I Enjoy Baseball Today


If you’re an interneting person, if you are “jacked in” — as they say — then there is a good chance you know that today is the day that commentors on the Web Site Reddit have decided to mob baseball stadiums across the nation, bearing signs that say, simply, I Enjoy Baseball:


I’m telling you this so that you will know it. So that when your spouse says, Hah, that’s a fine sign!, you can glance over your newspaper and mutter, Harumph! I know all about this — for behold: My mammoth knowledge!

Because: Why else would we watch baseball with a spouse in the room, if not to impress said spouse?

John Smiley Is Not

The authors of the little-known pamphlet Freakonomics noted that a person’s name can have a momentous effect on their socioeconomic and personal well being. As someone whose last name has often been rhymed with the act of regurgitation, I can attest to this unfortunate reality.  Though perhaps both the psychological trauma and hilarity of the ritualistic substitute teacher roll call is overrated, the sins of the parent can certainly be borne by the child, at least in terms of getting beat up in middle school.

One’s moniker can also bestow counter-intuitive outcomes. A well-known example of this is the brothers, Winner and Loser Lane, who grew up to become a repeat convict and a detective, respectively. Though we are dabbling in the softest, coziest of sciences, the conjecture is that both Lanes were treated, and therefore shaped, differently by their environment. Baseball, for its part, reinforces this lazy postulation: Win Remmerswaal fulfilled his destiny a mere three times, Bob Walk relinquished an uninteresting 3.27 per nine, and figures like Prince Fielder, Homer Bush and Josh Outman have provided equally false advertising.

So, too, seems to be the case for John Smiley, who in his tender youth, and at the height of his powers and optimism, appears already bracing for the approaching jest.


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Inserting Bo Porter’s Name into Common Computer Prompts


Your Bo Porter did not shut down correctly. Would you like to run diagnostics on your Bo Porter?

Your Bo Porter has installed updates and needs to restart. Would you like to restart now?

Bo Porter quit unexpectedly. Would you like to send an error report?

Bo Porter is currently running in incognito mode.

Press Bo Porter to run in safe mode.

Another instance of Bo Porter is already running.

Your Bo Porter battery is critically low. Please find a power source.

Bo Porter has become unresponsive. Would you like to stop, or wait for Bo Porter to respond?

404: Bo Porter not found.


Stack Bo Porter overflow.

Bo Porter was unable to detect your keyboard.

Your Bo Porter is low on memory. Save your files and close or restart any open programs.

Bo Porter would like to access your location.

One Thing You Probably Already Knew About Jose Altuve

Cleveland Indians v Houston Astros

Jose Altuve is awesome.

That is all.

Rays Fan Still Awaiting Trade Results


ST. PETERSBURG, FL — David Williams sits at the dilapidated service entrance to the Don Cesar Hotel of St. Pete Beach. The pastel pink walls and the sunny weather belie the pervasive anxiety in the air. Every few moments, Mr. Williams pulls his Samsung Galaxy S Blaze from his pockets and refreshes his RSS feeds.

“Any moment now,” he says. He smiles and returns the phone to his pocket. “Never been disappointed yet; won’t be disappointed today.”

Williams is one of the millions of Rays fans in the tri-county area waiting for trade deadline news that has already come. The Tampa Bay Rays traded ace pitcher David Price on Thursday afternoon, and though the returns of the trade has received muted praise, Rays fans are still hoping for a piece of the trade to be announced — they are waiting for news that is not coming.

“The [Matt] Garza trade, the [James] Shields trade — heck, even the Jason Bartlett trade — they all gave us some prospects to dream on,” says Jenny Havermayer a real estate agent in Tampa. “We know there’s a few more prospects in this trade. We just have to wait for them to announce it is all.”

Asked if she’d be disappointed if the Rays only received three players in the Price trade, Havermayer said, “No, I won’t be disappointed. Because they’re not getting three players. Ten prospects. Just wait. Ten. All shortstops and pitchers.”

The lunch rush is beginning and David Williams stands and stretches. He refreshes his feeds one more time as he ascends the steps to the kitchen. “I guess I’ll find out who else they got later, after I get off work.”

He smiles and stares across the crystalline Gulf of Mexico. He opens his mouth to say something, hesitates, then shakes his head and disappears into the open door. He is waiting for the player to be named never.

NotGraphs Newswire, alrights reserved.

Image Source.

Sporcle Quiz: Red Sox Draftees (or Signees) in Cubs System

Credit to David Laurila for his assistance.

Deadline Deals In My House


I trade one empty garbage bag to my wife for one full garbage bag I have to bring outside before 8:30 a.m.

My nine-month-old son trades one clean teething ring to put in his mouth for one toy that has been sitting on the floor for weeks, also to put in his mouth.

I trade the last piece of toilet paper for a new roll to be named later.

My wife trades me one baby to hold in exchange for two minutes to go to the bathroom.

In a three-way trade, my son trades his dirty diaper to my wife, she gives me his pooped-on shirt, and I give him a clean diaper and a sort-of-clean shirt.

My wife trades me her supermarket loyalty card in exchange for me going to buy groceries.

My son trades the meal he just ate for seventeen paper towels to clean up the floor he just vomited on, and a bath.

I trade sleep for having had a child.

My wife trades me for someone who can thrive on much less sleep.

My son trades all of his toys for a delicious piece of a used napkin, because they both have the same value to him.

I trade the mention of Justin Masterson and Jon Lester for a baby to lull to sleep, because clearly if I have time to read baseball headlines, I am not busy enough and should be the one getting the baby to nap.

On the Topic of Gruesome 19th Century Ballplayer Deaths

Bergen Article

The author, in the midst of conversation with viscount of the internet Rob Neyer last week, inquired of that latter party which — of all the horrifying and notable deaths died by 19th century ballplayers — which of them he (i.e. Neyer) regarded as particularly emblematic of that time. Neyer’s answer: a drunken Ed Delahanty, having just alighted from a train by order of its conductor, falling into Niagara Falls. A strong entry, one is forced to agree.

By means of social media, American wordsmith Josh Wilker submits another worthy candidate — namely, the case of Boston catcher Marty Bergen. Widely praised for his defensive prowess, Bergen was also a victim of mental illness. In January of 1900, at age 28, he murdered his wife and two children by means of an axe, before using a straight razor to slice his own throat — an endeavor he pursued with such enthusiasm, a Wikipedia contributor relates, that he “nearly beheaded himself.”

*Image from January 20, 1900, edition of New York Times.

Humbled and Honored: My Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech


“Good afternoon. First, I want to thank you all for coming to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. I know you have a choice of museums when you visit Cooperstown, so thank you for choosing this one. Frankly, I don’t know how you could pass up the 18th-century Dutch-style plow at the nearby Farmers’ Museum, but pass it up you did! As an aside, I will tell you that I once got ‘18th-century plowed’ by drinking a liter of elixir d’absynthe to treat a serious case of dropsy. I mean I got drunk, 1700s-style. I did not get – what’s the word? – ‘copulated.’

“In any case, I also want to say that I am truly humbled by this honor. I want to say it because everybody says it. Then again, I don’t know why people say it. I mean, humbled? If anything, I should be de-humbled. I’d be humbled if my two-week-old kitten were to beat me in Greco-Roman wrestling. I’d be humbled if you pointed at my crotch and laughed, as if to say, ‘What cruel twist of fate is this that should visit upon a red-blooded American male such a tragic deficiency?’

“But humbled by getting inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame? Screw that noise. Seriously, you should see my new vanity plate: “CPRSTWN.” I guess the plate’s only downside is that it can be misconstrued. For example, after pulling up behind me at a stoplight, Ronde Barber came to my window and asked if I could revive his brother’s career.
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Walking Around Nápoles

I was stuck for an idea. I’ve got a folder on my desktop called NotGraphs Stuff, with a bunch of half-finished/half-arsed ideas that may or may not end up being used now that NotGraphs is in the Baseball Internet Hospice, but nothing in that folder was really jumping out at me, wanting to be done. So I went for a drink in my neighbourhood. Had a couple of beers, then went to another place and had tacos and more beer. Then it struck me: do a post about this Mexico City neighbourhood and its incredibly-tenuous link to your Major League Baseball. So that’s what I did.

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