Archive for March, 2011

Photo: Pete Incaviglia and an Actual Pig

It would be a crime both (a) against humanity and (b) in at least one Mississippi county to bid adieu to The Feast of Pete Incaviglia without making public the above image.

The absence of a (an?) hilarious caption is no accident: it’s possible there are words for what you see here; they just aren’t English words.

Charlie Hustle and the Technicolor Dream Coat

This is the jacket of a man who can tell you a few things you need to do in order to ensure that no one gets hurt. For instance, pay the lady upfront and treat her real nice. I’ll be in the spacious Lincoln parked outside the service entrance. Or: Go and start a kerosene fire at this thoroughbred stable, the address of which is on this cocktail napkin, which is from the Forbidden Island Tiki Lounge out by the airport. Or: Hire me to do the plumbing in that building you just purchased in the warehouse district and pay me this price, which is determined by factors unrelated to present market conditions and sub-contractor overhead.

This is the jacket of a man called Peter Edward Rose.

(Secret handshake: BBTF)

Excellence in Caption-Writing: Grant Brisbee

If NotGraphs exists for one reason, it’s to propagate the spread of Joe West-related art throughout the country, world, and universe. But if NotGraphs exists for two reasons, the second of those is to celebrate what is Good about baseball and the internets.

Thank you, Grant Brisbee, for doing the thing you do.

Joe West Tosses Old Man Winter

First things first: Yes, that is the least nefarious looking Old Man Winter in the history of Old Man Winters. Not that Old Man Winter’s nefariousness matters to Joe West, one way or the other.

But look at him, Old Man Winter. Look at that smug smile on his face, as if he thinks he might actually tamper with Opening Day, this most holy of afternoons. Downright defiant is what Old Man Winter looks to me, and The Great Ejector won’t stand for it.

Old Man Winter, you’re gone! And you can take Spring Training (look very, very closely at the picture, near first base) with you!

Play ball!

Thanks to steex for the Spring Training Photoshop which blessed my email inbox. And, yes, I did squeal with delight after typing “Play ball!”

The Day Has Come

Happy Opening Day, dear NotGraphers.

Let us now have this thing called baseball.

The Best Fantasy Team Name, In Album Art Form

Thanks to reader and soon-to-be fantasy baseball nemesis Matthew Watts for the graphic. Thanks to yours truly for the team name.

The Feast of Incaviglia the Polysyllabic

NotGraphs continues to spread the good news, via its critically acclaimed feast-day series.

Incaviglia the Polysyllabic

Life: Baseball fans will remember Incaviglia as a hirsute, impossibly sweaty, and — as he entered his 30s — replacement-level power hitter. Fans of college baseball, however, likely know him as The Greatest Hitter Ever. In three seasons at Oklahoma State, he amassed a (still) record 100 home runs*, hitting an (also still) record 48 in his junior year alone. Entering the draft, Incaviglia demanded to forego the minor leagues entirely and eventually landed with the Texas Rangers, for whom he hit 30 homers and slashed .250/.320/.463 (108 wRC+) in his rookie (age-22) season. Unfortunately, his approach at the plate failed to develop any further and, though he ended his career with 206 home runs, finished with just a 12.2 WAR over parts of 12 seasons. In 1999, Baseball America named Incaviglia the College Player of the Century.

*Making this record more significant is the fact that, while four-year players are eligible, Incaviglia left OSU after his third year there.

Spiritual Exercise: While Incaviglia, as a 22-year-old, was certainly capable of not failing in the majors, we can also probably take for granted that he would have benefited, at some level, from a certain amount of minor-league service time. Was it his responsibility to recognize this, or his organization’s? When, generally, is it best to recognize — or alternatively, ignore — one’s limits?

A Prayer for Pete Incaviglia

“Get your meathooks off of her,”
is something I’d yell at you
only after a great deal
of nervous introspection
and probably liquor.

I’ll Miss You, Spring Training

It’s been three weeks since the FanGraphs staff — some of the coolest mother you-know-whats on the planet — descended on Phoenix, Arizona, to revel in the sights and sounds of Spring Training. And I can’t get her out of my mind.

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Now that, friends, is a name for a baseball stadium. Nay, a baseball complex. Say it: Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Say it twice. Not only does the name roll off the tongue, but the brand-spanking new facility — home to both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies — is a stunning example of why Florida’s Grapefruit League just might be on baseball’s list of endangered species.

The jaunt down to Phoenix was my first ever to watch Spring Training’s fake games. And Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which opened its doors for the first time on February 11, 2011, and hosted its first game two weeks later on February 26, was everything I imagined Spring Training to be.

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We Salute You, 19th-Century Man!

Lest you think, even for a second, that George Radbourn (no relation to Old Hoss) was not a man of his century, please inspect the image above (salient points noted) and then think again.

Image taken from the very useful BR Bullpen.

Or Just Roll Yer Own …

Yesterday, I gave the people what they have long demanded: the opportunity to receive a nickname befitting the 19th-Century Baltimore Orioles. The problem, though, is that too many of you received duplicate nicknames. Too many of you received my nickname — “The Salty Bronco.” Clearly the fix was in, and I’ll not abide such sullying of my honest toil.

So what to do? As ever, the impulses of Nyjer Morgan provide the blueprint for success in life and in business. If Morgan can call himself “Tony Plush,” which is the greatest presently extant baseball nickname, then why can’t you, page viewer, roll yer own? You can.

Below, after the jump, I’ll list the complete menu of nickname choices — many of them buried by the name-generator interface in the service of its sordid intentions …

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