And thanks for all the fish.
And thanks for all the fish.
If this 2-2 game stays tied, uh, forever, then this blog never has to die. So let’s keep it going.
In the meantime, I just read (okay, skimmed) a weird article about looking for America’s best restroom, and it got me wondering which stadiums have the best and worst of ’em. So, in true NotGraphs spirit, if you’d like to spend any of the final couple hours of this baseball season thinking about bathrooms, go for it.
In more seriousness, gosh, I’ll really miss writing here, and will miss the chance to better get to know my fellow contributors through their posts, and commenters through their comments. Thanks, Carson. It’s been fun.
I am incredibly sad. Sad that NotGraphs is going away, sad that I have not contributed to it in several months, and especially sad that, in not contributing to it, I am unable to claim credit for its ultimate downfall (unless my absence somehow caused said downfall. Yeah, we’ll go with that).
This has been, in many ways, the hardest year of my life. Because of that, I stopped feeling funny several months ago. Stopped feeling whimsical. Stopped feeling like I had anything to share and that I wanted to be in the mindset where I could generate things I wanted to share. I essentially became Sad Steve Bedrosian.
Aw, he’s still so sad. Buck up, Steve. Stop sniveling and be more like Wally Moon:
Now that’s an eyebrow you could set your watch by.
Through it all, NotGraphs always made me laugh. The work that has been done here by others before and during my absence has been sublime and stupid and sublimely stupid. It has been, with the exception of that done by Carson, some of my most favorite writing I have chanced to read. I want to thank everyone here for that and to tell them that I will miss seeing them besmirch the good name of FanGraphs, even as they continue to besmirch the OK name of Banknotes Industries. And I want to thank everyone who has ever read one of my posts and not immediately sworn off the Internet forever.
I really hope to see all of you again over on BanknotesIndustries.com. You are, all of you, the very best. Except for Carson. Who is the absolute worst.
Finally, I leave you as a found you, staring at a picture of Don Zimmer next to a picture of my newborn daughter. He is dead now, but she is three and is going to be Wonder Woman on Friday. Better that than vice versa.
United States, born 1978
paint on canvas, I think
Its first post having been made on November 10, 2010, “NotGraphs, The Blog,” lasted just under four years. It began with four regular contributors: Carson Cistulli (also the editor, duh), Jack Moore, Eno Sarris, and Leo Martin. Since then, 42 people have posted here at least once, with 19 contributors posting at least 20 pieces. They weren’t all great pieces, but then, look who the editor was.
David Appelman, in his introductory post, expected that NotGraphs would provide “a place to put things that would otherwise not have a place on FanGraphs, that we find interesting and we think you would also find interesting” and that The Blog would “let us broaden our horizons a bit by looking at a wide variety of additional baseball subjects.”
I learned that uniforms are more interesting than I realized, that mustaches come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, that Craig Robinson can draw pretty much anything, that the intersection of poetry and baseball is larger than just Casey at the Bat, that many of us have such interesting, tortured, melancholic relationships with the game and with writing about the game, that baseball players can be inserted into lots of different things and that lots of different things can be inserted into baseball players, that baseball players don’t often tweet things worth posting about, but that sometimes they do, and that compelling baseball writing can be pretty much all over the map, with or without graphs or even facts.
Obviously, the first thing we did here at NotGraphs after hearing the news about Joe Maddon opting out of his contract with the Rays was reach out to him and see if he was interested in a new, lucrative, long-term opportunity. Would he be interested in leading NotGraphs coverage in a lifetime contract to cover the remainder of the blog’s existence?
He would not be.
It is our loss.
(But Hopeless Joe is relieved. He likes being the only Joe.)
This isn’t how I figured I’d go out.
Nope, I figured the crushing responsibilities of adult life would simply overcome me one day, and I’d perish while sitting in the front of the computer and suddenly remembering I’d forgotten to pay my estimated taxes, or I was three years overdue for a dental cleaning, or I’d never canceled that auto-billed subscription to the Anti-Depressant of the Month Club (October was chocolate-covered Paxil).
For me to have outlasted this website, well, it’s almost unbelievable. (And super-frustrating to the bank that sold me that variable life annuity a few years ago under the assumption that there’s no way I’d make it this long. Suck it, Farmer John’s Savings & Loan! Betting on my death is no way to run a lending institution!)
Baseball has been part of almost all of the highs and lows of my life. It was there when I proposed to my girlfriend up on the big scoreboard, and it was there when she shook her head and told me she preferred to be alone rather than spend our lives together. It was there when I caught that home run ball, and it was there when the force of catching that home run ball carried me over the railing and into the visitor’s bullpen. And it was there, on the hospital television set, when I tried to wake up from the emergency surgery but was frozen in my own body. And it was there, on the gravedigger’s radio, when I was buried alive. And it was there, under second base, when I finally dug my way out, clawing a tunnel from the cemetery over to downtown Boston and up into Fenway Park, before, as my head emerged from the dirt, I was spiked by Dustin Pedroia and ended up back in the hospital once more.
It was there for me this past August, when I renounced my years of Royals fandom, admitting to the world that I finally understood that they would never again make it to a World Series, at least not in my lifetime.
And it was there for me this past Yom Kippur, when I broke the fast with a Shake Shack hot dog at Citi Field, that I found in a dumpster, left over from the season’s last homestand. Okay, that was a mistake. I shouldn’t have eaten that.
Even without NotGraphs, baseball will continue. I assume. I mean, maybe it won’t. Maybe the powers that be will realize that the game can’t survive without folks like me writing about it. But probably not. And so, I’m sure, even without NotGraphs, baseball will continue to be there for the ups and downs of my life, like the up of when the elevator takes me to my meeting with Not Just a Bit Outside, and the down of when the elevator doesn’t come to retrieve me and I tumble down the shaft.
Indeed, together, we have tumbled down shafts, and flipped our bats every which way. We will continue to do so. And although we may or may not all succumb to Ebola, we will eventually succumb to something, and in that moment of succumbunce, we will look to baseball to help guide us home. I think that’s probably an appropriately Hopeless thought to end on, don’t you? Have a particularly hopeless end of the World Series, fine readers. A particularly hopeless end.
[This may also be Jeremy Blachman’s last NotGraphs post, depending on whether the Series extends past this weekend. If it does not, he’d like to say thanks to the readers and commenters for making this a fun place to write, and to Carson for giving him the chance. He will probably write again about baseball, somewhere, at some point, so follow him on Twitter @jeremyblachman for more about that. Or, if the series goes to 6, he’ll see you on Monday. And Tuesday. And maybe Wednesday. If anyone wants to send a final Ask NotGraphs question, now would probably be your chance!]
“What are you doing?”
“Trying to get this chat thing to work on my phone.”
“Remind me what exactly this is…?”
“NotGraphs is doing a World Series chat.”
“Does that mean we have to watch the game?”
“Oh, so we can finish The Good Wife?”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s fine.”
“So then what are you chatting about?”
“I don’t know.”
“And who is reading it?”
“Are you getting paid to do this?”
“So, wait, tell me again what exactly this is and why you’re doing it.”
“I don’t know. It’s just a thing.”
“Wouldn’t you rather go to sleep? [We were up at 3AM because our son is either teething or has decided to become nocturnal.]”
“So go to sleep.”
“Okay. I should.”
“And this stupid chat site keeps making it harder for me to scroll through everything anyway.”
“Do you want me to tell you what happens during the rest of The Good Wife episode since I already read a recap of it online?”
“No. Why did you read about it before we watched it?”
“I don’t know. Do you want to watch the World Series game instead?”
“I thought you didn’t have to watch it.”
“What if I want to watch it?”
“I don’t know.”
“We should go to sleep.”
The sidebar says that this is my 567th post for NotGraphs. Which means I, on my Monday-Thursday schedule, barring unplanned Series delay, will end at either 570 posts, 571 posts, or 572 posts, depending on when the World Series is over. I mean, obviously the series will only go 4 games, since the Royals are unbeatable, but just in case an official scorer screws up, or the ghost of Ewing Kauffman stops haunting all of the other playoff teams….
I thought I’d check some baseball card numbers from the past to see if I had a preference between the three likely end points.
Before this blog closes up shop completely, I thought it only made sense to finally detail all of the Knots that we’ve been writing about for all of these years.