Archive for April, 2014

A Short Play Involving Two Robots

Two robots, each four stories tall, are sitting on abandoned cars in a clearing just beyond a public park.

JIM: Bob, what are we doing now?

BOB: We are waiting, Jim.

JIM: For what?  Read the rest of this entry »

John Paschal Live Chat! — 4/30/14

John Paschal: Hey, everybody! I will be here at 2:30 Eastern, or, unfortunately, “Private Time Central,” to answer all your baseball questions. So fill up the queue and I will see you then!

2:30 Almost finished, you guys. Remember: Private Time.





2:39 OK, folks. Fire away!

2:40 Comment From Diamond Dan The Baseball Man
What, in your opinion, is the precise correlation between O-Swing% and O-Contact% with regard to a batter’s position in the batter’s box, specifically his distance from home plate?

2:41 Hang on juuuust a sec, you guys. I forgot to record Judge Judy.

2:41 Sue me!

2:44 All righty, then … your questions!

Read the rest of this entry »

Fibonacci Fields


If the smallest two fields had the same dimensions as, say, Dodger Stadium, the tenth field (the one in the very bottom right corner) would have a centre field distance of 4.16 miles.

Click it to, as Simpsons fans insist on saying, “embiggen.”

Introducing Johntasy Baseball

It’s Johntasy Baseball, the game where you draft a roster of pitchers, and when they all undergo Tommy John surgery, you win! Sounds easy, right? Especially since Tommy John Surgery is like the new Neck Tattoo. Trendy, painful, and pretty terrible to watch. But there’s more! What if someone on your roster just wants to rest and rehab? Why, that’s worth points too — and then extra points when he ultimately has the surgery anyway? Someone on your team sent to Dr. Andrews for an evaluation? Points! MRI? Points! Disabled for a generic-sounding soreness issue that you’re pretty sure is going to end in surgery eventually? Chris Sale, you’re scoring the saddest points of them all! Rehab setback? Points! Start pushed back? Points! Does he even have an elbow ligament anymore? Points! With Johntasy Baseball, everyone wins, except everyone!

What a Barve Believes

Wohlers twitter

Yesterday, former Braves reliever Mark Wohlers expressed some surprise that the NBA would be taking steps to suspend and remove Donald Sterling as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for his abhorrently racist comments that we don’t really need to rehash here, except to say it’s pretty funny to hear a miserable racist philanderer complain that his bi-racial girlfriend has the temerity to publicly hang out with other people of color.

Wohlers, while not defending Sterling’s comments, tried to defend the bigot slumlord’s right to express those thoughts and keep his team:

Now, of course the first amendment doesn’t say what Wohlers thought it did. But that’s neither here nor there. More importantly, with his comments, Wohlers joins the elite fraternity of former Braves relievers who say and do controversial and ridiculous things that John Rocker started way back in 1999 when he engaged in his thought experiment about riding the New York City subway:

“Imagine having to take the 7 Train to the ballpark looking like you’re riding through Beirut next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old mom with four kids. It’s depressing… The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

It’s a larger group than you would’ve guessed. Here, below, is the rest of club: Read the rest of this entry »

Cowards Boo

Ohhh, it’s so easy to boo from the safety of your seat. But place yourself beside a one Mr. Robinson Cano, realize for yourself that he stands not tall enough to pinch his head while holding a beer, but in fact tall enough (six-foot) and big enough (muscley) to make for a more than formidable fistacuffs partner.

So boo while he can’t reach you with the bat; boo while he’s still a small man at a distance — because you’ll be telling your grandkids about the day you got to meet him and how down-to-earth he was and how you got to shake his strong hands. You’ll beat your boo-words into starstruck platitudes, and you’ll love it.

Totally Unaltered Player News:
Doug Fister Looks at Prescient Baseball Art

ALEXANDRIA, VA. – Prior to making his first rehab start on Sunday with the Nationals’ high-A affiliate, starting pitcher Doug Fister was spotted in a Woodbridge, Virginia art gallery looking at Sunday rehab start, an oil painting by German artist Emile Probst, finished 2007. The painting, along with another by Probst — Sunday rehab start (study) from 2005 — upon which Fister also looked, bore a strange resemblance to Fister himself.

Doug Fister looks at Sunday rehab start by Emil Probst

Read the rest of this entry »

The NotFive

In which we spotlight the five minor-league prospects whom we most want to reach the majors, for reasons completely unrelated to baseball skill.

1) Kevin Vance, RHP, Birmingham


On Twitter, Kevin Vance describes himself as an “Undersized Silver Back Gorilla.” To call his tweets “pearls of wisdom” would be to give pearls a great compliment. To wit: “I don’t want to learn the language that Khaleesi speaks, I need to.” “Oh you went to Coachella? No one cares.” “Do people still orders magazines? Unless you own a barber shop you should not be doing that #21stCentury” “Need to see a full on make out at the end of a ice dance performance. Figure it out. #5SecondFrencher #Sochi #SuchATease #MakeOut #Nation”

2) Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, West Virginia


Dovydas Neverauskas goes by “Never.” As in, there has never been a major league player from Lithuania. When he was asked if his teammates had heard of Lithuania, he said: “To be honest, they really do not know.” Also, he is on SoundCloud.

Read the rest of this entry »

Awful Announcers Announce the Awful Announcing Announcer Rankings

“Good afternoon on a beautiful day here in the ballpark. Baseball was made to be played on a day like this, and as the grounds crew removes the tarp, we are ready to get set to start today’s game between these two teams, whoever they may be. Don’t forget, today’s game is brought to you by our friends at Budweiser, makers of fine cars. Do your banking at Budweiser, or in a net at Budweiser-dot-corn.

“We also can’t forget to tell you about the Awful Announcing Announcer Rankings, where we finished 31st. Hey, that’s not bad. Not sure we really want to vouch for a set of rankings where our old pal Vince Cally finished 2nd, but, hey, who can beat the ol’ New York Giants and their team of talker people.

“So, the starting lineups tonight, we should tell you those. They’re brought to you by our friends at Toyota, king of beers. Crack open a Toyota, and enjoy the show, premiering Wednesday night at 9, here at Toyota and available in huge definition. Hey, so the pitcher is warming up in the bullpen. I think he may be a righty… no, wait… he’s a lefty. Big surprise there.

“We should mention some statistics. Did you know your home team is 0-1 in afternoon games so far this weekend. So that’s something to watch out for. Also, most of the hitters have never faced the opposing pitcher, who is making his first major league start that we’re aware of, although we’re now being told it is not actually his first start. Oh, wait, he’s not the pitcher, is he? He’s the umpire? Okay, we’ll start that whole sentence again.

“This actually reminds me of when I played, and there were batters and pitchers too. I faced a lot of pitchers, and did well off some of them, and poorly off others. But I always tried to stay within myself, and that’s really the key tonight.

“The keys of the game, brought to you by Taco Bell, the key to a satisfying home purchase. Taco Bell, with low interest rates, and representatives who come right to your door, seven days a week. If you need a new tire, it’s Taco Bell. Where were we? Oh, yes, the rain. It’s really coming down this morning. So I think we might have to pack it in and send you over to an episode of Charles In Charge, already in progress. Boy, that Charles. Will he ever learn? We’ll see you tomorrow for a day-night doubleheader, or, as Earl Banks once said, Play Ball!”

Video: MC Hammer Breaking Down Jace Peterson’s Swing

The world in which we live would be a decidedly less habitable one had certain great ideas not been pursued. Like the one Jonas Salk had for a polio vaccine, for example. Or the one Socrates had before that in terms of establishing the whole Western intellectual tradition.

Other ideas, had they been ignored entirely, would never have been missed.

Inserting footage of Jace Peterson’s first major-league hit into the music video for MC Hammer’s 1990 hit single U Can’t Touch This belongs firmly to the latter category.