Archive for NotGraphantasy Draft

NotGraphantasy Draft Recap


As many of you know, over the past week, we at the NotGraphs Convalescent Home and Headquarters engaged in a thought exercise. Our goal: to build a team of avatars representing the NotGraphs aesthetic. Our results: more glorious than our collective and somewhat hyperbolic expectations. And now, urbane and attractive readership, it’s your turn to voice your opinions and witty rebuttals.

First, for the sake of reference, here are all of the authorial rationalizations for their picks:

Bradley Woodrum
Carson Cistulli
Robert J. Baumann
Jeremy Blachman
David G. Temple
Michael Bates
Patrick Dubuque
Navin Vaswani
Eno Sarris

Beneath the cut is a breakdown of the draft (fictional player denoted with asterisk):
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A Team Full Of Beers: Eno’s BeerGraphy NotGraphantasy Club

Today, we launched a beer website, a family member for FanGraphs: BeerGraphs. On that site, we hope to ruin beer with spreadsheets much like FanGraphs ruined baseball. But we hope to celebrate beer, like NotGraphs celebrates baseball.

And so my NotGraphantasy club is full of players that made me think of beers. Delightfully delicious beers. Some all hops, and smack you in the face, and some all about balance and poise.

C: Sal Fasano
What beer tastes like mustache and smells like the funk Sal Fasano put out there on a semi-regular basis? Maybe Jolly Pumpkin’s Bam Noire. That beer is made with Brett yeast — some says it smells like goat — and has a sour aspect that could make you screw up your face like you just got a face full of Fasano crotch on a play at the plate on a 90-degree August afternoon. The Bam Noire is worth a full negative four beer wins, but then again, Fasano’s not for everyone either.

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You’ll Never Take My Freedom: Cistulli’s NotGraphantasy Club

Over the course of the week, members of this important internet weblog have written about their respective contributions to what organizer Robert J. Baumann has called the First-and-Only-Ever NotGraphantasy Draft. The object: to assemble, via a snake-draft format, the squad which most embodies the spirit of this nearly perfect internet weblog.

Contrary to David Temple’s overzealous claims of yesterday, it is the present author who has distinguished himself as the No. 1 SuperChamp of this exercise — not only because he is (read: I am) the boss of everyone (although, please note, I am quite literally the boss of everyone), but also because I’ve allowed my own Infallible Nature to guide me, as a compass, to the correct picks.

Before enumerating in greater detail the myriad virtues of Team SuperChamp 2013, first a brief note on the title of this post. It’s very possible that certain of my colleagues — like that inveterate contrarian Patrick Dubuque, for example, with his little face and everything — will suggest that my reference to very popular and woefully inaccurate 1995 film Braveheart is symptomatic of my own mindless allegiance to what mid-century German theorist Theodor Adorno referred to as the Kulturindustrie, or (in English) the Culture Industry. Accordingly, they will attempt to dismiss whatever follows as the product of a mind contaminated by the flotsam of consumerism and jetsam of empty utopian aspirations.

“Ha! Just let them try!” is my response to that. On the contrary, allow me to submit that a truly liberated aesthetic, such as the author possesses, is necessarily large enough and sufficiently expansive to account for texts of all sorts, be they high or low, auteurist or focus-grouped.

The club assembled below — and annotated by clever remarks — is a result of such an aesthetic.


CA: Jeremy Brown, 11th Round (Profile)
Noted character from Michael Lewis’s important, if polemical, Moneyball. Actually made 11 major-league plate appearances. Retired suddenly following age-27 season having never recorded an OPS below .718 at any level.

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Notgraphantasy Draft: The Dubuque Dubuques

Presented below this meager introduction is the roster the Dubuque Dubuques, the most geographically centrist of the NotGraphs fantasy teams.

I am by no means a master of style, and so I came into the draft at a distinct disadvantage. You have to go into each draft with a strategy, the experts claim. I knew that competition over mustaches would be fierce, so I chose to tank that category and load up on spectacles instead, hoping to dominate the quotability category in the process.

What I love about this draft idea is that each of us has a different perspective on what exactly NotGraphs is, and our choice of players provides a reflection on that perspective. My own, perhaps unsurprisingly, is somewhat philosophical and meandering, so consider this your TLDR tag.


1.     Miguel Batista, SP (1992-2012).

If he had fallen to me at seven, I would have selected Rickey Henderson in a heartbeat. He’s not only my favorite player since childhood, but he’s also the perfect symbol for NotGraphs: unfettered, unrestrained greatness in word and deed. But let’s not dwell.

When you google “Miguel Batista poetry,” one of the results on the first page is a Yelp review of Batista’s website entitled “Miguel Batista should focus on his pitching, not his personal website.” Another link is Deadspin trashing Batista for admiring Kenny G.

Miguel Batista is plasma; he can neither be defined nor contained. He is permanent. When he returns to the majors (and he will, somehow) he’ll be the longest-serving player in the major leagues. He’s a poet and a novelist, not as some sort of exercise in elitism or to achieve some rarity based on society’s standards; he writes because he’s Miguel Batista. And as far as that goes, I wish I were as good at being Patrick Dubuque as Miguel Batista is at being Miguel Batista. There are worse goals.

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NotGraphantasy Draft Domination, per David G Temple

Though I’m too lazy to check, I’m fairly certain that I am still the most junior writer here at NotGraphs. I do not need to check to know that I am taking this God-damn site by storm. My meteoric rise is certainly something of note, however it has created a certain level of pressure around me to perform in this inaugural NotGraphantasy Draft. Would I choke under the pressure or would I step up and prove to have a better understanding of the NotGraphs aesthetic than the rest of these jamokes?

That was a rhetorical question. Because I crushed it. I pushed this draft to the ground and humped it into submission. My haunches are dripping with success. Behold:

(note: I picked 6th in this snake draft of 10 teams)

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NotGraphantasy Draft: Baumann’s Earnest Best

Two days ago I introduced the first-and-only-ever NotGraphantasy Draft. Yesterday, Bradley Woodrum unveiled his team, the Woodrum Whiteys, and then Jeremy Blachman presented his team, and then today, Mike “The Common Man” Bates gave us the Bates-o-Matic Fun Machine.

Here is the roster for my team, Baumann’s Earnest Best (draft rounds in parentheses):

C – Gary Carter (3)
1B – Joey Votto (5)
2B – Joe Morgan (7)
3B – John “Bad Dude” Stearns (11)
SS – Henry Skrimshander (9)
OF – The Greatest (1)
OF – Glen Gorbous (10)
OF – Reggie Jackson (8)

P – Mark “Bird” Fidrych (2)
P – Pedro Martinez (4)
P – Bill “Spaceman” Lee (6)

Manager – Ron Washington (S3)
Executive – Billy Fucking Beane (S1)
Home Park – The Sandlot (S2)

Before I offer brief commentary on each of my selections, I want to say something about Baumann’s Earnest Best as a team, and the philosophy behind its construction. As the name suggests, Baumann’s Earnest Best is a team full of pathos and sincerity; the players/personalities live(d) life and participate(d) in the game in a way that only they could/can. Some met every game and every day with a youthful exuberance (here’s looking at you, Kid), some see every plate appearance as a chance to destroy personal demons. All of these men provide their own examples of intense sincerity, an awareness of self that, for better or worse, sets them apart from the world at large in a way that allows their public-baseball-being to be intensified.

That, I believe, was the guiding principle in the construction of this team.
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NotGraphantasy Draft: The Bates-o-Matic Fun Machine


Did we get him? Fuck yeah, we got him.

When I was asked to join the NotGraphantasy Draft, I was at once honored and horrified at being included in any project that Carson Cistulli would actively try to ruin by being himself. But I soldiered on because I’m a hero. Speaking of heroes, let’s talk about my team, which I chose strategically and with malice of forethought. The goal was to put together a team that would be as much fun to follow as possible, that was the most loveable. Fuck “poetry” and all that. Give me some guys I can root for. That said, I did make a couple of picks I’d take back if I could, to which mistakes I’ll uncharacteristically own up and explain what I should have done differently. So without further ado, I present:

The Bates-o-Matic Fun Machine

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My NotGraphantasy Team

I approached the NotGraphantasy Draft much the way I approach all of my fantasy drafting. I tried to pick the smartest, grittiest team I could, filled with players I would want to hang out with, regardless of their statistics. Measured against that benchmark, I think I did pretty well, although I did make some picks I now regret, driven mostly by the need to fill the mustache, sex scandal, and obese catcher quotas.

ROUND 1: Joe McEwing, 2B

I picked Super Joe with my first selection because if I owned a baseball team, and I didn’t care whether or not we won any games, I would want him on the field. McEwing may have had a 71 OPS+ for his career, but my unscientific study has him leading the league in grit, hustle, and unbelievably positive press. Super Joe had an amazing 2001 season with the Mets, a .283/.342/.449 line that bought him five more seasons in uniform. He was Tony LaRussa’s favorite player. He could play seven positions capably. He’s in the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame, whatever that is, and, from all of that crazy press he gets, even as a third-base coach, it seems like he must be a pretty awesome guy.

ROUND 2: David Wright, 3B

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NotGraphantasy Draft: The Woodrum Whiteys Roster

Woodrum Whiteys logo

Robert Bauman introduced it, I’ma start it. A NotGraphs crew including myself, Carson Cistulli, Robert J. Baumann, Jeremy Blachman, David G. Temple, Mike Bates, Patrick Dubuque, Navin Vaswani, and Eno Sarris drafted teams we considered to embody the NotGraphs spirit (and then also possibly win an a no-holds-barred, not-previously-delineated-rules-wise fantasy season).

Without further ado, I present the Woodrum Whiteys!

Role Player
C Moe Berg
1B Eddie Gaedel
2B Yuniesky Betancourt
SS Munenori Kawasaki
3B Jackie Robinson
OF Domingo Ayala (YouTube)
OF Josh Reddick
OF Jayson Werth
SP Mordecai Brown
SP Old Hoss Radbourn (Twitter)
RP Rollie Fingers
GM Rube Foster (Wikipedia)
M George Knox (manager) / (Danny Glover)
Home Park Koshien Stadium

Follow the jump to see my notes from the draft.
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Completed: NotGraphantasy Draft

It’s been a while since I had some fun constructing Cistullian section headings, so I’m going to go ahead and do that for this post, since this post actually makes use of section headings, whereas most of my posts do not.

The NotGraphantasy Draft, What It Was, Essentially

To describe the essence of the NotGraphantasy Draft is easier, and, by virtue of being briefer, likely to be less annoying to the reader than detailing the logistics of said draft.

Essentially, the NotGraphantasy Draft was nine baseball nerds being very baseball nerdy.

The NotGraphantasy Draft, What It Was, Logistically

Logistically speaking, a Google Spreadsheet was created and shared among nine NotGraphs writers. The spreadsheet was populated with — over a too-long period of several weeks — the names (and often nicknames, sometimes improvised) of baseball personalities that the selecting participant felt exhibited exceptional “NotGraphsiness” in one way or another.

Also, emails were exchanged, politely encouraging some participants to hurrythef*ckup, while chiding others for stealing one’s next pick. Wiseness was cracked. Someone made a beer run. In these ways, the NotGraphantasy Draft was not unlike a real, live fantasy baseball draft.

The NotGraphantasy Draft was decidedly unlike a real, live fantasy baseball draft in its distinct lack of homemade buffalo chicken dip.

What the Participants Might Have Considered in Selecting Baseball Personalities for Their NotGraphantasy Team

As mentioned, the participants were advised to consider the “NotGraphsiness” of baseball personalities. In light of that, more specifically, they certainly considered facial hair. Pathos, too. Ebullience, perhaps; Twitter accounts, other-worldly abilities, dong size/shape/essence, enigmatic qualities, proclivities for culture and art, sundry other personal oddities that they (i.e. the participants themselves) witnessed in players in one way or another. Nostalgia, we can assume, guided at least a few selections in this draft. Having the Good Face certainly didn’t hurt a player’s chance of being selected in this draft, nor did having a bad face, nor did an excellent nickname.

The participants would not have considered whether a player was alive or deceased, or if s/he had played in MLB ever. To some degree, the participants would have also ignored whether a personality was real or fictional, as each participant was allowed to select two fictional baseball personalities: one player, and one “auxiliary.”

The participants would have considered where a baseball personality would fit into their roster, given the roster restrictions of the NotGraphantasy Draft.

The Roster Restrictions of the NotGraphantasy Draft, What Those Were, More Specifically

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