Baseball’s Shortest Porch

Yogi Berra, it is claimed, once said “You can observe a lot just by watching.” You can learn a lot too, and some of those things you learn can take you in unusual directions.

The thought behind this post, began to bounce around in my head when I was looking at Hit Tracker Online. It is a website that estimates the ‘true distance’ and plots the path of every home run hit in the majors. The site takes video and wind speed with other weather info and puts it together to estimate how high, how hard, and how far every home run ball is struck.

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Twitter-bombing with Jose Canseco

I am, frankly, in awe of the twitter personality that is Jose Canseco. He exists on a different plane of twitterness than anyone else I know, and I don’t even follow him. If it isn’t really Jose running his own tweets, he has hired an amazingly strange indivdual to do it for him, and he should be paying him lots and lots of money. I say this with confidence, because I’m pretty sure that the twitter account is the only reason I ever think about Canseco, and I’m hardly alone in that regard.

What follows is a series of screen captures of tonight’s twitter conversation between a few hardcore Jays fans, and MLB.com beat writer Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB).

First, Gregor follows up on the injury to AAA first baseman David Cooper. He then fields responses about the effect of that injury on the depth of the Jays at first base.canseco01 canseco02

Gruber’s Mullet chimes in and inquires about available free agents who might fill that hole. Jim Thome is a name that comes off the top of his head. Believe it or not, we just got a whole lot closer to Jose Canseco’s twitter radar, but we aren’t on it just yet.

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And after a second suggestion of Thome, Gregor shoots that idea out of the water like a leaky tugboat. No Thome. Andy does us a solid here, because instead of letting the ‘old guy who might DH’ idea die, he gives us slightly more outlandish name: Manny Ramirez. We are dangerously close to Jose Canseco here. Can you feel it?canseco04

Did you see that, just above? Iain Sutherland just lit up the Canseco-Bat-Signal, and @ mentioned Jose right in a tweet about the whole situation.canseco05

Now, look what you’ve done boys. You’ve mocked Canseco, praised his twitter savvy, used his hashtag and expressed a deisre to be close to him. Now all you can do is wait.

 

52 minutes should do it.canseco06And there you go! The payoff pitch is a ringing line single by Jose Canseco, as he gives us all a quick geography/politics lesson in one tweet. Toronto and Buffalo are really close!

With Jose on base, we’ll let Iain Sutherland belt one out of the park by making another joke at Jose’s expense. That’s a walkoff winner. Thank you everybody for coming out, drive safely on the way home.

 

Backwards Hall of Fame Year 6: The 2008 Ballot

Hey, look, I remembered we were still in the middle of this voting thing!

It’s 2008 now, tell your friends and neighbours. Mark McGwire just barely squeaked through last year, and there are 10 new candidates, including, most notably, Tim Raines.Your first chance to not vote for him!

Here’s the poll, same rules as last year, 9 votes total.

Cooperstown: What Kind of Museum Are You Running, Anyway?

Over the Christmas break, there is a lot of talk about the Hall of Fame ballot, and which players deserve to be enshrined in Cooperstown. The Hall’s voting members have to submit ballots by December 31st, the results are tabulated and released in early January. Combine that with the fact that active players are about as far away from baseball fields as they can be. In addition, gainfully employed executives are taking the same kind of turkey and cranberry filled time as the rest of us. The Hall of Fame debate fills some of the empty space in the baseball news sphere.

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The Dickeyfication of Blue Jays Fans

Over the last 3 days Blue Jays fans have had an opportunity to participate in a process. The process is called “Watching a rumor pan out.” This is a rare process, indeed because the General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays operates under very strict rules about rumors. With AA at the helm, the conversation is rarely “Did you hear what the Blue Jays might do?” instead, it’s  almost always “Did you see what the Blue Jays just did?”. Deals are done, and then the fans talk about what might have been.

This recent weekend has been an unexpected boon to the natural rumourmongering tendencies of the Toronto sports fan. The Blue Jays are working out something to do with the New York Mets regarding R.A. Dickey; knuckleballer, Cy Young winner, author, rennasaince man. The Blue Jay front office has been tight-lipped as usual. The Met’s beat writers however, have so much to say about these trade negotiations, they may be found guilty of wiretapping before this is over. Again, this is a boon to the Blue Jay fan, long starved for a morsel of pre-trade speculation, we’ve all been at the all-you-can-eat armchair GM buffet.

For three days, we have mulled over every scrap of leaked information. We fans, together, we are going to get R. A. Dickey for our team. We are at the center of the baseball universe.

After three days at the buffet, however, those back and forth trips to the table have grown dull. There seemed to be a little bit of, I dunno, zany in the air. You can only refresh twitter so many times, right?

The first thing I noticed was this:

taodickey

That’s funny, I thought, Tao has changed his twitter name. Is that short for Toronto Stieb? I thought that because, obviously, I am a clueless fool. Never fear, I began to put things together when this appeared on my timeline:

zuberdickey

Two initials, instead of a first name. A mysterious ‘ey’ at the end where none had been before.

That’s JUST LIKE R. A. DICKEY PRINTS HIS NAME!

I was yelling in my mind.

So what was the next step? Minor Leaguer doesn’t use his real-life name on his profile, but he had an interesting idea:

And now, J.A. Happy he is. He joins a growing army of Dickeyfied twitter names (not handles, the @ part stays the same) making for a very unusual looking feed. People like to join in on the fun, and I am no exception. To be part of something, to express yourself, to share, that’s at least part of the reason we watch the games anyway. So, I present a gallery, in not particular order, of all the Dickeys on my twitter feed. I say no particular order, but truthfully, mine is last on purpose.

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If you’ve become one of our Dickey brethren this weekend, let us know in the comments.

Oh, and Toronto Blue Jays World Series Champs 2013!