Archive for Actual Thing

Muni Being Muni

Go here Muni

Here’s an excerpt from Munenori Kawasaki‘s recent interview with Sanspo (translation):

    You bounced back and forth between the minors and Majors.
    I was busy. But I like being busy. I was born in the year of the bird, so I love fluttering about (laughter).

    […]

    You were not planning on getting an interpreter?
    I thought I could figure things out, but things did not work out quite that well. There were times I sat through hour-long meetings and could not understand a word that was said.

    What did you do?
    I pretended I understood. Then I would go to the coaches later on and they would draw me pictures to help me understand. It was like, “Oh, that’s what they were saying.” That’s what it was like.

Bless that man. And shame on all MLB franchises if this guy doesn’t get a 40-man roster spot in 2014.


Actual Audio of David Ortiz’s World Series Speech

So far as rousing public addresses are concerned, David Ortiz‘s Game Four one of those lacks the gravitas, probably, of Henry V’s St Crispin’s Day Speech. On the other hand, one finds that Henry V’s career WAR production was much less impressive.


The Postseason That Destroyed Scorebooks

CS, 1-6

It all started so innocently. Game one of the ALDS, too, so there was still plenty of baseball to play. The pitcher wasn’t paying attention, the runner at first thought nobody was looking, and so he took off for second base. Bartolo Colon arose from his slumber and tossed the ball to Jed Lowrie for the out, and the world wondered for a brief second why Torii Hunter would do such a thing.

K, PB, 1-3

So in the bottom ninth of that same first game of the ALDS, maybe we were a little more primed for weird. Brandon Moss swings and misses badly at a Joaquin Benoit curve in the dirt, sure, and then the ball hits umpire Mark Wegner’s shin guard, yeah, and wait that’s the ball in play and yeah okay, now that we’re talking strange, it makes sense: Benoit gets the assist. And very few people in the world noticed that two things had just happened that had probably never happened before in the same game, let alone in same season.

FC 4-2, E5, RS

This might have shown up in an error book before. You might read it as “double play ball fielded by the second baseman, and the third baseman muffed the throw from catcher.” You could read it that way. Which seems to be a failure for scorekeeping. This should read something like “F-C 4-2, OBSTRWTF, RS OMG.” Maybe. In any case, it doesn’t quite capture the weirdness that was watching Will Middlebrooks doing The Worm in slow motion as we all watched and tried to decide if he meant to take Allen Craig down, or if it was just Allen Craig showing off his wheels, all set against the despair in Dustin Pedroia‘s face.

PO 1-3

Well now there we have a downright normal scorecard offering. It’s all context here. Making the third out with the go-ahead run at the plate is a no-no, written or not. And without knowing that it was rookie Kolten Wong at first, and “can we get him a world series win” Carlos Beltran at the plate, you might not get how bizarre this was. And then you add in how the game ended the night before, and really these four characters don’t do it any justice.

So what will happen tonight? Maybe we could get another phantom grand slam? Or how about a steals-second-no-steals-first moment? A walk-off balk where the pitcher lets the ball drop on the mound?

We can only keep our pencils sharp and our minds open.


Other Awards That Combine Metals with Baseball Equipment

PT

This morning the finalists for baseball’s various Gold Glove awards — intended, nominally, for the best defenders at all the different positions — were announced by Major League Baseball. In the not very distant future, the identities of this year’s Silver Slugger award-winners — presented annually, in the form of a silver bat, to the best offensive player at each position in each league — will also be made public.

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Introducing the Astrodome/NotGraphs Restoration Project

People are doing whatever they can to preserve the Astrodome. But a simple exhibition hall is too menial a destiny for such an iconic building. We can do better. And with your generous donations, we WILL do better. Crack open those wallets, nerds. Let’s make this happen.

astrokickstarter


Oh Great, Carson Cistulli Broke FranceGraphs FanGraphs

It was only a matter of time, I guess. I bit my tongue because he’s my boss and it seemed harmless and all. But now Carson Cistulli and his francophonic spouse and his francophonic article category have given Google the impression that not only do I speak French, but that I live in Europe and purchase mes voitures with yonder “Euros” currency:

Screenshot 2013-10-07 at 2.53.05 PM

NO. WRONG. I buy my cars not with “Euros,” but “Americas.”

Good. Old fashioned. You. Ess. Dee.

WHAT MORE TROUBLING: The NSA only needs 51% proof of foreignness in order to peruse my emails, download my browsing history, or lock me in the Federal Reserve for 71 months of grueling interrogation.

Moreover, you, the person reading this, have probably just crossed that 51% threshold yourself. More than likely, you’ve read some FranceGraphs, you’ve adopted a Curacaoan name, and you’ve watched Yu Darvish GIFs. Welcome to the 51%, my dear reader.

So: Well done, Carson. You’ve doomed us all.


You, Too, Can Break Japan’s HR Record

Wladimir Balentien has obliterated a league-record 57 pitches in Japan. That looks like this:

And ultimately this:

But the task isn’t so hard! Our team of NotGraphs scientists have determined a two-step process in repeating his success!
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That Time the 2005 White Sox Were on the Price is Right

whitesoxisright

“Dad, tell me one more.”

“No, sweetie. It’s time for bed.”

“Just one more! Please! Tell me the one about the White Sox on The Price is Right.”

“It’s already past your bed time.”

“Plllleeeeeeeease.”

“OK. But then it’s lights out.”

“I promise.”

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Adam Eaton And Unintended Consequences

Before a game against the Giants, I talked to the Diamondbacks’ outfielder Adam Eaton about the first pitch and patience. That conversation may have had some unintended consequences.

Eno Sarris: Is it a mindset? Are you waiting for *this* pitch? Or are you waiting for a good pitch?

Adam Eaton: Depends on the situation for sure. In the leadoff spot, you don’t really wait for a pitch. As a leadoff hitter, you’re usually going to see a heater unless you get two strikes. And you want to see a lot of pitches. You almost want to see offspeed to let the guys behind you see those type of pitches. Depends on situations. In the leadoff spot, situation dictates how aggressive you can be, how many pitches you see and how comfortable you can get.

Sarris: You’re right, the numbers say that the first pitch of the game is like 90% fastballs and a lot of times in the zone. How do you balance “I need to see more pitches for my teammates” with “this first pitch is maybe going to be the best pitch I see”?

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Sadaharu Oh: Better at 55 Than You at 27

Here is a 55-year-old Sadaharu Oh hitting a ~370 ft. home run to right field during a retiree game at Koshien Stadium (thereabouts of 1995):

I once hit a ball about 320 ft. But that was in a video game. Apparently Oh’s final comment in the video is, “Baseball is good, isn’t it?”

You know what, Mr. Sadaharu? It is good. And so are you.