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.

Mike Matheny tried to have his own son picked off at first base

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 26: Manager Mike Matheny #26 of the St Louis Cardinals looks on from the dugout during the first inning of a MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 26, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Diamondbacks 3-1. (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny has a son, Tate, who was selected by the Red Sox in the fourth round of the 2015 draft out of Missouri State University. Tate, an outfielder, spent the 2015 season with Low-A Lowell and last year played at Single-A Greenville.

Now in spring camp with the Red Sox, Tate is trying to continue his ascent through the minor league system. On Monday afternoon in a game against his father’s Cardinals, Tate pinch-ran after Xander Bogaerts singled to center field to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Mike wasn’t about to let his son catch any breaks. Via Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

That’s right: Mike tried to have his own son picked off at first base. That’s just cold, man.

Tate was erased shortly thereafter when Mookie Betts grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Tate got his first at-bat in the seventh and struck out.

Do we really need metal detectors at spring training facilities?

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Craig Calcaterra
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MESA, AZ — Over the past couple of seasons we’ve, more or less, gotten used to the sight of metal detectors at major league ballparks. And the sight of long lines outside of them, requiring us to get to the park a bit earlier or else risk missing some of the early inning action.

Like so much else over the past fifteen and a half years, we’re given assurances by people in charge that it’s for “security,” and we alter our lives and habits accordingly. This despite the fact that security experts have argued that it’s a mostly useless and empty exercise in security theater. More broadly, they’ve correctly noted that it’s a cynical and defeatist solution in search of a problem. But hey, welcome to 21st Century America.

And welcome metal detectors to spring training:

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Beginning this year, Major League Baseball is mandating that all spring training facilities use some form of metal detection, be it walkthrough detectors like the ones shown here at the Giants’ park in Scottsdale or wands like the one being used on the nice old lady above at the Cubs facility in Mesa.

I asked Major League Baseball why they are requiring them in Florida and Arizona. They said that the program was not implemented in response to any specific incident or threat at a baseball game, but are “precautionary measures.” They say that metal detection “has not posed significant inconvenience or taken away from the ballpark experience” since being required at big league parks in 2015 and believe it will work the same way at the spring training parks.They caution fans, however, that, as the program gets underway, they should allow for more time for entry.

And that certainly makes sense:

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I took this photo a few minutes after the home plate gate opened at Sloan Park yesterday afternoon. As I noted this morning, the Cubs sell out every game in their 15,000-seat park. That’s a lot of wanding and, as a result, it could lead to a lot of waiting.

But the crowds here all seemed to get through the line pretty quickly. Perhaps because the wanding is not exactly a time-consuming affair:

Not every security guard was as, well, efficient as this guy. But hardly anyone walking through the gate was given a particularly thorough go-over. I saw several hundred people go through the procedure soon after the gates opened and most of them weren’t scanned bellow the level of their hip pockets. I went back a little closer to game time when most people were already in the park and the lines were shorter. The procedure was a bit more deliberate then, though not dramatically so. This is all new for the security people too — spring training just started — and it’s fair to say that they are trying hard to balance the needs of their new precautionary measures against the need to keep the lines moving and the fans happy.

On this day at least it seemed that fan happiness was winning. I spoke with several fans after they got through the gates and none of them offered much in the way of complaint about being wanded. The clear consensus: it’s just what we do now. We have metal detectors and cameras at schools and places of work and security procedures have been ratcheted up dramatically across the board. That we now have them at ballparks is not surprising to anyone, really. It’s just not a thing anyone thinks to question.

And so they don’t.