This Week in Southern Baseball (by AtlCrackers Fan)

May 18, 1906
The Memphis Chicks pound out 11 hits and 12 runs in the 7th inning of a game against the Birmingham Barons. Barons pitcher Harry “Slim” Sallee, would face 16 batters in the inning and take the loss in the 18-3 pasting. Sallee would have a 14 year career in the Major Leagues, primarily the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants, posting a 173-143 record. Birmingham would win the Southern League title in 1906, with Memphis in 2nd place, 8 games behind.

May 19, 1905
Charleston (SC) Sea Gulls owner and manager Ed Ashenback sells the South Atlantic (Sally) League franchise to a group headed by Frank Petit and Charles Mathews. The purchase price is reported as $3,500. The Sea Gulls would finish the season in 5th place, 23 ½ games behind first place Macon.

30 thoughts on “This Week in Southern Baseball (by AtlCrackers Fan)”

  1. As Boomer alluded to at the end of last thread, from the No Surprise Here Department…

    In other NL East injury news, the Braves announced reliever Jonny Venters had the second Tommy John procedure of his career today.

    Halladay’s out for probably 3 months too.

  2. Following up on comment from the last post noting that the NL East has been soft so far this year: the NL East is the only division in baseball where just one team (the Braves, obviously) has a positive run differential – in fact, the NL East (-104) has the worst aggregate run differential of all six divisions, including the AL West, home of the Astros (-88 by themselves).

  3. So will Heyward be activated tomorrow or does he need a few weeks worth of games to get ready? Never really know with him.

    Are we cutting one of Reed/Schafer or is Gattis getting sent down?

  4. I think the plan for this weekend is to send one of the bullpen guys (probably Carpenter) down to make space for Jason.

    In related news, the Rays put David price on the DL. I bet they are arranging plane tickets to Birmingham as we speak (which is too bad, as I don’t have any issues with the Rays or D. Price).

  5. I will now say, with the safety of hindsight, that it was a crime to use Johnny Venters as much as he has been used. And when I say “crime”, I don’t mean literally; I’m exaggerating for effect. (Although there could be a case for a civil action from Mr. Venters.) It’s one thing to give the young man the nickname “Everyday”, it’s quite another to actually try to prove it.

  6. Just got my free seats from the Home Depot promotion. Surprisingly, they’re not General Admission. Section 410, so upper level, but still around the field. Awesome for tickets that only cost a postage stamp.

  7. In general, I have no problem with mid-market teams that can’t afford to retain free agent relievers riding them into the ground. But Fredi should have been fired for his bullpen management in 2011. He rode Venters into the ground when the guy still had three or four years of control left. Insane.

  8. Great article, Alex. Very informative to go through 20+ years of a decision-making process.

  9. EOF should start watching how “available” he is when we are up 10-1 and Fredi calls his number.

  10. @9: pretty good, but I’m waiting for Anthony Schreiber to give us his take on this.

  11. @6 it may be hindsight to say it now, but even at the time many of us were bashing Freddi’s overuse of Venters.

  12. @13: I was one of those people. What I should have said is that hindsight has given us total certainty.

  13. @5, It’s a triceps injury. I maintain that it would be wonderful if Wren were to trade for Price, and it’s too bad that what the Rays need is cost-controlled offense.

  14. @15, Well hell! Let’s trade ’em Uggla and BJ. Those are costs that will be controlling us for a long time!

  15. Again, I love this feature. The names — Slim Sallee! And think for a second about a pitcher facing 16 batters in the seventh inning of a game he (probably) started. If only I could go back a century in time and learn ligament replacement surgery….

  16. @19
    I thought he’d be in the ‘pen by year’s end so why not!

    On a side note, Heyward wasn’t in Gwinnett’s lineup last night so I assume he’ll be in Atlanta’s tonight.

  17. Padres are not as bad as the Marlins but still wretched. We are probably going to have to sweep the Dodgers to stay in first place. Fortunately we are missing both Kershaw and Greinke.

  18. “In general, I have no problem with mid-market teams that can’t afford to retain free agent relievers riding them into the ground. ”

    You don’t think there is anythign wrong with ruining a guy’s career just because team can’t afford to keep him? Nice.

  19. Apropos of nothing: Do people call Tim Duncan “Timmy Dunks”? If not, why? It seems so natural. And I’m not aware of any other nickname for him. I guess “The Big Fundamental”, which is fun in a kinda wonky/basketball nerd way.

    Whatever. I call him Timmy Dunks (typically as an exclamation after he does something, like make a pretty lay-in; I actually think it works best when he doesn’t dunk it), and you should to.

  20. 22-I never said that I condoned “ruining a guy’s career JUST BECAUSE [a] team can’t afford to keep him”. But I have no problem with a team extracting the maximum possible value from a player–without necessarily having any concern for that player’s longevity–and that calculation is obviously different for rich and poor teams. Overuse and a shortened career is a risk MLB pitchers happily sign up for and sorry, I’m not going to waste any moral outrage on it. It’s not like we are talking about the NFL linemen or hockey enforcers who end up with pickled brains.

  21. Ok, it’s not like having pickled brains, but I think employers in any line of work-including the military-have an obligation not to risk an employee’s well-being simply for short-run interests. I don’t think too many pitchers “happily sign up for overuse and a shortended career.” If it happens, it happens but I think they have a right to expect the teams to at least make an effort to protect them. Actually, I don’t think teams do make calcuated decisions to overuse ptichers because they won’t be there next year anyway. It’s usually a matter of managers feeling they have to do this and not knowing any better. I can’t imagine a manager saying (or thinking) that I don’t give a damn what happens to this guy because we won’t be able to resign him anyway. If he did, it certainly would not help the team attract free agents. But maybe I’m naive.

  22. Yeah, more often than not, a non-closer relief pitcher was a failed starter, a la Jonny Venters. If the Braves walked up to Venters when he was putting up 4.60’s in High-A and said “Hey Jonny, if we made you a reliever, and it got you to the bigs for 5 seasons, but then you were done, would you sign up?” I think he’d sign on the dotted line.

    These guys are definitely bummed when they’re injured. And some may even take issue with their usage. But big picture, a lot of them never would have made the bigs otherwise.

    And, like it or not, this is where the game is. Sportswriters like to wax eloquent about the good old days when pitchers threw 350 innings a season, and there was no need for specialized relievers. But guys got injured then, too. We just forgot all of them or never heard of them, because they didn’t get surgery then. They just went back to the farm. The league, out of necessity, just selected for the physical freaks of endurance, rather than the physical freaks of velocity and stuff.

    With 25 man rosters, and the realization that a guy who threw 18 pitches yesterday is probably more fresh than the guy who threw 105 pitches today, the good relievers are going to be used 70+ times a season. And they’d rather get paid to be a good reliever than never get there as a middling starter.

  23. I had no idea but last night Strasburg pitched into the 8th inning for the first time in his career. Seems you can go the other way being too careful as well. That is mind blowing to me.

  24. He was at 106 at the end of the 7th and cruising (retired last 6). I can see running him out there and being ready to pull him if he labored at all, but he zipped through the last 3 batters he faced. They had worked the pen pretty hard the night before and REALLY needed a W. I can see it.

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