Archive for Audio and/or Visual

Idle Observation: Colby Lewis PITCHf/x Chart Resembles Italy

On the one hand, a thing that exists in the world is this PITCHf/x chart from Colby Lewis‘s player profile at FanGraphs:

chart (4)

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Video: Select Commercials from Game 6 of the ’87 World Series

What the author has done is to poorly edit out all baseball-relevant footage from freely available video of Game Six of the 1987 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and St. Louis Cardinals — to edit out all relevant baseball footage from the first three-plus innings of that game, leaving only select advertisements from that particularl broadcast.

What the author has also done is to provide the following, hastily composed annotations to certain of the aforementioned commercials.

0:01 — Firestone Antifreeze
In which a baritone-voiced narrator assures the viewer that winter, previously thought to be indomitable, is actually totally domitable.

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Ranking Baseball’s Center-Field Camera Shots (2014 Update)

Three years ago, in these same electronic pages, the present author published a ranking of all 30 clubs’ center-field broadcast camera angles. The immediate purpose: to create a reference for anyone with access to MLB.TV, MLB Extra Innings, or some other manner of game video, so that he or she might be better equipped to choose the ideal feed.

What follows is the product of an almost identical exercise, except updated to account for more recently adopted center-field cameras (or, in the case of Miami, more recently constructed ballparks).

In general, cameras have been assessed according to the ability with which they document the pitcher-batter encounter. More specifically, I’ve utilized three guiding criteria, as follow:

  • Shot Angle
    In which more central and lower is generally preferred.
  • Shot Size
    In which closer up and not longer is generally preferred.
  • Whim
    In which the author’s own intuition has been utilized.

In what follows, I’ve embedded screencaps for all 30 of the league’s center-field cameras, broken down into three categories: Bottom Five, Top Ten, and The Rest. In every case, I’ve used images featuring only right-handed pitchers — so that the orientation of that pitcher’s body might least distort the perception of the camera angle. Furthermore, I’ve attempted to identify feeds from regional broadcasts — as opposed to national broadcasts, which might utilize a different feed altogether.

The reader will note that straight-on shots constitute the most highly ranked of the center-field cameras. This makes sense, of course: straight-on shots portray lefties and righties in the same way and document pitch movement in a way that off-set cameras can’t. The reader will also note that a small collection of notes and observations appears at the very bottom of this post.

Finally, if the reader finds that I’ve erred in any of the screen captures here, don’t hesitate to make note of same below.

Bottom Five
30. Colorado Rockies


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Let’s Mostly Watch Billy Burns Make a Run Happen, Also

Earlier this afternoon, celebrated and young Cincinnati outfielder Billy Hamilton produced a run entirely by means of his generational footspeed — which sequence of events Jeff Sullivan documented slightly later this afternoon for the pages of FanGraphs.

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In Celebration of the Three-Error Play

Our friends at pass along this footage from a recent game in the Korean Baseball Organization:

Three-Error Majesty

Let’s not gather together here as the lesser Internetters are wont to do and mock someone beyond our circle of relations. Instead, let’s look at this horrendous turn of events for the Korean center fielder Na Sung-beom and recognize it for what it likely is: A once-in-a-career moment.

No player would find himself among the professional ranks if he or she frequently visited Three Error Town. This center fielder here, he’s in no way as bad as this, his worst fielding moment. So let’s enjoy this rare destruction of pride and professionalism. Let’s laugh alongside Na Sung-beom — though he may not yet be laughing — and admit, “Hey, that’s us out there in center field, booting the ball, then dropping the ball, then wildly slinging the ball at no one in particular. That’s all of us. Today, we’re all Na Sung-beom.”

True story, the softball team I founded and manage lost 32-0 and then 32-0, again, in our first two games. We’re a team of Na Sung-beom’s worst moments. And, hey, we kinda love it.

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CAPTION CONTEST: Sportsman Behaving Strangely in Australia

Readers! It’s time for you to provide the creative spark where I cannot. That’s right: a caption contest—aka shameless wit-farming. Your job is to provide humorous captions for this  Vine video published on MLB’s official Vine profile. Feel free to submit a caption or simply +1 the ones you like. The winner will be lauded for millennia, tattooed on the hearts of billions, and, most importantly, mentioned in the next post I publish.

The Video:


Japanese Baseball Slogans ALWAYS YES!!

It’s time for baseball season in Japan, much as it is in America. Here’s a sampling of some marketing slogans for the teams across the drink.

“Show the Spirit — Dream.”

NPG Slogans2

Yokohama DeNA BayStars
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I’ve Recently Made a Life Decision

There comes a time in every famous Internet writer’s life when he/she needs to purchase a new laptop. When said writer purchases said laptop, he/she may be inclined to also purchase some sort of protective cover for this laptop, which creates a situation in which this writer needs to make a life decision in regards to the design of this protective cover — as it will no doubt influence the narrative strangers in coffee shops and airports will create surrounding this writer.

This very exact situation has happened to myself. My father has a long-standing maxim — “When you reach a fork in the road, take it.” If the above-mentioned situation is a fork in a road, I have indeed taken it. This is all to say, I’ve recently made a life decision.


Just a Video of Carlos Correa Hitting a Double

This is not ironic, sarcastic, or satirical.

This is not a deep look into the very soul of the author, not a roll call of all his psychological maladies.

This is not a metaphor, simile, nor allegory. Stop looking for a place to dig your finger nail. There are no layers to peel.

This is not commentary on the human condition, the frailness of life, the meaning of existence, nor the futility of the every day.

This is just a video of Carlos Correa hitting a double. And it’s fucking perfect.

(h/t Evan Drellich)

The Future of Baseball Broadcasts

(For a bigger video, go here.)

I had heard earlier this week that Wil Myers had bestrapped himself with a GoPro camera, and today I’ve discovered the harvest of that effort. Are there deficiencies in this footage? Sure there are. Such as: Wil’s repeated efforts at the same joke — a joke which, as it turns out, renders him incapable of working for the CIA (“Don’t do anything stupid,” *points at camera on brow*).

But what this film shows us is more than worth enduring the jittery cinematography and awkward verbal exchanges. What this film shows us is the future of baseball media. As cameras get yet even smaller and our interest in athletes yet even more invasive, I think we will one day see the hat-mounted camera become a staple of the baseball uniform.

Let’s examine the highlights of Myers’s footage:
• Witnessing the signature Wil Myers batting circle warmup from his perspective.
• Viewing the world from Myers’s upright, tall batting stance.
• Watching two neatly crushed balls proceed from bat to blue oblivion.
• Participating with Myers as a trio of fly balls whiz into his glove.

Now imagine if we could have watched from the perspective of Willie Mays as he — with back turned towards the crowd — basketted The Catch. What did Kirk Gibson see while standing in the batter’s box with two bad legs in 1988? And what did it look like to John Jaso when he caught the final perfect game pitch from Felix Hernandez in 2012?

It’s coming. And it’s going to be kinda awesome.