Five days after elimination, #Blangate warrants grilling by committee

 Not this kind of grilling. Credit - Katarina Petrovska

The American people (well, at least a few people who happen to be American, not that there's anything wrong with that!) continue to clamor for an investigation after the Washington Nationals, having left Joe Blanton off their NLDS roster, were eliminated in a wild 9-8 game 5.

Nats middle relievers gave up six runs and six hits in that game, if you know what I'm saying.

This blog is not one to stir up discord and strife, but at this point we think that there cannot possibly be any harm in just asking a few questions. These questions would probably point to a conspiracy of some sort, for a nefarious goal that would inflame the outrage of every right-thinking person. It would have something to do with a personal agenda against Blanton, or a personal agenda against winning, which is basically the same thing. However, it is not up to us to decide who plays what part in this real-life drama.

We instead demand that the people responsible for #blangate be grilled by a house subcommittee.

Whenever justice is grossly miscarried, conspirators who thought that they would get away with it are forced to wear their best suits to Capitol Hill and are photographed while frowning at tricky questions and moral rebukes. This is called a "grilling." To give you an idea of what we are talking about, here's a top google images result for "grilled by house subcommittee" :

Grilled! Photo by Cliff Owen / AP

 The MLB can begin to heal and recover its sense of fairness only after some rich old dudes are seared by the hot flame of justice, by which we mean they should endure some scolding by politicians in an oaky chamber. Then, perhaps, we can reinstate the Nats to the playoffs and make the Dodgers play them in an NLCS redo, since it looks like the Cubs are just going to get swept anyway. Congress, act now, before we need a World Series redo as well!


An American debate, but Brazilians are welcome

Note: Half of our readers (two of four) in the past week checked in from Brazil, so to them we send a hearty desculpe for talking American politics. It's never fun to be left out of a conversation, but sometimes it gives you time to run through your grocery list (lista de compras).

Sometimes an issue comes up for debate and it's hard to believe that people even imagine there are two sides. The answer is so obvious! We regret that we even have to discuss this, in 2017, but some are defending the indefensible and leaving Joe Blanton off their Nationals playoff roster!

These can't be the same ordinary Americans, average Joes and Josephines, that we grew up with. The voice of the American people has always supported the Blan, and come Friday we are confident that #56 will take the field for game 1. Still, the unusually vociferous, virulent, vindictive, and vituperative voices that have popped up in opposition to Blanton's inclusion give us pause!

Is a transparent debate even possible anymore? Or have political action committees - PACs - poured millions into anti-Blan efforts that contradict the will of the people?

Only one man, and one Ms., can speak for the PACs and set the record straight. We went straight for the source and asked the question:

Tellingly, we received no response, even after hundreds of seconds.

#obrigado #blantober #blangate?

The Return of the Blan 5/13/2017

Welcome back throngs of viewers- we are about to begin the much awaited Joe Blanton vs. Phillies liveblog!
Due to technical difficulties of us now having to pay "Blyve", which I can only assume is the name Burt Blyven chose when I bought our old liveblogging platform we cannot actually do a "live blog".
So instead enjoy this "snive snog"!
Blanton enters, No. 56 from the bullpen. We wipes his brow 5 times and removes his cap. Apparently all he throws now is a slider- he must have purchased our TBI approved burger making kit which describes exactly how to roll your patties up into balls and spin them from 66 feet away onto the grill.
He inherits a mess left behind by 120 pitches in 5 innings "Roark". Two runners on, including the pitcher Nick Pizza. The situation is essentially hopeless as our slugger  TOJO steps up the plate. TOJO has been mashing for a .240 average this year with >1 HR.
Blanton stares in with a scowl that would make Ty Cobb tremble.
TOJO lines a hit into left! Pizza scores! It's a Papaslam!!!! The Phillies extend their lead over the hapless Nationals to 4.
Blanton goes back the well and hurls a few good sliders past Micah Owings to retire the side, lowering his ERA to a sharp 9.49 for the season.

Ringtracker 2016

Welcome back, loyal readers of Blangraphs! We were concerned that constant posting was getting out of hand, so we waited a few days to make another update to this blog.

As we all know, Joe Blanton was instrumental to the regular season Royals' success in 2015, securing a playoff spot for them before moving on to the NL playoff-contending Pirates. When the Royals won the Series, Blanton was crowned champion again and received another ring.

This year, he joins fellow Phillies Chase Utley and Carlos Ruiz in an epic battle to defeat rogue Phillie Jayson Werth. Blanton will also attempt to gain his third ring and enter rarefied Elf-territory. We have updated his progress in our new official Ringtracker2016:

Blangraphs Posteason Exclusive Brought to you By Blanduel™

We Blangraphs editors have to admit something, and it might come as a surprise: we don't write for this blog full time. Over the past few years, we have spent the hours between posts here as educators and scientists, furthering knowledge and helping people.

Finally, we can leave that dead-end gig behind and win our living on Blanduel, the convenient alternative to those annoying, time consuming daily fantasy games!

We are going to get to coverage of the MLB postseason in a second, but we need to tell you more about Blanduel first. You won't regret reading a single word.

Besting our buddies in fantasy sports was always close to our hearts. We reveled in weekends of reaping cash harvests from daily fantasy games. But all the picking and clicking became tiring and overwhelming. The weekend-long commitment started to feel less like a freewheeling rush, and more like a dull chore. If only we could be unchained from this monotony that we used to call fun.

Along came Blanduel.

If the big weekend fantasy sites were a jolt of epinephrine, then Blanduel is a 200,000 volts of an electrical plasma made of pure excitement. Instead of doing all the tedious work of picking the best players and filling out a "roster" (what are we, stats nerds?), you just pick a Blanduel Certified Genius™ who can make all the picks for you. Then you join one of our game lobbies and get ready to win!

Instead of waiting days to find out whether you have won, new games start every few minutes and some are over in seconds. We use our skill to predict everything from pitch location to the number of times a batter will tap his bat. And needless to say, winners are crowned constantly.

News outlets are raving about Blanduel™!!! Come deposit your  and make your own "blatant cash grab" (Wall Street Journal), and have so much fun that "[i]t's just really, really unfair." (Consumer Reports).


1) SEND BLANDUEL YOUR MONEY (unmarked, non-sequential bills should be sent to Blanduelin an ordinary white envelope addressed "Dear Grandma") 

2) EXPERTS PICK WINNERS FOR YOU (No need to do all the annoying picks yourself. Don't worry, you'll still have bragging rights over your bros when you win!) 


... Anyway, we have been spending a lot of our time on that fun activity lately. But I think we made our point.

On to our postseason coverage!

Obviously, the big story from yesterday is Chase Utley. All of the major media sites, the twitter galaxy, and folks at just about every bus stop in the country were debating and deliberating over the same question: is he a good pick for Blanduel™ Postseason Platinum™? This may be controversial, or "old school", but we say yes. Utley is a sneaky play for some Blantasy Points™ that can give you the edge over your friends.

Another hot topic is the Chicago Cubs. Jake Arrieta has been absolutely unreal, as his Blanduel™ owners know, and his leadership might be just enough to get the Cubbies past the Official Blanduel™ Goat Curse. Maybe there's magic in the Blanduel™ Get Some Green™ Ivy in Wrigley Field!

 And a special thank you to all of our international viewers!
 Baseball Lovers And New Dabblers Unite Every Land!

Fellowship of the 2008 Ring

By our count, there are 11 players left in the big leagues who won a World Series ring with the Phillies in 2008.

Jayson Werth's chances for a second ring were destroyed by Papelbon and Matt Williams.

Carlos Ruiz and Ryan Howard remained on the Phillies, teaching Odubel and Franco how to play, generously giving other teams the chance to win, and saving valuable finger space for ring pops.

Shane Victorino nearly made it to the postseason, but the Angels lost to Hamels on the last game of the season. Afterwards, he told reporters "fly, you fools!" before disappearing from sight.

As everyone knows, Kyle Kendrick won the opening-day starter job for the Colorado Rockies. He pitched a great game on opening day and also ended the season with a dominant win. So he's doing great.

For six others, the race for another championship, seven years later, is on!

You Can Call Him King B

Best Single-Season K/BB Ratios for Selected Pitchers

Dan Haren, 2009: 5.87
Peek-A-Boo Veach, 1884: 6.20

Walter Johnson, 1913: 6.39

Cy Young, 1905: 7.00

Roy Halladay, 2010: 7.30

Clayton Kershaw, 2014: 7.71

Carlos Silva, 2005: 7.89  

Joe Blanton, 2015: 8.00 (15th all time)

 After his second win of the season, Blanton is seeing his bandwagon grow crowded. Newspapers everywhere, from the Kansas City Star, to the Topeka Capital Journal, to NBC Sports, are picking up on Joe's historic victory over Félix Hernández. JB "outdueled" and "outshined" the Cy Young winning Hernández, according to reports.

 Astonishingly, after only two spot starts and a few scattered relief appearances, Blanton leads the league in bgWAR.

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