The Fresno Grizzlies recently hosted their Taco Truck Throwdown. It’s an event that brings together 18 local taco trucks and pits them against each other to discover which is the best one in Fresno. 
Because I love to eat tacos, Mike Oz was kind enough to invite me up to Fresno for the day. Which meant I had to eat 18 tacos. Which sounds like something that is great. But by the end, it was more of a curse than a blessing. 
Check out the the blow by blow with the history of the event here. 
Some other things: 
If robots ever need to learn about human emotions, they’ll probably use this Pirates fan who felt more things in one inning than I have in years. 
Mascots are weird. But when it’s racing Presidents going up against pierogies going up against a lobster, well, that’s pretty great. 
From around the web: 
You’ve surely seen this already, but if not, Patrick Dubuque’s roster of Adam Dunn’s from OOTP is required reading. 
Odrismer Despaigne is the eephus master. 
Who are the most meddlesome managers? Ben Linbergh has the answer which certainly surprised me. 
Anyway, go forth and baseball! 

The Fresno Grizzlies recently hosted their Taco Truck Throwdown. It’s an event that brings together 18 local taco trucks and pits them against each other to discover which is the best one in Fresno. 

Because I love to eat tacos, Mike Oz was kind enough to invite me up to Fresno for the day. Which meant I had to eat 18 tacos. Which sounds like something that is great. But by the end, it was more of a curse than a blessing. 

Check out the the blow by blow with the history of the event here

Some other things: 

If robots ever need to learn about human emotions, they’ll probably use this Pirates fan who felt more things in one inning than I have in years. 

Mascots are weird. But when it’s racing Presidents going up against pierogies going up against a lobster, well, that’s pretty great. 

From around the web: 

You’ve surely seen this already, but if not, Patrick Dubuque’s roster of Adam Dunn’s from OOTP is required reading

Odrismer Despaigne is the eephus master

Who are the most meddlesome managers? Ben Linbergh has the answer which certainly surprised me. 

Anyway, go forth and baseball! 

Raul Ibanez has had one hell of a career. He never had 300 PA until he was 29 years old. His first 30 home run season came when he was 34. His best year and lone All-Star appearance came when he was 37. He’s like the Jamie Moyer or Highlander of hitting. (Strange that both players are largely associated with Seattle. Jamie Moyer, that is. Highlander has not, to my knowledge played with Seattle.) 
Unfortunately, Ibanez’s scoreboard photo could use some work. After the Giants broadcasters pointed out that it could use some Photoshopping, that’s what I did. Click over to Cut4 to take a look at a few new options. 
A few other things:
Derek Jeter just passed Honus Wagner for sixth all-time in hits. But who was better? And which player has a better go-to emoji? 
Coco Crisp has a goatee on the back of his head. I think. 
And things I had no hand in: 
The issue of SHAZAM that is more important than, arguably, the Declaration of Independence. There, I said it. It’s out there. 
If you like beer and baseball, then this craft beer ranking of the Majors is for you. 
I love position players pitching. Here are five notable appearances through history. 
I want all of these art prints. 
Anyway, at the time of this writing, the Royals are leading the Athletics. If they can hold on, they will have a half game lead in the AL Central. 
That’s the way baseball go. 

Raul Ibanez has had one hell of a career. He never had 300 PA until he was 29 years old. His first 30 home run season came when he was 34. His best year and lone All-Star appearance came when he was 37. He’s like the Jamie Moyer or Highlander of hitting. (Strange that both players are largely associated with Seattle. Jamie Moyer, that is. Highlander has not, to my knowledge played with Seattle.) 

Unfortunately, Ibanez’s scoreboard photo could use some work. After the Giants broadcasters pointed out that it could use some Photoshopping, that’s what I did. Click over to Cut4 to take a look at a few new options

A few other things:

Derek Jeter just passed Honus Wagner for sixth all-time in hits. But who was better? And which player has a better go-to emoji? 

Coco Crisp has a goatee on the back of his head. I think. 

And things I had no hand in: 

The issue of SHAZAM that is more important than, arguably, the Declaration of Independence. There, I said it. It’s out there. 

If you like beer and baseball, then this craft beer ranking of the Majors is for you

I love position players pitching. Here are five notable appearances through history. 

I want all of these art prints

Anyway, at the time of this writing, the Royals are leading the Athletics. If they can hold on, they will have a half game lead in the AL Central. 

That’s the way baseball go. 

The Post-SABR blues

Hello all! Sorry it’s been so long between updates. This past month was crazy though with trips to Boston, Connecticut, and New York before finally ending up at SABR 44 in Houston.

For anyone that has not attended a SABR convention and has wondered if you should, let me ask you a few questions.

  • Do you like baseball? 
  • Do you like talking about baseball?
  • Do you like any of history, statistics, stories, or controversies? 
  • Do you like attending baseball games?
  • Do you like drinking beer while talking about baseball?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, a SABR convention is probably for you. Next year will be in Chicago and I expect to see all of you there. 

Anyway, a few things I’ve done recently. 

You’ve never seen excitement over “Careless Whisper” like this before. Or, you know what, you probably have. 

Javier Baez has come up and already has three home runs. Is this the sign of the apocalypse? Possibly. 

If you missed it, Adam Dunn made his pitching debut. It was the best. 

And some things I had no hand in: 

Retrosheet is the greatest gift to baseball researchers. Here are the games that ‘broke’ Retrosheet.

Do you love gruesome 19th century baseball deaths? Carson Cistulli does. And we all reap the benefits. 

Have you considered becoming a baseball card store owner? Yeah… you may want to rethink that

The Smithsonian with their most important research yet: who has the best facial hair in baseball history?

Ever thought about handicapping ballgames? I have. But then Patrick Dubuque actually did something about it

Now then, go forth and baseball! And whatnot! 

It’s the All-Star break! Which means that we have two days of baseball-free television. Which is a terrible thing. Now I must decide between re-watching True Detective and questioning the purpose of existence or watching superhero cartoons on Netflix. Actually, both of those sound good. 
But now that we’re in the afterglow of All-Star weekend, we can look forward. To ways that we can make All-Star weekend even better with things like strongman competitions and position player pitchoffs. Head over to Sports on Earth to take a look. 
And while we’re taking a short respite from baseball, why not relive the ten best moments from earlier this season? Turns out, everything about baseball is great! 
A few other baubles of interest: 
We may not be able to predict the future, but the Futures Game does a pretty good job of it. Here are 8 of the best Futures Game performances from future stars. How many times did I say future just now? 
What if the World Series was like the World Cup? Turns out baseball would be pretty darn different. 
And some other fun things from the internet world: 
Watch Mike Trout rob Mike Trout of a home run. One day a President will win election on a platform like this. 
Ever wondered what Craig Robinson thinks about when he pees? Wonder no more! 
You may not realize it, but I’m a Steve Pearce fanatic. So this Beyond the Box Score piece that examines his breakout is like a soothing balm over my entire body. Speaking of, maybe I should rub a soothing balm over my entire body. 
That tattoo I’ve always needed. 

It’s the All-Star break! Which means that we have two days of baseball-free television. Which is a terrible thing. Now I must decide between re-watching True Detective and questioning the purpose of existence or watching superhero cartoons on Netflix. Actually, both of those sound good. 

But now that we’re in the afterglow of All-Star weekend, we can look forward. To ways that we can make All-Star weekend even better with things like strongman competitions and position player pitchoffs. Head over to Sports on Earth to take a look

And while we’re taking a short respite from baseball, why not relive the ten best moments from earlier this season? Turns out, everything about baseball is great! 

A few other baubles of interest: 

We may not be able to predict the future, but the Futures Game does a pretty good job of it. Here are 8 of the best Futures Game performances from future stars. How many times did I say future just now? 

What if the World Series was like the World CupTurns out baseball would be pretty darn different. 

And some other fun things from the internet world: 

Watch Mike Trout rob Mike Trout of a home run. One day a President will win election on a platform like this. 

Ever wondered what Craig Robinson thinks about when he pees? Wonder no more! 

You may not realize it, but I’m a Steve Pearce fanatic. So this Beyond the Box Score piece that examines his breakout is like a soothing balm over my entire body. Speaking of, maybe I should rub a soothing balm over my entire body. 

That tattoo I’ve always needed

So while this would have been better timed before Sean Doolittle walked his second batter of the year and gave up a walk-off grand slam, the point still holds: Sean Doolittle is amazingly dominant. How is he so amazingly dominant? His beard. All the science and stuff at Cut4

Other stuff: 

Miguel Cabrera got his swole on by lifting Jose Altuve. Good workout tips. 

There are Lovecraftian monsters at Coors Field. This is just fact. 

From around the web: 

RA Dickey is coming out with a kids book! Hooray for knuckleballers turned authors. 

Want to know more about the Futures Game rosters? John Sickels has the breakdown

Look: it’s Justin Verlander in a US kit! World Cup! 

And on that note, it’s time to head out to the local sporting pub and cheer for those United States soccer boyz! 

I love a good Jumbo. And when Jumbo Diaz was called up to the Reds over the weekend, it was a time for celebration. After all, I remember watching him pitch in the Dominican League three years ago when his team was sponsored by (seriously, this happened) Jumbos and it was the greatest night of my offseason baseball viewing life. (I like to break all of my life into convenient boxes like that.) 
Anyway, when he was called up, it was time to look at the epic history of Jumbos in the Major Leagues. Shockingly, there are a lot of them. Support Jumbos now! 
Also, when I haven’t been researching Jumbos, I’ve become obsessed with soccer. Why did no one ever tell me how exciting it was? Over at Cut4, I’ve also got a look at the terrifying truth that Brian Wilson and Portuguese football, Raul Meireles, are actually clones of each other. 
Other things from the internet related to baseball things: 
Masahiro Tanaka is a wizard. 
Will Hall has a few suggestions for bat flipping that ballplayers may want to consider. 
MIke Trout got his own shoe. Which is cool, yes, but it’s also a baseball cleat. When will I get to purchase a Mike Trout sneaker for day to day wear? That’s what I want to know. 
Frank Borghi: The baseball player turned soccer player who somehow was the hero of the 1950 World Cup.For America, at least. English fans probably don’t like him. 

I love a good Jumbo. And when Jumbo Diaz was called up to the Reds over the weekend, it was a time for celebration. After all, I remember watching him pitch in the Dominican League three years ago when his team was sponsored by (seriously, this happened) Jumbos and it was the greatest night of my offseason baseball viewing life. (I like to break all of my life into convenient boxes like that.) 

Anyway, when he was called up, it was time to look at the epic history of Jumbos in the Major Leagues. Shockingly, there are a lot of them. Support Jumbos now

Also, when I haven’t been researching Jumbos, I’ve become obsessed with soccer. Why did no one ever tell me how exciting it was? Over at Cut4, I’ve also got a look at the terrifying truth that Brian Wilson and Portuguese football, Raul Meireles, are actually clones of each other

Other things from the internet related to baseball things: 

Masahiro Tanaka is a wizard

Will Hall has a few suggestions for bat flipping that ballplayers may want to consider

MIke Trout got his own shoe. Which is cool, yes, but it’s also a baseball cleat. When will I get to purchase a Mike Trout sneaker for day to day wear? That’s what I want to know. 

Frank Borghi: The baseball player turned soccer player who somehow was the hero of the 1950 World Cup.For America, at least. English fans probably don’t like him. 

It’s official, I have been completely consumed with World Cup fever. And while I still don’t really understand what’s going on and while it seems like the world’s best players have real difficulty actually shooting at the goal, I have to say I have been completely swayed by all of the soccer love going on. 
And because I’m now a soccer expert, I break down the 8 times that baseball players thought they were playing soccer over at Cut4. All of the square-balls, clearing the lines, and other bits of soccer goodness you can handle! 
And some other things going on: 
Dee Gordon has 37 steals. And while he’s got a long road ahead of him to reach 100 on the year, becoming the first since Vince Coleman, it’s not impossible. In fact, he’s already ahead of two of Rickey Henderson’s 100 SB seasons. And that’s insane. Check out the chart and all the facts. 
Never thought a zombie outbreak was possible on a Raul Ibanez foul ball? That’s where you’re wrong. (This could explain Ibanez’s career path, now that you think about it…)
Johnny Cueto failed to break his bat over his knee. This gives me social anxiety.
Do you want to see my goony face? Ricardo, Mina, and Danny of The Wonder Bat invited me on their video podcast. They’re great. I’m goony. Enjoy! 


And the other cool things from around the web: 
Speaking of people breaking bats over their knees, do you like that sort of thing? Of course you. Here are a bunch of them in convenient gif form. 
I love keeping score at a ballgame. I’ve been doing it ever since I took over for my coach on my Little League teams. Have you always wanted to, but didn’t know where to begin? This primer is for you. 
Every Hall of Famer has made it to Carlton Fisk! More forever! 
Craig Robinson has made the piece I’ve always desired. Team names written out as if they were the design elements on New Order albums. 
Are hitters becoming too passive? Dave Cameron asks the questions. You decide. Or something. 
Anyway, that’s all for now. I have to go out and find a pre-owned copy of FIFA because I can’t stop thinking about the World Cup. Quick, someone tell me who the utility infielders are of the soccer world, so I can become their #1 fan. 

It’s official, I have been completely consumed with World Cup fever. And while I still don’t really understand what’s going on and while it seems like the world’s best players have real difficulty actually shooting at the goal, I have to say I have been completely swayed by all of the soccer love going on. 

And because I’m now a soccer expert, I break down the 8 times that baseball players thought they were playing soccer over at Cut4. All of the square-balls, clearing the lines, and other bits of soccer goodness you can handle! 

And some other things going on: 

Dee Gordon has 37 steals. And while he’s got a long road ahead of him to reach 100 on the year, becoming the first since Vince Coleman, it’s not impossible. In fact, he’s already ahead of two of Rickey Henderson’s 100 SB seasons. And that’s insane. Check out the chart and all the facts

Never thought a zombie outbreak was possible on a Raul Ibanez foul ball? That’s where you’re wrong. (This could explain Ibanez’s career path, now that you think about it…)

Johnny Cueto failed to break his bat over his knee. This gives me social anxiety.

Do you want to see my goony face? Ricardo, Mina, and Danny of The Wonder Bat invited me on their video podcast. They’re great. I’m goony. Enjoy

And the other cool things from around the web: 

Speaking of people breaking bats over their knees, do you like that sort of thing? Of course you. Here are a bunch of them in convenient gif form

I love keeping score at a ballgame. I’ve been doing it ever since I took over for my coach on my Little League teams. Have you always wanted to, but didn’t know where to begin? This primer is for you

Every Hall of Famer has made it to Carlton Fisk! More forever! 

Craig Robinson has made the piece I’ve always desired. Team names written out as if they were the design elements on New Order albums

Are hitters becoming too passive? Dave Cameron asks the questions. You decide. Or something. 

Anyway, that’s all for now. I have to go out and find a pre-owned copy of FIFA because I can’t stop thinking about the World Cup. Quick, someone tell me who the utility infielders are of the soccer world, so I can become their #1 fan. 

This is Steve Hamilton’s “Folly Floater.” It’s an eephus pitch that an NL umpire ruled illegal because the NL “isn’t a halfway league.” 

But why is the Folly Flaoter something we’re discussing today? Why, because Steve Hamilton is one of the rare people to play in both the NBA and MLB. In fact, there are only a dozen of them. I wrote about all of them over at Cut4 so check it out. 

(Also, is Tim Duncan the highlander? Some kind of wizard? A ghoul who subsists on corpses for strength? I remember pretending to be him on the nerf hoop in my room, so how is he still playing professional basketball?)

Some other things you should see: 

The Potomac Nationals are giving away a Jayson Werth bobblebeard. That’s right, a bobblebeard. A bobble. Beard. 

Read this one in a dark room and prepare to get spooked. Because these life-size Chase Utley bobbleheads are terrifying

And for other cool things: 

Henderson Alvarez is quickly jumping up the Maddux leaderboard. I know, I didn’t expect it either. 

I often lament the poor choice of walk-up music. For the Durham Bulls the other night, that wasn’t an issue as it was Merge Records night

Paul Lukas with some very fun uniform firsts

Now then, if you’ll excuse me, I have to figure out who is the utility infielder-equivalent on America’s World Cup soccer team.

(Image via Robert Edward Auctions)
As you prepare your juleps and await to see if California Chrome can become the first horse since Affliction Affirmation to win the Triple Crown, I would like to draw your attention somewhere else. Naturally, that place is the history of horses in baseball. The truth will shock you. Or something. 
Check out the piece here. 
A few other things: 
Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw squared off in an impersonation contest. This will be the new sport to sweep the land. 
Mark Teixeira is the best thing on TV. 
And things I had no hand in: 
What do the Jays need from Marcus Stroman? Jason Wojciechowski has the answers. 
My fellow Cut4-er, Dakota Gardner, has an interesting story about Lefty Brewer who lost his life in Normandy. 
Roar of the Tigers is back! For those that love baseball cartoons, this is some truly phenomenal news. 
I’ve never wanted a Barbie doll so bad before now. 
Jeff Sullivan has the month’s wildest swings. Mmmm. This is good fun. 
Now, then, back to your regularly scheduled horseracing program or what have you. 

(Image via Robert Edward Auctions)

As you prepare your juleps and await to see if California Chrome can become the first horse since Affliction Affirmation to win the Triple Crown, I would like to draw your attention somewhere else. Naturally, that place is the history of horses in baseball. The truth will shock you. Or something. 

Check out the piece here

A few other things: 

Kenley Jansen and Clayton Kershaw squared off in an impersonation contest. This will be the new sport to sweep the land. 

Mark Teixeira is the best thing on TV

And things I had no hand in: 

What do the Jays need from Marcus Stroman? Jason Wojciechowski has the answers

My fellow Cut4-er, Dakota Gardner, has an interesting story about Lefty Brewer who lost his life in Normandy

Roar of the Tigers is back! For those that love baseball cartoons, this is some truly phenomenal news. 

I’ve never wanted a Barbie doll so bad before now

Jeff Sullivan has the month’s wildest swings. Mmmm. This is good fun. 

Now, then, back to your regularly scheduled horseracing program or what have you. 

It’s June! Summer is here! Which, now that I’m not in school, I’m not sure why I get excited. Because it basically means that every time I meet someone, I’ll have to say, “Lovely to meet you. I’m sorry for all the sweat.” 
But before we jump headlong into this new month, let’s celebrate the month that was. Over at Cut4, I looked at the great performances, eephus pitches, position players pitching, and, of course, Tim Lincecum dressing up as a manager moments. Go read it. 
A few other things: 
Munenori Kawasaki (otherwise known as my personal hero) just celebrated his 33rd birthday the way any sane person would. He invented a new dance. 
RoboCop threw out the first pitch in Detroit last night. So of course that called for a scouting report. 
The Mets ate a record 103 cheesesteaks when they were in Philadelphia in April. I feel like some Mets fan out there needs to buy a Cheesesteak 103 jersey to celebrate this. 
And other very cool baseball things that I did not muddle up: 
Cee Angi is a wonderful writer. Vin Scully is a god among men. Put them together and you get this beautiful longform piece. 
Ben Lindbergh looks at the A’s really entertaining method of reviewing calls. 
Craig Robinson draws his local club’s vendors. I want to hire him to draw my beer vendor. 
And this one is really, really old, but I’ve found myself talking about Jeff King, a player who maybe hated baseball to a lot of people recently. It’s by Joe Posnanski so it’s worth reading.
My favorite quote from King: “Every time they play [the National Anthem], I have a bad day.”
Anyway, go forth and baseball. Or whatever. 

It’s June! Summer is here! Which, now that I’m not in school, I’m not sure why I get excited. Because it basically means that every time I meet someone, I’ll have to say, “Lovely to meet you. I’m sorry for all the sweat.” 

But before we jump headlong into this new month, let’s celebrate the month that was. Over at Cut4, I looked at the great performances, eephus pitches, position players pitching, and, of course, Tim Lincecum dressing up as a manager moments. Go read it

A few other things: 

Munenori Kawasaki (otherwise known as my personal hero) just celebrated his 33rd birthday the way any sane person would. He invented a new dance

RoboCop threw out the first pitch in Detroit last night. So of course that called for a scouting report

The Mets ate a record 103 cheesesteaks when they were in Philadelphia in April. I feel like some Mets fan out there needs to buy a Cheesesteak 103 jersey to celebrate this. 

And other very cool baseball things that I did not muddle up: 

Cee Angi is a wonderful writer. Vin Scully is a god among men. Put them together and you get this beautiful longform piece

Ben Lindbergh looks at the A’s really entertaining method of reviewing calls

Craig Robinson draws his local club’s vendors. I want to hire him to draw my beer vendor. 

And this one is really, really old, but I’ve found myself talking about Jeff King, a player who maybe hated baseball to a lot of people recently. It’s by Joe Posnanski so it’s worth reading.

My favorite quote from King: “Every time they play [the National Anthem], I have a bad day.

Anyway, go forth and baseball. Or whatever.