Tagged: Royals

Foreign Affairs

I wrote this a week ago and saved it as a draft, but with the fan mail and donut mayhem, I didn’t really have a decent time to post it.  I figure I’m due for a non-scheduled post (meaning not a 1 minute Monday, wife Wednesday, or fan mail Friday) and with all the foreigners writing in this Friday, it was fitting to post this.  I have another post coming about my promotion to Triple-A and the surrounding “glamor.”  Hope you enjoy…

A few days ago Gilbert De La Vara and I were asked to sign autographs on the concourse an hour before our home game started.  Every day, two players, typically bullpen pitchers who are unlikely to throw in that night’s game, head to the concourse for 30 minutes to sign for kids and adults alike.  We sit in a booth that should say “The Dr. is IN” but instead says nothing.

A lot of guys don’t like going up to sign because it takes away from their typical routine and perhaps they have something better to do with their endless hours in the clubhouse than sign autographs in public.  For me, I try to make it enjoyable by saying funny things to kids.  And then seeing if they get my humor.  Most of the time they don’t but I chalk it up to nerves on their part and keep my chin up.  I’ve signed on three occasions so far this year and have enjoyed every one of them.  This most recent I enjoyed the most, though.

Typically my fellow signer is a little less vocal and sticks to smiling and signing.  I, on the other hand, try to ask kids where they’re from or how old they are or if their dad really thinks those shorts are flattering.  I think it breaks the ice for everybody a little bit and makes fans feel comfortable asking the big famous baseball player for an autograph.

As the half hour ticked away, a highlight was having a lady come up to me with a huge smile and ask me to sign a picture of me throwing a pitch.  As I started to put the pen to the paper she stopped me, “No, please sign those amazing calves.”  She asked, with now an even bigger smile.  A blog fan!  In the flesh, right before my eyes!  She proceeded to tell me she checks the blog every day.  So, sorry I didn’t ask for your name, but a big hello to you and thanks for putting a smile on my face.  It made my day.

And then, thankfully, I had the distinct privilege of having my day made for the second time by the guy a few feet behind the calf lady.

He was wearing a hat and sunglasses.  He approached our station and asked me to sign a picture and a ball for him.  I said, “Of course,” and started to make small talk.  I asked him if he was a regular at our games, asked where he was from, and who his favorite big league team was.  We talked about his son’s little league team and about our game the night before.  Then, once we were done chatting and his paraphernalia were signed, he sidled a few feet to his left and stooped his head down a few inches to make eye contact with the eyes below Tucson-native Gilbert De La Vara’s brim.

In a slower, more deliberate manner, and nearly shouting, he asked Gilbert, “And what country are you from?”  It was all I could do to hold the laughter in.  I mean, it’s a reasonable question, there are plenty of Latin American baseball players, but Gilbert had been right next to us speaking in perfect English the entire time.  In fact, Gilbert often gets made fun of when he tries to speak Spanish because it’s so broken.  I was so grateful just to be a part of this awesome interaction.  I also was excited to soon share with my teammates the conversation they were all missing.  It would be a nice case to bring up in Kangaroo Court, too.  The fan had asked it in the tone of voice you’d order Mongolian Beef and a Sprite:  “What…COUN-try are YOU… from?”  And then it got better.  In every sense.

“Arizona,” Gilbert replied.  Again, in perfect English.

Fan Mail Friday, June 12th

Disco, what do you think about your wit and hilarity becoming a distraction to the blue collar work force of America?  I know for me personally, I can’t go 16 seconds at work without thinking, “What would Disco Hayes say about this situation? Let’s see if he’s updated his blog,” and then I proceed to spend the better part of my day browsing through your endless volumes of comedic gold.  Isn’t a distraction from productivity the last thing this struggling American economy needs?
Taylor W., Lawrence, KS

I get this question all the time…at least every 16 seconds, so I figure it’s about time I answer it.  The President was nice enough to scratch my back last week when he named last Friday “National Donut Day” for us, so it’s only fair I scratch his back in return by setting our lackluster economic performance straight.

Before I do that, I will say it sounds like you have a pretty fun workplace.  I mean, you get to walk around and think about Disco all day?  Come on, most people would kill for that.  Which is why the lack of sales of our WWDD bracelets has been such a shock.  Maybe it’s because we ordered 100,000 of them to be manufactured in Thailand and haven’t received any of them.  Well, we all know how popular my blog has been to the Thais.

Speaking of global economies and my blog, there have been some interesting trends.  My blog has been banned from viewing in India and China.  Sad for their inhabitants, but their economies have reaped the benefits in productivity.  Since March 1st, the Rupee has been up 7.5% on the USD.  In that same time frame, the Chinese yuan has gained something like 0.06%.  Granted, 0.06% is not that impressive, but we’d have to assume the Chinese people are spending their time trying to find pirated copies of my blog which is inhibiting productivity.

Other countries have taken a laissez faire approach and rolled the dice.  Take Canada, famous for their dice rolling, who has allowed visitors to read my blog.  On Friday, June 5th, I posted a blog which mainly referenced donuts but had a side reference to Canadians being half donut, half French or something.  The mention is irrelevant now, but what’s important is after my post, during the next trading day, the Canadian Dollar lost 4% to the USD.  4%!  In one day.  From one comment.  The global impact I have is a scary responsibility.  With that in mind, I should list every country, so there are no global market lapses this week due to the Disco Effect.  Man, there’s almost 200 countries.  Nevermind.  That’s insane.  Europe, Asia, Africa, India, and the Americas.  There you go.

I’m only one global force–er man, that’s it, “I’m only one man” is what I meant to say–so please do your part with me.  Only you can help bring prosperity to the countries around the globe, so please subscribe to my RSS feed so that you will be informed immediately when I have mined more comedic gold from my fingertips.  This way the guessing game will be cut out.  As for the uncontrollable laughter and Disco shrine-creation, that will ensue, I don’t know what to tell you.

Hi Disco. I really enjoy your erudite comments. I’m sure you can help me with something that’s always bothered me. Why is it when a baseball player throws underhand he’s referred to as a “submariner”? What does an underhand motion have to do with water? Do you think it might have to do with the fact that “underhanded” carries connotations of cheating? Help me out here, Disco.
Pat D., Leawood, KS

Pat, you’ve set the record for number of questions in one Fan Mail question.  And my mind is going around in circles.  So you help me out here, Pat.  If I gather what you’re getting at, it’s a reasonable question.  If I think about how you perhaps suggested a derogatory term for my throwing style and then applied it to call me a cheater, I’m less inclined to help you.  I’m in a good mood, so I’ll forgive you the second and third questions and will answer your first.

I think submariner comes from the fact that we throw way below the average arm slot and submarines navigate way below the surface of the water.  My only other guess is if you were to grade my velocity on a letter scale it would be well below “C” level.

I’ve lived in England for the last 4-years and was just wondering if you had any feelings on the lovely sport of cricket.  Playing with a few Australians in college I became intrigued.  Then moving here I became more interested…but in 2005 England won something called the ‘Ashes’ and…now I love it!
Tyler S., Her Majesty’s Country

That is a lovely question, Tyler.

I had to use the word ‘lovely’ in a sentence for the first time in my life to see how it went.  Test drive it, in a sense.  You know, put my fans’ shoes on for a minute and see what it’s like.  It was lovely.

On to your question.  To me, cricket makes about as much sense as folding a sports bra.  Seriously, guys, try pulling a sports bra out of the dryer and folding it.  Girls, try watching cricket.  It’s kind of like other things you’ve done or seen before, but it’s just twisted enough that you have no idea what in the world is going on.  And it takes way longer than it should.

Last week you discussed in great detail (kudos for it) about the best choice of donuts for a fantasy draft), well me and my friend (should that be my friend and I?) were discussing what’s the best type of snack food we should eat during a game. We both live in the UK so games tend to begin at 12:05 (5 hours ahead of ET) and so we need something that will keep us awake, but something which will also help us get our heads down after the game has finished, so we can relax and sleep peacefully after our teams’ victory. Also what if we aren’t hungry during the first few innings, but innings 6, 7 the hunger strikes, we’d also need something that we could eat if games go to extras. Now my personal favourite is popcorn and Oreos, Jimmy prefers crisps [or as you call them chips] with a beer, or half coated chocolate biscuits [cookies in your language] with a cup of tea. Seeing as you were really helpful with the donut topic, could you please help us find a solution to this dilemma?
Maccie and Jimmy, near Birmingham, England

Man, what is it with the Brits this week?  I’m predicting economic woes are on their way across the pond to the Queen’s Majestic Land or whatever Tyler called it.

Additionally, I see you’ve added the ‘u’ in favourite, Maccie and Jimmy.  Again, I’m going to try it out like I did with louvely earlier and see how it goes.  Huh, not so baud so far.  I can feel my confuidence elevating to unseen levels.  It does leave a bit of an arrougant aftertaste in my mouth, thowgh.

I assume we are dealing with cricket again, so this may be difficult for me to answer because I’ve never watched a cricket game, nor have I been able to stomach your food.  I am dedicated to my fans, so I’ll do my best.  From what I’ve heard, cricket matches last days at a time (I’m basing this on my last laundry attempt which began on Tuesday and has resulted in poor Mrs. Disco resorting to ace bandages) so we will have to stick to non-perishables.  You say hunger strikes in the 6th and 7th and I believe many matches last well into the hundreds, so we’re going to need lots of food.  Donuts tend to go bad in the sun, so I’m going to say stick with Twinkies.  Chips and beer always go well, but can only take you so far.  Some q
uick googling has led me to suggest “bangers and mash”, but I’m pretty sure that’s a reference to the middle of the lineup hitters or an alt rock band.  Man, I’m trying to think of what else you could snack on that won’t go sour or stale in 100 innings.

All I can think of is chew on why I misspelled thowgh earlier.  It’ll keep you busy for hours and leave you satisfied.

Donut Update: Hilarious twist

I know I have taken donut analyses to a level probably unseen before and even more likely to levels undesired by anyone who hasn’t commented at least 3 times on the aforementioned entry.  So, if you made the mistake of reading the entire donut entry and now see a headline with donut in it again, I’m giving you the heads up this one is not going to include any more analysis.

It is, on the other hand, a wonderful follow-up story.

For those of you who haven’t read the infamous donut debate, I will sum it up quickly here.  I had a group of Harvard grads email me asking what was the ideal assortment of donuts to buy for their fantasy baseball league’s annual draft.  As a side note, think of it as a field study, they also asked what would be the perfect assortment for my team’s clubhouse.  I went into some lengthy research and in-depth formulas to create the “perfect combination” taking into account variety, health, quantity, and preference of donuts.  It took hours and culminated in me running from our clubhouse in Midland, TX after our game had ended (where we were about to board a bus to Frisco, TX) to a nearby hotel so I could get Internet access to post my answer before the clock struck midnight on Friday night (June 5th, which happened to not-so-coincidentally be “National Donut Day”).

After posting my discussion and conclusions, I ran back to the bus and by a matter of minutes avoided being left behind.  We arrived safely in Frisco and I pitched the first game of the series on Saturday.  Sunday afternoon at the field, as I always do, I asked our pitching coach for the game chart from the night before so I could make a copy and keep it for my records.

It was about 3pm on Sunday, and just before heading out for batting practice I asked our clubby to make a copy of the chart for me and put it in my locker while I was outside.  He said it wouldn’t be a problem and I went out for BP.  Within 10 minutes of batting practice beginning, I noticed the clubby walking across the field towards me with a sheet of paper in his hand.  I rolled my eyes a bit and thought to myself, “what does he expect me to do with this copy of the chart while I’m shagging batting practice in 95-degree heat?”  As he got closer, he started to say something to me in a wavering voice.  “Um, the home clubby said, well…this is weird, cause we’re the road team and….um.”  I perceived it as a nervousness that was brought about from confusion and an uncertainty of what to say.  I almost blurted out loud to save the guy the embarrassment, “If you can’t get a copy made, it’s not a big deal, I’ll figure out another way to get it.”

But at the moment I was about to speak, he handed me the sheet of paper.  I saw it wasn’t the game chart from the night before.  He continued, “We’ve been here 2 years and we’ve never seen a guy on the road get a package delivered, but…”  As he stuttered, I looked at the sheet he had handed me and it was a list.  As I moved my eyes down the list I saw familiar notations: “Chocolate Frosted – 11, Sugar Raised – 11, Glazed – 11, Boston Kreme – 8,” and so on.  My mind and the clubby’s ability to convey what he was finally trying to say converged at came together at the exact same moment.

“You had 10 dozen donuts delivered to your locker,” the clubby said as I saw on the top of the delivery sheet at which I had been staring blankly “John W.”

I laughed so hard, I coughed.  I smiled so big my cheeks hurt.  I was on cloud nine for the rest of batting practice, so excited to see my assortment before my eyes.  I couldn’t believe how thoughtful and downright hilarious it was for John to send the donuts.  When we got back into the clubhouse, sure enough, in the EXACT quantities I had specified would be appropriate for the clubhouse, there were 10 boxes of Dunkin Donuts awaiting our team.

I promised I wouldn’t do any analysis on this post, but I will say, in practice my assortment worked perfectly.  9 of the 10 dozen were gone by the end of the game that night.  By the time we showed up to the field the next day, the last dozen was grabbed by guys on the way in.  There was a good variety all the way down to the end, so it wasn’t like there were eight Sugar Raised left over that finally people had mercy on and ate.

I was so touched by the thought and effort John W. put in I took a number of pictures so I could post in case you are in as much disbelief as I was while shagging BP.  Though I’m an insanely picky and healthy eater, as you can see I did indulge in one cinnamon cake donut as promised in honor of John.

Donut_Assortment.jpg Disco_Eating_Cinnamon_Cake.jpg Donuts_Starting_to_Disappear.jpg
Notice in the first picture (you can click on all of them to enlarge, btw) I couldn’t even fit all the boxes on the table.  There’s 3 more dozen under the first box.  On the right, you can see the donuts starting to disappear.

I posted my donut analyses at almost midnight on Friday night.  By Sunday, that’s right, Sunday! (less than 48 hours later), at 2pm, there were 10 dozen donuts at my locker.  These Harvard guys don’t mess around.

As the word spread about where the donuts came from, I have had a number of teammates request I begin writing blogs about TV’s and pool tables I think are appropriate for the clubhouse.  If anyone wants to jump the gun and get a call on my blog, you can send all gifts to:

NWA Naturals
c/o Chris Hayes
3000 S. 56th St.
Springdale, AR 72762

1 Minute Monday, June 8th

Phew thank goodness the donut debacle is over….well, kind of.  the harvard guys have taken over my blog and held it ransom until further research is done on the efficacy of the distribution in parctice.  or so they claim on my comments (highest output of comments on any blog so far, so that’s a good sign i gues…i’m coming to get you Reed!)  I have a hilarious twist in the donut story I can’t get into enough detail in a min, but expect more in the nex

1 Minute Monday, June 1st

i’m typing on msr. disco’s computer tonight because mine is already b[packed for the upcoming road trip.  she has a mac, so this post will probably be cooler than the others and probably take some getting used to.  at least if my experience is any indication of yours, that will be the case

we leave for midland and frisco tonight at 2am after outr game finished at 10.  so tracy and i rushed home so i could get some non-bus-floor hours of sleep and now we are getting ready to head back to the field

Fan Mail Friday, May 29th

You asked for http://mlblogs.mlblogs.com to post their rankings, and sure enough you got what you wanted…well to some extent.  They posted and you did move up.  But not all the way.  4th place is a nice jump, but still not to the top…your thoughts?
Kiley R., Seattle, WA

First things first, thanks for noticing they posted the rankings and thanks for noticing I made the largest jump within the top 10 in recent memory.  Or at least in my memory of how far I’ve jumped in the past because I don’t give a hoot how many spots the other contestants may or may not have jumped before.

When I saw my ranking in the 4 hole, I figured maybe this month they decided to make out a pseudo lineup.  It would make sense having me hitting cleanup because I am the best blogger on the “team” and am most likely to hit one out of the park with any given post.  Sorry Mr. Ethier, but I hope you enjoy facing pitchers from the windup cause I’m prone to hitting it “pa’ la calle” (a Spanish term for uber home runs that clear the stadium completely and end up “on the street”).  Oh, and Bengie…you’re welcome for all the fastballs you’ll be seeing with me on deck.

Aww, who am I kidding?  It’s a ranking system, not a lineup, and I’m fourth.  I’m not the cleanup hitter; I’m an also-ran.

I still have three spots to climb, but I will make it to the top.  Mlblogs makes some claim about rankings being based on page views during the given time frame.  I’m gonna have to take down the top-ranked blogger each month, so today I’ll try to chip away at the current #1.

Reed Johnson (Cubs OF)- Reed Between the Lines

My Take:
What lines, Reed?  5 posts for the entire month of May?  Is that all you can muster?  And this is our champion?  I understand the gravitation pull the Cubs have in this universe (my wife and I live 6 blocks from Wrigley in the off-season, so trust me, I know first hand), but 5 posts puts him atop the leader board based on page visits?  If Elvis Presley wrote 5 blogs this May, I’d be fine taking a back seat to him for a month based solely on the sheer accomplishment of writing 5 blogs post mortem, but this guy plays most of his games in the afternoon, allowing for ample time to write, AND is alive.  I’m not impressed by any of this and don’t see why even Cubs fans would be.

My synopsis so you won’t have to visit:
Most recent post entitled “Who’s the Lion?” has a 3 word question title which starts with “Who’s the” and yet has no reference to Tony Danza.  If that’s not already in the bylaws as minus a thousand page visits, I’m nominating a new law stating exactly this.  Reed’s main weapon for being interesting:  he drops names like my boy (and fellow bullpen mate in NW Arkansas) Dan “Duce” Cevette drops records with Corleone Music Productions (two can play this game, Reed).  Let’s see, what else is there in his blog?  He plays for the Cubs.  Like the actual Cubs, not in the minors.  He wrote a blog about his facial hair.  And how he cut it but it wasn’t out of slump-breaking desperation.  He has been known to use an ellipsis in his blog titles which is a sign of weakness and perhaps a lack of trust-worthiness.  What’s there to hide?  I feel like we’re not getting the entire story here.  Oh great, this just in.  To spite me for being late on my Fan Mail Friday for the first time, Reed decides to go 3 for 3 with a homer, 2 RBI’s, a walk, and a stolen base on Saturday.  Well, perfect, now I’ve lost everyone to go check out Reed’s blog…

Two questions: 1) What is the definition of “Awesome?” 2) Pirates or Ninjas?
Richard D., Kansas City, KS

You’ve put me in a predicament, “Richard D.”.  And it has to do with punctuation.  You see, I was unsure where the first sentence in this response ended until I put quote marks and then another period after your name in quotes.  A bit ambiguous, wouldn’t ya say?  But in your question, you clearly ask me what the definition of “Awesome?” is.  I scoured Webster’s finest works (poor Merriam, by the way, but that’s an entirely different topic) and have found no definitions that accounted for punctuation.  If you were to ask me what “Awesome!” meant, I’d have a decent idea.  But “Awesome?”?  My mind is reeling a bit.

Richard, the best I think I can do for you is to answer your question with a scenario and hope it helps.

Two people are watching a VH1 reality show on a TV in a public area.  Person 1 grimaces as a contestant who is looking for a chance at love begins to make out with a guy less famous than anyone my buddy Reed mentions in his blog (though just famous enough to be the “prize” of a reality show) only seconds after vomiting in the hot tub.  Person 2 seizes the opportunity to pass gas.  Person 1, still grimacing, begins to notice something is wrong not only with the reality show, but in the air in reality.  Person 1 begins to say, “Oh my goodness.  That is…” at the same time a third person is entering the room.  Person 3 notices the TV and to his excitement finds said vomiter trying to share the acidity in her mouth with the D-lister who now wishes he hadn’t gone for the easy reality TV paycheck.  Person 3, who happens to be addicted to bad reality TV, is excited the show is on and says, “Awesome!”  Person 1, now confused and slightly offended, both olfactorily and socially, disgustedly turns to Person 3 and says, “Awesome?”

Ninjas.  Until I finally get on Wheel of Fortune and win that Somalian Cruise I’ve been wanting to go on for years.

Could you explain to me the anatomy of the post-game celebratory high five. It seems to me that 2 lines somehow form in what appears to be in perfect conjunction with one another. Both lines dutifully high five one another while the pitcher inadvertently gets his butt slapped. What I don’t understand is who and how do the players decide to get in which line? What happens if you get in the wrong line, and are there any consequences?
Aaron D., Kansas City, MO

Walk-off wins are the only wins that don’t have a prescribed choreography (I wanted to use the term “blocking” here instead but didn’t because I figured my fan-base didn’t overlap with theater fans…I’ve made myself laugh now in proofreading that I ironically settled on “choreography”).  Walk-offs are also the wins that make relief pitchers feel really awkward.  It’s getting off topic, but next time you get the opportunity to see a walk-off win, just watch the relievers and enjoy their awkwardness.  They are way late to the party and don’t really know how much jumping is enough, yet not too much.

Back on topic.  For all non-walk-offs, the pitcher and catcher will meet halfway between the mound and the plate and shake hands.  The rest of the fielders who were in the game will congregate just behind second base and congratulate each other and make small talk and then form a line and begin walking towards the mound from second base.  The pitcher and catcher will then walk towards the mound from home plate.  The bench players will join behind the pitcher and catcher in walking away from home towards the mound in a line.  As the two lines meet, the players will high five, knock knuckles, side bump, or execute a hand shake all their own.  Once the line moving away from home gets to the end of the line moving towards home, they do an about-face and now become part
of the line moving towards home (think trumpet line in a marching band).  The manager and a few of his coaches will stay at the foul line and await all the players to eventually make their way back towards the dugout.  The fielders who started the line in from second base will make it to the manager first and then the rest will eventually fall in line.

“Inadvertent” butt slaps are a foreign concept to me as all butt slaps I have been a part of (both as slapper and slappee) have been executed knowingly.  And consequences for entering the wrong line would probably be pretty severe from both your team and the winning team if you shook off the loss quickly enough to join the butt slap line of the team who just beat you.

Just wanted to let you know that now 3 times I tried to cut and paste this post into an e-mail to a friend so they could enter the strange, magical, wonderful world of Disco.  Unfortunately, as I do a Ctrl-V into Microsoft Outlook, it has crashed my computer.  I did figure out that by pasting into NotePad and THEN copying that and pasting into Outlook seems to work.
Anyways, if you have some free time (and since you were a Comp Sci major), I was wondering if you would also be setting up a tech support e-mail for your blog as well.  
Tim K.,  Georgetown, MA

Tim, here at Disco Hayes Blog, INC, we very much appreciate your email and your allegiance to Disco’s blog.  We understand you have a number of options (no matter how Tony Danza-free they may be) when choosing which mlblog to obsess over and we are glad you chose us.  We apologize for the inconvenience this extra step may have caused you and we have gone ahead and created a tech support email address so if you have further problems with Disco’s blog, please send requests to techsupport@discohayes.com.  We totally understand having to remember and type out “http://tinyurl.com/funniest-blog-ever” would be annoying, so now Disco has gone overseas and hired a team of recent grads in Bangladesh who will be awaiting your emails.

Thanks again, Tim.

1 Minute Monday, May 25th

Happy memorial day to all.  had a double header today and split.  pitched 3 innings and it was ugly.  was able to manage the damage, but i was all over the place.  i had walked 1 guy unintentionally all year and today i walked 2.  oh well, some days are like that.

brushed my teeth with sunglasses on today and it was a wonderful experience.  if you ever get the chance, go for it, cause think about  it you probably never have before.  i don’t know

Fan Mail Friday, May 22nd

What pitches do you throw? At what speeds do you throw them? (I know you say you throw in the 70s, but does that mean you have a change up that’s in the 60s or even the 50s?) Which do you think is your best pitch?
Adam S., Arlington, VA

I have 4 pitches:  A Fastball, Slider, Change Up, and Rise Ball.  My Fastball and my Rise Ball are the same velocity and any give day will vary from 74 to 79mph, the Slider is typically 61 to 65 mph.  My Change Up is typically 70mph.

If you were wondering why I capitalized Fastball, Slider, Change Up, and Rise Ball I will now tell you.  It is because they are all biblically good.  You asked which one is my best pitch; I will give you some feedback and let you decide what you think.  One National League GM I contacted the other day had this to say when asked about my Rise Ball.  “His what?  Never heard of that…No, well, no never heard of a Rise Ball OR capitalizing pitches.”  He later added, “Or him [lowercase, of course].”  An American League Assistant GM and director of player development had this to say about my Fastball.  “Right now, and I’m not going with projection here, but right now as we speak his movement is as good as Chris Hayes’ in his prime and his command is up there with the likes of the Chris Hayeses in this game.  His velocity has consistently been clocked in the top 12 on his current team’s pitching staff.”

Tough decision so far, huh?  My Change Up requires an advanced degree in Physics to fully understand and I don’t have one of those, so I don’t even get it.  My Slider breaks at such an angle that when it is viewed from a center field-mounted camera, it appears to not break at all and is often mistaken for a Change Up or a little leaguer throwing out the ceremonial first pitch.  There it is.  You have the facts, I’ll let you decide which one is best.  
I would guess I’ve throw 80% Fastballs so far this year.  So if my actions speak to my favorite, you might have your answer there.  My Fastball has top spin and therefore has a ton of sink, so it induces contact on the ground.  In the occasion I need a strike out or a pop up, I will resort to my other Offerings more, but typically I’m looking for early weak contact on my Fastball.

It says in the Morning News this morning that you helped the Naturals out with a jam…what kind of jam was it? I like grape…
Larry H., Bentonville, AR

Larry, I’m gonna have to join the grape train with you.  I’d have to say it’s the best go-to flavor.  There may be days where you just want that extra kick strawberry or raspberry can give you, but if I was on a “desserted” island, I would want it covered in grape.

That being said, unfortunately for me, the other night the Naturals were working on a Strawberry Rhubarb Jam and had it all wrong.  Fortunately for them, I was able to come to the rescue and set things straight.  My wife’s grandmother makes her own Strawberry Rhubarb Jam from scratch, so I was able to get a hold of her and get the recipe.  I swear, it seemed like I left the room for all of 5 minutes and came back to find a absolute pectin catastrophe, but in the end I was able to save the day and make it all work out.  I’m glad the Morning News is finally covering our team’s culinary exploits.  We find it greatly improves our chemistry skills if we get together in the morning and work on making some type of bread adornment.  Next week we are going to get into nut butters, so hopefully the paper keeps up the coverage.

I’m really glad you’re blogging.  This is stellar writing.  Did you study creative writing or journalism or some such?  If you’re not already thinking about / writing a novel — or at least a few short stories — you really should.  Not just flashes of brilliance — your long entries are well-crafted.
Jonathan G., Cincinnati, OH

I’m really glad you’re reading.  This is stellar judgment.  Did you study literary criticism or theory or some such?  If you’re not already thinking about / buying my novel – or at least a few short stories – you really should pre-order it.  Not just flashes of good taste here – you’re long question is well-taken.

At Northwestern I was a computer science major, which made me part of the Tech Department, which meant it was against the rules for me to use a written word in any form in any of my assignments.  I wrote hundreds of thousands of lines of computer code and designed my fair share of circuits and robotic cars.  But the only writing I did was on proofs, theorems, and in solving differential equations and that was all in Greek letters.

My sister studied Creative Writing at Oberlin College which is one of the top Liberal Arts colleges in the country.  She now works as an editor at a Nationally Published Research Journal.  I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.  Or is it “an” Holiday Inn Express?  Damn English.  Got to go email my sis another question.

Going to Northwestern University a school with many current minor leagues do you still keep in touch with you former teammates such as George Kontos, Mark Ori, and J.A Happ?
DaNilo, V., White Plains, NY

I do keep up with those guys a decent amount.  We all still live around Chicago during the off season and typically work out together, so there’s a bond in the winter months.  During the year we keep in touch sporadically.  Ori is in the Texas League and I recently crowned him the best player in the Texas League in a previous Fan Mail Friday.

Happ is on TV and actually a few weeks ago was pitching when Rollins made a web gem on a slow roller.  Baseball Tonight showed the #3 web gem of the night and I saw Happ pitching and thought it was going to be him making the play because he’s a ridiculous athlete, but alas, he wasn’t quick enough to get over to the ball.  Maybe the WS ring slowed him down.  I sent him a text giving him a hard time for not making the play and suggesting he finally take that thing off.  If you’d like find out more about how Northwestern Grads are taking over professional baseball from the inside, check out this article Rany Jazayerli wrote about me this off season.  It’s probably much funnier now that my reference is in blockbuster-hit-movie form instead of just a book like it was at the time of the article’s publication.  Ironic, I know, but what can you say, Disco is way ahead of the times.

If you were knighted (like Sidney Ponson) would you make everyone call you Sir Disco Hayes?
Tim R., Kansas City, MO

I’ve looked into this because I think it’s a great point you bring up.  You’re right, it is only a matter of time before I am rightfully honored by a country, or a land, or by a people.  Can you say “a people”?  Yes, cause I just did.  In my research, I looked into what is a proper way to address a Knight and found some interesting info.  Much to my surprise, though, being a Knight really isn’t that cool (sorry Sir Sidney).  There’s about 15 levels of cool in the Royal sense and Knight is scraping bottom.  I mean, if becoming a Knight is really only one level cooler than being me right now, I could take it or leave it.  If James Dean didn’t need to be Sir James, why would Disco need “Sir Disco”?

Here’s the breakdown in lessening order of royalty: Emperor, King, Prince, Duke, Baron, Marquess, Earl, Viscount
, Baronet, and last and least, Knight.  Though Baronet probably sounds most dangerous and Marquess is the least known so perhaps has the highest level of intrigue (“His Marquessness Disco Hayes of Melbourne” has quite a ring to it), I think I’m looking at worst case scenario accepting Duke status.  If Canada or Wales or somewhere comes calling and wants to Dukify me, I think I would say yes under the explicit condition Dick Vitale will not be doing color commentary on my life from that point forward.

When it’s all said and done, this all comes down to marketing and a Google search of “Sir Disco” reveals no results that would be able to hold a candle to me.  To prepare for future world fame and royalty bestowed upon me, I also checked and “Lord Disco” and “His Disconess” are also relatively easy Google targets as well.

Dear [your name here],

I hope things are going well with you.  I recently came across this one minor league player’s blog and the thing is hilarious.  Seriously it’s the funniest thing online right now.  I know I’m prone for superlatives, but I beg you to read his blog.  I check it every few days and he has a gem on there a few times per week.  I value his blog very much.  He probably spends a few hours per post refining his humor and wit to previously unseen levels.  That being said, I do not value our friendship enough to take more than a few seconds to introduce the author or his blog to you.  His bio (which he just updated as of 5/21/2009) can be found at: http://discohayes.mlblogs.com/about.html and the link to the actual blog where you can find his most recent blog posts is at: http://discohayes.mlblogs.com.

Though you may know me well enough to know that I spend hours a day at my desk doing nothing but playing TextTwist on Yahoo! Games, I’m going to go ahead and say I was too busy to send you any introduction of my own.  We have become friends over the years because we share the same levels of apathy and general laziness, so, once you’ve read and become an obsessive follower of his blog and want to send it to your friends, I suggest you do the same as I have done here.

Disco actually wrote this email on his blog so that I wouldn’t have to write you anything at all.  Just bookmark this link (http://discohayes.mlblogs.com/archives/2009/05/dear_your_name_here.html) I emailed to you.  You know what, that’s too long.  Just go ahead and use http://tinyurl.com/funniest-blog-ever as the link.  All you have to do is enter a friend’s email address and then for the body of the email, it’s a simple Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V, and “Send” your way to sharing something brilliant in only 3 clicks.  I used to actually write personalized emails to people about his blog, but this way is so, so much easier and allows for an even greater level of laziness.

Just 10 seconds ago I wanted to let you know about his blog, and all I had to do was write an email with no text, just “http://tinyurl.com/funniest-blog-ever” thanks to Disco.  He is genius.

Sincerely,
Your friend and Disco Fan
[My name here]

Again, visit http://discohayes.mlblogs.com to read his blog.

1 Minute Monday, May 18th

So much to say, so little time….drug test today which is always fun.  These guys meant business too.  pants to the knees, shirt to the shoulders, nothing to hide.  weeeee.  literally, i guess.  Then i got to pitch, which is always fun.  and we won.  after the game we celebrated by one of our players accepting a dare for $100.  the dare was to put a wad of hair that had clogged in the shower drain in his mouth (and it was proposed while the wad was getting peed on).  and then he