Archive for The Worst of the Best

The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Swings

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the second part of the year’s fifth edition of The Worst Of The Best. Here’s a link to the complete series archive, for you to print out and turn into a volume for your coffee table. And here’s a link to the first part, from several hours ago. This is the right place for you to be, if you’re fixing to see a bunch of bad missed swings. This is decidedly the wrong place for you to be, if you’re hankering for a bunch of sweet dingers. If it’s neither of those things that you seek, well what am I supposed to do, I’m not a mind-reader. Just say what you’re thinking for God’s sake and don’t make a guessing game of your preferences. There are more important things than communication, but most of them, like breathing, are automatic.

So, wild swings, month of August, PITCHf/x, distance from the center of the strike zone. All the usual stuff. Clearly checked swings are excluded, and so are swing attempts during hit-and-runs. Hits-and-run? Regular readers presumably skip right over this paragraph because it never introduces anything new. One of these days I’ll throw in a little twist and then we’ll see who benefits from skimming. I’m just kidding, I’m forever stuck in my ways. Still to come is a top-five list and a next-five list. Also, there are two bonus entries, which I couldn’t include in the countdown but which I also couldn’t ignore. There are basically three sorts of events that could qualify a play for a bonus entry. Here come two of them. By the way, congratulations, you’re not dead, and you have a computer! How great is life?

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the first part of the year’s fifth edition of The Worst Of The Best. If you click here, you can find all of the Worsts Of The Bests. Or you can get to them some other way, because they’re not hidden. All right, so, I would like to begin this post with a joke. Question: which is Jeff Manship‘s most favorite baseball team? Answer: why, it’s the Seattle Mariners, of course! This has been the joke. An alternate similar joke would instead choose to highlight the Pittsburgh Pirates. That is a worse joke. We may now move on to the rest of this post, joking complete.

We’ll watch the wildest pitches thrown in the month of August, as captured by PITCHf/x and as mathed by myself and a spreadsheet. PITCHf/x did almost all of the work, but I’ve tied the bow, so I figure I deserve at least 80% or so of the credit. This is all about distance from the center of the estimated strike zone, and since that’s the system I’ve used the whole time, that’s the system I’ve increasingly convinced myself is more than fine enough. Featured in detail will, like normal, be a top-five list. Also, there is a next-five list. The next-five list comes first. Every time, I wonder why I write this paragraph. At least it’s over now.

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Swings

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the second part of the year’s fourth edition of The Worst Of The Best. Here is a link to the complete series archive, for you to bookmark and never revisit, like most of the rest of your bookmarks. And here’s a link to Monday’s first part, covering July’s wildest pitches. I’m sitting on a patio right now, and as I’ve been writing this, a large number of crows has been pecking around in a nearby field. Then the crows lifted off, save for one, who remains on the field with what appears to be an injured wing. So, apparently I’m going to be writing this while sad. And a little confused. How did the crow join up with the group in the first place? How recently did it injure its wing? Has it been in the field the whole time, and the other crows just came down to hang out and keep it company? Were the other crows actually being compassionate? Nevermind, apparently I’m going to be writing this while hopeful?

You’re going to see the wildest swings attempted in the month of July, as determined by distance from the center of the strike zone. As a consequence of the method, all the swings are pretty much similar, because nobody swings at a pitch that misses three feet high or outside. So the fun’s in the little distinguishing details, provided any can be identified. There’s a top-five list and a next-five list, and this list of lists also includes a couple bonus entries that I couldn’t in good conscience leave unincluded. I always make sure to leave out checked swings and swing attempts during hit-and-runs, but by the latter I mean I’m willing to show those as bonuses, like I am right here. Those swings shouldn’t count toward the official countdown, but they should also absolutely be displayed so we can all have a good laugh. Laughter is the best medicine, if you aren’t actually sick with a disease.

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the first part of the year’s fourth edition of The Worst Of The Best. Here is a link to all of the previous editions, if you like the feeling of completeness. Now, let’s all agree on something: there are few things in the world more important than your own happiness. Your own happiness is a function not of your possessions, but of your psychological and possibly spiritual health. Many people consider themselves perfectionists, and might end up upset because they can’t meet their own impossible standards. All right, so, you’re going to see some pitchers. These pitchers are amazing! They have to be to be where they are. You’re going to see these pitchers make huge, obvious, embarrassing mistakes, and yet it doesn’t change anyone’s opinion of them. In the grand scheme of things, these mistakes are irrelevant, and evaluations are based on the entire body of work. Here are some of the best professionals in the world, messing up and having it not really matter. If you’re a perfectionist, then, give yourself a break. You’re allowed to screw up. More: people probably won’t even notice if you do somehow screw up. Or they’ll just forget right away, because everyone else is wrapped up in their own business. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Chris Tillman isn’t. (Spoiler alert)

Here will be the wildest pitches thrown in July, following the usual methodology of PITCHf/x and math and sorting. It’s all determined by distance from the center of the strike zone, and you’re going to see a top-five list, and a next-five list, and there’s also a bonus entry in there based on a tip I got from a few people on Twitter. Thank you, Internet friends! You’re all welcome to come over to my Internet house. But please not my actual house, I don’t have enough chairs. Also the actual reason. Something that will matter to you more in a few minutes: Chris Tillman also just missed the next-five list, by two spots. Here we go, together.

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Swings

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the second part of the year’s third edition of The Worst Of The Best. The custom here has been to write a brief introduction that has nothing to do with anything, and after a year and a half of doing this I don’t know why that started or kept up. So instead this introduction is about not providing the same kind of introduction, and, here is a link to the complete series archive, should you be curious. We’re all just here for the images. Oh, and here’s a link to the first part, covering the wild pitches.

So, here come the wildest swings attempted in the month of June, as determined by distance from the center of the strike zone. There will be a list of five swings, and then another list of five swings, the latter featuring five worse swings than the former. I didn’t make a .gif of Manny Machado throwing his bat near Alberto Callaspo, but I did include this Machado mention just to cover my bases. As part of my method, I exclude checked swings and swing attempts during hit-and-runs, because I think that leaves us with precisely what we’re all looking for, but included below will be a bonus checked swing and a bonus hit-and-run swing attempt, because I feel like they should be acknowledged somehow. Off we go to the fun part! We should spend more of our time in the fun parts!

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the first part of the year’s third edition of The Worst Of The Best. Something I’ve been thinking about lately is that so much of what we do is baseball analysis, and so much of baseball analysis is trying to see into the future. Future-seeing is a noble goal, to be sure, and we’d all like to know which players have truly turned the corner and which teams are truly dropping out of the race, but analysis is educated guesswork, and so often the analysis is left looking wrong. So often baseball doesn’t go as it’s expected to, and on top of that, looking forward leaves less time for looking back — for just acknowledging and appreciating what’s already most definitely happened. History is the only thing we’re certain of. You can consider this series an expression of appreciation for recent baseball history. Here is a link to all of said appreciation.

So in this post we’re going to look at the wildest pitches thrown in June, following the same methodology as always. As always, it’s based on PITCHf/x. As always, wild pitches are determined by distance from the center of the strike zone. As always, it’s possible I’m missing something because of the limitations of the research process. As always, I’ll indicate to you that I don’t care, even though secretly I really do care, and it pains me to see evidence of a wild pitch I’ve somehow missed. All I ever want is to be absolutely perfect and my mom says I can do anything I desire. I’m sure I’ll get there at some point. Featured in detail: a top-five list. Also featured in detail — but in less detail: a next-five list.

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Swings

Hey there, everybody. welcome to the second part of the year’s second edition of The Worst Of The Best. Right here is the first part, concentrating on really terrible pitches. And here’s a link to the complete series archive. Now, the big story is Thursday marked the beginning of the 2014 Major League Baseball amateur draft, which is also referred to by other terms.

The draft is one of the most critical events for an organization, and when evaluating drafts, a common measure is whether a given drafted player made it to the major leagues. Keep in mind that all of the players you see below made it to the major leagues — and some of them attempted terrible swings. There are major leaguers and there are successful draft picks, and while there is overlap it’s hardly complete. Drafting is difficult and baseball is difficult.

In this post we entertain ourselves with the wildest swings attempted in May. Featured is going to be a top-five list, and then we’ll also whip through a next-five list just so you know who almost earned several paragraphs of critical commentary. It’s all PITCHf/x and I specifically exclude checked swings and swings on attempted hit-and-runs. This is how it has always been, although in this particular instance there’s something of a gray area. We’ll get to in a while. You’ll look at the swings at the pitches furthest from the center of the strike zone, and that’s the methodology until someone comes up with something better than that. Something that can be researched without watching every swing of every game. I like baseball, but I don’t like that much baseball. I like pepperoni sticks, but I don’t want everything I eat to be a pepperoni stick. I’d die. I’d die in agony. Basically, this is what we’ve got, so let’s just get into this thing.

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Pitches

Good morning, friends, and welcome to the first part of the year’s second edition of The Worst Of The Best. This is a series where we watch major league baseball players do things poorly which in one sense is insulting and which in another sense functions as a series of backhand compliments. “We call attention to the mistakes because usually they are very close to perfect!” They’re not, but, they are really good, even the players you hate the very most. I bet you really can’t stand a player on your favorite team’s bench. That player is better at baseball than you are at whatever you’re best at. I mean, probably. Does FanGraphs have that many brilliant, gifted readers? I’ll stop myself. Here’s a link to the complete series archive!

We’re going to look at the wildest pitches thrown in May, and while perhaps this would’ve worked better on the first day of June for reasons of timeliness, it obviously isn’t the first day of June now. Also, included are some pitches from May 5, 9, and 10, so it’s not like timeliness is really a considered factor. The pitches are the pitches located furthest from the center of the PITCHf/x strike zone, which is good enough for me. While I might miss a pitch or two, think about it: do you really want this to be perfect? Then what of everything else? Celebrate imperfections. Below please find a top-five list, along with a next-five list, the latter being free of commentary and the former not being that.

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Swings

Hey there, people who were six once, and welcome to the second part of the year’s first edition of The Worst Of The Best. Here is a link to Thursday’s first part, and here is a link to the complete series archive. If you were to explore that archive and go back to 2013, you’d find several apologies for how the second parts tend not to feature very much event diversity. This is the part about wild swings, and by my methodology, the overwhelming majority of the wild swings come on two-strike swings at stuff in the dirt. Here’s an excerpt from a post from the middle of last August:

With the wildest swings, almost invariably we end up with five swings at two-strike breaking balls in the dirt. That’s just the way it is, and of course all those swings are ill-advised, but part of the fun is supposed to be the surprise, and here we don’t really get many surprises. I don’t know what to do about that and it’s too late in 2013 to just up and change the methodology. […] I am sorry. I’ll have to figure some stuff out before 2014.

I never got around to figuring any stuff out. So you’re going to see the same stupid predictable crap as always. I’ll have to figure some stuff out before 2015.

Below, the wildest swings of the season, up through the end of April. Featured in some detail is a top-five list. Provided with less detail is a next-five list, and there are also two bonus inclusions. It’s all based on PITCHf/x data, so I can only work with what I’m given, and I don’t count checked swings or swing attempts on hit-and-runs. I only want to highlight hitters who decided to swing on their own, and who didn’t think better of it in the middle. These are swings at pitches furthest from the center of the strike zone. I repeat this every time but I’m sure you got the message ages ago. Let’s load some .gifs and laugh at some millionaires.

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The Worst of the Best: The Month’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the first part of the year’s first edition of The Worst Of The Best. If you don’t know what this series is all about, here’s a link to the complete 2013 archive. As an alternative to reading through the archive, you might elect to not read through the archive. The idea, it turns out, is very easy to understand, and I explain it in plain English every time, and there’s never any carryover from one edition to the next. Some people have been asking if this series would return. Quite obviously, now, the answer is yes, but this’ll be running every month instead of ~every week. The public explanation is that, week to week, there isn’t enough diversity. The private explanation is that this is a lot of work. Thankfully, you guys are only privy to the public explanation. I don’t need to get stuck with a lazy rep.

Here, we’re going to look at the wildest pitches thrown in April, and thrown in March, too, since March only had a couple days of games. We’re going to look at the wildest pitches thrown so far. It’s based on PITCHf/x, so excluded are any and all pitches that didn’t generate PITCHf/x data (remember that there were two games in Australia). Sometimes that means I leave something out, but I’d rather make the occasional omission than watch every pitch of every game. The MLB Fan Cave sounds like a nightmare. I’ve defined the wildest pitches as the pitches ending up the furthest from the center of the strike zone. It works as a proxy and you’ll take what I give you. In detail, we’ll run through the top five. I’ll also present to you, quickly, the next five. Here now are five wild pitches, that were not among the five wildest pitches.

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The Worst of the Best: The Season’s Wildest Swings

Hey there, deliberate or accidental viewers of FanGraphs, and welcome to the second part of probably the year’s last edition of The Worst Of The Best. Here’s Monday’s post, on the season’s wildest pitches. Here’s a full series archive. Some people have asked whether I’ll do an edition of this for the playoffs, and to be honest I haven’t decided yet. I mean, it’s baseball, important and trackable baseball, but reviewing the season also brings a certain finality and playoff stuff isn’t going to measure up. “We’ll see,” is the point. For now, if this is the last edition, I want to thank you guys for following along. I know these posts are long, and I know they can take a long time to load. I know they don’t quite feel FanGraphs-front-page appropriate, once you get past the PITCHf/x bits. I know these are a lot more silly and a lot less analytical. Thank you for accepting them, thank you for not complaining about them, and thank you for allowing me this occasional slide into the ridiculous. Baseball is pretty serious business, and we treat it as such, but even funeral homes have casual Fridays. I mean, probably, but I’m not going to call one.

What we’re going to do in this post is review the five wildest swings of the 2013 regular season, by which I mean the swings at pitches furthest from the center of the strike zone as determined by PITCHf/x and squaring and adding numbers. Excluded are checked swings, because at least those demonstrate an awareness, if sadly delayed. I only wanted to capture guys who went all-in. Also excluded, in theory, are swings during hit-and-runs, but I didn’t encounter one of those. I did encounter Andrew Romine throwing an attempted bunt at a wild pitch-out with a runner sprinting home from third. The bunt missed, the catcher missed, and the runner scored standing up. You won’t see that below, but you also don’t need to — how you imagine it is at least as satisfying as seeing it for yourself. Maybe more, and who am I to stomp on your imagination? Joe Saunders was pitching, incidentally. Remember Joe Saunders?

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The Worst of the Best: The Season’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there, baseball fans or people at least aware of baseball fans, and welcome to the first part of probably the year’s last edition of The Worst Of The Best. Beginning this Wednesday night, we’ll have the World Series, and this year’s World Series might well feature baseball’s two best teams in the Red Sox and Cardinals. A lot of good baseball allowed these players to become what they are today, and a lot of good baseball allowed these teams to get to where they are today. It’s arguably the right matchup, even if it isn’t necessarily the most compelling matchup. In honor of quality baseball, then, I thought I’d seize this opportunity to reflect on really bad pitches and swings. This is the post where we look at the bad pitches. Here’s a link to the full series archive.

What you’re going to see below are the five wildest pitches from the 2013 regular season, as determined, in three instances, by PITCHf/x and elementary math. In the other two instances, they were determined by visual observation, by me. The idea is to capture pitches furthest from the center of the strike zone, and you’re going to run across a lot of .gifs and screenshots, in case you’re worried about locking up your computer made of balsa wood. It’s been like this all season. There’s no sense in complaining today. I promise we’re almost through.

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The Worst of the Best: The Week(s)’s Wildest Swings

Hey guys, and welcome to a post to which you don’t need to be welcomed. This isn’t property or a residence — no one resides here. This is a post, weighing literally nothing, figuratively little, with no doors and no walls. I’m not inside of it, allowing you in. I’m not even greeting you, as you’re reading this — my words are, but my words are old, having been written in advance of this post being published. So, hey guys, and here’s a post. Did you know that these introductions have become the trickiest part of composing this series? Maybe you can tell. Neat thing about wild swings and wild pitches is that they provide a jumping-off point. You can look for things to write about in the video or the numbers. A completely open introduction? The hell am I supposed to say? I don’t have many strong opinions about things, and this isn’t the place to talk about potential Breaking Bad spoilers. Although that gives me an idea, so check back next week. I’m just kidding, I’m not going to do what I thought of, so you’ll never know what I thought of. Thank goodness, this paragraph is finished.

This is the part where we talk about wild swings and share many laughs because the swings were ugly and irresponsible. Our window of observation this time around goes from September 6 through September 19, and as always, I’ve elected to exclude checked swings and the nearly-always-hypothetical wild swings on hit-and-runs. Authors of excluded checked swings for this edition: Marc Krauss, Brian Bogusevic, Junior Lake, and whoever Chris Rusin is. I’ll warn you that one of the wild swings below was attempted by a pitcher. But to compensate for that, this post also features among the neatest of chance quirks, so, keep your eyes peeled for what I will make a point of bringing to your attention. Get ready for fun! Or get ready to browse the series archive. Now get ready for fun!

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The Worst of the Best: The Week(s)’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the first part of this edition of this. Here’s a link to all of the previous editions. Understand that part of me feels guilty right now. This is my full-time job — my full-time job is serving as a content creator on the Internet. It’s a pretty good job, the sort of thing a lot of people out there are currently fighting for. But there are a lot of content creators on the Internet, full-time and part-time and unpaid. The only way to remain relevant on the Internet as a creator is to keep creating. So, there’s a lot of content, and a lot of it seems like it could be interesting, and a lot of that turns out to actually be interesting. So there’s a lot to consume — too much to consume, infinite content to consume — and it’s easy to get lost. Hours can disappear and you can snap out of it and realize you’re reading an article about Super Dave Osborne. The Internet is dangerous, because information is appealing, and it’s easy to click. If you can control yourself, kudos; if you have trouble, I apologize for contributing to the Internet’s volume. Many of you are reading this instead of doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and you might not even realize it, and that makes me feel bad. Not bad enough to stop doing my job, because Greek yogurt isn’t going to buy itself, but know that I know your struggle. This weekend let’s all go to the woods.

Uh so here come some wild pitches, covering the window from September 6 through September 19. Once again, this covers two weeks instead of one, because last Friday I was out of town and FanGraphs stays where my computer is. Don’t know what happens next week. Could cover a week. Could cover the second half. Could cover the whole season. There are surprises in store. Meanwhile, this week, few surprises, except for all of the surprises to come. You know the deal: top five pitches furthest from the center of the PITCHf/x strike zone. Pitches just missing: Ivan Nova to Mike Carp on September 15, Madison Bumgarner to A.J. Pollock on September 8, and Stephen Fife to Angel Pagan on September 14. Those pitchers are fortunate to have escaped mocking commentary. They did not, however, escape mention. Now for some mocking commentary.

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The Worst of the Best: The Week(s)’s Wildest Swings

Hey there everybody, and welcome to what you’re doing now. If you’re reading this, this is what you are doing. This is not what you were doing before — I don’t know what you were doing before. This is not what you will be doing soon — I don’t know what you will be doing soon. There is, literally, a world of options. But what you’re doing now? It’s this. Maybe you intended it this way. Maybe you just wound up here, somewhat unconsciously, because you’re distracting yourself from work or you’re distracting yourself from boredom. Do you know how many things you do a day you don’t think about? Of course you don’t. You don’t think about them. But there are a lot. Quite a lot, for some. Reading this today might be one of them. Or if you’re here on purpose, thanks! You are sweet.

It’s time to look at five wild swings, from between August 23 and September 5. As a reminder, I was away last Friday; as another reminder, I’ll be away next Friday, so the following edition of this will also cover two weeks. What did we get from the last two weeks? Some wild swings, and some regular swings that don’t get talked about here. And lots of pitches that weren’t swung at, even a little bit. Here, five awful swings at breaking balls out of the strike zone. A couple checked swings I excluded: Wilkin Ramirez vs. Danny Duffy, and Evan Longoria vs. Ivan Nova. I’m pleased with what we’re left with. I still wish I could write about someone swinging at a pitch at his eyes, but those don’t really come up under this methodology. And that seldom happens. I’ll probably have to dedicate a post specifically to that in November. For now, not that! For now, this! Also, here’s the series archive. Links are important on the Internet.

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The Worst of the Best: The Week(s)’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there, readers of the written word, and welcome to the first part of this edition of The Worst Of The Best, a FanGraphs Friday series that could be best described as “almost weekly”. It is most definitely weekly in intent, but it is most definitely not weekly in execution, as evidenced by last Friday, or next Friday, or many of July’s Fridays. It is weekly enough that, when a Friday is missed, I hear about it. It is aweekly enough that, when a Friday is missed, I don’t hear about it much. While I’m here — recently I was reading an article about Chris Archer, and about how he tries to use his relative fame to spread positive messages to people who need to hear them. I, too, have a platform, right here, so as long as I have your attention, let’s all stop giving other people flat tires. Let’s stop doing that thing where we step on the backs of other peoples’ shoes or sandals. You think you’re being funny, but flat tires are received even worse than tickling, and tickling is never a good idea. Let’s also all stop tickling. Stop being monsters.

In this post, we examine wild pitches, and instead of covering the most recent one week, we’re going to cover the most recent two weeks, the window being August 23 through September 5. Here’s a link to the whole series archive. This is a top five of pitches far away from the center of the strike zone, because that’s our best approximation of location intent, and it’s based on PITCHf/x so I’m going to miss anything where PITCHf/x glitched. Someday, PITCHf/x won’t glitch anymore. Someday, we’ll have an agreed-upon way to write out “PITCHf/x”. That day is not today. Three pitches that just missed: Scott Rice to Andy Dirks on August 25, Tyler Thornburg to Clint Barmes on September 2, and A.J. Burnett to Brandon Crawford on August 25. If you’d like write-ups for those pitches, might I suggest you write them yourself? I’m not some kind of writer-monkey. Now, here, let me write, for you.

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The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Swings

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the second part of this edition of the series I wish I didn’t schedule for Fridays, when working Americans are supposed to be able to mentally check out in the early afternoon. I remember, at my old biotech, when Friday rolled around, the workday was basically over by lunch time. Now, not only do I work a full Friday — by the time this post goes up, much of the audience has already mentally and/or physically begun the weekend. One thing I could do is just not work on these things very hard, but I think I’m at the point at which I’m addicted to writing underneath images. I don’t know what I’m going to do in November. Tremble a lot, probably. Here’s a link to the series archive, to change the subject.

Wild swings are what we have, at breaking balls intended to hopefully generate wild swings. This edition comes with five wild swings and a bonus non-swing that still makes it into the post for reasons you might or might not be able to guess. Basically everything is something you might or might not be able to guess. That covers just about all the options. Today’s research excluded a bunch of check-swing strikes, from players like Matt Wieters, Ryan Zimmerman, Mike Moustakas, and Chris Davis. Players very much like them. Players so much like them, in fact, they are them. We’ll get going now to the five wild swings and the bonus. The sooner we all start, the sooner we’re all done.

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The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there everybody, and welcome to the first part of another edition of The Worst Of The Best. You’ll see in the headline it’s written as “The Worst of the Best” — with fewer capital letters — in accordance with our editorial policies, but I like capital letters because they make me feel important, so the first sentence of this post is my own form of stubborn protest. Now, this is obviously a departure from the news of the day. Yesterday, Ryan Braun released a statement of apology, and everywhere today you can find somebody’s hot takes. The consensus: the apology was a good step, but not enough. Not enough to make up for cheating and lying and accusatory behavior. A written, prepared apology was not enough to make up for that. That is the thesis of just about every article on the matter I’ve seen. So, yeah, I’m glad this is a departure from the news of the day, because the news of the day is stupid.

In this departure, we look at the wildest pitches thrown between August 16 and August 22. Here’s an archive of the whole series, if you feel like throwing your day away or destroying your processor. It’s PITCHf/x and simple math and identifying locations furthest from the center of the strike zone. Some pitches just missing our top five: Andy Pettitte to David Ortiz on August 16, Taylor Jordan to Freddie Freeman on August 16, and Rubby De La Rosa to Robinson Cano on August 18. The pitches that didn’t miss our top five are the top five, presented below. I should warn you: this is a particularly confusing week. I had some trouble with this, and Nationals and Braves fans can probably guess why. The rest of you will just have to wait, a few seconds.

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The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Swings

Hey there everybody, and welcome to whatever jokes I have left about the same swings at the same pitches we’ve been looking at for months. For the jokes I’ve already used, here’s a link to the whole Worst Of The Best series archive. With the wildest pitches, at least there tends to be a little variety. I don’t know precisely what to expect every week. With the wildest swings, almost invariably we end up with five swings at two-strike breaking balls in the dirt. That’s just the way it is, and of course all those swings are ill-advised, but part of the fun is supposed to be the surprise, and here we don’t really get many surprises. I don’t know what to do about that and it’s too late in 2013 to just up and change the methodology. On one hand, maybe it’s interesting to keep re-visiting the same stuff and seeing what ideas there might be. What’s still fresh and original after four and a half months? On the other hand, this is getting increasingly difficult to write about. Which, presumably, means it’s getting increasingly difficult to read. I am sorry. I am sorry. I’ll have to figure some stuff out before 2014.

So, yeah, here come five stupid terrible swings at pitches low that weren’t fastballs. They’re all from between August 9 – August 15, and they’re the swings at the pitches furthest from the center of the strike zone. I had to exclude a checked swing by A.J. Ellis that would’ve ranked No. 1. Also, DJ LeMahieu was called for a strike on a checked swing at a pitch-out during an attempted hit-and-run. That hits my exclusion double whammy, so you’re not going to see it, but I’m just happy to finally have encountered a busted hit-and-run. Now they’re not just theoretically excluded. Also the runner was safe. Padres!

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The Worst of the Best: The Week’s Wildest Pitches

Hey there, nerds, and welcome to another blog post about baseball. I have to assume you have virtually limitless options. You have elected to read about baseball instead of something more conventionally important, like finance or international politics. You’re not learning a new language, unless you’re trying to learn English, in which case I can recommend way better tutorials. Is this education, is this betterment, or is this fun? If this is just for fun, is it necessary? Have you improved yourself enough today to justify this use of your minutes? Couldn’t you be a much more well-rounded person? On the other hand, people bond over sports, and there’s nothing more important than interpersonal interaction and communication. What would we be without our bonds? What would so many of our bonds be without sports? Maybe this really is important, dammit, and here’s a whole archive of this series. Whatever, read everything. Maybe it really is the most important thing you can do from your desk.

We’re going to look at the last week’s wildest pitches, as the headline has already told you. It’s a PITCHf/x-based top five, from the August 9 – August 15 window. A few pitches that just missed the cut: Bryan Morris to Daniel Descalso on August 15, Bruce Rondon to Avisail Garcia on August 13, and Chris Rusin to Joey Votto on August 14. (Votto didn’t swing.) Additionally included below is a bonus, something that doesn’t qualify for the list but something that deserves to be presented. It is one of my favorite .gifs of the season. I’ll explain when I get there. I’m just about to get there! I’m getting there right now!

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