Hopeless Joe’s 10 Lessons I Have Learned About Writing NotGraphs Posts

If you’re not reading the wonderful 10 Lessons… series this week over at The Hardball Times, well, perhaps like me, you’re too busy with your electroshock therapy treatments. In any case, I thought I would join in the “fun,” though I’m not sure I know what that even means anymore, not since the accident. Here are ten lessons I’ve learned, having written a whole bunch of NotGraphs posts, some of them still accessible in my long-term memory even after the treatments. (Gosh, who invented this electricity thing? It hurts!)

1. Predictions are enjoyable to make, even if your odds of being right are never any better than chance.

2. Readers never comment on the posts you think they will, and sometimes the ones on which they comment in droves are quite surprising.

3. If you feel particularly sad, and want validation from readers in the form of comments, just ask a question at the end of the post, no matter how pointless. They will comment, and you will again feel that slight connection to the rest of humanity that the remainder of your life does not provide.

4. Baseball provides endless inspiration for posts, related and unrelated to the game, except on the days when you have absolutely no ideas and need to troll Twitter hoping you can stumble on something worth posting.

5. There is no problem that a mustache and a bat flip can’t solve. (Except crippling depression.)

6. Kendrys Morales has it worse off than me. (And if anyone wants to offer me a 1-year, $11 million deal to write for them, I will take it, no questions asked.)

7. Really stuck for a post? Just make up a new statistic.

8. Putting Dustin Pedroia’s face on the body of lizards does not pay off in terms of time spent versus comments received.

9. Writing for NotGraphs does not, as previously assumed, entitle you to pitch for the Mets.

10. Don’t promise a list of ten items when you only have three or four good ideas.



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Jeremy Blachman is the author of Anonymous Lawyer, a satirical novel that should make people who didn't go to law school feel good about their life choices. Read more at McSweeney's or elsewhere. He likes e-mail.


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Canuck
Guest
Canuck

Hope this question generates a few life-affirming comments: If Rob Ford were a baseball player, which one would he be? Keeping in mind that Babe Ruth actually hit 714 home runs when not living large.

Cutter Dykstra
Guest
Cutter Dykstra

Babe Ruth was good at Baseball. Rob Ford is not good at anything. Ergo, Rob Ford is Yuniesky.

steex
Guest
steex

Rob Ford is painful if you have to suffer through him personally, but tremendously entertaining if he’s off in some other country. Ergo, Rob Ford is Wladimir Balentein.

Cutter Dykstra
Guest
Cutter Dykstra

Both have great plate coverage.

Canuck
Guest
Canuck

This is good, but maybe Ford’s a composite. I’d add some Ryan Braun –get off on a technicality by blaming the poor FedEx guy, and then act like you’re lily-white. And when you’re caught again, tell everyone you’ve learned your lesson.

Rob Ford
Guest
Rob Ford

But I hate the Jews!

Michael
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Michael

Are you feeling connected o humanity? I see no question at he end. If not, here is a virtual hug. Did you feel it? It was warm, trust me. ;)

Maikel Cleto
Guest
Maikel Cleto

Electricity DOES hurt, man!

John Paschal
Member

Hey, Hopeless Joe. If you want to get closer to commenters, do what I do: Follow them home and sleep in their attics. You will get hungry, so bring food. Don’t bring Cheetos. Cheetos are crunchy, and the people will hear you.

Stinky Pete
Member
Stinky Pete

Especially if they are not watching MLB.TV in Iowa. Veeeeeery quiet in Iowa.

John Paschal
Member

I’m beginning to think that you live in Iowa. And that you don’t get MLB.TV.

Stinky Pete
Member
Stinky Pete

(And I’m somewhat bitter about it…)

Zoidberg
Guest
Zoidberg

And bring me too, maybe?

cass
Guest
cass

How is there no Hopeless Joe category?!

Jenstrom
Guest
Jenstrom

Dear Hopeless Joe / Mr. Blachman, I have severe depression, so I know how you feel. If you will have me for a friend, I will be one to you. I liked your post with Petey’s face on lizards.

Paul G.
Guest
Paul G.

I’m pretty sure that in some seasons being able to breathe makes you eligible to pitch for the Mets. Being semi-ambulatory is a plus, though not required.

In related news, being willing to pitch for free entitles you to a job on the Marlins staff.

Illinois glass M. Michael Sheets
Guest
Illinois glass M. Michael Sheets

If you’re looking for comments, just incorporate Englebert Humperdink, King of Romance, into every post. When you’ve been pleasing fans for the past 47 years like TKOR, commenters come out to support you in every corner of the internets.

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