And That Happened: Classic!

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Note: due to the All-Star break, we now bring you a special “Classic” version of “And That Happened.” The following originally ran on the HardballTalk pamphlet following the games of July 15, 1947

Pirates 9, Dodgers 3; Pirates 12, Dodgers 4: Wally Westlake with a homer, a double and seven runs batted in during the first game, Hank Greenberg with two in the daycap. This Jackie Robinson fella went 3 for 4 in the back end and walked and scored a run in the first in a losing effort. See, despite all of the fuss those old men who write for the newspapers made at the beginning of the season about him being “a distraction” or not respecting the way baseball has always been played was a bunch of overblown malarkey. I realize not everyone gets their baseball news from pamphleteers like me now, but one day soon it will be commonplace and these old reactionary “respect the game” sorts of newsmen will find themselves out of a job. I put that date at 1958 at the latest.

Tigers 11, Senators 6: The Tigers win this one easily, thanks to Hoot Evers driving in three, Hal White doing a great job of picking up an ineffective Dizzy Trout in long relief and seven of the Senators players being blacklisted after giving evasive answers to the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Yankees 2, Indians 1; Yankees 9, Indians 4: The Yankees win both ends of the doubleheader. That’s fifteen and sixteen wins in a row for the Yankees, respectively. And they just added Bobo Newsom from the Senators the other day! Might as well just crown them now. Not unlike how the people of Spain just crowned Generalissimo Franco king last week. Long may the Yankees reign!

White Sox 5, Red Sox 1: Taffy Wright with a homer and a couple of RBI. What’s with the names of players these days, fellas? We have “Taffy” and “Hoot” and “Bobo.” Not sure what the parents of the teens and 20s were thinking, but there was a time when names were normal and parents didn’t set out to give kids unique names just for the sake of uniqueness.

Athletics 8, Browns 1: Ellis Kinder gave up five runs and Nels Potter three and the Browns offense went missing as well. Much like that experimental radio controlled plane I recently built and started flying. Indeed, just last week I was flying it near my summer home in Roswell, New Mexico. It went over a bluff near the airbase and I couldn’t find it. Oh well, I’m sure no one noticed and that nothing will ever come of it.

Cardinals 8, Braves 2: Joe Garagiola went hitless, but the scouts I talk to are still over the moon about that kid. And to think, there were some who thought that the other young man from St. Louis everyone was high on, that Lawrence Berra kid, was the better player. Anyway, Braves shortstop Nanny Fernandez went 0 for 4 and let a couple of balls get through the infield. Just Nanny being Nanny.

Giants 4, Cubs 0: Dave Koslo with the shutout. Boy oh boy, he dominated those northsiders like that Taft-Hartley Act which just passed is going to dominate organized labor!

Reds 5, Phillies 4: Ewell Blackwell pitched well. Sorry, I know I say that every time he starts, but part of that whole thing with the pamphlets and the newspapers is about telling the same jokes over and over and creating a unique little culture of writing which may attract readers who purchase the pamphlets over and over again and, perhaps, interact with we pamphleteers and one another. I know some of you may find our letters to the pamphleteer section a little rowdy sometimes, but it’s the future of this business, really.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: