Monday, March 6, 2017

3/6: HBD Cap'n Willie, Fran, Clint & John; Arky, Max to HoF; Kevin & Yoslan Inked; First DH

  • 1863 - RF/1B John Coleman was born in Saratoga Springs, NY. He was an Allegheny in 1886 and then played with the Pirates during 1887-88 & 1890. For beginning his career as a pitcher, he did OK with the bat, putting up a .266 BA in his Pittsburgh days.
Willie Stargell 2012 Triple Play Hall of Fame
  • 1940 - 1B/OF Wilver Dornell Stargell was born in Earlsboro, Oklahoma. Pops played his entire 21-year MLB career (1962-1982) for the Pirates. Captain Willie hit .282, with 2,232 hits, 423 doubles, 475 HR and 1,540 RBI. His teams captured six NL East division titles, two NL pennants and two World Series (1971, 1979). Stargell was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.
  • 1973 - In an spring exhibition game against the Bucs, the Twins’ Larry Hisle, in most (but not all) historians minds, became the first DH in MLB history. He did a good job, too, hitting two HR and collecting seven RBI. It was the first year the rule was in effect, and five teams used a DH that day, which is why there’s still some debate over who the first guy actually was.
  • 1979 - SS Clint “Don’t Stop Believing” Barmes was born in Vincennes, Indiana. The slick fielding, stick-challenged infielder joined the Buccos in 2012 when he signed a two-year, $10.5M FA contract. He returned in 2014 for $1.5M, although he was hurt much of the year and during the off-season signed with the San Diego Padres. He retired in 2016.
Arky Vaughan 1941 Play Ball
  • 1985 - SS Arky Vaughan was elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Vaughan batted .318 with a .406 OBP over a 14-year career with the Pirates (1932-41) and Brooklyn Dodgers. He was inducted on July 28th. Earlier, in 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. Twenty years later, in his 2001 New Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill James rated Vaughan as the second-best shortstop in MLB history, behind fellow Pirate and mentor Honus Wagner.
  • 1986 - C Francisco Cervelli was born in Valencia, Venezuela. He joined the Bucs in November of 2014 from the Yankees, traded for Justin Wilson. New York signed him in 2003. Originally an infielder, they flipped him to catching, where he’s considered one of the better defensive players with a solid bat, although injuries have bitten him throughout his career. In his first year as a Buc, he was healthy as a horse, playing 130 games and hitting .295. That wasn’t quite the tale in 2016, as he got behind the dish 95 times due to various injuries and hit .264.
  • 1999 - 1B Kevin Young signed the richest contract in Pirate history, a $24M, four-year deal that was made possible by anticipated revenues from the team's soon-to-be-built stadium. The deal called for a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $5.5M in 2000, $6M in 2001, $5.5M in 2002 and $6.5M in 2003. That carried him to the end of his 12 year career, with all but one campaign spent as a Pirate. He rejoined the team in 2015 as a special assistant of the baseball operations.
Maz Hall of Fame Hologram Poster
  • 2001 - 2B Bill Mazeroski was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. He was inducted on August 5th, tearing up during his speech and tucking his handwritten notes away, saying "I think you can flush these 12 pages down the drain." The Pirates retired his number, built him a statue, and every October 13th fans meet at the Forbes Field wall to celebrate his home run, selected by ESPN as the “Greatest Home Run of All Time.”
  • 2007 - The Bucs signed Cuban righty Yoslan Herrera to a three year/$1.92M deal. He made it to the show in July, 2008, and in five starts, he went 1-1/9.82. The Pirates released him during the 2009 offseason, and he was out of baseball after another year. Herrera did rebound though, pitching for the LA Angels in 2014 and then moving on to Japan.


WilliamJPellas said...

Barmes wasn't terrible for the Pirates. His fielding was as good as advertised and he did hit the occasional home run. My whole problem with him was that the team spent $11.5 million to have him for three years when they already had Pedro Ciriaco on hand and he would have cost about $2 or $3 million over the same period of time. And Ciriaco subsequently showed that he could play a little bit. He had a very good year as a utilityman and part time starter for the Red Sox and while he has no power, he can steal some bases, he's good defensively, and he hits for a decent average. I've never understood why he has bounced around the way that he has. My points are these. One, was Barmes really much of an upgrade versus what Ciriaco would have provided for far less cash? Two, the current regime definitely seems to have "their guys" and their template as far as what kind of player they want. It doesn't seem to matter much whether a guy brings anything to the table if he doesn't fit their profile. It's not that Ciriaco was a worldbeater, don't get me wrong. It's that he was a perfectly viable and much cheaper alternative and I don't see that Barmes was much of an upgrade (if at all) at that point in his career. Same thing with Alex Presley. "The King" wasn't going to Cooperstown, but that's not the point. The point is that he could do some things and they seem to have ignored that because he wasn't "their guy". Or so it seems to me.

Ron Ieraci said...

Well, Will, both guys have had MLB experience with five organizations, with Ciriaco at 1.1 WAR in 300+ career games and Alex at 0.1 WAR in nearly 400 contests. Both also have minus dWARs and sub-.300 OBP. Pittsburgh wasn't the only FA that thought they were just plug-in pieces and not everyday material.

WilliamJPellas said...

You're right, neither one of them are worldbeaters, nor are they going to be. Just pointing out that even with near-replacement level players, the current regime seems to take the approach that they have "their guys" and that's it, Ciriaco being the most glaring example. Was Barmes, especially at that point in his career, really an upgrade over Ciriaco given how much more they paid Barmes? I honestly don't think so. Not that any fan will agree with everything a given front office does, etc. As we put it in Kentucky, I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.