Archive for February, 2014

Banknotes Harper Versus Colonel Sanders for Good and All

Colonel Banknotes Soupbones.jpg
“Then I guess,” concluded Banknotes Harper from across the conference table shaped like bad-ass tits, “we can’t agree to a sale price.”

“I suppose not,” drawled Col. Harlan Sanders. “The Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise will remain mine, as it should be.”

“So it would seem,” said Banknotes Harper. “Perhaps I’ll console myself by instead purchasing …”

Banknotes Harper stood, and his erection flipped the table. Colonel Sanders stood, too, flaccid as silly, floppy pancakes. “You wouldn’t dare,” Colonel Sanders trailed off.

“By purchasing, yep, every chicken in the world, ass-back,” thundered Banknotes Harper.

“No!” Pleaded Colonel Sanders.

Banknotes Harper buzzed his secretary. “Eunice, arrange to purchase all chickens everywhere. For lunch I’ll have some sirloins and then more sirloins.”

“Fuck-stick!” bellowed Colonel Sanders, as he brandished the pearl-handled .38 he’d been carrying in his sock.

Banknotes sprung into action, stripped nude and bounded across the tits-table. He disarmed Colonel Sanders with a textbook Krav Maga maneuver, and then landed a right cross on each of his teeth, individually. Colonel Sanders tumbled to the ground in a heap but quickly ate a bunch of chicken — the last bites of chicken that Banknotes Harper did not yet own (Eunice, moments ago, had buzzed him to say that the purchase order had gone through) — for nourishment. Colonel Sanders rose up with a huge gun and shot Banknotes Harper in the lungs and feet. Banknotes Harper then began punching the crap out of Colonel Sanders, who died.

Banknotes Harper then tied a Gadsden flag to his executive letter opener and planted it in Colonel Sanders’s forehead. It whipped in the indoor business breeze. Watching the whole time had been Barbi Benton. She was sitting on the Banknotes Harper Excalibur’s Choice Office SofaTM.

“Eunice,” Banknotes Harper said with his finger on the buzzer. “Hold those sirloins. I’m going to have sex. Give the chickens to the people.”


Samson on Survivor: Review and Recap

Samson vs. Garrett

I had hoped we could spend many weeks together, dissecting the Survivor journey of generally despicable Miami Marlins president David Samson. Unlike my previous trip through terrible baseball-related television, I actually enjoy Survivor. At least the people acting terribly to each other in this show are doing it with a greater purpose in mind.

Alas, (spoiler alert) despite professing to have watched the show from the very beginning, David Samson’s season was about as effective as the Marlins’ in 2012: A lot of big moves that backfire and eliminate him early. At least now we know this is an organization-wide problem.

I would like to embed the video for you, but CBS’s video player doesn’t seem to allow that. So, instead, I’ll direct you to their site, which none of you will go to. I mean, you might have watched it if it was right in front of you, but since it’s not, you’re probably just going to keep reading to enjoy all the terrible decision Samson makes, the ridiculous things he says, and the hilarious things people say about him. That’s how the Internet works. Sucks for you, CBS.

This season, as we discussed last Friday, has split the “tribes” up into three groups based on what the contestants supposedly use most in their everyday lives: Brains, Brawn, or Beauty. Obviously, that’s often not a clean distinction, as the beauty team has a student from Northwestern and the brain squad has a professional poker player who is absolutely ripped, but whatever. The brains (average IQ of 130, including Samson, arrive via helicopter to meet their opponents, who arrived by speed boat (beauty) and in the back of a truck (brawn). Super subtle, Survivor.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pleasure GIF: Gregory Polanco Homering So Much Today

GP GIF

According to the actual “rules” of “baseball,” any single home run technically only produces a quantity of runs equal to the number of players already on base plus one. According to that part of the human body, however, responsible for the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine into the brain, certain home runs are manifestly worth more, others less, in terms of aesthetic value.

This true truth having been established, one might readily conclude that, owing to how his whole life is in front of him and to how his levers are longer than a Terrence Malick film, that Gregory Polanco’s home run this afternoon against the Yankees’ David Phelps is not unlike a grand slam or maybe two grand slams.


The Cure for Spring Baseball Fever

Fever

If the chance to watch tons of spring training games on your computer is the CURE for spring baseball fever, I’m confused as to what exactly spring baseball fever is. Because I would think MLB.TV would more accurately be the CAUSE of spring baseball fever, or at least a symptom that you have it.

The cure for spring baseball fever, on the other hand, might be a Lifetime Movie Marathon, or maybe this weekend’s Polar Vortex, to make you feel like spring will never really arrive. Or perhaps the cure is a broken Internet connection and no more cable, so you can’t watch or read about baseball. Maybe the dissolution of your fantasy league, or a spouse threatening to leave you if you spend one more minute talking about your keeper list. Perhaps the cure for spring baseball fever is doing your taxes, or going to a funeral.

MLB.TV, on the other hand, will only make your spring baseball fever worse.

(And, yes, I spent way too much time thinking about that headline.)


Paying for MLB.tv

The problem with being underemployed isn’t that I have to borrow money to pay rent, or buy store-brand Cheerios (Tasteeos! Heyo!), or the shame of seeing your peers thrive in their lucrative jobs with cars that don’t make loud popping sounds and roommates that bring their children to term. It’s that I can’t afford MLB.tv.

mlbtv

Raising $129.99 (because only Premium can be streamed on my roommate’s HDTV (through my roommate’s Roku)) can’t be that hard. As I sit on my roommate’s sectional using my girlfriend’s laptop, here are some ideas for how I can raise enough money to pay the bills get MLB.tv. These ideas, unlike everything else around me, are my own. For shame:

Sell My Body
Not for sex! Jeez! I’m not a manwhore. I’m not a sex-person. I’m not a coital-event-horizon. And I love my kidneys. They’re mine! NO TOUCHY! (Emperor’s New Groove reference!) But here’s what I will sell: my feces. That’s right! My precious, pungent stool is a prime specimen for transplantation into someone else’s butt to heal their GI woes. Fecal transplants are real. And my prospective recipient/baseball-enabler wouldn’t even need to bother about it being “safe” or “sterile” (it’s poop), they can just come on over and we’ll do it in my kitchen. 

Yard Work (W)
I’m a scientist, barely, and I know what work is: W=Fd. I’ll be generating tons of Newton-meters, or joules, in someone’s yard by moving things around. See that rake? I’ll put it over there, by the fern. Boom: joules. I’ll kick a rock until it rolls over. Boom: joules. I’ll move a barcalounger to a sunny spot on the front porch. Boom: joules. I’ll pick up a copy of Cosmo. Boom: joules. I’ll learn a sex tip. Boom: joules.

Make a Kickstarter with Tiered Donation Rewards as Follows:
$1: I send you a GIF of me blowing you a kiss.
$5: I send you a picture of me holding your name on a sign while being chased by an angry Albert Belle.
$25: You can come over and I’ll make you tacos and perform an uncomfortably intimate foot-washing ritual. While you eat tacos.
$50: I send you a pair of PINK-style sweatpants, except they’re blue and orange and say “I’m with Colon” on the butt with an arrow pointing downwards. They only make sense when you’re riding Bartolo Colon like a mechanical bull. Otherwise they’re kinda embarrassing.
$129.99: You get to watch Albert Belle ride Cistulli like a mechanical bull. While I make you tacos.


The Aging Curve

sadness quantified

When I was in college I wrote zero novellas and rarely even a short story. Instead I wrote first pages to longer pieces that would not and could not exist. I put them each into a file cabinet, where the ink bled and intermingled, emerging as one embarrassing Rorschach blot. But despite my performance issues as a young writer, I soothed myself with the knowledge that there were very few twenty year-old novelists.

Now that I am thirty-five that comfort has grown tepid. My production has grown inconsistent, the tone of my longer pieces warbling as I patch them together fifteen minutes at a time. I am no longer one author, but a collective: one paragraph written by the hollow, pre-dawn Dubuque, the next the amalgam of a distracted Dubuque scribbling post-it notes at his desk. The result is often a mosaic, the kind one needs to stand far away from.

It’s hard not to think of the aging curve, reflecting on these facts: the gentle descent, the almost loving touch of attrition. Granted, the curve for writers is a much softer slope than the graph above. But it’s particularly noticeable now, when so many of our favorite baseball players are in the Best Shape of their Lives. It’s become cliché to note the cliché, but there’s also an underlying sadness to the fiction. It’s never the young who proclaim their physique; they don’t need to. Only the old think about feeling well, desperately cleave to the hypnotherapy of positive thinking. The alternative is the abyss.

Read the rest of this entry »


Transcript of Karl Ravech’s Baseball Tonight Monologue: 2-25

baseballtonight

Hello, everyone. Hello. Welcome. Welcome.

Welcome to Baseball Tonight.

Well, it’s almost upon us everybody. Baseball is almost here, in fact, the first Spring Training games began today.

[Applause Break]

Yes. Baseball is here and everyone is getting back in shape. Pitchers are loosening their arms, batters are getting their timing down. I even saw Ron Gardenhire trying out some new curse words to yell at umpires.

[Break for Laughter] Read the rest of this entry »


GIF: The Enviable Gentleman’s Attire of Mr. Bob Uecker

Uecker

Stolen without shame from this video of Bob Uecker’s 2011 speaking appearance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the animated GIF embedded here documents many of Uecker’s entrances on the Tonight Show — and, more pressingly, the assorted vestments with which Uecker willingly chose to adorn himself.


Matt Stairs, Jamie Moyer Begin 10th Year of Announcing

Few baseball players can retire from baseball and immediately be a 10-year veteran of broadcasting, but that’s exactly what SP Jamie Moyer and “OF” Matt Stairs have done. Our hard-working visual analytics crew has broken down the pregame footage from today’s Toronto-Philadelphia game, and the signs are obvious: The Stairs and Moyer duo have been in the booth since 2004.

“But I distinctly recall seeing these guys play baseball after 2003,” you might say.

You might have dumb-brain. Here, take a look for yourself:

Moyer-Stairs

Those are not recently-retired pro athletes. Those are leisured gentlemen of the Booth. They meet all the criteria. Face lines, gray protein strands extruding from the head, an absence of protein strands in certain head areas, slouchy postures, world-weary gazes, tired and nuanced smiles — these are all the irrefutable scientific signs of a broadcasting veterancy.

This leads us to ask, of course, how many other broadcasters are secretly playing baseball? Well, at least one.


This Season’s Special Caps

For the past few years, MLB has honored America with the wearing of gaudy caps that it also sells for money on its Web site and in real stores across the land; from sea to shining sea, if you will.

This has, it would seem, been a huge success. And in 2014, the Major-est of all Baseball Leagues will once again be doing this sort of stuff. And not just on Memorial Day, The Fourth of July Day, and September the Eleventh Day. No! This year, there will be more caps, for more capital-D days.

I got my hands on some copy and artwork of the 2014 caps.

NotGraphs exclusive, yo.

Regard.

The “United States of Awesome” Cap
Memorial Day (May 26), The Fourth of July Day (July 4), and September the Eleventh Day (September 11), and Star-Spangled Banner 200th Anniversary Day (September 14)

Regardless of what Carson Cistulli may choose to believe, America is THE BEST. And America’s flag is the starriest and stripiest, and therefore, THE BEST. so this year MLB will be forcing teams to wear this gorgeous thing on not one, not two, not three, but four occasions.

CR-06-phi

Read the rest of this entry »