Bizarre Baseball Culture: Fallout 4’s surprisingly-high level of Baseball

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

(Note: The following contains spoilers for Fallout 4. Click on each picture to make it larger if you are having trouble reading text or seeing something.)

It is October 23, 2077. The world is at war, and fear of nuclear annihilation is high. However, for you, it is just another day in a Boston suburb with your spouse and your young son. And, obviously, your son, Shaun, is a baseball fan in the making, as you can see a small glove and ball that you can comment on:



As you receive your coffee and paper from your robotic butler, Codsworth, you hear something in the corner of your living room. On a black-and-white TV, a newsman with the voice of Ron Perlman (who has a role in every Fallout game, usually as a narrator of some kind) updates you on the day’s events and weather before going to sports:




Yes, it’s World Series time in Boston, as the Red Sox are looking to win their first title in over a century and a half!

You are then interrupted by a salesman selling a spot in a underground fallout shelter, called a Vault. After that’s done, you go check on your son and talk to your wife. She thinks maybe everyone should go for a walk in the park this afternoon. Pffft, you say:


Of course, you do end up missing the World Series. After this conversation, you get news that atomic missiles are incoming. You rush to the nearest vault. Stuff happens, and you wake up 210 years later with your wife gone and your son missing.

(More below the jump!)

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How I voted in the @IBWAA elections in 2015

At the end of the regular season, the International Baseball Writers Association of America, of which I am a member, asked for people’s votes in their year-end awards.

Starting on November 15, the winners of those awards will be revealed. So, in advance of that, here’s how I voted:

Relief Pitchers:


  1. Dellin Betances
  2. Wade Davis
  3. Cody Allen

Reasoning: Although he was not usually the closer for the Yankees, Betances was the definition of shutdown as a reliever this year, with a 1.50 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 84 IP. Davis and Allen were more traditional closers and were, obviously, among the best this year. I have to admit I can’t remember exactly why I had Davis above Allen or Zach Britton, so maybe it was a precognition of how he’d do in the postseason.


  1. Aroldis Chapman
  2. Trevor Rosenthal
  3. Jeurys Familia

Aroldis Chapman had the best WAR on Fangraphs of NL relievers and continues to one of the must-see closers in the league. Rosenthal and Familia also put up great numbers.

Rookies of the Year:


  1. Carlos Correa
  2. Francisco Lindor
  3. Miguel Sano

A tough fight between Correa and Lindor, made even harder by the fact they had the same number of games played (99) and were close in at-bats as well, allowing for a nearly even sample size to compare the two. I went with Correa due to his better power numbers and the better general impression I got from watching him compared to Lindor, but it very easily could have gone the other way.


  1. Kris Bryant
  2. Matt Duffy
  3. Jung-Ho Kang

Who knows how this could have been different if Kang had not been injured?

Managers of the Year:


  1. Jeff Banister
  2. A.J. Hinch
  3. Paul Molitor

The two managers in Texas were able to bring their teams to the playoffs despite the fact most thought otherwise, an Paul Molitor got the Twins into the final weekend of the regular season with their playoff hopes alive despite the fact that everyone thought otherwise.


  1. Joe Maddon
  2. Terry Collins
  3. Mike Matheny

Both the Cubs and Mets overachieved this season, and the Cardinals had the best regular season record in baseball. We may never know how much the managers contributed to that, but they must have done something right.

Cy Youngs:


  1. David Price
  2. Dallas Keuchel
  3. Chris Sale
  4. Sonny Gray
  5. Corey Kluber

Price had the highest Fangraphs WAR in the AL among pitchers, was among the strikeout leaders, and was a key cog for the Blue Jays after the trade deadline. Keuchel won 20 games (which doesn’t matter much, but is fun to mention), had the best Baseball Reference WAR, and was the ace of the Astros staff. Either would have been great picks, but I leaned towards Price. Sale (who is proof that W-L is not the best indicator of how well a player pitched), Gray and Kluber round out my top five.


  1. Jake Arrieta
  2. Zack Greinke
  3. Clayton Kershaw
  4. Max Scherzer
  5. Madison Bumgarner

This was ridiculous. A guy who threw two no-hitters and came close at other times is FOURTH. Ultimately, I went with Arrieta, but any of the top three would have a great claim to it.



  1. Mike Trout
  2. Josh Donaldson
  3. Manny Machado
  4. David Price
  5. Lorenzo Cain
  6. Jose Bautista
  7. Kevin Kiermaier
  8. Nelson Cruz
  9. Dallas Keuchel
  10. Miguel Cabrera

This was a push. I gave Trout a slight edge due to his better WAR, slugging and OPS, but I won’t be complaining if Donaldson wins, either.


  1. Bryce Harper
  2. Joey Votto
  3. Paul Goldschmidt
  4. Kris Bryant
  5. Jake Arrieta
  6. A.J. Pollock
  7. Zack Greinke
  8. Clayton Kershaw
  9. Andrew McCutchen
  10. Buster Posey

The easiest category. When it came to being valuable this year, there was Bryce Harper, and then there was everybody else. He had a .5 advantage in Fangraphs war over the second-best fWar in baseball (Mike Trout) and a 2.1 advantage over Goldschmidt, the next best fWar in the NL. He led all baseball in OBP, SLG and (obviously) OPS. He was tied for the NL lead in HR and was second in the NL in batting average. He was the best player in baseball. Enough said.

Over at @HOVG, I finally say goodbye to the 2015 season.


Over at Hall of Very Good, I finally say goodbye to the 2015 MLB Season. Oh, sure, it ended over a week ago now, but SAYING GOODBYE TO A BASEBALL SEASON IS AN EMOTIONAL THING, DANG NABBIT!

Oh, and there are also links!

BIZARRE BASEBALL CULTURE: Bartolo, C.C., and the rest of the 2002 Indians rotation in INDIANS STRIKEFORCE VS. THE SCATMAN

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

Ultimate Sports Force. It’s the beloved and now-defunct comic book company that gave us such classics as the Cal Ripken-led Shortstop Squad, the power-filled Cosmic Slam, the Sasquatch-filled Mariners Mojo, and the Yankee retelling (with gratuitous Cal Ripken appearance) of Cosmic Slam entitled Championship Challenge. Today, we look at a Ultimate Sports giveaway comic featuring the 2002 Indians, as we read Indians Strikeforce Versus the Scatman:

StrikeforcecovYes, this is a comic in which C.C. Sabathia, Bartolo Colon, Danys Baez, and Ryan Drese have to protect Cleveland from somebody called the Scatman. It also has Bob Feller, now-retired clubhouse manager Cy Buynak, and MONKEYS MADE OUT OF MUSIC. Go below the jump to see some of the glories it brings:

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