Archive for Highly Reputable and Totally Real Think Tank

Yesterday’s Most Transcendent Pitch, Objectively Perhaps

Harang Ozuna CU K Fast

Because it’s impossible to watch every game — and sometimes even just one game — on any given day, it’s equally impossible to make a judgment as to which single pitch might have been that same day’s most transcendent one to have witnessed. And yet, one notes, such information might be the very thing to make this miserable life a slightly less miserable life.

With a view to addressing this suddenly urgent matter — and also with the assistance of this site’s Highly Reputable and Totally Real Think Tank — the author has endeavored to develop a methodology by which to identify at least one of each day’s most transcendent pitches in a more or less objective fashion.

Said methodology follows, with almost nothing in the way of explanation, but no less wisdom for that reason.

1. Utilizing Baseball Savant’s PITCHf/x utility, search for every pitch from the previous day that (a) wasn’t a four-seam fastball, (b) was thrown with two strikes, and which proceeded to (c) produce either a swinging or called strike (and therefore a strikeout). (Click here for an example of this exact search for April 30).

Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Sabermetrics to the Streets


A simple request this weekend begat a nerdgasm: Maury Brown asked for favorite concert on twitter, and just a little listicle tickling jarred something loose.

It wasn’t so much the particulars of the list. I’ve liked a lot of bands, and in my case, it was as easy as picking the best of each genre. Phish played from before midnight till dawn of 2001 in the swamps in Florida, that was pretty amazing. One of the hipster halloween shows — Flaming Lips in London or Fischerspooner in New York — had to be there, although since I was a perfect Kenny G in New York, I suppose that’s the pick. Arthur Lee and Love got the ‘orchestral arrangement’ pick. Amon Tobin’s ISAM got the electronica pick, even if Goldie at The End in London was epic. Burning Spear with 500 people on the beach in Negril got the reggae bid. The Meters at the Fillmore for funk. Goldfinger and Reel Big Fish together in some category or another, even if Less Than Jake’s spiderman dude makes for a lot of fun. Ratatat at Terminal Five has to register.

When I got to the hip hop entry, the saber side of me began to percolate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Possible Futures for NotGraphs Writers

I do not care much for politics. If I wanted to watch people hurl bile at one another over issues that divide the populous, I’d just read baseball blogs. But regardless of your political affiliations, or lack thereof, I think we can all agree that we as baseball nerds were the big winners last night.

I’m speaking of course about Nate Silver, OG baseball nerd turned political pontificator. Mr. Silver used his statistical-minded analysis to correctly predict the outcome of the presidential election in all 50 states. This has caused some to wonder if Mr. Silver is, in fact, a witch.

Witch or not, Mr. Silver has been quite successful in his career transition. This led me to wonder: At which future careers would current NotGraphs writers be most successful? When we decide to spread our wings and put this shit town in our rear-view, to what profession should we aspire? I propose the following career paths for my brethren. If you disagree, please note that I spent all of five minutes thinking about this. And then go eat a dick.

Read the rest of this entry »

Recent Publications by Our Totally Real Think Tank

Our highly reputable and totally real think tank has published five papers of late in assorted journals. Here they are, as follows:

Old Dog, New Tricks: Encased Meats at the Modern Baseball Park
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9:38, 20 September 2012

Protecting the Family Jewels: A Cultural History of the Cup
Journal of Sport History, Spring 2012, Volume 39(1)

Sal Fasano and Sons: Facial Hair and Constructions of Masculinity
Journal of Sport and Social Issues, August 2012, Vol. 36, No. 3

The Kingdom of God Is Inside Yu: Yu Darvish’s Slider as a Means to Religious Experience
International Journal of Religion and Sport, Volume 1, 2012

To the Max: The Collected Correspondence of Max Scherzer
Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, Summer 2012

New NotGraphs Stats, Investigative Teams

In a series of posts yesterday, some longer than others, Davids Appleman and Cameron introduced new stats, exclusive to FanGraphs, that help us to evaluate pitcher success. The discerning baseball fan will find these indispensable going forward — or at least they will find them to be an excuse to sit at a computer, staring at custom leaderboards for dozens of additional hours while their social lives and muscles atrophy.

Indeed, FanGraphs has become known for its insightful analysis and groundbreaking statistical endeavors. NotGraphs, on the other hand, if it has become known, has become known for…not those things.

Keeping up with the Davids.

But that is not to say that we NotGraphers are oblivious to the standards of excellence established by our parent site. That is why, in hasty, scrambling reaction to these exciting developments at FanGraphs, we at NotGraphs are announcing several new “stats” of our own, and even several new Investigative Reporting Investigation Teams. What follows are names and brief descriptions of said, on which we have no intention of following up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Omar Vizquel Hates Flying American Airlines

I mean, he really hates everything about the experience.

Omar’s on vacation, goddamnit!

By the way, in some excellent and, most notably, quick, work, NotGraphs’ Highly Reputable and Totally Real Think Tank has confirmed that, yes, American Airlines is actually the worst airline in the world.

Next time, Omar Vizquel will make other arrangements.

The Game is Real

FanGraphs: the Game is real. I have proof.

First, how else can you explain my Giants first baseman? He’s ‘hitting’ .235/.314/.350… and Giants’ first basemen are hitting .207/.312/.336. My dude has a better ISO, the Aubrey Huff / Brett Pill / Brandon Belt monstrosity has a better walk rate. Both are right around replacement. Somehow I have my pick of the entire league, and the Giants have their pick of those three dudes, and we ended up in the same place.

On the other side of the coin, cwhitman is doing a heckuva job. His Nationals starter is performing like… a Nationals starter. His starter has an 8.76 K/9, 2.87 BB/9, and 0.83 HR/9 — the staff in our nation’s capital has an 8.48 K/9, 3.04 BB/9, 0.71 HR/9. Again, they had no choice beyond what was on their roster or in their system, cwhitman had plenty of choice, and they ended up in the same place.

Read the rest of this entry »

Double-Entendre of the Year: Backdoor Cutter

It’s with great pleasure — and a blood alcohol content cheerfully north of zero — that the editoriat of NotGraphs announces the Double-Entendre of the Year for 2012: backdoor cutter.

The Double-Entendre of the Year is an award intended to celebrate a base-and-ball term that marries function with the slyly transgressive. It’s chosen by our Highly Reputable and Totally Real Think Tank during their annual team-building retreat to the coastal city and carnal playground of Dubrovnik.

A brief list of previous winners:

2011: Front-Hip Sinker

2010: Fisted Single

2009: Donger

2008: Fisted Single

2007: Fisted Single

Video: “Pete Rose Here Now”

From the Worldwide Leader:

I never watched Pete Rose play baseball. He was before my time. What I know about Rose comes mostly from books, most notably Joe Posnanski’s “The Machine.” Look, I don’t know much — I chose to become a journalist, after all. But I know this: Pete Rose belongs in Cooperstown.

The ESPN short makes me sad. Especially Rose’s quotes.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fifteen Home-Run Calls That Are Still Available

Onions, indeed.

As we enter the 2012 season, many broadcasters will undoubtedly be looking — like the players whose actions they’ll be narrating — will be looking to bring their A game, give 110%, and leave it all out on the field (or, in the press box, as the case may be).

It goes without saying that the most expedient means by which a broadcaster might scale the heights of his profession is to author a truly memorable home-run call.

To that end, NotGraphs’ Highly Reputable and Totally Really Think Tank has produced the following — a list of 15 home-run calls that have never been used on any known broadcast. For reasons that are too obvious to explain, the calls here are divided into two categories — metaphorical and ejaculatory — and are freely available to America’s Broadcasters.

To wit:

These are calls that depend on an allusion to a text or event.

• Much as Zeus, disguised as a giant swan, had his way with Leda, so does [batter’s name] have his way with that [pitch type or “(count) pitch”] from [pitcher’s name]!

Read the rest of this entry »