Archive for Self-Help

Dialectic of Fandom

This is an essay about Stan Musial, sort of.

This is not an essay about team fandom. I certainly have thoughts on the matter, and though they apply here somewhat, they aren’t the crux the discussion. Pledging allegiance to a team is an act separate from what I’m discussing, though I may dig into that later in time.

This is not an essay about death. Stan Musial lived to be 92, and while the passing of anyone of note can be seen a tragic or sad, I find little mourning in my heart for a famous person who lived so long. I am more interested in celebrating his life, but again, that is not what this is about.

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An Uninvited Moment of Self-Reflection

The other morning, either by accident or out of a need to distract myself from the numerous laments of my daily life, I chanced upon Carson’s Wednesday edition of the Daily Notes.

Sipping my generic instant coffee, I allowed myself to be regaled by pastel-colored tales of hope and vigor, of prospects whose stories have not yet played out, and will all end well. I had achieved a healthy sense of emotional detachment, an almost zenlike prospecting trance, when my eyes fell upon a single name in the final leaderboard.

I am not accusing M. Cistulli of fabricating these statistics, although it’s of course impossible for them to be true. For this is a list of people who have theoretically done something well, and yet it includes Horacio Ramirez. Based on these premises and the deductive reasoning that renders logic possible, Socrates must be immortal.

Perhaps you smile at my vehemence, dear reader, but my heart is steadfast. Horacio Ramirez is not a man; he is a malediction. He is a negation of goodness. He may not be the only specter who haunts me, but it is his eyes that glow brightest when the lights go dark.

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Josh Hamilton Can’t See the Big Picture

Com’on Josh Hamilton. Too much caffeine from energy drinks caused your blurry vision that kept you out of 5 games last week. While you were gone, your team went 3-2 and let Oakland stay within reach of the division title.

To heck with the Rangers, how about my fantasy baseball team? Don’t you know owners are battling it out in H2H finals right now. I missed you for five freaking games. My team was already thin in the outfield with Nick Markakis, Michael Cuddyer and Jose Bautista all out. I had to play John Mayberry in your place. It is not like I am going to just pick up a respectable outfielder on the waiver wire in a 20 team league. How did my replacement do in the 5 games you were nursing your dried out corneas? He went 4-19 with one freaking run scored.

What did I lose HR by?
4 to 5.

28 to 31.

22 to 24

Just a decent game or two from you and I could of won. And because why? Because you needed to get Amped up to be a Rockstar or Monster during a game. Don’t you know nerds across this country are counting on you so they can belittle their nerds friends for a year. Get it together. Next time you need a fourth 32 oz Monster Heavy Metal, maybe you should go with a soothing cup of herbal tea.

Bronson Arroyo: Cooking With Gas

Bronson Arroyo, “aspiring musician” and erstwhile starting pitcher, knows that he is getting older (he’s 35, now). He says he’s worried about his “23-, 24-, 23-year-old” competition. He says he’s worried that he might not look good as an old man. With these concerns in mind, Mr. Arroyo has forayed into new territory this spring: the kitchen!

No chef’s hat!

Let it be known (mostly to the ladies) that Bronson Arroyo, “seasoned” “veteran”, still got it:

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I Just Spent $50 on Baseball Cards and I Blame You

The damning evidence.

One of my favorite games to play is the Blame Game, which is why I’d like to begin this post by blaming the parties most directly responsible for my heinous actions on the afternoon of February 9th, 2012 — which actions involved mainly the prolonged research, and subsequent purchase, of 24 baseball cards, coming to a total of approximately $50.

I blame the internet’s Common Man for forcing me to attend TwinsFest the weekend before last, an event (i.e. TwinsFest) that forced me to become curious about The State of the Hobby. I blame the editors of BaseballCardPedia (and recent podcast guests) Chrises Harris and Thomas for patiently answering all my questions about The State of the Hobby. I blame my wife for leaving me at home, unattended, for hours at a time, as if I knew how to take care of myself. I blame the neurotransmitter dopamine — and the reward system of my brain, generally — for somehow allowing the research, and subsequent purchase, of baseball cards to provide me with great pleasure. And finally, I blame Big Oil — which, even though they didn’t do anything specifically, they’re probably somehow involved.

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WS Kulturkampf Game 4: Absurdist Theatre

It gets hot in these rhinos.

When one reads the play-by-play transcript of World Series Game 5, one is reminded of some of the finer works of Eugène Ionesco.

This is not an excerpt:

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Jobs In The MLB: AL Openings

Jobs, not to be confused with: Job, the Book of.

Presently, 1 out of every 10 Americans is looking for full-time employment; and, presumably, 5 out of every 10 NotGrapher is looking for full-time employment to prove to mom that, yes, I can indeed pay you the damn rent some way other than selling my Pokemon card collection one precious Charizard at a time.

Well, recent reports indicate one can actually make money from the sport of baseball without twirling balls or swinging sticks. To test this theory, we suggest any and all seeking-full-time-employment NotGraphers to consider the following job openings across the MLB:

Baltimore Orioles — Corporate Sales and Sponsorship Intern
Live in the Baltimore area? Tired of getting pushed around by Omar Little? Well, the Orioles have an internship that may just offer you a chance to rise up out of the gritty, realistic mire that is Baltimore Life.

From what we can glean from the internship description, the prospective intern will need to be a present student of not-unintelligent quality (3.0 GPA or higher) and available for full-time hours from February through May. Prior experience with a double-action Police-issued revolver not required.
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Dispatches from the Sportswriting Microeconomy

Today I have something in common with the idle rich. I am manifestly not rich, but I am now quite, quite idle. That’s because yesterday, after nine years of service — service that gave off every appearance of being loyal — let me go. It was a budgetary decision, which allows me to fall on the less displeasing end of the somewhat blurry laid off/fired continuum. So that’s something. Right?

Anyhow, I’m not going to sit here and meow on and on about my grim circumstances. Plenty of people are much worse off, and I have cabinets full of canned goods, SSRIs and mind-altering spirits. I’ll be fine. Rather, I’d like to reflect upon some positives that have arisen from my new, blighted condition. To be sure, I have some regrets right now — no longer working with some terrific editors over at FOX is chief among them — but some things sustain me …

  • I now have more time to spend here and over at BBTF. I might also look into doing same with wife and spawn.
  • I have learned that commenters on any mainstream, high-traffic site are, almost without exception, drooling sub-morons. I shall now walk among them far less often.
  • Since I am no longer part of the FOX hootenanny, I can say without fear of reprisal that I don’t much care for the work of Joe Buck. I care even less for the work of Thom Brennaman.
  • The name “NewsCorp” has always creeped me out. It sounds like a place at which Winston Smith would work.
  • My wife has wanted, for some time, a pricey futon for which I do not see the need. Checkmate, wife.
  • My wife has wanted, for some time, a second child for which I do not see the need. Checkmate, wife. (Kidding, dear! Sort of … )
  • I look forward to a significantly lower tax burden in 2011.
  • Since I’ve long been self-employed, I can, despite my unemployment, still hang onto America’s Worst Health-Insurance PolicyTM.
  • I can watch more baseball, which is sort of the point, right?
  • Above all, I carry with me no hard feelings, and I still, in my own estimation, number among the lucky bastards of this world. And as with all things in life, an Internet meme provides guiding wisdom …

    Thank you for listening.

    Me vs. The Internet

    So I picked a fight with the Internet, and the Internet is beating me as though it entered a cheat code. The blow-by-blow …

    Yesterday, I threatened to Ruin EverythingTM by posting the same thing as Eno Sarris, a mere hour later. Content redundancies are frowned upon, particularly by Dear Leader, so after I spent a sleepless, unmentionable night in the NotGraphs Dungeon of Citizen Reprimand, one would think the scales would have fallen from mine eyes. One would think …

    Yet, lo, I awoke, fired a Tweet through the Internet, and watched disaster unfurl before me like Dave Cameron’s rolled-up knapsack of Medieval torture devices …

    I thought Jose Reyes’s projected stat line was pretty cool, but it did not rise to the fleetingly rare level of “cool enough to repeat this four or five times in succession.” I don’t repeat things like that. I repeat drink orders just to be sure. And I repeat, usually in moments that don’t seem to occasion it, my refusal to quarter soldiers in my home during wartime because the third amendment means that much to me. But I don’t repeat Jose Reyes’s projected stat line. At least, not unless the Internet makes me.

    So what does one say at this point? This? “I’m sorry, Internet. Please leave me alone.” Also: Et tu, Firefox.

    The Stages of Wainwright Grief

    That’s a picture of Teddy Roosevelt putting some lead in Bigfoot.

    And right now it’s the only thing that helps.

    Why my long face? As you have no doubt heard, my team’s ace, the lovely and talented Adam Wainwright, is probably out for the season and facing Tommy John surgery. Needless to say, this likely dry-gulches our chances in the balanced (if unspectacular) NL Central. Given the subsequent pitching shortage and the lateness of this hour, I fully expect that an NRI will soon be extended to Charlie Brown or Scott Stapp or, worse, Jaime Navarro.

    And here I am, left with nothing but beery regrets.

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