11 August 2007

1918 American League

The War was on...an influenza epidemic swept the country and the world, killing thousands....the season was ended early, due to travel considerations. Teams played 120-130 games, rather than the normal 154 of the time. Boston won the pennant narrowly over Cleveland and Washington. Chicago slipped back to 6th. It would be Boston's last pennant until 1946. Some players had gone off to war, others to jobs in war-related industries, others stayed home to avoid the epidemic and worked on their family farms. More were called away as the season went on, a major reason for the premature end. The Red Sox also bested the Cubs in the World Series, their last championship until the historic 2004 World Series.

Statistical leaders: Ty Cobb batted .382 to take yet another batting title, way ahead of George Burns at .352. George Sisler hit .341. Cobb also led in on-base average, but sensation Babe Ruth led in slugging and OPS. Ray Chapman led the league in runs at 84, with Cobb at 83 and Harry Hooper at 81. George Burns led in hits with 178 while Cobb had 161 and Sisler and Home Run Baker had 154. Tris Speaker had 33 doubles, Hooper and Ruth 26. Cobb had 14 triples, Hooper and Bobby Veach 13. Ruth tied Tilly Walker with 11 home runs. Bobby Veach had 78 RBI, Burns 70, Ruth and Joe Wood 66. George Sisler had 45 steals.

Walter Johnson won the pitchers' Triple Crown, with 23 wins, 162 strikeouts, and a 1.27 ERA. Stan Coveleski was second with 22 wins and a 1.82 ERA. Carl Mays won 21, Scott Perry 20. Allan Sothoron had a 1.94 ERA, Perry 1.98. Jim Shaw had 129 strikeouts, Bullet Joe Bush 125, Guy Morton 123.

Win Shares leaders, players; Babe Ruth (Boston) 40 (20 games pitching, 59 on the OF, I'll list him here), Ty Cobb (Detroit) 31, Harry Hooper (Boston) 29, Tris Speaker (Cleveland) 27, George Burns (Philadelphia) 24, Frank Baker (New York) 23, George Sisler (St. Louis) 22, Ray Chapman (Cleveland) 21.

WS leaders, pitchers; Walter Johnson (Washington) 38, Scott Perry (Philadelphia) 30 in what I believe would qualify as a rookie season, Stan Coveleski (Cleveland) 29, Carl Mays (Boston) 25, Joe Bush (Boston) 21.

WARP3: Ruth 9.4, Cobb 6.8, Hooper 6.7, Sisler 6.3, Speaker 5.6, Eddie Collins (Chicago) 5.0, Burns 4.8 (best year), Baker 3.9, Larry Gardner (Boston) 3.3, Chapman and Steve O'Neill (Cleveland) 3.3.

Pitchers, Johnson 11.1, Coveleski 8.6, Perry 8.5 (career year), Mays 5.1, George Mogridge (New York) 4.9, Bernie Boland (Detroit) 4.8, Jim Bagby (Cleveland) 4.3, Hooks Dauss (Detroit) 3.9, Bush 3.7, Eddie Cicotte (Chicago) 3.5.

WAR leaders, position players: Cobb 7.3, Sisler 7.2, Speaker 6.4, Burns 6.1, Hooper 5.9, Ruth 5.6, Baker 5.1, Chapman 4.6, Gardner 4.1, Collins 3.8. Pitchers: Johnson 8.7, Coveleski 7.5, Perry 6.8, Harper, Mogridge, and Sothoron 3.5, Boland and Mays 3.3, Bagby 3.2, Bush 3.0. (Ruth was 14th at 2.2)

Top player: Babe Ruth. I could have picked Hooper, or Sisler, or even Cobb, but Ruth as the part-time RF and part-time P was hard to ignore. Ruth led the league in slugging and OPS, and tied for the lead in homers and led in extra-base hits despite only 317 ABs. About 2/3 of his value was as a hitter, 1/3 as a pitcher. I'll put Cobb #2, #3 Speaker, #4 Sisler, #5 Hooper

Top pitcher: Walter Johnson. Leader in wins, ERA and strikeouts. Hard not to pick him. Coveleski would be #2, Perry #3, Mays #4 and Bush #5.

Top rookie: Assuming he would have the status, Scott Perry. 4th in wins and ERA in his only good year, possibly an arm injury due to overwork.

Top manager: Ed Barrow managed a pennant in his first year with the Red Sox.

No comments: