June 8, 2006

Link-O-Rama

  • Here's an interesting note about Joe Mauer from Charlie Walters' column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
    Twins catcher Joe Mauer and 2005 Miss USA and former Miss North Carolina Chelsea Cooley have begun dating on a semi-regular basis.

    Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, I was able to find several billion pictures of Chelsea Cooley within about five seconds of reading that. Here's my favorite:


    Beats the hell out of those Highland Park girls, huh Joe?

    Incidentally, after going 9-for-12 in the three-game series against Seattle, including 3-for-4 yesterday, Mauer is now leading all of baseball with a .379 batting average. He hit .319 in April, .386 in May, and is batting an even .500 (14-for-28) so far in June. He's also hitting .382 against righties and .373 against lefties. All of that has nothing whatsoever to do with a Link-O-Rama entry, but so what?

  • Friend of AG.com Keith Law recently left his job as special assistant to Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi in order to become a senior baseball analyst for ESPN.com. As I told Law when I heard the news, that's two of my dream jobs that he's now been able to get, so I fully expect him to complete the trifecta by becoming Jessica Alba's new personal masseuse at some point in the future.
  • On a somewhat related subject ... It's only June, but this is definitely the leader in the clubhouse for Headline of the Year: "Alba wants to go topless." And really, who are we to ruin a young girl's dream?
  • I've offered up countless bad predictions here over the years, but few have gone south as quickly as the one I made yesterday about Kyle Lohse's future. Mere hours after saying that "I'd be shocked if Lohse pitches for the Twins again," the Twins called Lohse up from Triple-A to replace the injured Matt Guerrier.

    Not only am I surprised by the move, I think it's a mistake. Lohse isn't part of the team's future and is unlikely to increase his trade value pitching out of the bullpen any more than he would have dominating Triple-A hitters. Beyond that, the decision is a slap in the face to Pat Neshek, who has a 1.71 ERA with a 69-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio and .183 opponent's batting average in 42 innings at Triple-A.

    Neshek is incredibly deserving of a shot and would be a perfect replacement for Guerrier over the two months that he's expected to miss, while Lohse is about as far from deserving of another chance with the Twins as someone can get. But hey, no one ever accused the Twins of treating their prospects particularly well and sticking with a mediocre veteran well past his usefulness is par for the course.

  • Is Paul Molitor's wife really named Destini Molitor? That's almost as good as Boof Bonser.
  • Lest anyone think that I'm the only one who makes fun of Sid Hartman, here's evidence that even his sportswriting colleagues aren't exactly big fans.
  • In addition to her ongoing, multi-year reign as the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com, Elisha Cuthbert can proudly say that she sits atop a list of "The Top 12 Canadian Hotties." As if there was ever any doubt.
  • Last week I wrote about my fellow Highland Park native Jack Hannahan being called up to the majors for the first time. Sadly, after going 0-for-9 in eight days as a major leaguer the Tigers sent Hannahan back to Triple-A. He did draw a walk in his last plate appearance, so at least Hannahan's career line isn't .000/.000/.000.
  • The world probably doesn't need any new Twins blogs at this point--if it ever needed any to begin with, of course--but this one has a really great name: Thank You Brian Sabean.
  • Pamela Anderson got a brand new pair of roller skates , but I'm still waiting for her to roller-skate to my door at daylight.
  • I've recently become very interested in the UFC and other forms of mixed martial arts fighting. In watching a bunch of old matches I was particularly fascinated by Royce Gracie, who is considered one of the greatest fighters in UFC history despite rarely engaging in anything that resembles what most people think of as a "fight."

    Watching old footage of Gracie using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to submit opponent after opponent--many of whom outweighed him by 50 or even 100 pounds--is incredible and really shows how much more there is to MMA fighting than being able to knock people out. Gracie returned to the UFC last month after a decade-long absence and was dominated by another all-time great fighter, Matt Hughes.

    I don't know nearly enough about MMA fighting to say whether Hughes' win showed how far the sport has come since the days when Gracie was a champion or that at 40 years old Gracie is well past his prime. What I do know is that it was extremely compelling to watch.

  • I think soccer is incredibly boring, but for whatever reason I got heavily into the World Cup back in 2002. In fact, watching World Cup games in the middle of the night is why I was awake when my mom suffered her stroke. Anyway, I find myself relatively excited about the 2006 World Cup beginning this afternoon, and seeing British model Keeley Hazell preview the event by getting in (and out of) a soccer uniform certainly doesn't hurt.
  • It's almost impossible to bring up the subject of race in sports without being accused of something negative, but friend of AG.com Paul Katcher brings up an interesting point about on-field fraternization. Of course, given that Francisco Liriano reportedly got food poisoning after going to dinner with his "friend" Felix Hernandez, perhaps the friendliness is just a cover.
  • I wondered why Denny Hocking joined Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven on the Twins' television broadcast for so long the other night. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Pioneer Press reports that Hocking "planned to record a demo disc while working the game to use in his effort to land a regular broadcasting job." I'll say this about Hocking's announcing skills: He's definitely got the spouting endless cliches part down.
  • If they were somehow able to break away from the marginally-talented actresses they belong to, which would have a better solo career: Jennifer Aniston's nipples or Rosario Dawson's tongue?
  • We can probably scratch Tigers manager Jim Leyland off the list of people who might read this blog:
    Leyland thinks the Internet promotes invasions of privacy, and he has no interest in learning how to use it or a personal computer. Asked if he knew what the word "google" means, he said, "I have no idea ... google, goggle."

    At this point someone having no interest in using a computer is like someone 50 years ago refusing to use a telephone. Hell, even my grandparents are online now and they don't even manage a first-place team (although I guess soon enough Leyland won't either).

  • Whenever I see a story like former MLB umpire Eric Gregg dying at the age of 55, it further motivates me to continue losing weight. I began a weight-loss plan on January 11, and in just under five months I've lost 60 pounds simply by eating less and exercising more. If you're overweight, take Gregg's death as a sign that you should do something about it and take my weight loss as a sign that you can.


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