Category Archives: baseball

MLB Turns Players Into Other Players In Eldritch Trade Deadline Ritual

Detroit, MI – Major League Baseball’s annual Trade Deadline occurred last week, an arcane ritual wherein teams destroy players and transform them into other players through twisted sorceries abhorrent to God and nature. Analysts said it was one of the most exciting and abominable deadlines in years.

The biggest act of dark magic was conducted by the Detroit Tigers, who turned two baseball players into a David Price. Baseball seers at ESPN and Fangraphs thought it would take the souls and viscera of no fewer than three baseball players to create a David Price.

Detroit Tigers necromancer Dave Dombrowski (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) / AP

Detroit Tigers general managing necromancer Dave Dombrowski (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) / AP

“Our goal is the World Series this year,” said Tigers GM and necromancer Dave Dombrowski. “It’s hard to part with guys who’ve been a big part of our success here. But when you get the chance to get a David Price or a Jon Lester, you gotta pull the trigger and whet the bloodstone.”

A sellout Tigers crowd, adorned in traditional Trade Deadline giveaway crimson cloaks, gave center fielder Austin Jackson a standing ovation when he was pulled during the 7th inning. Cameras caught Jackson hugging teammates in the dugout, and on-field mics caught his screams as he was boiled down into fetid ichor in the clubhouse Transaction Nexus in preparation for the creation of a David Price. Continue reading

Rangers Fans Refuse To Believe Their Yu Darvish Autographs Just Meaningless Japanese Characters

Surprise, AZ – Ranger fans without any knowledge of Japanese are proudly displaying Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish’s autograph, while ignoring all suggestions that Darvish is signing made-up Japanese characters.

“Yu Darvish’s autograph, baby!” said Rangers fan Tyler Roden, 22, high-fiving his brother Ryker after both obtained Darvish’s autograph on their programs. The brothers proudly displayed the signatures to onlookers, who pointed out that one signature contained twice as many characters as the other. The brothers were unconcerned: “That don’t matter nothing in Japanese!”

Darvish has been politely accommodating some fans’ request that he sign their biceps and calves. “Nope, not going to fall for that one,” said Tanner Holt, who had asked for a “power autograph” on his bicep in Sharpie. “Look there. You-Dar-Vish. Boom. I’ve played enough Japanese video games to read that.” Tanner displayed the autograph against a backdrop of two dozen members of the Japanese media howling with laughter in the nearby grass.

Darvish, a tall, handsome pitcher of Japanese-Iranian descent, seems eager to establish a good relationship with his new fan base. Madison Auger, 17, sheepishly asked Darvish if he would sign her baseball with his Japanese first name and his Iranian last name. “I want to study international relations at Texas A&M,” Auger explained needlessly while Darvish signed what looked to be a Christmas tree followed by five small scimitars in a row. “Oh my gosh it’s so intricate,” Madison gushed after receiving the ball.

The Rangers have high hopes for Darvish, having paid more than $100 million to bring the pitcher to the United States. A Rangers front office source said the team had a good feeling about the pitcher during negotiations. “We don’t employ anyone who speaks or reads Japanese, but we knew immediately he’d be a good fit. He kept cracking his lawyers and interpreters up,” said the source.

Through his interpreter, Darvish said he hopes to fit in with his teammates and “to do everything the contact which bears my signature asks of me.”

Jonathan Papelbon Will Waste 236,000 Hours Of Philadelphia’s Precious Time

Papelbon celebrating another 30-minute 1-2-3 inning

Jonathan Papelbon will be the Phillies’s closer for the next four years.  Concerns about the size and length of the contract aside, Papelbon’s arrival brings a larger cost to the City of Philadelphia.

Jonathan Papelbon takes 45 minutes between each pitch.

So that’s an exaggeration, but it is a peer-reviewed non-exaggeration to say that he takes an infuriatingly long time between pitches.

So I did some math to answer this question: How much of our time will Papelbon waste over the next 4 years? I addressed this question by using the Fangraphs’s ‘pace’ statistic which tracks time per pitch.

  • As a point of comparison, fast-pitching Cliff Lee took 20.4 seconds between pitches in 2011.
  • Ryan Madson, our previous closer, took 23.0 seconds between pitches last season.*
  • Jonathan Papelbon took 1,714.3 seconds between pitches in 2011.  No, ok, he took 31.9 seconds.

*The Rules of Baseball (cue angelic choir) give a pitcher 12 seconds to pitch after receiving the ball from the catcher. If every pitcher used 12 seconds, that would mean that Carlos Ruiz takes 11 seconds to get the ball back to Madson, and 8 seconds to get the ball back to Cliff Lee.  Obviously, umpires are not enforcing this rule.

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lordy, this Seattle Mariners timeline is depressing

From Dave Cameron at USS Mariner, a succinct account of why the Mariners have been terrible since 2004:

November 7th, 2003 – The Seattle Mariners hired Bill Bavasi as General Manager.

January 8th, 2004 – The Seattle Mariners traded Carlos Guillen for Ramon Santiago.

November 15th, 2004 – The Seattle Mariners signed Richie Sexson to a 4 year, $50 million contract.

December 22nd, 2005 – The Seattle Mariners signed Jarrod Washburn to a 4 year, $37 million contract.

June 30th, 2006 – The Seattle Mariners traded Asdrubal Cabrera for Eduardo Perez.

July 26th, 2006 – The Seattle Mariners traded Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard.

December 7th, 2006 – The Seattle Mariners traded Rafael Soriano for Horacio Ramirez.

December 18th, 2006 – The Seattle Mariners traded Chris Snelling and Emiliano Fruto forJose Vidro.

December 20th, 2007 – The Seattle Mariners signed Carlos Silva to a four year, $48 million contract.

February 8th, 2008 – The Seattle Mariners traded Adam JonesGeorge SherrillChris TillmanTony Butler, and Kam Mickolio for Erik Bedard.

Dodgers To Limit Rookie Manager Don Mattingly’s Trips To The Mound

Los Angeles – Eleven games out of first place, the Dodgers announced that they will be limiting rookie manager Don Mattingly’s trips to the mound. The move is an expected one, as the Dodgers look to preserve their young manager from the grind of his first season at the helm. “Don’s a big part of the team’s future, and we’d hate to see a managerial injury jeopardize that,” said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti. “Don’s made a lot of trips to the mound. Written a lot of lineup cards. We’re just listening to our trainers.”

Besides minimizing injuries like lineup card cramps and slipping on the dugout steps, the Dodgers are investing in Mattingly’s development. The game’s best managers are noted for bad knees, big bellies, and shuffling gaits. Mattingly is a prized managerial prospect but he has yet to become a shell of his former playing days. “The last thing you want is a manager who stays fit and trim,” said one AL scout. “He takes batting practice with the team, and next thing you know he thinks he can still play.” Mattingly said through his agent that he respects the move, and that he is “looking forward to arriving at spring training a little heavier, a little slower, and with a little less respect for platoon splits and on-base percentage.”

Mets Discover 500 Unhit Home Runs In Carlos Beltran’s Locker

New York, NY – A Mets clubhouse attendant cleaning out traded outfielder Carlos Beltran’s locker discovered five hundred unhit home runs stashed inside.  The home runs were packed tightly inside a suitcase marked “Private!/¡Privada!”  When opened, the home runs launched around the clubhouse, smashing televisions, ricocheting off walls, and seriously bruising the attendant.

“We are very disappointed to discover that Carlos was withholding these home runs from the team,” said Mets GM Sandy Alderson.  “God knows we could have used some of those dingers these past few years.”

The discovery of the unhit home runs underscores the Mets’ disappointing seasons after signing the outfielder to a $119 million deal. estimated the home runs to be worth 6.8 wins a year over 7 years.  It is unclear when Beltran began stockpiling the unhit home runs, but Mets fans have reason to suspect the worst.  During the cleanup, several of the home runs appeared to be potential game-winners, and four bore emblems from the 2006 post-season. Beltran famously struck out to end Game 7 of the NLCS, saying cryptically afterwards, “I hit a home run just then.”

“Some of those jacks were hit right on the screws,” said Mets pitcher Dillon Gee, who was in the adjoining bathroom when the suitcase was opened.  “I saw one that probably would have gone 480 feet if it hadn’t struck the ice machine in the corner.  David [Wright] was in the stall next to me, and now he won’t step into the clubhouse without wearing that padded batting helmet of his.”

Baseball prohibits teams from acquiring the past accomplishments of players along with the player himself (a rule routinely violated by the Yankees), so the Mets are not obligated to ship the home runs to the Giants.  The Mets have not said what they intend to do with the home runs, which are not allowed to be used in future games.  In 2001 the Atlanta Braves famously auctioned for charity dozens of unhurled racial slurs found in recently-traded closer John Rocker’s gym bag.

Fix The All-Star Game By Making It About The Players

The majority of chatter surrounding the All-Star Game and its deficiencies seems to be concerned with format and meaning.  Should it decide home field advantage?  Should every team get a representative?  Was it disrespectful for player X to skip the game?  These questions grow tedious, particularly when Tueday’s game suggested a different way to expand the game’s relevance and popularity: showcase the players as men with actual personalities.

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