Category Archives: Call to the Pen

Call to the Pen: Some Other Moves the Yankees Should Make / Blog Abyss (Don’t Do No Good to Get Angry)

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My most recent post at Call to the Pen was about the New York Yankees and some baseball moves they should consider were the logic of Jon Heyman and some other mainstream writers to be mistakenly believed as sound. It was a wee bit satirical and there were some attempts at jokes and all that. It was also posted over a week ago. The day after my post I was contacted by a Call to the Pen editor-type and asked a series of questions in regards to my place on the site. Reading between the lines (I went to college, where I studied English and Creative Writing), it became readily apparent that they were very interested in internet-things like “relevant baseball news” and “traffic” and “page views” and all sorts of other insufferable garbage that I don’t care to understand or think about. Metrics, perhaps. Click-Through Rate. I was also able to glean from the electronic mail that I probably wasn’t the greatest performer when it came to all of this new and important stuff and that the editor-type wasn’t all that keen on my choices of blog content and writing style. Some people don’t find me funny or interesting, turns out. I’m just as shocked as you are. The end result is that I promptly tendered my resignation, or whatever, and the post you can click on and read right here will be my last at Call to the Pen. So it goes, a guy once said and continued to say for quite a long time.

I spent over a year at Call to the Pen. I wrote like, somewhere around 100 posts in that time. That strikes me as a lot. It was a lot of posts, and a lot of words, and a great deal more stress and anxiety and impending doom. The blessing of Call to the Pen was also its curse. I was expected to provide two posts per week. This kept me motivated, to a certain extent, and it forced me to write when I wouldn’t have otherwise. I think I fared ok, despite the panic. It also made me more than miserable on select days. Many days. I suppose part of the idea of this blog is to show someone, anyone out there that I’m a person with a decently functioning brain who likes baseball and can write about it on a certain consistent frequency. Call to the Pen allowed me to publicly present that ability, and to do so on a stage marginally larger than the one I’ve fashioned for myself here, with internet comments, and on Twitter. For that I am grateful, and I think fondly of many of my co-writers, and to the people who originally gave me the opportunity to contribute. Thank you, people who deserve it. You were nice, and we posted some baseball shit, and it was good more often than it was not.

And now here I am, back where I started, and it’s just fine. For one reason or the other, I felt a certain responsibility to Call to the Pen, a responsibility to cover topical subjects and newsworthy happenings, and I gave it my best shot and I wrote about things in such a way that I could live with myself. I was willing to write about a contract extension, or a free agent signing, or a steroids controversy, but I was going to couch it in a great deal of ham-fisted bullshit, and occasional satire, and a whole lot of tongue-cheeking, because I know what baseball news aggregation looks like and I don’t find it particularly compelling or worthwhile. Unless it pays, in which case, I fucking love it. I’ll give you Dan Haren’s career trajectory and injury history and WAR/$ all day every day. Now, I’m a free man, burdened to no website or news cycle or misplaced sense of responsibility. It feels good and also not good, because I can do whatever the hell I want. Most days, whatever the hell I want to do is not write a baseball blog post. I’ve sat around for a week, lived life, breathed easy after work between the hours of 5pm-10pm, and now I suppose I’ll attempt a return to the grind. Shit might get weird, or intermittent, or just plain awful. But writers write, and that’s the delusion I’m grasping at for a least a while longer.

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Call to the Pen: Alex Rodriguez Tarnishes Legacy With Further PED Suspicions

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

All across the expanse of the baseballing nation, scribes of the sport have begun to reckon with the reality of Alex Rodriguez: Fallen Hero. From CBS Sports, Danny Knobler is quite clearly struggling mightily to nurse a profoundly broken heart. To whom will Knobler’s children now submit their faith? What are we without our shining stars? Are we anything at all?

ESPN’s Ian O’Connor is faced with a similar quandary. Long one of the most vocal and public admires of Rodriguez’s prodigious baseball talents, work ethic, and integrity, how is O’Connor to move on? What sort of dishonor has he brought upon his station as sports journalist if he could be so gullible, the wool pulled over his eyes so easily? O’Connor was naive enough to believe in the innocent myth of baseball, that grown men could play a children’s game and stand for something more, something greater. He is left now with nothing but the devastated remains of his champion’s reputation—once clean, now soiled.

Ken Rosenthal was witnessed in the center of a busy thoroughfare on fallen knee, wailing towards the Heavens. Jon Heyman has not moved from his bed, or blinked, in over 36 hours.

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Call to the Pen: B.J. Upton and Justin Upton Have Big Plans For Atlanta

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

And what might those plans be? That is an excellent question that an author of a blog post might strategically plant into the imaginary minds of his imaginary readers in order to best lead his content into an awkward and predetermined space. The Uptons are brothers, separated by a mere three years. They are no doubt close, and enjoy each others company. They even have shared interests and professional ambitions! What might those two scoundrels be up to now that they’ve been brought back together? Here are some ideas.

Finally get the Gold Cup on every track in Mario Cart, both SNES and N64.

Combine their individual wardrobes into one, massive, unstoppable and stylish super shared wardrobe.

Go halfsies on that Groupon for golf lessons and split the instruction time evenly.

Complete a 3-D puzzle of the London Bridge.

Act out Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles battle scenes with B.J. as Leonardo and Justin as Raphael.

Put together the K’NEX roller coaster.

Share notes on the repertoires and tendencies of opposing pitchers as to gain a strategic advantage against other baseball teams.

Consult each other for advice in regards to haircuts and facial grooming.

Order pizza for dinner like, every night.

Get bunk beds.

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Call to the Pen: Ruben Amaro and Jack Zduriencik: A Phone Conversation

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

Ruben Amaro leans back in his chair and swivels one-half turn to face the windows behind his desk. His back is to the door. He gently closes his right fist and taps his knuckles on the arm rest. He glances at his watch, is unmoved by the time, looks upwards and closes his eyes. The phone rings. He opens his eyes. In the reflection of the dark windows he can see the plastic light of the device flashing orange and intermittent. He turns and faces his desk, lets the ringing go unanswered three more times. He picks up the phone.

Amaro: Hello?

Zduriencik: Ruben.

A: Oh, good evening, Jack. I didn’t think it would be you.

Z: No? No, I suppose you wouldn’t.

A: It’s been a while.

Z: Indeed, it has been. Are you busy?

A: I’m always busy, Jack, you know that. But what’s up?

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Call to the Pen: Carl Crawford Begins Throwing Program

Carl Crawford baseball player plays sport plays baseball throws ball hurt arm rehab good program for throwing sweatpants now Dodgers not Red Sox cross trainer arm throw shoes blue Los Angeles rehab ball throw injury good opening day outfield player wild card fortify playing team begin throwing.

Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

Reports are swirling that Carl Crawford, recent addition to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, has begun to throw a baseball. Mark Saxon kicked off the media firestorm yesterday with this scintillating story. Attempting to return from reconstructive surgery on his left, throwing elbow, Crawford has recently begun to pick up, hold, and then throw a baseball. These are the facts. There remains a high probability that Crawford has started to throw a baseball various lengths, probably from shorter distances at first, followed by a slow progression to longer throws, and so on. These throws were more than likely accompanied by a catching and throwing partner, with Crawford expected to catch return tosses himself, one would assume with a baseball mitt.

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Call to the Pen: One Man’s Hall of Fame Ballot

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

Jack Morris

I like my Hall of Famers to be mediocre, and with mustaches. Just something I believe in.

Ryan Klesko

He was nice to my dad one time and so I always promised myself I would honor that kindness in this way.

Lee Smith

I totally buy into all that garbage people say about the ninth inning, and mentality, and heart and guts and grit and saves and shit.

Barry Bonds

One of the greatest baseball players of all time, but he was probably a cheat, so as a sign of protest I waited until the fourth spot on my ballot to list him.

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Call to the Pen: Examining Jose Canseco’s New Year’s Resolutions

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

The great part about this blog post is that Jose Canseco has already done all of the heavy lifting. When I sit down to write about the happenings of base and ball, I hope make a few comedy jokes that aren’t terrible and/or discuss a topic of interest with some semblance of reasonable intelligence. Mr. Canseco, his mere presence able to get us out of the blogging blocks rather rapidly, has gone above and beyond the expectations of his station by providing all the comedy and intrigue a baseball scribe could ask for, bless his heart. The trick is now not to mess it up, to let the ingredients shine on their own without a whole lot of tinkering and messing about. We want to heighten the content, without overpowering. When the ball is placed gently on a tee in front of a batter, a large swing and miss is all the more embarrassing. In this scenario yours truly is the batter, and the swinging is the writing and the ball is the blog post. Although Jose Canseco is a noted slugger of baseballs, so I could understand that it’s sort of a confusing metaphor. Oh god, it’s already happening.

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Call to the Pen: Hot Stove Update: Baseball General Managers Talking To Each Other

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

Reports are circulating through all major news outlets and social media networks that baseball general managers are talking to each other. Sources indicate that major discussion points include: baseball players, the salaries of said baseball players, the service time and arbitration statuses of said baseball players, potential transactions involving some combination of baseball players and currency between teams, how these baseball players feel—both physically  as well as mentally—and also local weather patterns and perfunctory health inquires and whatnot. Oh it’s been raining here for the last few days, what about there? and I’m feeling fine, how about yourself? things of that nature. Standard social politeness and all that.

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Call to the Pen: Pablo Sandoval Judged The Miss Universe Pageant

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

Pablo Sandoval judged the Miss Universe pageant. He sure did, alright, and this is a blog post about it. This is a blog post about it because it’s the baseball offseason and the baseball offseason is typically really boring with a few, short, notable flashes of intrigue. I’m not willing to consider yesterday’s Mariners/Angels trade of Jason Vargas and Kendrys Morales one of those notable flashes of intrigue because man, what a boring trade. You’ve probably already read about it like six different times in six different places because that’s how the baseballing internet works when only one sort of interesting thing happens per week in the winter. The trade makes sense for both sides: ok hitter for an ok pitcher, park factors roster construction blah blah blah. Pablo Sandoval judging the Miss Universe pageant is a notable flash of intrigue because he’s a baseball player doing something abnormal and he was also on the team that won the World Series and he was also the Most Valuable Player in said World Series. I kind of forgot about that already. What’s today’s date, anyway? I feel like it’s been the winter/offseason for about six months now. Do I have Seasonal affective disorder? The acronym for Seasonal affective disorder is (SAD), so that’s pretty appropriate.

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Call to the Pen: Some Mathmatical Predictions For the 2013 Baseball Season

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Please click this internet hyperlink to read the entire post over at Call to the Pen

Here’s why the Orioles are so dangerous: If they once again vastly outperform their run differential and win an inordinate amount of 1-run games, in the AL East, BAL will win 100.

Here’s why the Royals are so dangerous: If James Shields pitches a complete game shutout in every single one of his starts, in the AL Central, KC will win 100.

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