Discover more from Meditations in Panic City
January 29, 2021: A Diet Coke Break
More Reasons to Not Want Trevor Bauer. Steven Matz Says Goodbye. Steven Cohen Gets Mad Online While Saying Goodbye to Money. #BellLetsTalk. The Fun (to Me) History of Oval Office Buttons.
I want to apologize to the Sentient Monocle Emoji. I left out other reasons why the Mets should absolutely not sign him the other day.
He’s a cheater. As Ben Lindbergh wrote last July, Bauer was abysmal over the summer of 2019 after he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, pitching like his personality. Then one day his
spin rate drastically increased.
A Statcast record of an increase. Bauer himself wrote once that the only way a pitcher can do that is by using
. And in 2020 he had what was considered by some a Cy Young-winning season. If only there was an emoji for this…
All pitchers cheat a little bit, and every player is usually okay with it. Batters know their own pitchers lather pine tar, sunscreen, rosin, et al. on baseballs, so if they call out the opposition on it, theoretically the opposition can call it right on back, and man, you thought pace of play was an issue before…
Batters also know if pitchers put nothing technically illegal on the baseballs, they would have less control on where their 100 mile per hour fastballs go, which wouldn’t be great. The unwritten rule is to not be really fucking obvious about it and you are good.
Even if you are obvious, you are probably fine. I would post a screenshot of a pitcher with a large white powdery substance on the bill of their cap, but I have anxiety and can’t decide amongst the literally hundreds of pitchers who do this.
Michael Pineda looked like he was leaking fluids out of his neck.
got him tossed. (It was pine tar.)
I think of Rudy Giuliani when I see this screengrab now. Tehehe.
MLB is cracking down on this stuff. Or so they say. MLB says a lot of things. But, as Lindbergh put it, this happened:
The Angels fired a longtime visiting clubhouse attendant after MLB reportedly informed the team of allegations that he had been selling “a melted-down pine-tar solution and rosin” to opposing pitchers. His behavior, which the Angels
violated the league’s policy against team personnel “providing, applying, creating, concealing, or otherwise facilitating” the use of foreign substances by players. That discipline sent a signal, but because of the benefits and the prevalence of foreign-substance use, the practice may prove as tough to remove from the sport as pine tar from fingers.
The guy sued for defamation, claiming he was a scapegoat, since a lot of clubhouse attendants do this. He was absolutely right about that. He named names of the pitchers he helped
three weeks ago
— Bauer foil Gerrit Cole was the headliner of that story. On Monday, the lawsuit
. Score one for the little guy I suppose.
So the league could crack down with impunity if they choose to at any time.
Also, you think you hate Bauer? Try his peers. Players will be falling over each other getting to ask their manager to have a friendly discussion with the crew chief over Smarmy F. Knowitallburg’s spinny-balls. Ol’ Trevor is a shiny piece of medal-haver now. He’s more of a target for scrutiny than ever.
Robinhood stopped allowing people to buy GameStop stock, which was really convenient for people hedge fund folk like Mets owner Steven Cohen, who has sunk a ton of money keeping the firm that tried to big short the stock afloat. King Stoolhead went after Cohen. Cohen fought back.
So Twitter was like:
But then Cohen said Robinhood should make some sort of statement (they eventually did), Divechair guy agreed, and then it felt more like:
Steven Matz Said Goodbye
Usually if a native New Yorker said they wished me “nothing but the best of luck”, I would assume they wished I would drop dead in a particularly painful manner. This is not the case for Steven, even though hey, I know I’m not a teammate nor a coach, but come on, I could use some luck.
A Very Sad Anniversary
35 years ago Thursday was The Challenger explosion. My father applied to be the schoolteacher on that doomed space shuttle. He was not one of the ten finalists, but my mother claimed our phone was tapped, and Dad got a nice letter from Reagan. I don’t remember that day, but I do remember my mother telling me my father watched it live with his students, and he was so shaken he was sent home, and watched replays of the tragedy over and over and over.
This photo was framed and hung on the foyer wall throughout my childhood. I never thought twice about it until well into adulthood. The teacher’s name was Christa McAuliffe.
Remember Jarred Kelenic?!?! He’s Still Going to Make Mike Trout Look Like a Bag of Crap
Keith Law’s Top 100 Prospects list came out. Catcher Francisco Alvarez (#19), shortstop Ronny Mauricio (#32), pitcher Matt Allan (#90), and outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong (#94) are the four Mets that made the cut. Who cares? Kelenic, traded away by the current Roc Nation COO was deemed the fourth best prospect in baseball. “I know it pains Mets fans to read this,” Law wrote, “but I think Kelenic is going to be a superstar.”
If you knew it would pain Mets fans, Keith…
For every tweet and retweet that used #BellLetsTalk on Thursday, Bell donated 5¢ to Canadian mental health initiatives. (Bell is a Canadian telecommunication concern; they aren’t playing favorites.)
They’ve been doing this for a couple of years now. It’s wonderful. This was my tweet:
I still have bad days. I feel lazy even though I sent four of these newsletters this week and wrote about
Henry Aaron’s time in the Negro Leagues.
The fuck is that about?
Happy National Big Wig Day!
As always: wig wisely.
What the Hell Does the Big Shiny Red Button Do?!
Donnie T’s Diet Coke button was
from the resolution desk in the Oval Office after all. When Biden pushes the button, something happens. We don’t know what. When Obama pressed the button, he got some
. Allegedly. We don’t know for sure. Why the secrecy? Like most things, it’s probably LBJ’s fault.
Lyndon Johnson had a coffee, tea,
. He also allegedly had a buzzer that sounded when his wife was coming and he was busy having adult relations with a woman who was *record scratch*
not his wife
. Somehow Robert Caro has written over 2,000 pages about LBJ and never mentioned either of these things. Can a Pulitzer be rescinded?
Have a Chill, Isolating Weekend. But Get Your Own Damn Coffee.