May 19, 2005

Link-O-Rama

  • I'm not sure how he managed to play over 200 games for the Twins without someone writing about this until now (or at least without me reading about it), but Tom Powers had a very good piece in the St. Paul Pioneer Press yesterday about Michael Cuddyer being deaf in his left ear. I have been one of Cuddyer's biggest supporters over the years, in part because of the way the Twins have (mis)handled him prior to this season, and Powers' story just gives a little more reason to root for him. Oh, and Cuddyer continued his hot month with two RBIs and the Twins' only extra-base hit, a double, yesterday.
  • And from very good articles in local papers to completely ridiculous ones: "Twin Cities man sees swastika in Metrodome roof." Seriously. I have like 10 jokes for this, but I can't bring myself to type them because I know how many angry e-mails I'll get from people who see "Nazi" and get incredibly offended by anything that follows. I'm not really worried about being that politically correct, I just don't want to deal with the e-mails.
  • I spent a lot of time over at the Batter's Box this week, catching up on everything in the world of Toronto baseball while the Twins took two out of three from the Blue Jays (and took out their third baseman, Corey Koskie, who broke his thumb sliding into second base yesterday). And yes, I realize I should have linked to the Batter's Box here before the Twins-Blue Jays series, not after it, but in my defense I am lazy and forgetful.

    Needless to say Batter's Box is well worth reading regardless of if the Twins are playing against Toronto. It is like if every Twins blogger got together and formed one gigantic site for all things Minnesota baseball, complete with photography, great articles, lively discussions, and all sorts of awesome stuff. Visiting Batter's Box over the last couple years has literally made me more of a Blue Jays fan (and I'm not just saying that because I was quoted extensively in the Batter's Box "Game Report" for Tuesday's game).

  • Baseball Prospectus had a great interview with Atlanta general manager John Schuerholz earlier this week. It is impossible to read the interview and not come away impressed with both Schuerholz and the Braves as a whole, as he goes into a lot of detail about the unique organizational approach that has led to nothing but winning since I was eight years old. He doesn't get as much hype and media attention as Billy Beane, but there is no question that Schuerholz is a Hall of Fame GM.

    Baseball Prospectus also had an article this week by Will Carroll that looked at "how injuries are affecting preseason contenders." I found the part Carroll wrote about the Twins a little faulty:

    After a frightening beaning in the third game of the season, Morneau has returned with the same offensive force he exhibited in 2004,hitting .389/.409/.714. He'll likely exceed his 22.0 VORP from last year, but his 20 games lost--and the lack of a credible offensive backup--amounted to nearly 14 runs down the drain. In what figures to be a competitive AL Central, that margin could prove a significant difference as the Twins try to keep pace with the White Sox.

    This is one of those cases where the actual facts don't fit the story. Regardless of whether or not you think the Twins have "a credible offensive backup" for Morneau at first base, they got plenty of offense from the position while he was out. The Twins' backup first basemen (Matthew LeCroy and Terry Tiffee) have hit a combined .316/.391/.491 subbing for him.

    Normally I wouldn't nitpick something like this, but LeCroy's solid hitting in place of Morneau -- including a surprising increase in walks and uncharacteristically good numbers against both righties and lefties -- was actually talked about plenty among Twins fans (and written about plenty here). Plus, Will has been known to nitpick a thing or two I've written in the past too.

  • Oh, and Will, since I know you'll read this and probably get upset, here's a picture of something we can both agree on to calm you down.
  • Here's the headline from a story by Chris De Luca in the Chicago Sun-Times that looks perfectly logical now, but will hopefully look extremely silly in about four months: "Sox a lock to make the playoffs."
  • I realize no one cares, especially not so far after the fact, but I'm very happy that Tom Westman won Survivor.
  • Here's an interesting article on the new-look Vikings by ESPN.com's Len "Don Vito" Pasquarelli.
  • Also at ESPN.com, friend of AG.com Paul Katcher has a very entertaining article on the 10 best sports-related characters in TV history. I really wish ESPN.com would let Paul write more often, but I suppose there's only so much room after you account for the highly informative columns by John Kruk and Phil Rogers that bring down the collective IQ of the country on a weekly basis.
  • And speaking of Kruk, read this.
  • I am shocked -- SHOCKED! -- to learn that Chris Webber chokes in the playoffs.
  • Beer Leaguer is a new blog worth checking out. And if for some strange reason you don't get enough of me here, at The Hardball Times, and at Rotoworld, I did a quick little interview over there earlier this week.
  • We have two new members of the Elisha Cuthbert fan club. From a Baseball Think Factory discussion earlier this week:
    Posted by Vinay on May 18, 2005 at 03:42 AM (#1344979)

    So I just watched The Girl Next Door. I always thought Elisha Cuthbert was good-looking, but now I'm on board with those who believe she's inner-circle hot. Holy carp.

    Posted by Dave Bell on May 18, 2005 at 03:50 AM (#1344981)

    Yeah, I kinda got what Gleeman was rabbiting on about after seeing that movie.

    Folks, I am telling you that this is as inevitable as Kruk saying something stupid. Also, one of my favorite things about BTF is that guys discuss women like they are baseball players, not that I disagree about Elisha being "inner-circle hot." And here are some pictures of the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com, since it would be a crime to mention her name without a good link.

  • And finally, a couple of Rotoworld-related notes. First, this week's column is now available for you to read. Second, I will now be spreading my baseball gambling advice to two different websites, with my "Today's Picks" appearing at the bottom of each entry here and my "Pick of the Day" appearing daily at Rotoworld. Just remember how well I'm doing now (36-25 for +$1,280) when things take a turn for the worse at some point later on this season.
  • Today at The Hardball Times:
    - Blackmail Black Knights and Black Humor (by John Brattain)

    Today's Picks (36-25, +$1,280):
    San Diego (Peavy) -140 over Seattle (Franklin)
    Cleveland (Millwood) -100 over Cincinnati (Harang)

    UPDATE: Sunday's Pick of the Day: San Diego (Stauffer) -120 over Seattle (Sele)


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