The Adventures of Chief Wahoo, Chapters 16 & 17

CI[This continues my award-seeking foray into the realm of Young Adult Fiction.  I hope to turn it into a multimillion-dollar film franchise within the next few years.]

Chapter 15 concludes — and also contains in its entirety — a grim period for Chief Wahoo and his charges: the fallow time between pennants, chapters 13 and 14 covering the 1954 season and the Indians’ 111 wins in boisterous fashion and then largely glossing over the ensuing sweep, perhaps framing “the Catch” in such a way as to highlight the publisher’s inclusiveness of diversity or however they put it now, without exploring too deeply how it was the first dagger-blow in a crushing defeat, because we have to be careful about whom we vilify.

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The Adventures of Chief Wahoo, Chapters 1 & 2

CICh. 1

As brisk as the autumn air was his step; leaves turned bright hues overhead were little mirrors; Chief Wahoo was on a mission.  Others might have worn their determination on their features, but he was forever buoyant.  He was not the first to arrive at the meeting hall; in fact, he may have been the last.  That was all right; they might not all know that he had called this conclave otherwise.  This was important.

All the logos were assembled: Mister Windsor had been driven down from New England; headquarters being in New York, Reb Giovanni was playing host, setting out pastrami and salami, knishes and cannoli; Big Daddy Leon and Bubba Billy-Bob were joshing each other about southern team sympathies; Wang-san and Señor Vato maintained their endless debate on west coast fandom; the great room was churning with voices.

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Serious Suggestion

As many of us are aware, accuracy of valuation in defensive metrics is one of the more uncertain elements of advanced statisitcal analysis of professional baseball.  The traditional measure of Fielding Percentage is too limited for our purposes, partly as it incorporates the Error — what is ultimately a judgment call by the official scorer — and partly as it is crap.  You, the reader, or the listener if this is being read to you, may be familiar with other, more statistically-oriented baseball sites — perhaps even one or more edited by a highly jeer-worthy individual — which feature items that have sought to provide more precise alternatives by which to measure a player’s defensive prowess, and subsequent worth as a real man.  Still, there is no broad consensus. Continue reading

RESULTS: Reds or Sweet Potatoes?

Starting left fielder Terrance Williams is so off the radar that few readers would notice if I called him a completely made up name like Terrance Williams.

Starting left fielder Terrance Williams is so off the radar that few readers would notice if I called him a completely made up name like Terrance Williams.

Given this list of persons:

  1. I. Williams
  2. K. Waldrop
  3. Y. Rodriguez
  4. P. Magness
  5. J. Winker
  6. T. Jones
  7. G. Leavitt
  8. J. Cave
  9. C. Keefover
  10. S. Tisdale
  11. A. Duvall
  12. C. Schneider
  13. S. Schebler
  14. K. Johnson

I challenged the BNI commentariat to identify actual members of the Reds left field depth chart. Here are the results:

#3 is sort of a gimme, as there is very little chance anybody living in Eastgate has the surname Rodriguez.

-Casey Singer

Eastgate is not a location, but the name of my church. However, you are correct in that Yorman Rodriguez is indeed a member of the Reds organization. But you are also maybe a little racist.

1 out of 6 for a point total of: 1 WET HAMBURGER

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Reds or Sweet Potatoes?

Starting left fielder Terrance Williams is so off the radar that few readers would notice that if I called him a completely made up name like Terrance Williams.

Starting left fielder Terrance Williams is so off the radar that few readers would notice that if I called him a completely made up name like Terrance Williams.

In the recent FanGraphs Left Field Positional Power Rankings article, author Neil Weinberg confessed:

…I couldn’t pick a single member of the Reds left field possibilities out of a lineup. This reads like a list of fake names a baseball video game would generate to fill out the low minors rosters.

Now it is up to you, dear friends, to guess which names are names of professional members of the Cincinnati Reds baseball franchise and which names belong to my softball team, the Eastgate Sweet Potatoes:

  1. I. Williams
  2. K. Waldrop
  3. Y. Rodriguez
  4. P. Magness
  5. J. Winker
  6. T. Jones
  7. G. Leavitt
  8. J. Cave
  9. C. Keefover
  10. S. Tisdale
  11. A. Duvall
  12. C. Schneider
  13. S. Schebler
  14. K. Johnson

Write your answers in number form below and I will assign you a random denomination of points.

EXAMPLE: “1, 2, 3, and 4 is my guess! God, I hate the blasse-ness of the Reds.” -Joe Internet

Top 10 Jobs Where Admiring Your Own Awe-Inspiring Accomplishments Could End in Life-Altering Battery From a Cordial Peer in Front of Possibly Millions of People

jbHall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench was the latest MLB legend to speak out in opposition to Bryce Harper’s recent interview with ESPN. As you may recall, Harper advocated for changing the social status quo in baseball and erasing archaic traditions that prevent baseball from evolving.

Presumably after witnessing the garbage fire that was spawned from Goose Gossage’s “salty old-timer” rant, Bench took a more calculated approach and Power Rangers-morphed into the “tough guy old-timer.”

Bench responded to Harper’s comments by promising “chin music” (not to be confused with the “Sweet” variety) and “brushback pitches” in retaliation for bat flips and celebrations.

For those unfamiliar with baseball jargon, Johnny Bench is advocating for causing extreme and potentially career-ending physical harm to a co-worker for admiring their own hard work.

In celebration of Bench’s idea, the Banknotes Industries Research Team has compiled the Top Ten Occupations Wherein You Could Suffer a Serious Injury At the Hand of a Colleague For Doing Your Job Well.

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The Last Time the Cubs Won the World Series…

cubs

  1. …Betty White’s parents were nine years old.
  2. …the president of the United States was partially blinded in his left eye while fighting a boxing match.
  3. …the Oval Office (speaking of the White House) didn’t exist.
  4. …the New York Curb Market was being founded. It’s now the New York Stock Exchange.
  5. …fewer than a dozen Ford Model T’s had been built.
  6. …a local inquiry accused obscure faith healer Grigory Rasputin of “kissing and bathing with women.”
  7. …Russia, Austria-Hungary, Portugal, Italy, and Greece were still monarchies.
  8. …the first successful visit to the North Pole was ongoing.
  9. …only one person had ever died in a plane crash.
  10. …Jimmy Stewart was five months old.
  11. …Lyndon B. Johnson was six weeks old.
  12. …Geronimo, Thomas Crapper, Mark Twain, Florence Nightingale, and Leo Tolstoy were alive.
  13. …the Titanic was being designed.
  14. …we had only celebrated one Mother’s Day.
  15. …New Mexico and Arizona were not states.
  16. …Poland, Ireland, and India were not countries.
  17. …the Philippines were an American territory.
  18. …Adolf Hitler was rejected by Vienna’s Academy of Fine Arts.
  19. …the Cincinnati Bowling Association feasted on a dinner of “Philadelphia Chicken Flamande,” with a side dish of “maitre d’hotel” and “frozen pudding au kirsch” for dessert.
  20. …the New York Times had just printed its first mention of burgers, in an article titled “Messenger Stole in the Bank Panic: But His Sudden Wealth Did Phil Sapperstein Not a Bit of Good: No One Would Change $500: And a $500 Bill Was the Smallest He Had–Starved All Night, Then Surrendered the Money.” Yes, it seems, “At 8 o’clock he became hungry. He thought of his home at 227 East Ninety-ninth Street, where there was ready for him steaming, peppered hamburger steak and potatoes. His conscience smote him.”

Little did poor Phil Sapperstein know that his conscience was not the only thing smote in 1908. After he missed his hamburger steak, the Chicago Cubs would never win the World Series again.

The New Industry Leader in Performance Projections

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 7.07.40 PMForecasting the upcoming MLB season is difficult enough. So many different projection models and algorithms make it very easy for baseball fans to get overwhelmed or feel alienated. How accurate are these models? Why should you ever trust one prediction over another?

It is with great pleasure to announce that there is a new player in the evolving projections landscape, the WWF: No Mercy Royal Rumble Model.

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Dirty Baseball

Pursuant to the recommendations of a Marketing Department exploration that concluded firstly that some of you remain snowbound and secondly that none of you is female, we contracted out the following piece, penned under a pseudonym too clever to print, for publication that it might address both issues at once with its steam-generating heat.

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Sunday Notes: What Players Wanted to Be When They Grew Up

pimpandrewmillerFor this week’s roundup of player quotes, a crack team of Banknotes Industries investigative journalists asked famous major-leaguers what they originally wanted to be when they grew up.

Mike Trout: “I didn’t even want to be, like, Jim Cantore. I would have been happy being that guy who decides to issue winter storm advisories and types everything in capital letters.”

Hanley Ramirez: “Ever since I was a little kid, my dream was to be a certified public accountant. I just got distracted, I guess. Kids, stay in school.”

Tyson Ross: “I wanted to be in Cheetos ads. Like, their ads would just be me going, try Cheetos! They’re delicious! And then I would eat a bunch of Cheetos.”

Andrew Miller: “Uhh…well this is kind of embarrassing…but I wanted to be a pimp. I didn’t know what sex was. I just thought it would be cool to wear all those hats and tell girls to dance.” Continue reading