Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Profile: Harry Frazee

Seven(!) years ago, when Yakov first pitched me the idea for what would become JONJ, Frazee was his example for the goyim-who-some-people-think-are-Jewish that we would profile...


  1. One more thing, Maybe you can help answer something for me, please. Whilst we're on the topic of sports... Were the founders of Nike Jewish or Not?
    Peace! :) Thank-you. :)

  2. The Babe Ruth who played for the Red Sox was a good, not great, pitcher, whose numbers were merely above average for his era and were on the decline.

    It is true that Babe Ruth the pitcher was declining by the end of his Red Sox tenure, but Babe Ruth the player was still one one of the best in the majors. In fact in his last year with the Red Sox Ruth lead the AL in HRs, OBP, SLG, OPS, and total bases while setting a then record for OPS+ despite still being a part time pitcher.

    1. Frug, also keep in mind all of those stats you quote except homeruns did not exist in 1920. And homeruns weren't exactly what they were now... people were much more concerned with hits and batting average; homers were the "cheap" way to score runs. And yes, Babe set a major league record with 29 in 1919, but considering he doubled that the following season, perhaps it was hard to see then that this was actually a big deal.

  3. Absolutely. He looked like he might be a very very good hitter. And I have no doubt that Boston knew they were giving up someone who might be a very very good hitter. But he was also a massive pain in the neck, a man child with little self control who caused massive problems for team management and his fellow Sox. And while he looked like he might become something good, there was little evidence to that point that he would be great, let alone legendary, and certainly not worth the headaches he was giving in exchange.

    I'm not arguing that Ruth was worthless, perhaps underappreciated a la David Ortiz with the Twins, just that the Red Sox were rational in their wish to be rid of him.

  4. I don't want to get into much a debate over a rather minor point, but I think you are underrating Ruth's offensive production with the Red Sox. He had an OPS+* of 190 with the Sox. The only other player in history to do that is Ted Williams, and Williams didn't split time as a pitcher. And the crazy thing is the more the Red Sox let Ruth concentrate on hitting the better he became. In his last two years, he hit a combined .312/.438/.614 (For comparison, when he was with the Twins Ortiz best season he produced an OPS+ of "only" 120 and slash line of .272/.339/.500)

    By his final season in Boston it was clear Ruth wasn't just a very good hitter; he was the best of his generation, but Boston simply didn't realize it. And sure he was a pain in the ass, but he wasn't exactly a Boy Scout with the Yankees either and I doubt they have any regrets.

    *Yes, OPS+ is an imperfect stat but it is useful as an eyeball number.

  5. To clarify, I meant the only other player to ever post a career OPS+ of 190 was Ted Williams.

  6. It's a matter of perception and I think an arguable supposition. I would respond that I don't think the Sox were using slash stats at the time and I know that they weren't using OPS+ so it's hard to say what they were/weren't measuring. We know that home runs were extremely undervalued—they were treated as more or less flukes—during that era while speed and bunting (neither Ruth skills) were highly prized. As for the Yanks, well, the team itself seemed to enjoy him more in concept than in reality.
    That said, yeah, the Red Sox made a mistake. Not disagreeing. Just saying that the idea that it was such an obvious boner at the time is a lot of hindsight and backseat baseball.