Author Archive

Depressing Injury News

sadbaseball

Too often, we use NotGraphs as a forum to satisfy our own whimsicality. We find things funny and silly and crack jokes and make everyone’s day a little brighter.

That’s stupid. Life is at once a long slag that is over too soon. Every one of us will get our hearts broken, will lose people we love, and feel like we’re a crushing disappointment to our families and friends. And if you don’t, you almost certainly should because you’re probably insufferable. We are, all of us, lucky if we make it to the end of this life with our wits relatively intact and we leave this world with as many holes in our bodies as we came in with.

It is in the spirit of reminding you that life is pain, Princess, and anyone who tells you any different is selling something, that I present to you the most existentially troubling and depressing statements about player injuries from the past week:

“I couldn’t feel my shoulder.” -Felix Doubront, Boston Red Sox starter, after being removed from a game against the Blue Jays yesterday with a dead arm.

It’s hard to feel anything these days, I know, given how numb we’ve all gotten to each other’s pain. How can you even know if your shoulder is there?

Read the rest of this entry »


Models, Roled

HomerTimeTravels

We don’t often use it (because it’s expensive, and Cameron usually won’t let us NotGraphs idiots touch it), so it’s been a while since we’ve dusted off the old FanGraphs time machine. While he was distracted by Liberty’s incessant need to play with a squeaky thing, however, I managed to sneak it out of the storage closet next to his office and squirrel it away in the constantly flooding basement that serves as NotGraphs headquarters. Just for funsies, let’s try to send Sam Donnellson’s latest article in the Philadelphia Daily News all the way back to the halcyon days of  1998–when the Internet was brimming with promise, America was relatively free of foreign conflicts, and I was fully enmeshed in the terribly complex politics of competing collegiate a cappella groups–without electrocuting ourselves, and see what happens to it:

The hardest part about being a parent may be imparting wisdom. Your logic could be rock solid, your delivery empathetic and on point, but the words just don’t have the intended impact.

So when Tony Fossas took his 12-year-old son to meet his favorite player this spring, there was an ulterior motive.

“Did you do pushups when you were a kid?” he asked Alex Rodriguez. Read the rest of this entry »


Variations on the Same Dumb Joke Based On My Current Geographic Location That I Keep Making to Torture My Family

Heaven

I have traveled to Iowa City this weekend to check out what will soon be my new home town. I have brought with me my wife and seven-year old son. As a dad, I have a limited repertoire of jokes. Here is what my family has had to endure:

Is this Heaven? No, we’re still in Wisconsin.

Is this Heaven? No, it’s Dubuque, “one of the few large cities in Iowa with hills.”

Is this Heaven? No, Heaven doesn’t have road construction.

Is this Heaven? I imagine Heaven would be more heavily populated.

Is this Heaven? Why would Heaven need this much corn?

Is this Heaven? Given that it’s currently raining water, and not bourbon, I would say no.

Is this Heaven? No, it’s a Buffalo Wild Wings.

Is this Heaven? No, it’s a 7:00 showing of Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Is this Heaven? No, it’s a Sheraton.

Is this Heaven? We are sorry. MLB.TV has determined that you are located inside one of the applicable Club’s home television territories and are therefore blacked out of the Heaven you have selected. Live audio of this Heaven is available as part of your MLB.TV subscription.

This has been “Mike makes you as sick of him as his family is.”


Planning the NotGraphs Office Party

To All:

It’s been a while since we’ve all relaxed a little and cut loose, so now that the quarterly reports are done, it’s time for a little office party. So mark your calendars for Friday, May 9, from 11:30 to 12:45, in the conference room. We have to get everything out of there by 1:00, however, because Cameron’s got a meeting in there.

We wanted this party to be a little different, so this year we have a theme: TOPPS!

We’re going to rip open new packs, share all our favorite old cards, and make fun of Oh-Pee-Chee. Sounds like an alcohol-free blast!

But wait! Every party needs three things: Chips, DIPS, and decorations. So let’s see what we’ve got in the NotGraphs supply closet:

Chips

Check

DIPS

Check

Read the rest of this entry »


Why are you so sad, Steve Bedrosian?

Bedrosian

Why are you so sad, Steve Bedrosian?

Is it because you saw the end of Kris Kristofferson’s remake of A Star Is Born?

Is it because Barry Gibb finally retired the name Bee Gees and disco died?

Is it because you are watching Bambi?

Is it because you stubbed your toe really hard?

Is it because it’s time to take off your beautiful jacket and come into the ball game?

Is it because you’re playing for the mid-80s Braves?

Is it because they made you a starting pitcher in 1985?

Is it because you know you didn’t deserve that Cy Young Award in 1987 and you feel like a fraud?

Is it because you’ve been hanging out with Hopeless Joe?

Is it because you realized time is fleeting, you’ve wasted so much of it, and you’ll never get it back?

Is it because it’s all so meaningless?

Cheer up, Steve Bedrosian.

Have some panda babies.

Pandas


What a Barve Believes

Wohlers twitter

Yesterday, former Braves reliever Mark Wohlers expressed some surprise that the NBA would be taking steps to suspend and remove Donald Sterling as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for his abhorrently racist comments that we don’t really need to rehash here, except to say it’s pretty funny to hear a miserable racist philanderer complain that his bi-racial girlfriend has the temerity to publicly hang out with other people of color.

Wohlers, while not defending Sterling’s comments, tried to defend the bigot slumlord’s right to express those thoughts and keep his team:

Now, of course the first amendment doesn’t say what Wohlers thought it did. But that’s neither here nor there. More importantly, with his comments, Wohlers joins the elite fraternity of former Braves relievers who say and do controversial and ridiculous things that John Rocker started way back in 1999 when he engaged in his thought experiment about riding the New York City subway:

“Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

It’s a larger group than you would’ve guessed. Here, below, is the rest of club: Read the rest of this entry »


Gary Gaetti, Victim of Time

Gollum’s riddle:

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers;
Gnaws iron, bites steel;
Grinds hard stones to meal;
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountain down.

-Gollum, The Hobbit

Answer: Time

Illustration:

garyhigh

Gary Gaetti’s senior High School picture, 1975

Read the rest of this entry »


Ten Important Things That Happened At Wrigley Field

Wrigley

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 »


Ron Gardenhire Nickname Generator Gets Put To Use

Gardenhire

Brethren and sistren, behold! Today I bring you the latest Internet creation, which debuted and made its rounds just this week. This new innovation, my friends, is the Ron Gardenhire Nickname Generator, a website that will take your last name and magically transforms it, through the power of Technology!™, into the shitty nickname that the manager of the Minnesota Twins would provide you in lieu of the grand nicknames of baseball’s past, such as “The Reading Rocket”, “The Commerce Comet”, and “Lumpy”.

This’ll be great. Let’s try it together. My nickname is below:

 Gardy

And baseball-savant David Cameron:

 Cameron

And ne’er-do-well David Temple:

 Temple

And put-upon gentleman of the night Dayn Perry:

 Dayn

Huh. I have to be honest, guys and gals; I’m kind of underwhelmed by this pattern. It’s ok, I guess, but hardly justifies even the minimal time and effort I have invested in this post thus far. Is there not anything we can do that will render this project worthwhile? We’ll try one more:

 Cistulli

Never mind. This is fantastic. Congratulations, Cistsy!


Nickname Seeks Player: Vote on “Big Data”

Data_wearing_a_beard

The nomination process, which was as close to blatantly stealing from one Dayn Perry as I dare get, for he is from Mississippi, probably owns several firearms, and has booby-trapped his house, is now complete. So now comes the part which I both love and fear, the exercise of your franchise. Love, because I enjoy seeing how the teeming, grubby masses abuse the great freedom of the vote that they were mistakenly given, and fear because the results always represent a stumble downward, away from the perfect Eden which the One True God, Mike Trout, wants for us.

And so, it is with trepidation and titillation that I present to you your opportunity to decide which ballplayer, because of his ubiquity and transformative ability, once and forever more,, shall be called “Big Data” behind his back (for who among us is likely to have the prairie oysters to say it to his face?).

Thank you for proving the Founding Fathers wrong.