Card Corner: 1973 Topps: Bob Bailey

Other than the squinting of the eyes caused by staring into the sunlight, the Topps photographer has caught Bob Bailey at just the right moment in his career. It is 1973 (or sometime in 1972, if we are to be technically accurate), just before Bailey starts to put on the extra weight that would hamper him in his later years with Cincinnati and Boston. The photograph comes during the middle of his major league peak, after he endured the early growing pains that made him such a disappointment with the Pirates and Dodgers.

Looking lean and tough wearing the road grays of the Montreal Expos, the man nicknamed “Beetle Bailey” (in deference to the comic strip of the same name) is carrying the confidence that comes with being an accomplished big league slugger. He has the look of a man who is serious about what he does. Simply put, he looks the way a major league player should look when posing for the camera.

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Bailey almost failed to reach that stage of accomplishment. As an amateur shortstop, Bailey was so highly touted that the Pirates gave him a record bonus (at least a record for the time) in 1961. Receiving a reported $175,000 in bonus money, Bailey actually turned down a more lucrative offer from the expansion Houston Colt .45s, who dangled $200,000 in front of him. The Pirates clearly believed their investment would net them a future major league star. And there were a number of scouts who agreed with that assessment.

At the age of 18, Bailey reported to Asheville of the Sally League. The Pirates played him at shortstop, where he struggled defensively, making 27 errors in 71 games. At the plate, Bailey showed some pop, good footspeed, and some plate discipline, but his .220 batting average against Class-A pitching showed that he had plenty of room for growth as a hitter.

In spite of his obvious troubles, the Pirates decided to bump him up two levels in 1962, sending him all the way to Columbus of the Triple-A International League. The Pirates apparently knew what they were doing. Showing no ill effects against a higher grade of pitching, Bailey put up remarkable numbers, particularly for a 19-year-old who had hardly mastered the lower minors. He batted .299, walloped 28 home runs, drew nearly 100 walks, and reached base over 40 per cent of the time. “He’s got everything,” Pirates general manager Joe Brown told the Pittsburgh Press. “I don’t see how he can miss.”

The Pirates also helped his cause by moving him from shortstop. Realizing that he lacked the athleticism to play the middle infield, Bailey played the majority of his games at third base, where his range and footwork found a better and more appropriate home. Bailey still showed himself to be error-prone, but he was far better suited to third base than he was to shortstop.

Bailey hit so well in the International League that the Pirates rewarded him with a late-season call up to Pittsburgh. He didn’t hit much in a 14-game trial, but the Pirates believed that they had found their third base successor to Don Hoak.

The Pirates made Bailey their Opening Day third sacker in 1963, but he responded poorly to the challenge. Though he played in all 154 games, he hit only 12 home runs, struck out 98 times, and batted a mere .228. His defensive play, low lighted by 32 errors, drew criticism for being stodgy and ham-handed. All in all, it was a bad rookie season for a young player whom some had prematurely ticketed for the Hall of Fame.

So in his second full summer in Pittsburgh, the Pirates split Bailey’s time at third base with veteran Gene Freese, while making him something of a super-utilityman. He appeared at all three outfield positions and also played shortstop. Bailey hit better, improving his batting average by nearly 60 points and his OPS by nearly 50 points, but he remained something of an enigma. Expecting him to become a third hammer in a middle of a lineup that already featured Roberto Clemente and Donn Clendenon, Bailey instead took on the appearance of a secondary player.

In 1965, he hit an Opening Day home run against Juan Marichal, but otherwise took a step backwards. He increased his walks, but most of his other offensive numbers either flattened out or took a tumble. Although he played more games at third base than he had the previous summer, his fielding showed almost no improvement.

Ironically, Bailey’s last season with the Pirates would be his best. Injuries limited his playing time, but when he did play, he hit well. With a career-best 13 home runs, a respectable .279 batting average and an OPS of .807, Bailey seemed to be on the right track. Furthermore, he was still only 23, still plenty young enough to evolve into stardom.

The Pirates didn’t see it that way. Though Bailey had exhibited some promise, he still ranked as a major disappointment who had failed to justify the bonus he had initially received. In December, the Pirates saw a chance to improve both their team speed and their infield defense by making a major trade with the Dodgers. The Pirates sent Bailey and light-hitting shortstop Gene Michael to Los Angeles for onetime National League MVP Maury Wills. It was a short-sighted deal; Wills was about to turn 34 and was light years away from being the dominant, game-changing baserunner that he had been during his Dodgers hey day.

A native of Long Beach, Bailey was thrilled with the trade that sent him home to Southern California, but in actuality, the move would do little to help him. In Pittsburgh, he had the chance to work with people like Mickey Vernon and Harry Walker, noted for their ability as hitting instructors. In moving to the Dodgers, he would now have to grapple with one of the game’s toughest hitting environments: Dodger Stadium. With its high mound, difficult sight lines, challenging dimensions, and heavy night air, Chavez Ravine provided little comfort to a power hitter like Bailey.

Predictably, Bailey struggled with the Dodgers. After beginning the season as the Opening Day left fielder, he settled into a utility role. Bailey provided some versatility, with his ability to play third base, shortstop, first base, and the outfield, but did little with the bat. He hit a meager .227 with only four home runs in 116 games.

In 1968, Bailey put up nearly matching statistics. He batted .227 again, reaching base only 30 per cent of the time, and exhibiting little power. He proved less versatile, as the Dodgers gave up on using him in the outfield.

In a demonstration of how far his stock had fallen, the Dodgers left him unprotected in the upcoming expansion draft, but none of the four new teams picked him. Shortly after the draft, the Dodgers sold him to the Expos for a pittance. It was time to begin anew with an expansion team north of the border.

The move to Montreal turned into the break of Bailey’s career. His new manager,
Gene Mauch, switched him to first base, where his lack of range did not matter as much as it did on the other side of the diamond. Bailey did not put up huge numbers, and he missed about a month with a hairline fracture in his ankle, but he regained some of the batting stroke he had displayed in his final season in Pittsburgh. He hit nine home runs and posted an OPS of .756. At the very least, he was on his way.

Mauch, one of the game’s best teachers and instructors, helped Bailey resurrect his career. A huge believer in Bailey, Mauch demoted veteran Donn Clendenon (Bailey’s onetime teammate in Pittsburgh) in order to make room for Beetle at first base. When Clendenon left town in a trade, he fired a parting shot at Mauch and Bailey. “If Mauch can make a hitter out of Bailey,” said Clendenon, “I’ll kiss him at home plate on Bay Day.” The soft-spoken, easygoing Bailey deflected Clendenon’s remarks with grace, but he must have seethed over such an insult.

With Mauch fully in his corner, Bailey enjoyed his bust-out season of 1970. Though he did not have a regular position in the field (splitting his time between third base, first base, and left field), he found a stable role in the middle of Mauch’s lineup. In an August game against the Astros, Bailey displayed the kind of raw power the Pirates had once enviosined. Playing at the cavern-like Astrodome, Bailey belted a long home run to left field, planting the ball in the fourth deck of the indoor stadium. “That’s the biggest home run I’ve ever seen,” Mauch told the Montreal Gazette while comparing Bailey to one of his former stars in Philadelphia. “Oh year, bigger than anything Richie Allen ever hit.”

That home run epitomized the breakout season of Bailey’s career. He blasted 28 home runs (more than double his previous high), slugged .597 and put up an OPS of slightly better than 1.000. For the first time in his career, he drew more walks than he collected strikeouts. At the age of 27, Bob Bailey was now one of the National League’s most feared hitters.

Although Bailey would never achieve those numbers again, he remained a dangerous and productive hitter through the 1974 season. In 1973, he hit 26 home runs. The following summer, he drew 100 walks. He also settled in as the Expos’ regular third baseman, succeeding the brief reign of Coco Laboy.

It was not until 1975 that Bailey began to show signs of slippage. With his waistline expanding and his bat speed slowing, he became susceptible to high-end fastballs. A broken bone in his hand also limited him to 106 games.

Concerned that Bailey, now 32, was hitting the inevitable downhill slope of his career, the Expos decided to make a trade at the 1975 winter meetings. They sent him to the world champion Reds for talented but enigmatic right-hander Clay Kirby.

Once again the baseball gods shined on Bailey. No longer able to handle an everyday position, Bailey moved into a bench role for the “Big Red Machine,” baseball’s best team. Playing as a pinch-hitter and backup left fielder and third baseman, Bailey did good work at the plate. An .884 OPS in 141 plate appearances made him one of the league’s most productive bench players, while also giving him his first chance to play on a team heading to the postseason.

Unfortunately, Bailey would not actually play in a playoff or World Series game. Given the Reds’ preponderance of talent and the quick way with which they disposed of the Phillies and the Yankees in the postseason, there was no chance for Bailey to appear on the October stage. That was the proverbial bad news, but it didn’t prevent Bailey from earning his first World Series ring when the Reds swept the Yankees in the Fall Classic.

When the two-time world champions fell out of contention in 1977, they decided to cut bait with their aging bench star. In late September, the Reds traded him to the Red Sox for minor leaguer Frank Newcomer. Bailey appeared in only two late-season games as the Red Sox fell short to the Yankees by two and a half games in the tight American League East.

Bailey returned to the Red Sox for the 1978 season. He hit four home runs in 94 at-bats as a part-time DH and pinch-hitter, but his batting skills had almost completely eroded. On October 2, the Red Sox played the Yankees in a one-game tiebreaker to decide the AL East. Sox manager Don Zimmer called on Bailey, the potential tying run, to pinch-hit in the late innings against Goose Gossage. Significantly overweight, his bat slowed to a crawl, Bailey was overmatched against The Goose. He struck out on three pitches, in what turned out to be his final major league at-bat.

At 35, Bailey was done. With the Red Sox eliminated, he slid into retirement.

After his playing days, Bailey became a minor league manager and hitting instructor in the Expos’ system before moving into the time share business. I didn’t hear much about him for many years, until I happened to be watching a Yankees’ Old-Timers’ game, sometime in the early 1990s. I was stunned when I saw Bailey step up to the plate; his weight had ballooned massively, leaving him well over 300 pounds.

I became a little concerned about Bailey’s health that day, but some 20 years later, he’s still with us, still giving interviews about his playing days. A humble man who remains willing to poke fun at himself for his fielding foibles, he is nonetheless pleased with his legacy as a player. While his career was considered a disappointment by some who remember the hype attached to him at the beginning, he has no regrets about what transpired in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Montreal and his other ports of call. Feeling fortunate to have played in the major leagues for nearly two decades, he believes that he gave it his all, leaving him with no disappointments.

“I loved it,” he once told the Long Beach Press-Telegram, “every day of it.” Hey, if you loved a job that you did pretty well for 17 years, there is no reason for any regrets at all.

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Comments

  1. Jim G. said...

    Great article, Bruce. A couple thoughts:
    RE: Coco Laboy – A little before my time, I had never heard of this player. What an appropriate name for a member of Montreal’s team.

    That was a pretty mean spirited comment by Clendenon. Especially since Bailey was just caught in the middle. Imagine if someone made a comment like that today. The press would have a field day. Today’s “feuds” are almost all two-way. For Bailey to keep his mouth shut was admirable.

  2. Professor Longnose said...

    Funny, I’m a Yankee fan, but I remember him as an Expo, not with the Reds in ‘76 or the Sox in ‘78. The Expos were one of my favorite NL teams in those days.

  3. bucdaddy said...

    “The move to Montreal turned into the break of Bailey’s career.”

    So did moving from 1968 (Year of the Pitcher) to 1969 (when the strike was restored to pre-1963 dimensions).

  4. Bruce Markusen said...

    I think the transition from the Year of the Pitcher to 1969 was a factor, but a relatively small factor in the scheme of things. First off, the big breakthrough for Bailey as a hitter came in 1970, and not 1969, the first year after the changes to the mound and the strike zone were made.

    Second, and far more significantly, Bailey was a disappointment as a hitter throughout the 1960s, from the day he came up in 1963 all the way through 1968. When Bailey joined the Expos, he experienced a new manager in Gene Mauch who a) believed in him to the point of making him the everyday first baseman and b) really worked with him on improving his overall game, including his hitting.

    Not every hitter’s improvement/change can be explained away simply because of the transition from the Year of the Pitcher to the major rules changes.

    And then there is a player like Hawk Harrelson, who had his best season during the Year of the Pitcher and then never again matched those numbers.

  5. Jim said...

    Between 1963 and 1964, his average went up 53 points, his OBP up 33 points, his SLG up 76 points and OPS up 109, of course.

    He did this because his hits went up 19, while his extra base hits went down 10.  His AB’s were down 40 and his PA’s down 58, the majority being his walks down 14.

  6. Professor Longnose said...

    I hadn’t realized that Harrelson had had his best year in 1968. I just took a look at his stats. 1968 might be explained largely by it being his only year in Fenway park. He seems to have taken to it. His BA/OBP/SLG at Fenway: .318/.409/.605. On the road: .235/.306/.437. That’s a heck of a split. His BABIP at Fenway was .317 and only .226 on the road. I wonder if that was luck, or maybe about 20 popups that hit the monster.

  7. Carl said...

    Another awesome article Bruce.  Thank you so much. 

    I was confused about Bob Bailey as I remembered him as a utility player on the Mets and Blue Jays from the late 70s into the early 80s.  When I saw the title and started reading, kept expecting him to wind up on the Mets and then after a hot start one year getting traded to the Dodgers for Sid Fernandez.  Looked up the Mets from the late 70s and 80s and realized I had Bob Bailey confused with Bob Bailor.

  8. bucdaddy said...

    Bruce,

    It’s true his breakout year was 1970, but his triple slash stats all took nice jumps in 1969, resulting in a .100 increase in his OPS, perhaps boosting his confidence. Coincidence?

    I never saw a game at Jarry Park; my memory of it from broadcasts was that it was a small park, something more suited to a AAA team. Was a little surprised to read that while it was cozy in the sense it seated only 28,000, it was a pretty good-sized field:

    From sabr,org:

    “The field dimensions at Jarry were not small – 340 feet down the lines, 368 feet in the alleys, and 417 feet (listed as 420) to straightaway center.”

    However …

    “Even so, it was a ballpark that favored offense – overall.”

    Despite the fact that it was an open-air ballpark in Montreal in April and May and September weather in Quebec.

    So the change in ballparks and the change in strike zone almost certainly contributed. How much of each is probably hard to tell, as the changes in Bailey’s case occurred simultaneously. It’s probably also worth noting that Bailey spent his formative years not only in the second deadball era but also in Forbes Field, which was death to RH power, and THEN had to play in Dodger Stadium. His BA held its own in Forbes but plunged when he went to L.A. Coincidence?

    I’m also inclined to buy Prof. Longnose’s explanation for Harrelson.

    I know it seems like I write this comment with every post about a player from the 1960s, but having lived through the baseball of that era and the endless succession of 2-1 games, I don’t think it can be emphasized enough what an offensive desert the 1960s were.

  9. Professor Longnose said...

    bucdaddy, did you find it exciting at the time? I was too young to watch baseball in the 60s; the first year I followed regularly was the year the DH came in. In 2-1 games, you always feel like your team is in the game—lots of suspense. On the other hand, not much ever happens,and if you’re down by 3 or 4 runs, the game is pretty much over.

  10. Flynn Pollitt said...

    1964 vs 1963: improving his batting average by nearly 60 points and his OPS by nearly 50 points
    A player would have to lose more bases on walks and extra-base hits than he gained on singles, and/or put up record numbers of sacrifice flies to make this happen.

    And just when is Bay Day?

  11. bucdaddy said...

    They are that. I just meant that to jump in right away with a contentious point might make it seem as if I’m ignoring all the good stuff and just hunting for a nit to pick. I could at least have thrown Bruce a compliment or two first, made it seem slightly less adversarial. These are fun reads, and they keep me coming back here, and I want him to know I appreciate his efforts.

    Bruce: I appreciate your efforts. Good work, as always.

  12. bucdaddy said...

    Well … I made some assumptions and I thought it best to check them out, so FWIW, here are Bailey’s H/R homer splits for some of his years:

    Forbes Field
    1963: 5/7
    1964: 7/4
    1965: 5/6
    1966: 2/11
    Dodger Stadium
    1967: 3/1
    1968: 3/5
    And for Montreal for his three 20+ HR years:
    1970: 13/15
    1973: 12/14
    1974: 12/8

    So for three years there, Forbes was actually kind of neutral for Beetle, albeit in a sample size of just 34 homers. 1966 is much more typical for RH hitters in Forbes. Also in 1966, Clendenon hit 28 homers, THREE of them at home.

    Dodger Stadium was neutral in a tiny SS, but it appears he didn’t get any real edge out of Jarry Park, either, in a much larger sample.

  13. Bruce Markusen said...

    No worries, Buc Daddy. You’re one of our most loyal poster and readers, and we appreciate hearing from you…

    As the saying goes, It’s all good…

  14. bucdaddy said...

    Prof.,

    My Pirates fandom began with the great down-to-the-last-weekend pennant race of 1966, among the Dodgers, Giants and Pirates. I would have been 9 years old. So I don’t have a lot of solid memories of that time. Likely I thought this was just how baseball was, and marveled at what seemed like superhuman batting averages in other eras (of course, the Pirates had players who could put up those kind of BAs: Clemente and Matty Alou had seasons of .340+). I doubt I had any real insight into the reasons for the low BAs and the astonishing pitching (Gibson’s ERA, McLain’s 30 wins, Koufax’s strikeouts etc.). But in that, I was hardly alone in the 1960s.

    Anyway, I felt a little bad later that maybe I let my own contentions overshadow what a great job Bruce does bringing these ballplayers back to life (even the ones who are still technically living) with this series. The tales are so well researched and told that once in awhile I should just shut up and let them be enjoyable.

  15. Professor Longnose said...

    It doesn’t seem to me that what you wrote takes away from what Bruce is doing. It just gets the conversation rolling. The articles are great, and the comments are fun.

  16. mando3b said...

    I’ve always felt bad for Bob Bailey, for he was a symbol of everything that was wrong about Don Zimmer as a manager. As the article here suggests, at this point in his career, BB probably had no business being on a Major League roster, esp. as a DH, but Zimmer insisted he be on the Red Sox because “he’s my kind of [old-school, etc.] ball player”. While he didn’t play a lot, he played much more than he should have, and I remember the fans booing him mercilessly by mid-season. Zimmer, though, refused to cut him, just saying that it “tears my heart” (or something of the sort) to hear the fans rip this good, old-school, good ole boy type player. Now, this might not be all that bad if it weren’t for the fact that Zimmer basically drove Bernie Carbo out of town, along with Bill Lee and a couple of other players, because they were NOT real ballplayers in his eyes. If there ever was a pinch-hitting situation tailor-made for Carbo, it was that AB in the 8th vs. Gossage in the Oct. 2 tie-breaker. But, no, Carbo wasn’t a “real ballplayer”, and so we had to watch BB get led to the slaughter because he allegedly was. The second I saw him approach the plate, I said to myself “game over”. I read a subsequent quote from Gossage in Peter Gammons’s article about this game for Sports Illustrated that said essentially the same thing (“No offense to Bob, but when I saw him coming to the plate, I just said ‘Thank you’). Zimmer is a good guy who did well by the Cubs in a later managerial stint, but, man, he completely mismanaged the ‘78 Red Sox, and Bob Bailey is the poster child for his failures.

  17. Philip said...

    Professor Longnose said…

    ‘‘Funny, I’m a Yankee fan, but I remember him as an Expo…’‘

    It came close that you would have remembered Bailey as a Yankee, however briefly.

    During the 1974 winter meetings, the Reds were trying to solve their third base problem.

    Cincinnati had just spent a season (losing the division narrowly to the Dodgers) trying 22-year old Dan Driessen at third. Driessen fielded an brutal .915 and made more errors (24) than he turned double plays (19) while recorded only 67 putouts.

    The New York Yankees, meanwhile, were disappointed in the performance of first baseman Chris Chambliss, who had hit only 6 homeruns in 400 at bats in 1974.

    Still a season away from moving back into a remodeled Yankee Stadium, the Yankees went shopping for a first baseman. And the one they had their eye on was Tony Perez. They knew the Reds were worried that Perez might soon slow down with his advancing age and knew the Reds could otherwise move Driessen to first to replace him if they also had an answer for the third base problems.

    So general manager Gabe Paul got to work. The Expos were about to create a hole in the outfield by trading Ken Singleton to the Orioles so Paul was going to offer them left fielder Roy White in exchange for Bob Bailey.

    Once the Yankees would have acquired Bailey, they were going to ship him to Cincinnati for Tony Perez.

    But hold on. They weren’t going to send just Bailey to the Reds. But third baseman Graig Nettles as well!

    According to a UPI story on December 7, 1974, a Reds spokesperson said, ‘‘Sure we’re looking for a third baseman but the only one we’d trade Perez straight up for would be Sal Bando and he’s not available.’‘

    Presumably, had Paul been able to swing the deal for Perez he would have then used Chambliss in some other deal to acquire a third baseman to replace Nettles. (Or that might have been the whole point in purchasing Bob Oliver from the Orioles.)

    Pete Rose would have the remained in left and manager Sparky Anderson would have continued to platoon Dan Driessen, George Foster and Ken Griffey. But without Perez’ still powerful bat and a machine not running on all cylinders, Cincinnati would have only prevailed in the West because of the Dodgers’ injuries to Tommy John, Bill Buckner and Bill Russell. It’s doubtful that the Reds would have won the West by anything even close to 20 games. Whether the Reds would have still won the pennant and the World Series is certainly debatable.

    How the Yankees might have faired would have depended on what Paul might have gotten for Chambliss. Lou Piniella had a horrendous year in 1975 and it would have been difficult to replace Nettles’ bat and glove. Chambliss had a decent year and, though Perez’ bat had more pop, the Yankees probably wouldn’t have been a factor in the AL East race.

    The long-term impact would have depended on a number of factors.

    In Cincinnati, Pete Rose would have remained the starting left fielder and George Foster might still have found himself platooned with Griffey. Nettles had a career year in 1976, but that was in the remodeled Yankee Stadium. For sure, the 1976 NL West race, decided by ten games, would have been close.

    In New York, the outfield problems would have continued and Perez would now be hitting long flies that would die in the canyon. The Angels and Pirates might have still saved the say for New York with their idiotic 1975 post season trades, but if not and the Yankees come out of the box struggling, Billy Martin gets fired by mid-season and after that the Yankees are done.

  18. Philip said...

    Professor Longnose said…

    ‘‘Philip, that’s fascinating. I’m not sure how much credence I give it—rumors and talks..’‘

    Given the Reds and Yankees eventual successes in the mid and late 70s, one has to put themselves back into the 1974 midset. The Yankees had now gone a decade since their last pennant and the Reds hadn’t won a World Series in 34 years with the Dodgers looking like they were poised to repeat in 1975.

    Thanks to Google, a copy of the UPI story can be found in their news archives when you search for the right terms (tony perez roy white nettles bob bailey). At least one newspaper that is in the Google archives with the wire article is the Beaver County Times from December 7, 1974, entitled ‘‘Orioles Stole the Show.’’ Keep in mind this isn’t a story by a small local newspaper but a small local newspaper running a national news wire story. Another story has the Yankees dangling White for Bailey, with perhaps a pitcher in the mix (Mike Torrez or Steve Renko).

    The Reds, meanwhile, were absolutely shopping Perez around. But when the right deal didn’t materialize and once Sparky Anderson asked Pete Rose to move to third early in the 1975 season and Pete showed he could handle the position (he did after call come up initially as a second baseman), the Reds then put Foster in left full time and Griffey in right full time, with Driessen spending more time on the bench. But after they lost Don Gullett to free agency after the 1976 season, they finally pulled the trigger on Perez, shipping him and reliever Dave McEnaney to Montreal for lefty Woodie Fryman and reliever Dale Murray.

    The irony of the Reds consistently under-estimating the staying power of Perez is that he didn’t retire until after 1986 and that Dan Driessen played only 26 games in 1987 before he was through, too. (The other potential replacement, Dave Revering, played his last year in the majors in 1982).

  19. Philip said...

    mando3b said…

    ‘‘If there ever was a pinch-hitting situation tailor-made for Carbo, it was that AB in the 8th vs. Gossage in the Oct. 2 tie-breaker.’‘

    Of course, if Zim hadn’t run Carbo out of town (he was sold to the Indians on June 15th, there’s quite the chance there wouldn’t have been any playoff game. My hunch is that if Carbo had been around to have just one game-winning pinch hit in any of the 15 one-run losses after that date, the Red Sox would have won the AL East outright.

    A painful look at those 15 games and whether Carbo could have made the difference (with some play-by-play courtesy of Retrosheet.org):

    Sunday, June 18, 1978 at Fenway Park
    3-2 loss to the Mariners
    Righty Glenn Abbott went the distance for the M’s.
    Evans (rf) 0 for 3
    RED SOX 7TH: Evans grounded out (third to first); Hobson grounded out (pitcher to first); Burleson doubled; Remy flied out to center; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB.  Mariners 2, Red Sox 1.
    RED SOX 9TH: Evans popped to first in foul territory; Hobson singled; Burleson flied out to right; Remy doubled [Hobson to third]; Rice lined to left; 0 R, 2 H, 0 E, 2 LOB.  Mariners 3, Red Sox 2.
    ***Couple of chances her for Carbo to have made a difference. Could have batted for Evans in 7th or 9th.***

    Friday, June 30, 1978 at Baltimore
    11-inning 3-2 loss to the Orioles
    Bailey (dh) 0 for 4
    Duffy (3b) 0 for 4
    O’s Left-handed Mike Flanagan left game after 9 innings. (Neither Bailey or Duffy came up to face right-handed reliever Don Stanhouse in innings 10 and 11)

    Saturday, July 1, 1978 at Baltimore
    11-inning 3-2 loss to the Orioles
    Brohamer (3b)  2 for 3
    Duffy (3b) 1 for 1
    Right-hander Jim Palmer started for the O’s.
    (Carbo hit .128 with no HR’s in 39 career ABs vs. Palmer.)

    Friday, July 7, 1978 at Cleveland
    10-9 loss to the Indians
    Brohamer (3b) 0 for 4
    In top of 6th, (5-4 Red Sox) and runners at 2nd and 3rd, right-hander Jim Kern struck out Jack Brohamer struck out. (Had Carbo PH, I assume Kern would have intentionally walked him to face Rick Burleson)
    ***Not to mention that Carbo went 1 for 5 with the Indians with an RBI double***

    Friday, July 14, 1978 at Fenway Park
    4-3 loss to the Rangers
    Brohamer (3b) 1 for 4 (in the 2nd slot!!!)
    Bailey (ph for Duffy)  0 for 1
    RED SOX 7TH: Lynn walked; Scott was called out on strikes; Evans forced Lynn (third to second); Duffy singled to center [Evans to second]; Remy singled to left [Evans to third, Duffy to second];
    Brohamer grounded out (second to first); 0 R, 2 H, 0 E, 3 LOB. Rangers 3, Red Sox 2.***perfect spot for Bernie Carbo to PH for Brohamer***
    Fred Lynn led of the bottom of the 9th with a solo shot to cut Texas’ lead to 4-3. Former Red Sox Reggie Cleveland then relieved former Red Sox Fergie Jenkins. George Scott struck out and Dwight Evans flied to center. Bailey, batting for Duffy, lined to right to end the game.***another perfect spot for Bernie Carbo to PH***

    Saturday, July 22, 1978 at Royals Stadium
    10-inning 6-5 loss to the Royals
    RED SOX 9TH: WATHAN REPLACED TERRELL (PLAYING 1B); WASHINGTON REPLACED BRAUN (PLAYING SS); Evans singled to left; Duffy out on a sacrifice bunt (first unassisted) [Evans to second]; HRABOSKY REPLACED GURA (PITCHING); BAILEY BATTED FOR REMY; Bailey popped to catcher in foul territory; Lynn struck out; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1
    LOB.  Red Sox 5, Royals 5.
    Probably not a good spot for Carbo to face the lefty Mad Hungarian.

    Monday, July 24, 1978 at Metropolitan Stadium
    5-4 loss to the Twins in game 1 of DH
    RED SOX 9TH: FISK BATTED FOR MONTGOMERY; Fisk singled; BROHAMER BATTED FOR DUFFY; Brohamer grounded out (first unassisted) [Fisk to second]; Remy grounded out (second to first) [Fisk to third]; Lynn was hit by a pitch; Marshall threw a wild pitch [Fisk scored, Lynn to second]; Rice grounded out (third to first); 1 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB.  Red Sox 4, Twins 5.
    ***Another perfect spot for Carbo to PH, perhaps to sock one out in the ‘homerdome.’

    Sunday, July 30, 1978 at Fenway Park
    2-1 loss to the Royals
    Bailey (dh) 0 for 4
    Given that lefty Splittorff was relieved by only lefty Hrabosky, I’d give Zimmer a pass on this one if hadn’t used Carbo.

  20. Philip said...

    Monday, August 14, 1978 at Fenway Park
    4-3 loss to the Brewers
    Hancock (rf) 2 for 4
    RED SOX 8TH: DAVIS CHANGED POSITIONS (PLAYING LF); WOHLFORD CHANGED POSITIONS (PLAYING CF); Evans singled to left; Hancock singled to left [Evans to second]; Scott out on a sacrifice bunt
    (pitcher unassisted) [Evans to third, Hancock to second]; Hobson lined out on a sacrifice fly to right [Evans scored, Hancock to third]; Burleson grounded out (third to first); 1 R, 2 H, 0 E, 1
    LOB.  Brewers 4, Red Sox 3.
    ***George Scott had 7 SH’s in 1978. With his HR production having dropped from 33 to 12 and BA from .269 to .233, Zim was going by the proverbial book and worried about the DP. Down by two runs, he played for the tie at home and only got one. I’d have rather given Carbo a PH shot here with a chance to take the lead. Right-hander Lary Sorensen was on the mound for Milwaukee. Carbo vs Sorensen in his career? One for two, with a homerun and 3 RBIs.***

    Wednesday, August 30, 1978 at Fenway Park
    7-6 loss to the Blue Jays in game 2 of a DH
    Bailey (dh) 0 for 2
    Hancock (ph/dh) 0 for 2
    RED SOX 6TH: Montgomery doubled; Duffy out on a sacrifice bunt (third to first) [Montgomery to third]; Burleson flied out to center; Lynn grounded out (second to first); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1
    LOB.  Blue Jays 2, Red Sox 5.
    ***Winning 5-2 with a lead off double and you SH? How about PR for Montgomery and send up Carbo to PH for Duffy. Oh, yeah, Carbo’s been sold to Cleveland.***
    RED SOX 8TH: HANCOCK BATTED FOR BAILEY; Hancock struck out (catcher to first); Fisk flied out to center; Duffy was hit by a pitch; Burleson singled [Duffy to second]; Lynn struck out; 0 R,
    1 H, 0 E, 2 LOB.  Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6.
    ***Another good spot for Carbo; hit him for Hancock or Duffy with a chance to tie it up.***
    RED SOX 9TH: UPSHAW STAYED IN GAME (PLAYING 1B); Rice flied out to right; Yastrzemski grounded out (second to first); Scott singled; REMY RAN FOR SCOTT; Hobson reached on an error by Gomez
    [Remy to second]; Hancock struck out; 0 R, 1 H, 1 E, 2 LOB. Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6.
    ***Another good spot for Carbo; hit him for Hancock with a chance to tie it up.***

    Tuesday, September 12, 1978 at Fenway Park
    3-2 loss to the Orioles
    RED SOX 9TH: ANDERSON REPLACED MORA (PLAYING LF); BELANGER REPLACED GARCIA (PLAYING SS); BROHAMER BATTED FOR REMY; Brohamer flied out to right; Rice grounded out (second to first); Yastrzemski struck out; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 0 LOB.  Orioles 3, Red
    Sox 2.
    ***Dennis Martinez tossed a three-hit complete game. Still, would have rather had Carbo facing El Presidente than Brohamer.***

    Wednesday, September 13, 1978 at Cleveland Stadium
    2-1 loss to the Indians
    Scott (1b) 0 for 3    
    Hancock (ph) 0 for 1
    RED SOX 9TH: Hobson singled to right; DUFFY RAN FOR HOBSON; KERN REPLACED CLYDE (PITCHING); On a bunt Evans popped to catcher in foul territory; HANCOCK BATTED FOR SCOTT; Hancock struck out;
    Remy forced Duffy (shortstop to second); 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB. Red Sox 1, Indians 2.
    Right-handed reliever Jim Kern gave up only 4 HRs in 99 innings that year and Carbo was 1 for 13 in his career vs. him with 7 Ks and no XBH. More interesting is taking out Scott. Career for Kern? Five for 16 (.313) and 4 walks.
    (Carbo didn’t play in the game for Cleveland.)

    Thursday, September 14, 1978 at Cleveland Stadium
    4-3 loss to the Indians
    Brohamer (dh) 1 for 4
    RED SOX 9TH: Fisk doubled to left; Lynn grounded out (shortstop to second to first); Hobson flied out to center [Fisk to third]; Brohamer flied out to center; 0 R, 1 H, 0 E, 1 LOB.  Red Sox 3, Indians 4.
    Another chance to tie a game with a HR by hitting Carbo for Brohamer, but Carbo didn’t hit Kern well.
    (Carbo didn’t play in the game for Cleveland.)

    Saturday, September 16, 1978 at Yankee Stadium
    3-2 loss to Yankees
    Catfish Hunter through a complete game 6-hitter with 8Ks and Yankees plated the winning run in the B9th with two out (Munson scoring Rivers on SF, who had tripled to lead off inning).
    RED SOX 9TH: Brohamer walked; DUFFY RAN FOR BROHAMER; On a bunt Hancock forced Duffy (first to shortstop); Hobson was called out on strikes; LYNN BATTED FOR EVANS; Lynn walked [Hancock to second]; SCOTT RAN FOR LYNN; Burleson popped to left; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 2 LOB.  Red Sox 2, Yankees 2.
    ***Surely would like my chances a whole lot better with Carbo batting for either Brohamer or Duffy. And what’s with Boomer Scott pinch-running for Fred Lynn?!***

    Friday, September 22, 1978 at Exhibition Stadium
    5-4 loss to the Blue Jays
    Evans (rf) 0 for 4
    Toronto pushed across 2 runs in the B9th; game ended with runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out.
    RED SOX 9TH: CRUZ REPLACED CLANCY (PITCHING); Evans made an out to second; Burleson walked; Remy walked [Burleson to second]; MURPHY REPLACED CRUZ (PITCHING); Rice struck out; Yastrzemski
    walked [Burleson to third, Remy to second]; Fisk flied out to center; 0 R, 0 H, 0 E, 3 LOB.  Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 3.
    ***Chance for Carbo to tie it by batting for Evans.***

  21. Philip said...

    I think it’s pretty much a given that Carbo would have made a positive difference in the pennant race had he remained with the Red Sox.

    And let’s not even get started on Zim sending Jim Wright and Bobby Sprowl to the wolves during the Boston Massacre after demoting Bill Lee to the bullpen.

    It was completely Don Zimmer’s fault that Bob Bailey ended his career by striking out against Goose Gossage instead of popping champagne with his Red Sox teammates after a World Series triumph over the Dodgers.

  22. Philip said...

    (Just to clarify: Zimmer’s to blame for the Bill Lee situation and any one-game that would have made the difference in the AL East race. But Haywood Sullivan’s is obviously far more to blame for the larger team structural issues, including the Cooper and Carbo trades, in the years after the 75 pennant.)

  23. Professor Longnose said...

    Philip, that’s fascinating. I’m not sure how much credence I give it—rumors and talks but I wonder how close they were to making a deal. With hindsight, it looks crazy for the Yankees, but even then, giving up 2 regulars, White and Nettles, for one, doesn’t seem like a good deal.

    Given what the Yankees and the Reds went on to do, both clubs were lucky they didn’t pull that particular trigger.

  24. Paul E said...

    Philip & Mando3B:

    Didn’t Zimmer take Jenkins out of the rotation at some point or limit his starts in ‘77 & ‘78? He buried Lee and Jenkins who, both maintained, was because they were “free thinkers” who did stuff like read books while travelling with the team on airplanes.

    Jenkins may have won 300 games if he got those extra starts in ‘77 and ‘78 and managed to hang on with another club in the mid-‘80s

  25. Philip said...

    Professor Longnose said…

    “I don’t know. The Reds had won division titles in ‘72 and ‘73. I don’t think…”

    I agree that I don’t think the Reds doubted their core or were panicking. But I do think GM Bob Howsman was of the Branch Rickey school: ‘‘better to get rid of a player a year too soon than a year too late.’‘

    I think it was all about moving Perez as a valuable asset to fill a hole that they perceived needing fixing.

    With the Yankees, yes, that was more that they felt they needed to do something as you noted.

  26. Philip said...

    PaulE said…

    “Didn’t Zimmer take Jenkins out of the rotation at some point or limit his starts in ‘77 & ‘78?”

    Jenkins had one relief appearance between starts (in a wide 12-8 game with Baltimore at Fenway) in 1976, his last start being Sep. 1. He started 29 of 30 that year and had 28 starts in 1977 (no relief appearances), his last start being Sep 7.  Without checking, my guess is Jenkins probably had season-ending injuries.

    I know Zim and Lee had problems, but don’t remember issues with Jenkins. Of course, Jenkins did not return for 1978, but whether Zimmer had influence with regards to that, I don’t know.

  27. Carl said...

    Gil Patterson was a young lefty flame-thrower the Yankees had developed.  In 1976, he went 16 – 4 across AA and AAA and George Steinbrenner declared he could win 300 games.  The Reds offered Perez straight up for Patterson after 1976 and the Yankees declined.

    For those who don’t know Patterson, he was required to pitch winter ball after 1976, ignoring his over 500 IP over the two previous years on his 20 year old arm.  He tore his rotator cuff in Winter Ball and pitched a handful of games in 1977 before undergoing the first of 8 surgeries on his arm.

  28. Carl said...

    We’re off topic, but Jenkins just did not pitch all that well in Boston. 
    In 1976 he started off 1 – 5 and although he finished 12 – 11, he tore his achilles in August, hence his low # of starts compared to when he was with Texas. 
    In 1977 he started well (4 – 0 after 4 starts) but did not win between June 23 and August 4.  After his start on Sept 7, his record was 10 – 10 and he was moved to the pen for long relief. As described by Manger Zimmer, “All my starters are going at lest 5 innings, so I don’t need him.  He my as well take a set on the bench becuse we wont be using him.”
    As far as Don Zimmer being the reason he didn’t reach 300 wins, I suspect his bust for cocaine possession and trafficking and the 1981 players strike are more to blame than Don Zimmer.

  29. Paul E said...

    When Jenkins was detained by the authorities for possession of a controlled substance in 1980 he made the same number of starts as in 1976 and 1977 with the Red Sox (29). Perhaps if the Philadelphia Phillies gave him 35 starts in 1966 (instead of 60 relief appearances), he may have gotten the 16 wins necessary.

  30. Bruce Markusen said...

    Jenkins was part of the famous (or infamous) Buffalo Heads society that rebelled against Zimmer. I believe Carbo and Lee were also Buffalo Heads, and there may have been one or two more.

  31. Professor Longnose said...

    I don’t know. The Reds had won division titles in ‘72 and ‘73. I don’t think the organization was dumb enough to think the core wasn’t still good. I doubt they were panicking. The Yankees probably were, but more because Steinbrenner had bought the team before the ‘73 season and the Mets had won the ‘73 pennant. I can see all that being discussed, but I don’t know how close any of it was.

  32. Paul E said...

    we’re kind of off on a tangent here, but:

    1976-1977 ERA+ Leaders American League (min 324IP)

    Fidrych   156
    Tanana   145
    Blyleven 137
    Palmer   131
    Jenkins   122

    ….and I don’t believe Fidrych had much of a year in 1977

  33. Philip said...

    Yes, Bruce. Carbo and Lee were also Buffalo Heads. A buffalo, Jenkins said, was the ugliest animal alive. ‘‘Buffalo head’’ was also Jenkins’ nickname for Zimmer.

  34. Philip said...

    Re: Jenkins last 8 starts in 1977

    On July 29th at California, Jenkins went into 7th leading 5-2, gave up a 2-run HR and then a single before Zimmer pulled him. Bullpen blew the lead but Sox won in 10 innings.

    On August 4th at Oakland, Jenkins threw a CG 3-hitter in a 3-1 win.

    On August 13th vs. Mariners, Red Sox scored 7 in the B6th to take a 9-4 lead. Zimmer left Jenkins in. Sox plated 4 more in the 7th. Zimmer left Jenkins in for the 8th, too. Campbell started the 9th in the 13-6 win.

    On August 18th at Milwaukee, Jenkins went the distance in a 8-4 win (all Brewers runs in the first two innings).

    On August 23rd at Minnesota, Jenkins didn’t get out of the 5th in a 7-0 loss. (Jenkins could have pitched a 9-inning shutout in that game and not have won.)

    On August 28 vs. Minnesota, Jenkins shutout the Twins for two innings but was relieved by Cleveland to start the T3rd with Sox up 3-0. Jenkins had pulled a right leg muscle while covering first for the final out in the 2nd. The bullpen blew the led, but Boston came back to win, 6-5.

    On September 2nd at Texas, an error by Jenkins in the 5th helped the Rangers scored two unearned runs to take a 3-1 lead in route to a 6-4 win. Jenkins was pulled in the 6th railing 4-1.

    On September 7th at Toronto, Jenkins went the distance in his last game as a Red Sox, losing 3-2. Potential rallies in the 8th and 9th ended on ground ball double plays.

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