NotGraphs Lip-Reading: Miguel Cabrera to Corey Kluber

Kluber 3

After beginning the latter’s first-inning at-bat with very much an inside fastball, Corey Kluber proceeded to strike out Miguel Cabrera on three breaking pitches to the outer half of the plate — the last of which pitch is depicted in the animated GIF embedded here.

Also depicted within the aforementioned GIF is a series of speech acts performed by the Detroit hitter. While no audio is available of Cabrera’s message to Kluber, NotGraphs’ Forensic Speechreading Expert Panel of Experts confirms the following dialogue:

“Falafels are never fun… Fun.”

A cryptic message, one notes — but terribly rich and even more compelling.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

9 Responses to “NotGraphs Lip-Reading: Miguel Cabrera to Corey Kluber”

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  1. T says:

    Maximum compelling. Nice work by the NGFSEPOE.

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  2. AC of DC says:

    Quite recent to this writing, this very eve, I went into a casual eatery for to get food, and in this place there was a television, and on that television was this game. Oh, good, says I but not out loud.

    While I am eating, the broadcast, performed by ESPN though silenced so we patrons can hear forgotten tunes of the ’80s, becomes visually excited with graphics and slo-mo &c. to tell us that Miguel Cabrera is due up in the 6th.

    While I am not the type to get daffy over any fellow — batting or pitching or otherwise — I do not see much televised baseball these days and one oft enjoys seeing good hitters and so forth, so I continue to pay attention.

    After the first pitch (a swinging strike outside the zone!), the broadcast puts up a heat map for Cabrera. That’s quite a thing, I note, though I thereafter note that they have lazily designated only two temperatures: above .350 and below .250, which is not as illustrative as they might have gone, but that is not the point and this is: For the next pitch and the remainder of the AB, they kept the goddamn heatmap graphic superimposed over the already-annoying strike zone outline, so that one could not see the last several feet of travel of the ball, or the swing, or even whether or not the bat was making contact with the ball, the fucking hell ESPN.

    This was the 6th inning, AND they did it for Martinez after Cabrera singled, so they’d obviously done it earlier in the game and nobody in the control room brightened up and said, “Hey, fellows, this looks like crap and interferes with viewership.” Look, I understand that as a national broadcast your job is to condescend to the viewer as though he were slightly stupider than the infield grass, but, with all proper consideration, fuck you.

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  3. frivoflava29 says:

    I see you driving ’round town with the girl I love,

    and I’m like,

    Fun youuu

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  4. Josh says:

    olive juice

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  5. Bowdy Liar says:


    The Tribe prophetic with the eyes of fire
    Went forth last night; their little ones at rest
    Each on his mother’s back, with his desire
    Set on the ready treasure of her breast.

    Laden with shining arms the men-folk tread
    By the long wagons where their goods lie hidden;
    They watch the heaven with eyes grown wearied
    Of hopeless dreams that come to them unbidden.

    Miguel Cabrera, from out his sandy screen,
    Watching them pass redoubles his shrill song;
    Kluber, who loves them, makes the grass more green,

    And makes the rock run water for this throng
    Of ever-wandering ones whose calm eyes see
    Familiar realms of darkness yet to be.

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  6. Skip says:

    I been examining this gif for a few months now. I can say with 100% confidence that the last thing Miguel said was fuck you. The first part he might have called corey kluber a mother fucker, or maybe said, nice pitch you fuck. It’s too hard to say for sure though.

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