December 18, 2005

Link-O-Rama

Link-O-Rama entries have been an end-of-the-week staple of AG.com for a long time, but me ranting about the Twins' big free-agent acquisition put that on hold Friday. Never one to waste a bunch of random links, I've added a few more things and posted it today.

  • Every few months one my favorite blogs dies out and I write something about how difficult it is to maintain a blog for any significant length of time. The most recent example of almost immediate blogger burnout comes from none other than the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com, Elisha Cuthbert, whose blog on NHL.com appears to be dead after a grand total of four entries.

    Losing Elisha from the blogging community is sad -- my dreams of wooing her at a blogger get-together have been dashed -- but it is also understandable. After all, she is far too good looking to be wasting energy thinking about hockey and far too busy looking good to be wasting time typing up her thoughts.

  • There was a time when being written up in Saturday's St. Paul Pioneer Press would have caused me to rush out, buy multiple copies of the newspaper, and brag about it for days here.
    Twins' signing of slugger makes blogger miserable

    Aaron Gleeman has waited most of his life for the Twins to have a 30-home run hitter, and now that they appear to have one, he couldn't be more miserable.

    "Tony (bleeping) Batista," was the headline on his Twins blog, AaronGleeman.com, after the team signed the third baseman Thursday.

    A product of the University of Minnesota whose interest in baseball was spurred by the Twins' 1991 World Series championship, Gleeman writes daily about the Twins on a blog that has registered more than 1.6 million visits since Aug. 1, 2002.

    One day after lamenting that the team hadn't had a 30-home run hitter since 1987, he wrote, "Batista will hit 30 homers if given everyday playing time, but he will make so many outs that it won't even matter."

    And now? Apparently I've become jaded, because not being able to overcome my laziness to actually find a copy means I'm taking the word of everyone who e-mailed me that I'm even in the paper. Either way, thanks to Gary Derong for the nice write-up.

  • Of course, the flip side to being jaded when it comes to what people have to say about you in public places is that things like this no longer bother me even a little bit:
    I don't give a **** about Aaron Gleeman, whoever the **** he is.

    Indeed.

  • Speaking of Tony Batista (and I suppose we have to now), here's a video clip with some great footage from Batista's season in Japan. It takes a little while to get to the good part, but it's worth watching all the way through if for no other reason than it's probably the last time you'll see Batista scare a pitcher.
  • While I didn't get my hands on a copy of the Pioneer Press this weekend, I saw the cover of People magazine and it made me sad. A large picture of Jennifer Aniston dominated the page, and there were also pictures of "Crazy Love" Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and "Just Married" Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood. And over on the right-hand side was a small picture of Richard Pryor.

    Now, I'm not saying People should be in the business of covering Pryor's recent death particularly well (especially in their "Best of 2005" issue), but if you're going to put him on the cover shouldn't his death be given more emphasis than some complete non-story about a complete non-talent like Jessica Simpson?

    My introduction to Pryor's genius came about six years ago when HBO ran an all-day marathon of his four concert movies. I watched them in one sitting and immediately knew what all the fuss was about it, like a teenager who had only seen Michael Jordan's forgettable final days with the Wizards stumbling across a '90s Bulls marathon on ESPN Classic.

    I don't pretend to have something meaningful to say in tribute of Pryor. However, the media gives an incredible amount of coverage to people when it's not clear why they're even celebrities these days, so a few more words about Pryor couldn't hurt. If you haven't seen his stand-up, you really should. Rarely does something like that live up to the considerable hype, but decades after the fact Pryor certainly does.

    Richard Pryor will be missed, and if you want to read about his amazing life check out his obituary in the New York Times.

  • Speaking of basketball games I'd like to see on ESPN Classic (sort of), friend of AG.com Eric Neel wrote a wonderful piece on ESPN.com last week about the highest-scoring game in NBA history. It's worth checking out just to see the boxscore, and as always Neel's writing is immensely enjoyable.
  • THT's Craig Burley sent me a great article last night about Ron Artest's recent appearance on a local radio show:
    Artest said some of the criticism he has received has been unfair. Former NBA great Magic Johnson said Artest doesn't deserve a second chance in the NBA.

    "It's like saying, 'Magic, should your wife give you another chance?'" Artest said. "He's saying Ron Artest should have no more second chances. What's worse -- me saying I want to be traded or you cheating on your wife?"

    Yes, but what about telling your wife you want to be traded?

  • One of life's greatest questions finally answered: There is nothing sexy about a good-looking woman in a neck brace. Even a really fancy one.
  • "Ever heard of a chef who can't cook?" Pete Nice from '80/'90s rap group 3rd Bass has written three books about baseball history under his real name, Peter Nash. Seriously.
  • This story amused me far more than it probably should have.
  • If you think my criticisms of Jim "Shecky" Souhan are bad, check out Dead Spin's complete annihilation of this week's "Why Your Hometown Columnist Sucks" target, Skip Bayless.
  • If you're even close to as poker-obsessed as I am you'll want to check out Card Player's podcasts from the Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic. Not only is co-host Mike Matusow predictably entertaining in the five episodes, special guests Daniel Negreanu, Michael Mizrachi, Paul Darden, Phil Laak, Joe Cassidy, and Gavin Smith are all solid. I really wish the poker world would do more stuff like this.
  • Today at The Hardball Times:
    - Demystifying the MLB Constitution (Part 2) (by Maury Brown)
    - Range Revisited (by David Gassko)

    Pick of the Day (155-132, +$2,165):
    Green Bay +3.5 (-110) over Baltimore


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