Author Archive

Adiós, Foro Sol


For sixty years, from 1940 to 2000, the Diablos Rojos del México played at Parque Delta (called Parque del Seguro Social for most of its life, from 1955-2000). Since then, the Diablos have played at Foro Sol, and Parque Delta has been a mall. Last Thursday, Foro Sol hosted its last baseball game. Next year, Formula 1 is returning to Mexico City, and the racetrack that runs around the outside of Foro Sol needs renovating. I’m not entirely sure what is happening to Foro Sol, but I do know that the racetrack renovations mean that it won’t be baseball-sized, and won’t be the Diablos’ home anymore. Alfredo Harp Helú, the team owner (also part owner of the San Diego Padres), has said that there will be a new baseball-only stadium in 2016. This is excellent news. You will notice, though, that there’s a one-season gap between that last game at Foro Sol and the new stadium’s expected date. It was confirmed just a few days ago that the Diablos Rojos will be playing at a 3,000-capacity park just one subway station away called Estadio Fray Nano.
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October 27, 2011

I was sat on the aluminum checker plate floor, my back leant against a corner of the fake wood panelling of the elevator car, legs stretched diagonally across the floor. On the floor by my side was a large pepperoni pizza and a can of Mirinda orange soda. I had to go down to get the pizza from the delivery guy because the buzzer thing wasn’t work properly. The elevator was on the ground floor so rather than waiting for it to come up, I ran down the stairs, opened the door, got the pizza, paid the guy, and hurried straight into the elevator.

The annoying, pompous music that the TV channel plays when it’s going to a commercial break was in my head. My hands were warm from the underside of the pizza box. And then there was clunk. The elevator stopped. Somewhere between the fourth and fifth floor. Cardinals 7-5 Rangers. Top of the ninth about to start. I pressed the 5 button, then the 4 button, then the ALARM button. Nothing happened. I pressed the ALARM button again. Nothing happened. Top of the ninth about to start, probably started. I took my phone out of my pocket and moved it around to see if there was a signal a few inches this way or that way. No phone signal. But low down, around sock level, there was a Wi-Fi signal. Not my Wi-Fi; a neighbor’s.
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Field of Dreams II: An Abridged Novelization

“Hey, dad,” said Kevin Costner. “You wanna have a catch?”
“I’d like that,” said his dad.
They played catch.

Annie turned on the floodlights.
That’s better, thought Kevin Costner, this is a pivotal moment in my life, playing catch with my dead father. It’s good to be able to see the ball properly.

Kevin Costner heard a car. The car parked next to the baseball field. Then another. And another. Kevin Costner could see car headlights all the way up Dyersville East Road. There must’ve been over a hundred cars on the road.
“Hold on a moment, dad,” said Kevin Costner.
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An Island Where a Baseball-Like Sport is Played

On a small volcanic island, about 200 miles off the coast of somewhere or other, two teams played a game. Essentially, that game was baseball. But with elevated base paths. After he crosses the fourth base, some 40 feet above home plate, the runner would leap and grab onto a rope suspended between wooden pillars, and slide down, out over the ocean, and at the end of the rope, the player would leap into a rubber ring target.

The game we see in progress is between two teams called FanGraphs and NotGraphs. This is purely a coincidence and not related to the popular baseball-related Web sites with similar names. It’s the top of the 9th. FanGraphs are batting, and have already scored one run this inning, tying the game at 2-2. They have a runner on 3rd, and two outs.


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Cleef Van Lee

Last week, it doesn’t matter when or how many hours before midday, I was drinking. In a bar where the mesero brought me a menu with several parts, including a laminated photograph of the establishment’s dog with text telling patrons that while the dog would dearly love some of your food, please don’t give him any. The venue for my drinking had a logo with a cowboy hat on it. Then it came to me: that is what I can do for my NotGraphs post!


The Curse of The Chicago Cubs


Click to view in a different size. More specifically: bigger.

Spam Baseball Cards

I took images from a selection of spam emails and made baseball cards for them:

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Walking Around Nápoles

I was stuck for an idea. I’ve got a folder on my desktop called NotGraphs Stuff, with a bunch of half-finished/half-arsed ideas that may or may not end up being used now that NotGraphs is in the Baseball Internet Hospice, but nothing in that folder was really jumping out at me, wanting to be done. So I went for a drink in my neighbourhood. Had a couple of beers, then went to another place and had tacos and more beer. Then it struck me: do a post about this Mexico City neighbourhood and its incredibly-tenuous link to your Major League Baseball. So that’s what I did.

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There’s a Village on the Infield Grass


This isn’t unique to baseball, but the structure of the game, the design of the field, and the player positions, lends itself to a little fantasizing. Also, Dodger Stadium is way more fun to draw than any other park. Click: big, obvs.


You first notice it during the top of the fifth inning. Don’t wanna break the seal. You wait. Then your buddy brings you another beer. Let’s say it’s, I dunno, something like a Mac & Jack African Amber. You continue to enjoy the game. It’s good to hang out, watch some baseball. The Mariners are in the lead. Félix is being Félix. You wonder if you should go. I’ll wait until the end of the fifth, you decide. It’s there in your thoughts, but you gotta wait. You don’t wanna go three or four times before the end of the game. Wait until the end of this inning.

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