January 26, 2007

Link-O-Rama

  • Ever since the title of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com was vacated by a declining Elisha Cuthbert, the two main candidates for the throne have been Keeley Hazell and Jenna Fischer. Despite seeing and hearing plenty of evidence in favor of both parties, I've held off naming a new OFGoAG.com, perhaps waiting for a new contender to emerge. Clearly sensing that the door is open for her to claim the crown and the opportunity might be slipping away, Hazell has taken a drastic step.

    That's right, she went the Paris Hilton route and had a homemade "sex tape" find its way to the public. Normally that'd be a positive thing for her OFGoAG.com candidacy, but I find myself with surprisingly mixed feelings on the issue. I've decided that I'll probably have to view the footage several thousand times before making a final decision, if only to give Fischer (not to mention past title holders Cuthbert and Jessica Alba) a proper opportunity to respond similarly. That's only fair, right?

    Oh, and let me assure you that, despite all the rumors and speculation, this is not the same way LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune went about becoming the Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com.

  • I'm happy to have Matthew LeCroy back in a Twins uniform, but not nearly as happy as Will Young. Much like a fine wine or Diane Lane, this picture gets better with age. After you ponder the entry's title in relation to the picture, look closely at Will's shirt and then check out the jersey hanging in between them for good measure. If a greater photograph has ever been taken in the middle of a Twins pro shop, I'd love to see it.
  • I'm not sure whether to be proud or embarrased, but apparently I now have 68 friends.
  • As promised, NBCSports.com is beginning to beef up its baseball coverage in preparation for spring training, adding Tony Massarotti of the Boston Herald and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News as regular columnists. I've taken a few weeks off from writing for NBCSports.com, mostly because this is sort of the calm before the baseball storm, but I'll be getting back into the mix next week and am currently working on finalizing my schedule for the season.

    It's still a work in progress, but it'll be pretty cool to be one-third of a columnist lineup that includes a pair of guys from two of the biggest newspapers in the country. I haven't actually met Massarotti or Grant, because I was too shy to introduce myself to them at the Winter Meetings. I did, however, witness LEN3 identify Grant from 30 feet away using nothing more than the back of his head. I believe his exact words were, "Hey, there's Evan Grant's big, bald head!" I consider that a point in Grant's favor.

  • Rather than comment on the firing of Dwane Casey by rehashing my long-standing and oft-repeated thoughts on the mess that is the Timberwolves, I'll simply say that I'm fully in favor of the agenda put forth by this website.
  • Jessica Biel correctly pointed out that the "tush" on Maria Menounos is "out of this world," but given this photographic evidence, that's like Joe Mauer complimenting Michael Cuddyer on his swing. Plus, it looks like Sean Combs (I refuse to remember which nickname he's going by at the moment) thinks Biel's "tush" isn't even her best tool.
  • I said last month that the Gophers' decision to fire Glen Mason was reactionary and somewhat misguided, but put me on record as being fully in support of hiring Tim Brewster as his replacement. The move has been met with a ton of criticism, much of which seems to stem from Brewster being a little-known lifetime assistant, but the fact that he's not a big name doesn't bother me one bit. In fact, after reading up on him and then watching him in action, I'm confident that he's a good fit for the job.

    Consistently winning football games at the University of Minnesota is significantly more difficult than most fans think, but Brewster's decision to focus on in-state recruiting is an important first step. Much like in basketball, the state has produced an awful lot of good players for other schools over the past half-dozen years. It remains to be seen whether Brewster can truly improve the level of incoming talent, but "locking up the borders" is the most realistic way to do it.

    Brewster is already behind in the count because most fans unrealistically wanted "name" coaches that surely had no interest in coming here and he could do a reasonably effective job and still not improve upon Mason's admittedly mediocre results. However, given the circumstances and the available options, I think the Gophers did well. Plus, after years of watching running backs pile up yardage behind the always-solid offensive line, it'll be fun to watch a wide open spread-option for a while.

  • A mostly baseless prediction: Brewster will last longer in Minnesota than Lane Kiffin will in Oakland.
  • I'm fairly certain that this page contains the first (and perhaps last) instance of my testicles being used as the topic of poetry.
  • I never would have imagined that one day teenagers would be bragging that they "beat Gleeman to print." Given my brief and painful history with the newspaper industry, it's a bit like Andre Rison and Kordell Stewart bragging that they beat the Deadspin secondary for a touchdown, but congratulations go out to Trevor Born anyway. At this point, my best chance for landing a newspaper gig might involve waiting a couple decades until Born is the editor-in-chief somewhere and hoping he remembers me.
  • Over at The Biz of Baseball, Maury Brown interviewed FOXSports.com reporter Ken Rosenthal:
    BizBall: Finally, you have been affectionately termed "Robothal" by some in the online community for your constant stream of breaking baseball news. As a guesstimate, how many minutes do you log on your cell phone and what's the average number of hours a night you sleep?

    Rosenthal: First off, I'm very grateful that people notice and appreciate my work. As someone who is 5-foot-4, 140 pounds, I get a particular kick out of that nickname. It makes me sound like I'm a relentless, indestructible machine! I only wish that were the case. ...

    I've got a 4,000-minute plan on my cell phone, and like others in my position, I also make extensive use of e-mail, text messaging, and instant messaging. As for sleep, I don't get much, but work is only partly to blame. I've got three kids--15, 14, and 11--who are very busy and energetic.

    One of my favorite things about going to the Winter Meetings was watching Rosenthal in action. In constant motion, he bounced between sources in the lobby while scribbling in his notebook, hustled upstairs to type up his latest batch of notes, and then went right back down to the lobby again. In one of my on-site reports for NBCSports.com, I referred to him as a mini-Peter Gammons, but the "Robothal" nickname that the mob over at Baseball Think Factory has tagged him with works just as well.

    Incidentally, I would have bet a large amount of money on Rosenthal not being the father of an 11-year-old, let alone an 11-year-old, a 14-year-old, and a 15-year-old. I learned from the interview that he's been "covering baseball ... for more than 20 years," but I wouldn't have skipped a beat if you told me Rosenthal just turned 30 years old. I'm a big fan, and not just because Rosenthal once discussed his bathroom habits with Howard Stern.

  • Who knew that a former Twins batboy who goes by the nickname "Puffy" could be so dangerous? Also, who knew someone could get that worked up about college hockey?
  • As a blogger, I feel it's my duty to inform you of every mind-numbing detail about my life, whether you like it or not. That's why I'm so disappointed in John Mayer, whose otherwise solid blog is seemingly the only website in the world that doesn't have pictures of him and Jessica Simpson on it. I've literally written thousands of words here about things no one but me could possibly care about, yet Mayer has yet to even hint at the fact that he's dating one of the world's most famous women. Bad blogger!
  • Finally, one of my beloved Diamond-Mind keeper leagues has a sudden opening. It's a hardcore league and we're looking for an owner who has previous Diamond-Mind experience and plenty of time to devote to his team. If you meet those qualifications and you're interested, drop me an e-mail.

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