Archive for Everything’s Amazing

Brian McCann Glimpses the Unthinkable, Part II

In base-ball circles, Yankees backstop Brian McCann is known as being a man of substantial left-handed pop, superb defensive chops and a polo-ist’s sense of propriety. He is also — as we have previously explored in this very electric newspaper — prone to strobe-lit glimpses of the yawning void that lies beyond.

Know that it — and “it” is the unnameable thing that harrows Mr. McCann down to his primordial essence — has happened again …

In the Name of All That Is Holy, No

Brian McCann knows what awaits us all. Such burdens are enough to buckle a thousand Frodos.


Man Parlays Admiration for Corey Kluber into Goods, Services

Earlier on Thursday, the Cleveland Indians announced via Twitter that they would reward the fan who could most ably document his or her enthusiasm for the club with two opening-day tickets for Progressive Field’s so-called Social Suite. (Approximate retail value: $348.06.)

The official rules for the contest are decidedly robust, both in terms of Legal Verbiage and Capitalized Nouns. Here’s a mostly relevant excerpt, however:

The object of the Contest is to create and post an original photo showcasing your Tribe Town pride (the “Entry“). You must post your Entry via a public tweet as directed by @Indians (the “Club Account“), and include the hashtag #TribeTown (the “Hashtag“) in accordance with these Official Rules to be eligible. Staff members of Cleveland Indians Baseball Co. LP (the “Judges” or “Sponsor“) will select the most compelling Entry in accordance with these Official Rules and based upon criteria set forth in the Judging section below to determine the Winner.

Generally speaking, this is the sort of thing at which the present author — whose entire person is refined and mannered — might consider snubbing his nose. “Let the common people fight over the scraps,” I’ve maybe said aloud once regarding this sort of public relations effort. “Allow them to conduct their affairs like some manner of cog in some manner of machine,” I’ve maybe proclaimed in a cartoonishly patrician and entirely affected accent, not unlike the one utilized by late cartoonish patrician William F. Buckley

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HAPPINESS WATCH: Munenori Kawasaki Signs with Blue Jays

Merry Kawasaki

Of course it’s not news to those of us who spent Christmas Eve and Christmas Day reading RSS feeds about MLB transaction news in a not-so-subtle way to avoid lengthy or even short conversations with loved ones and in-laws, but for those NotGraphs readers without crippling agoraphobia, here is what you need to know: The Great Munenori Kawasaki re-signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, inking a minor-league deal with a shot at a bench job in the majors.

This is important, obviously, because it means love and hope are still a thing. It also signifies that rock isn’t yet dead, and that dreams do come true. And though he’ll be a Japanese person playing for a Canadian baseball team, his possible return to the majors does indeed confirm the American Dream is alive and well and the bounties of capitalism are rich and sweet.

And with the assurance in our hearts that world peace is not only possible, but frankly expected within our lifetime, we here at the NotGraphs Transaction Analysis team wish all readers a merry new year and the happiest of holiday conclusions.


Pedro and Scene

A brief episode observed by the author this afternoon, during the pre-game hours at Fenway Park.

Bamino Second
Artwork by the actual Pedro Martinez himself, courtesy Nick Taveras.

Generationally talented and now retired right-hander Pedro Martinez, in town for a local fundraising event, is giving an interview to an elderly reporter in the loge boxes on Fenway Park’s first-base side.

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Metaphors You May No Longer Use in a Baseball Broadcast

Come with me, won’t you? Come back with me to the early moments of the radio broadcast of Game 5 of the 1948 World Series between the Braves and the Indians …

There was a time — Gentleman Mel Allen’s time, for instance — when you could indulge in the metaphors that you have just heard, even go on at some length within the captive embrace of the metaphors that you have just heard. But our timepieces say that time has passed.

There are things you may no longer do, like smoke in the operating room or slap the children of strangers or get pregnant in an above-ground pool.

You also may not make the metaphors that you have just heard, at least while anyone is listening.


B.J. Upton Just Doesn’t Believe It

What was that you just said?

Well, that’s simply preposterous, and B.J. Upton does not believe it.

Oh, it’s not that Bossman distrusts you personally, it’s just that he doesn’t believe much of what he hears these days. Or sees. Or smells. In fact, the only sense that he trusts at all these days is taste. Perhaps if Bossman could have somehow tasted Evan Gattis‘s grand slam on Wednesday, he might believe it. If he could but taste the bullshit that you are spewing right now, he might believe you, too (but he would probably barf, if he could taste it).

Bossman has nothing against you, like he said. Bossman is cool. In fact, hey, he’s sorry for referring to what you were just saying as “bullshit.” Unbelievable is a better word, probably. Bossman doesn’t believe much of what he hears or sees or smells, but he is amused and befuddled and excited by it all. He just gets worked up, gets too excited.

So, Bossman is sorry: you’re amazing, you’re unbelievable — but that’s just the thing: Bossman don’t believe you.

Now shut up and have some candy — tastes like Truth.


Yet Another Reason to Love Brandon Morrow

to happiness

First, Brandon Morrow said he’d “rather look at the nerd stats.” Then he shows up to Ricky Romero‘s first start of the spring with notes on Romero from Brooks Baseball, which he passed on to his teammate.

Witness, via John Lott in the National Post, a fine Canadian newspaper:

Brandon Morrow’s research startled Ricky Romero. It showed that Romero had almost given up on a key pitch during his disastrous 2012 season.

In 2011, when his ERA was 2.92, Romero threw sinking two-seam fastballs 22% of the time. Last year, his sinker rate fell to 11%. His ERA was 5.77, worst among big-league starters.

Morrow found those figures on the Brooksbaseball.net website, printed them out and gave them to Romero.

“I was a little bit amazed by it,” Romero said Tuesday, pulling the sheet from his locker.

Brandon Morrow is going to, hopefully, start a revolution.

Every now and then, usually on my walk to work in the morning, I whisper to myself: “Brandon League for Brandon Morrow.” I can’t let myself forget; I won’t. And I can’t wait for that no-hitter.

Image credit: David Lykes Keenan Photography.


Extry, Extry: Ambrosial Danny Heep Nachos

Doubtless, you have heard about Ambrosial Danny Heep Nachos, the delicious, piping-hot bowl of tri-cornered chips and fresh flesh named after former Astros, Mets, Dodgers, Red Sox and Braves outfielder Danny Heep? Surely you have heard tell and caught whiff.

Scrumptious is what they are. Yet they are not scrumptious because they were lovingly prepared by retired outfielder Danny Heep. Lo and no, they are scrumptious because when one consumes an inviting heap (Laughing Out Loud) of Ambrosial Danny Heep Nachos, one necessarily eats many tiny Danny Heeps. Bear whetted witness …

Do the living morsels of Danny Heep tartare wish to die gruesomely in the service of your maw-stuffing pleasure? No, they do not. They must console themselves with the promise of contributing to your mounting angina pains. Being as they are quite tiny, though, they have little say in the matter. So consume without ceasing. We can always breed more tiny Danny Heeps.

Please do enjoy your Ambrosial Danny Heep Nachos in commemorative Franklin Mint Rock and or Roll serving crock.


Exclusive: Judge Dayn Perry’s New Book By Its Cover

You listen to FanGraphs Audio, so you already know that Dayn Perry‘s next critically-acclaimed book, for which he received a substantial advance, is titled Business & F*cking: Secrets to Crushing the Competition in the Boardroom and the Bedroom. I know; I can’t wait, either.

While we wait, though, I’ve got good news: Our diligent, award-winning Investigative Reporting Investigation Team has secured for us the cover of Mr. Perry’s latest endeavor. Witness:

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A Statement by Max Scherzer Regarding His Injury


While Max Scherzer’s shoulder is tired, his capacity for experiencing awe is constantly renewed.

Detroit Tigers right-hander and perpetual case study in human potential Max Scherzer was removed after two innings from his start on Tuesday due to “shoulder fatigue.” While an MRI revealed no structural damage, Scherzer and the organization will proceed with caution.

To address concerns about his health, the Tigers media relations staff has distributed the following statement, composed (it seems) entirely by Scherzer himself.

It’s almost impossible, in light of my recent medical concern, not to be reminded of that great record-keeper of the ephemeral, Tang Dynasty poet Tu Fu — his entire oeuvre, really (or, as much of it as is available to a commoner like me, whose Chinese has suffered from disuse in recent years), but, in particular, the second section of his poem “Meandering River”, which David Young translates as follows in his excellent collection from Oberlin’s Field Translation Series:

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