About Christian La Fontaine

A lumberjack from the Great White North. Christian first became aware of baseball's existence when Evan Gattis came to work at his camp in the majestic mountains of northern Quebec. After teaching Gattis everything he knew about chopping wood Christian came south vowing to become the greatest baseball writing lumberjack since Paul Bunyan. For comment, concerns, or if you have an idea you would like written aboot in a bearly competent manner, you can get in touch with Christian via twitter @LaFontaine_CD

Banknotes Industries Media Watch Dog: Play for the love of the game edition

a watchdog

This morning’s Dee Gordon news caused quite the hubub around the baseball world. With Gordon being the second player caught in as many weeks, a lot of people got very silly on twitter.

The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham (the globe is owned by John Henry, who in addition to being a powerful steel driving man is the owner of the Boston Red Sox)

ESPN’s Buster Olney

And the Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander

Now in my personal opinion the ideas above are crazy. To give one side of a guaranteed contract the ability to void that contract is a very dangerous move, and the suggestion that the union is somehow in the wrong for not going along with this is absurd.

As for Verlander’s point it effectively means treating a player as guilty until proven innocent. The reason you are allowed to play while appealing is so that word does not get out, false positives happen all the time and they can ruin a player’s name. I can only imagine Verlander himself being in the same situation yet insisting on playing because in this case he is innocent.

But nobody really cares what I think, so I called my Grandpa and asked his opinion.

Me= Me
GP= Grandpa

Me: “So what is you’re opinion on the MLBPA surrendering the rights of it’s player to keep the game clean?”

GP: “What are you talking about?”

Me: “Do you think the baseball players union is too powerful?”

GP: “Yes I think so, to be honest I don’t even think these guys should be paid. I had to go to work everyday for a living, then on Wednesday I would PAY to go down to the park and play. I don’t see why this should be any different.”

Me: “Well they play everyday”

GP: “So would I if I could’ve, we could only get the park on Wednesdays though”

Me: “But what about all the travel, they have to fly all over the place constantly, Its a very hard life”

GP: “The travel is a bonus! I seem to remember you being very excited to travel that time you went to Australia, and Scotland, and New York!”

Me: “But what about the fact that these guys bring in millions of dollars every year for their company, shouldn’t they be rewarded?”

GP: “That’s my biggest gripe, if these guys weren’t being paid so much maybe the games would be free, they should be, it’s a pastime not a buisness and if they love the game so much it shouldn’t be such a chore to play it”

And with that the conversation ended.

Ricky Nolasco’s secret plan appears to backfire

Earlier today I had the opportunity to sit down with Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco. It was right before he took the mound for what will be the final game of the spring, and as such I wanted to know if he’d be trying out any new techniques that we might expect to see once the games started counting for something.

For the most part he gave typical boring answers, but when I asked him how he was planning to keep the ball in the park he suddenly got very quiet and simply said

“Oh, I’ve got something very special in mind for that”

Putting this down as simply Nolasco being a little odd I didn’t think too much of it. Until the game began and I noticed a very interesting trend. Feast your eyes on Ricky’s reaction to all four homers he gave up in the game.

CfEGaRMUEAA6SlQThe evidence is incontrovertible, Ricky Nolasco has somehow developed a gravity altering device that he has hidden in his pants and will be using to suppress home runs this season. How he’s done this is unclear but it is the only explanation.

Given that he gave up a homer on each of the plays in question it’s safe to assume that there are still some kinks to be hammered out, but I’m afraid the device will be quite operational by the time the playoffs arrive.


Banknotes Industrie’s Ian Kennedy stat tracker


Earlier in the spring Royals manager Ned Yost gave an interview on what he was hoping to see from new acquisition Ian Kennedy. The often fiery skipper set some lofty goals.

“”What am I hoping to see? I’m hoping to see a no-hitter every time he steps on the mound. I’d like to see him win 40 games and break the record. That’s what I’m hoping for. I’d like to see him get 1,000 strikeouts this year.”

Lofty goals indeed.

This season at Banknotes we’ll be bringing monthly updates on Kennedy’s quest to meet his skipper’s expectations. Based on previous performance it seems unlikely since Kennedy has never reached the 30 win threshold, and not even come close to 500 K’s, but the Royals do have a tendency of making magic happen.

Banknotes Media Watchdog: Arbitrary leaderboards that justify sweeping statements

a watchdogWhen you hear the word Fox a couple of things probably come into your head (assuming that you’re already thinking of media related topics, not the animal).

You might think of the ‘news’ channel first, this post isn’t about that but good god is that horrible.

Next you might think of that television channel that had the Simpsons first, again not the topic of this post.

Finally you might come to that website that the occasional FanGraphs post labeled JABO would annoyingly bring you to, this is what we are discussing today. Sadly, for reasons unknown, a few months ago JABO (which stands for Just A Bit Outside) was dispatched from the pages of the internet. Even more sadly the fools at Fox have continued to produce baseball content despite absolutely no knowledge or qualification for doing so. Case in point, the following ‘article’.

screenshot-twitter.com 2016-01-29 11-12-29

That’s the full post, save the title which curiously was “Kansas City Royals one of Worst AL teams to win the World Series since 2000″. You might notice that despite the title saying nothing about batting average, the entire argument is based on a entirely context free leaderboard of the outdated and useless stat.

I would extend to you a link to the article but all you would see is the following. screenshot-www.foxsports.com 2016-01-29 10-40-11

That’s right, they deleted the post, the ultimate act of journalistic integrity. Apparently since Fox removed JABO they have adopted a new strategy of flailing wildly for content.

The Laziest possible joke involving Baseball

avengers-age-of-ultron-cast-play-family-feud-on-jimmy-kimmel-liveThis morning I woke up wanting to make a joke about baseball. Nothing at all came to mind but I turned the television on for a bit of background sound and found to my extreme surprise, Family Feud is still against all odds on the air and being filmed.

That of course led to what I believe is the laziest possible baseball related joke. It hits all the necessary points.

First notice the purposefully awful Photoshop work, not that I’m capable of better but rest assured I’m under no illusion that it’s good.

Second the miss-use of Addition instead of edition is a must.

Why is Tom Gordon’s head on a woman’s body? Am I making some kind of statement about my opinion of Tom Gordon’s lackluster masculinity? Nope it’s just the first wide shot I found when googling Family Feud.

Finally note the fact that Bartolo Colon is present, despite bearing no relation whatsoever to Tyson and Joe Ross (that we know of).

All these disparate ingredients combine into a snickker worthy, yet irredeemably lazy attempt at baseball satire. Continue reading

Bothering David G Temple

As hard as it is for some of you to believe, there are quite a few people out there who find me annoying. One of those people, as I found out rather quickly into our relationship, is Banknotes founder and absentee boss David Temple.

Now most who come to this sort of realization would be horrified, and quickly take action to correct it, not so with yours truly.

I’ve always seen these situations as a chance to have a little fun and test the limits, so here you have it, just a few of the ways I’ve bothered David Temple in the last while. Continue reading

Banknotes Industries Portable Podcast For Pounding: Episode 1


Back in October I announced that a Banknotes Industries podcast would be on the way shortly. Well two months later it’s finally here! Or at least the pilot episode is.

So head on over to Google Drive and give it a listen, if you like it already great! If not please keep in mind, this is the first podcast I’ve ever hosted, I give you my word that I will improve.

If you have an insight on a better way to host the file than Soundcloud that suggestion would also be much appreciated.