What is the story of 1911 Giant’s Charley Faust

Though many of the 1911 New York Giants wrote and talked about Charley Faust in their memoirs, letters, and interviews, what we know of Charley comes from newspapers and Gabriel Schechter’s book, “Victory Faust.” Despite Schechter’s deep research much of Charley’s life is elusive, most notably the mystery of his mental health.

Charley walked onto Robison Field in St. Louis before a game with the New York Giants in July of 1911. He told Giant’s manager John McGraw that a fortune teller in Kansas told him he would pitch the Giants to the pennant. For laughs McGraw gave Faust, in his early thirties, a workout. The players had fun with Charley as ran around the bases in his street clothes. They kept missing the ball and telling Charley to slide. Fun over, the fans loved Charley.  McGraw ditched Charley.

But to McGraw’s surprise when the team returned to New York there was Charley waiting for his team. What happened over the next few weeks was that Charley suited up for games, he kept asking for a contract, the Giants who had been in third place starting winning when Charley suited up, and Charley became a Vaudeville star. Baseball players were very superstitious at that time and when ever Rube Marquard pitched and Charley was there Rube won. He became the good luck mascot of the Giants and to Marquard.

The season went on, Charley had no contract, and the Giants played joke after joke on Charley, like sending him to look for striped paint, loading his suitcase with iron; most of the pranks and jokes would not be considered ‘politically correct’ today.

The Giants did win the pennant and Charley got into two games as a pitcher. But whether the players in those meaningless games tried to get hits or makes outs for Charley is another question. What has been and always will be elusive is whether Charley was a country hick, immature and uneducated beyond the norm, or whether he was mentally ill. One could make a case for either one.

Charley died in a sanitarium in Washington State, a hospital for the mentally ill, but the why and how of his getting there are clouded. He died shortly thereafter from tuberculosis. That was not unusual for the hospital also had tuberculosis patients.

I wanted to tell Charley’s story, did a lot of research, and wrote a fictional account of Charley’s summer as seen through the eyes of a fictional baseball player on the Giants, a young rookie dating a Broadway chorus girl. Since it is based on a true story, real people like Bat Masterson. Damon Runyon, George M. Cohan, John McGraw and the New York Giants players are part of the story.

If you are interested in old time baseball, history, Charley Faust, baseball fiction, my e-book for $2.99 is found on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Loonies-Dugout-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00EEN7YNA/ref=la_B00EEVHN38_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1408642810&sr=1-3

Baseball needs to discipline umpire Randazzo

Umpires make mistakes. On occasion they miss a call, but the majority of umpires have integrity and do their best to be impartial and honor the game. Others abuse their power for personal reasons. This type of umpire needs to be weeded out because if an umpire is not impartial then he his dishonest.

Major League Baseball needs to look at umpire Tony Randazzo for his actions Saturday and Sunday in Detroit when he kicked out Seattle Mariner manager Lloyd McClendon in consecutive games. And the reason for the second run is ridiculous.

Saturday night Randazzo was calling balls and strikes and McClendon was not happy with the calls for his pitcher Felix Hernandez.  Nor was Felix happy. Watching the game with the strike zone box that allows fans to complain it was clear Randazzo was missing calls from time to time. Okay that happens. Keep in mind this was the third time Randazzo was behind the plate when Felix was pitching. His ERA in those three starts is over 8.00. I am not suggesting anything here, for Randazzo has nothing personal against Felix-that I know of-but he does against McClendon.

Randazzo ran McClendon from arguing balls and strikes, claiming that Lloyd said something from the dugout. I don’t know who said what, if anything, but I doubt Randazzo could distinguish whose voice he heard. Then Sunday Randazzo, umpiring third,  did not call a third strike  when Mariner catcher Mike Zunino pointed to third looking for the call. It did look like the Tiger batter swung, but Randazzo called ball. Then Randazzo ran Lloyd from the game again. Lloyd did not say anything, and if he had, he would not have been heard from third base.

Here is why he was kicked out according to Randazzo. He “shooed away my call with his hand.” What?

Crew chief Brian Gorman said after the game that hand gestures are a powerful statement. Again, what? Keep mind no middle finger was used in the hand gesture, Lloyd simply “shooed away the call” and he was sitting in the dugout. He never came out to argue. I have a feeling this happens every day in some game and nobody is thrown out.

Here is what got Lloyd ejected: http://i.imgur.com/ubwWv5s.gif

This is personal with Tony. He has only two ejections this season. Lloyd McClendon on consecutive days. That’s it. Last year he tossed one, the year before two. So he does not throw out managers or players lightly. Couple that with the fact that Randazzo was embarrassed by a bad call in 2005 when Lloyd was managing the Pirates-feel free to Google Pittsburgh Gazette and do the search. Randazzo is letting personal feelings get in the way of his job. I hope he will not umpire many Mariner games down the stretch. I would hate to think his antics could cost Seattle a playoff spot.

Baseball does not need umpires like Tony Randazzo.

MLB Network Features The King’s Court

Originally posted on From the Corner of Edgar & Dave:

The MLB Network was in town last week to tape a story on the King’s Court. You can watch the story on The King and his court below:

View original

Mariners Chris Young has something over King Felix

King Felix Hernandez has set a major league record with 16 consecutive starts of seven or more innings allowing two runs or less and he is still going. He is doing something never before done in major league baseball and is the front runner for the American League Cy Young award. But he is not close to having done what fellow mound mate Chris Young has accomplished.

Young has 25 career starts of at least six innings allowing two hits or less. He is the active leader and if you go back to 1980 he still ranks number seven. Young has more of these starts then recent Hall of Fame inductee Greg Maddux. That is impressive. The King, well, he has 14 career starts.

After last nights win against Toronto, Young is 11-6 with a 3.20 ERA. He has given up 112 hits in 141 innings. And though Young has been touched for 19 home runs, as a fly ball pitcher with nearly a 3-1 ratio of fly outs to grounds outs, it is not surprising.

His most wins was 12 in 2005 with Texas when he went 12-7 with a 4.26 ERA and the next year in San Diego was 11-5 with a 3.46. Those were the only two years he won in double figures. Injuries derailed intervening years. A torn labrum was one and most recently a  thoracic outlet syndrome that affects a pitchers shoulder and neck. In 2013 he made 9 minor league starts trying to make a comeback and was not effective. The Washington nationals released him just before spring training ended. Seattle picked him up and he is having a career year at the age of 35. He signed a 40 day contract, the same one lefty Randy Wolf would not sign.

Thank you Randy for not wanting to take a chance with Seattle. Where are you by the way?

As good as Felix has been, better than any pitcher in history; as good as advertised Robinson Cano leading the Mariners, it could be argued Chris Young is the teams MVP. Of course there is slightly over six weeks left in the season and the future is unknown, but at this point everything old is young again.

 

 

Hector Noesi-Mariner Killer

When camps broke this spring Hector Noesi was a Seattle Mariner. After pitching in two games for a grand total of one inning he was unceremoniously released by Seattle. The 27-year old was not sent to Tacoma, he was dumped, exiled, jettisoned, banished; in other words released. In that one inning he struck out two, but gave up two hits and three runs. Not great, but only one inning. It seemed Lloyd McClendon and Jackie Z did not like poor old Hector for some reason.

But in two starts with the Chicago White Sox he has killed the Mariners.

Before going to Chicago the Texas Rangers had Noesi for three games. In 5.1 innings he gave up 11 hits, 7 runs. Texas, even with all their injuries, said adios Hector and the White Sox picked him up.

With Chicago his numbers reflect a backend starter. An ERA 0f 4.15. In 115 innings, 113 hits, 82 strikeouts and 43 walks. But in two starts against the Mariners, one in Chicago and one in Seattle last night, Noesi is 1-0 in 13.2 innings, allowing 10 hits, 3 walks , and striking out 9. Even more stunning is that he has not allowed an earned run. The run Saturday night came after Noesi had retired the first 11 batters of the game. Thoughts of a perfect game ended when Beckham made an error on the third out of the inning. Noesi did not contain the little error. Morales singled and Seager doubled in the unearned run.

Including the third out of the inning Noesi then retired the next 8 batters before Zunino had a one out single in the 7th. Noesi then got Morrison to hit into a double play.

With Seattle Noesi was pitching in relief and at the time nobody knew Seattle would have the best bullpen in baseball, so his release at the time was surprising. He may not have gotten a chance to start with Seattle even if he did well in Tacoma, but we will never know. He has done okay with Chicago, but against Seattle, Noesi pitches like Cy Young.

The Mariners do not play Chicago after today’s game, so they do not have to worry about Noesi. Next year Hector could be pitching anywhere, but if he pitches against Seattle he will be ready. He is a Mariner killer.

How to watch the Mariners on TV or in person

Your time is valuable, so you don’t want to sit down at the beginning of a Mariner game on TV to watch Mariners swing and miss, ground out and pop out inning after inning. It is best to listen on the radio while you do chores on your to-do list. If the Mariners score three runs and are leading you can drop what you’re doing, turn on the tube, and watch the rest of the game. The reason is that the Mariners are 52-17 when they score at least three runs.

If they don’t score those three runs they will lose as they are 5-37 when they score 2 runs or less. And they have been shutout 13 times in 111 games which is 8.5 % of the time. Ouch. So think what you can accomplish when they are not scoring. Laundry, mopping, dusting, mowing the lawn, washing the car, playing with the dog; the list is endless.

Going to game is different. You don’t want to go to many home games because they have a losing record at Safeco so your chance of seeing a win are slim. The marine air stifles hits. What you can do is bring a portable DVD. Mine cost $70 and during the game you can play whatever movie or TV show you want. The reason of going to the game is simple. You get to spend time outdoors, getting a tan, watching the hidden ball trick on the BIG screen, the always delightful hydro race on the same Big screen, doing the wave when boredom sets in, playing rock trivia, watching the Mariner Moose entertain children, and of course leave during the game to buy an overpriced hot dog. You do this because there are no hot dog vendors at the park, which to my thinking is un-American.

The advice I have offered is time tested over the past decade and come from many sources. I hope you have found this enlightening and that it  will improve your Mariner watching.

Mariners Jackie Z on top of trade game

I was concerned early in the day when Seattle sent Abraham Almonte to San Diego, along with a minor league pitcher for Chris Denorfia, a 34 year old outfielder with no power. He does bat from the right side, but is at best a 4th outfielder, perhaps a platoon in left or right with Ackley and Chavez. I assume Stephen Romero will be send back to Tacoma.

It was not a bad trade, just not one that would improve Seattle that much. On the other hand they received a veteran outfielder and gave up no players that figured in the Mariners future.

Then the rumor hit that Seattle was involved with two teams where the Rays David Price was the centerpiece. It was true. Price went to the Tigers, who sent the Rays starting pitcher Drew Smyly along with a young A ball shortstop, 18 year old Willy Adames, the number three rated Tiger prospect. The Mariners sent the Rays Nick Franklin who did not figure in Seattle’s future with Robinson Cano at second and Brad Miller and Chris Taylor ahead of him at shortstop. In return the Mariners received centerfielder Austin Jackson from the Tigers. Jackson is not a big homerun hitter, but is a .277 career hitter and considered one of the top centerfielders in baseball. He is signed through 2015 and is 27. James Jones will likely be sent to Tacoma until September as Jackson will be the everyday centerfielder.

Whether Denorfia and Jackson can help the Mariners get a wild card spot is not the point. Seattle gave up no player that figured in their future, so no harm done. The two moves improve the Mariners without losing anything. They still have D.J. Peterson, Taijuan Walker, and James Paxton.

There was no trade that Seattle could have made that would fill all there holes. But all in all, a good day for Jackie Z who definitely improved the team.

 

Should Mariners make a trade

I am not concerned about a deal where prospects are traded, though they need to keep D.J. Peterson, James Paxton, and possibly Chris Taylor, who may be the better shortstop long term, not Brad Miller. My concern is whether one player can make a difference for the Mariners to get into the playoffs.

Consider the Mariner offense. Logan Morrison or Justin Smoak at first. Neither has been consistent, both barely hitting over .200 and Smoak is in Tacoma. Corey Hart, whether in the outfield, at first, or DH has done nothing. Brad Miller is hitting around .180 in July and continues to flirt with the .200 mark. Mike Zunino despite his home run power is also flirting with the .200 Mendoza line. Endy Chavez and James Jones are both slumping.

The point is the Mariners do not have the chips to make enough moves to better the lineup. They could add one bat, but that one bat can not overcome the holes in the rest of the lineup. Even after adding Kendrys Morales, another bat will not make a difference. I would not mind another right handed bat, preferably an outfielder with power, but it would be a trade that improves Seattle for the long term, not just the short term. Seattle must battle the Yankees, Blue Jays, Indians, Royals, possibly the Rays and White Sox for the wild card and Seattle is slumping.

Pitching?

Another arm would be good, but the price of Price is too high. I had thought a couple of weeks ago another bat and another arm would help Seattle get that final wild card slot. And while anything can happen, Seattle can not add an arm to get them that final wild card spot because the Mariners will not give up what is needed and I don’t blame them. If the mariners were in the Angels position with a 7 1/2 game lead in the wild card race go for it.

The Mariners can make a trade for a pitcher, and like the bat they seek, it should be to improve the team in the long term. But right now, there are too many holes to fill.

Mariners King Felix getting goosed

In his last thirteen starts Felix Hernandez has pitched seven innings or more allowing 2 runs or less; a stretch that only Hall of Famer Tom Seaver has accomplished. If Felix does it again in his next start he will be alone in the record book for perhaps the greatest pitching stretch his history.

How many wins should a pitcher get if he allows two or fewer runs in 13 games? If the pitcher has a good offense perhaps all 13. Not for King Felix. He has won five with five no decisions and three losses. It is indicative of a woeful offense that has reverted to the futility of previous seasons.

The Mariners who were nine games above .500 have dropped to 53-50 and in 11 of the 50 losses they have been shut out. They have scored one run 12 times and two runs 14 times. My math tell me that is 37 games 2 runs or less in 103 games.

It is said one should never kill the Golden Goose. There is no such goose in Seattle, but they need to find whatever goose is haunting the Mariners and stop him from laying all those goose eggs on Seattle’s line score.

The Mariners have scored 113 runs fewer than Oakland, 105 fewer than the Angels. In fact they are 14th out of 15 in the American League only two runs ahead of Houston. I believe pitching and defense win games, but  goose eggs on the scoreboard drag a team down.

Zunino .202; Hart .213; Miller .204; Morrison .204; Romero .198; and Ackley .242 are the primary villains for the goose eggs. They have 140 rbi’s between them an average of 23 each. Chavez has ten and Jones eight rbis, but they bat one and two in the order and no one at the bottom of the lineup gets on base that much. Seager and Cano are carrying the team and two hitters is not enough.

King Felix is acknowledged as one of the best pitchers in the game. He is 11-2, a 1.99 ERA and a batting average against of .197. If Felix won 10 of those 13 great starts, he would be a 16 game winner. By years end he could be a 24 0r 25 game winner. But with this offense he will be lucky to win 20.

Stop the goose from laying his eggs!

Examining the Mariners John Buck curse

I believe in the Madden curse because John Clayton, football guru, believes in it. I believe in UFO’s because I have seen one hovering over a street one block away, then zoom straight up into the stars and beyond faster than any Star Trek warp drive. I believe in ghosts because I live in a house where someone died and I hear knocking on my bedroom door and was slapped on the back when I was alone.

But I will reserve judgment until the season is over to verify the John Buck curse.

Why did the Mariners release John Buck in early July? He was the veteran backup catcher they wanted to tutor Mike Zunino. Every source said he was doing just that. Zunino said he learned something everyday from John, the players loved him, he was a clubhouse leader with veteran leadership.

Was it his hitting that got him released? In 27 games, 84 at bats, he hit .226 with one homer and 6 rbis. But what more do you want from a backup catcher.  Zunino is currently batting .204, but he does have 14 home runs. On the other hand he strikes out 36% of the time. Of course he is young, he is learning, thus having Buck on hand was a good idea.

Was it Buck’s defense that got him ousted? In 19 starts as catcher he had one error and one passed ball. Pretty good I should think. He threw out only 3 of 14 base stealers, but pitchers who fail to hold runners take part of the blame. Runners stole bases at a .786 clip against Buck, .707 when Zunino is catching. The Mariners said they brought up young Jesus Sucre because he was throwing out around 50% of base stealers. Okay, but he is a back up catcher. The Mariners said it was just the right time. Why?

The release of John Buck is a mystery.

There are those who believe the Mariners will be cursed for releasing him, that the Mariner mojo has been disturbed, especially now that the Angels have picked him up. The numbers say that since his release the Mariners are 4-9. Okay that is scary I admit. Of the nine losses they have been shut out twice, scored one run three times, and two runs three times.

The good thing is that if the Mariners continue to slide downhill, Mariner fans have something to blame. It will be the Buck curse and I will believe.

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