Archive for October, 2013

Additional and Still Obligatory Korean Series Bat-Flip Coverage

The dispassionate fulfillment of one’s personal duties is probably one of the top-10 or -15 virtues there is, so far as virtues are concerned. It isn’t so important as unyielding insouciance, of course, nor a certain proficiency in the construction and maintenance of the four classic tie knots. That said, it’s almost certainly more desirable than knowing how to ride a unicycle — a practice which, if the author’s sources are correct, is actually punishable by law in Singapore.

Sometimes a man must attend to his business, is what one acknowledges. Of late, it has become clear that the author’s business is to report, in a timely fashion, such instances as when a hitter in the Korean Series (Game Seven of which takes place in a few short hours) releases his bat with a flourish after making contact.

According to priceless internet citizen Dan of My KBO, two such instances occurred last night — video of both being present below. Note that, once again, the author has deliberately inverted the Korean names which appear here, for reasons even he barely understands.

Jun-Seok Choi‘s name was invoked not 24 hours ago in these pages under very similar circumstances. Here he is flipping his bat following a fifth-inning home run in Game Six.

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Carpe Off Season

Just a friendly reminder that everything ends, and that you and everyone you’ve ever loved or will love will, someday, be gone. Baseball is no exception. But do not fret, fair NotGraphs readers. Take this time to do all the things you neglected whilst adhered to your couch. Hug your family. Volunteer. Start that patchwork quilt you bought all the stuff for. Watch football, for all I care. Just do something. Do not mourn the season. Cherish the times you had with it, but do not be melancholy. It will be back. You may not be, but it will be. Find solace in that. The winter is yours for the taking. So take it. Carpe Off Season.


Celebration Analysis: BOS 10-30-13

We here at NotGraphs concern ourselves with everything baseball, as long as it’s not actually relevant to the game. Now that the game is over, and the offseason is upon us, and jubilation reigns in Greater New England, the thankless job of sober analytical reflection falls to us. Last night, we all witnessed a display of skill and fortitude worthy of a champion. And yet there are things that could have been done better. I speak not of the game, of course. The Sox won and that is that. I speak of something that will haunt us far longer: the postgame celebration. Best that we examine it now, with it fresh in our minds, so that we may fully appreciate its strengths and learn from its missteps.

Students of the postgame celebration will agree that there are certain critical components that must be correctly implemented in order to make any such work successful. Let’s step through them systematically, and look at how the Red Sox performed on each count.

1. The Comic Relief

ortiz_helmet

Veteran celebrant David Ortiz made sure this was covered right out of the gate, comically donning a protective helmet in preparation for his Field Rush. A savvy touch by the old slugger. However, a purist like myself could (and would) argue that the preemptive move showed a certain lack of respect, as well as detracting from the emotional climax of the victory. To maximize cathartic effect, we must remember, the possibility of failure, and the tension it engenders, should be maintained until the last possible moment. Grade: B-

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Candidate to Replace Jim-Tim McCarver: Dayn Perry

Although I have no say whatsoever in who takes up ol’ Jim-Tim McCarver’s seat at the Roundtable of Sports Insights & Sports Analysis (it will probably be Matt Vasgersian), I will nonetheless sincerely engage in the process of considering candidates to replace him.

Today’s Candidate: Dayn Perry

Candidate Profile: best-selling* baseball author, wordsmith, reviler of podcasts and beaches, vegetarian, Cardinals fan, former student of two of the three Barthelme brothers.

If we are looking for a truly patriotic candidate who is not afraid to show America’s soupbones to the Communists and other layabouts, Dayn Perry is our man. The following, while the only video argument to be made in Mr. Perry’s favor, does make a powerful argument. (Video courtesy the author’s private collection.)

Dayn brushes his teeth at least twice a day, carries a pull-up bar with him everywhere — to show hippies how muscles work — and pulls up his own bootstraps every single American day.

Also, some connection to the St. Louis Cardinals seems like a prerequisite for becoming a broadcaster at the highest levels.

In all, I consider Mr. Perry to be a very strong candidate to replace ol’ Jim-Tim.

*Dayn authored the best selling Mitzvah Chap of all time.


Worst World Series-Winning Beard?

The AP has this exciting interactive beard-o-matic, highlighting 12 of the World Series-Winning Red Sox beards.

Like this one:

Who’s your pick for worst Red Sox beard? Nominate (with links to pictures!) in comments, and perhaps one of those vote poll things on Monday?

(Congrats to the Sox.)


To Read: Adrian Cardenas, for The New Yorker, on Why He Quit

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs

The image embedded here, stolen from a New Yorker piece by the now-retired Adrian Cardenas, depicts the former Phillies and then A’s and then Cubs prospect breaking up an A.J. Burnett no-hitter last season (i.e. 2012).

Also stolen from that same piece is the following paragraph (although one will note that the other paragraphs around it are also worthy of some consideration):

I quit after trying to balance my life as a professional baseball player with my life as a student during the last three years of my career. In the spring and summer, I played ball. In the fall, I studied creative writing and philosophy at New York University. But with every semester that passed, I loved school more than I loved baseball, and eventually I knew I had to choose one over the other. As I submerged myself into an academic environment, I thought often of my parents, who knew nothing about baseball but raised me with a passion for music and language so great that sports seemed irrelevant by comparison.

Article brought to author’s attention by pretty virile-seeming older gentleman Don Hammack.


Obligatory Internet Bat-Flip Baseball Coverage: Jun-Seok Choi

The name Jun-Seok Choi likely isn’t familiar to most readers — although, that’s very possibly because the author has deliberately inverted said Korean name to more closely resemble Western naming convention. In fact, the name Choi Jun-seok is probably more recognizable: that’s the Doosan Bears first baseman who, about a month ago, disposed of his bat with a dramatic flourish on a well-struck ball that ultimately landed quite, quite foul.

In the particular instance recorded above — from the very recent Game Five, it appears, of the Korean Series between Doosan and Samsung — Choi has once again flipped his bat. In this case, however, he’s also hit a home run — his second of the game, in fact, in a loss to Samsung.

Footage from YouTube video of home run brought to author’s attention by Dan of MyKBO via concerned internet citizen thereisaparty.


Joe West to Attend Halloween Party as Promiscuous Umpire

joewesthalloween


#cardsplaneproblems

The Cardinals’ team charter plane had a 7-hour delay on the tarmac yesterday while mechanical problems were being addressed. The delay spawned a Twitter hashtag, #cardsplaneproblems. These are a few of the best of those tweets:


SDSU Baseball Has Really Gone to Hell

San Diego State University has a proud tradition as a baseball school that produced such illustrious alumni as Tony Gwynn, Tony Gwynn’s son Also Tony Gwynn, Stephen Strasburg, Graig Nettles, Jim Nettles, Mark Grace, Tony Clark, Bud Black, Aaron Harang, Travis Lee, Jim Wilson, Justin Masterson, Dave Smith, and, of course, Al Newman. I’m sorry to say that that tradition, if it has not already been ruined, is in serious jeopardy.

That sounds harsh. These are still kids playing baseball after all, and perhaps they do not deserve to have their talents maligned so. I don’t mean this as a criticism to those players that the Aztecs have recruited, necessarily, who are undoubtedly doing their best with what meager talents they have. But I don’t know how such a fine program could have fallen so far as to recruiting the Jamaican bobsledding team from the 1993 smash comedy Cool Runnings:

I realize they’re running hard out of the box there at the 1:50 mark in that video, but I’ve got them timed at 16.42 seconds down to first base and they’re thrown out by several steps by the center fielder. As long as the game is played on flat, dry land, I don’t see them having much of a future, even at the college level.

Here are other scouting reports on some of the other Aztecs featured:

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