Friends! I come with very good news: Cut4, you know, the site I…

Friends! I come with very good news: Cut4, you know, the site I write for and where fun baseball stuff happens, now has a YouTube channel. It’s very exciting and I would very much appreciate you checking it out. There are things like baseball players hitting home runs into rivers, baseball players thrift shopping and baseball players talking about beards. There are people like PUP guitarist Steve Sladkowski talking about his deep love for the Blue Jays and, recently, I tried the absolutely disgusting Phil Hughes-approved peanut butter and pickle sandwich. Click here to check out the channel and do me a big favor and subscribe. If you like this old blog, then I think you’ll really enjoy this very much not-a-blog. 

Even though there is very exciting non-blogs happening, there is always room in this world for blogs. And here are a few things I wrote this week that may be worth a few minutes of your Labor Day weekend time: 

Christian Yelich recently posed for the ESPN Body Issue. This is a good thing. He is a very attractive man. However, it’s time for one very important thing: Stop having men pose in abandoned warehouses

Bryce Harper is gone, but the Nats look set to take the Wild Card and then … who knows. Could Juan Soto, the most joyous man in baseball, do what Harper never could

The Phillie Phanatic is … a bird? That’s … how is that possible? 

Andrew McCutchen is baseball’s certified softie. While he’s going to miss the rest of the year, he’s at least spending lots of time doing goofy romantic stuff with his wife. 

And here are a few things I didn’t write, but are very worth your time: 

Players Weekend was last week and Gemma Kaneko broke down all the nicknames and charted them out. What can we learn from the data? This the future of sabermetrics. 

The Senior Professional Baseball League was … well, it definitely wasn’t good. And a name like that certainly doesn’t make it sound exciting. But if you wanted a last chance to see players like Luis Tiant and Rollie Fingers, this was the thing for you. Here’s the scoop on the ill-fated league

I hardly ever know what day it is. Turns out, baseball players never do. (Every day that a series begins? That’s a Monday.) This is a hilarious look at the lives of players we never think of. 

OK, friends, that’s it for this week. Enjoy your weekends. Hit up the grills. And then bust out the jackets because summer is ending. 

Saturday was baseball card day. Though, if you’re like me, every…

Saturday was baseball card day. Though, if you’re like me, every day is baseball card day because your house is simply overflowing with them. They’re your bookmarks, they wind up in your pants pocket (when you take them out of a book and forget to put them back in), they’re on your desk and, like living creatures, they burrow into couch cushions and into bedsheets. I have binders and binders filled with old cards, but I don’t like hiding my cards away or buying expensive ones that have to sit in glass. I like to look at them. I like to hold them. I like to flip them over and then, if I run into someone who is a fan of the team of the player I’m holding, I give them away. They’re little cardboard memories, either of my own life or of the game itself. And that’s what I really like about them. 

Anyway, for this year, I ranked my top 25 Topps designs. I didn’t care about what kind of cards were in the set or how valuable they were. I ranked them just on how strong I thought the designs were. You probably disagree with me.  

Here’s a few other things I wrote recently: 

The Mets are on fire. I think they may actually be magic

The Phillies looked to bamboo for luck earlier this year. But that’s far from the strangest thing teams have rallied around. I looked at some of the weirdest

The Dodgers didn’t do anything at the trade deadline. Now they have to finally win the World Series

Sports people love to say things like “The Yankees have to earn their pinstripes.” But what if they actually did, like the Ohio State Buckeyes or the ‘70s Pirates and their Stargell Stars

And here are a few things I didn’t write, but I think you should read: 

Remember Chris Carter, the massive homer-hitting 1B/DH who, when everyone could do that, was out of a job? Well, he’s about to break the Mexican League record. R.J. Anderson took a look

Dan R. Epstein wrote about the early history of women’s baseball. I had no idea it stretched back almost as long as the game itself.

Finally, I’m a bit of a soccer fan and am quite excited the Premier League is back. If you’re someone looking for a team, I put together a tweet thread with a reason to root for every club. Take a look if you’d like. Skip it if you think sports should involve using your hands. 

I love walk-up songs. As much as I’d like baseball games to be…

I love walk-up songs. As much as I’d like baseball games to be mostly silent except for the fans’ own noise creations (think like a soccer game, where the fans supply all the cheers, with no jumbtron instructing you to clap or shout), I would be bummed out if the walk-up songs disappeared. It’s like the soundtrack to a movie – like the only decent scenes in “Baby Driver,” when the music hit just right and the action flowed along with it. Don’t tell me you don’t get excited when you hear your slugger’s music late in the game with the score close.

But where did the walk-up song actually come from? Turns out, it’s thanks to one intrepid organist, the advent of CD players, and a completely viral movement across the league. Here’s my piece I wrote on the history of the walk-up song.

It was also an unofficial week of music at Cut4. I ranked every team’s victory song. Two teams don’t have them. Hopefully that will change by next year.

Chris Landers also talked to some players about their most important job: Clubhouse DJ.

Finally, I contributed a post to Eric Bynum’s charity blogathon. How you ask? By writing a series of fake romance novels and asking you to figure out which ones were real or not.

Anyway, here are a few more things I didn’t write, but which I think are worth your time:

Baseball Prospectus is doing some really great work right now. That includes their brand new Women’s World Cup stats page.

Patrick Dubuque is one of my favorite baseball writers ever. He is funny. He is introspective. He is thoughtful. And he writes like no one else. Unfortunately, he decided to get out of the game. Read one of his final posts here.

Jim Bouton sadly passed away recently. A great writer, pitcher, thinker, humorist … the game would be completely different without Bouton. Jay Jaffe wrote about him here.

Anyway, that should be all. Sorry I’ve been away for so long. I’ll try not to let that happen. After all, I want my disappearance to lead to a international conspiracy, not simply a poor management of my time.

We’re here. We’ve made it. Opening Day is right around the…

We’re here. We’ve made it. Opening Day is right around the corner. The best day of the year – the one when spring really begins – and we celebrate by barely moving and stuffing ourselves with all sorts of ridiculous foods like hot dogs and hamburgers and popcorn and chips and (my personal favorite) cheesesteaks. 

Opening Day is great, but it could be better. How? Start at breakfast and go for every hour. I broke down my genius plan here. Check it out and then nominate me for a Nobel prize

Here’s a few more things I’ve written recently: 

During summer break from college in 2006, a friend and I spent a summer following the always road team, Road Warriors. It was an amazing summer, becoming a diehard fan of a team that never had a home stadium or many fans to call their own. Last year, the Atlantic League brought the Road Warriors back to help fill the schedule. What is it like to actually play on that team? I talked to the team’s catcher, Isaac Wenrich (you may know him from his role in Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller’s book about the Sonoma Stompers), about it. Read that here

Finally, the Baseball Hall of Fame is bringing their nearly 200,000 baseball cards out of storage with a brand new interactive exhibit called Shoebox Treasures later this spring. I talked to the curator about what’s planned

And here are a few others posts from around the baseball world that are worth reading: 

My friend and fellow Cut4-er Eric Chesterton interviewed dozens of players about how they find roommates during Spring Training. Turns out, it’s just as awkward for them as it is for non-baseball people. 

I hate Fortnite. I tried to play it, thought it was ugly and I was way too bad to keep up. Carlos Santana also hates Fortnite. Enough that he smashed the Phillies’ TV

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal. While you may know parts of the story, you likely believe a lot of the myths. Jacob Pomrenke and a team of amazing SABR members bust some of those myths

We’re here. We’ve made it. Opening Day is right around the…

We’re here. We’ve made it. Opening Day is right around the corner. The best day of the year – the one when spring really begins – and we celebrate by barely moving and stuffing ourselves with all sorts of ridiculous foods like hot dogs and hamburgers and popcorn and chips and (my personal favorite) cheesesteaks. 

Opening Day is great, but it could be better. How? Start at breakfast and go for every hour. I broke down my genius plan here. Check it out and then nominate me for a Nobel prize

Here’s a few more things I’ve written recently: 

During summer break from college in 2006, a friend and I spent a summer following the always road team, Road Warriors. It was an amazing summer, becoming a diehard fan of a team that never had a home stadium or many fans to call their own. Last year, the Atlantic League brought the Road Warriors back to help fill the schedule. What is it like to actually play on that team? I talked to the team’s catcher, Isaac Wenrich (you may know him from his role in Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller’s book about the Sonoma Stompers), about it. Read that here

Finally, the Baseball Hall of Fame is bringing their nearly 200,000 baseball cards out of storage with a brand new interactive exhibit called Shoebox Treasures later this spring. I talked to the curator about what’s planned

And here are a few others posts from around the baseball world that are worth reading: 

My friend and fellow Cut4-er Eric Chesterton interviewed dozens of players about how they find roommates during Spring Training. Turns out, it’s just as awkward for them as it is for non-baseball people. 

I hate Fortnite. I tried to play it, thought it was ugly and I was way too bad to keep up. Carlos Santana also hates Fortnite. Enough that he smashed the Phillies’ TV

It’s the 100th anniversary of the Black Sox scandal. While you may know parts of the story, you likely believe a lot of the myths. Jacob Pomrenke and a team of amazing SABR members bust some of those myths

When the A’s and Mariners open the season in Japan this week…

When the A’s and Mariners open the season in Japan this week (and we force ourselves to rise and watch at 5:30 in the morning – a necessary sacrifice for regular season baseball), there will be two people on hand you may not have expected: Rickey Henderson and Ken Griffey Jr. 

They’ll be there to take part in ceremonial first pitches, standing in the box while Kazuhiro Sasaki pitches to Kenji Johjima and Keiichi Yabu tosses to Akinori Iwamura. Which is great: These players are stars and the more I see of them the happier I am. 

But what I want: Let them play. I mean, Griffey is only four years older than Ichiro. Sure, maybe he can’t play the field anymore and his legs, which already betrayed him too many times to count during his career, so why not introduce softball rules. (I’m sure Henderson can still do everything. I wouldn’t be shocked if he wasn’t playing in some indy league and we all just didn’t know it). 

Just let Griffey swing and then someone else runs the bases for him. I don’t want to extend it to other players. But every team, for a handful of dates a year, should be given the opportunity to let their all-time legends show off again. Who says no? I talked a little about this on the most recent Cut4Cast while Dakota Gardner broke down his recent Spring Training trips. Check it out here

Rule changes were a pretty big thing lately. The independent Atlantic League – one of my absolute favorites leagues as I grew up with the now-defunct Bridgeport Bluefish as my real hometown team – will be the test kitchen for MLB’s weirdest rule changes. I took a look at the pros and cons of those decisions

Major League Baseball also announced their own rule changes for the next two years. If you’re on Twitter, you probably saw baseball fans lose their minds. My take: These rules are great. If anything, I want more changes. 

Now then, to move away from rule madness, I looked at the best and weirdest Photo Day photos this year. Who doesn’t want to see players looking weird?

Finally, Mike Bates and Bill Parker were kind enough to let me on their podcast to get excited by Kent Tekulve’s birthday. Listen to that here

And here are a few pieces I didn’t write but you need to check out: 

Ben Lindbergh got his hands on a whole boatload of the Reds’ scouting reports from the late ‘90s to the mid-’00s. He was able to learn a whole lot about them. Start diving in here

Adam McCalvy got the inside scoop on Yasmani Grandal’s tattoos. Players love their tattoos, so you can learn a lot about a player by the ink they chose. 

When the A’s and Mariners open the season in Japan this week…

When the A’s and Mariners open the season in Japan this week (and we force ourselves to rise and watch at 5:30 in the morning – a necessary sacrifice for regular season baseball), there will be two people on hand you may not have expected: Rickey Henderson and Ken Griffey Jr. 

They’ll be there to take part in ceremonial first pitches, standing in the box while Kazuhiro Sasaki pitches to Kenji Johjima and Keiichi Yabu tosses to Akinori Iwamura. Which is great: These players are stars and the more I see of them the happier I am. 

But what I want: Let them play. I mean, Griffey is only four years older than Ichiro. Sure, maybe he can’t play the field anymore and his legs, which already betrayed him too many times to count during his career, so why not introduce softball rules. (I’m sure Henderson can still do everything. I wouldn’t be shocked if he wasn’t playing in some indy league and we all just didn’t know it). 

Just let Griffey swing and then someone else runs the bases for him. I don’t want to extend it to other players. But every team, for a handful of dates a year, should be given the opportunity to let their all-time legends show off again. Who says no? I talked a little about this on the most recent Cut4Cast while Dakota Gardner broke down his recent Spring Training trips. Check it out here

Rule changes were a pretty big thing lately. The independent Atlantic League – one of my absolute favorites leagues as I grew up with the now-defunct Bridgeport Bluefish as my real hometown team – will be the test kitchen for MLB’s weirdest rule changes. I took a look at the pros and cons of those decisions

Major League Baseball also announced their own rule changes for the next two years. If you’re on Twitter, you probably saw baseball fans lose their minds. My take: These rules are great. If anything, I want more changes. 

Now then, to move away from rule madness, I looked at the best and weirdest Photo Day photos this year. Who doesn’t want to see players looking weird?

Finally, Mike Bates and Bill Parker were kind enough to let me on their podcast to get excited by Kent Tekulve’s birthday. Listen to that here

And here are a few pieces I didn’t write but you need to check out: 

Ben Lindbergh got his hands on a whole boatload of the Reds’ scouting reports from the late ‘90s to the mid-’00s. He was able to learn a whole lot about them. Start diving in here

Adam McCalvy got the inside scoop on Yasmani Grandal’s tattoos. Players love their tattoos, so you can learn a lot about a player by the ink they chose.