TOT – Braves Let Casey Stengel Start His Epic Journey

TOT – Braves Let Casey Stengel Start His Epic Journey

Transaction of Today – May 20, 1925…The Boston Braves release Casey Stengel.

It was his second career as a manager that would one day get him to Cooperstown, but for fourteen years, The Old Perfessor (sic) played professional ball – and sometimes rather well. His last stop with Boston, much like his first stop with Brooklyn, would allow Stengel to both play and manage for the same franchise. Of course, it was later as the manager of the Yankees that Stengel would find his greatest success.

But before that, he signed with his local Kansas City Blues of the American Association. He was supposed to be a pitcher but lacked the arm for it so he moved to the outfield. He struggled at first and even was training as a dentist for an alternate career, but his bat came through in 1911 as he hit .352. That got the attention of Brooklyn, who drafted him to their club. After a year of working in the minors for Brooklyn, Stengel arrived for good in 1913.

Stengel spent his entire career in the National League, though his best days came as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers/Robins. In 1914, just his second full season, he led the NL in OBP with a .404 rate while settling into the everyday right fielder role. He never hit more than nine home runs or stole more than 19 bases, but he did have three seasons of a .270 or better batting average with Brooklyn. He would have four hits, all singles, in the 1916 World Series, though the Robins lost in five games to a Boston Red Sox club with a 19-year-old Babe Ruth throwing 14 innings of one-run ball.

In 1918, Stengel was traded to the Pirates and two years later, joined the Phillies. His time in Philly was short-lived before yet another trade, this time to the Giants. He landed a role as a platoon hitter for John McGraw‘s Giants. It was under McGraw that Stengel learned much of what would help him to be a manager. On the field, he played 177 games for the Giants and hit .349/.413/.524. During his two-plus seasons in New York, he served as a left-handed center fielder who shared time with Bill Cunningham and Jimmy O’Connell. Stengel also played in back-to-back World Series in 1922-23. He hit over .400 and bashed a pair of home runs when called upon. One was an inside-the-park homer that won Game 1 for the Giants in 1923, but they weren’t able to repeat as champions against the Yankees after beating them in ’22.

After the 1923 Series, which included a moment in which Stengel incensed Yankees fans by blowing kisses to them after his second homer, Stengel was traded to Boston. The then-33-year-old outfielder would hit well in 1924, though exposure as an everyday player brought him back to Earth to the tune of a .280/.348/.382 year. It would be his last real taste of life as a major league player. The following season, Stengel was replaced by the younger Dave Harris and Jimmy Welsh. Through the first month or so, he only appeared 12 times. Stengel was 1-for-13 on the season when, on this day, he was released.

In truth, he was re-assigned. He joined the Worcester Panthers, Boston’s minor league team in the Eastern League, as their player/manager/president. With the bat, he was wonderful. As a manager, Worcester would improve from last place to third place. He soon left the team – resigning as its manager and releasing himself as its president – to join Toledo as a player/manager. He would severely pull back on the playing part the following year. Over six years with Toledo, he won an American Association pennant. Mostly, however, the Mud Hens would struggle.

He’d later coach and then manage the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1934-36 before joining Boston as its manager in 1938. Over seven seasons, he guided Boston to just one .500 season. He resigned after 1943 with a record of 373-491 with Boston. Six years later, he returned to the bigs as a manager with the Yankees. For a dozen years, his teams played in the World Series all but twice. They’d win it all seven times.

On this day in 1925, Casey Stengel’s playing career as a major leaguer came to a close for good. He hit 60 career home runs and swiped 131 bases. For his time, he posted a 120 OPS+. He was, by most accounts, a decent ballplayer. But it was his success as the Yankees skipper during a dynasty that made Stengel one of the most well-known names in baseball history. Over 25 years in baseball, Stengel’s teams won 1,905 games. Quite a bit more prolific than his 1,219 career hits, right?

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Tommy….What a GREAT COMEBACK by The Braves today!

I have to be honest and say that I left to take my dog to the park after Lucas Freaking Sims gave up the 2 run homer to make it 8-2 in the top of the 7th inning (I’m SICK AND TIRED of Sims and his refusal to take advantage of opportunities to ‘help the club’. He STANK UP THE PLACE when he came in and to mop up after Wisler’s gem earlier in the season…getting yanked when The Braves had a 10-1 lead after giving up 4 runs and only getting 1 out in the top of the 8th inning of that game….which resulted in The Braves having to BLOW 2 of our better relievers in order to close out a game that Sims SHOULD have closed out. Then today….instead of helping to keep the game close, Sims gives up a 2 run homer in the top of the 7th inning today. YOU SUCK Sims!).

When I made it to the park and got settled, I decided to click on The Braves game on The MLB At-Bat App on my phone to see ‘how bad’ we ended up losing..and lo and behold..the score was 9-6 Marlins..and Markakis was up with 2 outs and Freddie on 2nd. Big props to Flowers, Suzuki and Carmago…for getting on base with 2 outs and giving Swanson a chance to win the game for The Braves.

That amazing win….coupled with The Nationals and Phillies both losing (at this point, I’m not worried about The Mets and their ability to stay in the race), gave The Braves a 1 1/2 game lead heading into the opening of tomorrow’s 3 game series in Philly.

Other than Minter pitching today…The Braves should have a decently rested bullpen:

1. Vizcaino hasnt pitched since Thursday (he did warm up some Saturday in the 8th inning, after which our offense put the game out of reach and Biddle was brought in to pitch the 9th inning).

2. Minter pitched today (threw 15 pitches) for the 1st time since Wednesday.

3. Winkler pitched yesterday (threw 12 pitches) for the 1st time since Tuesday.

4. Carle pitched yesterday (threw only 7 pitches) for the 1st time since Wednesday.

5. Sam Freeman pitched on Friday (only threw 8 pitches), hadnt pitched since Monday.

With an off day coming up on Thursday before The Braves head into Boston for a 3 game series….The Braves can use their best bullpen pieces for multiple days in a row against The Phillies..IF need be! These three games are HELLA IMPORTANT (because they are head to head against our Division Rival).

I followed the 4 game series between The Phillies and Cardinals..and The Phillies bullpen was worked. They had to endure multiple rain delays in that series in St. Louis. The Phillies will be coming home tired! Hopefully The Braves can take advantage of that.

I’m hoping that Folty will come out tomorrow night and give The Braves a great performance! With McCarthy starting Tuesday (I have NO IDEA which McCarthy will show up) and probably Gohara on Wednesday (his 1st start of the season..not sure what to expect from him either)….it is ESSENTIAL that Folty give The Braves a chance to AT LEAST get out of Philly with 1 game!

To be honest, I’d be fine with only winning 1 of 3 (sure, I’ll be rooting for us to win all three of these games…I’m just a realist…it’s tough to win on the road…and The Phillies have a favorable matchup starting pitching wise in Game 2 and 3). Either way, it’ll be fun watching a Braves team that will hopefully be on Cloud 9 after today’s comeback, raring to pad our 1 1/2 first place lead over Philly!

To close…I keep reading THE NONSENSE from so called ‘experts’ about The Braves possibly being interested in trading for Moustakis. Look….The Braves are already a LEFTY-leaning hitting team. Pairing Moustakis in the middle of the order..with Freddie and Markakis (that’s right…having three lefties hitting #3, #4 and #5 makes ‘total’ sense)….would be STUPID (especially when Moustakis hits POORLY against lefties).

If anything, The Braves need a right handed hitting power hitter to SPLIT Freeman/Markakis…hitting cleanup in the lineup! Either we promote Austin Riley late June/early July (1. should he continue to rake at AAA…2. to see how he adjusts to MLB hitting BEFORE The July Trade Deadline)…OR go with Carmago until The July Trade Deadline (and see if a right handed hitting 3rd base rental can be had for a ‘decent price’).

The last thing I want to see AA sacrifice/burn through high upside prospects who are slated to be A BIG PART of our future. I DID NOT endure 4 years of The Braves STINKING UP THE PLACE…only to see our team have a 3-4 year window of winning…before we start having to rebuild again. Injuries/attrition are a big part of MLB. Keeping our prospects (who can replace those who get injured/show ineffectiveness) will be the key to sustaining a winning product!

Let KC and The Marlins (as well as other teams who draft STUPIDLY) continue rebuild after rebuild! The Braves (Coppy deserves a lot of credit) drafted HELLA WELL from 2015-2017. Those draftees will help soften the blow of The Latin America Sanctions (not only those that we lost..but those that we are prevented from signing in the next few years). That’s why it is ESSENTIAL that AA absolutely NAILS the upcoming June Draft! This will be the last year that we draft this high..for years to come!

Tommy…I just looked at the upcoming schedule the next few weeks:

After we play the next 3 games in Philly (currently, our bullpen is pretty rested right now)…The Braves have an off day on Thursday May 24th…after which the following series face The Braves:

1. 3 game set in Boston that ends on Sunday The 27th

2. 4 game set against The Mets in Atlanta (double header on Monday The 28th) that ends on Wednesday The 30th.

3. 4 game set against The Nationals in Atlanta that begins on Thursday May 31st and runs through Sunday June 3rd.

4. Immediately The Braves fly from Atlanta to San Diego to play a 3 game series that starts on Monday June 4…and runs through Wednesday June 5th.

The Off Day on Thursday June 6th…will be The Braves 1st home day since Thursday May 24! That’s 15 games played in 14 days (remember the Double Header against The Mets at home that will be played on Monday May 28th).

Tommy…..this stretch, will be HELLA difficult by The Braves. It is ESSENTIAL that our starting pitchers start BEARING DOWN and doing what they can to make it through 7 innings on occasion! Anything to limit the number of innings our bullpen has to throw. I’m sure that our GM, AA, will be doing whatever he can to play/manipulate The 10 Day DL ‘moves’.

As long as those moves…keeps our pitchers well as keeping our most effective pitchers on the field, when it really counts, ‘doing their thing’….I’ll ‘pat AA on the back’ at the end of the season!

However, let’s see how our bullpen guys make it though that BRUTAL 15 games/14 days stretch! By June 5th…we’ll know what kind of club The Braves really are about being! If our guys can finish that 15 game stretch with AT LEAST an 8-7 record…I’ll be impressed….indicating that we may have what it takes to be legit contenders come summer/the fall!

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