Archive for Extry Extry

Extry, Extry: 2011 Winter Meetings in Meme Form

The recent base-and-ball hootenanny provided us with several storylines. One of the most prominent, of course, is Jeffrey Loria’s success in unloading all dis gold bullion and all deez doubloons in exchange for the lives and efforts of baseball players. Which leads us to …

Extry, Extry: Medieval Times at the Winter Meetings

Behold, perhaps the most important Google Map of our times:

Point A is the Hilton Anatole hotel in Dallas, Texas, which I’m told will be the location of the 2011 MLB Winter Meetings. And, should you care to click and embiggen, the annotated window shows the presence of that bastion of American culinary mastery: Medieval Times Dinner And Tournament.

Consider, for just a second, the possibilities here. Imagine, a joust between Ed Wade and Ruben Amaro over which prospect is included in their next inevitable deal. Imagine, Billy Beane hustling an entire restaurant with his revolutionary way of building a joust team. Imagine, Mike Rizzo stuffing his face with a giant mutton chop and spilling the majority of a stein of mead all over his lap.

Endless possibilities, as you can plainly see:

And this only scratches the surface. Be sure, we here at NotGraphs plan on detailing a variety of scenarios we can envision between the executives of the game we love and the greatness of Medieval Times. You just can’t get this coverage anywhere else, you guys.

Extry, Extry: Lenny Dykstra To Fight Jose Canseco

Breaking news from WPVI-TV Philadelphia’s Jeff Skversky:

As much as this just sounds like Lenny Dykstra is canceling his autograph session to have a street fight with Jose Canseco (which I imagine would go something like this), this fight is going to be something far more civilized: boxing.

Canseco has already begun a career in MMA, but it hasn’t gone well. Dykstra doesn’t have a boxing or MMA career that I can find, but he is “fighting for his good name:

Lenny is fighting for his good name in baseball. Lenny’s life for the last two years has been upside down mainly because of snitches. Canseco is one of the many rats that have diminished Dykstra’s career.

Because, you know, that’ll help.

As far as the actual fight goes, I’ll take the 6’4″, 240 pound Canseco over the 5’10”, 167 pound Dykstra.

Although, to present a counterargument: Nails. Can’t bet against Nails.

(Ch)end of an Era

Cy Chen and Brayan Bench
Brayan Pena expresses the gratitude of millions.

I don’t know what the coverage of baseball was like last night for those of you in the U.S. of A., but up here in the Great White North sports coverage needs a bit of help with priorities. They were talking about games in Florida, Maryland, and other sordid little burgs, but hardly mentioned the story they should have led with: Bruce Chen‘s eight innings of shutout ball (somehow matched by Carl Pavano‘s nine) in Minnesota on an emotional night that might have been Chen’s last game in a Royals uniform.

We are all reeling from the emotional night at Target Field, but those who may have happened upon one of my FanGraphs chats know that this is particularly difficult for me. While I celebrate the greatness that is Chen, it is time to bid the meme him farewell.

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Who Is Leo Nunez?

Breaking news, baseball fans: Marlins closer Leo Núñez is not who he says he is. In fact, it has recently been reported that Leo Núñez is not Leo Núñez at all:

The Marlins on Wednesday placed closer Leo Nunez on the restricted list so he could return to his native Dominican Republic to clear up a few things. Namely, his name.

A league source initially said Nunez was not missing the Marlins’ final six games as a result of improper conduct. Later, the source confirmed Nunez’s premature departure was the result of an immigration issue.

The Associated Press citing two people with knowledge of the case reported Nunez’s real name is Juan Carlos Oviedo and is 29, a year older than his listed age. The report also said the Marlins had been aware of the discrepancy for months.

A club spokesman would not comment beyond acknowledging Nunez was moved to the restricted list and that he’d returned to the Dominican to take care of a personal matter.

Who or where the real Leo Núñez is remains unknown, but it appears fairly certain that he is not “Leo Núñez, Marlins closer.”  Regarding the identity “Leo Núñez, Marlins closer,” as one possibility we have Juan Carlos Oviedo, as noted above. Bo-RING. Thank goodness an “industry observer” has proposed a far more intriguing alternate possibility:

One industry observer said he didn’t believe this incident would impact Nunez moving forward, saying: “At this point in his career it doesn’t seem like a big deal. In reality, what is the big deal unless it turns out he is Fidel Castro in disguise.”

Mr. “Industry Observer” says this as if it is patently absurd. But let’s think about this rationally for a moment.

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Pence, Journalist

To date, Phillies right fielder Hunter Pence has mostly distinguished himself for his ability to hit and catch and throw a baseball. On account of he does all these things pretty well, it would be bad form to begrudge him a lack of expertise in a second field.

And yet, it appears as though this is the exact thing upon which Mr. Pence has designs. For what other reason, I ask the reader, would CNN have cited Pence in their preliminary report on this afternoon’s earthquake along the Eastern Seaboard — an area populated by some 100 million people, many of them, no doubt, with degrees in journalism?

If you answered “No discernible one” you’re quite likely right. If you answered, “Because their early coverage of the ‘quake was strangely baseball-centric,” that might be correct, too: one of the other sources cited by CNN was Tribe Insider, the official Twitter feed of the Cleveland Indians.

Apropos rumors that the earthquake was a result of this afternoon’s giant and shocking trade between the Blue Jays and Diamondbacks, NotGraphs is unable to confirm or deny same.

H/T devoted reader, commenter, and (one imagines) spirited layabout Yirmiyahu.

Jimmy Rollins: OMG Injury!

In the tradition of Dodger rookie Rubby de la Rosa, Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins left Sunday’s game with an unexpected — and slightly embarrassing — injury.

K. Hrbek and R. Gant Make Love, War Simultaneously

For those who were too young to watch — or just didn’t care about — Game 2 of the 1991 World Series, the abovely embedded image appears merely to be a depiction of the Kama Sutra maneuver known as the Melancholy Sea Captain.

Those familiar with the aforementioned game might be amused to discover that a bobblehead of the very famous Ron Gant/Kent Hrbek contretemps (pictured below) is being distributed as we speak to 10,000 friendly faced Minnesotans at Target Field.

Relive the excitement of the event via this low-resolution daguerreotype:

Historical event brought to author’s attention by THE Dan Lurie.

Extry, Extry: Tony Phillips Still a Baseball Player

Click to maximize big-ness.

If someone were to ask you what you know about Tony Phillips and your reply were something to the effect of, “He was a great, if underrated, player for the A’s and Tigers,” then your reply would be incorrect, on account of it (i.e. your hypothetical reply) is in the past tense.

In fact, Tony Phillips, who turned 52 in April, appears to be an active ballplayer — for the Yuma Scorpions of the North American League.

Signed in mid-July, Phillips has posted a line of .317/.417/.415, with more walks than strikeouts, in 41 at-bats — i.e. not entirely dissimilar from the .266/.374/.389 he posted as a major leaguer.

Granted, that’s less impressive when considered in the context of the NABL’s league-wide line of .295/.378/.449, but it’s still above average and Phillips is still, uh, aged.

At this time, NotGraphs is unable to substantiate the mostly related rumor that Stan Javier and Walt Weiss were seen taking grounders in what was described as a “purposeful” manner.

Pauly Shore-style weasel handshake for Mike Silva.

Extry, Extry: Carlos Santana Has Someone

That’s Indians catcher Carlos Santana pictured above. At first blush, you might think that Mr. Santana is looking a little forlorn and world-weary. However, that’s highly unlikely. That’s because, as the unimpeachable Wikipedia tells us

Carlos Santana (born April 8, 1986) is a Dominican Republic professional baseball player, who is currently a catcher and first baseman with the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball’s American League. His best friend is Hayden Clarence.

It’s good to have friends. It’s even better to have best friends. And even better than that is when your besty is the inestimable Hayden Clarence. But who is Hayden Clarence?

The NotGraphs Investigative Reporting Investigation Team answered the call and, as is their indolent wont, did just enough to meet the bare-minimum standards of contractually obligated duty before giving up and mumbling something about it being time for mid-morning tea and having problems with their magnifying glasses and not being able to stand the smell of computers. In other words, a Google Image search turned up nothing illuminating, and a review of the Wikipedia editing logs turned up nothing that made sense.

But the takeaway is that Carlos Santana and Hayden Clarence like to giggle at the same things, and isn’t that what it’s really all about?

Hosannas to NotGraphs reader Sean R., who took a break from his daily routine of sex/one-arm push-ups/physics problems/sex to pass along this bit of eureka.