Archive for Discovery

Rays Media Guide Features Non-Extant, 100-Pound Prospect

Why the author has chosen late August as the appropriate time to make a close inspection of the minor-league portion of the 2014 Tampa Bay Rays’ Media Guide — this is a reasonable question. One notes, however, that it’s a considerably less interesting one (i.e. question) than the four below, all of which pertain to a curious entry in the aforementioned media guide.

  1. Who is Alien “Vroom-Vroom” Vazquez?
  2. Is he really 6-foot-2 but only 100 pounds?
  3. Is he really a left-throwing catcher?
  4. Why does his name appear literally nowhere else literally one place else on the internet?

Vazquez


Our Heavenly Constellations: The REAL All-Star Teams!

cosmic baseball

That hole you felt in your life last week?

A hole so vast that you might even describe it as a black hole?

Yeah, that was me. Better put, that was not me. That was my absence.

Let me explain: Once in a blue moon, the higher-ups here at FanGraphs allow the lower-downs here at FanGraphs to sweep the change from beneath the vending machine – it vends pithy quotations from Master Cistulli, if you’re curious – and put it toward a brief vacation from these the salt mines of jocular prose. Having collected a fair amount of the aforementioned coinage, I filled my tank and headed to the mountains of West Texas, careful to leave behind a pair of Paschalian NotGraphs posts in efforts to thwart any War of the Worlds-style panic that might result from my leave-taking.

Still, the emptiness you experienced – a vacancy, like dark energy, that you couldn’t quite explain – must have been terrible, and for that I apologize.

To the point: Upon one high mountain I visited the McDonald Observatory, whose various telescopes are directed at the celestial sphere that enfolds us, embraces us, connects us to its luminaries in ways that remind us that we too are stardust; we too are golden; we too are Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Who we are not, however, are Cabrera, Sale, Neshek & Yoenis.

Indeed, they are stars of a different magnitude, powered by the five-tool fusion that mocks our earthly restraints, and now during All-Star week I honor their glory by presenting a catalogue of eponymous constellations that the telescopes somehow missed.

Editor’s note: It’s best that you do this at night.

Editor’s additional note: It’s also best that you do it outside.

Editor’s other additional note: You might as well grab some beers.
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Introducing the Dayn Perry Message Notification

In almost every case, cell phone alerts are at best an annoyance and at worst punch-provoking. We civil folk have pretty much come to terms with the fact that a cell phone should stay on vibrate.

But there are rare instances in which an audible alert is necessary — text messages from Ronald Reagan’s ghost, emails concerning which minority you’ve recently offended, weather notifications keeping you abreast when a tornado is about to upend the home of a former employer, and Google alerts for “Cheryl Tiegs Hacksaw Jim Duggan Sex Tape” are some examples.

In situations such as these, I suggest an audible message notification. Sure, you could use a standard boo doop or ding ding like a common dirt-person. But why buy the cow when you can mix your metaphors for free?

In the spirit of FanGraphs: The Ringtone, it is my pleasure to introduce The Dayn Perry Message Notification. I can’t say for sure when you should use it, but if you really need my help finding the proper situation, you probably shouldn’t use it at all.

Download at will.


The Family Crests of the League’s Pitching WAR Leaders

Germany

It has recently come to the attention of the present author that the coat of arms of Germany — in which country that author presently finds himself and which coat of arms appears, hauntingly, to the right of these words — is a menacing ur-eagle of such a type as one might only expect to find in the dark recesses of a nightmare.

That revelation, while significant, has little bearing on the Pastime which has compelled us all to congregate at this particular corner of the internet. With a view, then, towards wrestling some relevance from this personal epiphany, what I’ve resolved to do is to identify the coats of arms typically associated with the family names of the league’s top pitchers, according to WAR. What I’ve resolved to do after that is conduct my affairs like someone who is afraid both of himself and the world.

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Jason Kendall’s Biggest Fan

As a four-times-a-week NotGraphs writer, sometimes it is hard to find new things to write about. And sometimes posts so magical, so incredible, so absolutely must-post-able just fall into your lap when you’re barely even looking. Sure, I was browsing on Amazon, looking at the pages for some recently-released baseball books, wondering whether Jerry Reuss or Jason Grilli will sell more copies of their respective books… when I came across this review of Jason Kendall’s new book, “Throwback.”

I am just going to present this review, in its entirely, because this, fine readers, is the reason the Internet exists:

Yes, this review was helpful to me. Yes, yes, yes, fifty thousand times yes!


Mystery Solved, Perhaps: Mystery Team Identified, Maybe

This we know: All those TV shows about Bigfoot and UFOs – or, in extreme cases, Bigfoot-piloted UFOs, or, in extremer cases, Bigfoot-piloted UFOs in search of the Loch Ness Monster engaged in a subsurface mating ritual with Jimmy Hoffa, or, in extremest cases, Bigfoot-piloted UFOs in search of Ron Washington’s most effective bunt strategy – always end the same way, right? They end, in uniform fashion, with a provocatively ambiguous pronouncement that supports the mystery by hinting at the possibility that it just might be solved, probably in the next episode.

This we also know: During baseball’s off-season free agency period, there is now and always a “mystery team” that offends tradition by competing with the Yankees for the privilege of spending the equivalent of Kiribati’s gross domestic product on a 33-year-old right hander who might make 26 starts.

Now, standing in tandem here, are these twin pillars of the known unknown. That’s right, fellow sleuths: There is a mystery team, and by the end of this piece you might or might not know that the mystery team is still a mystery.

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Revisiting a Blockbuster That Is Now Actually a Key Bank

Blockbuster

Earlier today, managing editor Dave Cameron published a post entitled Revisiting a Blockbuster That Was Actually a Heist, in which he (i.e. Cameron) examines the trade that sent Ken Griffey Jr. from Seattle to Cincinnati in exchange for Mike Cameron and other assorted pieces.

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Briefly Considered: The Very Gruesome Laughter of Ray Liotta

After having recently consumed American film The Wolf of Wall Street — and with a view towards avoiding as long as possible anything resembling self-reflection, with all of its dire consequences — the author and his wife endeavored, even more recently, to revisit select titles from the Martin Scorsese corpus.

Of the films themselves, the author has little to say here. A relief for everyone, that. On a particular point of interest, however, there’s some cause to dwell momentarily, it would appear.

Crucial to this brief meditation is a passing familiarity with the contents of the video embedded below (which contents is full of explicit language, it should be noted).

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Discovered: A Ballplayer Named After Engelbert Humperdinck

I will not at this time recount for you the series of considerations and life decisions that led me to conduct a Google search for the terms “Engelbert Humperdinck + baseball,” but know that from this peculiar tree, velvety fruit has been harvested.

Please regard, with tensed hips and phallus, the following passage from Milton H. Jamail’s book, Venezuelan Bust, Baseball Boom

Check this shit out

And here he is, that Enyelbert Soto.

What I’m saying is that there exists a player of this, our baseball named after this, our Engelbert Humperdinck.

What I’m really saying is: Boil me in oil, for Engelbert Humperdinck played baseball.

GOAT


How Far Can Clayton Kershaw Walk on a Path of $215 Million?

pathofmoney

Writing about baseball, especially writing about baseball in an attempt to be humorous/whimsical can be difficult when buried in the doldrums of the offseason. A large contract extension — not unlike the very large, quite-recent extension signed by Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw — would seem like just the kind of news that would spark a modicum of creativity upon which hilarious and thoughtful Professional Writers like myself could build. I’m not so sure that is the case. And if it is, it hasn’t happened yet. What has happened, it seems, is that I’ve taken the sum of Kershaw’s deal — $215 million — and envisioned it as a physical thing. Specifically, as a very large pathway made of $1 bills.

If Clayton Kershaw saved all $215 million, and had that sum converted into $1 bills, that would equal 215 million bills. A dollar bill, according to Wikipedia, is .0043 inches thick. If one were to take 215 million crisp $1 bills and glue them back-to-back, the result would span just over 14.5 miles. That is the distance between Kershaw’s home ballpark of Dodger Stadium to Inglewood, CA via the 110 and Manchester Ave.

This is would be a silly thing to do. Not the gluing of all the currency — I speak of course of not taking Alvarado to Venice to La Brea to get to Inglewood. Everyone knows traffic on the 110 is a nightmare.