Archive for Investigative Reporting Investigation Team

Rule Change Means More Players to Choose From for Postseason Roster

Fans often are confused about which players are eligible for the postseason roster. Baseball actually changed the rule slightly this year, and it’s worth noting.

In the past, players on the 25-man roster as of Aug. 31 were eligible, along with players on the disabled list. The overall restriction was not that severe, however; any player in the organization could replace an injured player.

Ken Rosenthal, 9/1/14

The new rule, as the article goes on to explain*, is that teams may choose anyone for the postseason roster, past or present, living or dead, who ever spent any time in their organization at all. That means that should the Royals avoid a September collapse and make the postseason, they will be adding 1980 George Brett and a whole bunch of Bret Saberhagens to their roster, in the hope of beating out 1932 Jimmie Foxx, 1901 Nap Lajoie, 1931 Lefty Grove, and the rest of the A’s powerhouse squad.

“We think it’s more fair this way,” said no one.

“Definitely,” said Brian Cashman.

“But– but– wait–” said Andrew Friedman.

The motivation behind the rule change is so that Derek Jeter isn’t robbed of a final postseason and gets to continue to log World Series at-bats for all of eternity.

“Oh, you didn’t explain it like that,” said Friedman. “Now it makes sense. Anything for Jeter.”

Ernie Banks is really hoping the Cubs can make it to the postseason someday soon. George Sisler also reportedly taking batting practice in his grave. (Not sure who is reporting that, but we’ll promote them to chief investigative correspondent.) Unclear how this new rule will affect Ted Williams, given his cryogenic condition.

*it does not


I Enjoy Baseball Today

ITS HAPZ

If you’re an interneting person, if you are “jacked in” — as they say — then there is a good chance you know that today is the day that commentors on the Web Site Reddit have decided to mob baseball stadiums across the nation, bearing signs that say, simply, I Enjoy Baseball:

enjoyz

I’m telling you this so that you will know it. So that when your spouse says, Hah, that’s a fine sign!, you can glance over your newspaper and mutter, Harumph! I know all about this — for behold: My mammoth knowledge!

Because: Why else would we watch baseball with a spouse in the room, if not to impress said spouse?


Rays Fan Still Awaiting Trade Results

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ST. PETERSBURG, FL — David Williams sits at the dilapidated service entrance to the Don Cesar Hotel of St. Pete Beach. The pastel pink walls and the sunny weather belie the pervasive anxiety in the air. Every few moments, Mr. Williams pulls his Samsung Galaxy S Blaze from his pockets and refreshes his RSS feeds.

“Any moment now,” he says. He smiles and returns the phone to his pocket. “Never been disappointed yet; won’t be disappointed today.”

Williams is one of the millions of Rays fans in the tri-county area waiting for trade deadline news that has already come. The Tampa Bay Rays traded ace pitcher David Price on Thursday afternoon, and though the returns of the trade has received muted praise, Rays fans are still hoping for a piece of the trade to be announced — they are waiting for news that is not coming.

“The [Matt] Garza trade, the [James] Shields trade — heck, even the Jason Bartlett trade — they all gave us some prospects to dream on,” says Jenny Havermayer a real estate agent in Tampa. “We know there’s a few more prospects in this trade. We just have to wait for them to announce it is all.”

Asked if she’d be disappointed if the Rays only received three players in the Price trade, Havermayer said, “No, I won’t be disappointed. Because they’re not getting three players. Ten prospects. Just wait. Ten. All shortstops and pitchers.”

The lunch rush is beginning and David Williams stands and stretches. He refreshes his feeds one more time as he ascends the steps to the kitchen. “I guess I’ll find out who else they got later, after I get off work.”

He smiles and stares across the crystalline Gulf of Mexico. He opens his mouth to say something, hesitates, then shakes his head and disappears into the open door. He is waiting for the player to be named never.


NotGraphs Newswire, alrights reserved.

Image Source.


God Will Not Be Writing For NotGraphs

Rob Neyer launched FoxSports.com’s Just A Bit Outside Grantland-like site-within-a-site last week, announcing in his introductory post that actor Jeff Garlin would be writing for the site. He had to take that back a couple of days later (oh, Hollywood…).

Which reminded me to let you know… despite what I thought was a firm promise, God will not be writing for NotGraphs this week. See, I reached out to him (her?) at a particularly desperate moment a few weeks ago, asking for some help with post topics — inspiration, perhaps, or if he wanted to send someone down to just write the whole thing for me, my door is always open. And I was pretty sure I saw some lightning afterwards, or a shooting star, or some sign or another that there was order in the universe and we aren’t all just accidents of evolution. Anyway, the sign indicated to me that even though God was busy that week, he would be willing to take a couple of posts off my plate this week, especially since he’s been working on a new study regarding the ability he gives someone to grow facial hair and how it relates to the ability he gives them to throw a fastball, and he wanted to share some preliminary results. I didn’t get anything in writing, because, you know, I figured if there was anyone’s word I could trust, it would be God. But now it’s Monday, and despite the early interest, now I’m not getting an answer to any of my e-mails, voice mails, or prayers (hey, that also sounds just like my current experience trying to find a part-time babysitter for my 9-month-old son… but that’s a piece for a different website!), so I think I just have to suck it up and admit to myself that it’s not going to happen. God will not be writing for NotGraphs.

In fact, it seems like he may be deciding to smite down the entire site. Hopeless Joe is getting very concerned.


Soriano: “Derek Jeter is like a father to me”

Derek Jeter in the New York Post on Alfonso Soriano being designated for assignment:

“He is like a brother to me. He should be proud of what he was able to do.”

Soriano, in response:

“A brother? Did he say that? Well, I say Derek Jeter is like a father to me. Older, wiser, a father who can no longer hit with authority, unlike me, who is just having a down year, but I will be back for six, seven, eight, fifteen more productive years in the major leagues, while my father, Derek Jeter, floats off into retirement. Maybe he is even more like a grandfather to me. After all, I am only thirty-eight years old, and how old is Derek? Sixty? Sixty-five?”

Jeter, after hearing Soriano’s remarks:

“I was misquoted earlier. Alfonso Soriano is like a great-aunt to me.”

Soriano:

“Derek Jeter is like the ancestor who comes to me in a dream and tells me that if I don’t treat people with more kindness, I will be alone forever, and also something about Tiny Tim (Collins).”

Jeter:

“Soriano is like the fossil I dug up under the dugout.”

Soriano:

“Jeter is like my favorite Cro-Magnon shortstop.”

Jeter:

“Soriano is an amoeba from before life on Earth progressed beyond single-celled organisms.”

Soriano:

“Jeter seems to have taken a science class.”


The Very First All-Stars: Where Are They Now?

The first MLB All-Star Game took place in 1933. We at NotGraphs thought we’d take a look back at the players in the starting lineups and see where they are now.

National League
SP Bill Hallahan, St. Louis — Deceased
C Jimmie Wilson, St. Louis — Deceased
1B Bill Terry, New York — Deceased
2B Frankie Frisch, St. Louis — Deceased
3B Pepper Martin, St. Louis — Deceased
SS Dick Bartell, Philadelphia — Deceased
LF Chick Hafey, Cincinnati — Deceased
CF Wally Berger, Boston — Deceased
RF Chuck Klein, Philadelphia — Deceased

American League
SP Lefty Gomez, New York — Deceased
C Rick Ferrell, Boston — Deceased
1B Lou Gehrig, New York — Deceased
2B Charlie Gehringer, Detroit — Deceased
3B Jimmy Dykes, Chicago — Deceased
SS Joe Cronin, Washington — Deceased
LF Ben Chapman, New York — Deceased
CF Al Simmons, Chicago — Deceased
RF Babe Ruth, New York — Deceased

This does not bode well for the current batch of All-Stars.


Things My Eight-Month-Old Son Was Thinking During Tim Lincecum’s No-Hitter

“I bet there’s something good on TV. Maybe if I make enough noise during this so-called nap, my daddy will get me out of the crib, take me into the living room, and turn on the television to watch a baseball game thinking my eyes are closed and I can’t see it.”

“Looking at the wall is really interesting. I can’t imagine anything would be more interesting, including the second no-hitter against the Padres thrown by Tim Lincecum.”

“Tim… hmmmm… I wonder if he’s related to my stuffed monkey, Thelonious, since both of their names start with that shape with the one up-and-down line and then the other side-to-side line on top of it. I also wonder why mommy and daddy named my monkey Thelonious even though they don’t really listen to any jazz music. I wonder if I’d like jazz. I think I would.”

“This is weird for a west coast baseball game to start in the evening, before I get ready for bed. West coast baseball games usually start so early in the morning, before I’ve even woken up for my first of three feeds while it’s still dark outside. What? You call 10pm the nighttime and not the morning? That’s silly, everyone knows nighttime is from 7pm until 10pm, and everything after that is daytime and mommy and daddy are lucky if I still decide to sleep.”

“The Giants, wow. They are giants, indeed. They’re even taller than mommy and daddy, and mommy and daddy are even taller than Curious George, so they’re definitely giants. I didn’t even know people came in sizes bigger than, say, five-foot-nine or so. I don’t know if I’ve ever met anyone taller than five-foot-nine!”

“I bet I could get a hit off Tim Lincecum. Hitting a baseball is just like putting your toes in your mouth, right? Because I’m really good at that.”

“I can’t believe he’s throwing so many fastballs. Everyone knows Will Venable is more vulnerable to the curveball.”

“I wonder what the infield dirt tastes like.”


MLBN to Debut ‘Christopher Russo Argues with a House Plant’

russoplant

NEW YORK — In a move to shake up the format and increase viewership of a failing show, MLB Network will re-brand their program “High Heat with Christopher Russo” to “Christopher Russo Argues with a House Plant.”

The NotGraphs Investigative Reporting Investigation Team, in speaking with sources inside MLB Network, has learned that the new format being launched was just one of several possibilities for a new direction to the show. Sources say pilots were filmed for shows with names that included “Christopher Russo Watches Reruns of Top Chef,” “Christopher Russo Reminisces with Your Dad,” and “A Still Image of Christopher Russo but with Top 40 Music — Please Watch.”

“It was a two-bird-one-stone situation,” one executive said. “We needed to try and boost ratings, and we needed to find somebody that could tolerate being screeched at for a half hour.”

Russo, known for his cantankerous persona and a voice that could strip a sizable room of its paint, has had a revolving door of guests on the show including players, managers, and MLB Network personalities alike. Initial testing has concluded that the house plant has the best chance to stay long-term.

“It seems silly to do a remote with a plant,” a producer said. “But if we kept it in the same room, it would start wilting at a rapid pace.”

The roll out of the new format should happen near the beginning of June, as soon as the network finishes cutting new commercials and the studio goes through another round of soundproofing.


The Baseball-Cat Marriage is Ready; It’s Ready

This happens tomorrow.

You, you’re here with me, on the internet. So doubtless you’ve seen this:

Hero Cat

I know, right?

But you may not realize this brings about the final age of baseball. Writers know the best stories have inevitable endings — those stories that can end only one way — Juliet, Romeo, they must die — Yossarian must never leave the island but by desertion — and Finnegan’s Wake must, um, riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs… James Joyce is a helluva drug.

I diverged. This brings baseball to its final, most golden age. The Cat-Baseball Era.
Read the rest of this entry »


REPORT: Derek Jeter Severely Disturbed by Cowboy Boots

The ever-intrepid NotGraphs Investigative Reporting Investigation Team has procured a revealing psychological evaluation of Derek Jeter shortly after he received a pair of absolutely hideous, ungodly cowboy boots from the Houston Astros on Wednesday. The boots in question, if you dare risk the integrity of your soul, are shown below:

jeterboots

The psychological evaluation in our possession was reportedly¬†administered by the team psychologist when Jeter was found weeping in a pile of CC Sabathia’s dirty laundry after the game.

JetersPsychEvaluation

A source close to the situation claims to have overheard Jeter muttering that he felt like a “dirty, dirty man,” and witnessed the shortstop begging GM Brian Cashman to allow the soothing presence his mother in the clubhouse for the remainder of the season.