Archive for Uncategorized

Caption Contest: Mini-Yu


The image above was discovered by the author on the Facebook page of Rangers pitcher and cross-cultural ambassador of handsome Yu Darvish. What is not at issue here is just how much time the author has been spending on Yu Darvish’s Facebook page, or to what end. What is at issue is just what the above image, which was captioned only in Japanese, might have been intended to depict, reflect, or connote. For this, reader, I earnestly solicit your help.

No, Really, Is Dustin Ackley Fixed?

Forget about whether he’s now learning how to selectively pull for power and hitting fewer weak ground balls, the real question that I hoped Tony Blengino’s (excellent) piece on the main site would answer is whether Dustin Ackley is “fixed” — whether his reproductive organs have been removed.

Initial evidence seems to indicate they haven’t been. He married his longtime girlfriend before the 2012 season. (A girlfriend whose cousin seemed to enjoy posting about their engagement on shady-looking Internet message boards).

But — check this out — he and his wife reportedly have two Yorkies:

As for Ackley, marriage has altered his life. He loved Justine for years, but now there are two young mouths to feed — Yorkies Dudley and Elli.

Ackley is smitten.

“I’ve always had dogs, usually bigger dogs like golden retrievers. When Justine wanted a dog, she wanted a Yorkie,” he said. “I can’t go more than a couple days without seeing them now, or I start missing them.

“Dudley might be the smartest dog I’ve ever known. I get dressed in the morning, he goes to the front door and waits. He knows I’m leaving. “He’s like a human in a dog’s body.”

The real question is: are his Yorkies fixed? And — conspiracy theory — if Dudley is so smart, a “human in a dog’s body” — perhaps Ackley is in fact a “dog in a human’s body,” the two have switched souls, and when Dudley was supposedly at the vet’s office for his procedure… Ackley was in fact the one being fixed.

Just something to think about if you really, truly, have nothing to think about on this fine Tuesday afternoon.

IMAGE: is that a baseball… or a baseball… if you know what I mean.

Proposed: New Gestures For Those in Need of New Gestures


To watch a baseball game these days is to watch a pageant of deliberate body language. Fernando Rodney is a post-save archer, Rafael Soriano a post-save slob, Joe Nathan a no-save Italian stereotype. Some say the trend began with the 2010 Rangers and their “claw and antlers” signs, while others contend that it started with Ty Cobb and his frequent use of the throat-slashing “I’m going to kill you” gesture.

Whatever the inspiration, each game now resembles the International Semaphore Symposium sharing assembly-hall space with the Annual Wanna-Be Gangbangers Colloquium. Problem is, at some point, players will run out of gestures, just as suburban teens must now resort to Fonzie’s thumbs-up to signal their affiliation.

To thwart a possible shortage, I hereby propose the following gestures:

Open palm to side of head, tilt head, close eyes: The traditional symbol of “naptime,” this gesture is used whenever Josh Beckett takes more than the allotted six minutes (or whatever it is) between pitches, and also whenever Justin Morneau, during a conversation with the runner at first base, discusses his favorite cheese.
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Colby Rasmus, Pitchman

This should not be left to die in the comment thread on this morning’s post about Colby Rasmus, Enigma:

Big Jgke says:
August 27, 2014 at 9:40 am
As a Jays fan, what I’ll miss most when Colby gets his inevitable overpay from some other organization, is hearing his unintelligible southern drawl on local radio ads for shady car dealerships.

I can’t be the only person who went to look for this. (Indeed, when I reloaded the comments, I saw that I was not.)

Were they not allowed to say “Blue Jays” in the ad? “Toronto’s ballclub?” Really?

Frequently Asked Questions About Streaming Local Broadcasts

Major League Baseball Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman told the Associated Press this week that some baseball fans may be able to stream local broadcasts to their desktops and mobile devices by as early as next season. LINK.

Q: Who?

A: Not you.

Q: Why not?

A: We don’t like you.

Q: But I’m a fan!

A: Not enough of a fan.

Q: What do you mean?

A: Real fans subscribe to cable.

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Investment Opportunities for Alex Gordon

Alex Gordon says he will pick up his $13.25 million player option for 2016, delaying free agency for a year and, assuming he plays well next year, taking a risk that he’ll decline or get injured in 2016 and ultimately end up with a far smaller deal.

Of course no one can predict the future, but one would have to think that the smart money is on Gordon, now 30 years old, quite possibly being in a better position for a huge deal after 2015 than he would be after 2016. Nothing’s ever certain, but the odds would seem to lean that way, given the age-related decline risks in addition to injury possibilities, or, as Hopeless Joe might add, the risk the economy will collapse and the money to sign him disappearing into the cratering Dow Jones Industrial Average.

In any case… if Alex Gordon is serious about this decision, I have a few investment opportunities I’d like to pitch him:

1. Cotton candy futures. Sure, this cotton candy looks delicious now, all pink and cottony and sweet. Just imagine how good it’s going to be once it has a chance to develop and grow and mature. Alex can pay market price now and we’ll hold the cotton candy here, uh, in this child’s mouth, until it’s set for delivery in 2017.

2. Antarctic ice. It’s cold, it’s clear, penguins love it, and it’s not going anywhere! Pay now, use later. We’ll even throw in a cooler bag and a copy of “An Inconvenient Truth” on DVD. No– make that Laserdisc.

3. Subprime mortgage loans. This is obviously a no-brainer. I think we still have some left over from 2009, but let me check. The older they get, the better they are. Like cheese.

4. Speaking of cheese… I’ve got some wheels right here. Yes, they’re encumbered by a five-year no-sale clause, but after that restriction runs out, people will be lining up outside your door begging to take that cheese off your hands, or at least trying to get that cheese off your hands before you come near them.

5. Billy Butler. See, Alex, you’re not the only player on the Royals who will increase in value every year for the foreseeable future. Just think about Butler’s value now, compared to a few years ago. Invest now, before you can’t afford him any longer.

The most 1776 player of 2014

The Sporting News offers the awkwardly-headlined piece, “Astros slugger Chris Carter: The most 2014 player of 2014,” thanks to his prodigious amounts of home runs and strikeouts.

Which, of course, begs all sorts of questions. Like, who is the most 1995 player of 2014. (Jason Giambi? Latroy Hawkins? Derek Jeter?) Or who is the most 1914 player of 2014. (C.J. Wilson? You know, closest name to Woodrow Wilson…?) Or who is the most 350 BC player of 2014. (Alex Torres? Alexander the Great…?)

Or who is the most 1776 player of 2014, obviously Ben Revere, who has now been mentioned in posts I’ve written twice this week, which ties a record set by Andrew Cashner earlier in the season and means I’m required to draft Revere in at least one fantasy league next year. Great!

Who is your most ___ player of ___? (I ask, begging for commenters to help create content.)


[Verse 1]
I haven’t seen a pennant since my youth
When Brett and Saberhagen played (and Steve Balboni)
And Charlie Leibrandt, Hal McRae
Gubicza, Frank White, and Quisenberry

But every year’s like false hope, prospects, oops they’re getting injured
Bad trades, dumb signs, oops they’re going backwards
They don’t walk, they don’t hit homers much too.
And then they talked about Hosmer, Myers– wait, I think we’ll trade him
Mike Moustakas– wait, we’ve really played him?
Seemed the plan, another year to end right as it began

But now they write about Royals (Royals).
They’re somehow winning games,
With people who can field the ball.
A bullpen not so bad at all.
Maybe it’s just timing (timing),
A division that’s weak
And maybe they’ll win, they’ll win, they’ll win, they’ll win.
Or a long, long losing streak.

[Verse 2]
Sal Perez and Escobar
Infante, Gordon, Dyson, Cain, Billy Butler.
It’s not a lineup that strikes fear– but our pitching’s nice,
And maybe that’s what matters.

But every year’s like false hope, prospects, oops they’re getting injured
Bad trades, dumb signs, oops they’re going backwards
They don’t walk, they don’t hit homers much too.
And then they talked about Mike Montgomery– wait, I think we’ll trade him
Odorizzi– wait, we’ll trade him too, yeah
Seemed the plan, another year to end right as it began

But now they write about Royals (Royals).
They’re somehow winning games,
With people who can field the ball.
A bullpen not so bad at all.
Maybe it’s just timing (timing),
A division that’s weak
And maybe they’ll win, they’ll win, they’ll win, they’ll win.
Or a long, long losing streak.

Rebus of Death

As I’ve learned over the years, there is a great deal of brainpower lurking out there in the miasmic hellscape known as NotGraphs Readerland, and it is just waiting to be mobilized in the service of something ridiculously inconsequential. Never again will I underestimate you, readers; and so for this, my third Rebus, I have abandoned all mercy, pity, remorse, and indeed all humanity. There will be no hints; there will be no gimmes. I give you the Rebus of Death, and yes, you may click to receive your death in larger form:


Axes and Other Bat Handle Designs

Courtesy of Baseball Think Factory, a recent article in Wired unveils the Axe Bat, a baseball bat with the handle of an axe, which, based on a study by an engineering professor who lucked into a job where he gets to do research on baseball bats:

is more comfortable, delivers more power and speed, and reduces injuries when compared with traditional bats

The article is pretty interesting, and I recommend you all check out the Axe Bat, but I thought it would be more fun to speculate about other revolutionary new mash-up bat designs coming to a stadium near you:

1. The Com-Bat, a bat that’s also a weapon of war. Head of a bat, handle of a grenade. Good idea for military baseball games.

2. The Rub-bat, a bat with a rubber handle. Super comfortable to hold, although it limits bat control to some extent. Fun to bunt, since the ball bounces right off the thing. Hard to get a lot of power in the swing, though, since the head just starts flopping around. Ben Revere uses this, I think.

3. The WomBat (I), a combination wombat and baseball bat. Very cuddly.

4. The WomBat (II), a combination woman and baseball bat. Head of a bat and the legs of a woman. Not really sure what this offers a ballplayer, but maybe it’s a good novelty gift.

5. The Bat Bat, a baseball bat with the wings and teeth of a bat. Keeps the catcher far away, since he’s worried about rabies, allowing for free passage for runners on the basepaths and lots of dropped third strikes.