Stick to baseball, 8/13/16.

I wrote one Insider piece this week, on the decline and fall of Yasiel Puig as a hitter, not as a clubhouse problem or social media superstar. I also held a long Klawchat on Thursday.

I attended GenCon for the first time last week and wrote three pieces about it for Paste, including the top ten new games I saw, the summary of every other interesting title, and an essay on the experience of attending for the first time.

And now, the links:

  • This piece on Twitter’s ongoing failure to deal with harassment sheds much light on how and why the site has allowed abuse to flourish. Lack of diversity in company leadership has been one major problem.
  • Vox advances the thesis that NBC’s coverage of the Olympics is terrible because they view the games as entertainment, not sports. I find their broadcasts unwatchable; we record them and fast-forward through maybe 90% of the content, including every recorded feature they’ve prepared on the athletes, because all I’m interested in is certain events.
  • Deadly bacteria, like the one that causes cholera, are spreading as ocean temperatures rise. Climate-change deniers tend to focus on air temperatures, but I’ve yet to find one who can rationalize away our warming and increasingly acidic oceans.
  • A woman who was sexually assaulted while a student at Harvard Law School explains why the school needs to apologize, part of the “just say sorry” campaign for schools to at least accept that modicum of responsibility. I’m ashamed to read the details of how HLS mishandled her case, including the subsequent readmission of her rapist and the actions of 19 professors who have defended him and participated in shaming her.
  • Anita Hill spoke to NPR about progress in workplace since her sexual harassment claim, which became a story in 1991 but never really threatened the Supreme Court nomination of Clarence Thomas. If a nominee today were accused of doing what Hill said Thomas did – and I see no reason to disbelieve her – would he sail through to the bench as Thomas did?
  • Amazon is quietly eliminating list prices in response to a number of complaints, including lawsuits over misleading discounts off prices that never really existed.
  • Three student-scientists at Stanford believe they’ve developed proteins that will kill antibiotic-resistant bacteria. They’re seeking investors and aren’t disclosing the details – which I hope isn’t too similar to Elizabeth Holmes’ history – but this could be very good news in what is about to become a huge public-health crisis.
  • Clay Shirky explains why there’s no such thing as a protest vote. I happen to agree, and I have in fact cast such a vote in the past – but won’t this year.
  • On the other hand, Reason has an op ed on why Republicans voting for Trump would be wasting their votes, although the author is really just arguing that Trump is not a conservative and that he’d be a disastrous president … but I believe he’s arguing conservatives should vote for Gary Johnson instead.
  • Texas, which has executed more prisoners since 1976 than 45 other states combined, is about to execute a convict who didn’t kill anybody. He was in the getaway car when his partner in the planned robbery killed the store employee.
  • So far, the Rio Olympics have not led to any of the disasters predicted for them. That doesn’t mean giving Brazil the Olympics was a good idea; the economic harm done to the country could be long-lasting, such as wasting $62 million on Olympic posters to hide a favela from public view.
  • The pseudonymous surgeon and scientist Orac weighs in on the latest Medscape survey on vaccine-refusing or hesitant patients, with some prescriptions for the best strategies in dealing with them. He also notes that the media (hi!) have become less tolerant of anti-vax bullshit over the last few years.
  • The DoJ report excoriating the Baltimore police department included a note where a prosecutor called a woman who reported a rape a “conniving little whore.” Much of the coverage has focused on the department’s problems with racial bias, but the BPD has an abysmal record at investigating rapes, too.
  • Vanity Fair has a longread on the Bill Cosby rape case(s), explaining how this one particular incident reached a courtroom and opened the gates for fifty-nine other victims to come forward.
  • A judge in Louisville, Kentucky, has gotten some positive attention on social media for two cases where she showed some human decency. The first case, of a female defendant who appeared to have been seriously mistreated by jailers, is about much more than just a judge showing compassion.
  • Australia has a large detention center for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – a functionally insolvent island state that depends on the center and foreign aid for its economic survival – and a Guardian investigative report found widespread abuse of children in the camp.

Glossary of inside jokes.

When we start in with inside jokes on Twitter or in chats, I’m often asked by newer readers what some of the hashtags and terms mean, but it’s hard to stop everything else to explain myself – especially in 140 characters. So with that in mind, here’s a far-from-complete list of those various jokes

#andrelted: When Andrelton Simmons does something amazing in the field, which is pretty much every night. See also #belted.

#arbitraryendpoints: Also known as cherry-picking, this means choosing one or both endpoints on a series of games to try to analyze a player. I’ve argued that it’s not arbitrary if the endpoint is tied to something specific, like a change in mechanics, an injury, or a recall from the minors, but even so, it’s always dangerous to throw out any data when you want to draw a conclusion.

#belted: When Brandon Belt homers. Actually originated with #poseyed the year before, but Posey hit too many homers and it got old fast. Even the #belted thing is probably nearing the end of its useful life.

#bowlofjello: That would be Clint Hurdle, who is probably the worst thing going for the Pirates right now, and whom I referred to by this moniker in a July 2012 tweet.

#classy (with or without the #): Refers to Michael Young, and the seeming blindness of some local writers in Dallas to the erosion of his on-field value, after which they would defend him by referring to him as “classy.” Classy is great but it doesn’t turn all those outs into hits. I should point out that use of the term isn’t actually a shot at Young, but how members of the media treat him.

#GUY: From my April 2013 podcast with Chris Sprow, where he brought up the difference between calling a player a “guy” (as in, “he’s just a guy”) and calling him a “GUY” (e.g., Byron Buxton). It turns out that football and baseball people both use the word in the same way.

#heathbellexperience: Possibly invented by Steve Berthiaume, now used to describe Heath Bell doing Heath Bell things, mostly giving up massive home runs. Antecedent of the less-common #jimjohnsonexperience.

#holtzmansfolly: The save rule, which has done more damage to the game on the field and to roster construction than any other statistic in the history of the game. Of course, the BBWAA gave the nitwit who invented this stat the Spink Award, because if that organization is good at one thing, it’s self-congratulation.

#idito: From an angry and not very bright Cardinals fan in 2009 who was mad that I didn’t include Chris Carpenter on my NL Cy Young ballot that year. Related to the now obsolete term #obsurd, from another equally angry and equally not very bright Cardinals fan that same day.

#meow: Every time a reader accuses me of bias, God kills a kitten. From the defunct Baseball Today podcast. RIP Bias Cat.

Moran: If you’re going to insult someone, especially by calling them stupid, you probably should look in the mirror first. Not my joke.

More-singles defense: The no-doubles defense.

#preeminent: I appeared on ESPN’s Philadelphia affiliate right after Ryan Howard signed his five-year extension, only to be ambushed by the host of the show in question, who kept referring to Howard as the “preeminent” power hitter in the game. So, whenever it pays to point out that the contract is as awful today as it appeared to be when the Phillies gave it to him, we trot out this tag.

#robotumpsnow: Creation obscure – seemed like a bunch of us started using it around the same time so I won’t take any credit. Refers mostly to awful ball/strike calls by home plate umps, and the fact that replacing that with currently available technology would be an immediate improvement.

SHANF: I think Crashburn Alley started this one – at least, that’s how I first saw it – which originally referred to Shane Victorino doing something a little dim on the field. Given his 2013 season, and how much I ragged on that contract last offseason, if I drop a “SHANF” now, I’m making fun of myself and my very wrong analysis about him.

#smrtbaseball: A little bit of The Simpsons applied to baseball, this refers to tactical moves that are anything but smart, especially ill-advised bunts or intentional walks, as well as batting a low-OBP guy in the two hole. It appears to have started here:

#shrimp/#shrimpalert: Refers to a walk-off walk (walking in the winning run because the bases were loaded). Not mine – originated on the walkoffwalk blog here.

should of: That’s all Fan Since 09, a brilliant parody of a Phillies fan who hopped on the bandwagon right after they won the World Series.

#SSS: Small Sample Size. In other words, I’m saying the performance in question is more a function of the randomness inherent in small samples of plate appearances or innings pitched than a change in skill or outlook. Fangraphs has a few pieces on when samples aren’t small any more. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that if we look at 100 players who’ve reached that threshold, we’re still likely to see one or two players whose stats haven’t stabilized or regressed – it would be more surprising if we didn’t see any outliers at all.

#tehfear: As in, The Fear, the thing that Boston Globe writer Dan Shaughnessy said Jim Rice provoked in opposing pitchers, and that thus made Rice worthy of Hall of Fame induction. It’s just the kind of unverifiable, unfalsifiable nonsense that people use when defeated by rational arguments.

TOOTBLAN: Thrown Out On the Bases Like a Nincompoop. Invented by Cubs blogger Tony Jewell for Ryan Theriot. I’m blocked from the original site due to Google saying it’s infected with malware, but you can see the relevant part of the initial post here.

#umpshow: Any time an umpire decides that he wants to make himself the center of attention, especially by attempting to provoke a conflict with a player or coach, it’s an umpshow. Fans don’t watch games to see the umpires ump. We watch to see the players. It would be great if the minority of umpires who think all eyes should be on them could understand that. Not to be confused with basic incompetence, where #robotumpsnow or #thehumanelement might be more accurate.

#veteranpresents: Started in this chat, regarding Garret Anderson, when the Dodgers signed him to provide veteran presence in their lineup. I decided it was more likely he was a veteran who handed out presents to other players and coaches in the locker room, since that seemed like the only way he’d provide any value. It is a mortal lock that any time I drop this hashtag, at least three people will claim I misspelled “presence,” because they were both without a sense of humor.

#weirdbaseball: Refers to any game that goes past midnight local time (that is, where the game is being played), at which point, everyone is supposed to eat ice cream. Invented by my former colleague Kevin Goldstein (RIP).

#YCPB: You Can’t Predict Baseball, so you should follow this Twitter account.

#your: I don’t play grammar police very often, but it is amazing how often people who send me insults on Twitter can’t get “your” and “you’re” straight. I believe it was @ceeangi who first pointed out this phenomenon.

Omissions? Corrections? Fire ’em in the comments. This list really isn’t mine, but ours as a community, so I’ll update accordingly.