Off-Day Trip Down Memory Lane

I don’t have any substantive commentary to add, so I figure I’ll use the off-day to post a video I found buried in my Twitter favorites. Dan McQuade (@dhm) posted this at the end of January:

Three thoughts:

  • Sal Fasano had a badass fu manchu
  • Remember Sal’s Pals, and how Fasano bought them pizza one time?
  • Larry Andersen did TV commentary at one time, we need more of that

Feel free to use this post as an open thread. Starting on Friday, the Phillies will open up a three-game set at home against the Dodgers. They’re slated to face Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, and Ricky Nolasco. It’s going to get ugly.

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  1. Kevin McGuire

    August 15, 2013 07:10 AM

    Greinke, Kershaw and Nolasco? Phillies have Lee, Kendrick and Hamels. At least they’re throwing the best pitchers out there this weekend. But yeah, it’s gonna be ugly on offense.

  2. Scott G

    August 15, 2013 07:58 AM

    I think Sal was trying to imitate Lieber throwing to first.

    Also, “get” ugly????

  3. Iatrogenes

    August 15, 2013 08:38 AM

    Speaking of trips down memory lane…

    I think baseball fans are different than fans of other sports, even though we often also pledge our allegiance to our other home town teams, both college and professional. I’m an Eagles season ticket holder, but it just feels so much different than wearing my heart on my Phillies sleeve. With the Eagles, I enjoy the tailgating and comradeship more than watching the actual game (which I can see and follow better on my home TV). For me, baseball has to do with history, it being my first sport as a little kid and playing and going to games with my dad, to getting caught up in endless discussions about strategy, who the best players are, mixing last night’s game with a game we saw 40 years ago in a seamless stream of consciousness. The more I try to analyze it, the less I understand it and the more silly it seems. We always talked about baseball statistics, but compared to today, statistics back in the day are like cave wall drawings. Batting Average. RBIs. Home runs. Wins and losses and ERA. Now Sabermetricians are measuring everything about teams and players using advanced statistical methods that are farther over my head than the moon …but I still find the ones I can understand VERY interesting. I had to find out what the hell WHIP was (walks + hits divided into innings pitched) …but I’m sure you already knew that! OPS = on-base + slugging percentage, and to today’s Sabermetrics geeks, those two “advanced” pieces of data are the equivalent of writings on stone slabs. If you ever get curious and visit a Sabermetrics website (I have), you’re as likely to understand what they’re talking about as conversing in Sanskrit. But hey, these guys are SERIOUS about baseball too, green eye shades and all. All of it is food for endless baseball discussions.

    I grew up with my first baseball love, the Philadelphia A’s. I can still recite the 1948 starting lineup (you can’t be THAT old) from memory. When you think of the greatest infield double-play combo of all time, what comes to mind? Tinker to Evers to Chance? They weren’t that good, didn’t like each other, and if not immortalized in a 1910 poem, they would never be remembered nor should they be. That poem also got all three into the Baseball Hall of Fame. From 1906 through 1910, the “Tinker, to Evers, to Chance” double play happened only 54 times in 770 games played, and the trio did not collaborate on a double play during any of their 21 World Series games. In 1906, this Hall of Fame trio committed 194 errors. Yikes, even if the fields were awful! The 1949 A’s infield of Hank Majewski 3B; Eddie Joost SS: Pete Suder 2B; and Ferris Fain 1B were the greatest of all-time. That year they turned 217 double-plays, by far the greatest total by a mile both before and since, a record likely to never be broken. During a three-year period, they turned 629 DPs; that record is less likely to be broken than DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak. And remember, they played a 154 game season. Ferris Fain hit .300 only twice …and both times led the AL in hitting. In 1948 Alex Kellner, a rookie pitcher, won 20 games, never to be repeated during his career. Buddy Rosar, the regular catcher, once went through a season with a 1.000 fielding average. I don’t know why knowing this stuff is enjoyable, but it is to me.

    Better I should remember my passwords.

    QUIZ: The A’s two catchers were Buddy Rosar and Mickey Guerra. What were their real given first names (no fair looking it up unless you were born after 1950)? Answer at the bottom.

    As my youthful allegiance shifted to the Phillies in 1948 when Richie Ashburn hit .333 as a rookie, I was head-over-heels in love with the 1950 Phillies when they won their first NL pennant in 35 years (we do go into long lulls in Philly, don’t we). Jim Konstanty, their 33-year-old relief pitcher, had a 16-7 record. Who ever heard of a relief pitcher with 23 decisions? He appeared in 72 games and AVERAGED over two innings per appearance while we argue over whether Papelbon should face a hitter in the 8th in a close game instead of waiting until the 9th. Even though saves weren’t recorded back then, Konstanty would have had 22. In one game he entered the game tied in the 7th inning, which the Phillies finally won in the 15th …with Konstanty still pitching. He went nine innings to get the victory. Two weeks later, Konstanty turned in another ironman performance out of the bullpen. He pitched ten innings against the Cincinnati Reds on September 15. He had come into the game in the ninth inning and was relieved after the 18th inning. The Phils won the game 8-7 in 19 innings. The game turned out to be the longest ever played by the Phillies at Shibe Park. Remember, he was a relief pitcher who did not start a single game during the 1950 regular season …but did start the first game of the World Series against the Yankees as Robin Roberts had just pitched the last pennant-clinching game of the season. He lost 1-0. That year, he won the NL MVP (no Cy Young Awards at the time). Number 2 in the voting? Stan Musial of the Cardinals. He had a so-so year, hitting .346, 109 RBI and an OPS of 1.034.

    The Yankees swept the series in four games and the Phillies scored a total of 5 runs, only 3 earned. The Phillies pitchers had team ERA in the Series of 2.27 and yet were swept in 4. Robin Roberts pitched game two and lost 2-1 on a DiMaggio homer. Dick Sisler, the first baseman who hit the dramatic 10th inning homerun in the 154th game against the Dodgers to win the NL pennant, batted .059 in the WS (1-17). Yikes!

    And then there’s Robbie, Hall of Fame pitcher. Starting in 1950, he logged over 300 innings for six consecutive seasons and in the 7th he “only” pitched 297 innings. During that seven year stretch he averaged 26 complete games per year. Now we talk about a Quality Start as being 3 runs or less in 6 innings. Somewhere Robbie is rolling over laughing his ass off!

    ANSWER: Warren “Buddy” Rosar and Fermin “Mickey” Guerra

  4. pablo

    August 15, 2013 11:02 AM

    Any reports on Asche’s defense at third? I listen o the games and it sounds like he has made some nice plays but I have yet to see him field any balls. Also LA and Frankze seem impressed by his speed down the line.

  5. Phillie697

    August 15, 2013 11:42 AM


    I liked what I saw when I saw him in person, but UZR, in hilariously small samples, have him rated also in a hilarious fashion as being by far the worst 3B defensively to ever play the game it seems, at a -39.4/150 so far. Of course that’s not going to last, but looks like there is much to be desired.

  6. bubba0101

    August 15, 2013 11:54 AM

    Im laughing out loud at that video. Then I cried a little becuase we are back to that form. We have to have the most dropped cans of corn in history. Thats an exaggeration but how can big leaguers drop so many fly balls?

  7. Bob

    August 15, 2013 01:30 PM

    I’d like to read a transcript from one of the games called by Larry Andersen to see how much he adds. I haven’t found him altogether that insightful.

  8. larry morris

    August 15, 2013 01:55 PM

    what makes baseball so great?

    we can have a debate on how wrong you are about tinkers to evers to chance-players from over 100 years ago…but in every other sport you can hardly talk about 5 years ago and surely not before about 1967 (nhl expansion,super bowl era)… Otto Graham???who is that? he can’t be better than Montana and his FOUR SUPER BOWLS

  9. bubba0101

    August 15, 2013 04:02 PM

    Larry Anderson is a google plex times better than the combination of Wheels and McCarthy in their finest hour. Then again, anything is better than nothing.

  10. Ned

    August 15, 2013 05:20 PM

    That was really funny. BTW Larry Anderson is the only reason to listen to Phillies this year.

  11. Nehemiah

    August 15, 2013 11:02 PM

    YOu guys speak of the greatness of LA (accurately), but I feel like there isn’t enough love in general for Franzke. I love both of those guys. That combo should be the TV crew. Do people disagree with me on Franzke?

    I do love LA’s reactions to excitable situations. Howard’s check swing ejection obavariously comes to mind.

  12. amarosucks

    August 16, 2013 07:15 AM

    Listening to Harry made losing tolerable. Listening to Wheels/McCarthy makes losing even worse.

    Franzke/LA should be on TV. Jim Jackson should be on the radio. Wheels/McCarthy should be doing Astros games.

    Putting Dumb and Dumber in the booth is really an extension of the middle finger to the fans. I don’t know one phillies fan who likes either one of them.

  13. bubba0101

    August 16, 2013 07:33 AM

    Someone should just unplug Wheels/McCarthy’s mics and not tell em. Franske deserves a lot of credit. LA can be LA because franske picks up where he leaves off as a broadcaster and game announcer.

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