Archive for March, 2012

Discovery: Jake Peavy Is Remarkably Pleasant

By a process known as embedding — which oughtn’t be confused with a different process for which the author has become famous around the home and office — I submit for the reader’s consideration video from last week of Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy discussing with equal parts enthusiasm and modesty a recent minor-league outing he made, which video reveals to anyone who cares to watch that Jake Peavy is remarkably pleasant.

“Apropos of what, precisely, are you doing this?” the reader might be asking. To which hypothetical question, I reply: “No pretense is necessary. Good behavior is always relevant.”

Ask J.P. Arencibia!

Dear J.P. Arencibia,

I’m really excited about the season. Even Maple Leafs fans are looking forward to it! And I don’t care what Cito Gaston says, you guys have won 22 out of 27 games, so spring training definitely matters. I mean, that’s better than .800 baseball! Toronto’s ready for a winner, and I know you and your Blue Jays teammates will deliver.

Anyway, I recently got my hands on a pair of tickets to the home opener at the Rogers Centre on April 9. The Massholes are in town, so it should be a lot of fun, and I’m really looking forward to it. However, I haven’t been to the home opener in years, and I’ve heard that it can be a bit of a rowdy affair at the Dome. Everyone gets wasted, there are fights, magnets and/or towels end up on the field, followed by streakers, you name it. Do you have any advice on how I can best enjoy the return of baseball to our fine city for another summer?

Born-Again Blue Jays Fan

H/T: The peerless Jeremy Blachman for the inspiration. If you haven’t read the entire Ask NotGraphs! series, you haven’t made the correct life choices. There’s still time for you, though. I’ll never stop believing in your potential.

Hot GIF: Do Spring Training Stats Matter?

Cito has spoken.

H/T: Much like yesterday, all praise be upon my man @TheScottLewis, and the gang at theScore’s Getting Blanked. Yes, again. Look, it’s been a long week. Too many meetings.

The SoftBank Hawks FTW!

This year-old but new-to-me promo for the Japanese professional baseball team the SoftBank Hawks is easily the best baseball related commercial I’ve ever seen (even including that Ken Griffey Jr. Nike ad that made me cry when he retired).

The Hawks website is full of delightful tips on how to enjoy baseball, such as this perfectly joyful sentence: “after the top of the 7th inning, it’s time to sing the team song and release thousands of yellow balloons together with other fans.” We should all be so lucky. Additionally, their stadium is home to a Sadaharu Oh museum, and their team currently features Brad Penny.

I’m sold! Given that the Astros have seemingly given up on even trying to promote themselves at all, I may or may not be considering myself primarily a SoftBank Hawks fan after I watch this video a few more times. My favorite part is the [SPOILER ALERT] hat-wearing dog at the end.

H/T to Buzzfeed.

A Father’s Tears: Voluminous Thoughts on Baseball as a Symbol of Perfect, Haunting Love

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Jose Canseco Tweets Al Gore is Dead

Former U.S. Vice President and longtime environmental activist Al Gore has died somewhere in America, quite possibly alone and quite possibly of a shattered heart.

Although details of his passing aren’t yet available — at this writing, I’m not even sure the family has been notified (do they even care?) — the prevailing fact is that Al Gore is dead.

Some might call it odd that hoary organs like the New York Times and Washington Post are silent — aggressively silent, it would seem — on Mr. Gore’s blood-flecked, regeneration-through-violence and viscera-beflamed demise, but the truth remains that Al Gore is dead.

Do the circumstances surrounding the incontrovertible fact of his death suggest malice aforethought on his part? Or, perish the thought, play most foul? Or was it the sort of clumsy, banal finale that awaits most of us? Was there a pratfall? Were bowels voided? Did he see his kindly grandpa bathed in alabaster light?

We don’t know. All we know is that Al Gore is dead.

Please join me in mourning his passing from this world and in celebrating his life and works. For Al Gore, age 63, is dead.


Wade Boggs: Drunken Master, Dotage for 3/29

Table of Contents

Here’s the lineup for today’s (Not Quite) Daily Dotes:

1. Wade Boggs: Drunken Master
2. Bruce Chen Abandons Twitter Account, Comedians Anxious
3. Bartolo Colón Appears Sated, Nation Breathes Sigh of Relief
4. Rotowire: Brandon Inge In Danger of Making Opening Day Roster

Wade Boggs: Drunken Master

Behold: The ruddy cheeks of the Master.

Wade Boggs, famous for eating an entire chicken before every regular season game, and for drinking something-less-than-64 beers on a cross-country flight, apparently also had a sense of humor of which Stephen Root might be proud.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hot GIF: Jason Heyward Brings One Back

Yesterday’s box score reads, “Raul Ibanez flies out sharply to right fielder Jason Heyward.” I vehemently disagree.

I like to think that each baseball that’s put in play has its own destiny. And the baseball you see above, caught — no, brought back — by Jason Heyward, wasn’t destined to be a home run. Such is life.

One more thing: Home Runs Brought Back (HRBB) ought to be a new defensive statistic. Because that was no ordinary fly out. And because we don’t have enough statistics around here.

H/T: My fellow Canadian @TheScottLewis. And be sure to check out Getting Blanked; the boys do great work.

Ask NotGraphs (#10)

Dear NotGraphs,

Roses are red, violets are blue,
I’m stuck with Justin Morneau, what do I do?

(Asking if he wants to play hockey, notwithstanding)

Read the rest of this entry »

Youk, Tebow, Taibbi and the Death of Simile

Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi in 2009: “Whereas a guy like Teixeira was born with a swing so gorgeous you want to paint it, Youkilis fighting a middle reliever to a nine-pitch walk looks like a rhinoceros trying to fuck a washing machine.”

Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi in 2012: “Tim Tebow trying to throw a forward pass is like a moose trying to fuck a washing machine.”

Mr. Taibbi is a fairly prolific lad, so in some ways it’s excusable not to have a running mental catalog of the jokes one has cracked. Still, Taibbi’s dragging a simile howling from the vaults is like watching a washing machine trying to fuck sports.