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WHO'LL WIN THE PENNANT?
VERY soon the country, which is to say the
whole of the United States, will be shaken,
thrilled, moved by an important question. It
is not the problem of Canadian reciprocity, or
the tariff, or tht \ ing, or the future of aero
planes, or any trifling matter of that sort. No, this
is one of grave signitkance and great import. The
question in which ?n many p< rsona will be displ
a future inti
"How will they finis
Sixteen big league baseball teams are now
tered over the country in various training cam]
ing stroked and groomed and got into shape for
the pennant Hence the
question. C ball have already
becon. ! in the question that they
have haeard their incomes and assumed
come. So in i's scop- ,il t!ie question, with
ssed in back
in dr is, in stables and in
ill clftb is born
lean each spring
admirers of clubs
» w life on young play
and the St. Louis American league
si and no last. But even
em to care to back them.
as a whole; others arc
ire not yet been
■ important pennant contenders in the Xa
and Pittsburg club
be inclining toward the ]
•i and Philadelphia
n their faces, to be reaching ad
■!'.;- and Brooklyn teams are growing up,
■■• relate, the Boston National league team
m to have been born, although Ten
■ with it this sea
I'l : the Philadelphia club is
re, ripe and the most likely looking combination.
rowing up last year, and should
bill it is doubtful w h
.u>tin for Hartzeli of St. Louis will
; the club. The Boston team, which has shown
ral seasons, should be very nearly ripe
unmer if any results are ever to be harvested
of talent. The Detroit and Cleveland
they stand, appear to be growing old.
while the White Sox arc growing up, and should be in
fine for a place in the first division anyway. The
Washington club does not appear to be any stronger
than last season, and the poor old St. Louis team,
which was a hopeless corpse at the end of last season.
•ill try to perk up under a new manager and through
the infusion of some new blood.
Then, of course, there is always that mystic mil
the draw, a? important in baseball as in poker, to be
considered. Perhaps a man may get a whole new hand
out of his recruits, but the chances are against it. One
good youngster out of a season's crop very nearly
approaches the supreme realization on the drafted
lot. In these modern days of strict baseball legisla
tion and standard values in athletes ball players can
not he bought. They have to be developed, so that,
like Rome, a baseball machine can not be assembled
and built in a day. The constructive course of a ball
team but the destructive disintegration is
usually rapid and final.
important trades have been engineered be
tween the shrewd managers since the last season
closed. Philadelphia and Cincinnati did agree on a
dicker by which Grant, the third baseman of the
Quakers, with McQuillen, Bates and Moren, went to
Cincinnati for Lobert, Rowan, Paskert and Beebe.
This deal seems to have strengthened the Cincinnati
ciub and to have plugged up a weak place in the pitch
ing department. Otherwise ihc veterans appearing on
the various teams will be the same as last year.
The Giants should be stronger this season, but this
conclusion is based on a hypothesis of "if's." The
team is built around one man—a pitcher. Mathewson
is his name, and lie is big and blond and has stuff on
the ball. For JO years he has been almost invincible.
Some tune, according to the laws of nature and
ball, he must "crack." If Mathewson is as good this
:; ;is l>e » he approaches his normal
<rd, the Giants should have an excellent chance.
He has been truly called the god of the polo ground.
The Giants' pennant chances hang on him very
RAYMOND A PROBLEId
The next "if" is associated with a temperamental
gentleman called Raymond. He means well at the
beginning of each season, but somehow it seems that
when he strikes the dizzying dazzle of the metropolis
his feet slip, and all the things that he should not do,
6O carefully catalogued in his spring practice as a tee
totaler, are forgotten, and he again signs up with.
Bacchus, who always has open time. Raymond has
been graduated from a Keclcy cure this winter, and
he took his degree at the expense of the New York
club. He is still wearing a button, a sort of diploma,
as a token of hit course, or rather he was when this
story went to press.
While Raymond has not yet been urged by any
temperance societies to join them in their work, still
he is doing honor to his alma mater so far. McGraw
says that 1 if Raymond will go dry he will be one of the
greatest pitchers in the game.
"He has the old jump on the ball," said, the little
manager recently, "and his curves break with that
sharp snap, the acme of ;ill pitchers. The trouble
with him last year was that his fingers were so limp
on account of his liquid associations that he had no
influence over a baseball."
Drucke, with his year of experience, should be a
winning pitcher this season. The rest of the pitching
staff is very sketchy. Wiltsc is distinctly a sometimes
pitcher, while Crandall and the rest can not be ex
pected to stick their records above the mediocre. Mc-
Graw may pick up some youngster among his re
cruits, but the tales from the south* of the prodigies
culled from the bushes with "fog" balls and "fish"
balls and "hook" balls usually evaporate under the
«of inspection and the rnidseason sun. The pre
us pitcher is seldom a reality,
tale drifted out of th« White Sox camp this
spring, wafted on its, way over the wires by the cor
respondents, that a wonderful pitcher, with a wonder
ful curve, known as the "fog" ball, had been turned
up. .The idiosyncrasy of this curve is that the ball
comes up to the batter plainly visible, like a heavy
fog, but then it^ fades away like the mist before the
>tin, and,' like the mist, can not be hit. Critics
declare that it is so hard to sec that a batter needs an
X ray to find it, but this producer of wonders
probably be pitching in Laramie City again next
son as regular as ever.
The Giants' team is changed little except the differ
ence that a year's development will make. McGraw
has bolstered it with substitutes, utility men. Shean
looks better than Shafer. His outfield could be a little
more puissant, but he has the same men, Murray, De
vore and Snodgrass, with Becker to fill in. The team
is capable of winning with a good pitching depart
ment, the weakness of last year.
That seems to be the Giants' relation to the ques
tion. After all, they are likely to have a comparative
influence on the result. They are better, inasmuch as
their two stronger opponents are weaker. Chicago
and Pittsburg have deteriorated, gone back.
The Cubs are getting rusty and worn in the joints.
They sag here and bag there, and in some places the
Sig is very bad and in others the bag is atrocious.
The pitching department seems to be caving in, as
a tree falls when it rots. Kling, too, is getting old.
Chance will probably be on the bench next season,
and Archer will have to go to first base, weakening
the catching department. Cole is the best pitcher,
judging from last season. The famous Brown with
the missing digits was pulverized by the Athletics in
the world's scries. He is getting old. Steinfeldt,
Evers, Tinker, Sheckard, Schulte, all are past their
baseball prime. So that is the' Cubs' relatioq to the
question, and, while no direct prophecies will be made
as to precisely who will win the pennant, it does not
seem possible that this apparently broken down and
spavined club can finish first.
Pittsburg faced much the same situation last year
that the Cubs have to meet this season. In 1909
Clarke had won the National league pennant and
topped it off with the world's championship. That
was the climax for the Pirates. That was theirtbig
scene when the club reached the pinnacle of its ca
reer. Never has the team been the same since.
Wagner, Clarke and Leach, the life blood of the club,
are aging. The pitching staff is full of flaws.
Clarke will have to start to build anew. And all this,
too, looks encouraging to the Giants, as it,affects
their relation to the question.
Now. if you will step over to the American league.
Watch out for the partisan rooter there. Whether
the Yankees will be stronger or weaker this time de
pends largely on two things—Can Chase make good
as a manager? Will the positions of third base and
shortstop be as formidable as they were last year?
Chase is the youngest manager in the big leagues,
and the fact that he is a wonderful player is no reason
why he can be counted upon to be a winning leader.
He will have to be able to control men, to maintain
harmony, an essential to the perfection of the "inside"
game, and to settle petty quarrels and jealousies
which arise from time to time among ball players, who
fight for the center of the stage with almost as much
avidity as chorus girls. He is still untried by the tests
which come with a long campaign.
CHANGES IN THE "YANKS"
The right hand side of the Yankee infield might be
represented by "X." The coefficient of efficiency of
this portion of the team is still undetermined.
"Jimmie" Ausfin, a man full of ginger, but a cipher
with the bat, has been traded to St. Louis for Roy
Hartzell, a playeT of uncertain potentiality. Chase has
declared that he expects to put Knight, a seasoned
man, on second base and liopes to fill up the gaps at
shortstop and third base with two youngsters, Otis
Johnson and Elliott. To some veterans of the game
this seems to be a risky undertaking.
In the first place Elliott is left handed, and it is
seldom that a ><>uthpaw shines any place in the infield
except at first lnise. For some reason a man who
throws left handed looks awkward in the infield and
never appears to get-his stuff across with the same
facility that a right handed man does. Elliott comes
with a good reputation, but he has never been out of
the minors before, and a man may be a beat in the
bushes and only a cub in the real menagerie. It is
much the same with Johnson, He is an importation
direct from the lesser leagues, his last stand being
Jersey City. He is right handed, but unknown. Of
course. Chase has Gardner and Hartzell to fall back
upon, but, even so, that is like falling back upon a
papier mache prop. This will also mean switching
Knight back to shortstop again.
Now that the flaws in the New Yo?k American
league club have been found, why not take a look
at the strong points? The catching department is
better than last year, with Sweeney improved by a
season's work and Blair to help him out. The pitchers
look good. Ford, the sensation of the circuit last year,
will undoubtedly lead all the rest of the Yankees' staff.
Vaughn, a dependable southpaw; Warhop, Quinn and
Fisher should be winning workers. The outfield looks
good, good with an inclination toward' the better.
Cree, Daniels, Wolter and Hemphill—those four
names sound like a poem to the ears of Chase.
The San Francisco Sunday Call
But to get the Yankees in touch with the absorbing
question, it will he hard to hoist them higher than
second place in the race. The Athletics appear to be
head and shoulders, chest and belt line, over ali the
other contenders in the American league. They were
young last year. They will "be older this, with the
slow ripeness of maturity. The club presents in its
cast of characters the same inrield, the identical out
field, a duplicate of the pitching staff and the undis
turbed catching department, not to mention the man
ager, "Connie" Mack, all of which mutilated the Cubs.
the National league's best. Hst fall. Of course, if
Coombs should "crack." "Eddie"' Collins should go
lame. Baker become a naralvtic and Mack lose h\>
mind, their rating in the Bradstreet's -ef baseball
would deteriorafV Otherwise the Athletics should
be tiiere or in the vicinity when it comes to decide
who shall play iii the world's championship series.
That appears to be their niche when taken in relation
to the vital question.
The Boston American league club has been on the
fringe of hope for several seasons new, but has failed
.to climb any nearer to the top of things. It is a good
ball team, well balanced and rhythmical in action, but
it lacks pitchers.—good, steady, reliable 'Singers. The
polished product* of the box are not to be found on
its roster. To beat another club the Red Sox have to
make,B or 10 runs. Wood is good, but tempera
mental and easily worried. As for ihc rest of the
pitching flock, there is not one who stands out prom
inently, of whom a manager could say. "He sure is
some pitcher." the superlative compliment in the pro
fession from the man who appreciates twirlers that are
The Chicago Americans should be distinctly better
this year. They have had a chance to get acquainted
with Hugh Duffy, the manager, and his method;
and Duffy has reciprocated. Most of the team were
young and untried, lacking in experience, last sea
son. The club was in the course of construction.
That there was latent strength was evidenced by
the spurt made by the team at the end of last sum
mer, when no one thought that there was so much
baseball voltage in the club. The nucleus was there,
but the ball club had not yet been hatched. Last
year it was an incubator. In answering the question
it appears that the White Sox should finish in the
The remaining and undiscussed American league
clubs do not hold out much hope to their supporters.
The Cleveland team is always looked to for great
things, but when the curtain goes no the club never
quite gets its stuff over. Casting the eye over the
outfit one sees ho reason why the team should be.
«t any higher elevation at the end of this year than
in the last three or four campaigns.
Detroit may or may not. Stories filtered out of the
Tigers' lair last season that there was no more har
mpny in the team than in a dance hall piano. As
a matter of fact, that was just the trouble. Profes
sional jealousies, too many "prima donnas" and too
little co-operation reduced the speed of the team.
Cobb was not speaking to Crawford because Tyrus
said that "Sam" intentionally neglected to interpret
the signals correctly and thus spoiled his base run
ning. Jennings could never get his team exploding
on all nine cylinders irf unison. He had the men,
but each wanted to play his own tune in his own
DETROIT'S NEED OF HARMONY
Tf Jennings can call a peace conference and arrange
for a reciprocity agreement the club should he a
pennant contender. Otherwise no. His pitching staff
could stand strengthening, but for the rest he ha> a
good ball club, and in Cobb a wonder, even thoi*h
in exceedingly temperamental wonder.
Washington, first in war. first in peace and last h
the American league, was the way that it went for
some time. James McAleer improved the standing of
the Senators last season, but he is not facing any rosy
furare. -He has a Jask before him to build a ball
team out of the wreck he inherited.
St. Louis starts out under a new manager, the last
occupant of the job having departed under a cloud
when Lajoie made six successive hits on the final day
of last season, which was necessary to giv% the
Frenchman a glimpse at the automobile batting prize.
Like a drooping flower, the St. Louis club w'l take a
deal of sprinkling and nursing before it can again
bloom. Wallace, with his long experience in baseball,
should make a good leader. And then, anyway, un
fortunately enough, some cftjb has to be last.
To skip back to the National league, not omitting
to be careful about the partisan rooter, the Cincinnati
club is loaded with hope. Apparently. Griffith,
sometimes called the "Old Fox," gained by his trade
with Philadelphia. McQuillen, if he can "be kept in
harness, is a- good pitcher. Moretl is fair, being
something of a bad actor himself, while Grant'is mio
of the best third basemen playing ball. Griffith has
hitters and fielders on his club, and in Bescher he has
the best base runner in the National league. Suggs
is a rattling good pitcher; so that if Griffith is ever
going to get anywhere near a pennant it seems as if
his time had" come to make the try-
Philadelphia does not appear to be so strong as last
year, although Charles Doom, the manager, allows
that he was handicapped by lack of support from his
cast, and that now. as a result of his trade which dis
pensed with several trouble makers, he will be able
to inspire his men. If any one can, that auburn topped
pepper shaker ought to do it.
Bresnahan has not done much as a manager to date,
but. realizing that crying never lapped up any spilled
milk, he is going at it again with all the vigor of his
nature. In spite of his enthusiasm there does not ap
pear to be any place higher than sixth or seventh re
served for his club. "Bill" Dahlen. like Bres;
has a club of youngsters and lots of hope. Tin
ton team has a crop of youngsters and that is about
*v> So it will be. se.cn that the changes rung in baseball
are gradual. No team shoots like a skyrocket from
■ the . bottom >to the top, nor does another club drop
■ suddenly. Age, the" fuck of the game, and "injuries to
players have much •,to, do with the'ultimate outcome.
; Some teams just fizzle all over the ground for season
• after season, like a skyrocket , without a stick. r 7 The
Boston Nationals; are ; a good example of this. 1 * Then
.suddenly, a team will perk up under new management.
What McGraw was to New York Tenney may be to
In:these days, when stars are carefully guarded. by
the laws of organized'baseball, i and men of : the best
calibre can not be bought, but must be developed or
discovered wasting their talents in some minor league
side show when they should be appearing under the
big top, the ; development of a team: from a tail ender
to a pennant winner is bound to be slow. Few stars
are turned up by the draughting process, although
that is the annual fountain of hope and inspiration.
Out of the southland come tales each season of new
~ found wonders. But if a manager gets one first class
man out :of all; his minor league pickings he is satis
fied. The Yankees were unusually lucky in this re
spect last year, drawing, Ford, one of the best pitchers
in the Americanv league. The Cubs lifted "King"
; Cole, who proved to be a star, directly out of a tori
, sorial parlor, where ,he was shaving whiskers off
Terre' Haute : faces.
\ ~ The ;teams; have all been glanced at. The;question
: remains, "How will they finish?" But the ; fan, that
frothing, hysterical animal 1 product of baseball, -half
man and half beast, the; beast half ; assuming promi
nence when the umpire's ' judgment doesn't coincide >
• with \ his own. is waiting for, the season to;start, ready
to go off at half cock. - v •.-■-
It is a wonderful game that can providel the excite
• ment ■ and thrills, the fights ; and arguments, the hopes
and- fears that it does. Every team has its • apost!*s
when the season starts, no matter how far down' the
t scale it finished. In less than a month the race will
be on. Watch the fan as he sits on the edge of his
seat, tyting his nails, smoking" black cigars, fidgeting
around as if he were watching his baby s being mur
dered, or cheering as if his only son had been elected
president. It is the game that makes all -men kin
the great American leveller." Each has a right to his
• opinion who can afford the price of : admission,, and
■i he • exchanges :it ; freely .with his neighbor be ihe pan
handler ;or railroad president. ' Day after day he sits
there, caressing his ; hopes, fighting his fears .and
every once in a while he jumps to his feet, sometimes
Many!" *&£^f JS^ Sh°UtS> "°h ™
11 'S iv .feu Vert.r t. in, is; bones. Women are "not im
mune. Watch the fans at the ball park. : The symp
toms are apparent, not to be mistake*, a ; —
Perhaps you are one yourscli. :