Archive for Things That Contain Multitudes

Real-Time Stats Leaderboard for Italian-American Players

Click to embiggen, if you get what the author means.

As a Champion of the People, the author has participated in a number of community-service projects that have enriched lives and inspired the leaders of tomorrow. Not for nothing has he (i.e. that same author) been referred to, on more than one occasion, as a “goddamn Johnny Appleseed of human compassion.”

None of the author’s good works, however, has been so rewarding as the present one. Using a combination of wit and just his hands, he’s endeavored to produce the world’s first, or at least best, real-time stats leaderboard for Italian-American and regular Italian major-leaguers.

Click this hyperlink to experience the leaderboard.

Click this more different hyperlink to consult Wikipedia’s list of Italian-Americans in baseball, which the author mostly utilized in the composition of the leaderboard.

Utilize the comments section below to make note of other Italian-American or just regular Italian major-leaguers who ought to be added to the leaderboard.

My Year with the Houston Astros: Part 3 – Singularity


Elimination Number: 118

It is not lost on the present author that a visitor to this hamlet of the Internet might either have a small amount of knowledge about a large swath of subjects, or perhaps the exact opposite. Either way, it seems like possessing one of the other (perhaps the latter more so) causes society to label one as a nerd or geek. I would add dweeb but I don’t hear people say that any more. I might research why that is. But not right now.

Right now I want to talk to you about singularity. For those who know, I apologize both for the redundancy as well as my surely-lacking description.  The general idea of singularity is that some time in the future (the consensus of when differs), technology will advance so much that humans will reach a place of super-intelligence. No one can tell you about what this future world will look like due to the anchoring theory of singularity — our puny stupid brains have no way of conceiving this world. The craziest, most futuristic thing we can think of will pale in comparison to what will actually exist, where we will actually be. We simply are not equipped to visualize this future. The only thing that will allow us to understand it is to advance technologically as a species to the point in which it actually happens, at which point thinking about it will be irrelevant. Science is weird.

Read the rest of this entry »

Travels with Casper


Casper Wells threw his Suburban into neutral and let it coast onto the off-ramp. According to the Rand McNally map he bought in a town called Williamsburg, he was just on the outskirts of some town called Williamsburg. He saw stalks of corn whenever he closed his eyes, which he had been doing well before he’d parked the car at the market. He idly wondered if he’d make Williamsburg before dark. The sun in his eyes told him it was morning.

He’d spent the night at a motel somewhere, a place off the road with a vacancy sign and no customers. When he’d gone into the office, there was nobody there, just papers and a bunch of keys on the wall. He couldn’t take the keys, couldn’t sleep in that empty place, so he went back out to the car and drowsed fitfully in the driver’s seat. When the sun came up, the motel was still vacant, still.

He scratched the head of his poodle, Checkers, and let her out to do her business in the grass at the side of the road. The air smelled of corn, somehow, sweet and yellow. Casper went into the store and bought some coffee and a couple of pepperoni sticks from the owner, a man with a sort of plaid face. He asked the man how to get to Chicago. “Just keep going,” he said airily, as if Casper could do anything else.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Paradox Grows in Beloit

A scene similar to, if not precisely the same as, the one accounted for below.

In the main/only concourse of Beloit’s Pohlman Field, minutes before the first pitch of a Midwest League game between the hometown Snappers and West Michigan Whitecaps, one encounters a group of anxious-looking men holding binders full of Bowman Chrome baseball cards. They’re approaching the Beloit and West Michigan players as they (i.e. those same players) make their way from Pohlman’s rather improvised locker rooms to its only-slightly-less improvised dugouts. They’re asking, with a sense of urgency, for the players (who are, in every case, younger than the men asking) to sign the cards in the binders.

Passing by and through the scene, one thinks, “This is behavior unbecoming of an adult man.”

Simultaneously, or nearly simultaneously, one envies the sense of purpose exhibited by those same autograph-seekers.

Image stolen shameless and without same from Ballparks of the Midwest.

For the Enjoyment of Schmidt

Hi there.

Did you know that you are pleasureable to Mike Schmidt? You are. He really finds you very silly, in all the best ways. The very sight of you brings him joy.

Oooo-hooo-hooo-hoo-hoo! ;)

To Mike Schmidt, you are a rainbow capybara with dolphin friends, singing kind songs in a summer rain. When you talk to Mike Schmidt, he feels your voice pour over him like a refreshing waterfall in a world without war or violent crime — a world that smells like clean laundry, where you smell like organic cilantro, where that cilantro is tickling the corners of his nose, too, forever.

Yes, Mike Schmidt just likes to look at you, to see you smile; he loves to see you flourish. He hopes that you are doing well, and that you will continue to amuse him for as long as you both shall live, which Mike Schmidt wishes would be forever and ever, because he just cannot get enough of you.

Mike Schmidt thanks you for being you.

Chicago Cabbie Pities Cubs

I had the privilege of galavanting around Chicago on Tuesday night with Carson Cistulli and Dayn Perry — two men who are grotesquely affectionate towards each other. After imbibing at a local dive — wherein I performed a twenty-minute bowel movement — we hailed a cab, which almost didn’t pick us up due to the fact that Mr. Perry was attempting to engage Mr. Cistulli’s groin in a boxing match on the sidewalk.

A cab not unlike the one we took.

Upon entering the cab, the cabbie conveyed that we would be his last ride before he went to join a friend for some hard-earned sliders-and-buckets-of-beers. “You work hard, you play hard. But you have to earn some money. Some people want to be handed everything. But if you work hard, you earn some money, then you can drink whatever you want.”

To which Mr. Cistulli tellingly responded, “What if you neither work nor play hard?”

Read the rest of this entry »

A Pitchfork-Style Review of Trevor Bauer’s Music

To think about a piece of music critically is to wonder about where it came from, to an extent. Not only how does it make you feel, but how did the artist feel when making their art? In other words, why? Why did they do this thing. And to consider the why leads eventually to the should — should this person have made this music? If your answers to these two questions are interesting and affirmative, respectively, you probably have yourself a song worth listening to. You could really say the same of most types of art, and eventually you might consider the criticism itself with those same questions.

I have no idea why Trevor Bauer made this music as part of the duo consummate4sight, and I don’t think he should have. And yet, only bad things will come of my critique of his art, and so therefore I’ve joined this conundrum that he created. Or maybe it’s my fault.

Read the rest of this entry »

Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs., a Redux


It has been announced that TLC’s reality show about Pete Rose, Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs., will not have a second season. This is most likely for the best, as the show probably didn’t pull that many viewers, and wasn’t very good all-in-all.

I should be up front about something, I love Pete Rose. Well, I love Rose as a character and a player. I don’t know him as a person. It’s cliché, but his persona as a hard-nosed, anything-to-win, day-in-day-out gamer is appealing to me. His nickname is Charlie Hustle, for Christ’s sake. Say what you want about him as a person, but Charlie Hustle is a perfect fucking nickname. Me being a “writer,” Rose’s character also has appeal. Barry Bonds has now eclipsed him, but for a long while, Rose was probably the most controversial ballplayer alive. As fans, we tend to overlook a lot of things a player does in his personal life, but that list ends at drugs (that help you get better at baseball) and gambling (when it directly — and only directly — affects baseball). Since Rose participated in the latter, he’s now been marked a heathen. Whether he’s worthy of the label or not isn’t relevant. Every baseball player has two lives; the before and the after. Rose screwed up the first, and now that has forever become part of his second. He’s two people with the same name and face.

Read the rest of this entry »

Video: All Commissioners of Baseball Are Sexy

Those who know know this: Every one of baseball’s nine commissioners was elevated to the office not because of his executive acumen or fealty to ownership. Rather, every one of baseball’s nine commissioners was elevated to the office because of his libidinous pizzazz. To say that each of baseball’s commissioners is sexy is to bury them in a shallow grave of understatement. They are not sexy; they are coitus made man …

Now go forth and begrime all that you survey.

On Offensive Headgear

Yesterday the Major League of Baseball released its 2013 Batting Practice Caps. And while the the news was generally greeted by the grateful tears of sorely underhatted and overfunded fans, it must be admitted that there was a small, sullen minority who felt some modicum of dissatisfaction at one particular logo, that of the storied Atlanta Braves:

As a responsible and thorough pseudo-journalist, I delved into the minds of the casual baseball fan; i.e., I read some internet comments sections. After the resulting chest pains and consumption of cheap whiskey, I can hesitantly lay out the following assessments:

1. That there will always be, in any society, a sense of conflict between people with disparate beliefs and values, and that in such circumstances the act of offending other people is, inevitably, unavoidable.

2. That there will always be people who feel fatigue at such a prospect, and turn to the universality that any feeling of being offended is at best a sign of weakness, and at worst a passive-aggressive attempt to wrest control over the presumed aggressor.

3. That we as a nation are no more settled on the question of political correctness, or even the nature of what makes something offensive to other people, than we were when we were creating Jeremy Piven Animal House ripoffs in the early nineties.

Read the rest of this entry »