A GIF and a Tune: Elvis Andrus and Gloria Estefan

I believe it was Winston Churchill — or Oprah — that said “Some dreams live on in time forever. Those dreams, you want with all your heart.”

It is true — a tale as old as the game itself, really — that young boys and girls have shared dreams of growing big and tomahawking pitchouts four feet outside the zone in order to distract the catcher into horking the throw to second base. Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus had such dreams as a child. And for this dream, Andrus will reach. Some days are meant to be remembered, indeed.


(h/t to Grant Brisbee)

The Difference Between Unwrite and Wrong

Once again, a series of on-field shenanigans – bat flips! finger pointings! voice raisings! fights! – have put us in mind of those principles and prohibitions known throughout the galaxy as Baseball’s Tacit Commandments, or, in layman’s terms, its “Unwritten Rules.” To wit: A’s infielder Jed Lowrie bunts while his team is up by seven, and Bo Porter’s head explodes so spectacularly that Michael Bay turns the ka-blooey into the whole of a three-hour film. Bryce Harper fails to run out a tapper, and Matt Williams is so managerially butt-hurt that he yanks his young star from the contest while tarring and/or feathering his very good name.

Now batting: Brycetar Harperfeather. For real!

Lastly but not leastly, Carlos Gomez admires his 400-foot piece of Expressionist art, an arc of deeply personal grandeur, and what happens? Well, what happens is that a hockey game breaks out. All of which shenanigania should convince the logical conclusion-maker of one logical conclusion: Write down the rules!

Before we take pen to paper or chisel to stone, however, let us examine the ways by which these Tacit Commandments managed to avoid writing systems in the first place … the ways, indeed, by which they evaded pictographs, hieroglyphs and morphemes, forerunners of the symbols I am using to convey this very message.

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Window Seat, Please


When given the choice, I’ve never chosen an aisle seat.

Clickin’ it bigs it.

There’s A Snatcherblot In My Catcherslot

Dr. Seuss presents…

There’s A Snatcherblot In My Catcherslot

Did you ever have the feeling there’s a Flitcher playing pitcher?
Or a Blortcrop playing shortstop?
Or a Groutpeeled in the outfield?
In certain sometimes cases there’s a Yasis stealing bases.
When I set my weekly lineup there’s a Grench stuck on my bench.
And that Flomer hit a homer! Eleven less than one Tripp Cromer.
There’s Moustakas in a fracas, and a Hamels with some camels.
And a Gee there by that tree. He’s been mostly nice to me.
And Nolasco, in a mask– no, Bobby Valentine I see.

My last saver was Joe Boever.
My last Blarza ate Matt Garza.
I saw four excited Spardja over there by Jeff Samardzija.
I am last in runs and ribbies.
‘Coz of all my Gluns and Glibbies.
If I only had a Trout my team could think of breaking out.
But since I only have a Freese, my team is off to rest in peace.

I think I’ve been reading too many children’s books.

Ten Important Things That Happened At Wrigley Field


Friends, I am sorry to have been absent from you for so long. There was a death in my family and a kidney stone trying to exit my body. My own emotional and physical pain on brief hiatus, I’m happy to be back, on Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday, to recount the 10 most historically important things that ever happened at the storied ballpark:

10) 1931 – Hack Wilson gets in a fight with reporters, and is suspended for the final 17 games of the 1931 season, narrowly avoiding leading the National League in strikeouts for six consecutive seasons.

9) 1953 – Rookie Ernie Banks incenses the veterans on the team when he suggests that he wants to play two baseball games in one day. Everyone else just wants to get home in time to spend an hour or two with the kids and fall asleep in front of the TV watching I Love Lucy, or go out on the town, get liquored up and meet a dame.

8) 1945 – A man brings a pet goat to the World Series, somehow believing this to be appropriate. When his fellow fans object and he is ejected from the ballpark. Somehow, this becomes the team’s fault, and the goat owner, rather than admitting his own failings as a patron of the sport, or show any loyalty to his favorite team, predicts “they ain’t gonna win no more.” Read the rest of this entry »

What’s Dale Stashin’ in His ‘Stache?

Feelin’/lookin’ fine.

In the summertime — and when it’s baseball season, it’s summertime — Dale prefers to keep a good sweat-lather about him at all times. Keeps ‘im fresh. That’s where Dale’s moustache comes in. Well, Dale’s moustache comes into play a lot of places, if you catch Dale’s drift, which, it’s probably impossible not to.

Well, too, you can’t really call Dale’s moustache a moustache; it’s more’n that. Gatekeeper of Dale’s Face, call it. Sigourney effin’ Weaver in Ghostbusters, call it. Keeper of every secret you ever wanted to know; every phone number, too. Alyssa Milano? If you reached far enough inside Dale’s ‘stache, there’s a direct line to Alyssa Milano’s bedside phone. But that’s fer Dale’s use only.

Anyways, that’s not the only thing Dale’s got stashed up in the ol’ Gatekeeper. Got about a dozen tiny Icers in there, chillin’ in a tiny ice bed. If you see Dale sniff real hard on the mound? That’s Dale snortin’ a much needed Icer, from down in the chops, up through the lip-tickler, an’ straight to his brain. Whoo-boy, Dale! Got it goin’!

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Don Giancarlo


[Don Giancarlo] has exercised the influence of a revelation upon my whole life…I regard [him] as a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection…

- Charles Gounod

[He] ascends with ease to the highest plane of revealed truth, the threshold of the world beyond…

- Pierre Jouve

One marvels again and again how everything comes to expression in him: heaven and earth, nature and man, comedy and tragedy, passion in all its forms and the most profound inner peace, the Virgin Mary and the demons, the church mass, the curious solemnity of the Freemasons and the dance hall, ignorant and sophisticated people, cowards and heroes (genuine or bogus), the faithful and the faithless, aristocrats and peasants…

- Karl Barth

Hopeless Joe Visits Dr. Andrews

I first felt a twinge in my elbow when I was scrubbing the blood off my front door. Don’t worry– it wasn’t human blood. I didn’t think much of the pain at first. Popped a couple of Advil. Or at least I thought they were Advil. I’d lost my contacts, so I was just groping at the medicine cabinet and guessing. Turns out I took two extra-strength laxatives. I don’t even know why they were in there. An old girlfriend left them, I think. If I had a nickel for every old girlfriend who left laxatives in my medicine cabinet… well, I’d have about as many nickels as I have now. So there went the rest of the day. And, over and over again, aggravating this new elbow injury. (I just couldn’t figure out how to do what I needed to do with the other hand. Also, now I’m out of toilet paper. Started using the backs of my fantasy baseball spreadsheets. Pretty much what they deserved anyway. Comeback year from B.J. Upton? Ricky Nolasco: Cy Young contender? Josh Reddick: MVP?)

By the next morning, I was emptied, spent, and my elbow was now throbbing. This was nothing like the time I was shot in the arm by a bandit. It was worse. I tried icing it, but I fell asleep, the ice melted all over my floor, and leaked into the apartment below. My downstairs neighbor knocked on my door holding a baseball bat and began to threaten to bash my head in… but then he saw the blood — turns out Dove Moisturizing Lotion doesn’t get blood out of doors — and got scared off. Some good luck, for once. Anyway, ice didn’t do anything, heat didn’t help (TIP: don’t put your elbow in the microwave!), and my actual Advil expired in 1996, so they didn’t do much good either.

I made an appointment with Dr. Andrews to get it checked out.

Got to the office early, because I thought maybe I’d see some ballplayers in the waiting room. But it was just a bunch of elderly men and their home health aides. “Hopeless Joe?” called the receptionist. I got up and headed back to exam room #1. The nurse told me to remove my pants. “But it’s my elbow!”

After the colonoscopy (ouch!), Dr. Andrews cleared up the confusion. Wrong Dr. Andrews. Of course. And the real one doesn’t take my insurance. Obamacare, ugh.

OOTP 15 Review: International Baseball, OHBABY!


Game: Out of the Park Baseball 15 (OOTP Baseball 15)
Platform: PC
Developer: OOTP Developments
Modes: Franchise, Online Franchise
Cool Features: Incredible contracts system, massive player and coaches database (now including accurate INTERNATIONAL rosters!), complete customizability, plenty of add-ons, and a robust online community


Realism: 10/10.
Graphics: 8/10.
Difficulty: 10/10.
Details: 10/10.
Playability: 10/10.
Intangibles: 50/50.

Total Score: 98/100 (A+)
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Idle Observation: Colby Lewis PITCHf/x Chart Resembles Italy

On the one hand, a thing that exists in the world is this PITCHf/x chart from Colby Lewis‘s player profile at FanGraphs:

chart (4)

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