NotGraphs Baseball


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  1. Brandon McCarthy. Frown away (I’m an A’s fan).

    Comment by CaliforniaJag — September 19, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

  2. Comment by Carson Cistulli — September 19, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  3. R.A. Dickey

    Comment by Steve — September 19, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  4. Brandon McCarthy. I’m a Nats fan.

    My nominations are Dirk Hayhurst and Greg Maddux.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — September 19, 2012 @ 6:04 pm

  5. Zack Greinke. For being endlessly interesting and unexpected and sort of opening up the doors for me on how to consider and think about baseball players and the sport in new and exciting ways. And also for being a pretty good example of how advanced metrics apply to the game for a young, curious, pre-baseball nerd.

    Comment by Kyle — September 19, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  6. Those players aren’t from this season. I should’ve specified this season.

    Okay, I just specified it. That’s the rule now. This season.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — September 19, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  7. Chase Headley, Aaron Hill, Ian Desmond, Johnny Cueto, Gio Gonzalez are all good candidates

    Comment by Matt — September 19, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

  8. Oh, this season? Shite. Eh, it could be Greinke every season, really. But probably Headley, just for being cool and underrated and then breaking out and making his believers look good.

    Comment by Kyle — September 19, 2012 @ 6:09 pm

  9. I want to wait for Chone Figgins to be cut so I can nominate him.

    But instead I’ll nominate Juan Pierre, in recognition of his efforts to redefine what it means to be Juan Pierre and for succeeding in this, in spite of those efforts.

    Comment by Patrick Dubuque — September 19, 2012 @ 6:12 pm

  10. Chris Nelson

    Comment by ligand — September 19, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

  11. This season in the majors? May it extend to the minors? If yes then I nominate Damien Magnifico for having the name Damien Magnifico which makes my life better knowing the name Damien Magnifico. This however does fly in the face of the ‘current team(system)’…
    If I have to play by the rules, which I would argue are in place solely that they may be broken, then I would nominate Ben Sheets for a surprising comeback and rewarding my possibly misplaced nostalgic appreciation, at least for the first 4 starts with-in the confines of my fantasy teams.

    Comment by SecondHandStore — September 19, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

  12. Bruce Chen

    Comment by samuelraphael — September 19, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  13. Players rostered on the reader’s fantasy team are very acceptable.

    Comment by Carson Cistulli — September 19, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  14. Scherzer was dropped in my league when his ERA was like 8. His log since I picked him up: 121.0 IP, 11 W, 157 K, 3.20 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 14 QS. So he’s easily my fantasy nomination and I’ll love him forever.

    Comment by Kyle — September 19, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

  15. Willie Bloomquist

    Comment by AARON — September 19, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  16. oh my god definitely ryan braun.

    and the player that improved me the least was melky cabrera.

    Comment by chiefglockandhummer — September 19, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

  17. and in a more petty sense, ryan howard really really improved me quite a bit.

    Comment by chiefglockandhummer — September 19, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

  18. He will soon earn his ten and five rights, multiple million dollars and complete his Bruce Chennest year yet.

    Comment by samuelraphael — September 19, 2012 @ 6:46 pm

  19. I second the nomination. For owning him every year besides this one, and also having a WHIP and ERA.

    Comment by samuelraphael — September 19, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

  20. Juan Pierre is still definitely Juan Pierreing.

    This means in an era where Livan Hernandez is no longer on the brink of Livan Herandezing.

    Comment by samuelraphael — September 19, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

  21. I nominate Lew Ford because Mr. Dubuque wrote a nice post about him recently:

    Comment by Dave Barker — September 19, 2012 @ 6:53 pm

  22. Michael Young
    Because when compared to Michael Young, we all appear to be better baseball players.

    Comment by Jack — September 19, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

  23. The R.A. Dickey

    Comment by nitro2831 — September 19, 2012 @ 7:23 pm

  24. “There are a lot of times I’ll be out at shortstop, and I’ll be like, ‘Man, it’s beautiful out here. This is a great day, and I get to play in this game, and they’re paying me,’ as opposed to, ‘Man, my body is tired, we have four more games, and I’m hitting .220; I need to pick it up a little bit.’ Do you know what I mean? I just try to look at the positive; I try to find positive things in every situation.” – Ian Desmond

    Truly Improving Words. I have loved that man ever since.

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — September 19, 2012 @ 7:31 pm

  25. Mike Trout. .8 WAR last year, 9.4 WAR this year.

    Comment by Hank G. — September 19, 2012 @ 7:36 pm

  26. More outstanding nominations here than I would have realized. Allow me to throw my own in there: Buster Posey.

    Not only has Buster come back from a devastating 2011 injury to become perhaps the favorite to win the NL MVP, he has raised his nice .289 average at the All-Star break to .333 overall.

    He has done that by posting a .388 average in the second half, an increase of nearly 100 points. His nice .820 first-half OPS has leapt to 1.116 the second-half.

    One could argue that Buster has made two different improvements this season. From injury in 2011 to an impressive first half, and from the impressive first half to an other-worldly second half.

    Comment by SharksRog — September 19, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

  27. Elijah Dukes

    Comment by Dayn Perry — September 19, 2012 @ 8:47 pm

  28. Tim Lincecum, for his introduction of innovative sunflower seed eating methods

    Munenori Kawasaki, for his gifts of unbridled joy and unparalleled dance moves

    Comment by El Vigilante — September 19, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  29. andrew mccutchen, for bravely flying in coach seats to the all star game.

    Comment by dudley — September 19, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

  30. Yoenis Cespedes, to this metaphorically bespectacled gentleman, has improved my well-being and general standing through his dignified exertions. His skill set–his tools, if one must be so base and plebeian–give me ample reason to live and experience the panoply of delights life has to offer. That’s right, I said it–Yoenis is baseball Cialis. He improves stations, if you catch my drift.

    Comment by DP — September 19, 2012 @ 10:13 pm

  31. Mark Reynolds, a very model of complacency made good

    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — September 19, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

  32. Colby Rasmus – from his grease-infused, lice-ridden swamp person mullet to his totally indecipherable swamp English, from his pustule-riddled face to his inability to hold back from swinging at EVERY 0-2 fastball he sees, Ol’ Colby makes every day I’m me that much more tolerable. I feel like an Adonis in the gym, a Foucault in the classroom and a Ron Jeremy in the boudoir when I think of Colby Rasmus.

    Comment by Mr. Observant — September 19, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

  33. Is this the very first instance of a daguerreotype in the comments section of these, our electronic pages?

    Comment by Dave Barker — September 19, 2012 @ 11:46 pm

  34. Bobby Valentine, please. You may say he’s not a player but then you’ve never been picked up by him at the Cask and Flaggon after a Sawx game, have you? Nominate him or I’ll punch you in the mouth!

    Comment by deadhead — September 20, 2012 @ 6:18 am

  35. I eagerly await “Most Improving Playah”

    Comment by Kris — September 20, 2012 @ 8:14 am

  36. Haha (high pitched).

    Comment by deadhead — September 20, 2012 @ 8:39 am

  37. The most improving player has to be Kris Medlen for simple reason of reminding all who may be undersized that they too can find their place of dominance.

    Comment by Pinstripe Wizard — September 20, 2012 @ 8:40 am

  38. The entire Houston Astros squad has earned this title by virtue of their ability to make all other teams, even the Cubs and Mariners, look playoff worthy in comparison.

    Well, maybe not the Cubs.

    Comment by olethros — September 20, 2012 @ 8:47 am

  39. Elijah Dukes was already nominated.

    Comment by Jack — September 20, 2012 @ 9:03 am

  40. The most improving player is Esmil Rogers, Cleveland Indians relief pitcher. Look at his numbers in Colorado. Not very good. Look at his numbers in Cleveland. Very good. Plus he always looks like he cares which is a lot to ask when playing for said Cleveland Indians.

    Comment by Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown — September 20, 2012 @ 9:06 am

  41. My boundless love for Jimmy Paredes (aka Jaimito Walls, aka The Mudskipper) improves me whenever I take the plunge to watch the Disastros. He plays baseball very well, far better than any of us ever could, but does so in such an awkward and graceless fashion that makes me both cringe in horror and squeal in delight at the possibility that catastrophe awaits whenever he is presented with an opportunity to make a play. The contrast between his obvious, aesthetic athleticism, and the fashion in which that athleticism is realized improves us all. It is art–good art, at that.

    Comment by dp — September 20, 2012 @ 9:08 am

  42. Bryce Harper
    I cannot imagine being more improved, or inspired to improve, by another player. He plays the game like he is literally on fire. He gets plunked intentionally by veteran pitchers who want him to comply with the unwritten rules of baseball and worship those players who came before him. Young Bryce trots to first base, while those in the opposing dugout mutter or in some cases shout, “How did that feel, Harper?!”, “That’s right, a–hole!”, “Take your base, rookie!”, because after all this is a game of gentlemanly tradition. Then he mocks the baseball forefathers by advancing to third base on a routine single. And when he steals home, the gentlemen watching the game turn away in disgust. Who does this kid think he is? Doesnt he realize you dont play baseball this way? Keep playing this way, Bryce Harper. My 8-year old son is watching, and I am learning to watch like I am 8-years old again.

    Comment by Clark D — September 20, 2012 @ 9:15 am

  43. agreed. and he’s going to win the “real” triple crown–being a stud defender, amazing baserunner, and fantastic hitter.

    Comment by jcxy — September 20, 2012 @ 9:24 am

  44. undersized?


    Comment by Well-Beered Englishman — September 20, 2012 @ 9:58 am

  45. Rich Harden.

    Why? ’cause fuck you, that’s why.

    Comment by Resolution — September 20, 2012 @ 10:03 am

  46. Ricky Romero – Nobody has been more thoughtful, honest, and open with the press during a slump than he has. He has faced the press and answered every question or criticism head-on and directly. Truly a study in character, no matter how heartbreaking.

    Comment by Big Jgke — September 20, 2012 @ 10:25 am

  47. Chris Sale has bettered me by reminding me what it means to have a truly dominant ace SP on my team.

    Comment by Eminor3rd — September 20, 2012 @ 10:28 am

  48. With apologies to Mr. Landis, watching Nori Aoki play fills my heart with hope. Alternatively, RA Dickey’s pitch face fills my heart with awesome.

    Comment by Toasty — September 20, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  49. That lovable codger, Jamie Moyer, for affording this silver-fox-in-the-making one last opportunity to exclaim, “Who hired that old bastard?!?” Fare thee well, Mr. Moyer, last of the old bastards.

    Comment by J.L.N., Esq. — September 20, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  50. Seriously, though, look how fucking happy this guy is. I aspire to match his sunny disposition.

    Comment by Toasty — September 20, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

  51. Omar Vizquel. Because he’s 45.

    Comment by diegosanchez — September 20, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

  52. Jamie Moyer pines for those halcyon mid-40s days.

    Comment by J.L.N., Esq. — September 20, 2012 @ 12:58 pm

  53. Pablo Sandoval – because when my girlfriend who already dislikes baseball because she thinks they aren’t athletes laid eyes on him I had nothing to respond with. But God Bless Pablo Sandoval.

    Comment by Ben — September 20, 2012 @ 12:59 pm

  54. Great use of ‘shite’.

    Comment by David — September 20, 2012 @ 1:07 pm

  55. I nominate Chris Davis, Pitcher.

    He reminds us that even if you have looked foolish a multitude of times on a given day, you may have, somewhere in you, the ability to make Adrian Gonzalez look more foolish.

    Comment by Birdlander — September 20, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

  56. Total agreement re: Romero’s character during this bloodbath of a slump. I desperately want to give him a platonic, fatherly hug and tell him it’s all going to be okay whenever I watch him stagger off the mound having just given up an eight-spot with at least three walks…

    Comment by Mr. Observant — September 20, 2012 @ 3:48 pm

  57. Carlos Gomez, for showing the world that stupidity can be harnessed.

    Comment by Erik Archer — September 20, 2012 @ 4:06 pm

  58. Iwamura Kawasaki, because, even though he came here jsut to play alongside his idol, and they traded his idol away less than 4 months later, he still plays the like he won his roster spot in a reality game show.

    Carpe diem.

    Comment by Greg W — September 20, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  59. Jose Altuve. He makes me feel taller, and thus a much more confident anonymous internet commenter.

    Comment by reillocity — September 20, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  60. Alex Rodriguez, because he inspired me to have surgery to become a centaur.

    Comment by Tim — September 20, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

  61. Edwin Encarnacion

    Comment by Jack Moore — September 20, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

  62. My spirited plea is just this, but in word form:

    Comment by Jack Moore — September 20, 2012 @ 11:17 pm

  63. I’ll second this one.

    Comment by ElJosharino — September 20, 2012 @ 11:18 pm

  64. Adam Dunn, for I have become rather fond of referring to him as “Count Donkula” and anyone who gives me reason to utilize the nickname “Count Donkula” has not only improved me as a person, but improved my overall quality of life.

    Comment by ElJosharino — September 20, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

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