The virtual 1958-68 Giants, Reds, and Cardinals (Part 8: 1964-65)

Our grand excursion has taken us from the late 1950s fully into the mid-’60s:

1957-58
1958-59
1959-60
1960-61
1961-62
1962-63
1963-64

For the Giants and Reds, it’s been a thrill ride of great success, with the only frustration for each franchise being the presence of the other. Meanwhile, frustration has been the constant theme for St. Louis, while in reality the Cards captured a World Championship in 1964.

          Giants:  Actual             Reds:  Actual               Cardinals:  Actual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    80   74  3    727  698      76   78  4    695  623      72   82  5T   619  704
 1959    83   71  3    705  613      74   80  5T   764  738      71   83  7    641  725
 1960    79   75  5    671  631      67   87  6    640  692      86   68  3    639  616
 1961    85   69  3    773  655      93   61  1    710  653      80   74  5    703  668
 1962   103   62  1    878  690      98   64  3    802  685      84   78  6    774  664
 1963    88   74  3    725  641      86   76  5    648  594      93   69  2    747  628
 1964    90   72  4    656  587      92   70  2T   660  566      93   69  1    715  652

          Giants:  Virtual            Reds:  Virtual              Cardinals:  Virtual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    83   71  2T   747  692      73   81  5    683  637      77   77  4    640  677
 1959    87   67  1T   737  615      87   67  1T   802  662      84   70  4    725  685
 1960    93   61  1    709  561      76   78  6    705  666      86   68  4    661  632
 1961    88   66  2    787  648     106   48  1    813  629      72   82  6    689  724
 1962   103   59  1    800  632     101   61  2T   779  663      84   78  6    809  703
 1963    97   65  3    726  578     100   62  1    704  540      80   82  6    664  668
 1964   100   62  2    726  576     101   61  1    689  533      87   75  4    662  657

Who’ll get some satisfaction this time around?

The 1964-65 offseason: Actual deals we will make

None. How about that?

The 1964-65 offseason: Actual deals we will not make

Nov. 21, 1964: The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Jose Cardenal to the California Angels for catcher Jack Hiatt.

We’ve examined this peculiar transaction before:

It was a trade that simply didn’t make sense from the Giants’ standpoint, and it worked out dismally. Cardenal, given a chance to play with the Angels in 1965, immediately became a solid regular, and played in the major leagues though 1980. Hiatt, with little opportunity to play given the crowd of Giants behind the plate, didn’t make the majors to stay until 1967, and never became anything more than a utility player. Cardenal would earn 212 Win Shares in his major league career, while Hiatt earned 48.

Dec. 4, 1964: The Cincinnati Reds traded infielder-outfielder Cesar Tovar to the Minnesota Twins for pitcher Gerry Arrigo.

And this similarly inscrutable one as well:

All along, the Reds’ handling of Tovar was, well, puzzling. After signing him at the age of 17 and immediately making him a first-string second baseman in the minors, the Cincinnati organization spent six years failing to promote this blazing-fast Venezuelan to the major leagues ….

Instead the Reds swapped Tovar for Gerry Arrigo, who was, to be sure, an intriguing young pitcher: a hard-throwing 23-year-old lefty. But he was one with dubious control, and a minor league track record that paled in comparison to Tovar’s.

Suffice to say that both Cardenal and Tovar presented minor league resumés of the sort that very rarely result in a trade before a chance to play in the majors. Moreover, in neither of these deals does the return provide a sensible explanation.

But, then, consider this fact: Cardenal and Tovar were both black Latins. And Hiatt and Arrigo were both white Americans.

And, then, consider this fact: in the 15-year period from October 1959 through October 1974, the Giants conducted a total of 95 transactions with other major league clubs. In these deals the Giants relinquished 27 African-American or Latin American players. They acquired just three players of color (Ozzie Virgil in 1965, Nate Oliver in 1968, and Dick Simpson in 1969), all of whom were throw-ins in deals in which the primary acquisition was a white player.

Consider that.

The Reds in this period didn’t demonstrate a pattern that stark. But Cincinnati as well made several key trades that were essentially black-for-white exchanges when they surrendered Curt Flood, Tony Gonzalez, Juan Pizarro, and, of course, Frank Robinson, and these deals were not balanced by trades for significant black talent.

Both the Giants and Reds in the 1950s and ‘60s were bold pioneers, leaders, in the scouting and signing of amateur players of color. The core stars developed by both franchises were black, either African-American or Latin American. But neither franchise demonstrated a corresponding eagerness to acquire players of color in the trade market, and both demonstrated a pattern of clumsy undervaluation of (or at least impatience with) young black players, surrendering them abruptly (in exchange for white players) before giving them a chance to develop: that describes not only these Cardenal and Tovar deals, but also Cincinnati’s Flood, Gonzalez, and Pizarro trades, and San Francisco’s handling of Leon Wagner, Andre Rodgers, and George Foster.

Our Giants and Reds are striving to avoid such blunders. Neither Cardenal nor Tovar will be dealt away here.

Dec. 14, 1964: The Cincinnati Reds traded pitcher Bob Purkey to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Roger Craig and outfielder Charlie James.

Our Cardinals don’t have Craig, and in any case our Reds don’t want to deal away Purkey, who was quite effective in 1964.

Dec. 15, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals purchased outfielder-first baseman Tito Francona from the Cleveland Indians.

We don’t have a spot for this veteran.

Jan., 1965: The San Francisco Giants traded catcher Tim Talton to the Kansas City Athletics for outfielder George Alusik.

He wasn’t much defensively, but Talton was a good hitter for average. It doesn’t make sense to toss away a left-handed-batting catcher in exchange for a right-handed-batting outfielder for which we have no need.

Feb. 1, 1965: The San Francisco Giants traded pitcher Billy O’Dell to the Milwaukee Braves for catcher Ed Bailey.

As we discussed here:

The lefty O’Dell had been a consistently fine pitcher for the Giants since they’d acquired him from Baltimore in 1959. But he encountered his first off-year in 1964, his ERA ballooning to 5.40, and he lost his spot in the starting rotation.

However, O’Dell’s peripherals in 1964 didn’t look nearly as bad as that ERA. Moreover, his starter versus reliever splits in ’64 were extreme: In his eight starts, O’Dell had been blown out with 46 hits in 34 innings and an 8.55 ERA, while in relief he was quite effective, allowing just 36 hits in 51 innings, and posting an ERA of 3.33. At the age of 33, it appeared as though O’Dell was entering the phase of his career in which he might no longer be capable of doing well as a starter, but might thrive in the bullpen.

We won’t deal O’Dell at this juncture, but will instead give him a full season to show what he can do as a reliever.

Feb. 11, 1965: The San Francisco Giants traded catcher Del Crandall to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitcher Bob Priddy and outfielder-first baseman Bob Burda.

Our version of the Giants doesn’t include Crandall, and at this point in our scenario the Pirates have neither Priddy nor Burda anyway.

The 1964-65 offseason: Deals we will invoke

Oct., 1964: The Cincinnati Reds released first baseman Wally Moon.

He’s had a fine run in Cincinnati, but we don’t see him generating any meaningful trade value now. So it’s time to free up the roster room.

Dec. 7, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded outfielder Johnny Lewis to the New York Mets for infielder Elio Chacon and cash.

Actually on this date the Cardinals traded Lewis to the Mets along with pitcher Gordie Richardson for Chacon and pitcher Tracy Stallard. We like Stallard, but we see our Ray Sadecki-less staff as having more need for the left-hander Richardson than the right-hander Stallard.

Dec. 9, 1964: The San Francisco Giants traded infielder Jose Pagan to the Pittsburgh Pirates for infielder Roberto Peña.

Peña is a modest prospect we’ll probably just park in triple-A, but we’re ready to say adios to Pagan’s backsliding performance.

Dec. 14, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded first baseman Bill White to the Cincinnati Reds for outfielder-infielder Curt Flood, catcher-first baseman Don Pavletich, and outfielders Art Shamsky and Ted Savage.

Woah, Nelly!

It isn’t as big a bombshell as when our Cardinals traded away Ken Boyer back in 1960, but this is pretty doggone explosive. And the reasoning is essentially the same as it was for our Cards back in 1960: being honest with ourselves, we simply don’t see our current nucleus as plausibly pennant-bound.

We love White, but he’s in his thirties now, and he’s never going to generate more trade value than he is today. And what a bountiful package of trade value this is. The not-yet-27-year-old Flood has been perpetually in search of a position in Cincinnati, but we love the idea of seeing how he’ll do as a full-time center fielder. And Pavletich and Shamsky are serious young bats.

From the perspective of our Reds, it’s leveraging some of our exceptional depth into a single star performer who’s as well-rounded and consistent as they come. White hasn’t yet begun to decline, so we can confidently expect at least a couple of years of first-rate production.

Dec. 15, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded shortstop Dick Schofield to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Matty Alou, infielder Gil Garrido, and cash.

So, we embrace the rebuilding spirit in St. Louis. Schofield has been a steady performer, but he’s turning 30 and we don’t see him as the regular shortstop of a future Cardinals championship club. We’ll commit to youth at the position and see what develops, and we’ll give the 26-year-old Alou—who’s stagnated in San Francisco after looking like he might be something special—an opportunity in our outfield.

As for our Giants, a short-term horizon properly prevails. We’ve gotten a decent run from Andre Rodgers at shortstop, but his range is beginning to decline. Schofield shores us up defensively, and allows us to slide Rodgers over to second base.

Dec. 15, 1964: The St. Louis Cardinals traded third baseman Jim Davenport to the Pittsburgh Pirates for pitchers Earl Francis and John Gelnar and cash.

And our St. Louisans will complete the infield bust-up by scrapping the 31-year-old Davenport, who’d hit surprisingly well for us in 1961-62 but then quickly faded. Third base is another spot where we’ll go with kids, while giving the talented-but-erratic Francis and the soft-tossing prospect Gelnar a chance to make the staff.

Feb. 11, 1965: The San Francisco Giants sold second baseman Chuck Hiller to the New York Mets.

Hiller’s batting average has dropped a neat 100 points in two years, which isn’t the sort of thing one often sees. We’ve shopped him around and found no trade offers, so we’ll just take some cash from the Mets instead.

March, 1965: The Cincinnati Reds sold outfielder-first baseman Marty Keough to the Milwaukee Braves.

March, 1965: The St. Louis Cardinals sold outfielder Charlie James to the Houston Astros.

March, 1965: The St. Louis Cardinals sold outfielder Bob Burda to the San Francisco Giants.

Late-in-spring-training roster pruning. Our Giants will stash Burda in triple-A as Walt Bond injury insurance.

The 1965 season: Actual deals we will make

None. So there.

The 1965 season: Actual deals we will not make

May 4, 1965: The Cincinnati Reds traded pitcher Bill Henry to the San Francisco Giants for pitcher Jim Duffalo.

Our Reds never had Henry and our Giants no longer have Duffalo.

May 22, 1965: The San Francisco Giants traded shortstop Jose Pagan to the Pittsburgh Pirates for shortstop Dick Schofield.

We already sent Pagan to Pittsburgh and Schofield to San Francisco.

May 29, 1965: The San Francisco Giants traded pitcher Bob Hendley, catcher Ed Bailey, and outfielder Harvey Kuenn to the Chicago Cubs for outfielder Len Gabrielson and catcher Dick Bertell.

Our Giants don’t have any of those guys, and have no interest in Gabrielson or Bertell anyway.

July 19, 1965: The San Francisco Giants signed pitcher Warren Spahn as a free agent.

We love the wonderful Spahnie, even this superannuated version, but don’t have an opening on the staff.

The 1965 season: Deals we will invoke

June 15, 1965: The St. Louis Cardinals traded pitchers Ray Washburn and Mike Cuellar to the Houston Astros for pitchers Hal Woodeshick and Larry Yellen.

Actually on this date St. Louis traded pitcher Ron Taylor to Houston along with Cuellar in exchange for the standout reliever Woodeshick and so-so pitching prospect Chuck Taylor. Our Cardinals don’t have R. Taylor and do have C. Taylor, so we’ll rework the deal. Washburn has shown flashes, but hasn’t developed as we’d hoped, so we’ll take this opportunity to bolster the bullpen.

June 30, 1965: The Cincinnati Reds sold pitcher Bob Purkey to the Chicago Cubs.

Purkey this year is encountering the kind of struggle that doesn’t bode well for a 35-year-old. He’s been a splendid asset since we acquired him so long ago, but the time has come to cut him loose.

July 10, 1965: The San Francisco Giants sold pitcher Jack Sanford to the California Angels.

As it is for our Giants and the 36-year-old Sanford.

1965 season results

Giants

We’re installing Schofield as our primary shortstop, and having Rodgers compete with Hal Lanier for the second base job. And in the bullpen, we’ll have rookie Masanori Murakami replace the retired Billy Pierce—Murakami is the first Japanese-born player in the major leagues (the next won’t come along for another 30 years), and we didn’t plan for him to be here, but he’s just blown away everyone he’s faced.

But our biggest change is forced upon us by an injury. Orlando Cepeda underwent knee surgery over the winter, and arrives at spring training entirely unable to do anything more than limp to the plate to pinch hit. His absence from the lineup will provide an opportunity for the rookie Cardenal and sophomore Jesus Alou to compete for serious playing time in the outfield, and put extra pressure on Willie McCovey to bounce back from his dreadful 1964 performance.

1965 San Francisco Giants     Won 99    Lost 63    Finished 1st

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  W. McCovey*    27  160 540  93 149  17   4  39  92  88 118 .276 .380 .539 .919  152
2B-SS H. Lanier      22  143 418  28  94  12   7   0  31  17  54 .225 .249 .287 .536   48
  SS  D. Schofield#  30  125 439  44  92  14   1   2  23  44  61 .210 .281 .260 .541   51
  3B  K. Boyer       34  144 535  66 137  17   2  12  55  58  71 .256 .324 .363 .687   90
RF-CF J. Cardenal    21  100 282  37  72  13   2   6  23  13  40 .255 .286 .379 .665   83
  CF  W. Mays        34  157 558 118 177  21   3  52 112  76  71 .317 .397 .645 1.042 184
LF-3B J. Hart        23  160 591  91 177  30   6  23  96  47  75 .299 .348 .487 .836  129
  C   T. Haller*     28  109 349  35  87   4   3  14  42  41  51 .249 .335 .398 .733  103

  IF  A. Rodgers     30  125 352  41  91  19   1   8  31  43  66 .259 .333 .386 .720   99
OF-1B W. Bond*       27   98 271  31  72  11   1   8  31  28  33 .266 .338 .402 .740  105
  OF  J. Alou        23   84 260  30  79  13   1   5  26   6  17 .304 .321 .419 .740  104
  C   J. Orsino      27   71 147  18  35   7   1   6  18  12  32 .238 .305 .422 .727   99
  2B  B. Schroder*   20   57  83  14  18   2   0   0   5   9   8 .217 .287 .241 .528   49
  OF  K. Henderson#  19   63  73  10  14   1   1   0   7   9  19 .192 .277 .233 .510   43
  C   T. Talton*     26   28  39   4   8   1   0   0   4   5   6 .205 .295 .231 .526   48
LF-1B O. Cepeda      27   33  34   1   6   1   0   1   5   3   9 .176 .225 .294 .519   43

      Others                 114  12  24   3   0   1   7   7  20 .211 .256 .263 .519   45

      Pitchers               428  24  67   3   1   2  29  13 143 .156 .172 .181 .354   -2

      Total                 5513 697 1399 189 34 179 637 519 894 .254 .315 .398 .713   97

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      J. Marichal    27   39  37  24  23  12   1 295 224  78  70   27   46  240 2.14  169
      G. Perry       26   33  30   7   9  13   0 206 213 113  98   23   74  178 4.28   84
      B. Bolin       26   33  29   4  11   7   0 182 167  65  64   24   62  148 3.16  114
      D. LeMay*      26   29  18   4   9   6   0 139 135  65  57   12   41   55 3.69   98
      F. Linzy       24   15  12   2   6   1   0  70  74  28  23    4   18   28 2.96  122
      J. Sanford     36   17  14   0   4   3   0  68  65  33  31    7   19   33 4.10   88
      B. Hands       25   13  10   2   5   3   0  65  69  34  26    4   24   44 3.60  100
      D. Estelle*    23   16  10   1   2   3   0  56  57  36  28    5   31   35 4.50   80

      S. Miller      37   67   0   0  14   6  20 119  92  27  26    5   29  104 1.97  184
      B. O'Dell*     32   53   1   0   9   5  11 100  81  32  24    9   26   73 2.16  167
      D. McMahon     35   52   0   0   3   2   7  81  79  36  30    8   31   57 3.33  108
      M. Murakami*   21   45   1   0   4   1   4  74  57  31  31    9   22   85 3.77   96

      Others                   1   0   0   1   0  10  13   9   8    1    9    4 7.20   50

      Total                  163  44  99  63 43 1465 1326 587 516 138  432 1084 3.17  114

      * Throws left

In St. Louis, Schofield had never been a good hitter, but he hadn’t been a bad one, slapping out a .260-ish batting average and drawing frequent walks. But he shows up in San Francisco and resolutely forgets how to hit. We spend all year waiting for him to snap out of it, to no avail. And Lanier doesn’t hit a lick, either.

Cardenal and Alou aren’t terrible, but Cepeda’s bat is definitely missed, even moreso because Boyer, at 34, finally begins to show his age. Fortunately, Jim Ray Hart proves he’s for real, McCovey does rebound, and Willie Mays—astonishingly, at the same age as Boyer—delivers a staggering season, a power-hitting clinic of historic proportion.

Our pitching isn’t quite the same patchwork quilt of sublime and ridiculous as our hitting, but it’s close. The starting staff behind ace Juan Marichal is shaky—the biggest issue being Ernie Broglio imploding due to elbow trouble—but the Dominican Dandy is tremendous, and so is our bullpen, headed up in scintillating fashion by the ageless Stu Miller.

And Pythagoras is kind to us, as we squeak in at four wins above projection. We need every inch of that extension in order to defeat the extremely tough competition.

Reds

The arrival of White at first base bumps Deron Johnson over to third, where he’ll compete with rookie Tony Perez. That bumps incumbent third baseman Tommy Harper to the outfield, where he’ll assume the platoon/utility role Flood had been filling.

The only other alteration is on the pitching staff, where we’re introducing an exceptionally hard-throwing rookie, Billy McCool, and last year’s rookie sensation reliever Sammy Ellis is promoted to the starting ranks.

1965 Cincinnati Reds     Won 98    Lost 64    Finished 2nd

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  B. White*      31  142 472  80 139  23   3  21  75  55  69 .294 .367 .489 .856  133
  2B  P. Rose#       24  162 670 119 209  35  11  11  84  69  76 .312 .378 .446 .824  125
  SS  L. Cardenas    26  156 557  67 160  25  11  11  59  60 100 .287 .353 .431 .784  114
3B-1B D. Johnson     26  125 415  68 120  21   4  23  94  38  62 .289 .344 .525 .869  135
  RF  F. Robinson    29  156 582 111 172  33   5  33 116  70 100 .296 .386 .540 .925  151
  CF  V. Pinson*     26  159 669  99 204  34  10  22  97  43  81 .305 .349 .484 .833  126
  LF  T. Gonzalez*   28  108 370  62 112  19   1  15  49  29  52 .303 .356 .481 .837  127
  C   J. Edwards*    27  114 371  48  99  22   2  17  53  50  45 .267 .351 .474 .826  124

OF-3B T. Harper      24   80 257  52  68  10   1   8  30  32  48 .265 .343 .405 .748  104
  3B  T. Perez       23   99 253  38  65  13   4  11  45  19  60 .257 .310 .470 .781  111
  C   J. Azcue       25   71 175  14  41   4   0   2  18  11  29 .234 .283 .291 .574   58
  UT  C. Tovar       24   74 157  25  38   8   2   2  14  11  18 .242 .287 .357 .643   75
  LF  J. Lynch*      34   73 121  11  34   1   0   6  20   7  25 .281 .323 .438 .761  107
  C   E. Bailey*     34   45  80   8  18   3   0   2  13  16  16 .225 .347 .338 .684   89
  IF  T. Helms       24   21  42   4  16   2   2   0   6   3   7 .381 .435 .524 .959  162
  IF  C. Ruiz#       26   29  18   7   2   1   0   0   1   0   5 .111 .111 .167 .278  -25

      Others                   7   1   0   0   0   0   0   0   2 .000 .000 .000 .000 -100

      Pitchers               449  29  62   7   3   1  19  26 168 .138 .173 .174 .347   -4

      Total                 5665 843 1559 261 59 185 793 539 963 .275 .338 .440 .778  112

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      C. Osteen*     25   36  36   9  16  10   0 258 238  98  90   21   68  145 3.14  119
      J. Maloney     25   33  33  14  20   9   0 255 189  78  72   13  110  244 2.54  148
      S. Ellis       24   40  35  13  20   8   2 238 198 105  98   20   94  167 3.71  101
      J. Jay         29   41  20   3   9   8   1 156 148  82  72   20   63  104 4.15   90
      J. Pizarro*    28   18  18   2   7   2   0  97 105  51  45   10   33   65 4.18   90
      J. O'Toole*    28   12   9   1   1   4   1  46  51  37  34    7   21   32 6.65   56

      B. McCool*     20   53   2   0   9   9  20  90  78  43  41    8   40  105 4.10   91
      J. Nuxhall*    36   47   2   0   6   3  10  99  92  36  35   10   21   81 3.18  118
      J. Tsitouris   29   31   2   0   2   4   2  66  62  39  31    7   33   51 4.23   89
      D. Zanni       33   28   1   0   1   2   1  52  41  17  13    5   24   35 2.25  167
      H. Haddix*     39   24   0   0   3   1   1  34  33  25  15    5   21   21 3.97   94
      B. Purkey      35   15   4   1   3   3   1  41  46  28  25    6   11   14 5.49   68

      Others                   0   0   1   1   0  26  21   7   6    2   10   19 2.08  181

      Total                  162  43  98  64 39 1458 1302 646 577 134  549 1083 3.56  105

      * Throws left

Tremendous staff-wide pitching was the key to our pennants in 1963 and ’64. But this year we encounter some serious challenges on the mound. Purkey and Harvey Haddix both finally run out of gas, and Joey Jay isn’t sharp. Worst of all, our two top southpaws, Juan Pizarro and Jim O’Toole, both go down with arm trouble, with O’Toole especially ineffective.

Thus Jim Maloney, Claude Osteen, and Ellis emerge as a new top three, and though they’re excellent, they carry a heavy load. Overall our staff is good but not comparable to past versions.

But our hitting, as though responding to a distress signal, heroically rides to the rescue. Pete Rose ignites into stardom, heading a lineup that rolls out relentlessly ferocious thump, carpet-bombing opponents into submission. Our team OPS+ of 112 is the highest achieved by any team since the Boys of Summer were at their towering peak in 1953.

Alas, to the same four-game degree the Giants are helped by the Pythagorean whims, we’re hurt. Our resulting record of 98-64 noses out the Los Angeles Dodgers, but falls just short of the Giants.*

Cardinals

In our revamped lineup, Flood takes over in center field, moving Felipe Alou and his hopefully-healed knee over to right. Lee Thomas moves in from right field to first base.

Another outfielder, rifle-armed sophomore Mike Shannon, is converted to third base, where he’ll compete with fellow sophomore Phil Gagliano. And at shortstop we’re going with youngsters Jerry Buchek and Dal Maxvill.

1965 St. Louis Cardinals     Won 85    Lost 76    Finished 5th

 Pos  Player        Age    G  AB   R   H  2B  3B  HR RBI  BB  SO   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS OPS+
  1B  L. Thomas*     29  143 496  71 139  24   5  23  74  61  36 .280 .358 .488 .845  127
  2B  J. Javier      28   77 229  20  52   6   4   2  25   8  44 .227 .256 .314 .571   54
SS-2B J. Buchek      23  139 487  45 118  19   7  11  48  37 128 .242 .293 .378 .671   80
  3B  M. Shannon     25  124 383  40  90  23   4   6  43  39  72 .235 .305 .363 .668   80
  RF  F. Alou        30  143 555  88 172  30   2  24  78  32  64 .310 .348 .501 .849  127
  CF  C. Flood       27  150 577  84 179  28   3  10  68  48  47 .310 .365 .421 .786  113
  LF  L. Brock*      26  155 631 105 182  35   8  16  68  45 116 .288 .340 .445 .785  111
  C   T. McCarver*   23  113 409  48 113  17   2  11  48  31  26 .276 .327 .408 .735   98

3B-2B P. Gagliano    23  128 399  46  96  15   2   9  46  44  50 .241 .312 .356 .668   81
  SS  D. Maxvill     26  102 220  17  40   5   3   0  15  21  35 .182 .252 .232 .484   32
 C-1B D. Pavletich   26   68 191  23  62  11   1   8  29  24  28 .325 .399 .518 .917  147
  OF  A. Shamsky*    23   79 178  20  46   7   4   5  19  20  42 .258 .335 .427 .762  105
  OF  M. Alou*       26   70 108  12  24   4   1   1   6   4  11 .222 .250 .306 .556   50
1B-OF J. Beauchamp   25   46  84   7  17   2   0   1   7   9  18 .202 .284 .262 .546   49
  IF  E. Chacon      28   36  63   9  15   2   0   1   5   9   8 .238 .324 .317 .642   75
  OF  T. Savage      28   30  63   7  10   3   0   1   4   6   9 .159 .232 .254 .486   32
  C   B. Uecker      30   27  58   7  12   3   0   1   4   9  12 .207 .324 .310 .634   73
  C   D. Ricketts#   29   11  15   1   3   0   0   0   0   0   2 .200 .188 .200 .388    5

      Others                  48   5  11   2   1   0   8   2   7 .229 .275 .313 .587   59

      Pitchers               400  37  62   6   2   7  36  19 155 .155 .182 .233 .415   12

      Total                 5594 692 1443 242 49 137 631 468 910 .258 .314 .392 .706   90

      *  Bats left
      #  Bats both

      Pitcher       Age    G  GS  CG   W   L  SV  IP   H   R  ER   HR   BB   SO  ERA ERA+
      B. Gibson      29   38  36  20  20  12   1 299 243 110 102   34  103  270 3.07  126
      L. Jackson     34   39  39  12  16  17   0 257 276 126 115   28   58  132 4.03   96
      A. Jackson*    29   34  31   5  12  12   1 185 205  99  88   15   53  113 4.28   91
      J. Gelnar      22   11   9   1   2   3   0  63  67  24  23    5   16   30 3.29  118
      R. Washburn    27   11   8   1   4   6   0  57  55  27  24    7   12   30 3.79  102
      N. Briles      21   15   6   0   2   3   1  55  58  25  24    4   15   31 3.93   99
      G. Richardson* 26   13   7   0   1   3   0  54  57  28  26    6   19   38 4.33   90
      D. Hughes      27   13   8   1   1   4   0  53  57  31  26    5   25   31 4.42   88

      L. McDaniel    29   71   0   0   6   5   2 129 120  46  39   12   48   93 2.72  143
      E. Fisher      28   56  13   1  12   8  12 144 126  55  51   13   34   77 3.19  122
      H. Woodeshick* 32   41   0   0   3   1  13  48  37  11   9    1   22   31 1.69  230
      B. Henry*      37   38   0   0   3   1   4  42  40  17  16    2    8   37 3.43  113
      S. Carlton*    20   15   2   0   0   0   0  25  27   7   7    3    8   21 2.52  154

      Others                   3   3   3   1   2  51  43  16  15    3   15   26 2.65  147

      Total                  162  44  85  76 36 1462 1411 622 565 138  436  960 3.48  112

      * Throws left

Second baseman Julian Javier, our only holdover regular infielder, breaks a finger and misses half the season, then struggles with the bat when he returns. This widens the window of opportunity for the younger infielders, but no one does much with the chance.

But by and large things go pretty well. Our bench gets a shot in the arm from Shamsky and (especially) Pavletich. With Lou Brock and Flood at the top of the order, and a rejuvenated Alou and Thomas in the middle, we don’t scare anybody but our offense is nudging toward league-average again.

Our pitching is a work in progress as well, as rookie right-handers Gelnar and Nelson Briles are introduced to the rotation in mid-season. But Bob Gibson is terrific, and the bullpen led by workhorses Lindy McDaniel and Eddie Fisher is outstanding.

At the end of the year, we’re still stuck in middle-of-the-pack traffic. However, our Pythag suggests we’re a little better than that, and so much of our key talent is still young that we think—perhaps we’re kidding ourselves?—we may at last be headed on the road toward contention.

Next time

We’ll enter the final three years of this long-range experiment. Can the Cardinals’ persistence be rewarded? Is anyone going to be able to break the San Francisco-Cincinnati stranglehold on first place?

          Giants:  Actual             Reds:  Actual               Cardinals:  Actual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    80   74  3    727  698      76   78  4    695  623      72   82  5T   619  704
 1959    83   71  3    705  613      74   80  5T   764  738      71   83  7    641  725
 1960    79   75  5    671  631      67   87  6    640  692      86   68  3    639  616
 1961    85   69  3    773  655      93   61  1    710  653      80   74  5    703  668
 1962   103   62  1    878  690      98   64  3    802  685      84   78  6    774  664
 1963    88   74  3    725  641      86   76  5    648  594      93   69  2    747  628
 1964    90   72  4    656  587      92   70  2T   660  566      93   69  1    715  652
 1965    95   67  2    682  593      89   73  4    825  704      80   81  7    707  674

          Giants:  Virtual            Reds:  Virtual              Cardinals:  Virtual
 Year    W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA       W    L  Pos   RS   RA
 1958    83   71  2T   747  692      73   81  5    683  637      77   77  4    640  677
 1959    87   67  1T   737  615      87   67  1T   802  662      84   70  4    725  685
 1960    93   61  1    709  561      76   78  6    705  666      86   68  4    661  632
 1961    88   66  2    787  648     106   48  1    813  629      72   82  6    689  724
 1962   103   59  1    800  632     101   61  2T   779  663      84   78  6    809  703
 1963    97   65  3    726  578     100   62  1    704  540      80   82  6    664  668
 1964   100   62  2    726  576     101   61  1    689  533      87   75  4    662  657
 1965    99   63  1    697  587      98   64  2    843  646      85   76  5    692  622

References & Resources
* Bear in mind that in our scenario, the Dodgers don’t have Claude Osteen. Since they were unable to acquire Osteen in the 1964-65 offseason, we assume they didn’t trade the key talents they surrendered to the Washington Senators in the Osteen deal, namely outfielder Frank Howard and pitcher Pete Richert. We do assume the Dodgers would have made the rest of that elaborate transaction, and sent third baseman Ken McMullen, pitcher Phil Ortega, and first baseman Dick Nen to Washington in exchange for infielder John Kennedy and a large sum of cash.

The resulting 1965 Dodger team would have Howard taking the roster spot occupied for most of that season by Al Ferrara (because you really don’t need two slow, poor-fielding, right-handed-batting, power-hitting corner outfielders on your roster; given the cozy relationship between those franchises, Ferrara would almost certainly have been sold to the Senators). This would have Howard taking playing time away from first baseman Wes Parker and outfielder Lou Johnson, and thus cost the Dodgers defensively but meaningfully help them offensively.

The southpaw Richert would take Osteen’s spot. Richert was very good in 1965, about as effective per inning as Osteen, in fact, but Richert wasn’t nearly as durable. Thus the 90-plus innings pitched difference between Osteen and Richert would need to be covered by someone else, most likely fellow left-hander Nick Willhite, and that would hurt.

We estimate the bottom line impact to be a slight deficit. We certainly don’t see the modified ’65 Dodgers winning any more than the 97 games they actually did (without “spreadsheeting” it, we’ll go with an estimate of 94 wins), and thus in our scenario they finish third, though not far behind our Giants and Reds.

Print Friendly
 Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone
« Previous: Putnam f/x
Next: The greatest eye in baseball »

Comments

  1. Steve Treder said...

    Yeah, it’s kind of a frightening thing to behold, isn’t it?  And what’s more, the virtual ‘65 Reds offense presented here is only a fraction better than the actual ‘65 Reds offense.  It was one of the very most potent lineups ever convened.

  2. Paul E said...

    Steve, Jihn C.

        By the parameters of the Pythagorean theorem, if your average game score is 3 – 2 over 162 games, you should win several more games than the 4 – 3 average score team…. Maybe this is the difference between the Dodgers and Giants? Perhaps that great pitching did help the Dodgers more than their mediocre hitting hurt them or their great pitching helped the Dodgers more than the Giants great hitting helped them? Or maybe I’m reaching here.

        BTW, did see Deron Johnson hit the last of his 4 consecutive homers over two games (Veterans Stadium 1971?)

  3. Steve Treder said...

    I kid about the 1960s Dodgers.  They were an absolutely genuinely excellent team.  Dodger Stadium was playing as an exceptionally strong pitchers’ park during those years, which distorted the stats so much that we tend to perceive their pitching as being better than it was (though it was still damn good), and their hitting as much more feeble than it was.

    And, yes, if this exercise demonstrates nothing else, it demonstrates that both the Giants and the Reds possessed the capacity to be consistently better than those Dodgers, had they only not shot themselves in the foot by trading away too much of their bountiful young talent.

  4. Paul E said...

    Interestingly, Harper doesn’t lead the league in runs scored (126)and Deron Johnson fails to top the NL in RBI (130)in your virtual scenario. But, somehow the Reds win the pennant. Works for me…how did the Dodgers ever win anyway?

  5. Steve Treder said...

    “… how did the Dodgers ever win anyway?”

    It’s going on 47 years and some of us still haven’t begun to figure out that fracking question.  That the Dodgers were really good and deserved to win hasn’t yet emerged as a reasonable hypothesis.

  6. John C said...

    The Dodgers won because:

    1. The Giants and Reds kept making ill-advised trades that caused them to not be as good as they should have been (as clearly demonstrated by this series of articles); and

    2. The Dodgers were a really good team. Not a very good hitting team, even given how bad of a hitter’s park Dodger Stadium was in those days, but their pitching and defense were exceptional.

  7. James T said...

    Steve, this and your virtual 1966 Giants piece lead one to believe that teams producing a lot of talent almost lose their sense of value because it must have seemed to them like you should be able to produce a Leon Wagner or Felipe Alou, a second tier star player virtually at will.  So, they casually trade them away.  Now, if they always got value in return that would be one thing.  Alas . .

    The Red Sox of the late 60’s and early 70’s were another team that produced gobs of all star talent (Scott, Smith, Lyle, Fisk, Lynn, Rice, Evans, Oglivie, Cooper) and couldn’t figure out how to make the best team out of it.

  8. Steve Treder said...

    James T,

    Yes, I think you correctly perceive the mindset exhibited by both the Giants and Reds organizations in the 50s/60s.  They had such an embarrassment of riches coming out of their farm systems that they kind of lost the appreciation of how valuable this talent was, and how it still mattered to get value for value in trades.

    It’s worth noting that not every franchise enjoying a talent gusher from the farm system falls into this trap.  George Weiss’s Yankees never did, nor did the Dodgers organization in the 1940s/50s under Rickey/Bavasi.  But the Giants and Reds in this period did.

    As for the early 70s Red Sox … funny you should mention them.  I’m actually playing around with a scenario involving them.  Will say no more.

  9. James T said...

    Over at the Sons of Sam Horn I did a pale imitation of your Virtual 1966 Giants for the 1978 Red Sox and came up with a 109 win team.  Some of the other posters had some shockingly bad win shares stats for the Red Sox losses in trades from around 1970 to 1978, IIRC, around 400+ win shares.  Ouch.

  10. John W. Shreve said...

    Jack Hiatt was a character.  When Masonuri Murakami(sp?) was a Giant, he was pitching when manager Herman Franks came out to the mound.  Hiatt decided to teach “Mashi” some English.  When Franks reached them, Murakani said, “Take a hike, Herman, you hairy prick!”

  11. Steve Treder said...

    I’m presenting a paper on Murakami to the NINE conference in Arizona in March.  May I include your anecdote?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>