In his collection of aphorisms The Trouble with Being Born — a text from which the present author has quoted with embarrassing frequency in the most recent episodes of FanGraphs Audio featuring Dayn Perry — Romanian philosopher/misanthrope Emil Cioran ejaculates the following, apropos little besides the troublesome burden of existence:
My vision of the future is so exact that if I had children, I should strangle them here and now.
With horror, is one reasonable way of reacting to Cioran’s declaration — horror that a man might exterminate his own issue based merely on a foreboding sense of the future. Considerable delight, however, is the more appropriate sensation — delight at the ecstatic dimensions of Cioran’s rampant pessimism (while also recognizing that people really, definitely shouldn’t kill babies).
What the current post represents is the final one ever to appear at NotGraphs. For those who’ve enjoyed the site — and there are more of those sorts than I would have expected — its end might be cause for horror or something like horror. As is the case with Cioran’s sentiment, however, the more appropriate reaction is delight.
Mike Bates and Robert Baumann and David Temple and Navin Vaswani have all enumerated the site’s virtues more ably than I could. I thank their dumb, absurd faces for that. Now what we have, with the death of the site, is the liberating pleasure that attends the end of a thing. Not the end of a child, mind you — because that would represent an offense very punishable by law — but of a thing that wasn’t terrible and somehow remained not terrible until the end.
Thank you, everyone, for making the constantly poor decision to visit this site. Consider making more of those (i.e. poor decisions) by means of visiting Banknotes Industries.
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As noted elsewhere and previously, the present site will expire — for reasons simultaneously various and sundry — this site will expire with the last pitch of the World Series. What the win-probability graph from Game Six suggests, however — the most recent version of which is pictured above — is that the last pitch of the World Series likely won’t occur tonight.
The author’s condolences to all present.
As is almost always the case, reality has once again failed to present us with the best possible version of itself. What follows is a news report from a much less disappointing version of the future that won’t and can’t exist.
LAST DAY OF THE SEASON, A BETTER FUTURE — Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras completed this afternoon a feat previously considered impossible, finishing the season with exactly 1000 Wins Above Replacement.
The preternaturally talented Taveras, upon whom cowardly Misfortune wouldn’t dare visit, entered the day with a mark of 994 WAR — a figure itself approximately 980 wins greater than the previous major-league single-season high. By the methodology used to calculate the metric, exactly 1000 WAR are available per every 2430 major-league games — i.e. the number of wins available to all 30 teams in a 162-game season.
In a sequence of events regarded both as unlikely and also probably a violation of math, the transcendent and spiritually refulgent Taveras has finished the season with all of the league’s available wins, rendering every other player with a final-season total of 0.0 WAR.
Known earlier in his career for a capacity to barrel the ball, Taveras transformed this season into the sort of human masterwork for which there’s only a single, long German word. That he will live suspended in a state of perpetual grace is regarded by bookmakers as a 50-50 proposition.
Animated GIF from an earlier celebration of Taveras’s talents to have appeared in these pages.
Owing to how the present site is scheduled to expire at the conclusion of the current World Series*, it’s unlikely that Prospects with Onomatopoeic Surnames will develop into a particularly long-lasting series of posts. Has the author dedicated at least some part of his Saturday morning creating entire category out of it, though? Yes. And does Nationals catching prospect/Dutch national Spencer Kieboom — currently playing for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League — represent a worthy first-slash-last addition to that category? This is also demonstrably the case.
*To be mostly reincarnated elsewhere, though.
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In which a pessimistic declaration from the Romanian philosopher’s oeuvre is attached to an image of a ballplayer exhibiting some manner of distress, either external or on the inside.
Today, Darren O’Day from Game One of the ALCS:
The remainder of the Kansas City Royals’ postseason games, regardless of opponent, will just begin in the top of the 10th inning, according to a statement released early Saturday from the Office of the Commissioner.
“It appears unavoidable at this point,” announced Selig, “that after a flurry of sacrifice bunts, improbable defensive plays, and a Terrance Gore stolen base, that the Royals will have tied up the goddamn game by the end of the ninth. As a courtesy to our fans — some of whom I’m informed would like more than four hours of sleep — I’ve issued an exectuive order that the balance of the Royals’ games will begin with extra innings. That way, when one of the club’s mostly disappointing ex-prospects records a dramatic and probably game-winning extra-base hit, he’ll do so at some point before midnight on the East coast.”
Asked how this might alter his club’s strategy, Kansas City manager remarked slyly that he and others within the organization were looking into “extra-extra innings,” to see if that’s a thing that maybe exists.
The purpose of this post is to announce, for the benefit of those who endeavor to maximize their experience of pleasure while simultaneously minimizing pain, that there appears to be a YouTube channel (MLBGlobal11) which features a not-insubstantial quantity of videos depicting major-league players and coaches getting ejected from games — many of which are accessible from this specific video of Angels pitcher Jered Weaver receiving an invitation from umpire Hunter Wendelstedt to remove his person from the field in 2011.
Credit to MinorLeagueBlog for originally drawing the Weaver video to the author’s attention.
The ghost of Andy Warhol (pictured here) bears almost complete resemblance to the actual Andy Warhol.
THE BEYOND — Noted late artist and Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol was known during his life for problematizing the relationship between fine art and popular culture. A recent encounter by the present author with the late icon’s shadowy specter, however, suggests that the latter’s tastes have changed somewhat in the 25 years since his death.
“Really, if you want to know, the majority of my time is dedicated to following the Pittsburgh Pirates,” the incorporeal form of the former silver-haired evangelist of Pop Art told NotGraphs from his home in the Beyond. “I read all the blogs, track the advanced stats. It consumes quite a lot of my time now.”