Archive for Received

Received: Birthday Card from the Actual, Famous Rob Neyer

A friend of mine from college — to whom I’ll refer as “Justin,” largely owing to how that’s his name — went to a dinner party at the Chelsea Hotel shortly after he graduated in 2002. He was surprised to find, among the guests of said party, Arthur Miller — as in the actual Arthur Miller, who wrote basically every play you’re required to read in high school.

“I seriously never thought of him as a real person,” Justin said about the experience — which sentiment I invoke here on account of that’s more or less how I felt about Rob Neyer before making his acquaintance at a meeting of the Northwest chapter of SABR in 2008, I think it was. In fact, “making his acquaintance” might be the incorrect phrasing. More appropriate might be “imposed myself upon” or “harassed in word and deed.” In any case, until that point, Rob Neyer had only existed for me as a popular and beflanneled internet evangelist of sabermetrics — someone, like Arthur Miller, with whose work I was quite familiar, but with whom I never expected to actually interact.

Owing to a series of events that are mostly the product of luck, I’ve had the opportunity to become something like close with Neyer — close enough such that not only (a) I have the privilege of receiving a birthday card (such as the one pictured here) from him, but also that (b) he willn’t feel entirely as though I’ve violated the terms of our friendship by rendering the receipt of said birthday card into a post on the absurd internet site of which I’m the editor.

Here, for the benefit of the reader, is a photo of the envelope of Neyer’s birthday card — with addresses obscured for Maximum Privacy™:

Card Outside

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Texts From My Cousin

* Oakland scoreboard gives the strangest info. Currently showing: Seth smith July (career totals) 6hr/26rbi. that’s it.

* Derek Norris is batting .364 in the 7th inning in 2012. more highly predictive info from the oak scoreboard.

* Remember how 1Bs used to be plated on first when receiving a throw? Now it almost seems theyre stepping towards the throw.

* Looks like 1bs are gettin away with pulling their plant foot off the bag before the catch is made.

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Received: The Ballad of Darren Daulton

You may not have heard of poet Toby Tacoma. Until now.

The greatest ever is what they will say,
Leading the squad by your words and play.
Sweetest swing when it’s time for clutch,
Oh, Captain! My Captain! Where are you Dutch?

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Spotted: Ken Griffey Jr.’s Van

In Athens, Georgia, obviously, by a man — a professional — known to the FanGraphs community as “Fattinton_Bear,” one of our many award-winning correspondents in the field.

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The Tony Campana Song

This one comes to us from one of our many Midwest correspondents, Ethan Spalding. His latest from the field, via CBS Chicago’s 670 The Score, captures the greatness — did you see that frigging slide? — that is the diminutive Tony Campana.

[audio:|titles=The Tony Campana Song]

Enjoy singing that for the rest of the day, and probably the rest of the weekend.

Little Tony. (Tony!)
Tony Campana. (Tony Campana!)
The fastest Cub north of Havana. (Cute!) …

Image credit: Bob Levey at Getty Images. Keep up the great work.

Brett Lawrie: Anticipate Retaliation

“Prepare your body for the Asunder Dome.”
— Secret Umpire’s Guild in a letter addressed to Lawrie

Several days ago, NotGraphs informer syh sent us the preceding imagine. At the time, we found it curious but decided to sit on the unusual footage until we could better understand the matter. On Sunday night, we received the following letter, leaked to the NotGraphs Bilibino headquarters in the Bilibinsky District of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Russia:
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FanGraphs: The Game: Washington Nationals DL Edition

The following comes to us from NotGraphs reader Brian Reinhart — a gentleman’s gentleman, and a nerd’s nerd. By now, I trust you’re all familiar with FanGraphs: The Game. If you’re not, I’ll wait. Brian will, too; he’s polite like that. Anyway, Mr. Reinhart is reporting — and our Investigative Reporting Investigation Team has confirmed this — that a “grittily rebooted edition” of The Game is about to be released. And, well, he had us at “grittily.” Inspiring work, Mr. Reinhart. Thank you.

We are pleased to announce that, following the success of FanGraphs: The Game, beta testing has completed on a grittily rebooted edition, and FanGraphs: The Game: Washington Nationals DL Edition is ready for the fantasy-sporting, slightly-too-macabre public. The rules, as ever, are simple:

1. Every week, participants choose one member of the Washington Nationals whom they believe will make a trip to the disabled list, and specify the injury type.
2. Participants earn 10 points for every accurate prediction, as well as 5 points for specifying the correct injury type but the incorrect player, and 3 points for identifying an injured player but forecasting the wrong affliction.
3. It is possible to earn 5 points for accurately predicting a setback to a previously-DLed player.

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Boughten: “A Baseball Winter” (Book)

Most of the things I did today are shameful, and concern for the reader’s modesty forbids me from recounting them (i.e. those things I did) in these pages. Among the less shameful activities in which I engaged, however, was to visit the very excellent Grey Matter Books in Hadley, MA, and buy the book you see pictured here, lying on a friend’s rug.

A Baseball Winter: The Off-Season Life of the Summer Game is an account of the 1984-85 offseason of five clubs: the New York Mets, the California Angels, the Atlanta Braves, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Cleveland Indians. As editor-authors Terry Pluto and Jeffrey Neuman note in the Acknowledgments, “its focus [is] on the backstage aspects of the game: contract negotiations, trade talks, in short, the games as it is played off the field.”

Having read the first 10 or so pages, I can speak to one of the book’s virtues — namely, that it’s written in diary form, with three- or four-page entries for each (or most) of the days of the offseason. The style lends itself to a sort of urgency, a sense of witnessing the events as they unfold, that’s very pleasant.

Guest Post: The Human Condition: A Study of Two Minor League Mascots

Usually when we’re hit up via our Team NotGraphs Hot Hotline, we’re sent a link, or a video, or a whited-out picture of Joe West, along with the words, “If you have some time, have some fun!” (We did. We definitely did.) You get the idea: we’re sent something that deserves our attention. We then give it what you now know as “The NotGraphs Treatment.”

Today’s a bit different: Avid NotGraphs readers Dave Yeager and Dan Ford have gone the extra mile, and below is their NotGraphs moment in the sun. Thank you, Dave and Dan. Thank you so much. The floor is yours …

Pictured above: Wilmington Blue Rocks mascots Mr. Celery (sans torso/head) and Rocky Bluewinkle (with giant toothbrush).

Is this what life is? The waiting between moments?

Does Rocky stand there with his oversized toothbrush, facing into the light, preparing to take a tentative first step into the unknown, bearing only tools ill designed for the tasks ahead? What can one moose do against the slings and arrows of the world at large? Better to be prepared in some way, I suppose, than not at all – for if nothing else, perhaps the toothbrush gives him comfort that no matter what, he faced what lay ahead the only way he knew how.

Or perhaps it is not that Rocky stands unprepared. Nay, perhaps he stands as a vigilant sentinel against what approaches, while Mr. Celery looks on. What is Mr. Celery doing in this scenario? Resting? Perhaps when Rocky can bear no more, the duty to maintain this vigil will fall to him.

Or perhaps it is that Mr. Celery has already surrendered, as he sits passively. Not Rocky though. He will face fate head on, toothbrush in hand.

Whatever it is, it belongs in a museum.

Photo courtesy Delaware Online’s July 2010 must-read article: Mr. Celery, unmasked!

Saber Mic Check: Your Reign On The Top Was Short Like Pedroias

The FanGraphs-reading baseball nerd doesn’t just beat you, the two-time defending champion, in fantasy baseball. No, he beats you, and more; he goes that extra mile. Today, at NotGraphs, we celebrate the commitment, and considerable street and lyrical talents, of one Mike Cook.

Mr. Cook, thank you. It’s no coincidence your initials are, of course, M.C. The floor is yours …

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