Author Archive

Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan Is a Mets Fan

I set up an interview with Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo to figure out how much of a Mets fan he was. If you know the story of the band’s name, you know that there’s a link to the team. And there are a few other clues that link the band to the hapless Mets. But every fan has a different level of engagement with the sport.

Read the rest of this entry »


Suds and Studs: A Different Kind of All-Star Team

The best and brightest in baseball players are headed to CitiField today to represent their teams and battle for home field advantage. What this post wonders is what it would look like if it were beers headed to an All-Suds game instead.

Read the rest of this entry »


An Ode to a Waggle

DempsterWaggle

No, no, go not to Boston, nor lose that twist
glove waggling, spinning, confusing the swine;
Nor allow thy stats to suffer away from Wrigley mist,
By dollar signs, and contract time;
Make not your bed of 75% cotton, 25% linen, all green,
Nor let the batter assuage his fears.
Your fancy whimsy Waggle, and split finger change,
Are all a function of some forgotten dream;
For age comes to all pitchers, and not too drowsily –
To drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.


A Quote and a Movie

Ezekiel 25:17. “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness. For he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay my vengeance upon you.”


Hawk Harrelson Is Upset

And you can tell as much by the silences as by the words he uses.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Juan Perez Knows Himself

The Giants called up Juan Perez, a 26-year-old center fielder in Triple-A who had never seen the bigs before, because they were short on center fielders with Angel Pagan out. The young man has tools and strengths, but he knows the former and is working on the latter.

To wit, two things he said to me before last night’s game:

1) “I got a good arm. I just made a good throw in a perfect time in the game.”

Then he did this Tuesday night.

2) “This year, I’ve been working on my two-strike approach, trying to be more selective and get the ball in play.”

Then he did this on a 3-2 count in the eighth inning Tuesday night.

Well done, young man. Well done.


GIF: Hector Santiago Throws a Screwgie

It’s possible that the screwball Hector Santiago throws is actually not that great of a pitch. It doesn’t get a ton of whiffs or grounders, he seems to have lost control of it a bit, there’s a chance that using it less this year has led to more success, and mostly batters just don’t swing at it.

And yet, with famous screwgie throwers like Tug McGraw and Fernando Valenzuela backing him up, it’s worth trying to perfect.

Here’s a decent one, from his start against the Mets on May 22nd:

SanchezScrew


A Team Full Of Beers: Eno’s BeerGraphy NotGraphantasy Club

Today, we launched a beer website, a family member for FanGraphs: BeerGraphs. On that site, we hope to ruin beer with spreadsheets much like FanGraphs ruined baseball. But we hope to celebrate beer, like NotGraphs celebrates baseball.

And so my NotGraphantasy club is full of players that made me think of beers. Delightfully delicious beers. Some all hops, and smack you in the face, and some all about balance and poise.

C: Sal Fasano
myerssal-fasano1
What beer tastes like mustache and smells like the funk Sal Fasano put out there on a semi-regular basis? Maybe Jolly Pumpkin’s Bam Noire. That beer is made with Brett yeast — some says it smells like goat — and has a sour aspect that could make you screw up your face like you just got a face full of Fasano crotch on a play at the plate on a 90-degree August afternoon. The Bam Noire is worth a full negative four beer wins, but then again, Fasano’s not for everyone either.

Read the rest of this entry »


On The 125th Anniversary of The Mighty Casey

My good friend that also sent this letter to Clayton Kershaw has penned another work of complicated genius. Even if you don’t agree with the main treatise of the new version, you have to admit it is of our time:

Before the time of MLB,
And sans ESPN,
They took the field at Mudville
To cheer the Mudville men
5000 voices yelling
A throng for way back when
The legend lives until this day
From even way back then
They cheered for mighty Casey
The legend’s famous name
Some still say they saw him
Now forever cloaked in fame
And as you all have heard by now
The game was pretty tight
Mudville fell behind by two
By the bottom of the last
Then got two outs and two men on
Awaiting Casey’s blast.
But as you know he watched two strikes
Then swung with all his might
Deflating the Mudville faithful
As he whiffed that fateful night.
Now looking back on Monday
From 125 years away
The commentators have gathered
To review Vin Scully’s play by play.
It now seems elementary
I hesitate to say
But with men at third and second
Intentionally walking Casey was the percentage play.
Casey lead the league that year
He always had come thru
The pitcher was just lucky
Casey had ‘nt hit him too.
So know we’ll never know the score
Had they played game our way,
And because first base was open
Put Casey on that day.
It makes a better story
A legend ’til this day
To pitch to mighty Casey
Is not the percentage play.


GIF: Maybe I Should Re-Think My Position on Tyler Skaggs

I saw Tyler Skaggs. He was 89-90 on the fastball, the curve was good, but the changeup sucked. I saw Tyler Skaggs.

SkaggsChange

What? That’s his changeup now? And he was 92-93? Who’s this?

Tyler Skaggs?