Monthly Archives: December 2011

From the Archives: Standing in Different Places

Calling things the new Moneyball is the Moneyball of calling things Moneyball. But the Milwaukee Brewers fielding was the under-reported story of the year. Mets, please do this.

Originally published October 12, 2011 Continue reading

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From the Archives: Things That Will Happen in the Next Year

I wrote this about a week after the 2011 season ended, and it ended up becoming the most read post on this site this year. Maybe I should venture into fiction?

In terms of predictions, I was right about Jose Reyes signing with the Marlins, I think I’ll be right about Chris Young re-signing, and then I’ll be wrong just about every other player the Mets sign this winter. I’m going to hold off on opening that fortune telling shop.

Originally Published October 5, 2011 Continue reading

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From the Archives: Seeing What Condition Lucas Duda’s Condition is in

I didn’t want to title this post “The Duda Abides,” so I went with an obscure reference from “The Big Lebowski.” Too obscure, in retrospect. Just in case: “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” is the title of the Kenny Rogers & the First Edition song that plays during the dream sequence in the film.

Originally Published August 22, 2011 Continue reading

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From the Archives: Tejadyssey

I believe David Foster Wallace’s theory about great sports — it’s buried somewhere in an essay about Michael Joyce, a tennis player, where Wallace writes that an intersection of play and competition is what makes a sport great. For a sport to be great, he writes, the rules of the game need to be somewhat arbitrary so that there’s something beautiful in the physics of the play, but there also needs to be a sense that two sides are trying to defeat each other.

I think he’s right: Great sports live at the intersection of play and competition. Boxing is a better sport than ultimate fighting, because boxing has more limitations, in that you can only strike with fists as opposed to just about everything. Ultimate Fighting is too close to being pure competition to be a great sport — basically it’s too close to being just war. Figure skating and diving, while requiring great athletic ability, are too close to being pure play, or art, to be a great sport. Baseball, basketball, soccer, and tennis come closest to hitting the play/competition intersection mark.

The corollary to this theory of sports is that players who best embody the play/competition intersection are the most compelling players.

Originally Published June 8, 2011 Continue reading

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From the Archives: The Meaning of Meaningless

This post was written about Opening Day, when the Mets were beat up by John Buck and Josh Johnson in Florida. Beginnings and endings are natural places to look for meaning; this was an attempt at finding meaning the new Mets, with new manager, new general manager, and a new reliever. I think the same sentiment rings true.

Though in retrospect, the most memorable part of that Opening Day was the National Anthem, performed beautifully by Clarence Clemons on the saxophone. Clemons would pass away two months later.

Originally Posted April 2, 2011: Continue reading

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Archives: Talking Segways with Chris Capuano

This interview actually picks up halfway through. My first two questions for Capuano were about the spring training game he had just started. He gave thoughtful answers, as he always does, but they were total softball questions. I asked those two first because I didn’t want to approach a stranger and just start shooting off questions about Segways. I feel this is a fairly reasonable desire.


Originally published March 8, 2011: Continue reading

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A Note About the Upcoming Week

I shall be out of the country and away from the internet until the New Year, so we’re pulling out re-runs around here for the next week. Consider it a year-end review of the 2011 Mets and this blog. I’m going to repost a handful of columns from the past year, one or two each day, with an forward added to each one — though maybe just a sentence or two. But it’s not totally recycled material. Just mostly recycled material.

Happy New Year, y’all. I’ll see you on the other side.

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