Tag Archives: NotGraphs

NotGraphs Villanelle Challenge: Will the Mariners Ever Be Good Again

There was a call, sounded out through the pipes and tubes of the Internet and that call was from NotGraphs and it was for villanelle poems. I responded to said call, I responded because I am a sad and lonely man and because I’m desperate for any shred of inspiration to write, no matter how flimsy or structured or poetry-based or not. My poem was about the Seattle Mariners and how they are always bad at baseball and never seem to win all that many baseball games. Today, the destiny of Seattle sports seems even more clear than when I penned the lines, but let us not speak of such things. Instead, here is the internet hyperlink that you can click to read my submission and many others. May sadness not completely consume us just yet.

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NotGraphs Material: The Heath Bell Oil Boil

I started this modest baseball blog one day for reasons that I’m still unsure of. A creative outlet for a dormant writer, his brain and ability slowly withering away like some old, shitty corpse? Yes, that was one reason. Dreams of fame and fortune? Obviously. And despite a great deal of tangible evidence pointing towards this being a futile waste of time, I’m still here, writing these goddamned words and worrying about them. Beats me.

But behold, a light! I’ve mentioned NotGraphs here before and I shall do so again. NotGraphs is my Zihuatanejo. It is a warm place with no memory. Talented baseball writers craft posts there. The posts are about silly things. I myself write silly things about baseball so it seems I’m currently half-way towards fulfilling the criteria of the place. Perhaps one day.

The other day I partook in some nonsense and did some Photoshopping. It was concerning something Dayn Perry had said on a podcast about Heath Bell needing to shut his fat face, lest he be boiled in a large vat of oil, and with cause. I wrote some words and I had my fun and the day went on just like any other. Today, that image and a link back to this blog has graced the fine pages of NotGraphs.

I can honestly say that this is the current pinnacle of my time spent blogging on the internet about baseball. Jesus Christ, I just read the previous sentence and it was not intended to sound nearly as depressing as it does. At any rate, had I known this image and its origins were to be bestowed upon the clamoring masses, I definitely would have tried a little harder and done a better job. Then again, the same can be said for literally every single thing I do.

But it did happen.

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So I Bought This Official Jackmaster Baseball Knife

Here’s the story of how I ended up buying this Official Jackmaster Baseball Knife: I frequent many baseball related internet websites in my day-to-day life. One of these internet websites is FanGraphs. Within FanGraphs, there exists a cousin, or sister, or bastard child site by the name of NotGraphs, a place where baseball whimsy and ridiculousness and insanity is practiced. I probably don’t have to tell you that I am a big fan of NotGraphs. One day, while browsing NotGraphs, I came across a blog post entiled “Baseball and Sharp Objects” and I read it and I was taken by the subject of the post. The subject of the post was, you guessed it, the Official Jackmaster Baseball Knife. It was weird and unique and rusty and dangerous and involved baseball and so I wanted to buy it with money and own it. I even documented my desire with a comment on the blog post. The guy that says “Holy shit! I want to buy this,” that’s me. I’m Kyle. Before commenting, I searched Ebay and it’s archives for evidence of such a thing even being for sale. I was in luck. I found an expired auction for the knife and included a link in the aforementioned comment. Determined to waste my not-so-hard earned money, I proceeded to directly contact the attempted seller of the Official Jackmaster Baseball Knife. I told him that I had intentions to bid on and purchase his item were he to ever make it available for auction once again. He told me that he planned to re-list the item sometime soon and would try to let me know when he did so. Some days later, he let me know the knife was live on Ebay and available. I made a single, solitary bid and patiently waited until the auction ended and I was the victor. Then I paid for the thing and it was shipped to my address and now it’s here with me and it’s mine. I’m still trying to decide how to properly display it.

As you can see, the sides of the knife show pictures of different blade positions and baseball terms that apply to them. Things like “Strike,” “Out,” Homer,” “Single,” Double,” etc. The internet tells me that the baseball game the knife is designed for is some kind of variation on what is called “Mumbley Peg.” In Mumbley Peg, two knife owners take turns throwing a knife between their own feet. Whoever gets the knife closest to his foot is the winner, while the loser has to pull some Mumbley Peg type piece of wood out of the ground with his teeth. Sounds reasonable. There are definitely more complicated ways of playing this game but let’s leave it at that because I mean really, who has the time. So, as you can probably guess, with this Official Jackmaster Baseball Knife, some similar knife throwing takes place but instead of feet and terror being involved, a baseball game is played and it’s particulars depend on how the knife does or doesn’t stick into the ground. That sounds like something wonderful I’ll never partake in because television and the internet exist.

So that’s the story of how I ended up buying this Official Jackmaster Baseball Knife and what it’s all about. The important thing is that I purchased it with money and felt a fleeting thrill of having done something exciting, and for a few, all too brief moments, I was overcome with adrenaline and endorphins and I no longer felt small or alone or feared death.

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Marge Schott: MLB Krampus

Remember Christmas? It’s a popular holiday. People give each other presents and shit, cookies and milk are consumed, it’s wonderful. Back when all of those festivities were taking place the online baseball enthusiast hotspot NotGraphs asked its readership which MLB personality might best qualify for the title of MLB Krampus. For the uninitiated, Krampus is a terrifying and mythical creature recognized in Germany and other Alpine countries. Krampus walks around with Saint Nicholas and abducts any and all bad children. They go into its sack and it takes them home to to its lair, for torturing and eating and all sorts of other unsavory practices, one would fear. Krampus is a ghastly thing to scare children with. Those Europeans are a fucked up people, let me tell you. Check out the images on the Krampus wikipedia and recoil in terror. That shit is legitimately unsettling and scary. And awesome. Obviously.

NotGraphs turdlinger Robert J. Baumann is the gentleman responsible for posing this question to the masses, and for taking nominations and later posting a poll for voting on. The winning Krampus nomination, it was said, would award its nominator “a one-of-a-kind collector’s card of said personality as Krumpus, Photoshopped and printed with great care.” It just so happens that I partook in this contest, and my appointment of Margaret Unnewehr Schott went on to victory in the poll. Why Marge Schott? You may ask. And my answer would be: Just read this article, or her Wikipedia page. Or, in brief: She chain-smoked, drank cheap vodka from a plastic container, was super mingy, was super racist, almost ran the Reds into the ground, alienated and mistreated most all of her acquaintances and employees, was a generally terrible person, once said of Adolf Hitler “He was O.K. at the beginning..,” and so on and so forth. Generally, she was extremely Krampus-like in disposition and behavior. And looks. Proving that the Internet’s absurd strangeness can be used for good instead of pure evil from time to time, my one-of-a-kind collector’s card arrived to me via United States Postal Service a few days ago. And it is glorious.

Fuckin' Krampus

Where to even begin? I guess I could start by mocking my own photography skills. I should have used more natural light! Whatever, you get the idea. It’s probably better that the card looks a little washed out and less vibrant than in real life. A pure glimpse into its majesty would probably melt your fucking brain. I’ve come to learn that this particular card has been fashioned in the style of the 1986 Topps collection. I know this because Mr. Baumann has been exploring this set over at NotGraphs recently, and all the facial hair and spectacles and weird hats and funny faces located therein. Just like the clothing and wristwatches and alcohol I purchase on the regular, the devil (wordplay) of this creation is in the details. On the front of the card we are of course treated to the image of Krampus with the horrific visage of Marge Schott, horns and imposing stature and sickly fur and everything. Then, where we would normally find the designation of the player’s position (e.g. “P,” “2B,” “DH,” etc.), we’re instead treated to small icon of the one and only Krampus. I would venture to guess that Krampus Schott is capable of playing any and all positions if so needed, and could easily pitch and defend the entire field alone, owning to its mystical powers and whatnot. The back of the card is a veritable feast of baseball related creative whimsy (i.e. the best kind). Some highlights are Schott’s religion (Nazi Sympathizer), when and where she died (3/2/2004*, Alone), and of course, the “Talkin’ Baseball” tidbit, that I will reproduce here in full:

Margaret Unnewehr Schott once boiled and ate four children and their pet calico in the pot she kept strapped to her back. She later claimed she did it to keep them from growing up to be “Chink Jew Fags.”

Thank you Robert, and good night everyone.

Follow Robert J. Baumann on Twitter.

Read his NotGraphs writing if you know what’s good for you.

*Update: My brilliant and lovely wife has alerted me to the fact that today just happens to be the anniversary of Marge Schott’s death. Holy shit. I’d like to take a whole lot of credit for expertly planning and executing this post as to take full advantage of the poetry, but really, it’s just a pretty crazy coincidence, one that I didn’t even realize while writing, no less. Please pretend I was fully aware of today’s significance and made very humorous and witty note of it in the body of this post.

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An Internetted Interpretation of a Probably Untrue Story Involving Orlando Cepeda and Joey Jay

Over at the wonderful baseball enthusiast destination NotGraphs, author Jack Moore recently recounted a story heard by him and others at the totally reasonable in name length 2nd annual Selig Distinguished Lecture in Sport and Society at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. You can review the whole yarn in the post, but allow me to paraphrase by saying that it involves the sport of baseball, those who play it professionally, and the word “cocksucker.” Needless to say, my interest was piqued. As a result, I took it upon myself to generate a  bit of an internet inspired retelling of the (supposed) events. We’re resorting to parentheses here because thanks to The Common Man of Platoon Advantage fame, this story might not actually be altogether true. To that I say: It’s Friday afternoon, the beer has begun to flow, and this is all I’m going to be capable of. My bed has been made, I shall now lie down. To wit:

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