Archive for Completely Unbiased Polling

Fantasy Baseball Team Names, Mine Is Best Duh

Of course it is the fantasy baseball season now.

So, what have you named YOUR team? Carson Cistulli recently mentioned the Second Fangraphs Writers Ottoneu league — here shortened to THE AWESOME LEAGUE — during his podcast with Dayn Perry (FanGraphs Audio: The Gainfully Employed Dayn Perry) and the topic of team names briefly surfaced in their 43 minutes of otherwise unredeemable radio ranting.

There are lots of great fantasy baseball team names out there, and because THE AWESOME LEAGUE (my league) is comprised (a) entirely of writers and (b) partly of NotGraphs writers, who are the beatnik poets of the FanGraphs staff, we NotGraphers have the burdensome task of out-awesoming our peers in the most shortest form of poetry — yes, the fantasy baseball team name.

But, as we are all writers and thereby unreliable, backstabbing, self-loathing types, we cannot be trusted judges of our own team names — it is obviously that mine is best, but still we should put it to a vote and find who is the obviously second and the obviously worstest.

So, dear NotGraphs rabble, speak your soul:

Though I don’t even have like permission to share these THE AWESOME LEAGUE team names, I think we should compel the lowest vote-getter (by, oh, let’s say Wednesday) to change their fantasy team name.

What should they change it too? (tell me in the comments)

They’re Too Strong for Clippers: The Ron Swanson Baseball Hall of Fame

Update: The voting is closed.  Old Hoss Radbourn, quite properly had the most votes with 94.  We’ll use that as a baseline, assuming no one could be foolish enough to not vote for him.  75% of 94 is 70.5.  We’ll round down to 70.  Which means that our inaugural Ron Swanson Baseball Hall of Fame class is as follows:

Old Hoss Radbourn, 94 votes

Ty Cobb, 89 votes

Nolan Ryan, 80 votes

Jeff Bagwell, 70 votes

Lou Gehrig, 70 votes

Frankly, that seems reasonable.  You win this round, John Locke.


When our country was born, our founding fathers mistakenly bestowed upon us a republic, in which the will of the people would determine the course of our nation, rather than an enlightened despotism based on the whims of Ron Swanson, as Thomas Hobbes had been advocating all along.

And so, since our Belovéd Swanson is barred from ruling by decree due to the Constitution and the fact that he is indeed fictional in nature, it falls to us, the multitude, to choose for him who belongs in his Baseball Hall of Fame.  I don’t like it any more than you do, but such is the will of John Locke, who fricking ruins everything.

Yesterday, you recall, we proposed several candidates.  Today, we will choose the introductory class for the Ron Swanson Baseball Hall of Fame.  Everyone on the original list I proposed, as well as those players and managers both nominated and seconded in the comments section are available for your vote, and you can vote for multiple candidates.  As with the regular Hall of Fame, a candidate requires 75% of the vote to make it in, unless no one achieves that threshold, at which point, we’ll just give it to the top three vote-getters or something.  It should be chaos…glorious chaos…which will demonstrate once and for all how stupid John Locke was.

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World Series Kulturkampf, Game 3: Tatts for Bats

On to Tatts!

Here is my favorite tattoo:







It’s the famous Drunken-Double-Flamingo-In-Sunglasses-Flanking-Generic-Hawai’ian-Sunset neck tatt! It is my favorite tattoo because it is so far removed from any practical or even meaningfully expressive purposes. It was acquired in irony, almost assuredly while inebriated, and probably regretted to the point of deep depression immediately upon sobering. Then again, maybe its bearer is such a deeply ironic (or vapid) individual that he has no regrets. It is hard to tell. Perhaps he loves turtlenecks, and will relish an opportunity to wear them to all job interviews, family outings, and first dates for the rest of his days. More power to him. I mean, if a highly privileged, secular Westerner is going to get a tattoo, why should he not pile on the frivolity?

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Crowdsourcing: Weather for Strasburg’s Season Debut

Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his season debut tonight in Washington, DC, but it’s possible that inclement weather will postpone the game and, subsequently, Strasburg’s first appearance of the year.

Using “instruments” and “data,” the National Weather Service has forecasted things like “flash floods” and “a 100% chance of precipitation” for DC tonight.

That’s one perspective, sure. What does the Wisdom of the Crowds — i.e. the One True Authority — tell us, though? The NotGraphs Department of Matters Entirely Scientific is apparently the only institution forward-thinking enough to facilitate such an endeavor.

Which, you’re welcome, Whole World:

Best of Other (updated at discretion of author):
• A vale of tears.
• Meteorology is a fraud perpetrated upon us, the same as alchemy and phrenology.
• Raining men. Hallelujah!
• Probably what the frigging National Weather Service said, you sultry thing.

The Brewers’ “Jack Moore Problem”

I am a Cardinals fan. Our own Jack Moore is a Brewers fan. These are well and good facts and signifiers of a healthy Republic. Still, these allegiances have put us at cross purposes this season, despite the NotGraphs ties — sexy, buckled latex ties — that bind.

Generalissimo Cistulli is fond of calling Mr. Moore “America’s Kid Brother,” but of late I sense a darker side to Jackie Hazelnuts — a side that will be laid bare by the following exchange of Twitter Tweets. I present this unfortunate brannigan with a touch of formality that will call to mind either an Ionesco playscript or Atticus Finch cross-examination of titillating righteousness …

@daynperry Does anyone really doubt that the Brewers will win tonight?

@jh_moore Suck it, Perry. RT @daynperry: Does anyone really doubt that the Brewers will win tonight?

@daynperry @jh_moore I vaguely compliment your team’s hot streak, and that’s the thanks I get?

@jh_moore @daynperry Apparently.

@daynperry @jh_moore You just cost the Brewers the vastly more lucrative People’s Championship.

@jh_moore @daynperry I thought Nyjer Morgan did that a long time ago.

If you know nothing else about our traffic-contriving strategies here at NotGraphs, please know that a Call-to-Action Poll is forthcoming forthwith …

Poll Result: Is This the Perfect Golf Swing?

It’s a Russian dolls situation, innit?

A couple days ago, we here at NotGraphs utilized our powerful power to facilitate a crowdsourcing effort of great relevance to our “human” “condition” — namely, to determine whether, in fact, the image above represents the perfect golf swing.

A total of 104 votes were cast — many of them by living people — with a distribution very similar to this one:

No.	54	42.19%	
Yes.	25	19.53%	
Other:	25	19.53%

The general feeling is that, in fact, we are not seeing the perfect golf swing in the embedded image.

Of note are some of the answers provided in the Other column, as follow.

This is a man who’s been exposed to Gamma Radiation. Don’t make him angry.
Sound advice.

Yes, if you happen to dwell in the world of Tron.
Some cursory research validates this claim.

Inverted stapler. Tommy John candidate.

Polls are a cheap way to drive traffic to a webiste.
By his own admission, this answer was submitted by reader glassSheets.

glassSheets’ mom is a cheap way to drive traffic.
“Snap” is the word for which you are busily searching.

African or European?
A troubling question for these troubled times.

Crowdsourcery: Is This the Perfect Golf Swing?

Inquiring minds, innit?

I’m definitely exaggerating when I say that the ad pictured above is literally the only one I ever see when I visit NotGraphs; however, I’m definitely telling the truth when I say that the golfer in said ad has blue and green light coursing through his body.

In any case, I find myself growing curiouser and curiouser: is this the perfect golf swing? Knowing little about the sport, it’s a question I’m unprepared to answer. However, utilizing the wisdom of the crowds, the solution to this once unsolvable question is only one expertly embdedded poll away from being discovered.

Below, you’ll find said poll. You’ll also find that, beyond a simple “Yes” and “No,” there’s a space where the reader-commenter can enter his own answer — a feature I believe will help us achieve Maximum Knowledge in this endeavor.

The Dark Side of the Fuld?

Despite the fact that he enters play Saturday with a line of just .245/.303/.372 (.277 BABIP), it’s entirely likely that — owing to a combination of defense, park adjustment, etc. — it’s entirely likely that Sam Fuld is an average major leaguer. Add to this some notable biographical details — that he went to Stanford, for example, or that he has diabetes and worked for STATS, Inc. and went to Phillips Exeter and is Jewish — and one finds in Sam Fuld the makings of a Nerd Among Men.

Fuld himself problematized that narrative on Friday night, however. In the top of the fifth inning, with Fuld on first, Fuld’s teammate Sean Rodriguez grounded to Royals second baseman Chris Getz. Attempting to start the double play, Getz flipped to shortstop Alcides Escobar, who’d moved over to second to take the throw. What happened after that is what you see in the expertly embedded GIF at the top of this post.

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What Is Davey Johnson Doing?

Here’s newly minted Nats skipper Davey Johnson!

The discerning discerner will observe that also in this photo is a white orb of cowhide, something known in industry parlance as a “baseball.” It seems there are but a finite number of possibilities to explain the presence of the baseball in this picture …

A) Mr. Johnson, blinded by the klieg lights, is unable to see the baseball hurtling toward his unsuspecting chompers. It goes without saying that Jim Riggleman, just off stage and concealed by a fake Cardinal Richelieu beard and his best Slovene brogue, is the author of these unfolding horrors.

B) Mr. Johnson, after an intense and character-shaping apprenticeship, is dancing not the Tango, but rather the Calcaterra.

C) The ball has descended from the firmament above and is now fluttering about Mr. Johnson. Much like the magical-realist butterflies of a certain Garcia Marquez novel, a flock of hovering baseballs will now and forever trail Mr. Johnson wherever he goes. It is at once a portent of the dugout miracles to come and a stinging rebuke of the electoral college.

D) That’s not a baseball. That’s the haunting, lingering spectral presence of Tony Plush.

E) Mr. Johnson has the Uri Geller-like power to levitate baseballs, outerwear made from fine Corinthian leather, and beautiful ladies.

What other explanations could there be for the sorcery before you?

(Righteous gratitude to Dangerous Don Hammack.)

At What Is Gaylord Perry Looking?

Here’s Gaylord Perry, crafty righty nonpareil, looking at something …

If not for the faint smirk and baseball clothes, this could be mistaken for the contrived far-off looks common to college-rock liner note photos from the 1986-92 Blue Period. Instead, it’s Gaylord Perry drinking deeply of something aloft and just off stage. What could it be? To this end, some guesses that, in the collective, will prove that a best guess can also be a terrible guess. Gaylord Perry is looking at …

  • The face of God, which turns out to be demonstrably less awesome and terrifying than we’ve been led to believe; or
  • A passing stratocumulus that oddly resembles something naughty; or
  • The ominous descent of Kurt Bevacqua’s trained falcon; or
  • Angie Dickinson; or
  • Three of the five people you meet in Heaven; or
  • The early moments of an incoming Gorilla Monsoon flying elbow; or
  • Happiness.

    Or could it be something else?