Archive for Report

Report: Prophet Ned Yost is Predicting More Than the ALCS


Reports out of Kansas City this week have indicated that Royals manager Ned Yost is something of a fortuneteller, a seer of future events. According to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star, Yost pulled shortstop Alcides Escobar aside in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the ALCS and predicted how his club would score.

Escobar was scheduled to bat third in the top of the ninth against Baltimore, and Yost wanted to share his vision.

Here is what will happen, Yost told him. Omar Infante will lead off with a hit. Yost will insert pinch runner Terrance Gore. Mike Moustakas will lay down a bunt. And then Escobar will record the hit that wins the Royals the second game of the American League Championship Series.

“Great plan,” Escobar replied.

Of course that’s how it unfolded.

Now, confirming a prediction in Magic 8-Ball Monthly, Yost has announced that he is “sharing this gift with the world.” What follows is correspondent Johnny Ondaspot’s exclusive account of the Prophet’s first public event.

KANSAS CITY—Royals manager Ned Yost gazed across the crowded room of eager supplicants, many of whom had traveled thousands of miles to heed his prophecies, and asked for the silence necessary for his endeavor.

“Only with your cooperation,” he announced to his ardent followers, packed into a conference room at the Ramada Kansas City Hotel and Conference Center on Shawnee Mission Parkway, “might I access the mystical sources that inspire – nay, supply – my capacities as an oracular agent, and thus issue the predictions that you have traveled so far to hear.”

Silence promptly followed. The lone sound came now from the washing of the Prophet’s feet – his right foot in Milanese gremolata olive oil and his left in Persian lime, each from The Olive Oilery in Overland Park.

Seated in a velveteen chair on an elevated stage, Yost cleared his throat and announced, “First, I predict that The Olive Oilery will be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 to 5, and that its owners will eagerly renew their advertising contract in the coming year.”

Mystified, the audience gasped and murmured.

Yost looked down at his attendant and whispered, “Hey, c’mon, that tickles.”

Dressed in faux-gilded vestments and a costume-jeweled mitre featuring the likeness of Nostradamus, Yost reached down and swept a piece of toasted bagel through the Persian lime olive oil and drew it toward his parted lips.

“I am hungry,” he declared, nodding slowly and sweeping his eyes across the earnest faces. “And I will tell you that about two hours ago, I knew I would be.”

Again the crowd gasped and murmured. Some adherents nodded at one another, engaging in the mutual recognition of a faith affirmed, while others fainted, whereupon they were dragged into a double-occupancy and charged the standard room rate, which includes a continental breakfast.

Yost called out after them, “You will find that the bagels are delicious!”

Once more the people murmured, their eyes wide with wonder.

Risking censure, a disciple then asked, “How, oh Great One, did you know at such a preliminary stage that you would be hungry in two hours’ time?”
Read the rest of this entry »

Report: Angels Also Gathered in Bar After Game 3


You probably saw the report that after their ALCS-clinching defeat of the Angels on Sunday night, members of the Royals journeyed to a local bar and partied with happy fans, spraying them with champagne and generally making sure that those fine folks would be late for work the following day. The report you didn’t see, because we are publishing it now the first time, is that members of the Anaheim Angels of Orange County, California, U.S.A., also gathered in a bar – namely, the Rough Landing Tavern at the Kansas City International Airport – to share the moment with a few of their own supporters while waiting for the grounds crew to remove the “Royals Rule!” and “Angels Blow!” graffiti from the team plane.

What follows is an exclusive report from correspondent Johnny Ondaspot.

KANSAS CITY—Albert Pujols leaned on the long oak bar and stirred his whiskey sour with a short plastic straw, its dry end scarred with the bite marks he’d administered during a soundless hour of gloomy contemplation.

“Man,” he muttered at last, and darkly, with a shake of the head. “I just…”

Finally, amid the tinkling of ice that had melted less quickly than his World Series dreams, Pujols turned to Julie Widenour, 26, of San Clemente, and said, “Could you pass me those pretzels? I probably need to eat something.”

A moment later, as the lifelong Angels fan passed the bowl of Rold Gold to the big first baseman, Widenour shook her head and bit her lip in efforts to stifle the tears. Turning to a reporter, she whispered hoarsely, “I really thought we were going to win that series. Instead, as you might’ve noticed, we lost. Now, rather doing body shots off of (Angels bench coach Dino) Ebel and Jagerbombs with (shortstop Erik) Aybar, I’m sitting here next to Pujols as he eats stale pretzels and stares blankly at The Weather Channel on a TV with its volume turned down.”
Read the rest of this entry »

MLB: “Royals Games to Just Begin in 10th Inning Now”

The remainder of the Kansas City Royals’ postseason games, regardless of opponent, will just begin in the top of the 10th inning, according to a statement released early Saturday from the Office of the Commissioner.

“It appears unavoidable at this point,” announced Selig, “that after a flurry of sacrifice bunts, improbable defensive plays, and a Terrance Gore stolen base, that the Royals will have tied up the goddamn game by the end of the ninth. As a courtesy to our fans — some of whom I’m informed would like more than four hours of sleep — I’ve issued an exectuive order that the balance of the Royals’ games will begin with extra innings. That way, when one of the club’s mostly disappointing ex-prospects records a dramatic and probably game-winning extra-base hit, he’ll do so at some point before midnight on the East coast.”

Asked how this might alter his club’s strategy, Kansas City manager remarked slyly that he and others within the organization were looking into “extra-extra innings,” to see if that’s a thing that maybe exists.

Disembodied Spirit of Andy Warhol Optimistic About Pirates

The ghost of Andy Warhol (pictured here) bears almost complete resemblance to the actual Andy Warhol.

THE BEYOND — Noted late artist and Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol was known during his life for problematizing the relationship between fine art and popular culture. A recent encounter by the present author with the late icon’s shadowy specter, however, suggests that the latter’s tastes have changed somewhat in the 25 years since his death.

“Really, if you want to know, the majority of my time is dedicated to following the Pittsburgh Pirates,” the incorporeal form of the former silver-haired evangelist of Pop Art told NotGraphs from his home in the Beyond. “I read all the blogs, track the advanced stats. It consumes quite a lot of my time now.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Ten Bold Prophecies for the 2014 Playoffs

It has been a year hence since I made a series of bold predictions, all of which came true, I assume. And now it is time to press forward and prognosticate and pontificate about this very season’s future.

The following events will occur during the 2014 MLB Postseason:

Prophecy #1

A heretofore unknown bench player will hit two key home runs and a extra-clutch double. This will propel him into additional playing time in 2015, where he will generally be a nondescript disappointment.

Prophecy #2

An NL manager will use the word “flabbergasting” in a post-game presser. The world will trend on Twitter — but not for the reasons you might expect.

Prophecy #3

A call to the bullpen will go disastrously wrong!

“You want to speak with Fernando Dogney?”
Rollover to animate.

Read the rest of this entry »

Eating the Mariners’ Famous Mariner Dog

One of the problems with life in modern America is how difficult it is to know that you’re winning at it. In simpler times, it was enough to out-earn and out-consume our neighbors; now, most of us haven’t even met our neighbors. The horrors of the sepia-toned and antiseptic-scented nursing home has tarnished the allure of the long life. Fame, earned or purchased, is wasted on the lazy and disrespectful millenials, who seem to think their own lives are more important. Book clubs are out of vogue.

In such a world, it’s easy to become lost, to wonder why we bother to exist at all. We want to scatter our possessions and live out a Dave Eggers novel in the jungles of northwestern Brazil, or to donate our lives to some anonymous and probably corrupt charity organization. But instead, we have saved ourselves as a people by creating our own small hurdles to overcome. In search of tension to instill some vigor in our clichéd, meandering life stories, we have developed a fifth form of literary conflict: man versus food.

Thus I found myself in the concession line of Safeco Field under the turbulent skies of an early autumn. I must do this, I thought to myself, as two boys in front of me asked for a refill for their collectible bottomless plastic soda cup without receipt. I must do it for myself, and I must do it for everyone.

Read the rest of this entry »

A’s Get Pitcher at Dollar General, Sweep Series


Update: The new Oakland A’s shortstop, known to teammates as Kit, has just led off the game with a towering, 460-foot home run to left-center field.

Story first posted at 1:30 p.m. EST

OAKLAND – In a highly publicized move last week, the first-place A’s picked up left-handed starter Brad Mills from the Brewers for the sum of $1. The result: a 4-3 Oakland win. On the heels of that economic success, A’s GM Billy Beane journeyed to an Oakland-area Dollar General this week and purchased right-hander Gertrude Polankovich, a 72-year-old Alameda housewife who enjoys unfiltered cigarettes and short walks in the park.

The result: Not only did Polankovich start each of Oakland’s two games in its short series against the Mets, the grandmother of eight won each in shutout fashion, including Tuesday’s one-hitter and Wednesday’s three-hit effort.

Said Polankovich after Wednesday’s 2-0 win: “Having pitched nine high-leverage innings the previous day, I did find myself tiring in the seventh. Keep in mind that I suffer rheumatoid arthritis and sciatica, and also that I smoke unfiltered. But after giving up a pair of bloopers and an infield chopper, I bore down and made the pitches I needed to make. It felt really good to blow that 96 mph two-seamer past ol’ what’s-his-name with the bases loaded, even though I had to miss back-to-back episodes of Murder, She Wrote. Did Jessica catch the killers? I’m guessing she caught the killers.
Read the rest of this entry »

Featured: A Hard-Hitting Report on a Hard-Hitting Player


Last night, in the immediate aftermath of a major league baseball game, a major league baseball player joined Woodward and/or Bernstein to talk about his game-winning hit. Standing on the field as the crowd left the stadium, the player leaned toward the mic and said, “I was just looking…”

Nodding, Woodward and/or Bernstein glanced at the camera and then at the player. “Go ahead,” he and/or they intoned. “Tell me and/or us what you were looking for. And please, consider your responsibility to both the social contract and your own conscience. Be honest.”

The player nodded, as if to concur with the need for candor, and went on. “I was just looking for a pitch…”

Read the rest of this entry »

Mortal Combat: Ron Washington’s New, Injury-Proof Lineup

Starting at first base tonight for the Texas Rangers: a wheel of Parmesan cheese.

You might or mightn’t have noticed, as you might or mightn’t have spent the past few weeks in a crowded Peruvian jail, that the baseball squad known as the Texas Rangers has experienced something of a medical catastrophe this season, with precisely 32,000 of its ballplayers – to be fair, just 30,000 have been starters – landing on the disabled list, in the ICU and/or in a Tommie Copper commercial.

Earlier today, in response to this graphic demonstration of human frailty, Texas manager Ron Washington opened a pack of Camels and considered his options for tonight’s lineup against the Angels, all the while pondering the Buddhist precept that “life is suffering” even as he blew a series of distinct but ultimately ephemeral smoke rings. Upon snubbing the final ashy butt he decided on the following lineup, primarily for its ability to withstand the daily threats – pulled hammies, strained obliques, scarlet fever outbreaks, meteorite strikes and spontaneous combustions – that turn players into casualties of the human condition and proxies for the impermanence that turns us all, ultimately, into role players, pinch-hitters, DFA’s.

Read the rest of this entry »

Derek Norris Comes Out as Baseball’s First Openly Feral Player

DN 1

OAKLAND — When Derek Norris took his place behind home plate on Wednesday, he did so not merely as a member of the Oakland A’s, but also as a representative of a different group — namely, the United States’ small but real population of feral adult humans. While certain ballplayers have acknowledged their true identities following retirement, Norris is the first to have revealed his secret while still active.

Read the rest of this entry »