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OOTP 20 - Historical Simulations Discuss historical simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 09-11-2019, 09:20 PM   #1
Buster Cherry
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1947 Philadelphia A's

Here's the backstory:

Wealthy playboy Boies T. Penrose III (grandson of the legendary Pennsylvania Senator) bought a 60% interest in the A's from the financially strapped Mack family in November of 1945. Penrose agreed to keep Connie Mack as manager for at least one more year. This was one of the terms of the sale. He brought yours truly in as a consultant. 1946 was yet another dismal year for the A's. They finished 53-101 in seventh place just ahead of the St. Louis Browns who were 51-103.

Everyone in the organization outside of the Mack family knew that the grand old man of baseball just didn't have it anymore and it was time for him to depart. Penrose called Mack into his office and offered him two choices: 1. He could retire with dignity and be given a testimonial dinner along with some very nice parting gifts. 2. He could retire period and be given one hour to clean out his office and be off club property. Fortunately, Mack chose option number one. He retired and was given a nice testimonial dinner at Philadelphia's finest hotel with everyone who is anyone in baseball in attendance. Penrose also gave Mack a gold watch and a brand new Cadillac with white wall tires. The old man seemed appreciative when I handed him the keys to the Caddy although his three sons had their teeth clinched. Understandable because they're losing their meal tickets. None of them will be involved in the new regime in any capacity and Penrose is working as I type to buy out the family's remaining interest in the A's.

Penrose then appointed yours truly as his new GM. I knew I had to make a big splash in my managerial hire. Even if Connie Mack had gotten too old to cut the managerial mustard anymore he was still Connie Mack and he was still a legend in both Philadelphia and in baseball circles. The Noo Yawk Yankees then proceeded to make my life a little easier when they fired their legendary manager Joe McCarthy. He'd gotten too old, they said. Those stupid Noo Yawkers don't know what an old manager is laughed everyone in Philadelphia. I thought McCarthy might be wanting to go quietly into retirement like Connie Mack but when I contacted him he was full of vim and vinegar. He still wanted to manage in order to prove the Noo Yawk management wrong.

So Joe McCarthy was hired as Connie Mack's successor. I think I've given him the nucleus of a good squad. Maybe a little thin in pitching especially the bullpen but I believe the A's have a solid every day lineup. Depth is another story but we did lose 101 games last year and you cannot fix everything at once.

The 1945 draft brought us SS Alvin Dark, a former single wing tailback at LSU. Dark was taken on the recommendation of All-Pro NFL RB Steve Van Buren of the Eagles who is a friend of owner Penrose and was a teammate of Dark at LSU. "If you pick Alvin you'll be damn glad you have him," said Van Buren. Dark didn't exactly pull up trees his rookie season but he's still a fine prospect who should thrive under a new system.

During the off-season I signed Gil Hodges and Sal Maglie as free agents and traded for the likes of Early Wynn, Hank Sauer, Del Rice, Preacher Roe, and Claude Passeau. Passeau is 37 years old but he won 15 games last year for those cute little Cubbies and was a fan favorite here in Philly when he pitched for the Phils. I figure we can squeeze one more half-decent year out of Mr. Passeau. Along with home grown products Elmer Valo, George Kell, and Pete Suder I think the A's have the nucleus of a decent squad. I know our new manager McCarthy prefers working with veterans and we have a lot of youth on our roster but sometimes you gotta take what you can get.

Now we come to the player draft which was held in December of 1946. It was basically a 7 player draft as far as me and my scouting director, Pat Pending, were concerned. There was Duke Snider, Al Rosen, Ted Kluszewski, Larry Doby, Jackie Robinson, Nellie Fox, and Curt Simmons. Those seven were by far the cream of the crop. Fox and Simmons were 18 and 17 respectively so they'll need seasoning and won't be ready for the majors for another few years. A team like the A's needs immediate help.

Pat Pending and I had Snider and Rosen as our top 2 players. There was only one problem--we were picking third behind the Browns and the Pirates. Evidently, their GMs felt the same way we did because Snider went first to the Browns and Rosen went second to the Pirates. That left us in a dilemma. We eliminated Ted Kluszewski because we already have a young 1b on our roster who hits with some power in Gil Hodges. It was either Doby or Robinson. We would make the A's the first integrated team in the AL and in baseball. We chose Doby over Robinson because he has more power and because he's four years younger. Robinson went two slots later to the White Sox. Fox and Simmons both dropped to the middle of the 1st round but that was to be expected because both are still in their teens and I'm sure clubs shied away because of their youth.

As of today, our starting lineup stands as follows:

Elmer Valo-RF

George Kell-3b

Larry Doby-CF

Hank Sauer-LF

Alvin Dark-SS

Gil Hodges-1b

Pete Suder-2b

Del Rice-C

I also have a capable backup OF in Sammy Chapman who can play every position there. Last year's starting C, Buddy Rosar, will share the position with Rice. The remaining backups will be sorted in spring training.

My starting 4 man rotation looks like this (in no particular order):

Early Wynn
Preacher Roe
Sal Maglie
Claude Passeau

I have spring training and the waiver wire to sort out my bullpen so there's no need to mention any names there right now and except for Doby, the A's didn't get much out of the draft. Like I said above, it was a seven player draft. After Fox and Simmons, it was slim pickings.

So that's how I stand going into the season of 1947. Except for the fact that owner Penrose wants me to cut the payroll. One of the Mack boys must have given him that piece of advice. Dumb as a fence post, our owner, but he's amiable around the office and especially with the secretaries. It didn't take him long to.....well, this is a family message board. I'll just sign out now and get back later.

Last edited by Buster Cherry; 09-11-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 09:54 AM   #2
Buster Cherry
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Talked to former A's legend Al Simmons and he's agreed to come to our spring training camp and work as a special instructor with our outfielders especially Larry Doby. Simmons told me that he'd seen Doby play in the Negro Leagues and thinks he'll make a fine ballplayer. He wasn't so complimentary about Jackie Robinson, the other black player chosen by the White Sox in the draft.

"Just a football player trying to play baseball," was Simmons' judgment on Robinson.

Simmons is about the only former A's great who doesn't seem angry about Connie Mack's forced retirement. "The old man should have hung it up in 1940. It's a shame what's happened to the club and it's all because he stayed on the job too long."

Too bad some of the other former A's greats don't share the same opinion as Simmons. Lefty Grove just growled at me when I contacted him and Mickey Cochrane wouldn't even come to the phone. Hopefully, if we turn the club around it will bring the likes of Grove and Cochrane back into the fold. You always want to maintain a good relationship with former club legends. At least that's my way of thinking.

Last edited by Buster Cherry; 09-17-2019 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:10 PM   #3
Buster Cherry
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The other day a Philly reporter, Stan "Lard Butt" Conlin, asked me if I was worried that other teams might throw at Larry Doby.

"Not with Sal Maglie and Early Wynn on our pitching staff," was my response.
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Old 09-14-2019, 10:23 AM   #4
Buster Cherry
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Speaking of Stan "Lard Butt" Conlin, he wrote a column the other day in which he stated that the A's had only traded one washed up manager for another. I was irate when I read the piece but Joe McCarthy just laughed and shrugged it off.

"Conlin can't write a lick and he's a total jerk," said McCarthy. "But he's a class act compared to some of those New York writers I dealt with over the years. I won't even mention Dave Egan up in Boston."

Last edited by Buster Cherry; 09-14-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 09-14-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
Buster Cherry
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It Happened

It was our second exhibition game against the Noo Yawk Yankees. Larry Doby was making his first start in CF. In the opener against the Senators, Sammy Chapman had started in CF and Doby appeared as a pinch hitter, flying out to center. His first at bat, Noo Yawk pitcher Bill "the Thrill" Bevans threw behind Doby on a frigging 3-2 count. Needless to say, Larry plopped in the dirt. He got up and didn't say anything to Bevans. Just grinned and trotted on down to first like he's been instructed to do in situations like this.

Manager Joe McCarthy wasn't grinning however. He was irate and stormed from the dugout demanding that Bevans be ejected. Bevans just stood there on the mound with a "Who me?" expression on his face. The home plate umpire let Joe speak his peace and then told him to go on back to the dugout.

Before he returned, Joe yelled at opposing manager Casey Stengel and said, "Just remember, you started it!"

The next inning, A's pitcher Sal Maglie plunked Joe DiMaggio in the ribs. Needless to say, the benches emptied. Eventually, order was restored and the game resumed. Pete Suder and some punk rookie from the Yankees named Berra got ejected. Those two really went after each other hard. Larry Doby had to pull Suder off of Berra.

After order was restored and both teams returned to the dugouts the umpire took charge. He summoned McCarthy and Stengel from their respective dugouts and said one more incident and they would both be ejected and if there were anymore after that he'd order a double forfeit of the game. Nothing further happened but unfortunately for us the Yanks prevailed 6-4.

After the game, Joe McCarthy told the press, "It doesn't matter whether it's Larry Doby, Alvin Dark, Pete Suder, or any of our players. If an opposing pitcher throws at one of them our pitchers are going to retaliate and it doesn't matter who the opposing player is. It can be Joe DiMaggio, It can be Ted Williams. It can be Catfish Metkovich."

It's hard to imagine Connie Mack saying something like that.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:21 PM   #6
Buster Cherry
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Exhibition Season is Over

The A's went 13-17 in pre-season which was about as good as expected. No major injuries so at least we have a healthy squad. Lard Butt Conlin wrote another one of his "Pulitzer" columns about our upcoming season. It was entitled "Death, Taxes, and the A's in Last Place." No need to say anything else. BNN picked us sixth saying we'd win 70 games this year. That is progress over last year's 53 wins.

Joe McCarthy and I discussed the upcoming season over a bottle of Old Crow in his hotel room the night before we were to catch a plane back to Philly. Under Penrose the A's go high and pressurized. Connie Mack would have had us ride back to Philly from Florida on a Trailways bus.

"I don't know, Buster," said McCarthy. "This team has some talent. It's not a last place club but it won't contend for a pennant anytime soon. It's gonna take time. Kids like Doby, Hodges, Kell, and Dark are all gonna be fine players but they need experience. They ain't there yet."

"What about the pitiching?" asked yours truly.

"It's got potential," pronounced Joe. "Hopefully, Claude Passeau's arm can hold up for one more season and get us 12-15 wins. Maglie and Wynn are both nasty mothers on that mound but neither has really learned how to pitch yet. As for Preacher Roe, if his arm holds up he'll be okay. He's one smart cookie on that mound. Don't ask me about the bullpen. We're still playing musical chairs there."

"Lard Butt picked us last," I said referring to Stan Conlin's column. "Said the Phillies might even run us out of town."

"That'll be the day," scoffed McCarthy. "The Phillies running the A's out of town, that is. As for finishing last, somebody has to but it won't be us."
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