Comments on: 28 Guys Who Never Would Have Worked For Earl Weaver This and that about baseball stats. Tue, 16 Jul 2013 17:01:55 +0000 hourly 1 By: Ernie Semmers Wed, 05 Jan 2011 08:16:04 +0000 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.

By: Stu Baron Wed, 05 Jan 2011 03:12:04 +0000 @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.

By: Johnny Twisto Tue, 04 Jan 2011 05:37:45 +0000 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.

By: John Autin Tue, 04 Jan 2011 05:00:46 +0000 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).

By: John Autin Mon, 03 Jan 2011 16:00:31 +0000 @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.

By: Stu Baron Sat, 01 Jan 2011 02:37:15 +0000 @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?

By: John Autin Fri, 31 Dec 2010 06:13:51 +0000 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....

By: Stu Baron Fri, 31 Dec 2010 03:57:40 +0000 @DoubleDiamond: For the true fan, favorite teams are not supposed to change over time.

By: DoubleDiamond Fri, 31 Dec 2010 03:08:34 +0000 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.

By: John Autin Fri, 31 Dec 2010 03:00:31 +0000 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%.