April 27, 2006

Link-O-Rama

  • If you only click on one of the links provided here today, make it this one: The truly amazing thing about Vin Diesel--aside from his entire career, obviously--is that all of the incredibly boring stuff he says in interviews are actually completely scripted, carefully practiced, and frequently repeated.
  • After seeing this story, I'm fairly certain that the term "supermodel" is thrown around far too easily these days.
  • A few weeks ago I poked fun at J.C. Romero for being delusional about thinking that he was known for pitching well in tight spots while with the Twins when the exact opposite is true. This time I'd like to poke fun at Romero for thinking the following:
    When he was with the Minnesota Twins, Romero faced [Jim] Thome often when Thome played for the Cleveland Indians. ... "Knock on wood, I've had success against him," Romero said of Thome. "We both respect each other. It's going to be a good challenge for me."

    Thome, who is a career .282/.409/.565 hitter, has batted .333/.412/.533 against Romero. Considering Thome bats left-handed and Romero throws left-handed, that shouldn't exactly be a great source of pride for Romero. The funny thing is that aside from Romero, Thome typically struggles against southpaws, hitting just .246/.346/.429 against them during his career.

    Considering what goes in his deluded mind, within the next couple weeks I expect to see a quote from Romero about how he is known for his reluctance to adjust his athletic supporter in front of thousands of people.

  • The Hardball Times was mentioned Thursday in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, with Michael Rand calling THT "a steak sandwich with new potatoes in a burger-and-fries cyberworld." Not bad, although since I rarely read the actual newspaper that is delivered to my house each day, someone else had to tell me it was in there.
  • Remember all the talk this spring that if Francisco Liriano wasn't in the starting rotation he would at least get stretched out a bit pitching in a long-relief role? Like most of the Twins' plans, that one lasted all of a month. Now Ron Gardenhire is thinking about moving Liriano into a setup role, which is fine except for the fact that the team eventually wants him to be a starter.

    Instead of keeping Liriano at Triple-A to let him pitch every fifth day or keeping him at the back of the bullpen to let him at least work multiple innings at a time, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that the Twins are discussing whether he's "ready to pitch on back-to-back days." In other words, the Twins were so committed to their plan for perhaps the best pitching prospect in all of baseball that they completely abandoned it because Jesse Crain pitched poorly for 10 innings.

  • Remember my little rant about J.J. Redick in last week's Link-O-Rama? ESPN.com college football writer Bruce Feldman agreed with me and quoted it (scroll all the way to the bottom).
  • I'm always a sucker for end-of-the-season video montages, and this NBA one from ESPN is no different.
  • Ricky Manning Jr., who recently signed a long-term contract with the Bears, was arrested last weekend on assault charges. Here's an interesting quote from a story about the incident in the Chicago Sun-Times:
    According to [LAPD officers], Manning was in a group that attacked a man in a Denny's restaurant after teasing him for working on a laptop computer.

    "The group began by making comments that the victim looked like a geek or a nerd," Lewis said.

    The victim asked the group to stop and then complained to a Denny's manager before someone in the group punched him in the face. He then was punched and kicked by multiple attackers until losing consciousness, Lewis said.

    Thankfully Manning signed with the Bears and not the Vikings, because otherwise I think I'd be in serious danger. See, there's a good reason to do most of your writing from bed.

  • I'm a Twins fan and spent a large portion of my youth collecting (and selling) baseball cards, so this new blog featuring a card-by-card history of the team is right up my alley.
  • When asked if sending Justin Morneau back to Triple-A if he continues to struggle is an option, Terry Ryan certainly didn't say no:
    I think it's way too early for that. We're going to try to help him. We keep putting him out there [in the lineup]. There's a reason why we do that.

    Ryan also added some interesting thoughts on Morneau's problems at the plate:

    He's got a lot of talent. He's got a lot of strength and he's got a lot of power. All he has to do is swing at strikes, and he's going to be fine. Taking a walk's not all that bad. Those are the things that young hitters -- I don't think they comprehend that taking a walk is a plus.

    That's a great thing for a general manager to say, but unfortunately that sort of philosophy hasn't filtered down to the actual players. What reason is there to believe that Morneau can learn to "swing at strikes" and realize that "taking a walk is a plus" when Torii Hunter hasn't improved his plate discipline one bit in a decade. Jacque Jones swung at everything for over 976 games in Minnesota and Morneau has taken up that awful habit for the past year and a half.

    Plus, Ryan certainly isn't putting his money where his mouth is. He says all the right things about wanting hitters to swing at strikes and draw walks, but then he signs hacktastic out-makers Tony Batista and Juan Castro to take up two-ninths of the lineup. If you stick Morneau in a lineup with guys like Batista, Castro, Jones, Hunter and even Rondell White--who has zero walks in 20 games this season--is it any wonder that he can't stop swinging at everything?

  • So close, yet so far.


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