Unanticipated Bat-Flip Coverage: Elvis Andrus

Andrus Flip 4

While examining the animated GIF embedded here of Elvis Andrus first homering and then, second, lazily tossing aside his bat, one is confronted by three facts, as follow:

1. Firstly, that it is not uncommon for base-and-ball traditionalists to suggest that it is incumbent upon each player, when he has homered, to “act like he’s been there before”; but also that

2. Noted pre-Socratic philosopher and pretty sad mec Heraclitus famously announced that “one can never step into the same river twice”; and finally that

3. Prior to his home run this evening, Elvis Andrus had recorded precisely zero of those (i.e. home runs) this season.

Confronted by these facts, is what one is.
_____

Credit to concerned citizen of the internet Ben Hudson for bringing this to the author’s attention.




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Carson Cistulli occasionally publishes spirited ejaculations at The New Enthusiast.

29 Responses to “Unanticipated Bat-Flip Coverage: Elvis Andrus”

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  1. Karma Police says:

    For it is not the same river, nor is he the same man.

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  2. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    Can’t wait to see what Ben Revere has planned.

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  3. Zep says:

    “Unanticipated” because you wouldn’t expect this from Andrus or because you didn’t think he would ever hit another home run?

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    • Blockhead says:

      The latter in a rational sense. He was going to hit another HR but it was unanticipated because he went nearly a calendar year without one spanning roughly 600 PAs.

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  4. M Bragg says:

    Love the Heraclitus reference.

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    • x9x says:

      … would like the quote if the quote made any sense in the context. As is, it reads like literary-allusion madlibs.

      The Onion wrote a piece about Weird Al’s creative process. I can’t help but think Carson’s goes something like: quirky phrase about baseball, forced literary reference glossed from Wikipedia, quirky phrase about baseball.

      That one can never step in the same river twice would make equal sense if Andrus had hit 60 home runs. It would make more sense, because it would acknowledge that any act, no matter how common, is unique because all is constantly in flux. So, in the words of David Foster Wallace, the above is “embarrassing in the special way something pretentious is embarrassing when it’s also wrong.”

      That’s mean, and I’m not trying to be mean, really, but I was reading Russell’s entry on Heraclitus like a week ago, and Heraclitus is cool and interesting and this sorta intellectual accessorizing, this adorning one’s prose with literary geegaws … it’s kinda infuriating.

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      • Dave says:

        “That one can never step in the same river twice would make equal sense if Andrus had hit 60 home runs. It would make more sense, because it would acknowledge that any act, no matter how common, is unique because all is constantly in flux.”

        That’s kinda, ya know, the joke.

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      • Please allow me to sound my Horn of Contempt — which is an actual and really expensive kind of horn, I promise — in response to these comments. You have utilized the word “quirky” to describe my work. You have accused me of lacking reason. You have cited the embarrassingly earnest and also laborious Bertrand Russell’s treatment of Heraclitus, whose work (if not his own self) is a testament to the ecstatic moment. None of this is acceptable.

        I have no doubt whatsoever, x9x, that you and I, were we to meet, would get along very well and could enjoy each other’s company. But so far as my literary style is concerned, please understand that I am unfuckwithable — a (sometimes uncomfortable, but ultimately necessary) notion I harbor about myself because my favorite authors have implicitly, if not explicitly, harbored it about themselves.

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        • Mike Green says:

          Great. The original infix. It’s Monday morning and my week is already complete.

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        • A eskpert says:

          For your information, Unfuckwithable is the title of a Canadian political blogger.

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          • Mike Green says:

            I did not know that. The search for an original infix for the week of August 12 continues.

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        • x9x says:

          Your literary style may be unfuckwithable, but everything you write about Heraclitus is right there in the intro to his Wikipedia article. Unless that is a remarkable coincidence, there is little doubt about your process in writing the above. And while I do respect imperviousness to criticism as a virtue and virtually necessary for anyone wishing to be creative and daring, we’re not talking Mandarin prose here. We’re not talking about “My mother is a fish.” Googling “Heraclitus” and copying three factoids from his Wikipedia page is … what? lazy? borderline plagiarism? It’s certainly a common “style” on the Internet.

          How to thread the needle here? I have much more sympathy and respect for people that create than people that criticize. This … I hate this, and it will be my last. People like your work. It doesn’t matter that I don’t. I think the standard for having an unfuckwithable style, as you put it, is incredible standards for yourself, and not the belief that you are incapable of creating shit. We seem to diverge of which the above post is evidence.

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      • M Bragg says:

        This is a thought provoking criticism and I continue to be impressed by how many smart people (who are way smarter than me) read NotGraphs. Having said that, I disagree that this is purely intellectual accessorizing.

        First, remember it’s not just that the river is constantly changing but the individual who is wading into the river who is changing too. So, for me, the idea is to think about how Andrus might consider how his life has changed in the context of two fairly arbitrary endpoints. Further, I looked at this as a prompt to consider how I too may be different than at the time of Andrus’ last HR.

        Second, Heraclitus appears in a few of the podcasts and it’s clear Carson has been thinking about a way to use him. Weird Al once described himself as a “pop culture Cuinart [blender]“. If the worst thing to say about NotGraphs and Carson is that they’re spinning around curious, obscure, but yet above all else interesting ideas from other disciplines and synthesizing them with baseball–well, even if the references aren’t perfect, I’m not sure this isn’t accomplishing…something.

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      • Well-Beered Englishman says:

        I will say this for you, x9x: you just quoted possibly my favourite of all David Foster Wallace essays (only the dictionary review equals it, to me).

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      • Tim says:

        “in the words of David Foster Wallace, the above is “embarrassing in the special way something pretentious is embarrassing when it’s also wrong.””

        Such as, for example, every time anyone has ever quoted David Foster Wallace.

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        • Well-Beered Englishman says:

          You seem to be saying that every time anyone has ever quoted David Foster Wallace,

          (a) the quote is pretentious;
          (b) the quote is wrong.

          The underlying assumptions there are pretty much antithetical to my entire worldview, so…

          Pistols at dawn.

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          • Tim says:

            Not terribly worried, as I’m sure I can shoot you while you’re still arguing with yourself about whether it’s really justifiable to consider it dawn just because the sun has risen.

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      • Wobatus says:

        They didn’t call him Heraclitus the Obscure for nothin’.

        I wonder what kinda bat flip Epaminondas had. He deserved a good one after freeing the helots. There, festooned with a military geegaw. Booyah.

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  5. MLB Rainmaker says:

    Let me know when you guys argue about engineering or finance. I am apparently relatively unread in philosophy…

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  6. Betty Jesus says:

    I thought the quote was about, not Andrus’s feat, as x9x and Dave suggest, but the bat flip which traditionalists and respectable men, like I, say is not for polite conversation: the striker ought not let his dick wag, too much. Heraclitus’s metaphor would apply to this argument about whether one should be composed and act as though the four basers were commonplace; but on top of this argument, Elvis Andrus hits these so rarely that, according to the argument, the bat flip celebration is further justified, having already been supported by a famous dead dude’s logic. But as with all dead dudes, David Foster Wallace being of the sort, and their examples: meh. Bat flips are still not appropriate for polite conversation in my circle of Centurion card holders, with our airplanes, horses, and sluts.

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    • Wobatus says:

      I don’t think it was particularly showy as a bat flip. Getting it out of the general vicinity of home plate and closer to the bat boy seems as much the intent as self-celebration.

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  7. marshall edwards says:

    Isn’t the bandana DFW sported in his authorial photo somehow connected to a speedy SS launching something rare and flipping something rarer still?

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  8. FreeJurickson says:

    Elvis also winked at the outfield camera while he was trotting the bases. The fact that Houston’s bullpen let Elvis hit a dinger is a testament to how bad they are.

    And I, for one, enjoy the discussions of literature and philosophy in the context of baseball. I say these fields should inform the hardcore nerd branch of baseball fandom as much as math has. Why not? Advanced stats analysis has already given fans an alternative to the romantic, narrative-driven traditional approach to baseball. I think the next step is for us lit nerds to supplant that traditional perspective with our own romantic narratives. We could obviously do a better job than all the talking heads and old sportswriters do today — we’re English majors.

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