Author Archive

Joe West Tosses NotGraphs


It’s hard for me to explain what NotGraphs is, what it aspired to be, what it was, and what it meant to me. What I know is this: NotGraphs was different. It was unique. And that’s what I loved about it.

While every baseball website out there writes about the same stuff, for the most part in the same way, NotGraphs marched to the beat of its own drum. What you found on NotGraphs day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year was always something you didn’t find anywhere else.

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NotGraphs Haiku: The SkyDome Turns 25


She’s far from perfect.
Old now, but home. All we’ve got.
Happy birthday, babe.

This has been a NotGraphs Haiku, inspired by the cold and unflinching hands of death, which is coming for us all, even the SkyDome.

GIF credit: The Internet.

Blue Jays savoring Toronto’s first playoff run in over 20 years

reyes jobau

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays, to a man, will tell you that they always believed. That they knew, hidden among the ruins of last year’s 74-88 last-place finish, they were a first-place team.

Atop the standings in the American League East as May winds down, with a comfortable game-and-a-half cushion and the division’s best run differential, a quiet and confident sense of satisfaction has settled around the club as it prepares to officially end Toronto’s two-decades long playoff drought.

“This game, it’s fickle. It’s – and this is one of my favorite words – capricious,” said knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. “We learned a lot last year, when we crashed and burned. We learned a lot about expectations, and putting the cart before the horse, and Las Vegas. This year’s different. And I thought it would be.”

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Report: Yankees Interested in All Remaining Free Agents


NEW YORK — The Yankees are interested in all of baseball’s remaining free agents, general manager Brian Cashman told the media, after Robinson Cano reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $240-million contract with Seattle on Friday morning.

“All of them, yes,” Cashman reiterated, when asked for clarification.

“Even the free agents we’re not really interested in, we’re interested in,” Cashman added.

For the first time in free-agency history, the Yankees stood firm, not relenting to Cano’s exorbitant contract demands, even though he was a homegrown star destined for Monument Park.

“Everybody is replaceable,” Cashman said. “With free agents. It’s the Yankee way.”

Cashman has a point: the club’s spent $254 million on free agents Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Hiroki Kuroda in the last two weeks. Second baseman Omar Infante will likely end up a Yankee, whether he wants to or not.

“We’ve already signed Infante,” Cashman said. “He just doesn’t know it yet.”

“If you’re a free agent, we want to talk,” Cashman concluded. “More importantly, we’d like to sign you.”

Report: MLB and FanGraphs to Announce Creation of Mike Trout Award


NEW YORK — Major League Baseball and FanGraphs, in an effort to have people shut up about Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, and the American League MVP Award for one goddamned second, have teamed up to announce the creation of a new award, the Mike Trout Award, a source from the commissioner’s office told NotGraphs on condition of anonymity. An official announcement is expected Friday afternoon.

The Mike Trout Award will be given annually to Mike Trout, for being the best player in baseball, and to a player in the National League who represents the essence of Mike Trout by leading the National League in Wins Above Replacement, as calculated by FanGraphs. It’s hoped that the Trout Award will mercifully end the debate between the Baseball Writers Association of America, fans, and sabermetricians everywhere — mostly on the Internet — over who are definitively baseball’s most valuable players every year. Because after two years, it’s fucking exhausting.

The Trout Award was to have been created for the 2014 season and beyond, but after Trout versus Cabrera Part II in the American League, MLB, and especially Commissioner Bud Selig, who acted “with a sense of urgency,” according to our source, pushed up the award’s timeline.

“Seriously, no one at MLB really cares who wins the MVP awards,” our source said via email. “We just mostly want not to receive angry phone calls and emails and even one weird — and pretty graphic — fax, which we suspect was sent by Mr. Brian Kenny. In any case, we believe the Trout Award is the perfect solution to stop the insanity.”

The winners of the Trout Award — Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen — will be presented their awards on Monday in a ceremony at MLB headquarters in New York City.

Things Jon Heyman Does At 4:15 AM On A Friday Morning

I was on Twitter at 4:15 a.m. on said Friday morning, reading that Jon Heyman was doing his laundry. I favorited the tweet, and thought to myself: “I should post this on NotGraphs.”

I then asked myself what I was doing. We are the product of our decisions. I had laundry to do, too.

NotGraphs Haiku: McCarver and Buck


Shut up. Please shut up.
I’m begging you. Shut the fuck
up for one second.

This has been a NotGraphs Haiku, written mostly out of frustration, because the commentary during the postseason makes the games borderline unwatchable.

High five to Internet scholar @cjzero for the GIF.

Report: Blue Jays’ Arencibia to Stop Walking in 2014


TORONTO — Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia walked 18 times in 497 plate appearances in 138 games in 2013, his walk rate dropping to 3.6 percent, less than half the 7.4 percent he posted in his rookie year in 2011. And the 27-year-old is continuing to adjust: he’s hoping to eliminate walking entirely from his game in 2014.

“I’m just not going to do it anymore,” Arencibia said. “My approach is to go up there and try and drive the ball, hit the ball, and I’m going to try and do that every time I step into the batter’s box next year.”

For Arencibia, who hit 21 home runs and drove in 55 runs for Toronto this past season, and who’s fourth among major-league catchers with 62 home runs since 2011, the pros of not walking outweigh the cons.

“It’s one less thing I have to talk about, you know? If I vow to not take a walk and it happens, it’s a bonus, the way I see it. I mean, it’s impossible to keep everyone satisfied, so hopefully this will help.”

Arencibia walked only five times in 173 plate appearance after this summer’s All-Star break. He wants to bring that same second-half approach to spring training.

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Postseason Bat-Flip Coverage: Juan Uribe


Juan Uribe’s exploits, in GIF form, are best paired with the following Henry Miller quote:

“For every million born 999,999 are doomed to die and never be born again. But the one that makes a home run is assured of life eternal.”

Congratulations, Juan Uribe. You are forever.

Thanks for the GIF, @ChadMoriyama. You are appreciated.

Postseason Bat-Flip Coverage: Delmon Young


I had a thought late Wednesdsay night, as I lay awake at three in the morning, exiled to my couch, reading Henry Miller’s Tropic of Capricorn, while thinking of my cold, inevitable death into nothingness:

Delmon Young, only 28 years old, is somebody’s Mr. October.

GIF courtesy the irreplaceable @Kazuto_Yamazaki.