Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Blog Kiosk: 8/25/2015 - Dodger Links - Arky Vaughan, Nicasio and Jharel Cotton

Check out this fantastic vintage photograph of three members of the 1947 National League Pennant winning Brooklyn Dodgers: Dick Whitman, Carl Furillo  and Hall of Famer Arky Vaughan at Braves Field (via r/michaelconfoy at r/ClassicBaseball on Reddit).  Below is a great comment by r/niktemadur about Arky Vaughan :
Widely regarded as one of the finest shortstops of all time, Vaughan was the NL batting champ in 1935, with an astonishing .385, so rare for a man playing his position.  Contemporary Luke "Ol' Aches and Pains" Appling of the White Sox was another one of those mythical beasts, winning the AL title the following year with .388, but I digress.

Vaughan is also one of the tragic figures of baseball, having drowned in a lake fishing accident soon after retiring.

What I didn't know was that Arky missed the 1944-46 seasons, which I assumed was due to WWII. But no, it was due to a weird, toxic incident with Dodgers manager Leo Durocher. Vaughan was a natural leader among his teammates, quiet, protective, respectful and a commanding presence.
In July 1943, Durocher suspended pitcher Bobo Newsom for 3 games for loudly complaining about catcher Bobby Bragan's defensive skills. But then Durocher said some angry things about Newsom in a newspaper, which infuriated Vaughan, no manager should speak ill of his own players, particularly after suspending him for the exact same behavior, and much less in print!
So Arky took off his uniform, stormed into Durocher's office, threw the clothes at him and said "Take this uniform and shove it right up your ass". Branch Rickey intervened and Arky finished the season, but then he retired to his ranch in California.

Then check this out, when Durocher was suspended from baseball in 1947 (for being married and having a mistress), Vaughan returned to the Dodgers after missing three whole seasons! Batted .325 as a part-time player, rusty skills and all, the man was a natural.

Here's Jackie on Vaughan:
He was one of the fellows who went out of his way to be nice to me when I came in here as a rookie. Believe me, I needed it. He was a fine fellow.

Check out some more links below:
  • ICYMI: The Dodgers sent reliever Yimi Garcia back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.  It is anticipated that right-handed reliever Juan Nicasio will be reinstated from the DL.  Via a Dodger press release:
Nicasio has been on the disabled list since Aug. 10 with a left abdominal strain and has gone 1-3 with one save and a 3.06 ERA in 38 games (one start) this year.
But, of course, Dodgers fans don't want to hear that and simply trusting in a regression to the mean when the season is reduced to six weeks seems risky. Change will come, but it might come from within. The most interesting potential fix is to promote the team's best pitching prospect, 19-year old Julio Urias.
This is actually quite routine.  When Fernando Valenzuela first came up in 1980 he pitched out of the bullpen, so doing this has some precedence.
  • As I intimated above, at this point anything is worth a try.  Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Jharel Cotton emerges as possible Dodgers bullpen option."
Dodgers minor league pitcher Jharel Cotton got the call on Friday, when Double-A Tulsa manager Razor Shines told the right-hander he was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. If Cotton keeps up his breakout season, it might not be the last such meeting he has in 2015.

"He told me I'm going to Triple-A to relieve out of the pen, and hopefully the Dodgers like what they see," Cotton said. "It's great to know that."

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