Archive for Unreliable Source

Prostate Exam Play-by-Play

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Over the weekend, the minor league GM of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Rangers Single-A), Andy Milovich, offered to undergo a prostate exam during a game.

“It’s not like I would be getting it at home plate,” Milovich said. “I’ll likely do it from our radio booth and the fans will see me from the shoulder up.”

“…and, Jorge Alfaro steps up to the plate. Alfaro is 1-for-2 on the day, with a double in the 4th inning that drove in one. And speaking of one being driven in, the prostate exam has begun here in the booth. First pitch to Alfaro is low and outside, a ball. Speaking of balls… yes, here they are, in the booth, right there, we’re looking right at them. Never thought I’d see the day.

“And that sound you just heard was Andy Milovich. Perhaps the radio booth was not the perfect place for a prostate exam, Andy? Of course, anywhere is a perfect place for Coors Light, the official beer of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. This game, and this prostate exam, brought to you by Coors Light. Taste the Rockies. But definitely don’t taste whatever is on this doctor’s finger.

“Speaking of doctors, what kind of doctor is agreeing to do a prostate exam in this medically sterile, bacteria-free radio booth? If you have a malpractice case and need a lawyer, like Andy Milovich probably should, just call Jacoby and Meyers, sponsors of this broadcast and Andy Milovich’s prostate.

“There’s ball two to Alfaro, and coincidentally that’s the same number of balls as we’ve got right on the table here, next to this delicious Hebrew National Hot Dog, available at the ballpark, in your grocer’s freezer, and right next to this prostate exam right here.

“The pitch, and Alfaro pokes one just past the pitcher’s mound. And speaking of poking….”


Jeremy Giambi: “I Purposely Slowed Down”

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Breaking News — following Adam Wainwright’s comment that he grooved the pitch Derek Jeter hit for a double at this week’s All-Star Game, Jeremy Giambi revealed that he purposely slowed down back in the 2001 American League Division Series when Jeter made the “flip play” that has become one of his most iconic.

“…so I saw the ball land in right field, and Shane Spencer pick it up, and I was all set to score… but then Jeter comes out of nowhere, sets himself up to grab that relay throw– and certainly by 2001, Derek was already a huge legend in the game, and I figured, hey, what better way to pay tribute to the sport than to set him up for a defensive maneuver that could go down in history. I knew all about the arguments against his fielding– numbers, and all of that– and so I knew it would be even more valuable for him to have a play like this to buttress what was already a slam-dunk Hall of Fame case. I was running full speed, and didn’t want to hurt myself by suddenly coming to a complete stop, but I figured I could try my best to put on the brakes– and even if I was risking injury a little bit, it was worth it to help make Derek Jeter into a legend. I tried to catch his glance– and in a single, career-defining moment for me, Derek Jeter looked at me– actually looked at me, the way we all dream Derek Jeter will look at us, his eyes boring a hole deep into my soul– and I used my eyes to communicate a message. “Flip that ball,” my right eye said, “and you will get me out,” my left eye added. And I used all of the muscle power inside of me to put the brakes on as quickly as I could– and, just as I’d intended, Jorge’s tag got me.

“He never said thank you. I mean, he sent me a gift basket, but he sends that to all of his opponents after every game, so it was hard to feel special just from that. But I know he knew, and I know that deep down he must feel that same admiration for me as I felt for him. And I’m proud that even though my major league career did not go as well as I’d dreamed it would, I will always be part of history as the man who purposely slowed down so that Derek Jeter could make a career-defining play.

“I also threatened to have Byung-Hyun Kim’s visa revoked if he didn’t throw Jeter a batting practice fastball in the World Series that year, so I should get credit for that too.

“And in 2012, I invented a time machine and only let Derek Jeter use it.”


Cabrera Denies He Still Feels Groin Injury

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(via Rotoworld)

“No, man, I don’t feel it, I don’t touch it, I don’t rub it, I don’t do any of that stuff. Not anymore. I know all that used to be a problem for me, but now I keep my hands completely away from it, I don’t even think about it. I mean, that’s how I injured it, so I know it’s really important to leave it alone, put that whole area out of my head, and not aggravate the problem by going back in there and fooling around. It’s like, yeah, once it got injured, it totally hurt whenever I was doing anything with that, uh, region of my body, but it was the kind of pain that, I don’t know, made me keep going back in, like a good kind of pain, except it wasn’t good because then when I tried to play baseball with it, it was, like, really not good, really hard to swing and everything, even to bend over and pick up a bat, or a ball, or a video of people, uh, naked people, uh, no, like I said, I’m not even thinking about that anymore. So, like, I tried tying my hands behind my back, handcuffing them to my chair, all sorts of stuff. I thought maybe a stress ball would help, one of those little ones, squeeze that, get all of my energy out with that– obviously it wasn’t the same, and, I don’t know, I think in some ways it just made the urge to get back into that area even more powerful, it’s sort of an addiction I guess, but not something the Players Association has any testing for, you know? So, yes, I admit I was feeling the injury a little bit at the beginning, mostly late at night in front of the computer, but I promise, no more. Not since we got that child-safe filter or whatever it was that my wife said we had to get. I mean, I know I can afford to pay someone to figure out a way around it, one of those tech guys, maybe a blogger or something, but I’m being good. I’m not touching anything, poking at anything, not even looking at it, I am not feeling my groin injury anymore. I promise.”


Chad Billingsley Has Decade-Ending Surgery, Hopeful He Can Pitch in 2020

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LOS ANGELES — Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley will have decade-ending surgery this week to repair seventeen partially torn flexor tendons in his right elbow.

Billingsley, who had already been working his way back from Tommy John surgery on the same elbow, Tommy Hilfiger surgery on the opposite elbow, and John Quincy Adams surgery on six of his feet, is hopeful he can pitch again in 2020, or maybe 2025.

“I’ll have spent the majority of my adult life in rehab, but I’ve got to do it,” Billingsley said. “Or at least the terms of my contract say I have to do it. So I’ll do it. They tell me it should only be five or six years of rehab, so that’s good. I’ll catch up on a bunch of old New Yorker issues I’ve been saving. I hear there are some good George Saunders stories in a few of them. I love George Saunders.”

The surgery will be performed by a team of thirty-six doctors over the course of nine days, with provisions being flown in by the National Guard to keep the entire 108-member surgical team properly hydrated.

Billingsley began having surgeries when he appeared on the FOX reality show, “The Swan,” insisting that he wanted to look “more like a surgical patient” than he had been appearing until that point. His elbow initially began bothering him when he was a six-months-developed fetus, but he was hopeful he could avoid surgery until he finished his pitching career.

The Dodgers were initially hopeful Billingsley could disappear, so they could avoid paying his salary, especially after he had setbacks at each step of his rehab, including during each step he took to get to the rehab center. (He lost at least four tendons on the concrete path from the parking lot to the main entrance.)

The Dodgers signed Billingsley to a three-year, $35 million contract extension in March 2011. There is a dispute about whether the contract is valid, since Billingsley was unable to actually sign the physical document, due to elbow pain.


What Is Mike Trout Allergic To?

ESPN’s David Schoenfield investigates Mike Trout’s increased strikeout rate:

Something is going on here besides just a random fluctuation in the numbers, whether it’s tied to Trout’s spring training assertion that he was going to be more aggressive or pitchers finally finding a hole in his swing or a bad case of allergies clouding his vision.

Which begs the question… what is Mike Trout allergic to?

1. Monkeys. One theory, posited by no one, is that Trout is allergic to monkeys, like the Rally Monkey. However, Trout’s strikeout rate is higher on the road than at home, so that theory makes no sense. Also, the rally monkey is a stuffed animal, not a real animal. (Or is he?) Also, I’m not sure the Rally Monkey is even used by the Angels anymore. Also, I’m not sure they’re still called the Angels or if the rest of the team name has swallowed that part up and they’re just the Los Anaheims of Angeles Los Anaheim Anaheims Los Losses.

2. The ball. Except he’s not striking out 72.4% of the time, and 72.4% is more than 27.6%, I think (number alert: can someone from real FanGraphs please check my math?). So even this increased strikeout rate is still less than what it would be if he truly needed to avoid the ball entirely or risk death by sneezing.

3. Ragweed. I’m not saying I’m anything like Mike Trout, or that he’s anything like me, or that we’re secretly brothers, or that I’m also going to earn however many gajillion dollars he’s set to earn in his career, or that I should be playing for the Angels, or that he could write a NotGraphs post, but I’ll just say that I’m allergic to ragweed, and so if Mike Trout is allergic to ragweed too, then it’s sort of like we’re brothers in an allergic way, and that would make me feel super special. Also, can someone recommend an effective antihistamine?


What My Seven-Month-Old Son Knows About Fantasy Baseball

[Photo is of the e-trade baby, not my actual baby.]

“Hi. I’m seven months old. And even though I can’t talk yet, I can still have thoughts. Fortunately, my daddy can read my mind, so when I was thinking that I would like to write this post, he agreed to transcribe it for me. Even though I don’t really know what baseball is yet, I do know something about fantasy baseball, because sometimes when my daddy thinks he has my head facing away from his computer screen, I’m actually looking out of the corner of my eye. I don’t really know why he and mommy are so obsessed with me not looking at their computer screen. They would rather I stare at the wall? Adults are so silly. It’s not even like they’re doing anything with crazy blinking graphics or other things that are going to screw up my attention span or give me nightmares. They’re reading the New York Times. Big deal. Scrolling text. Wow. Really dangerous. Ugh, adults. They don’t even let me check my e-mail, EVEN THOUGH MY DADDY GOT ME A GMAIL ACCOUNT THE WEEK I WAS BORN. Why be so crazy as to sign up for the e-mail account when you’re not even going to let me check it?

“Where was I? Sorry, it’s hard to stay focused when you’re seven months old. Very easily distracted. Anyway, what was I talking about? Socks, right? They’re so annoying, and yet I don’t quite have the hand-eye coordination yet to pull them off. Ugh. What’s wrong with exposed feet? I like to be able to see my toes to make sure they’re still attached.

“No, wait, I wasn’t talking about socks. I was talking about fantasy baseball, right? I know my daddy is kind of obsessed with fantasy baseball, because when he feeds me at 3AM, the first thing he does is check the ESPN app on his phone to look at box scores. (Why do I still insist on waking up at 3AM to be fed? Because I am evil.) He doesn’t even really try to burp me anymore. He just gives me a couple of perfunctory slaps on the back and then moves me so my eyes can’t see the screen and starts checking all the late games. That is crazy behavior from someone who claims to want to get right back to sleep. Even once I’ve fallen asleep, sometimes he still checks the last couple of games before he puts me down. Sometimes, just to trick him, I pretend I’m asleep, wait for him to get ready to put me down, and then I open my eyes and start kicking my legs so he has to start over again with the bouncing and the ssssshhhhhing. Why can I only fall asleep when someone is bouncing and ssssshhhhing me? I don’t know, I’m just a baby, why should I know?

“What else do I know about fantasy baseball? My daddy is very mad at someone named Carlos Santana, and he should have made that trade someone offered him yesterday but he was too scared to give up on the season so early in the year. Guess what? This isn’t his year. Chris Sale is out for another month, Josh Hamilton is not going to be the same once he comes back, and that hail mary Johan Santana pick at the end of the draft? Even a seven-month-old knows that is not going to be a difference-maker.

“I do need someone to explain WHIP to me, though. What does it stand for, and who made it up? Some things in this world are just super-confusing.”


Means By Which John McGraw Reached Base

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As a nation rages over the definition of sportsmanship and whether smiling is included in such, it’s natural to reflect on the wisdom of John McGraw. Once, in the dark pre-internet ages of baseball and America, McGraw was forgotten save for twenty-three separate references in Bill James’s Historical Baseball Abstract. But now, thanks to No Child Left Behind, tales of America’s Ruffian Sweetheart are now recited and memorized by elementary-age children during the Mandatory Edutational Bus Ride Chant section of their morning commute.

Despite the great leaps made by educational reform, however, some Americans might still somehow be unaware the Little Napoleon still ranks third all-time with a career .466 on-base percentage. How is it possible that a man only 1.03 Altuves in height and 0.89 Altuves in weight could prove so able at reaching first? The NotGraphs Arcane Research Department delved into gigabytes of Retrosheet data, and interviewed random nonagenarians. They uncovered the following anecdotal evidence, symptomatic of the barbarism of 1890s baseball.

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Rick Reilly on Chris Davis: An Entomologist Responds

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Last week, ESPN columnist Rick Reilly wrote a piece for that site in which he appears to have suggested — if not explicitly, than at least by means of implication — that Baltimore first baseman Chris Davis‘s recent feats of strength haven’t been achieved by the fairest of play.

Regarding Reilly’s rhetorical liberties, the present author has little to say — first of all, because that’s not his (i.e. the author’s) literary bailiwick, really, and, second of all, because “colleague” Michael Bates (if one could call him that without chortling) possesses considerably greater reserves of outrage.

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Hopeless Joe Recaps His Fantasy Auction

What can I say, really? Like all of my fantasies, I died in the end. I mean, I guess I didn’t actually die, but I almost electrocuted myself trying to restart my wireless router, which did, I suppose, actually die mid-draft. We should all be so lucky. I’d tell you who I ended up with, but what’s the point? It doesn’t count. Not that real baseball counts either. It’s a game. I’ll never understand how some people can get so worked up over a game when there are people starving in Africa, in Asia, and right here, in my living room. Three cats and a dog, all starving. Who has the energy to think about feeding them when there are people starving in Africa, Asia, and so many other places around the world?

I used to think it would be nice to visit some of those places, but then I realized I’d probably just end up being one of the starving ones. Chris Sale seems like he’s probably starving. So skinny. Oh, and he’s on my team. I outbid everyone else for him. Finally won something, two hours into the auction. It must be a fantasy if I’m winning something. Wow. Thinking about starving made me bid way too high for Mike Trout. Sophomore slump is coming, I’m sure. But his name is a food and I was hungry, so I went to 50 for him. Why not throw as much as I can on a couple of superstars, right? You never know when a bomb’s gonna go off and the draft is going to suddenly come to an end. And then it matters whether I stopped at 48 for Trout? No, if you want someone, you draft them.

I feel so bad for Mike Trout. Reaching the pinnacle of his career — of his life — at such a young age. There is nowhere to go but down. I don’t even know how he gets out of bed in the morning. Nowhere to go but down, Mike. Speaking of nowhere to go, Kyle Lohse. I feel like Kyle Lohse and I have a lot in common. Nobody wants us, not even the Astros. I bid a dollar for him at the end of the auction and got him. We’ll show them, Kyle. We’ll show all of my self-important leaguemates, with their jobs and their families and their breakfasts and lunches and dinners. We don’t need any of that. We have each other.

We also have Bartolo Colon, because you can’t think about starving people around the world without thinking about the guy who ate all of their food. I also went to $3 on A-Rod, but, hey, I can’t really bring myself to draft a guy who’s in even worse shape than I am.

Good luck in your drafts too!


Following Yahoo’s Lead, Rockies Announce Players Will No Longer Be Allowed To Work From Home

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COLORADO — After a disappointing 2012 season, the Rockies knew they would have to take a hard look at their entire organization, and figure out how they could be sure to improve going forward. What they never expected was that a leaked memo from a leading technology company would inspire them to make a change that they hope will change their fortunes in 2013 and beyond. This past week, it was revealed that Yahoo was requiring all employees working from home to instead come into the office, where they could theoretically be more productive, creative, and showered than they were in their living rooms.

Upon reading this news, Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd had a brainstorm. If it was the right policy for Yahoo, perhaps it was something to think about for the Rockies. All season, there had been a terrible gap in the infield, as Todd Helton, Josh Rutledge, Troy Tulowitzki, and Chris Nelson had all taken advantage of the team’s generous telecommuting policies to work from home instead of coming to the stadium or heading out on the road. This had led to countless ground balls sneaking through to the outfield, an endless number of missed at-bats, and, at least in Helton’s case, bizarre decisions to drive drunk and play the lottery. While the team had sought to make it easier for its players to balance work and life responsibilities by letting them play the field from their home offices, nearly 100 losses on the year made O’Dowd start to wonder whether this was the right plan for the Rockies going forward.

Thus, just this morning, the team has issued an urgent news release:

To become the absolute best place to play, communication and collaboration are important, and we need to be physically fielding side-by-side in order to stop most grounders. That is why it is critical that we are all present at the stadium. Some of the best baseball is played by people who are actually on the field, wearing uniforms, and cheering on our pitchers. Bat speed is often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one team, and that starts with physically being together.

Beginning in June, we’re asking all players with work-from-home arrangements to show up to the games ready to play. Yes, we’ll sacrifice April and May, but, hey, we’re trying. If this impacts you, our manager has already been in touch with next steps. For those of you who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, the inground pool installer, the divorce lawyer, or the financial planner, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Rockie isn’t just about posing for pictures on baseball cards, it is about actually playing baseball. Sometimes.

The team looks forward to winning perhaps as many as three additional games this season thanks to the new policy.