There’s a 97% Chance This Weblog Won’t Die Tonight

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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.


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

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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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OPEN THREAD: What I Learned About Baseball By Reading NotGraphs

apos I’ll start.

I learned that uniforms are more interesting than I realized, that mustaches come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, that Craig Robinson can draw pretty much anything, that the intersection of poetry and baseball is larger than just Casey at the Bat, that many of us have such interesting, tortured, melancholic relationships with the game and with writing about the game, that baseball players can be inserted into lots of different things and that lots of different things can be inserted into baseball players, that baseball players don’t often tweet things worth posting about, but that sometimes they do, and that compelling baseball writing can be pretty much all over the map, with or without graphs or even facts.


Joe Maddon Turns Down Offer to Lead NotGraphs Coverage for Remainder of Blog’s Existence

apos Obviously, the first thing we did here at NotGraphs after hearing the news about Joe Maddon opting out of his contract with the Rays was reach out to him and see if he was interested in a new, lucrative, long-term opportunity. Would he be interested in leading NotGraphs coverage in a lifetime contract to cover the remainder of the blog’s existence?

He would not be.

It is our loss.

(But Hopeless Joe is relieved. He likes being the only Joe.)


Report from a Better Future: Oscar Taveras’s 1000-Win Season

apos 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.

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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.


The Box Score of a Wiffleball Game Played by the Children at My Elementary School, in the Minds of Said Children

apos (Author’s note: This article was originally published on my personal (and now-defunct) website on May 26, 2011, which astute readers will fail to recognize as four days before my inaugural post at NotGraphs. It received, and I wish I were making this up, 7 pageviews. So despite the fact that this is, in fact, technically recycled material, and that one C. Cistulli has already long ago in private conversation inferred that I am an immoral cad for even suggesting to plagiarize my own published work, I am doing so. I am doing so because these are desperate times, 1565 Malta times, the edge of reason where survival, not etiquette and adorable moral codes, apply. Cry Rick Reilly if you must. Cry GamerGate. I will embrace all the necessary daggers in order to provide you, dear readers, with the maximum entertainment value that this dying vehicle can perform.)

With that said, please enjoy the box score of a wiffleball game played by children at my elementary school (as of May 26, 2011), in the minds of said children.

Fig 1 (left): this morning’s wiffleball game, as imagined by pure-hearted children. Fig. 2 (right): this morning’s wiffleball game, as actually transpired under the baleful light of cold, heartless truth.

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Prospects with Onomatopoeic Surnames: Spencer Kieboom

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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.


The Story From Those Story Ideas: The End

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writer

The noon sun broke early through the writer’s window. It fell across his face like the white-hot glare of a thousand pissed-off editors, especially if those editors were using Twin Turbo hair dryers on the high-heat setting and also directing the sun’s rays onto his left cheek by way of a large magnifying glass.

“Ow,” he muttered to himself. “Also: ohhhhh.”

Roused into an aching sense of awareness, he opened his eyes and felt the wet goo beneath his face, his body. He groaned. Was it some kind of stew?

“Oh,” he muttered, again to himself. “Also: ewwwww.”

Granted, he had woken in someone else’s vomit on several occasions, often three or four times in a single morning, but until today, never his own.

No, never his own.

After showering, and also after tossing his vomit-covered business attire (i.e., terry cloth robe) into the neighbor’s yard, he brewed a cup of Sanka and returned to his desk. There would be no moonshine today. There would be only Sanka – no, wait. There would be only Folgers. Folgers Instant! Because Sanka, he suddenly and depressingly discovered, has no caffeine!

“Stupid Sanka,” he muttered. “No wonder I couldn’t stay awake.”

Sipping Folgers now, he sparked up the laptop and looked back on the previous day’s work, none of which, currently, he could even faintly recall.

In an instant his eyes went wide, like ocular pantomimes of Vaudevillian shock.

“Whoa, what the hell is all this?” he said to himself, the same self – well, no, a different self entirely – who had authored this carnival of the truly bizarre.

“Secret time portal?”

“Meat-Is-Murderers’ Row?”

“Billy and the Giambisaurus?”

“Drew Butera in ‘The Ballad Of Gregor Blanco’?”

And that, he realized, was just Part 1.

“Oy,” he muttered. “Also: ugh.”

And yet despite his disgust, he was committed to the finishing the story. “It’s what the readers would have wanted,” he said, “if either were still reading.”
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BREAKING: NotGraphs Acquired by Banknotes Harper

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Buck Banknotes
INTERNET, USA — It seems that the pale, maligned fans of comedic and heartfelt baseball writing will not need to feel even more depressed than usual, as the famous Internet Weblog NotGraphs was just purchased in a leveraged buyout by famed baseballer and performer-of-business Brian “Banknotes” Harper.

Harper’s company, The Harper Group of Concerns and Equity and Pounding, released a statement this morning stating that after the last out of the 2014 World Series, all future NotGraphs content will take place at BanknotesIndustries.com. Current NotGraphs writers were offered the opportunity to continue their work at Banknotes Industries, at an agreed-upon and much lower compensation level.

When asked for a statement, Mr. Harper did make mention that he was available for comment, but was choosing not to anyway.

More as this story develops.


NotGraphs Longform: The Story From Those Story Ideas Part 2

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writer

Minnie Prospect, a Minneapolis lawyer who was once a Twins prospect, leans against the rusted fence of the first-base dugout and gazes at his ragtag team. He never thought he’d be here, at a derelict diamond in the heart of the inner-city rough, but here, he’s discovered, is not only where he has to be, owing to the creative sentencing he accepted after his DUI conviction, but where he wants to be, molding his motley squad of scamps and rapscallions into a winning outfit.

The writer nodded. This was good – really good, like Disney good.

“I mean, you couldn’t write a script like this!” Coach Prospect declares, just as the final inning of the David Versus Goliath Little League championship game begins.

He turns to little Jimmy Dugan, sitting on the bench while his teammates man their positions. “I mean you couldn’t write a script like this. You’re only 12, and, as I understand it, something of a math whiz but otherwise a bit of a dullard. No, only a gifted writer could write something like this, something so inconceivable that Disney couldn’t help but pay a milllllion dollars for it: Seriously, a ragtag team of scamps and rapscallions whose now-sober coach has lifted them, against all odds, to the title game against a heavily favored Yankees team composed entirely of spoiled rich kids whose parents make the typical stage mom look like a Marianite nun?!”

Again the writer nodded. He pictured himself on the red carpet with Kate Winslet, though Kates Beckinsale and/or Blanchett would do.

“And yet, despite our shot at the championship,” the coach intones, to no one in particular, “it’s not just the game of baseball that’s important. No, what’s important is the most important game of all – the game of …”

The writer searched for just the right word: Existence? Sentience? Poker?

“…life.”

Now, just as the Yankees’ Richie “Affluent Richard” Richierich strokes a bases-loaded line drive to left-center field, Minnie Prospect calls out to his team: “Game Of Life!” Having practiced the GOL drill many times, the Mini Prospects promptly assume a large “V” configuration. Then, speeding headlong as an unstoppable unit, they obliterate Richierich before moving on to a local mall, where, in the form of a spirited flash mob, they perform the original musical “V Really Is For Vendetta,” after which they are signed to a three-year engagement at Wynn Las Vegas.

Envisioning a lucrative homonymic tie-in, the coach declares, “We win!”

The writer leaned back, triumphant. Hollywood, here he came!

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