Archive for Real Talk

Things Jon Heyman Does At 4:15 AM On A Friday Morning

I was on Twitter at 4:15 a.m. on said Friday morning, reading that Jon Heyman was doing his laundry. I favorited the tweet, and thought to myself: “I should post this on NotGraphs.”

I then asked myself what I was doing. We are the product of our decisions. I had laundry to do, too.

Postseason Bat-Flip Coverage: Delmon Young


I had a thought late Wednesdsay night, as I lay awake at three in the morning, exiled to my couch, reading Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn, while thinking of my cold, inevitable death into nothingness:

Delmon Young, only 28 years old, is somebody’s Mr. October.

GIF courtesy the irreplaceable @Kazuto_Yamazaki.

The Dodgers’ Arizona Pool Party Questions


I know this is late, but it’s only going to get later, and I thought the Arizona pool party thing was really interesting. So many questions were spawned the minute the Dodgers celebrated in the Diamondbacks’ pool! We probably have some different answers, so I’ll just list the questions:

Does calling someone classless imply that you are of a higher class then them? Or just that you understand class better? Aren’t both of these things born of aristocratic sensibilities? Even considering class, is getting mad at someone for partying in your above-ground pool a little like getting mad at someone for drinking all your wine coolers and passing out in your inflatable couch?

Was it disrespectful? Did the celebrating players consider the feelings of the D-backs or where they being spontaneous? Did they cause more work for the stadium crew when compared to other road celebrations? How about compared to a home celebration? Do the workers get overtime? Was it disrespectful of the D-backs’ request to not party on the field? Was that request par for the course or out of the norm? Was that request even passed on to the players? How much is on the Dodgers’ administration more than the players?

Some say the pool itself doesn’t matter, but is that true? Would players celebrate in other features, like the big glove in San Francisco? And if that sounds stupid, what about the slide in Milwaukee? Would we really get mad at seeing a bunch of jubilant players sliding down a slide?

Is there a section of the unwritten rules pertaining to clinching celebrations? We know there is a section for home run celebrations, but did the ghost-writers of the invisible constitution consider end-of-season celebrations? And what does that section allow and not allow? What if the Dodgers were celebrating in Anaheim and had a lot of fans at the field? Still a no-no to come back out on the field? The fake rocks? Is the no-no the use of a stadium prop or facilities?

Even Mark DeRosa Believed


The Toronto Blue Jays have let me down before. Many times. Regularly, in fact. But they haven’t let me down like this. Worst of all: they let down Mark DeRosa.

The season’s over. The eulogy has begun.

Even DeRosa believed.

“I told Casey Janssen after, this is what I signed up for, a 2-1 game against Boston with our closer on the mound and the heart of their order coming up in the ninth inning. We’ve let a lot of people down, let ourselves down, but this team is more than capable of rolling off some wins. … I just want us to compete over these last six weeks.”

It’s mid-August, and in Toronto, we’re thinking about April. Again.

I have no idea what the Blue Jays should do about Josh Johnson and Adam Lind, heading into 2014, but I know I want them to bring back Mark DeRosa.

Image credit: Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images

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.

NotGraphs Fireside Chat: On the State of the Biz


The NotGraphs Fireside Chats are a series of dialogues between two unimportant outsiders. Their primary focus: baseball, and writing about it. Please note that what follows is somewhat aimless and entirely TLDR. If you’re the sort of person who believes that metaphysical discussion of a subject ruins that subject, you should probably turn back now. What follows is dangerously reflective.

Today’s topic relates to a series of tweets made last Friday by Mr. Sports Journo (twitter: @BIGSPORTSWRITER), an anonymous career sports journalist. You can read a transcription of his monologue here. My colleague Robert J. Baumann and I will explore how we felt about these comments, and how we feel about an industry that finds little use in us, nor us in them.

Patrick: Friday morning I stumbled across a string of tweets by this anonymous figure, chronicling the state of sports journalism. He seems to think that things aren’t going that well, and that we’ve grown attached to the lifestyle of the athlete rather than the game itself. The journalist has succeeded in making him or herself the story, and twisted sports news into human interest and groundless opinion. Now that I’ve asked you to stop what you’re doing and read all this, Robert, how does it make you feel?

Robert: My initial reaction is twofold:

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Eight Similes Regarding Danny Salazar’s Changeup

Salazar Split

In the absence of video evidence like that above, the reader might find some difficulty in articulating to another party the experience of young Cleveland right-hander Danny Salazar‘s excellent changeup.

What follows are eight similes that might at least begin to approximate the experience of same.

1. It’s like a Bowflex that works your sense of majesty.

2. It’s like getting a shark bite on your nice pants.

3. It’s like freaking up against a sasquatch on purpose.

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Unpopular Thoughts on Bat Flips

Those with their finger on America’s iron-rich, throbbing pulse can agree on at least one shared sentiment: the nation has fallen in love with the bat flip. If anything, we’re left to wonder how it took baseball 150 years to reach this point, when the bat flip is such an American act, a distilled essence of emotion, of joie de vivre. Clearly, these GIFs are mirrors to our own soul, showing how much we’ve changed. How can baseball be the same when Rickey Henderson, embodiment of the id, never flipped a bat, and yet Josh Donaldson has?

I have personally spent hours, while mechanically attending to the welfare of a fragile newborn child, reflecting on the bat flip. I have chiseled into the forgotten, calcified sections of my heart. I have lain in the dying July grass and stared into the colorless sky, and I have found the truth of the matter. It is not the truth I sought, nor the one I was hoping for.

I do not like the bat flip.

Before the rage blinds your vision, and before Cistulli fires me and erases my archives from the NotGraphs canon, allow me to explain. First, my opinion is a purely personal one with no political or moral grounds; I am not foolish enough to stand against the current of American spirit. Instead, think of it as simply the feelings of a single man, perhaps egotistical enough (as all writers are) to believe that his small words are enough to create some connection with his fellow reader, and nothing more.

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MLB Gameday Scout Explores Own Existential Dread

The Scout feature of’s Gameday service is generally regarded as innocuous, if sometimes less than helpful, by the Baseballing Public.

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, however, a recent strikeout by A.J. Burnett of opposing pitcher Felix Hernandez prompted the Scout in question to inspect the poorly constructed foundation on which his own assumptions of the world are perilously built.

As the reader will note, the initial comment bears considerable resemblance to the Scout’s usual sort of analysis:

Felix Burnett 1

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A NotGraphs Fireside Chat with Jeremy Blachman


The NotGraphs Fireside Chats comprise a series of ruminations on the craft of writing, sometimes in relation to baseball, sometimes less so. The goal of this exercise: to learn something about baseball from the way we craft meaning about it, and perhaps about ourselves from our need to do so.

All Fireside Chats are rated TLDR.

Today’s guest is Jeremy Blachman, who you may be familiar with from his writing on a website called “NotGraphs”.

Patrick: So let’s begin. What are you going for in a baseball article? How do you know when you’ve achieved it?

Jeremy: I don’t know that I’m ever sure what I’m trying to achieve. What I’d like to think are my best posts are the ones that have a genuine idea behind them. My favorite post I’ve written for NotGraphs was a mailbag of rejected fantasy chat questions, because I felt like it was not only a legitimately worthy idea for a piece, but that I’d read so many real chats over the years and felt comfortable enough with the form that I knew I could execute.

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