BOB, Williamsport Tri State Club, National Commission discussed on Effectively Wild: A FanGraphs Baseball Podcast


To a pennant, then just to show what fans are made of when they get thinking too much. I began to get letters asking me why if I had taught the team to bunt, I could not teach the men to drive the ball smartly on a straight line over the heads of the infielders when said infielders were playing in. What do you think of that? They were handing me a roast because I did not make the players turn off straight singles in these days when 300 hitters are so scarce you can count them on one hand. I have some of these letters yet and the saber bio says the fans may have been justified in handing him the roast because the bunting tactics didn't work for very long and after his team went 9 and 20, he was replaced as the manager of the Boston team in 1907. So that's a little bit of background on bob unglued. So here is the story that was the source for that saber card about the arc, which is maybe what we should call whatever they implement next year with the shift ban. If at some point I know we were talking about pi slices, if they have lines on the field, I think we should call it the unglued arc after bob unglued, who is ahead of his time, this comes from the Brooklyn citizen, January 21st, 1907, headline chance for long hitters, subhead unglued, has an idea to produce some swatting. Williamsport, Pennsylvania, January 21st, Robert a unglued, the crack first sacker of the Williamsport tri state club. I think he was in the miners briefly with a non NL or ALT at that time who has recently awarded to the Boston Americans. That's the AL team by the national commission, has devised a rule which he says would produce more long hitting in ball games in order to give the heavy hitter his due advantage over the light hitter unglued says the outfielder should be limited to a certain territory, he suggests drawing an arc from one field blend to the other at a distance of 80 yards from the home plate. It's about 240 feet using the plate as a center. This will give a quarter circle every point of which is 80 yards from the home plate. Outfielders are to play on the inside of this circle until after the ball has been hit by a batter, the batter who can drive the ball a hundred yards or more will have an opportunity to get a long hit instead of having the fielders judge his hit and pull it down at a point more than a hundred yards from the plate by a phenomenal catch. On glove says that the fault of the present rules is that the long hitter has only a slight advantage over the light hitters because 9 times out of ten, the fielders will judge the batter's manner of hitting and arrange themselves in the field to suit the occasion, this arc will give the heavy hitter an opportunity to drive the ball far into the deep field and get a clear hit for several bases. That's the only reference I can find to the unglued arc at the time. But that's the idea. He's like, hey, they're robbing us. They're catching the ball. Have you seen this? Yeah. They know that the hitters who hit the ball deep will hit the ball deep, and therefore they're playing deep, and we can't drive the ball over their heads. This is unsporting, therefore we should have the unglued arc, and they will not be able to play so deep, and therefore long hitters can hit the ball long over their heads, but like, this could happen. We could get something like this because gilders have been playing deeper and wrap Arthur and others have written about this. It seems to be a big part of why defense has improved and has dropped is that fielders are playing deeper and they're getting to balls and they're preventing balls from going over their heads, and now we have this shift band, which is sort of banning the four player outfield, right? So at some point, we might actually get some kind of ung arc out there that's like, hey, you can't play this deep because it's suppressing offense. And if so, we got to name it after bob unglued, who was a 120 or so years ahead of his time. It's just, you know, there's nothing new under the sun. Yeah, there really isn't. So bob unglued deserves to be remembered. Career 99 OPS plus in his 6 major league season 7.1 war, not a remarkable player, although he knew his worth or thought he did. Thought it was more than teams were generally willing to give him and he said in 1907 when he was holding out at one point. He said, I do not have to play Paul. I can find something else to do. I found that in another paper and so he was a thinking man and had maybe some eccentric thoughts, but one of them was the unglued arc in maybe he was onto something a century or so early. Maybe. Maybe. It's an idea to produce some swatting. That song. Pay attention ramen for oh no. Interesting because he's the guy who's all about bunting and talking when he was a manager, just wanted to do nothing but bunting, but as a hitter, he wanted to preserve his long hits with the unglued arc. He knows what's what? That will do it. All right, that will do it. By the way, bob unglued in 1907 had 17 sacrifice heads, but only one home run, so again, you'd think he wouldn't be the one complaining about long hitters being robbed, or maybe he was constantly being robbed. Maybe they were making incredible catches on him that year, although his idea for the line was proposed before that season started. In fact, in 1906, when he was with Williamsport of the tri state league, he hit 14 homers in a 128 games. So he probably fancied himself a long hitter. That was indie pop, bob. He was on the Williamsport millionaires. As you might imagine, we recorded this episode prior to Albert Pujols hitting back to back dingers to get to 700 for his career, he made it Aaron judge homerless on Friday, but Albert Pujols made up for it, just such an awesome story such an awesome season. I love the way that it happened. He homered off a lefty and he and then they brought in a righty, Phil bickford to face him to get Pujols out, and he took Pickford deep, just can't contain Pujols. He's now up to a one 44 WRC plus as I record this, just unbelievable. Really, literally very difficult to believe. This is just a storybook season. So cool that he could have it for the Cardinals and that he could do it in LA where people were rooting for him because they watched Albert Pujols last year. What a way to go out, just perfect, really. I guess perfect for Cardinals fans would be Pujols and Wainwright and Molina winning another World Series. Not sure everyone else would go along with that. Every other fan base fighting with Pujols hitting 700. Maybe not as fine with the Cardinals winning another ring, but that's a question for next month. As I mentioned recently, I'm just so happy that everyone who had only heard the stories of Albert Pujols and how good he was and was not following baseball when he was at his peak or was that alive yet in some cases when he debuted and started hitting these homers? They perhaps heard tell of his peak. I mean, prior to his current peak and they thought this guy, this guy had the angels, he was that great. Well, now those people are getting just a little taste of what that was like. It's like the Han Solo from The Force Awakens, quote, crazy thing is it's true, all of it. It's all true. And since we talked about rules changes so much in this episode, just one more thing as Columbo says we've gotten a couple emails from people who have directed our attention to this DraftKings ad, which has been playing in pretty heavy rotation. I believe it came out in late June. I'll just play a little snippet of it here. Baseball's

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