Archive for April, 2011

List: Things That Draw Two-Game Suspensions From MLB

Ozzie Guillen was ejected from last night’s game and promptly tweeted the above tweet. Unsurprisingly, MLB has come back strong today and hit him with a two-game suspension. Of course, it’s hard to imagine a worse offense than tweeting during a game, so it’s understandable that MLB cracked down so hard. Just for comparison’s sake, let’s take a look at some other two-game suspensions from recent MLB history.

Nationals manager Jim Riggleman, for participation in the Nyjer Morgan/Chris Volstad brawl last season.

Dusty Baker and Tony La Russa, for participation in the massive Cardinals/Reds brawl last season.

Fernando Rodney, for throwing a ball into the stands after recording a save in 2009.

Jonny Gomes, for his “violent actions” which incited a Rays/Yankees fight in spring training of 2008.

Joba Chamberlain, for throwing two pitches over the head of Kevin Youkilis in a game in 2007.

Dioner Navarro, for bumping the home plate umpire in a game last season.

Dave Trembley, for a “running argument” with the home plate umpire in 2009.

Milton Bradley, for arguing balls and strikes in 2009.

Kyle Farnsworth, for tackling Paul Wilson of the Reds in 2003.

And, my personal favorite, Francisco Rodriguez, for punching his father-in-law in the Mets’ clubhouse.

Take that for what you will. To me, it seems like the MLB is taking tweeting quite seriously.

Photo: Stealing Second Base. Literally.

Embiggen. Go on. Trust me.

The incredible moment in time — October 7, 1978, as the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate winning the pennant — was captured by Los Angeles Times photographer Larry Sharkey.

After hitting his run-scoring single in the bottom of the 10th, the Dodgers mob shortstop Bill Russell. During the celebration, several fans also rushed the field. One was caught by Sharkey trying to steal second base as a souvenir. The unidentified fan ended up the next morning all over Southern California on the front page of the Los Angeles Times. … Additional information on the fan — especially if he got away with second base — was not found in The Times’ archive.

I choose to live my life believing that the unidentified fan definitely got away with second base, making for one helluva souvenir, and story, over the past thirty-plus years.

H/T: It’s a long season.

The Future of Sports Urination

Weary of those ancient ballpark urinals found in haunts like Wrigley, Fenway and Dodger, the ones taken from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate? Know that the future brings hope …

“Thermochromic coating on steel panel” or urination sorcery? The latter, obviously.

If nothing else, team owners now have the tidy rationale they need for the next round of taxpayer-funded stadium refurbishments. Bodily Functions 2.0!

T-Shirt Wars

What a Salvo.

It all started so innocently. Or, as innocent as intense sartorial mocking can be.

A fan site for the Cardinals posted a great shirt idea:

The response came quickly, a surgical strike:

Then the Cardinals site dropped a T-Shirt bomb of snark on their opponents, including the genius above. With the balance now obviously shifted in the battle, perhaps the underdogs need a little help?

Incredibly important note: I am not taking sides in this inevitably long and drawn out battle. I’m just making gentle suggestions from afar. Gentle. Suggestions.

Lance Berkman ATE YOUR ELVIS

Fans: The Final Frontier


I like to think that NotGraphs fills a niche for indirect, informal meditation on fandom. But what about that other niche, the niche for direct, formal meditation on fandom? Will no one plug its conspicuous emptiness?

Possibly anticipating my above lament, earlier this week Leon Neyfakh published a piece in the Boston Globe entitled “How Teams Take Over Your Mind.” This article discusses academic efforts to understand why people get attached to sports, efforts which so far have produced the theories that: a) it’s about the need for narrative, b) it’s tribalism, or c) it’s the opposite of tribalism.

Maybe not groundbreaking. But there are some interesting things in the article that I didn’t previously know:

RISD American Studies professor Daniel Cavicchi has an excellent blog called “The Ardent Audience” that you should visit upon completing today’s FanGraphs buffet.

There’s something called “CORFing,” which means “to cut off reflective failure.” There’s also something called “BIRGing,” which means “to bask in the reflective glow.” That’s what those acronyms mean. Don’t even waste your time thinking about what other things they could mean, because their meaning needs have already been filled. Really please just move along.

In 1999, two guys named George Milne and Mark McDonald developed a scale of fandom. Neyfakh describes Milne and McDonald as “fanologists.” “Fanology” does not have a Wikipedia page and is therefore at risk of not being an actual thing. However, a Google search for “fanology wiki” turns up the entry on “Flirting,” presumably on account of the following paragraph, which contains a lot of things that I didn’t previously know:

The fan was extensively used as a means of communication and therefore a way of flirting from the 16th century onwards in some European societies, especially England and Spain. A whole sign language was developed with the use of the fan, and even etiquette books and magazines were published. Charles Francis Badini created the Original Fanology or Ladies’ Conversation Fan which was published by William Cock in London in 1797. The use of the fan was not limited to women, as men also carried fans and learned how to convey messages with them. For instance, placing the fan near your heart meant “I love you”, while opening a fan wide meant “Wait for me”.

For C.J. Wilson, Regarding His Dilemma

Texas Ranger starter C.J. Wilson suggested today via Twitter not only that (a) he’s occasionally frustrated by the questions he’s asked by reporters but that (b) he’d entertain the possibility of giving fictional answers in the future.

Fortunately, NotGraphs literally specializes in the very important field of fictional answer-giving.

Below are some questions that Wilson either has received or could expect to receive, all with answers taken directly from a most unlikely source — i.e. David Berman’s first and only book of poems Actual Air.


Q. How does a pitcher have to act to become a true ace?

A. So dull that he only makes a brief appearance in his own life story.


Q. How’d you feel out there today?

A. Like a turtle tangled up in dry cleaning bag.


Q. What’s been the key to your transition from relieving to starting?

A. A wedding ring with an on/off switch.


Q. How does your cut fastball look to opposing batters, do you think?

A. Like rain in its original, uncut form.


Q. What do you like to do with your free time?

A. Rank the great shipwrecks.

Mr. Steven Garvey, Vanquisher of Ninjas

Did you miss the explosive and exploding inaugural NotGraphs chat? If so, then please enjoy one of the highlights …

NotGraphs reader/chatterer/philosopher-king stevedore SubtleStatement passed this along, and let’s just say our gratitude is incalculable. Not even Dave Cameron could calculate our gratitude — that’s how incalculable it is.

Anyhow, Garvey later impregnated that ninja! Untrue fact!

First Ever NotGraphs Chat

What These People Might Be Thinking

From left to right …

Young Lady #1: “I can’t quite believe my own thoughts, but the photographer is cuter than Jetey-Jetes! He kind of looks like Ed Yarnall. Ed Yarnall was a darn dreamboat.”

Young Lady #2: “Over there, in the distant distance … keep your almond-shaped eyes on the distant distance … The only way Mr. Jeter will notice me is if I distinguish myself from the undistinguished likes of Mitzi and Crystal. I’ll tell him I prefer a sensible Ann Taylor pantsuit to that Aeropostale tripe. Didn’t he once date Susan Sontag? I think he did. Derek, I am complicated but worth the complication. Did you notice that I was respectful of the Anthem without being servile? Convention can be subverted with the cottony touch of approaching Autumn. Vous ne pouvez pas s’étendre vers votre gauche, et pour celui je vous pardonne. My smile is but a mask, you know.”

Derek Jeter: “1, 2, 3 … Corpse face! Ha, ha! No one does the corpse face quite like the Captain! Heh. F*cking A-Rod.”

Young Lady #3: “I can’t believe the Captain smells! It’s a good thing he can’t range to his left. El. Oh. El.”

Logan Morrison

Turns out, most things are S for W when your job is playing baseball.

Let’s get a few things straight before we dive down my social-media rabbit hole.

1. I don’t like Twitter. Or I didn’t.

2. Twitter and Facebook played small, if any, real role in the Middle East revolutions.

There, I said it. But you know what Twitter is good for? Yep, you guessed it: Knowing about Logan Morrison’s junk-shaving habits. Hint: he shaves it.

Why do I know this? That’s right, @LoMoMarlins likes to delight the world with his manscaping habits, while not talking about anything and everything else… Did I (@PatrickGCain) mention that I don’t like Twitter?

But I do like knowing some players are “good guys” and have a sense of humor. So, without further ado, I give to you some highlights from Logan Morrison, OF/1B of the Florida Marlins…

1. He’s selling his cast.

2. He painted his case pinstripes to match his uniform.

3. He’s very active in responding to fans.

4. He’s following his fictitious silverback Gorilla @LoMoDimples and his strained arch @LoMosarch.

5. He’s unabashedly following webcam girls, despite not knowing what NSFW means. Then again, webcam girls may be very SFW in his line of W.

This, my friends, is your future friend.