Bill James Is: The Lemur Hunter

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leaping_lemur.jpgHere's something that probably won't surprise you. I'm that prick you see reading The New Yorker on public transportation, even though I don't live in New York. Last night whilst riding home from my place of employment (it's like getting PAID to write WoW) my steady diet of stories about Obama and the new wave of rooftop organic foie gras farming in Brooklyn was interrupted by something more whimsical. And weird. Ben McGrath wrote a piece about how Bill James saw a lemur in Boston the other day.

Several weeks ago, James was walking home from Fenway Park, after a Red Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals, when he came across a strange-looking animal with a speckled gray head. He at first took it to be a cat, but soon noticed a number of peculiar characteristics: the animal had large eyes on the sides of its head, a puglike face, and an extra-long tail ("like a broom handle"), and it moved with "an odd sashaying motion." The moon was full. James was alone on the street. He stared at the animal for, as he later recalled, "a length of time which is probably six or seven times as long as the period that a fly ball is in the air." The animal scurried under a parked car, at one point seeming to lift its hind legs over a stick in the road by using its tail as a kind of lever.

James quickly dispensed with the obvious candidates--dog, squirrel, raccoon, rat, skunk, possum--and began working his way down a checklist of more exotic possibilities: sloth, bear, porcupine, beaver. By the time he reached his house, he had decided that the animal he saw must have been a lemur.

He then called animal control. They told him that in 2002 someone else in MA had spotted a lemur, so BILL JAMES CALLED THAT PERSON. Of course, after he posted a 3,000 word tome about the animal on his website. Subscription required.

But, if you're not spending your money to listen to Bill James talk about using nightvision cameras to capture the movements of an urban lemur, what are you spending it on?

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12 Comments

Are we sure it wasn't a beaver? Bill James has probably never seen a beaver.

Unfortunately, Manny took his pet lemur with him to L.A. Sucks to be you Boston!

Its natual habitat of Manny's hair moved, so that's why it was scurrying about.

Its going to take residence in CTC's beard next.

1. It looks like some of Augustus Owsley Stanley III's good shit is still floating around Boston.

2. I like how the outcome of the Sox/Royals game is somehow relevant to seeing a lemur.

3. But, if you're not spending your money to listen to Bill James talk about using nightvision cameras to capture the movements of an urban lemur, what are you spending it on?

Cheap whiskey and former New York Yankee Homer Bush memorabilia.

So, statistically, LemurTimeSittingThereWatchingYouWatchIt = 6.5(AverageTimeFlyballInAir).

Any Lemur that can stand to sit there one extra AverageTimeFlyballInAir cycle is deemed to be at +1 VORL.

Apparently, Vincente Padilla lead the majors last year with 22.4 VORL.

"a length of time which is probably six or seven times as long as the period that a fly ball is in the air

EVERYTHING IN LIFE CAN BE RELATED TO BASEBALL.

Do lemurs eat shrimp?

Bill: It took FOREVER to get home from the game tonight, like almost a full Steve Trachsel outing. I was on the train, killing time, and tried to use this new iPhone, but it took like 8 fastballs to load each page, so I said screw it. Did you ever get off at the stop BEFORE our house? It's only 3 pitching changes away, and the neighborhood is much nicer. I think I might commute from there from now on.

Wife: That's nice dear, your tea is ready.

Bill: Has it been 2 Gary Sheffield at-bats already? Baseballtime flies!

I would read Ben McGrath's toilet paper.

Should have run it over then read the entrails. They can foretell the baseball post-season. So I hear.

VORL!!!

And sadly, matt_T, the CTC beard is no more. He's still slovenly and unkempt-looking, though.

That's funny because "like a broom handle" and "an odd sashaying motion" is how my ex girlfriend described our sexual relations.

+1, everybody.

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