Author Archive

MLB ’12 The Show: A Review

One fine day I got a notion that reviewing baseball video games – in an effort to find the best ones of all time – might be a cool idea. After showing one to Mr. Cistulli, he agreed relented. Thus today I bring you another video game review, this time a more timely review, of MLB ‘12: The Show, which was released Tuesday — or midnight Monday if you were lucky like I was.

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Aesthetically Pleasing Triple-Slashes — And Other Hitting Lines

There are a couple dynamics at play here. For one, we’re merely days from pitchers and catchers reporting; as a result, things to file a column on are bone dry. We have innings eaters swapping locales, a summary of the offseason’s best deals,  wishing happy trails to an underappreciated 43-year-old, and the dispelling of various rumors, most of which are asinine and drummed up for content. See the irony?

But today, I’d like to get romantic about statistics. Ever get lost inside the stats? I do. So join me in pushing up our nerd glasses today as I take a look at some of the hitting stat lines that pique my interest when I’m checking out a hitter’s stat sheet. In the interest of full disclosure, this post was in part inspired by a NotGraphs piece penned by Patrick Newman.

The .3xx/.4xx/.5xx triple-slash.

For me, this slash is probably the most pleasing to behold. It’s not the most productive of the stat lines that we’ll examine today, but there’s something — at least to me — about the consistency. The 3-4-5 suggests first of all, pretty good contact. How many everyday — albeit, dated — adages suggest hitting .300 is pretty dang good? The .4xx suggests a few things; for one, getting on base 40 percent of the time is elite, pretty much no matter how you slice it. Secondly, it shows a discerning eye at the plate. Assuming the hitter wasn’t .380/.405/.500, he’ll have to have good discipline to go with his contact to fulfill the first pair in this triple slash.

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Other Positions the Astros Considered

So the Astros hired this fella, Sig Mejdal, to be the club’s “Director of Decision Sciences.” I hear what you’re probably saying to yourself. “Isn’t that a made-up title?” In a way, yes it is. That may or may not have you asking, “So what other titles were considered?”

Well you’re in luck. I’ve procured a copy of the different titles the Astros were prepared to hand out had this not worked out. Take a gander.

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Status Quo: Twins Buck No Trends, Ink Jason Marquis

This Marquis May Well Be More Beneficial to the Twins in 2012.

For a brief stretch, it appeared that someone else might have the most ‘Twins’ offseason this year rather than, well the Twins.

Much like offseasons before, the Twins let its veterans walk via free agency, permitting them to sign deals that are considerably above Terry Ryan’s insanity threshold. Remember the Torii Hunter deal?

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Mariano Rivera Would Like the Next Dance, Ladies

Presented with limited commercial interruption:


It’s pretty obvious that Mo Rivera is a straight-up classy dude. He’s also aged well, beginning as a novice starter, and morphing into an established closer, if you know what I mean. And this picture oozes machismo, no?  Power khakis, power belt, power polo. Wind-up wrist watch. Oh-bay-bee.

So Mariano, I know your voice isn’t working so well. You had that surgery, and we’re all so happy you’re doing well. Allow me to play wing man here.

Any ladies want a dance with the relief Romeo? Step right up.

What I’m Thankful For

And today, a Thanksgiving post on what else: Everything I’m thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, you guys!

This list will vary wildly on things I’m very thankful for, and things I’m meh-thankful for. You get to figure out which are which!

BEGIN THE (horribly formatted) SLIDSHOW:

I'm very thankful for my wife. Here, we awkwardly feed each other on our wedding day, Aug. 6, 2011.

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Be Still My Beating Heart: Yoenis Cespedes

Every now and then, something truly epic comes along. Now, it’s not every day that it’s a Cuban ballplayer with a scouting video that has production values mirroring a 1980s sitcom, but this is your lucky day.

Domingo Ayala could not be reached for comment.

Jeff Passan could, however. He said these words.

When Phones Fail

Presented without comment. Except that one.

Presented without comment. Except that one.

A h/t to @iracane on Twitter for the scintillating image.

Sorry, Cowboy Joe

In a bit of breaking news, we here at NotGraphs have been able to procure the video footage of Bud Selig breaking the news to Cowboy Joe West that his services would not be needed for the Championship Series’.

However, in the spirit of WCW pay-per-views from 1997, we’re only able to show you stills of the video. Sit back and enjoy.

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One Night Only: The Elusive Mustache

Super Pavario 1UPs the Royals on the strength of the Elusive Mustache.

Something was different when Carl Pavano entered the Twins clubhouse yesterday. You guessed it. The bodacious fork duster that garnered Pavano notoriety during the 2010 season had returned for a one night tour in the Twins’ season finale. That mustache, along with Pavano, was tasked with keeping the Twins from the dreaded “100-loss” stigma that goes with, well, losing about 61.7 percent of the games you play in a given season.*

Pavano did just that — out-dueling Klaasen-crush Sweet Chen Music — in tossing a complete-game shutout which provided a great send-off for retiring radio broadcaster John Gordon, who had the thrill of calling a walk-off win his final game as a simulcast for the last few innings.

Pavano mustache-waxed poetic after the game, offering the following gems:

“It was actually an accident. I meant to go with handlebars. On this side, I had a ski accident five or six years ago where I hit a tree. So, it really doesn’t grow good over here. Like, really terrible. So, I ended up growing a mustache because I didn’t want to go totally bare. It’s kind of funny how it worked out right there. It was the first mustache I had all year. I tried everything else. I don’t even know what to say. Everyone wants to point to the ‘stache. I’m not that superstitious, but I was trying to have a little fun. We definitely had a some fun tonight winning the ballgame. So, whatever you gotta do. Maybe it will be back in spring training, I don’t know. The elusive mustache…”


“‎Not that I’m happy about losing 99, but it’s a lot better than a fuckin’ hundred, to be honest with you.”

Clearly, if the Twins want to contend in 2012, they may want to add a facial hair incentive in Pavano’s contract.

*Only applies to modern-day, 162 game scheduling.