Author Archive

Patrick Dubuque Made This Baseball Painting for Me, or, How NotGraphs Improved My Life

Patrick Dubuque
United States, born 1978
Untitled, 2014
paint on canvas, I think

Its first post having been made on November 10, 2010, “NotGraphs, The Blog,” lasted just under four years. It began with four regular contributors: Carson Cistulli (also the editor, duh), Jack Moore, Eno Sarris, and Leo Martin. Since then, 42 people have posted here at least once, with 19 contributors posting at least 20 pieces. They weren’t all great pieces, but then, look who the editor was.

David Appelman, in his introductory post, expected that NotGraphs would provide “a place to put things that would otherwise not have a place on FanGraphs, that we find interesting and we think you would also find interesting” and that The Blog would “let us broaden our horizons a bit by looking at a wide variety of additional baseball subjects.”

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To NotGraphs, Thanks for Everything! —Dale Thayer

Hey there, Icers. By “Icers” I don’t mean cans of Icehouse brand brewski, though I still call those Icers, too. Icers is what ol’ Dale’s been calling his acolytes lately.

“Acolytes” is a big word, isn’t it? Meaning has to do with something religious, I think. I do not mean to claim that all you Icers come to worship in the Church of Dale or something. I just kinda mean that we’re all in this together, you know? It’s a term of friendship, the way I mean it. Hell, I’m an Icer, too. We’re all just human aluminum, chillin’ out in this big Coleman cooler we call “Earth.” Some of us are soon to be cracked open and chugged up, the rest of us’ll be left in here ’til the ice melts. Huh: I guess that’s a metaphor for global warming or something. Listen to me, gettin’ all metaphorical and whatnot. Seems like every time I talk to you Icers on the ol’ NotGraphs modem here I end up gettin’ wistful or woozy or nostalgic. I guess that’s just a part of me; I guess that’s just a part of NotGraphs.

So, y’all’ve probably heard by now that NotGraphs is goin’ outta business. Gettin’ foreclosed upon. Happened to my uncle back in the early aughts—his house got foreclosed upon, I mean, or he did, or the mortgage did—however you wanna put it. He passed not too long after.

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GIFs: Carlos Gomez Is Easily Startled, Consoled

Carlos “Go-Go” Gomez is easily startled.

All it takes is a sneaky umpire, sidling up to the bag Go-Go’s on, and he’s like an elephant that sees a mouse (or a squirrel, or some other kind of smallish rodent).

Fortunately for Go-Go, all it takes to calm down after such a rise in blood pressure is a little coddling and chest scratching from third base coach Ed Sedar.

Maybe the next time you are feeling anxious or agitated, Ed Sedar can come to your home, workplace, or wherever else you might be feeling these uncomfortable feelings, maybe he can come there and just scratch your chest a little. Wouldn’t that be nice? Ed Sedar. In your home, workplace, or general personal space. Just scratching your chest a little.

Don Mattingly Is Pleased

Don Mattingly is pretty pleased right now. He probably just finished a really difficult sudoku or something, one that he has been working on for days, the page worn thin by multiple erasings.

There was probably, like, this one box that he just kept thinking was a seven — he just knew it was a seven — so he had to rearrange all the other boxes several times to accommodate this certainty. But at times he had to erase the seven, too. For the good of the sudoku, maybe he had to entertain the thought that the box wasn’t a seven, that maybe he was just becoming a crazy old man.

Probably on more than one occasion over the last few days, because he kept trying to solve this sudoku while getting dressed, Don Mattingly put his underwear on backwards. Also, I bet he sat to pee so as to afford himself more time to work on the puzzle. He maybe got eraser scraps in his pubes.

His pencil’s eraser was worn down to the metal. There probably were times in the last few days, in the middle of the night maybe, when Don Mattingly would wake up and think,

If I don’t finish this soon, I will have to get a new pencil. Or maybe a cap eraser. I effing hate those cap erasers: they always crack or fall off the pencil and get lost before you can get any real use out of them. And I hate using up a pencil’s eraser before the pencil is anywhere near used up. I hate that; that’s such a waste. I wish pencil’s came with bigger erasers. Or maybe I just need to get better at sudoku, make fewer mistakes. Maybe I just need to get better at life.

It’s possible Don Mattingly had the humility and mental fortitude to then let go of the stubborn thought about the seven, and that he had resolved himself to focus on another part of the puzzle. Maybe he felt emasculated, giving up on the seven; and, at times, maybe he even came close to giving up on the whole damn thing. We can’t know for sure, but maybe Don Mattingly just had to dig deep and find it within himself to saddle up again. Get off the sad saddle and get back on that sudoku saddle, Donny boy, is what I like to think Don Mattingly thought to himself at one point, which would have been a dark hour for Don Mattingly.

But tonight, as his team hosts the Cincinnati Reds, Don Mattingly finally solved that sucker, and you know what? That one square was a seven! He knew it all along!

I think that is really the only explanation that I am willing to accept for how Don Mattingly can appear so pleased right now.

Picture borrowed from @MLBFanCave’s tweet from Tuesday.

Learn How to Cheer for a Home Run from Former GOP Presidential Candidate John McCain!

Since you are a baseball fan, you probably have cheered for a home run before. You probably have been cheering for home runs for years. But you probably never have examined how you have cheered for all of those home runs. Maybe you never have asked yourself what the optimal way to cheer for a home run is; you never have fretted over cheering for home runs before a home run happens, nor have you felt dumb about the way you cheered for a home run after you did so.

Well, you should feel dumb. Because no matter what you have done to cheer after a home run, you have never done it correctly. You have been doing it all wrong for all these years.

Thankfully (and thanks especially to NotGraphs reader Eric Rood for his hot, GIF-able tip), former GOP presidential candidate and current senior US Senator of Arizona John McCain is here to show us the way — the only way — to properly cheer for a home run. He shall show us all.

First and foremost: tuck in your shirt. You don’t want to look like a slacker when cheering for a home run. The cheering of slackers doesn’t really count as cheering.

Next, if at all possible, try to stand in front of a guy in a Zac Brown Band t-shirt. This provides an awesome, patriotic backdrop for your cheering.

Then — here’s the really important stuff — do your best impression of an elated zombie by reaching out your arms, and keeping them stiff. Open your mouth in something that resembles a palsied yelp. Rotate 90-degrees away from your wife (so as to disassociate yourself with her pathetic clapping), and then back again — with stiff arms still outstretched, of course.

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MLB All-Star Wars Team: Joey Watto, 1B

Joey Watto also possessed a datapad, on which he would maintain copious records of opposing pitchers and defensive shifts employed against him. Watto only used said inventory as an occasional refresher, however, as he had a great memory for previous plate appearances and game situations. Also in Watto’s arsenal were several loaded lucks chunks, which he would use to remind himself that “luck” happened when opportunity met with a prepared mind and body. As a diversion, Watto owned a shisha, which would, for him, replicate the climate of hi native Canadaria. Another of Watto’s personal effects was his swagger stick; he used it to hit line drives and, occassionally, homeruns. Although he had left family behind on Canadaria, he never cut off contact with them, and always sent money home to them. Within a standard year, he had earned enough to pay off his debts. Despite his initial success, however, he was not satisfied, and was convinced that pitchers were trying harder to get him out than they were with batters of other species….

In case you missed it, here’s the first member of the MLB All-Star Wars Team, Smeth Sith!

Be Your Own Dick Allen

Dick Allen — smoker, All-Star, activist, eternal bon vivant. If you’re reading (or writing) these electronic pages, you either secretly wish that you were Dick Allen, or you publicly wish that you were Dick Allen. Well. Good news for all of us: this summer, NotGraphs Press will release its first publication, Be Your Own Dick Allen, designed to help even the most Cistullian among us to access our inner Dicks.

Inside the above very handsome volume, readers will find fashion advice, hot takes on tobacco products, a sleeve of pine-tar paper, best practices for loins-bearing and all-star hitting, and inspirational quotes designed to help you achieve maximum Dick Allen-ness in everyday life, just to name a few treats.

To whet your appetites for this groundbreaking publication — as if your appetites for things Dick Allen were in need of whetting — we share below a few of those quotes from the aura (if not from the actual mouth) of Dick Allen himself.

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Bob Gibson is walking toward you…

Robert “Bob” Gibson is walking toward you.

His fastball has been described as “blazing,” which doesn’t do it justice, but that doesn’t much matter now — Bob Gibson doesn’t seem like he will be using his fastball. His slider would make you buckle into a heap of flesh, make you faint — which makes you wish he would throw it — you don’t want to be conscious when Bob Gibson gets to you — but that isn’t happening either. Bob Gibson is walking toward you.

Where is your spine, you ask yourself. It seems to have fled — and you’d be wise to follow it if you were capable of movement. Or, your spine has changed into something other than bone — a windsock, perhaps. Your spine has become a windsock because Bob Gibson is walking towards you.

Bob Gibson saw such a windsock once when he was in high school. It wiggled lazily in the breeze and then tried to lay down a bunt on him. You know what Bob Gibson did to that windsock then? He ate it. Bob Gibson ate that windsock, and now he is going to eat your windsock spine after he rips it from your rice-paper flesh. Yes, as Bob Gibson walks toward you, it appears he has an appetite for a windsock. Bob Gibson has been craving windsock since he ate that windsock back in high school.

Bob Gibson is walking toward you. Or, you assume he is still walking toward you. All you can see now is stars, so you don’t really know for sure. All you can hear is something like the rhythmic thump of shovelfuls of soil hitting a casket top. Are you in the casket? Are you a blind bystander at your own funeral?

You are a speck of dung nestled in the turf, and Bob Gibson has walked right over you.

Tyler Chatwood in the Woods, Surrounded by Chats

House of Cosbys has and will always entertain me — but it also taught me a valuable lesson: The more you repeat something, the, um, less special it is. It is with this warning that I present to you “Tyler Chatwood in the Woods, Surrounded by Chats”.

“I went to the woods because I wished to chat deliberately…” –Henry David Thoreau

For better or for worse, this has been a NotGraphs post tagged as Men Surrounded by Things.

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

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