SaberScouting: Salem Laundry Co., Beverly, MA, 15:53

It is a characteristic of NotGraphs that we are uncomfortably aware of other people, largely because we’re horrified whenever we are at all aware of ourselves. As such, I have determined it my duty to be uncomfortably aware of the current frequenters of this laundromat–the one I am literally within as I write this–and rate them for their potential as members of the sabermetrics community.

The methodology is simple: I will sit here in this chair in this laundromat in this squalid New England town and ferociously judge every person doing their laundry for their potential as enthusiasts of statistical analysis in baseball. They will be judged on a scale from TURD to KACHOW! Witness the laundromat in which I sat for two hours, except turn the beautiful fall foliage into barren frost-bitten twigs and turn one of those cars into my derelict Pontiac Sunfire SE:


Group of Evangelizing Texans
When I went to the laundromat thinking “maybe there will be people I can slander online,” I didn’t think I’d be so lucky as to encounter a budding gaggle of proselytizers. Yes, 6-8 college students from Texas gave me a dollar in quarters in return for a conversation wherein a very tan young woman sought, quite subtly, to ascertain the ultimate destination of my soul. Another young person, this one less tan and in a flannel jacket, spoke to me about his mission of starting a church in Japan, as he is particularly worried about that specific nation of soul-havers. This kind of thing doesn’t really bother me–people worrying about souls–because it turns out I love getting paid to talk about Japan, which is something I just discovered I liked getting paid to do. Anyway: College students are notorious for ideas about whatever, and are thus ripe for impregnating with the ideas of sabermetrics.

Chance of any one of the them becoming a sabermetrics-person: BUENO

Man with Beard and Samsung Galaxy and Orange Sweater and Convertible Zip-off Pants
Granted I am at a laundromat, which is where people tend to wear the last clothes they’d like to be wearing, but this man to my right is wearing navy blue zip-off pants. These are “pants” that even in pristine condition are still either 1) horribly strange looking because of a circular flap of fabric covering a bulge caused by a zipper somewhere in the middle of the thigh, or 2) short shorts that chafe relentlessly. They are decidedly not functional, nor fashionable, but evangelize the love of functionality more fervently than even the staunchest Texan evangelist spreading The Good Word. Zip-off owners wear them to show people they think about practicality first and fashion never. Judging by the attendees of last August’s FanGraphs meetup in Boston, this man has considerable overlap with the sabermetric community’s pants values.

Chance of him becoming a sabermetrics-person: SHAZAAM

Two Spanish-Speaking Men in Paint-Spattered Clothes

I do not speak Spanish, and cannot understand these two fellows seemingly tasked with washing their wives’ dresses. I cannot possibly estimate their interest in pitch framing analysis, batted ball profiles, or aging curves for lefties who’ve had Tommy John surgery. I’m too shy to see if they’ll speak to me in English; in fact, so are the Texan evangelists.

Chance of them becoming sabermetrics-amigos: QUESO

Art Student from Connecticut
One benefit of sitting in a laundromat with Evangelizing Texans is that if you listen carefully you will learn all the details of others’ lives that people with normal boundaries are too timid/tactful to ask about. What I’ve learned about the Art Student from Connecticut is that he studies studio art and thinks people from “up here” are “way meaner” than people in Connecticut. He’s happy that his art school “lets you decide what you want to do,” and he’s “enjoying some of the upper level classes.” What he seems decidedly not interested in is statistical analysis in baseball.

Chance of him becoming a sabermetrics-person from Connecticut: SPLOOSH

Older Man with U.S. Marine Corps Cap and Formidable White Moustache
Moustache: Check.
Veteran’s Hat: Check.
Denim vest covered in evidence of real labor: Check.
Thick-lens Glasses: Check.
Number of times he rested his weight unevenly on one leg over the other as I watched him: Zero times.
Sabermetrician: Unlikely.
Paragon to NotGraphers: Yes.

Asian Mom-Like Woman
All I have to say about this Asian Mom-Like Woman is that she has the biggest laundry bag I have ever seen outside of a hospital.

Chance of being a sabermetrics-mom-like-person: NONTH

Neon-Wearing Twenty-Something Runner Girl
Neon-Wearing Twenty-Something Runner Girl successfully subverted Young Tan Proselyte Girl’s attempts at engaging her in Christ-centered dialogue, and, possibly due to being kinda cute, seems to have made Eager Japan-loving Crusader too bashful to approach her.

Chance of becoming a sabermetrics-friendly runner person: SCRAND

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Zach is an egregious malcontent whose life goal is to literally become the London Tube. @itszachreynolds.

13 Responses to “SaberScouting: Salem Laundry Co., Beverly, MA, 15:53”

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  1. mac says:

    I tried to click the “SPLOOSH” hoping it would link to that wonderful Archer scene.

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    • The world's third best giant slalom skier and third-ranked pro kitesurfer says:

      Sploosh. Or whatever the male equivalent of Sploosh is. Which I guess is just sploosh. Only with semen.

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  2. JR says:

    Two years ago, I was reading a copy of baseball prospectus at this very laundromat. Beverly is a fine town. Head over to Wrapture or the sub shop up Cabot next time you do your wash.

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    • Yeah, I’m actually pretty fond of Beverly. Wrapture is great.

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      • Yirmiyahu says:

        How do you Beverlyites feel about Little Italy’s (Littaly) pizza a couple doors down from this laundromat? I’m convinced that they put grape jelly in their ridiculously-sweet pizza sauce. I like it; others vehemently hate it.

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        • Zach Reynolds says:

          I think it’s too sweet on a plain cheese pizza, but it’s pretty good with pepperoni or peppers/onions to balance the sweet. It’s certainly some of the best cheap pizza in Beverly (which has NUMEROUS terrible pizza places). A new place called Mike’s opened further up Cabot that has a decent sweet sauce, though. I’ve been going there because I live practically next door.

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  3. Byrne says:

    it’s important for you to know that I liked this, Zach Reynolds.

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  4. Mike Kurtz says:

    The only reasonable course of action is to order SABERMETRICS AMIGO trucker hats for the entire staff.

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  5. Jenstrom says:

    Funny piece. I will have to do some sabermetric-scouting the next time I am out and about.

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  6. Crash Davis says:

    Like a Martian talking to a fungo.

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