Author Archive

Is “Deadball” the Best or Just the Greatest Movie Ever?

Your friend, my friend, and friend of NotGraphs Max Taylor points out there is in fact possibly the finest baseball film ever and, no surprises here, it comes from the home of the no-nonsense film industry in Japan. It’s called Deadball and this is its trailer:

Some highlights:
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I Enjoy Baseball Today


If you’re an interneting person, if you are “jacked in” — as they say — then there is a good chance you know that today is the day that commentors on the Web Site Reddit have decided to mob baseball stadiums across the nation, bearing signs that say, simply, I Enjoy Baseball:


I’m telling you this so that you will know it. So that when your spouse says, Hah, that’s a fine sign!, you can glance over your newspaper and mutter, Harumph! I know all about this — for behold: My mammoth knowledge!

Because: Why else would we watch baseball with a spouse in the room, if not to impress said spouse?

Rays Fan Still Awaiting Trade Results


ST. PETERSBURG, FL — David Williams sits at the dilapidated service entrance to the Don Cesar Hotel of St. Pete Beach. The pastel pink walls and the sunny weather belie the pervasive anxiety in the air. Every few moments, Mr. Williams pulls his Samsung Galaxy S Blaze from his pockets and refreshes his RSS feeds.

“Any moment now,” he says. He smiles and returns the phone to his pocket. “Never been disappointed yet; won’t be disappointed today.”

Williams is one of the millions of Rays fans in the tri-county area waiting for trade deadline news that has already come. The Tampa Bay Rays traded ace pitcher David Price on Thursday afternoon, and though the returns of the trade has received muted praise, Rays fans are still hoping for a piece of the trade to be announced — they are waiting for news that is not coming.

“The [Matt] Garza trade, the [James] Shields trade — heck, even the Jason Bartlett trade — they all gave us some prospects to dream on,” says Jenny Havermayer a real estate agent in Tampa. “We know there’s a few more prospects in this trade. We just have to wait for them to announce it is all.”

Asked if she’d be disappointed if the Rays only received three players in the Price trade, Havermayer said, “No, I won’t be disappointed. Because they’re not getting three players. Ten prospects. Just wait. Ten. All shortstops and pitchers.”

The lunch rush is beginning and David Williams stands and stretches. He refreshes his feeds one more time as he ascends the steps to the kitchen. “I guess I’ll find out who else they got later, after I get off work.”

He smiles and stares across the crystalline Gulf of Mexico. He opens his mouth to say something, hesitates, then shakes his head and disappears into the open door. He is waiting for the player to be named never.

NotGraphs Newswire, alrights reserved.

Image Source.

Munenori Kawasaki Update: A Monkey Never Cramps

    “I am nothing if not an enormous, glittering fan of Munenori Kawasaki.”

    -Albert Einstein

When last we caught up with Japan’s greatest export, Munenori was on pace to became the greatest hitter in MLB history by the 2018 season. The present update comes at a time — a blusterous, unforeseeable time — wherein Munenori Kawasaki is (still) an everyday starter for the playoff-hopeful Toronto Blue Jays. He also continues to add flexibility to his resume. Not only is he blapping a respectable 89 wRC+, he is playing more third base of late:

Blue Jays Defs

But most importantly, Mune — who, by the way, is the only play who will appear when you search FanGraphs for “Mune”; so that’s a time saving tip for your daily Mune stat-checks — Mune has offered a PSA, a Public Service Announcement or a Public Tell’em All Abouts (as they call it in Canada), concerning cramps:

GIF and a Tune: Slo Mo Jo Mo Steals Mo

As you undoubtedly already know, Jose Molina is something of a scratch base runner. On his career, he has 20 steals in 27 attempts, and 10 of those steals have come over the last four seasons. David G. Temple took some time to rightfully marvel over Molina’s 3-for-3 this season, which allows me to make a post I’ve been wanting to for awhile, except could not because of Laziness.

Here is Molina’s steal from 7/12/2014:


Here is that steal, Temple’s second GIF, repurposed with slower motion for to affect your feals. And here find also appropriately inspirational tunes:


Let’s Talk About Billy McCool

Last month, NotGraphs lost a piece of magic as Billy McCool, left-handed pitcher and actual person, passed away. Let us take a moment to adore the man, the lefty, the only fella who could make your grandfather’s socks as cool as cubed cumbers — Billy McCool.

McCool GIF prep

Thanks to Paul Agnello for consummating Fate, for bringing the world’s inevitable route to NotGraphs’ front door, for telling us about Billy McCool.

THREE Genuine True FACTS About Munenori Kawasaki

FACT #1:

Munenori Kawasaki is the starting second baseman for the not-tanking Toronto Blue Jays. (He has played in all by 1 games since June 17.) (And he has an 89 wRC+.)

FACT #2:

According to Scientific Projections, Munenori Kawasaki will be the greatest hitter in baseball within the next five years:

Munenori Kawasaki Projection

Kawasaki Projection

FACT #3:

Muni is not at all terrible at defense:

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VIDEO: 5 Hot, Smoldering Minutes of Defense

A double-dosage of thanks to Youtuber tensaibaka for compiling the best defensive moments (and one pitching moment) of the NPB’s month of June. Girdle your mind for adventure:

It starts with a Mario Super Sluggers eephus pitch. Anything that starts with an eephus pitch will only make happiness smoulder in your chest like a-bucket-hot-wings heartburn. And here are some of the more funnest ones, en-GIF’d:

The over-jump!

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Pregger’s Curse

GIF Pregger's Curse sm

    It’s not true that babies ruin
    everything — but they do.
    And so I render this distemper:
    my expectation of remuneration.

    I missed a chance at ballpark greatness,
    a glorious battle for ball control wasted
    as your mother’s face turned faceless
    and her stomach strength proved faithless.

    So the next time Longo hits a bombo,
    and I’ve the fortune to be a bleacher creature,
    know full well: I expect that you
    will clamber for that ball with me too.

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GIF: Believe What Happened

Clickbait headlines usually say something to the effect of “You won’t believe what happens next!” This headline, my headline, commands you to believe what happened on Monday. Chelsea Baker, high school pitcher, knuckled into the Rays batting practice:


Yes. She is a 17-year-old throwing batting practice, making All-Star Hitters look silly. I would say 17-year-old me is jealous, but 27-year-old me — as well as all my other outside-of-time iterations — are even more jealous.