July 21, 2005

Link-O-Rama

  • This is the sort of stuff the internet was invented for: "A realistic assessment of how many 12-year-olds I could beat up before they overtook me." Of, if that seems like too much of a challenge: "How many 5-year-olds could you take out?"
  • Here's my favorite headline of the week: "Kudrow Waits to Hear About New Show."
    After "Friends," Lisa Kudrow has to sweat the TV business. The actress, who played Phoebe on the NBC comedy, is still waiting to hear whether her latest show, HBO's "The Comeback," will be renewed.

    I watch The Comeback every week, despite the fact that I absolutely hate it and think it is by far the worst show HBO has put on in years. I literally complain outloud (to no one) about how horrible what I am watching is, which I'm fairly certain is sign of extreme insanity. The show is so bad that it actually angers me.

  • Here's an entertaining article about caddying for Charles Barkley, who really should have his own reality show at this point.
  • Remember earlier this year, when Toronto knocked Johan Santana around and the talk was that he was tipping his pitches? Well, now the Blue Jays are making some news by allegedly stealing signs from the Mariners. I'm amazed that there are people who actually get upset at this. If you don't want the other team to steal your signs, do a better job protecting them.
  • Luis Rivas went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his first game for Triple-A Rochester. And if you've ever wanted to read someone bash Rivas in Spanish using some stats I mentioned here, now is your chance.
  • Nearly everyone has given up on Ndudi Ebi, so I'd like to officially state that I remain on his bandwagon and there's plenty of room for others to hop on. Ebi has been stuck on the bench or the injured list for his entire career with the Timberwolves, but he's still just 21 years old and, had he gone to college, would likely have been a lottery pick in this year's draft. Here's a crazy prediction that will either look brilliant or idiotic in about six months: Ebi will be one of the three best players on the team by the end of this season.
  • Speaking of the Timberwolves, Flip Saunders has found a new home in Detroit. This is an ideal situation for him, as the Pistons are and should continue to be an elite team for the next several years. It will be interesting to see how Saunders handles coaching a defensive-oriented team, because that certainly was not the Timberwolves' strength while he was around.

    I like Dwane Casey, but letting Saunders go was a mistake. When you have a coach who has led a team to significant success on a consistent basis after years of having no success at all, letting him go after one sub par season (or half season, in Saunders' case) is generally something that looks bad a few years down the line. The Timberwolves' problems go far beyond anything having to do with Saunders, and as we've seen with the Vikings the grass isn't always greener with a new coach.

  • Oh, and if you want to read an anti-Saunders article that is one of the worst in the history of ESPN.com (which is really saying something), click here. If what Jason Whitlock wrote about Saunders and the Pistons passes for journalism, I'm the Easter Bunny.
  • Speaking of ESPN.com, you absolutely must check out "The Road From Bristol." What is it?
    Our task is simple: to determine, via a time-tested method (the 64-team elimination tournament as seen in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, which ESPN used to show in its pre-sucking days) which ESPN broadcasting personality is the most totally loathsome and most deserves to suffer permanent paralysis of the vocal cords.

    There's even a PDF file with the 64-person bracket. Suffice it to say I'm extremely jealous about not coming up with this myself, but I guess I was too busy picking on Joe Morgan to create something so brilliant. As you might expect, there are a ton of tough matchups throughout the bracket, but I like Chris Berman, Stephen A. Smith, Stuart Scott, and Jay Mariotti in the Final Four.

    My sleeper picks are Buster Olney, who goes up against Mariotti in an epic first-round matchup, and John Kruk, who looms as Scott's second-round opponent. Actually, Scott's entire region is a beast, with Scott (#1 seed), Morgan (2), Mike Lupica (5), Woody Paige (6), Whitlock (7), Kruk (8), and Jeff Brantley (12). Boo-yah!

  • Sometimes I hate people.
  • If I was a Red Sox fan, I think my head might explode from the number of jokes running through it after seeing this. You know, if my team's shortstop wasn't shirtless and smiling like the other four guys, that is.
  • For those of you who kept up with the World Series of Poker Main Event, I would like to take this opportunity to point out how great my prediction for the final table was:
    I'm guessing one recognizable name will make it to the final table and the champion will be someone under 40 years old who no one has ever heard of.

    The "one recognizable name" would be Mike Matusow and the under-40 champion "who no one has ever heard of" would be 39-year-old Joseph Hashem. By the way, the CardPlayer.com live, streaming audio broadcast of the final table was incredible. I realize that does no one any good after the fact (although I did link to it that day), but it's still worth mentioning just because of how great it was.

  • Here's a great article from friend of AG.com Kevin Pelton on how sabermetrics (or the basketball equivalent) is spreading through the NBA.
  • And finally, here's an interesting note on a potential Twins-Red Sox trade in today's Minneapolis Star Tribune:
    A report in the Boston Herald suggested an expanded deal, with Romero and Joe Mays going to Boston for Mueller and first baseman Kevin Millar. But officials from other teams said if the Twins were indeed ready to part with Romero, Mays or starter Kyle Lohse, they could command much more in return.

    I can only hope this is true and Terry Ryan is as against trading J.C. Romero and Joe Mays or Kyle Lohse for two guys who haven't managed a .350 slugging percentage outside of Fenway Park over the past two years.

  • Today at The Hardball Times:
    - News, Notes and Quotes (July 22, 2005) (by Aaron Gleeman)
    - It's A Funny Funny Game 2.0 (by John Brattain)

    Today's Picks (79-67, +$1,085):
    Houston (Clemens) -160 over Washington (Drese)
    Cleveland (Elarton) -125 over Seattle (Moyer)

    Sunday's Picks:
    Oakland (Harden) -150 over Texas (Park)


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