Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou

Uptons to follow in footsteps of Alous, Conigliaros, Waners

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With B.J. and Justin Upton getting together in Atlanta, I thought it’d be fun to look at the other MLB outfields to pair siblings. The Uptons are the fourth set of brothers charged with patrolling the same outfield. Here’s how the first three fared:

Felipe, Jesus and Matty Alou

1961-63 Giants
Felipe: .296/.336/.486, 63 HR, 232 RBI in 1,541 AB – 125 OPS+
Matty: .276/.325/.380, 9 HR, 40 RBI in 471 AB – 92 OPS+

1964-65 Giants
Matty: .246/.286/.303, 3 HR, 32 RBI in 574 AB – 65 OPS+
Jesus: .288.312/.369, 12 HR, 80 RBI in 919 AB – 90 OPS+

1973 Yankees
Felipe: .236/.256/.321, 4 HR, 27 RBI in 280 AB – 65 OPS+
Matty: .296/.338/.356, 2 HR, 28 RBI in 497 AB – 100 OPS+

Felipe, Matty and Jesus were all briefly part of the 1963 Giants, but I didn’t count that, since Jesus got just 24 at-bats in 16 games as a rookie that season.

Felipe was obviously the best of the brothers, but his two best seasons came in Atlanta in 1966 (.327/.361/.533, league-leading 218 hits, 122 runs) and 1968 (.317/.365/.438, league-leading 210 hits).

Before their late-career reunion with the Yankees, Felipe and Matty just missed each other and Jesus in Oakland. Felipe played for the A’s in 1970 and briefly in 1971, Matty played their in 1972 and Jesus was there in 1973 and ’74.

Billy and Tony Conigliaro

1969-70 Red Sox
Billy: .274/.343/.479, 22 HR, 65 RBI in 478 AB – 119 OPS+
Tony: .261/.323/.464, 56 HR, 198 RBI in 1,066 AB – 111 OPS+

Everyone knows what happened with Tony; his time with his brother came after he missed the 1968 season following a beaning. A Hall of Fame-type talent, he was already dealing with the deteriorating eyesight that forced him out of baseball.

What I didn’t realize is that Billy looks like quite a talent himself. That 119 OPS+ came in his age 21 and 22 seasons. However, he wasn’t happy with the Red Sox after they traded Tony following the 1970 season, and it seems to show up in his performance. He hit .262/.310/.436 in 1971 and then got traded himself. Struggling with the Brewers, he retired in the middle of the 1972 season while still just 24 years old. He did try a comeback the next year, getting into 48 games with the A’s, but that was it for his career.

Lloyd and Paul Waner

1927-40 Pirates
Lloyd: .319/.356/.400, 27 HR, 573 RBI in 7,219 AB – 100 OPS+
Paul: .341/.406/.487, 101 HR, 1,098 RBI in 7,893 AB – 136 OPS+

The Waners were also very briefly teammates on the 1941 Boston Braves and again on the 1944 Brooklyn Dodgers, but both were well past their primes by then.

Both Waners made it into the Hall of Fame, Paul in 1952 and Lloyd in 1967. Paul was obviously deserving. He won three batting crowns and finished in the top 10 in the NL in average nine times, in OBP 13 times and in slugging seven times. Lloyd, while a solid enough regular, was a rider of coattails. He finished in the top 10 in the NL in average six times, but just once higher than eighth (third in 1927). He was in the top 10 in OBP once (ninth in 1927) and never in slugging. He finished his career with a 99 OPS+, compared to 134 for Paul.

Video: Undercover David Ortiz drives a Lyft in Boston

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David Ortiz did one of those “Undercover Lyft” spots for, well, Lyft, in which famous people disguise themselves while driving passengers around. Yes, they’re ads, but they’re still pretty funny. At least this one was.

Best parts: (1) the woman who says she has two David Ortiz shirts to which Undercover Ortiz responds, “actually, all my shirts are his shirts”; and (2) when Ortiz agrees with someone that baseball games are “so loooong.” Oh, and at one point he tells a woman who said she was going to the Red Sox game that night that he was too. After he unmasked himself, she explains his own joke to him. Which, ooohhkay.

In other news, people who take Lyfts in Boston either don’t watch much baseball, because Ortiz’s costume is NOT very concealing, or else they simply don’t look at their Lyft driver while in the car, at all.

Scouting in Venezuela: “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time”

MIAMI - MARCH 14:  Venezuela fans cheer with a country flag while taking on the Netherlands during round 2 of the World Baseball Classic at Dolphin Stadium on March 14, 2009 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
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Ben Badler of Baseball America has a story about how major league scouts who cover Venezuela are unhappy with the rules imposed upon them by the league. Rules, they say, which unreasonably prohibit them from scouting Venezuelan players in centralized, team-controlled locations or, alternatively, flying them to team facilities in the Dominican Republic or elsewhere.

The result: international scouts are forced to travel all over Venezuela to evaluate prospect. And, given how destabilized and dangerous Venezuela has become, they believe their safety is at risk:

“MLB’s rules that limit our ability to travel a Venezuelan guy to the Dominican Republic, that limit our ability to get them in a complex at different ages, all these rules are solely contributing to the risks that all of us are taking traveling from complex to complex, facility to facility in the streets,” said one international director. “Someone is going to get killed. It’s just a matter of time, and it’s on MLB when it happens, because they’re the ones who created these rules.”

As Badler notes, Major League Baseball itself has moved its annual national showcase out of the country due to safety concerns. It will not, however, relax scouting rules — which seem arbitrary on their surface in the first place — in order to make the job of international scouts safer.

It seems that Rob Manfred and the league owe their employees better than this. Or at the very least owe them an explanation why they don’t think they do.