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Carson Cistulli (born December 23, 1979) is an American poet, essayist and baseball analyst[1] for the Toronto Blue Jays. His works of poetry include Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated, Assorted Fictions, and A Century of Enthusiasm.

Carson Harrington Cistulli
Born (1979-12-23) December 23, 1979 (age 39)
Era21st-century poetry
RegionWestern Poetry, Postmodernism


Early yearsEdit

Concord, New Hampshire

Carson Cistulli was born December 23, 1979, in Concord, New Hampshire, to Philip Cistulli Jr. and Holly Young.[2] Carson passed his early childhood in a middle class Italian-American household until his parents' divorce in 1994.[3] Cistulli attended boarding school at Milton Academy in Massachusetts.[3]


After graduating from Milton in 1998,[4] he attended Columbia University where he studied under poet Kenneth Koch of the New York School of poetry. After his studies under Koch, he moved to Seattle to write.[3] He would later receive a bachelor's degree in Classical Civilizations from the University of Montana in Missoula and a master's degree in Creative writing from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.[2][5]

Panic attacksEdit

In an essay about sports and aesthetics, "A Lengthy Meditation on Baseball and the Science of Happiness," Cistulli explained that part of his turn towards writing was a therapeutic response to anxiety attacks. Cistulli wrote that these attacks became so intense that he at times struggled to breathe: "During the fall of 2001, while living in Missoula, MT, I began experiencing some symptoms of generalized anxiety: occasional tightness or pain in the chest and limbs, invasive thoughts about death and illness [...] those symptoms persisted off and on into the next spring, at which time I developed a considerably less pleasant one (i.e., symptom): for long periods of time, and with no warning, I was unable to breathe involuntarily."[6]


Cistulli's work A Century of Enthusiasm begins "People of the world, allow me to introduce myself: my name is Carson Harrington Cistulli, ambassador to crunk in the Western Hemisphere."[7] Carson plays with context and language often mixing the vernacular with the scholastic. References to pop-culture (like the above mention of crunk) and intertextuality with scholastic figures as varied as Ralph Waldo Emerson,[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] Sean Casey[18][19][20] or Emily Dickinson[20][21][22] occur frequently in his work. Cistulli also plays with the notions of authorship,[23][24][25] poetic inspiration,[26][27] and recontextualization.[28]

Lisa Baker writes that "In a day and age when we are quick to consume the rigid definitions of relationships fed to us by those who wield power, Cistulli tutors us in language's malleability; a new comparison, an unexpected verb in a familiar phrase can force an entirely new perspective—and perhaps one more curious and more generous."[29]

Essays and journalismEdit

The New Enthusiast's Shuttlecoque Sporting Club Logo

Cistulli's essays and journalism have appeared in The New York Times,[30] SBNation,[31] FanGraphs,[32] ESPN,[33] The Hardball Times,[34] The New Enthusiast,[35] RotoWire,[36] The Huffington Post,[37] The Classical[38] and The Portland Sportsman.[39] He won the FSWA 2011 basketball sports writer of the year award for his writing at Rotowire[40][41][41] and was elected to the Baseball Writers' Association of America in 2012.[42]


Cistulli has written that his interest in sabermetrics is to explore "that place where quantitative analysis and aesthetics meet"[43] in practicing what he calls the art[44] of sabermetrical research. Within sabermetrics he is the creator of NERD,[45][46] SCOUT[47] and historical GBz%.[48][49][50][51] Cistulli has influenced many contemporary sports thinkers including Rob Neyer who, asked about the value of Cistulli's work within the sabermetric community, responded "there's value in just about everything that Cistulli does. He's got an original mind and we'll ignore him at our peril."[52]

Radio hostingEdit

Cistulli was previously the host of "Goal: The Soccer Show" (103.3 FM Northampton, MA)[53] and "The Shuttlecoque Sporting Hour" (1450 AM Portland, OR.)[54] He was formerly the host of FanGraphs Audio.[55] With FanGraphs Audio he has interviewed, among others, Matt Antonelli,[56] Rob Nelson (inventor of Big League Chew),[57] Dayn Perry,[58] Jesse Thorn,[59] and Rob Neyer.[60]

Blue JaysEdit

On November 16, 2018 Carson announced that he had been hired by the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball, and left Fangraphs to work for the team.[61] The next day, the Blue Jays traded Aledmys Diaz to the Houston Astros for Trent Thornton,[62] whose stuff had previously been described as "fringe".[63]

It has been reported that he is working alongside Jon Lalonde, Nick Manno and Brent Urcheck to "curate running rankings of the players in each organization."[64]


Cistulli and Kali Coles announced their engagement in May 2009 and married in August.[65] They have one son, Jackie.[66]


  • Englished by Diverse Hands (2003)
  • Free Radicals: American Poets Before Their First Books (2004)
  • Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated (2006)
  • Assorted Fictions (2006)
  • Origin, sixth series, Spring (2006)
  • A Century of Enthusiasm (2007)
  • The Prostituesdays Anthology (editor, 2008)
  • Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast (2015)


  1. ^ Cistulli, Carson. "An Unexpected Development". Fangraphs.
  2. ^ a b Concord Monitor. May 3, 2009
  3. ^ a b c "Cistulli shakes shackles of celebrity". The Advocate. Archived from the original on July 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  4. ^ "Notable Alumni: Authors". Milton Academy. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  5. ^ "A Conversation With Carson Cistulli". On Baseball Writing. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  6. ^ I am Trying to Break Your Eyes: A Lengthy Meditation on Baseball and the Science of Happiness Retrieved November 25, 2010
  7. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 1
  8. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 1, p. 19, p. 38, p. 42, p. 46
  9. ^ The Sabermetric Project and The Science of Words Retrieved November 25, 2010
  10. ^ "The All-Joy Team, Observations and First Pick". Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  11. ^ "Three Ways to Understand Cliff Lee". Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  12. ^ "Call to Action: Give Money to These Strangers!". Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  13. ^ "Epigraphs to a Book I Won't Write". The New Enthusiast. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  14. ^ "Enthusiast's Notebook: The (Late) Morning After the Night Before". The New Enthusiast. Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  15. ^ "Ryan Sweeney: We're Selling Jeans Here". FanGraphs. Retrieved November 1, 2011.
  16. ^ "RW Emerson on Boston's Theo Epstein Compensation". NotGraphs. Retrieved October 20, 2011.
  17. ^ "The Other Uses For the Internet". NotGraphs. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  18. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 23, p. 29, p. 39, p. 50
  19. ^ The Long Hello Some Notes on Luck Retrieved November 25, 2010
  20. ^ a b Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 31
  21. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 23
  22. ^ "All-Joy Team: All the Right Moves and Other Notes". Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  23. ^ Cistulli, Carson. A Century of Enthusiasm. University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2007, p. 1, p. 6, p. 18, p. 50
  24. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 8, p. 19, p. 36
  25. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, A Note on the Type
  26. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, Imprint
  27. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 14
  28. ^ Cistulli, Carson. Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated. Casagrande Press, 2006, p. 9, p. 10, p. 23, P. 66, p. 70
  29. ^ "Some Common Weaknesses Illustrated" (PDF). Milton Magazine. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 18, 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-01.
  30. ^ Cistulli, Carson (March 22, 2011). "Fantasy Focus: A Socratic Approach". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  31. ^ "Introducing ... Baseball Nation". SB Nation. Retrieved April 1, 2011.
  32. ^ Fangraphs Archive: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 25, 2010
  33. ^ ESPN: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 30, 2010
  34. ^ The Hardball Times: Carson Cistulli Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved November 25, 2010
  35. ^ The New Enthusiast Archive: Carson Cistulli Retrieved May 4, 2011
  36. ^ Rotosynthesis Archive: Carson Cistulli Retrieved November 25, 2010
  37. ^ "Carson Cistulli". The Huffington Post. Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  38. ^
  39. ^ The Portland Sportsman Archive: Carson Cistulli[permanent dead link] Retrieved November 25, 2010
  40. ^ 2011 Writing Award Winners Announced Retrieved May 1, 2012
  41. ^ a b FSWA Twitter Retrieved January 19, 2012
  42. ^ "Local business people in the news for Dec. 17". Concord Monitor. December 17, 2012. Archived from the original on June 30, 2015. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  43. ^ "USS Mariner: Mariners and NERDs". Retrieved November 30, 2010.
  44. ^ Fangraphs: The Long Hello Retrieved November 25, 2010
  45. ^ Fangraphs: Introducing NERD Retrieved November 25, 2010
  46. ^ Fangraphs: Introducing Team NERD Retrieved November 30, 2010
  47. ^ "SCOUT: Using Small Samples From the AFL". Retrieved December 1, 2010.
  48. ^ "Breaking New Grounders: Ground Balls Since 1950". FanGraphs. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  49. ^ "Ratios to rates". Inside The Book. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  50. ^ "Has there been a change in GB hit at some point in the late 60s?". Inside The Book. Retrieved March 5, 2011.
  51. ^ "BP Unfiltered". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  52. ^ Chat with Rob Neyer Retrieved November 25, 2010
  53. ^ "Goal: The Soccer Show 12.4.2006". Archived from the original on August 6, 2007. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  54. ^ "The Shuttlecoque Sporting Hour". Retrieved January 1, 2011.
  55. ^ "Presenting FanGraphs Audio". Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  56. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Matt Antonelli, Washington National". Retrieved February 16, 2011.
  57. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Rob Nelson of Big League Chew". Retrieved January 15, 2011.
  58. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Dayn Perry, Real-Live Book Author". Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  59. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Jesse Thorn, King of Most Media". Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  60. ^ "FanGraphs Audio: Rob Neyer Status Update". Retrieved December 7, 2010.
  61. ^ "An Unexpected Development".
  62. ^ "Astros Acquire Aledmys Diaz".
  63. ^ "Top 21 Prospects: Houston Astros".
  64. ^ "Stroman's injury-free start bodes well for Blue Jays in trade talks".
  65. ^ "Coles Cistulli". Concord Monitor. May 3, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2015.[permanent dead link]
  66. ^ "George J. Harrington Obituary". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved October 26, 2018.

External linksEdit