My latest video report for NBCSports.com covers Daisuke Matsuzaka's new six-year contract with the Red Sox, including whether or not it was a good deal for Boston, what to expect from Matsuzaka this season, and how the Red Sox's starting rotation looks with him in the fold. The usual disclaimers about me having a face for radio and a preference for the written word apply, but beyond that feel free to watch it and let me know what you think (the facial hair growth may be abandoned at any time).
Speaking if facial hair, remember the mustache guy from my last Link-O-Rama entry? He's back (in addition to bringing sexy back), his name is Joe Somar, and he's stretching his 15 minutes of fame as far as possible.
Rich Lederer's one-man quest to get Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame is gradually gaining steam, even if he has to convince the voters of Blyleven's worthiness one-by-one.
The Twins' offseason has contained little in the way of hot-stove talk, but the newly-married Michael Cuddyer did explain to Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press why it's probably a mistake to invite Matthew LeCroy to your wedding.
Of course, I probably won't have to worry about the whole inviting-LeCroy-to-your-wedding thing for a while. Two of my all-time favorite movie characters rank No. 1 and No. 2 on this highly scientific list, so perhaps that explains my lack of dates.
I initially assumed this boxscore was a misprint, but apparently the Gophers really did get out-rebounded 39-to-12 by Arkansas-Little Rock last week. Seriously. Dan Coleman, who is 6-foot-9, grabbed a grand total of one rebound in 33 minutes. I'd write more, but I don't think the men's basketball program is worth much beyond one paragraph at this point.
I welcomed Ken Harvey to the Twins organization earlier this week by mocking his All-Star selection and suggesting he could be "a potential platoon partner for Jason Kubel" in a best-case scenario, but Royals Review had much stronger emotions after watching Harvey leave Kansas City.
Michael Rand, who's been both kind and crazy enough to get my name into the Minneapolis Star Tribune on several occasions, recently started up a blog of his own at the newspaper's website. Stop by and say hello.
I once tried to convince someone that David Caruso is the single worst actor of all time who's been the star of two highly successful television shows. I made what I think was a very compelling argument at the time, but having undeniable visual evidence would have helped.
As the Twins continue to search for veteran rotation help in a pitching market that gets thinner by the day, here's a name to consider: Carl Pavano. After an injury-wrecked season in New York, the Yankees are reportedly willing to eat the majority of his remaining contract. Pavano is a major risk, but if the price is right he has a lot more upside than what's left on the scrap heap.
I spent a week at the Winter Meetings earlier this month, covering the event for NBCSports.com by tracking the rumors and describing the unique experience, but Amy Nelson's behind-the-scenes look for ESPN.com provided a fascinating and totally different view of the proceedings in Orlando.
Random music recommendations: Amos Lee and Susan Tedeschi.
I don't typically quote people from the comments section, because it seems a little too meta for even my admittedly navel-gazing tastes, but I'll make an exception in this case. After reading my write-up of interviewing Ron Gardenhire at the Winter Meetings last week, frequent commenter Neau More Silva summed it up thusly: "It's like reading a transcript of Ahab cordially interviewing Moby Dick."
There's no guarantee that he'll get the message across to Gardenhire, but at least Terry Ryan recognizes that Jeff Cirillo's strength is stepping into the lineup against left-handed pitching rather than playing every day. On a related note, it sounds like Ryan continues to work on bringing Rondell White back, which is likely the Twins' best remaining option at this point. Willie Eyre, however, will not be back.
It's not quite getting recognized on the street from a picture on your blog like Jeff Jarvis experienced this week, but I had my first ever autograph request recently. I'm fairly certain that means the world is on the verge of ending, most likely because the size of my head will eventually get to the point of creating a never-ending total eclipse.
Those of you who've read this site for a while may remember that I began a weight-loss plan back in January, buying an elliptical machine and pledging to cut down on my food intake. At the time I didn't have a specific goal in mind, other than to be "less fat," but somewhere along the way I decided that losing 100 pounds in the first year would be a fantastic accomplishment. There were times when that goal seemed completely ridiculous and unattainable, but I'm proud to say that I'm now likely to reach it.
The one-year anniversary comes up on January 11, which gives me another four weeks or so to shed weight. As of this morning I have officially cracked the 90-pound mark. I realize that few of you likely care enough about me losing weight to read updates about it, but forcing myself to keep a running sidebar tally of my progress on the "Fat-O-Meter" has helped motivate me and giving a more in-depth progress report once in a while has also served to push me in the right direction.
In other words, my head continues to grow larger as my body shrinks. The opposite is worse, I think.