggie, but that was the only year in the 70s, other than the strike year of 72, that they didn't win 90 games. They won 88.

    LJF, I suspect Mark's 315 OBP you of which you spoke is a result of his two good years, 69 and 71, when his OBP was 351 and 365. He only had two other years between 69-79 when he was above 300, in 73 when it was 302 and in 76, when he had a nice 270/336/326 line. That also the only year in which he reached league average for OPS+, right at 100. Otherwise, he was a far below average offensive SS, being pinch for in many games and in many others, being used as a defensive replacement. His career OPS+ was 68. I don't think you can say he was better than most people remember, in his prime.

    BTW, he hit his last HR in 1981. Any body remember of whom? It was at Memorial Stadium on a Monday night, right down the left field line and hit the fair pole, which was 309 feet away. Hint, Yankees were in town.

  19. @18 "BTW, he hit his last HR in 1981. Any body remember of whom? "

    How would we know? If only there was some website

  20. This goes far beyond Weaver but the Orioles really had an incredible 25 year run from 1960-1985. Only two full seasons where they failed to win 85 games or more (1962, 67). They were 80-74 in the '72 strike year and 59-46 in 1981.

  21. Belanger hit his 20th and last dinger off Ron Guidry. The info is available right on this sight, the HR log.

  22. *on this site.

  23. Mike Felber Says:

    Sweeping the bases is less common, as pitchers are particularly careful, & it is harder/less frequent to load 'em all up. And while just pretty realistic aspiration, 3 runs rather than even 2 can make a big difference.

  24. @Soundbounder: Looks like the last 25 years, 1986-2010, were the polar opposite of the previous 25, with the Orioles having become the model of how not to run a franchise...

  25. Ken in Baltimore Says:

    I know, I know, easy to look up. But I was in Memorial Stadium that night, but was at a concession stand when he hit it, so I missed it. Oh well.

  26. Why on earth was Charles Gene Phillips nicknamed J.R.?

  27. Didn't James once point out that every Weaver team received more walks than it's staff gave up?

  28. One thing I find most impressive about Weaver is that he inherited a set lineup, yet was able to get almost all of them to improve their walk rate.

    Weaver inherited 8 position players who had been MLB regulars for at least 2 years. I compared each player's walk rate per 162 games in their 2 to 5 seasons as a regular before Weaver, and under Weaver:(1)(2)

    -- Don Buford: +43
    -- Boog Powell: +16
    -- Mark Belanger: +16
    -- Davey Johnson: +15
    -- Frank Robinson: +5
    -- Paul Blair: +5
    -- Brooks Robinson: +4
    -- Andy Etchebarren: -7
    ===========================
    Average change: +12 walks per 162 games

    Notes:

    (1) Weaver actually took the reins midway through the '68 season, but for the sake of convenience, I counted '68 as "before Weaver." Had I drawn the "before" line precisely, the results would likely favor Weaver even more, since the 1968 O's drew about 8% more walks per game under Weaver than under Hank Bauer.

    (2) Here are the number of seasons as a MLB regular before Weaver and under Weaver, for each player:
    Before Weaver: 5 for F.Robinson, B.Robinson, Powell and Buford; 4 for Blair; 3 for D.Johnson and Etchebarren; 2 for Belanger.
    Under Weaver: 5 for B.Robinson, Powell, Blair, Belanger and Etchebarren; 4 for Buford and D.Johnson; 3 for F.Robinson.

  29. P.S. to #28: It's premature to say that Weaver directly caused these players to increase their walk rate. But given his stated philosophy and the actual data, it's safe to assume he had a good deal to do with it.

  30. @28 John,
    How do you only get "5 seasons as a MLB regular before Weaver" for the two Robinsons? I don't understand that.

    Also, with the exception of Brooks Robinson, every player in the starting lineup hit for a higher average in 1969 than 1968. Several of them by a wide margin.

  31. @28 "Also, with the exception of Brooks Robinson, every player in the starting lineup hit for a higher average in 1969 than 1968. Several of them by a wide margin."

    Um, the mound was lowered in 1969, they might have decreased the strike zone.

  32. @31 Jeff
    Whoops! My mistake. Another senior moment!
    Or as you would say: "Um, another um senior uh moment"

  33. @30, Soundbounder -- Sorry, I should have made it clear that, for the sake of simplicity, I looked at no more than 5 seasons of pre-Weaver or post-Weaver data for each player. So my second footnote should have read:

    (2) Here are the number of seasons as a MLB regular that I looked at before Weaver and under Weaver, for each player:

  34. Here's another tangential Weaver note that I had hoped to flesh out, but now I have to run so I'll just toss it up there:

    How did the Orioles rank in OBP and Walks Drawn under Weaver?

    1968 -- 3rd in OBP, 2nd in Walks (only the 2nd half of '68 was under Weaver)
    1969 -- 1st, 2nd
    1970 -- 1st, 1st (both by large margins)
    1971 -- 1st, 1st (both by enormous margins)
    1972 -- 8th, 4th
    1973 -- 1st, 1st
    1974 -- 7th, 7th
    1975 -- 8th, 7th
    1976 -- 11th, 5th
    1977 -- 8th, 3rd
    1978 -- 9th, 5th
    1979 -- 8th, 2nd
    1980 -- 5th, 4th
    1981 -- 5th, 1st
    1982 -- 2nd, 2nd
    1985 -- 3rd, 3rd (last 2/3 of season under Weaver)
    1986 -- 8th, 6th

    The O's were 1st or 2nd in AL walks drawn in 5 of their 6 division title years under Weaver, as well as 1982, when they lost the title to Milwaukee in the final game.

    They were 1st in OBP in 4 of Weaver's first 5 full seasons. But from 1974 onward, they averaged between 6th & 7th -- despite adding Singleton in 1975.

  35. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Jeff J., good point, and it also applies to John Autin's argument. The AL BB/game in '67-'68 was 3.08 and 3.01. In '69-'70 it was 3.61 and 3.50. Everyone walked a lot more those seasons. The difference is around +9 BB per lineup spot per 162 games (I think). I'd say Weaver's impact was minimal compared to the rule changes.

  36. @35 Johnny Twisto,
    Another thing I noticed is they ranked high from 1966-68 also.

    1966: 4th in BB's; 1st in OBP
    1967: 3rd in BB's; 3rd in OBP
    1968: 2nd in BB's; 3rd in OBP

  37. One thing you can guarantee is that Earl Weaver didn't mind having guys "clogging up the bases".

    So I think Dusty Baker could find a spot on the list.

  38. @35, Johnny Twisto -- Good point re: league-wide increase in BB/G starting in '69 at least tempering any possible "Weaver effect" on individual O's. I should've thought of that.

    I also realize now that BB/PA would be a much better metric to look at in this regard, particularly in light of the BA & scoring uptick in '69. Teams averaged about 180 more PA in 1969 than in '68, which would lead to an increase in BB/G even if BB/PA held steady.

    I'll post if I get around to following up using the better measure.

  39. Presented below:
    The Baltimore Orioles' rate of BB/PA compared to the AL average.
    Non-Weaver years are in italics.

    1964: +3.4%
    1965: -0.7%
    1966: +1.7%
    1967: +4.7%
    1969:* +9.5%
    1970: +21.8%
    1971: +23.2%
    1972: +7.6%
    1973: +14.5%
    1974: +10.8%
    1975: +3.3%
    1976: +2.4%
    1977: +8.1%
    1978: +7.0%
    1979: +15.9%
    1980: +12.8%
    1981: +21.1%
    1982: +18.8%
    1983: +17.1%
    1984: +22.5%
    1985: +12.6%
    1986: +2.8%

    Summary: The Orioles' walk rate was near the league average for the four seasons before Weaver. It was well above average for virtually all of his first tenure, except for two years (1975-76) when it was just a bit above average. It remained very high during his two-year absence and in the first year of his second term, before falling to near average in his final year.

    I'll leave it to others to attribute causation.
    ----------
    * I skipped 1968 because Weaver managed half that season. Before replacing Hank Bauer, Weaver was the first-base coach and, it would seem, manager-in-waiting, having already managed 10 years in the Orioles' system. I don't know how to gauge Weaver's influence on the '68 O's overall, as compared to 1967 or '69. In '68, their BB rate was +14.0% under Bauer, a substantial increase from '67 -- but was Weaver already influencing the club even in the first half? In any case, it was even higher under Weaver in the second half of '68, at +19.0%.

  40. DoubleDiamond Says:

    I love reading this thread because it brings back memories of a great time for a great team - the team that was my favorite MLB team from 1966 through 1986 (the glory years) and my favorite American League team from 1987 through 2001 (the beginning of the decline).

    I don't currently have a favorite American League team. I think I am waiting for the Orioles to become at least respectable again.

  41. @DoubleDiamond: For the true fan, favorite teams are not supposed to change over time.

  42. It's so easy (& fun) to get sidetracked here --
    what I originally meant to study was the 3-run-HR rate for Weaver's O's, compared to the league average. Maybe tomorrow.

    P.S. to DoubleDiamond: IMHO, you had every right to divorce the Angelos O's. I'm exploring a trial separation from the Wilpon Mets myself....

  43. @John Autin: Interesting point about divorces and trial separations. Ironic that it was Wilpon who brought in Frank Cashen and all the success of the 80s, is it not?

  44. @43, Stu Baron: Thanks for pointing out Fred Wilpon's involvement in hiring Frank Cashen. I didn't become a Mets fan until I moved to NYC in '84, and I actually didn't know that Wilpon was even involved with the club before that.

    So, yes, it surely is ironic -- because the organization is definitely "rotting from the head" at this point. Perhaps the fault lies more with Jeff Wilpon than with his father; I don't know. But as an ownership team, they have truly lost their way.

  45. 3-run HRs:
    Comparing rates of HRs that scored 3+ runs, Weaver's Orioles vs. AL average:

    Pct. of HRs that scored 3+ runs:
    1969: AL 12.9%; O's 11.4% ... -1.5
    1970: AL 13.7%; O's 16.2% ... +2.5
    1971: AL 14.2%; O's 17.1% ... +2.9
    1972: AL 15.1%; O's 15.0% ... -0.1
    1973: AL 15.1%; O's 17.6% ... +2.5
    1974: AL 12.8%; O's 9.5% ... -3.8
    1975: AL 14.3%; O's 18.6% ... +4.3
    1976: AL 14.4%; O's 18.5% ... +4.1
    1977: AL 11.7%; O's 15.6% ... +3.9
    1978: AL 13.5%; O's 7.8% ... -5.7
    1979: AL 13.9%; O's 13.3% ... -0.6
    1980: AL 13.3%; O's 12.8% ... -0.5
    1981: AL 14.9%; O's 19.3% ... +4.4
    1982: AL 12.9%; O's 20.7% ... +7.8

    Summary: The Orioles generally did hit a slightly higher percentage of their HRs with 2 or 3 men aboard than the AL average, by about 1.5 percentage points. Does this reflect a successful strategy, an above-average OBP, or a combination of those and other factors, including luck? That would take a lot more study, by someone smarter than me. I do wish that I had gathered the SH data along with the HRs, but I'm not going back now.

    Other notes:
    -- There were 32 grand slams in the AL in 1969, but the O's didn't hit a single one.
    -- AL HR totals were highly volatile in this period. From 1970 to '71, AL HRs declined by 18% (1746 to 1484), then fell another 26% in 1972 (1484 to 1175). HRs rose again with the DH, but then fell by 31% from 1975 to '76 (1465 to 1122). They shot up again with the 1977 expansion, but fell by 20% the next year (2013 to 1680).

  46. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I'd say it's a reflection of above-average OBPs, and that's about it. There's really no way to strategize to specifically hit 3-run homers (and trying to do so would be silly). I'm not sure how and when the cliche that that's what Weaver's Orioles were trying to do came about. As Ken replied to Stu upthread, I'm sure it wasn't a specific strategy, just a general concept. Try to get the guys leading off on base, and then bring 'em all home.

    Going back.... I always liked Ken Singleton, yet I never realized he had such a high OBP. He had 7 seasons with an OBP of .390 or higher. For the 1970's, that is very impressive.

    Is that true? Rather, is it much more impressive than it would be now? His .390 OBP seasons occurred from 1973-1983. Eyeballing it, the league OBP in that era was the high .320s. There were 57 seasons of OBP > .390; Singleton's 7 were 2nd most.

    Since 2000, the league OBP has been in the low-mid .330s. There have been 106 seasons of .390+ OBP. That's about 56% more common per team-season. Six players in the past 11 seasons had at least 7 seasons of .390+ OBP.

  47. @John Autin: Wilpon and Nelson Doubleday bought the team in 1979, a few years after Joan Payson died and M Donald Grant ran the team into the ground. They immediately hired Cashen as GM, much the same way as they just hired Sandy Alderson. One of Cashen's first moves was selecting Darryl Strawberry with the first pick in the 1980 first-year player draft.

  48. Ernie Semmers Says:

    The late, great Jim Healy used to play sound bites from Manager Weaver which pretty much summed up his managerial philosophy. Weaver loved the likes of Terry Crowley. He cared little of speed. I guess you could call him the "Anti-Herzog." The players above are all totally anemic-of course he would have none of them. "Give me those big M******* who can hit the ball out of the ballpark!" The quote I remember was about how the aforementioned Crowley would have been out of baseball, but we thought that he could sit around for 6 or 7 innings and enjoy the ballgame and then get up and hit one… It's a very simple thing, and Bill James has pointed it out many times. Draw walks. Hit Home Runs. Win ballgames. It was Earl Weaver's mantra-Gorman Thomas, Rob Deer, Dave Kingman. What Orioles these would have been. If Darrell Evans had signed with the Orioles would he have stayed there 20 years and made the faithful forget Brooks altogether? Plus Earl was a great tomato farmer.