Homo (Less Than) Erectus: A Scott Proctor Flip Book

As my colleague — and America’s Kid Brotherâ„¢ — Jackie Moore noted in the smallest hour of the night, Tuesday’s 19-inning affair between Pittsburgh and Atlanta ended in an unexpected and controversial manner.

For more on the game’s decisive play, I direct your attention either (a) once again to Jackie’s post or (b) the home for entirely reasonable discourse that is the internet.

Equally deserving of our attention is what happened on the other end of the play — batter (pitcher?) Scott Proctor‘s end, I mean. For it was Proctor, owner of three career plate appearances and three career strikeouts before last night, who set the wheels of this baseballing soap opera into motion.

What you see down and to the right is a flip book of sorts documenting the initial moments of Proctor’s departure from the batter’s box. Because the image is long, I’ve presented alongside it poet Matthew Arnold’s poem “Dover Beach,” something with which the bespectacled reader will want to become acquainted if his dreams of becoming a Real Aristocrat are ever to be realized.

I leave it to the reader’s discretion to determine the exact identity of Arnold’s “ignorant armies.”


The sea is calm tonight,
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Agean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

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Carson Cistulli has just published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.

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Carson, I’m impressed that Fangraphs has the ability to format like this (i.e., with the picture next to a column of text), and even more impressed that you figured out how to do it.