March 3, 2005

Link-O-Rama

  • As about five people have informed me each hour for the past week, Buster Olney now has his own blog in ESPN.com's Insider section. My favorite entry thus far:
    The Red Sox are working on slowing opposing base stealers, as Chris Snow writes in the Globe. But here's a question of logic: Since the Red Sox are one of the teams that generally subscribe to the theory that the stolen base is a bad idea for an offense, then why would they worry about opponents' running? If math shows that stolen-base attempts are detrimental, over the long haul, shouldn't they be pleased that opponents are running?

    Just asking.

    I'm not sure if that is called a "strawman argument" or something else, but it is definitely something that has a name and a definition. Oh, and how great is it that Olney leads into his misinformed diatribe by saying, "But here's a question of logic"?

    Yesterday Olney wrote an entry about visiting the Padres' camp and hearing from the coaching staff that both Adam Eaton and Ryan Klesko looked great and were set for big seasons. It reminded me of the time Gary "Bababooey" Dell'Abate was telling Howard Stern about how he "heard" some new show on FOX was really great. Howard asked, "Who did you hear that from?" After a few moments of silence, Bababooey replied sheepishly, "I heard it from the people at FOX."

    My goal for the 2005 season is for Olney to link to me from his blog, but I figure that has about as good a chance of happening as Olney realizing why his entry about the Red Sox and stolen bases is misguided. But hey, a boy can dream, can't he?

  • While ESPN.com is constantly expanding Olney's reign of terror, they are at least posting a couple articles a week from my new favorite basketball writer, John Hollinger. If you're reading this blog or my stuff over at The Hardball Times, there is about a 99% chance that you'll love Hollinger's columns on the NBA. For me, reading his stuff right now reminds me of when I first stumbled across Rob Neyer's columns years ago. Unfortunately, like most good things on ESPN.com these days, Hollinger's stuff is behind the Insider wall.
  • The boys over at Baseball Think Factory have started their "Looking Forward to 2005" team previews, with Mike Webber leading things off by breaking down the Kansas City Royals. I met Mike at last year's SABR convention and he is a great guy. Plus, he does a nice job with the Royals preview despite the fact that the team just isn't very interesting. If I had to write about the Royals, I'd probably see how many words I could come up with about Zack Greinke and then finish up with something about David DeJesus, but Mike actually made guys like Chris Truby interesting.
  • Having watched it yesterday for what was probably the fourth or fifth time in 22 years on earth, I believe I can make a strong case for No Escape starring Ray Liotta as the single best bad movie of all-time. In fact, the movie is so bad and so impossible to turn off that if HBO wanted to, they could shut down this blog, Rotoworld, and The Hardball Times simply by showing No Escape on a continuous loop. I mean, how can you turn off a movie that his this tag line: "The year is 2022. In the prison of the future escape is impossible. Survival isn't much easier."
  • How many thousands of times do you think this picture will be photoshopped inappropriately on a Red Sox message board over the course of the 2005 season?
  • Despite free agency getting underway, Randy Moss joining the Raiders remains the biggest story in football. Since a whole bunch of you have been e-mailing me wondering why I haven't commented on the trade yet, here are my abbreviated thoughts:

    1) The trade with Oakland makes the team worse, not better. That is the mark of a bad trade, particularly since the Vikings aren't going to do anything useful with the money they saved.

    2) The amount of flak Moss took for his on-field performance over the past couple years is an example of incorrectly blaming the star for what has gone wrong with the team. This happens all the time in every team sport, but on the list of things that caused the Vikings to lose games over the last five years, Moss is near the bottom. See Terrell Owens in San Francisco for a very similar recent example.

    3) Assuming he stays healthy, Moss is going to have a monster year in Oakland, as the Raiders seem committed to making the vertical passing game a huge part of their offense. I was always frustrated by the way the Vikings used Moss, because he is perhaps the greatest deep threat in NFL history and Daunte Culpepper throws an excellent deep ball. Yet even when he was healthy, the team would often abandon the game plan to go deep after just a couple unsuccessful tries.

    4) It will be interesting to see what impact not having Moss around has on Culpepper and the Vikings' running game. For years we've all heard that opposing defenses have to change their whole plan of attack when facing Moss, so the obvious answer is that the team may have some newfound trouble running the ball this year and Culpepper may not look so great. We'll see.

  • I normally think Jason Whitlock's ESPN.com columns are pure crap, but his line about Chris Webber the other day was a classic: "He's a bunch of numbers and a great quote."
  • For some reason this made me laugh ... and then it made me really jealous. Here's my favorite part:
    Hilary: Oh, yeah. How old are you, Freddy?

    Freddy: I'm 15.

    Hilary: Oh my God.

    Either Hilary Duff is a little weirded out to have been attracted to a 15-year-old or she is as shocked as me that the guy in this picture is still a year away from getting his driver's license. Or maybe both.

  • Today at The Hardball Times:
    - Frozen Rubber And Horsehide (by John Brattain)

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