August 25, 2006

Link-O-Rama

  • Shockingly, this story isn't about me: "Teen Posed as Journalist to Get Into Stadium."
    Police arrested the 18-year-old Leli Friday night at Shea just before the start of the New York Mets-Colorado Rockies game and charged him with impersonating a journalist, the Queens District Attorney announced Saturday.

    Prosecutors say Leli told New York Mets management that he worked for NBC Universal and showed a fake NBC employee identification card so he could get press credentials.

    Here's my question: Is "impersonating a journalist" an actual crime? And if so, how many warrants are there out for my arrest?

  • Speaking of that, for a while I thought my new headshot over at RotoWorld was really bad. Then I saw Steve Bisheff of the Orange County Register. Suddenly my giant-head, neo-Nazi look is rather fetching.
  • Here's an interesting note about the Blue Jays from the Toronto Star:
    Clearly it is not as easy as it looks, leaving the employ of a major-league ballclub to become a baseball columnist. Ask Keith Law.

    In last night's blog posting on ESPN.com, Law, a former Jays special assistant to GM J.P. Ricciardi, officially became persona non grata with his former front office mates, stirring the pot surrounding the uncertain future of Vernon Wells in Toronto.

    "Vernon Wells has told Blue Jays' management that he has no intention of signing a contract extension to stay in Toronto," Law wrote online. "He and his family would like to move closer to his home in Texas, and he has become increasingly disenchanted in Toronto as he has faced public criticism from general manager J.P. Ricciardi."

    [...]

    "He's become a writer," Ricciardi said of the Harvard-educated Law. "It doesn't take long. Keith Law is officially an idiot."

    Having had the pleasure of going to lunch with Keith Law when he was in Minnesota to write an article about Joe Mauer earlier this year, that story amused me on a number of levels. Suffice it to say that if I were to draw up a list of "idiots," Law would be somewhere near the bottom.

  • Slightly closer to the top of that same list would be the Sporting News' Matt Hayes, who wrote a column earlier this month promoting the Cy Young candidacy of Tigers closer Todd Jones. The crux of Hayes' argument is that they once hung out together and Jones is "a true good guy." While that makes no sense, especially given some of the evidence against Jones' good-guyness, it's certainly no less convincing than the "he has a 4.53 ERA" argument.
  • What does it mean that a blog I frequent posted candid pictures of Elisha Cuthbert this week for the sole purpose of showing how unattractive she looked and it made her grip on Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status even stronger?
  • Last week's Mariners-Phillies trade probably had marginal interest to most Twins fans, but it grabbed my attention because the deal involved one of the few professional baseball players who I've actually met. Single-A pitching prospect Andy Baldwin, a Minnesota native who did an interview with me at The Hardball Times, was traded to the Mariners for 43-year-old Jamie Moyer.

    A few days after the trade, I actually played baseball with Baldwin's dad, Bob Baldwin (he took me deep for a mammoth homer to left-center field). And then later that night, Andy made his Mariners system debut and took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. A 2004 fifth-round pick out of Oregon State, Baldwin now sports a 3.86 ERA and 104-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 154 innings at Single-A.

    I look forward to the day when the boys at U.S.S. Mariner can criticize manager Mike Hargrove for not using Baldwin correctly.

  • Here's one of those "you couldn't make it up if you tried" stories from the New York Times:
    For months, Annie J. Donnelly drove her blue Dodge Durango every day to MK Cards and Gifts near her home on Long Island and bet thousands of dollars on New York State Lottery games, sometimes buying tickets by the hundreds.

    [...]

    Yesterday, Ms. Donnelly, 38, admitted in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead where she had gotten the money she gambled: She embezzled $2.3 million in three and a half years on her job as the bookkeeper for a medical group practice, she said.

    The attorney prosecuting the case summed up my immediate reaction:

    "The irony is the total amount of money she stole is more than she would have won if she hit the lottery," said Donna M. Planty, an assistant district attorney in Suffolk County. "When I first got the case, I said, 'You've got to be kidding.'"

    It's always good to see someone making a late run at the top spot on the aforementioned Idiot List.

  • If I've said it once, I've said it a million times: Nothing is sexier than broken teeth.
  • Having watched Samuel L. Jackson's appearance promoting Snakes on a Plane on The Daily Show, I have to admit that it'd be refreshing if every actor involved in a horrible movie was that up front about exactly how horrible the movie is. Can you imagine Eddie Murphy or Kevin Costner or Ben Affleck doing the talk-show circuit to tell everyone what a steaming pile of crap their latest film is?
  • Presented without (much) comment: Jim "Shecky" Souhan of the Minneapolis Star Tribune was a guest on the August 19 edition of Baseball Prospectus Radio with Will Carroll. I didn't listen to the show, because ... well, I'm pretty sure my head would explode.
  • On the other hand, something I have listened to and strongly recommend is CardPlayer.com's semi-daily podcast, "The Circuit." Hosted by CardPlayer magazine's Scott Huff and poker pros Gavin Smith and Joe Sebok, the show is often amusing and has a ton of great guests from the poker world. If you're a wannabe poker player like me, you'll love it.

    There's an immense archive to get caught up on if you're interested. I'd suggest the shows featuring Phil Ivey, Phil Hellmuth, Barry Greenstein (who is Sebok's dad), Michael Mizrachi, Josh Arieh, Chip Reese, Daniel Negreanu, Haralabos Voulgaris, and Layne Flack. Plus, they even have an episode featuring Shannon Elizabeth, if you've ever wondered what it sounds like when three guys drool over someone for 45 minutes.

  • Speaking of poker, never before have I wanted to be a local celebrity quite this much:
    8th Annual Trent Tucker Celebrity Golf and Poker Tournament

    - Friday, September 8th: Celebrity Dinner and Poker Tournament at Canterbury Park

    - Celebrities scheduled to participate include: Michael Jordan, Phil Ivey, Johnny Chan, Patrik Antonius, Liz Lieu, Chris "Jesus" Ferguson, Scottie Pippen, Trent Tucker, Charles Oakley, Paul Allen, and Dark Star to name a few.

    - $2,500 Buy In (Dinner included)

    You'd think Michael Jordan would be the biggest draw among those names, but I'd rank him no higher than fifth. The top spot? That's easy if you've seen what Liz Lieu looks like. Incidentally, if anyone knows Trent Tucker, feel free to convince him to invite me. I'll be by far the least-famous person there and absolutely no one will be interested in meeting me, but at least I'll blog about the experience afterward.

  • I'm surprisingly unashamed to admit that I spent about 20 minutes of my life reliving my youth by playing an online version of Tecmo Super Bowl the other day. It was well worth it, if only to get the cheesy music and sound effects back in my head.
  • Least Shocking Headline of the Week: "Haley Joel Osment Charged with DUI." Given the paths Macauley Culkin, Danny Bonaduce, Dana Plato, Corey Feldman, Leif Garrett, Tatum O'Neal, Todd Bridges, and many others took after early stardom, the more surprising headline might have been: "Haley Joel Osment NOT Charged with DUI."
  • Last Friday in this space I posted my second annual "iPod shuffle" and challenged other bloggers to open themselves up to the same type of mockery by doing the same. As promised, here are links to the brave souls who did so:

    - A Place Called B.L.O.G.

    - D.A. Humber: Baseball Central

    - Many Highways

    - Garth's Blog

    - The Sporting Brews

    - Twins, not Twinkies

    - Wombat Rampant

    - Twins Junkie

    - Will's Title is Too Long

    If anyone else did the iPod shuffle on their blog and I overlooked it, let me know and I'll add it to the above list. Interestingly, not nearly as many people decided to tear apart my musical taste this time around, so it must be improving with age.


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