Archive for June, 2013

GIF of Prince Fielder at the Request of Author’s Brother-in-Law

Because the present author’s brother-in-law is both a medical doctor of some local repute and also does things like “own a house” and “shower daily,” there are few occasions upon which he (i.e. that same author) is able to demonstrate competency in areas where that brother-in-law does not.

The capacity both to manufacture animated GIFs and also embed them, then, is perhaps one of the few skills the author has acquired which remain outside of his brother-in-law’s purview. Accordingly, when the brother-in-law in question — a Tigers fans, it should be noted — made a passing remark about Prince Fielder’s towering home run from Friday’s game at Tampa Bay, the author regarded it as an invitation to engage in the lamest brand of display behavior currently known to science.

So, for the benefit of Jason, here’s a GIF of Fielder’s home run from Friday that required almost no effort for your sister’s husband to make and embed:

Fielder 2

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Banknotes Harper honored at Chicago Merchandise Mart

In 1953, American hero Joseph P. Kennedy commissioned the busts of eight captains of industry to be constructed outside the Chicago Merchandise Mart and worshiped as dollar-gods. On this day, a ninth marble bust was added — the bust of Banknotes Harper


Banknotes agreed to be honored only if his bust faced a different direction from the others. “That’s because I see arbitrage opportunities that other motherfuckers don’t. Those butt-smell losers are reading the financial pages, while I’m looking up skirts.”

Since his wishes were satisfied, Banknotes Harper himself was on hand for the ceremonial unveiling. “I’m here because nobody knows shit-hot business like I do,” Banknotes said to the assembled dignitaries and media. “I’m going to buy the Merchandise Mart and turn it into a big-ass computer, motherfuckers.”

At that point, Banknotes Harper laid a deep-rooted kiss on Queen Rania of Jordan, unleashed a thunderous air-guitar riff, booted Paul Volcker in the rascal basket and dived into the Chicago River.

“Later, slack-dicks,” he bellowed, as he swam toward shit-hot business.

Untimely Bat-Flip Coverage: Yasiel Puig Singles

Puig Flip Slow

Sometimes a handsome editor of a certain important weblog is by his computer around the same time Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig flips his bat dramatically and amusingly on a single against Philadelphia’s John Lannan. Other times, he (i.e. that same editor) is at his in-laws’ house in northern Michigan and has access to the internet only by means of a hotspot and is also asleep.

In any case, the footage presented above is of Yasiel Puig hitting a single and also flipping his bat from last night.

Real-Time Stats Leaderboard for Italian-American Players

Click to embiggen, if you get what the author means.

As a Champion of the People, the author has participated in a number of community-service projects that have enriched lives and inspired the leaders of tomorrow. Not for nothing has he (i.e. that same author) been referred to, on more than one occasion, as a “goddamn Johnny Appleseed of human compassion.”

None of the author’s good works, however, has been so rewarding as the present one. Using a combination of wit and just his hands, he’s endeavored to produce the world’s first, or at least best, real-time stats leaderboard for Italian-American and regular Italian major-leaguers.

Click this hyperlink to experience the leaderboard.

Click this more different hyperlink to consult Wikipedia’s list of Italian-Americans in baseball, which the author mostly utilized in the composition of the leaderboard.

Utilize the comments section below to make note of other Italian-American or just regular Italian major-leaguers who ought to be added to the leaderboard.

NotGraphs Haiku: Uncle Charlie

Dear Uncle Charlie,
Twelve-to-six, or two-to-eight,
You’re my favorite.

This has been a NotGraphs Haiku.

And this was entirely an excuse to post the above GIF, for which all praise goes to @ChadMoriyama. And Uncle Charlie. And Clayton Kershaw.

A-Rod’s Master Plan

Today, Bob Klapisch reported that the Yankees have no idea what’s going on with A-rod, calling his comments (in which he tweeted out an update on how his rehab is going without clearing it with the Yankees’ front office first) “bizarre” and saying “they’re also stumped the slugger’s recent behavior.”  Well, everyone knows Alex is a complicated guy, and it’s likely that nobody actually understands him.

That must be pretty lonely for a fella, so I want to help you get him better. I snuck into his fortified compound (like Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment, but with tighter pants) and stole what looked like an explanation for what he was trying to accomplish. Here now, for the first time, is A-Rod’s master plan:

 A-Rod's plans

Click to embiggen. Duh.

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Great Moments in Pulling the Ball: Yasiel Puig


I’m not an athlete. Curling is my sport of choice. But there are times when one is curling that they feel they can do no wrong. Every shot is the perfect weight, you hit the broom every time, you are in the sweet spot of speed and pressure when you’re sweeping, etc.

Real athletes talk about these moments, too. They usually call it being “locked in” or “in the zone.” In these times, they can seemingly do whatever they wish within their game. They are masters of their destinies. Their limitations come only from their imaginations. For these fleeting times, they control their universe.

Yasiel Puigi Puig is* still controlling his universe. Here’s to him never stopping.

*Ed Note: while the very handsome editor appreciates David Temple’s attempt to suggest that Yasiel Puig could only be Italian, fact must triumph fiction in this particular case.

FanGraphs Trades Eno Sarris to Baseball Prospectus


INTERNET, USA — In a move that would be considered shocking if anyone actually cared, baseball-nerd homepage Fangraphs has traded Eno Sarris to another site for baseball pencil pushers, Baseball Prospectus, for a 2014 first-round pick.

FanGraphs CEO and self-made millionaire David Appelman lauded Sarris as “being very good at whatever it is he does,” and added “we’ll be sorry to see him go, I’m sure.”

Sarris was unable to be reached for comment but did tweet “wut” soon after the news broke, which was immediately followed by a tweet ranking a beer no one has ever heard of. Sources indicate that Jeff Sullivan was originally in the mix for a trade, but Sullivan indicated he would exercise his 5000-posts rights, given to writers who have logged 5,000 posts on a site.

Baseball Prospectus editor-in-chief Ben Lindbergh plans to use Sarris and his BBWAA card to ramp up coverage of awkward interviews in locker rooms all over the bay area of California. “It’s an obvious missing piece from our site,” said Lindbergh on a conference call with reporters. “I mean, he’ll do fantasy stuff too,” he added. “But I’m really excited to land that coveted interview about comic books with Pat Neshek.”

Signs are not yet clear as to how FanGraphs will use their 2014 first-round pick, as those things don’t actually exist for baseball writers, but insiders suspect Appelman will try to package it with Dayn Perry’s contract in a move to acquire additional server space.

On the Beauty of Pudge


This begins with Carlos “El Caballo” Lee, who recently hung up his horseshoes after a shapely, if unspectacular, 14-year career. Here are Lee’s home run numbers*:

16 24 24 26 31 31 32 37 32 28 26 24 18 9

My, I thought upon seeing these, that’s beautiful; Carlos should get some credit for sculpting such a sequence. Sure, symmetry like this is largely coincidental, but it doesn’t come together without a certain amount of honest consistency. One gets the feeling that, while El Caballo may not have been the greatest hitter ever, he was one of the most self-actualized, or something.

So then there is this question: what player has boasted the most beautiful career? And how exactly would we quantify such a thing? Well, here is what I did. I looked at the career WAR curve of every player with 30+ career WAR (about 500 hitters and 300 pitchers, for the record). I assumed that long was preferable to short, that smooth was preferable to jagged, and that gradual was preferable to abrupt. Then some math was required, but this is Notgraphs, so I made up two half-assed metrics: Years Per Inflection Point (YPIP) and Standard Deviation of Increases and Decreases (SDID). YPIP measures how often a curve changes direction; for Lee’s home run numbers, it would be 14/1 = 14. SDID measures the variation in year-to-year changes, independent of direction; a player with big spikes and plateaus in WAR gets a higher (worse) number than one with a steady climb. Then I ranked all the players by each metric, added the two ranks together, and found the lowest total. As you’ve already discerned — edging out such lovelies as Billy Nash and Dom DiMaggio — it’s Ivan Rodriguez:

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Every Major-League Ballpark, Ranked by Walk Score

About an hour ago, the present author published a post in these absurd electronic pages in which he attempted to assess objectively the relative merits of all 30 major-league ballparks by location using the population density of each park’s attendant zip code.

About 59 minutes ago, concerned reader The Wrong Alex (and also other concerned reader Bryan) suggested that perhaps using Walk Scores (from might be the most effective proxy for what the author is attempting to represent. A Walk Score, according to the relevant site, “is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address.”

And here’s a more detailed explanation of the significance of different scores:

Rating Image

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