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Thursday, February 11, 2010
A Correction Regarding the Brewers

One of the great challenges with trying to have correct information about over 3,200 players who have filed for salary arbitration during the history of the process is tracking down the correct information for every single player. Plus, you want to check and recheck to debug your data set. After listing that the Brewers had four cases in their history instead of three, I sent emails to both Adam McCalvy of and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. They rightfully asked me for my source information about Tim Johnson. Well, that started me on a check of my data that produced the following story -

The files of the late Doug Pappas that I originally found via SABR listed the player as T. Johnson of Mil. I figured that this was Tim Johnson of the Brewers. The Pappas file is based on the work of Thomas Timmerman for 1978. I had relied on it as pretty accurate for years while I was searching for multiple sources to verify "my" information. Anyway, Tim Johnson was with the Brewers from 1973 through the beginning of the 1978 season. However, I had not found an article that verified that he went to arbitration. I did know that he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Tim Nordbrook on April 28, 1978. Another "highly reliable" source listed the Johnson as Cliff Johnson of the Yankees. However, a New York Times article listed Cliff Johnson as signing his contract on February 18, 1978. “Yankees Sign Johnson For Reported $100,000,” New York Times, Feb. 19, 1978, 28. There is no mention of salary arbitration.

Over this past summer I asked one of the research assistants working with me to go through the microfilm editions of The Sporting News to fill in gaps. In particular, I asked her to initially focus on 1978 and 1979. Those years are problems because it predates the LexisNexis and Westlaw databases that supported so much of my work over the years. So, today, I went to the data that was downloaded this summer, and I think I found a "more" credible source. In an article detailing the Twins by Bob Fowler (“Twins Seeking Strength in Numbers,” The Sporting News, March 11, 1978, 61, col 5), I found a discussion of the "four" Twins that went to arbitration that year, not the "three" listed in most sources. So, it appears that the "real" Johnson that year was Tom or Tommy Johnson. So, I have to correct my data and agree that the Brewers have only been to three hearings prior to this year. By the way, Tom Johnson was released by the Minnesota Twins on February 8, 1979. Griffith did not take kindly to player who took him to a hearing.

So, I have to change my data for the Twins and the Brewers, and I am going to return to my analysis of Corey Hart. I will post that for those of you who tolerate my salary arbitration postings on this blog.


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