Portrait of Casey Stengel

Casey Stengel RF

Player Cards | Team Audit | Depth Chart

Career Summary
14 4869 .284 .356 .410 102 3.5
Birth Date7-30-1890
Height5' 11"
Weight175 lbs
Age129 years, 4 months, 6 days
WARP Summary

MLB Statistics

1912 BRO 21 17 74 18 1 0 1 15 9 1 5 .316 .466 .386 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1913 BRO 22 124 502 119 16 8 7 56 58 1 19 17 .272 .356 .393 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1914 BRO 23 126 483 130 13 10 4 56 55 5 19 .316 .404 .425 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1915 BRO 24 132 510 109 20 12 3 34 46 3 5 10 .237 .294 .353 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1916 BRO 25 127 511 129 27 8 8 33 51 1 11 .279 .329 .424 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1917 BRO 26 150 622 141 23 12 6 60 62 5 18 .257 .336 .375 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1918 PIT 27 39 142 30 4 1 1 16 14 2 11 .246 .343 .320 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1919 PIT 28 89 370 94 10 10 4 35 35 1 12 .293 .364 .424 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1920 PHI 29 129 504 130 25 6 9 38 35 6 7 13 .292 .356 .436 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1921 NY1 30 18 23 5 1 0 0 1 5 0 0 1 .227 .261 .273 63 -0.8 0.5 0.0 0.0
1921 PHI 30 24 66 18 3 1 0 6 7 0 1 1 .305 .369 .390 63 -2.2 0.8 0.0 0.0
1922 NY1 31 84 283 92 8 10 7 21 17 9 4 2 .368 .436 .564 131 10.9 0.9 0.0 2.0
1923 NY1 32 75 246 74 11 5 5 20 18 2 6 2 .339 .400 .505 115 5.7 0.5 0.0 1.3
1924 BSN 33 131 518 129 20 6 5 45 39 3 13 13 .280 .348 .382 88 -4.1 -0.2 0.0 0.3
1925 BSN 34 12 15 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 1 .077 .143 .077 69 -0.6 -0.4 0.0 0.0

Statistics for All Levels

'opp' stats - Quality of opponents faced - have been moved and are available only as OPP_QUAL in the Statistics reports now.
Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
1912 BRO MLB NL 17 74 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1913 BRO MLB NL 124 502 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1914 BRO MLB NL 126 483 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1915 BRO MLB NL 132 510 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1916 BRO MLB NL 127 511 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1917 BRO MLB NL 150 622 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1918 PIT MLB NL 39 142 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1919 PIT MLB NL 89 370 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1920 PHI MLB NL 129 504 .000 .000 .000 .000 0.0 0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1921 NY1 MLB NL 18 23 .278 .318 .370 .000 94 -3.7 0.6 0 63 17 0.0 0.5 -0.8 0.0
1921 PHI MLB NL 24 66 .294 .327 .411 .000 106 -2.5 1.5 -0.5 63 17 0.0 0.8 -2.2 0.0
1922 NY1 MLB NL 84 283 .291 .336 .401 .000 115 16.2 7.7 0.6 131 19 0.0 0.9 10.9 2.0
1923 NY1 MLB NL 75 246 .281 .332 .384 .000 110 11.1 6.8 0.3 115 16 0.0 0.5 5.7 1.3
1924 BSN MLB NL 131 518 .273 .323 .379 .000 84 0.6 11.1 -3.7 88 13 0.0 -0.2 -4.1 0.3
1925 BSN MLB NL 12 15 .282 .330 .395 .000 98 -3 0.5 0 69 10 0.0 -0.4 -0.6 0.0

Statistics For All Levels

Minor league stats are currently shownClick to hide.
1912 BRO MLB NL 74 57 9 18 1 0 1 22 13 15 9 5 .316 .466 .386 .070 1
1913 BRO MLB NL 502 438 60 119 16 8 7 172 43 56 58 19 17 .272 .356 .393 .121 7
1914 BRO MLB NL 483 412 55 130 13 10 4 175 60 56 55 19 .316 .404 .425 .109 10
1915 BRO MLB NL 510 459 52 109 20 12 3 162 50 34 46 5 10 .237 .294 .353 .115 14
1916 BRO MLB NL 511 462 66 129 27 8 8 196 53 33 51 11 .279 .329 .424 .145 15
1917 BRO MLB NL 622 549 69 141 23 12 6 206 73 60 62 18 .257 .336 .375 .118 8
1918 PIT MLB NL 142 122 18 30 4 1 1 39 12 16 14 11 .246 .343 .320 .074 2
1919 PIT MLB NL 370 321 38 94 10 10 4 136 43 35 35 12 .293 .364 .424 .131 13
1920 PHI MLB NL 504 445 53 130 25 6 9 194 50 38 35 7 13 .292 .356 .436 .144 15
1921 PHI MLB NL 66 59 7 18 3 1 0 23 4 6 7 1 1 .305 .369 .390 .085 1
1921 NY1 MLB NL 23 22 4 5 1 0 0 6 2 1 5 0 1 .227 .261 .273 .045 0
1922 NY1 MLB NL 283 250 48 92 8 10 7 141 48 21 17 4 2 .368 .436 .564 .196 3
1923 NY1 MLB NL 246 218 39 74 11 5 5 110 43 20 18 6 2 .339 .400 .505 .165 6
1924 BSN MLB NL 518 461 57 129 20 6 5 176 39 45 39 13 13 .280 .348 .382 .102 9
1925 BSN MLB NL 15 13 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 1 2 0 1 .077 .143 .077 .000 1

Plate Discipline

YEAR Pits Zone% Swing% Contact% Z-Swing% O-Swing% Z-Contact% O-Contact% SwStr% CSAA

Injury History  —  No longer being updated

Last Update: 12/31/2014 23:59 ET

Date On Date Off Transaction Days Games Side Body Part Injury Severity Surgery Date Reaggravation


Year Team Salary


Service TimeAgentContract Status


2019 Preseason Forecast

Last Update: 1/27/2017 12:35 ET

Weighted Mean???????00??.000.000.00000.0?0.0

BP Annual Player Comments

No BP Book Comments have been found for this player.

BP Articles

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BP Chats

2017-07-06 12:00:00 (link to chat)Explain what you mean by this re: Ronald Acuna "Why He Might Fail: In five years he has a chance to be 24"
(BravesOptions from RVA)
It's an old Casey Stengel quip about prospect development not always working out. A lighthearted reference to the general risk of teenagers with swing and miss, nothing more. (Jeffrey Paternostro)
2017-02-14 12:00:00 (link to chat)Gleyber Torres is 3yrs younger than Swanson. I assume GT has more upside than Swanson?
(Dave from NJ)
I could see the argument for that. I don't think it's significantly more though. There's a Casey Stengel quote about prospect age that applies here as well. (The Top 101 Prospect Chat with Jeffrey Paternostro)
2012-01-30 13:00:00 (link to chat)What was it that first gave you the passion to write about baseball; and when did you realize that it had taken over your life?
(David from Cubicle Dystopia)
Part of it was Bill James, part of it was simply my love of telling a good story, and baseball was the place where I had the opportunity to tell them. I began thinking about writing a Casey Stengel book as early as my senior year of college. It took over my life after I had the experience of Cubicle Dystopia that you mentioned and realized that that life was not ever going to be for me. The people around me believed in me and urged me to make a life with my pen, and somehow, amazingly, I have. Ever since I have tried to encourage others in the same direction, albeit with a great many warnings about the risks. (Steven Goldman)
2011-06-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)On the heels of the Geren firing, and as an (excellent) biographer of Casey Stengel, can you tell us how Casey reacted to being let go as manager of the Yankees?
(dianagramr from NYC)
Thanks for the gimme, D, and Happy Birthday! Casey at first didn't contradict the cover story that he was retiring, but at his farewell press conference he made it very clear, with some apparent bitterness, that he had been fired. He finished, though, by saying, "Don't give up. Tomorrow is just another day, and that's myself." I think that's one of the most wonderful things he ever said, and one that summed up his character pretty well. (Steven Goldman)
2011-06-09 13:00:00 (link to chat)Gardner on the basepaths looks like he's afraid to break the eggs in his pockets, while Carl Crawford seems to have forgotten he can steal bases....which condition will last longer???
(Youpi from Winnipeg)
Probably the latter, because the Red Sox have rarely cared much about steals in recent years, if ever. Until Jacoby Ellsbury came along, their single-season list was Tommy Harper '73 and a bunch of Deadball-era guys. Your comment on Gardner reminds me of Casey Stengel's explanation of why Paul Waner was so good at sliding--he had to be graceful to avoid breaking the flask in his hip pocket. (Steven Goldman)
2011-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Ian Desmond has hit the ball well and looked very good in the field since the birth of his child. How possible do you think it is that players can play poorly due to external factors, and how often do you think it happens, without us noticing?
(Charlie from Bethesda, MD)
I've said this before, so forgive me. If you're watching the Tigers game, Kelly just dove for a ball and missed, allowing Eric Chavez a triple (Chavez was so unused to running that hard that he's apparently hurt himself--surprise!). One of my favorite Casey Stengel lines is something he said in praise of Joe DiMaggio, that DiMaggio never dove because he knew he wasn't going swimming. At first it might seem odd that a manager would praise a player for NOT diving, but if you think about it, it's better fundamental baseball not to, because if you don't dive you have a single, if you do dive and miss you have a triple, as we saw here.

As to your question, a good one, I think it happens all the time. Players are like us--they have off-field issues all the time that serve as distractions, and some are better at screening those out than others. (Steven Goldman)
2011-05-05 13:00:00 (link to chat)Did you know that Reggie Jackson went to high school with the guy that led the Israeli commandos in the 1976 raid on Entebbe? I just learned that today.
(adambulldog from Spring Green)
Reggie Jackson's background is one of the most interesting things about him. I'll match you with another high school pairing: Casey Stengel went to high school with the actor William Powell, best remembered today for the Thin Man series with Myrna Loy. If you haven't seen, at the very least, the first one, check it out straight away. (Steven Goldman)
2010-10-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)My thoughts on the IBB: I generally agree w/you that IBBs are overdone. Having said that, I don't think that was the primary problem. The primary problem was the Burnett was clearly done. He started out with very good command (innings 1 & 2). This then slowly deteriorated until, by the 6th, he was back to "bad AJ" again. The walk (to Cruz, IIRC) was pathetic. Ball one, missed the glove by 6+ inches. Ball two, missed the glove in the opposite direction by more. Ball 3... Then Girardi orders the IBB and AJ nearly throws a ball away. That should have clinched it. You bring in Robertson then & there. Still, if the offense is going to hang out on the interstate it doesn't really matter.
(Rob from Andover, CT)
His velocity was trending downwards, too. Like you, I thought the IBB was a prelude to a pitching change and was shocked when Girardi didn't cash in his chips on A.J. and be happy with what he had gotten. I often think of this story about Casey Stengel that Hank Bauer told, about how Bauer went 3-for-3 in his first three ABs of some game and then Casey pinch-hit for him in his next at-bat. Bauer was pissed, and Casey said something flip, like, "How many 4-for-4s have you had in your career?" It probably wasn't that harsh and I'm paraphrasing poorly, but from the context what I think he meant was, "You did a really good thing, but just because you've been good so far is no indication that you'll be great again--every AB is its own thing, and in this situation I feel like the percentages are against you, so I'm making a change." Girardi said the opposite thing last night, "We though A.J. was still pitching pretty well." Who cares? Burnett wasn't pitching a GAME, he was pitching a series of unique confrontations, and the foregoing was pretty much irrelevant to what was about go happen. Does that make sense?

I know I talk about Casey too often, but he was really smart and managed so long that you can find an analogy for almost every situation in his career.

And you're right about the offense, but Joe isn't helping. (Steven Goldman)
2010-08-04 13:00:00 (link to chat)Steven, as I sit here grinding through my last Friday of studying before the bar exam, I am looking forward to reading something non-law related for the first time in a long time. What baseball biographies would you say are the all time best? And has BP ever considered starting a "Books Blog" with staff reviews of new baseball books, and maybe a list of favorites others may have missed?
(achaik from Maine)
Congratulations on making it through law school. One hopes the job market will treat you well. If you don't mind me shifting the question slightly to autobiographies, I love and frequently return to Veeck as in Wreck (Bill Veeck), Nice Guys Finish Last (Leo Durocher, and just reissued), and Maybe I'll Pitch Forever (Satchel Paige). In common with all autobios, the authors skip or gloss the bad stuff and exaggerate the good, but the stories are so great and so well-told that you can live with that. If you want a straight biography, Robert Creamer's "Babe" on Ruth is very good, and so is Charles Alexander on John McGraw. Haven't read the new Mays or Aaron books yet. Finally, I will be crass enough to recommend my own "Forging Genius," on Casey Stengel. ...Christina and I discussed adding a books feature recently, but I imagine a lack of bandwidth for both of us renders that kind of a daunting task. (Steven Goldman)
2010-06-15 13:00:00 (link to chat)when does baseball catch up technologically? i can't help but notice that most managers still use binders full of paper and endless printed charts and graphs,whats it going to take to put laptops or ipads in the dugout? players still keep books on different pitchers and umpires. is baseball just old school that way?
(workermonkey from CT)
I think it's a question of older guys and their comfort level with different technologies. Casey Stengel kept batter-pitcher matchups in his head. Earl Weaver had index cards. Later managers had what were quaintly called "print-outs." There is an evolution at work, it just advances slowly. It's also true that there are still some things that paper is better at, like displaying complete spray charts for the opposition on a poster-sized sheet. What always happens will happen with technology: some Joe, Terry, or Buck will win a World Series while clutching an iPad and then it will be socially acceptable for the other managers to do it. (Steven Goldman)
2010-03-17 14:00:00 (link to chat)But wouldn't it be beneficial for ALL wannabe managers to play lots of Strat and see how to construct a lineup, work through double-switches, warm up relievers, engage in situational hitting?
(dianagramr from NYC)
A few years ago, I suggested that it would be really cool to launch sort of a seminar series, where you could have minor-league managers and coaches listen to Chuck Tanner or Whitey Herzog talk about the running game, or to Earl Weaver or Dick Williams about in-game tactics, or the late Johnny Sain to talk about workloads. But that would be collective, and the industry favors competition; why let Whitey Herzog talk to anybody else, if you want to hear what he has to say? Put him on the payroll as an adviser, and don't share. As is, in-game tactics aren't exactly rocket science--indeed, much of the stuff sabermetrics "discovers" on this front simply documents previously observed and understood phenomena, going back not just to Earl Weaver or Whitey Herzog, but Casey Stengel or Joe McCarthy. (Christina Kahrl)
2010-01-19 15:30:00 (link to chat)You wrote eloquently in Forging Genius about Casey Stengel's indifferent play while with lower division teams (Philly and Boston, right?) before being 'liberated' by McGraw. Wouldn't indifferent play like that be crucified today? Can you think of contemporary examples other than Manny?
(BL from Bozeman)
Thanks for the shout-out on the book. The first player who comes to mind is Derek "Operation Shutdown" Bell and Chuckie Carr, who wouldn't bunt. And Reggie Jackson bunting on two strikes when he was told not do. I suspect that there are some undermotivated players out there but that their level of effort might be more visible to their manager, coaches, or teammates than it would be to us watching from the stands or on TV, and these things are dealt with behind the scenes, sometimes with a trade or a release. (Steven Goldman)
2009-09-29 13:00:00 (link to chat)Do you find it funny that a team can just have an historically weak position, transcending eras, ERAs, team ownership, management, POTUSes, ... Off the top of your head, what are likely to be the worst positions you can think of--Tigers catchers? Mariners SSes? Jays 3B?
(Wade from TX)
Do you mean now, or historically? The really famous ones are the long droughts the White Sox and Mets had at third base, with the Sox going from Willie Kamm to Robin Ventura with only a couple of decent Bill Melton years in the middle. The Mets basically went from 1962 to Howard Johnson before they got anything great from their third basemen--although Wayne Garrett had a couple of decent seasons if you consider park and league context. And of course, the Yankees got no offense from shortstop whatsoever between Rizzuto's 1950 and Derek Jeter's 1996, except for whenever Casey Stengel played Gil McDougald over there... (Steven Goldman)
2009-07-01 14:00:00 (link to chat)Moe Berg would make a great movie.
(Mike from Queens)
Absolutely. Or the AL pennant race of 1920. Or the 1986 postseason. Or the life and times of Casey Stengel. (Christina Kahrl)
2009-06-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)So I'm going to the Mets game on Thursday and I don't think I own a jersey of a single healthy current player, so guess I will be the guy in the stands in the Edgardo Alfonzo jersey. I don't really have a question.
(J.P. from Hartford)
I'm not the type that wears living player jerseys (I do have a Casey Stengel #37 T-shirt), but if I were, I would think that a David Wright garment would be worth having. Given that he's only 26, it should be good for another ten years... I don't suppose you can get an Alex Cora model, can you? Tim Redding?

I do want to get an Ebbets Field Flannel 1948 Oakland Oaks jersey (Casey again, this time #1), but those suckers are pricey! I just can't bring myself to spend almost $200 on a shirt, even if I think said shirt would dramatically elevate my mood whenever I wore it. (Steven Goldman)
2009-03-13 13:00:00 (link to chat)I need a good baseball read in addition to BP '09. Any suggestions beyond the Yogi Berra book? Maybe some suggestions from others on board this afternoon's chat wagon...
(mhixpgh from Pittsburgh)
Shameless plug department: Have you read BP's Mind Game? BP's It Ain't Over? BP's Baseball Between the Numbers? How about my own Forging Genius, on Casey Stengel? (Steven Goldman)
2008-10-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Steve, do you think Casey Stengel would be a successful manager today, or would he alienate his players too much? Just curious. (And Valentine did a good job fixing a lousy Mets club after Dallas Green.)
(Devin from Green Brook, NJ)
Casey was very smart, smart enough, I think, that he would moderate his approach and rip fewer players in the press. I think he would be a little more Torre-like in that he would be honest with the press when a player wasn't doing well (something I greatly admire about Torre as compared to Buck Showalter/Joe Girardi types who can't bring themselves to acknowledge the obvious) without being overwhelmingly negative. Torre makes himself heard to the players one on one, and Casey did a lot of that too, but as he got older he increasingly took the shortcut of just reading them out in the papers. That just wouldn't play today and he would know that... As for Valentine, I need to take a closer look at the changeover from 1996 to 1997 Mets. How much of that was bringing in Olerud and such? (Steven Goldman)
2008-10-20 13:00:00 (link to chat)Didn't expect to see Joba's name in the news this morning...Joel Sherman blames A-Rod, Mike Francesa probably knew this would happen when the Yanks made him a starter. Speaking of bullpens, do you ever see the pendulum swinging back and managers using their best reliever when the game is on the line instead of saving him for that ninth inning save that never comes?
(rich from nj)
Yes, I do, but I can't tell you exactly when it will happen. As with almost all strategic innovations (or, in this case, rediscoveries) it takes a manager having the guts to try it and succeeding with it. Then the inevitable imitators come along and suddenly you have a trend. A frequently-cited example involves Casey Stengel. When he started platooning with the Yankees, more ignorant types said he had invented the practice. Of course he hadn't. He himself had been platooned going back to the 1910s, and players were platooned years before he was. It's just that the practice had fallen into disrepute because players hated it and the statistical basis for it didn't exist - but once Casey tried it and won, it came back into the game's statistical vocabulary. Similarly, when Joe Page had big years in 1947 and 1949, and Jim Konstanty for the Phillies in 1950, suddenly folks began to cotton to the idea of relief aces. Of course, that wasn't really anything new either. (Steven Goldman)
2008-09-16 13:00:00 (link to chat)One of the best ever Yankee utiltymen,Gil McDougald. Why don't I see him at Old Timers Day, or read or hear anthing about him. He was one of my favorite players during the 50's.
(John Hoffner from Middletown, Pa)
You have good taste in ballplayers, John. I'm too young to have seen McDougald play, but I think about him often as kind of an unrecognized great. He was a defensive standout at three infield positions, which allowed Casey Stengel to avoid replacement level players wherever he had the greatest weakness. Outside of his rookie year, his hitting numbers are just very good, not great, but he was very patient and probably would have hit over 20 homers a year in any park but old Yankee Stadium, where you needed cab fare out to left field. His career ended early in part because of injuries, in part, supposedly, because he was disheartened after hitting Herb Score with that (in)famous line drive, and, finally, because he didn't want to go to the Angels as an expansion draftee in 1961. At his best he was crazy valuable, and I often think, "Gee, Team X could really use a player like McDougald." I guess that's not a deep thought -- anyone could.

John, I believe we haven't seen him around the Stadium because he's been in ill health, but I could be misremembering things, so don't quote me. (Steven Goldman)
2008-08-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)Is the title "Forging Genius" suposed to be a double entendre? Your book is wonderful. I laughed out loud a few times and totally enjoyed the historical life and times of both baseball and the wonderful Casey Stengel. A great read!
(mhixpgh from Pittsburgh)
Mom? Mom, is that you? In all seriousness, thank you. The title was Christina's inspiration - for those that don't know, she was the editor of the book. We were trying to come up with a title that conveyed that the book was about the making of Casey Stengel. My working title was "Casey in the Wilderness," but no one ever felt really confident about that one. No double-meaning intended, we just wanted to say what it was about. So glad you enjoyed it. (Steven Goldman)
2008-08-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)let's see... Jean Arthur, Pet Sounds vs. Pepper,, Fox News... in all seriousness: best. BP Chat. ever. Just part of why I loves ya guys...
(Dills from Chicago)
Thank you, Dills. To paraphrase Casey Stengel, I couldn't have done it without my readers. And on that note... (Steven Goldman)
2008-06-27 14:00:00 (link to chat)Christina, what figure from baseball history was most similar to Napolean? (You may select your own criteria of similarity.)
(collins from greenville nc)
It would be easy to draw a comparison to almost anybody who was seen as brilliant in his heyday, and who then tried one comeback too many. Earl Weaver has his equivalent to the 100 days, for example, and I suppose we could say the same of Casey Stengel. In contrast, you'd have to compare Connie Mack to Kaiser Franz Josef, in terms of far outliving his useful career. (Christina Kahrl)
2008-06-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)I maintain to my buddies that what we've seen the last two years from Josh Hamilton (not just the drugs, but never playing above A-ball and very little playing time the prior few years) and Rick Ankiel (conversion to hitter) are probably the two most amazing stories I've seen in my baseball-fan lifetime (I'm 33). Where would you put them in the history of the game?
(Clint from Chicago)
I think you're absolutely right - this came up in the last chat some - when F. Scott Fitzgerald said there are no second acts in American lives he was full of it. The problem, Scott, is that there are no second acts if you can't get your head out of the bottle. Well, he was right in the sense that most people don't get their heads out of the bottle. They don't get their heads out of whatever problem has crippled them. Hamilton and Ankiel did, and that's always something admirable in any field. It's the same reason that I admire Casey Stengel so much - because he had spent 25 years being dismissed as a kook and an idiot and yet he kept coming back. There are many more Hack Wilsons in the history of the game than there are Hamiltons. Ankiel's problems were different, not substance related, but there are only so many Ankiel/Lefty O'Doul (Johnny Cooney?) -type stories to go around. (Steven Goldman)
2008-06-24 13:00:00 (link to chat)That Willie Bloomquist is having an unusual season. When was the last time anyone played a full season while slugging .100 less than his OBP? The late 40s?
(Matt B from Tacoma)
What's really bothersome is that he's started four of the last eight games. I realize they think they have some kind of platoon going, but Bloomquist is pointless, you're not going to win anyway, and you might as well try someone who has a future. Playing that guy is an insult to the ticket holders. If his club had a lopsided loss at home, Casey Stengel used to say, "The attendance was robbed." When Bloomquist starts, the attendance wasn't robbed, it was violated. (Steven Goldman)
2008-06-17 15:00:00 (link to chat)We know the way it was handled was wrong but were the Mets right in firing Willie Randolph?
(David from NJ)
Well, as botched a job as it was, I don't entirely disagree with the decision to dismiss Randolph. As Rob Neyer pointed out at ESPN, there's a good argument to make that he's not the right manager at the right time for this club, even given its flimsy construction.

Managers aren't solely tacticians. They're leaders of men (some very boyish men at times). Different managers have different styles, but some seem to be better at protecting their teams by placing themselves in the line of fire and drawing the attention away from the struggles of their clubs. Ozzie Guillen is a good example of this now, as batsh*t crazy as he may seem, there's a method to his madness. Joe Torre does the same thing while exuding an aura of pure calm. Bobby Valentine, Casey Stengel, Leo Durocher, Tommy Lasorda - the styles can vary but that function is an important one.

Randolph didn't handle that aspect of the job very well. The Mets have carried a very negative aura around them since last year's collapse, and not even the acquisition of Johan Santana could erase that. At some point Randolph should have just said strong words to the effect of "Don't connect this club to last year's mess, it's a new day and we've moved on so you should too." Instead he played the race card and in doing so started the countdown on his own sell-by date. (Jay Jaffe)
2008-05-28 13:00:00 (link to chat)I see that Mickey Mantle played in seven games as a SS over a few seasons earlier in his career. Is there a story behind that?
(Arnold Layne from Cambridge)
He was a shortstop in the minors but, as often happens with young players, the Yankees decided he wasn't going to evolve as a fielder (he made about a million errors) so they decided to use his incredible speed and stick him in the outfield. Casey Stengel liked to pinch-hit for his shortstops a lot, so sometimes early on they would live with Mantle at short for an inning or two as part of that move - you got to keep the outfield bat you used as a PH in the lineup instead of plugging in another infield bat. (Steven Goldman)
2008-03-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)What made Casey Stengel particularly suited to be a manager? What did others say that he did (or didn't) do that gave him an advantage?
(Hap Goyter from Krispy, NC)
Creativity, a willingness to let experience teach him, and a lack of fear in terms of being second-guessed by ownership/press/fans or simply fired. In the last it helped that he was a wealthy man after the 1930s. He didn't need the job. But the main thing was that he questioned the conventional wisdom about how to use his roster and then applied it. He wasn't content to just play the hand he was dealt -- he had to try to force more out of it. I'm not saying this just because I wrote Forging Genius about the guy, but any leader--baseball, political, military, business--could learn a lot from Casey. Being funny was the minor part of what he did. Figuring out how to get the best usage out of his players was the major part.

Word to the wise: spamming me with a question makes me less likely to take it, not more. (Steven Goldman)
2008-03-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)I'm reading the Connie Mack book now and it makes me wish I had a time machine... but I just put a certain Casey Stengel bio into my cart on Amazon (gotta read BP '08 after Connie).
(lpiklor from Dills)
I thank you for that, and hope you enjoy it. It's a cliche to say that something is a labor of love, but that was a labor of love. I have to read the Connie Mack book myself, but first I'm going to tackle Dan "Paths of Glory" Levitt's forthcoming tome on Ed Barrow, a book that really needed to be written. (Steven Goldman)
2008-03-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)With all the new managers around the bigs, do you think veteran managers have an advantage? (PS I don't, as I believe managers make no difference)
(D-Mak from LA)
It's not how long you've managed, it's how smart you are. And managers do make a difference, just not to the extent that people tend to think, and not in the ways they tend to think. We've talked about this to one extent or another in all of our books, particularly Baseball Between the Numbers... (and -self-serving plug-that Casey Stengel book, too!) (Steven Goldman)
2008-03-14 13:00:00 (link to chat)With all the new managers around the bigs, do you think veteran managers have an advantage? (PS I don't, as I believe managers make no difference)
(D-Mak from LA)
It's not how long you've managed, it's how smart you are. And managers do make a difference, just not to the extent that people tend to think, and not in the ways they tend to think. We've talked about this to one extent or another in all of our books, particularly Baseball Between the Numbers... (and -self-serving plug-that Casey Stengel book, too!) (Steven Goldman)
2008-02-27 13:00:00 (link to chat)If you could go back in time to watch one game, what would it be? I often think it might be the Merkle boner game, though I don't like being jostled by crowds and would thus spend 8 innings seeking high ground. Second choice for me: the game where Satchel Paige called in the outfield and infield in pitching to Josh Gibson, though that might be apocryphal and could break my time machine. How about you?
(oira61 from San Francisco)
That's a really tough call. I saw the Reggie 3-HR World Series game on TV when I was a tyke. That might be cool. Any game where Ted Williams had a couple of hits... The game where Casey Stengel let a bird fly out from under his cap... Any game Walter Johnson or Christy Mathewson pitched... Satchel Paige in his prime would be VERY cool to see. Great call there. (Steven Goldman)

BP Roundtables

DateRoundtable NameComment
2010-10-06 10:00:002010 Playoffs Day OneKevin, I've quoted this thought from Casey Stengel many times, but he said that as much as he focused on getting the platoon advantage, if you had were facing a lefty batter who loved the high fastball, and your lefty reliever's best pitch was the high fastball, you'd be better off forgetting about the platoon and going with a right-hander who could do something else besides throw a high fastball. (I paraphrase). I feel like that essential nuance has been forgotten, and matchups have been reduced to simple binary thinking. (Steven Goldman)
2010-10-06 10:00:002010 Playoffs Day Onedpratola (not Philly): Manuel in presser: "Just sat there watching.... Pretty good managing." [laughter]

Casey Stengel once said the same thing after his team was no-hit by Paul Dean and shut out by Dizzy Dean in the same doubleheader, essentially, "I know I didn't make any mistakes--I didn't get a chance to." (Steven Goldman)
2009-10-21 17:00:00NLCS Game 5I wish managers understood something that Casey Stengel, the originator of a lot of modern platoon thinking, understood (I brought this up in one of the other roundtables we did). Getting the platoon advantage is important, but you don't go after it to the extent that you switch out a good pitcher for a bad one. In other words, while I understand that you don't let Ramirez hit against a lefty, I do worry about burning Happ so frivolously at this point in the game. (Steven Goldman)
2009-10-15 17:00:002009 NLCS Game One (Phillies/Dodgers)To paraphrase Casey Stengel, when your lefty pitcher has less of a chance of retiring a lefty-hitter than your right-handed pitcher, you should forget about the platoon and just go for your best option. (Steven Goldman)
2009-10-15 17:00:002009 NLCS Game One (Phillies/Dodgers)Dexter Fishmore (Hollywood, CA): Is there even a concept of burning a pinch-hitter "too early"? You have to score runs when the opportunity is there. Don't leave any bullets in the gun.

That was the whole Casey Stengel doctrine, the thinking behind his pinch-hitting for Moose Skowron once in the first inning of a game. You take your victories where you can find them, not when they're convenient. This was the point I was trying to make in our last roundtable when Pedro Feliz came up in an RBI situation at a tight point in the game. (Steven Goldman)
2009-10-12 15:00:00Phillies/Rockies Playoffs RoundtableI just want to observe that Casey Stengel would have PH a lefty in this spot. (Steven "Babe" Goldman)
2008-10-27 16:30:00World Series Game Five"jlebeck66 (WI): Moot point now, but... Wally Berger (0-15) & Lonny Frey (0-17)in 1939 for CIN"

I hadn't gotten back there yet. I was working backwards from today. Two of my favorite players, btw. Berger was a monster stuck in the gigantic, windy Beehive for most of his career. Frey was a young shortstop under Casey Stengel who was a good hitter for a middle infielder of the day, but was pretty much Jose Offerman. That's actually a perfect comp (and one I feel like I've used before) - his career took off when Bill McKechnie realized he could be an asset if teams stopped asking him to do things he couldn't and moved him to second...

The '39 WS was a whitewash for the Yankees, but there were actually several moments it could have gone the Reds' way with a little luck.
(Steven Goldman)
2008-10-22 16:30:00World Series Game OneChiming in a bit late on the whole leaving yourself w/o a backup catcher thing, Casey Stengel did that frequently. Sometimes it worked. There was at least one occasion he wound up with Hank Bauer at catcher and lost a game on a PB. Not, however in the WS. ...There was a famous occasion late in the 1949 season when both Yogi Berra and Charlie Silvera were hurt and Ralph Houk started. The umpire made a controversial call and Houk basically assaulted him, but the umpire didn't run him, knowing that it could quite possibly affect the outcome of a close pennant race. I don't think that's actually the correct call, but it's what happened. (Steven Goldman)
2008-10-10 13:30:00Friday LCSI wanted to mention another great one-run postseason game, the second game of the Dodgers-Red Sox World Series in 1916. Babe Ruth started and went all the way, beating the Dodgers 2-1 in 14 innings. Sadly, no pitch counts, even fake, for that one... That was one of the most famous games in Series history for a long time. Someone once brought up that fact to Casey Stengel, and he said, "Yes, that game was so famous that they never used me!" Because Ruth, a lefty, went all the way, Dodger Stengel, a lefty hitter, sat on the bench for the whole game. (Steven Goldman)
2008-10-02 11:00:00Thursday Playoff GamesKevin, it's one of the oldest stories. I mean, I'm sad about Joe Hauser. Casey Stengel said of Mickey Mantle when the latter was just a teenager, "He has it in his body to be great." How many more players could you have said that about? Many, many more. It's just that some ineffable something, like an ability to stay healthy, is missing... Or a building falls on them. Or in Dale Alexander's case, the trainer sticks the player's leg in a diathermy machine, sets it to 300 Farenheit, and then leaves for the weekend. (Steven Goldman)