March 9, 2007

Link-O-Rama

  • He'll never top Gilbert Arenas, but Curt Schilling has joined the player-turned-blogger craze. After starting against Johan Santana and the Twins yesterday afternoon, Schilling wrote an interesting entry that included the following tidbits:
    Any game Joe Mauer plays in can't be labled a "B" game on any planet. ... Mauer gets a curve ball for strike one, then I throw a split, plate wise it's in a great spot, height wise it isn't. He proves, once again, why he's so damn good. The balls too high, coming in around his thighs, and instead of making the mistake most big league hitters make and trying to pull that pitch, he stays back and punches it into left center, just missing a double.

    [...]

    Santana does his thing in the first, punching out two. He looks like he's primed for another great season. What's not to love about this kid? Dominating fastball, hard breaking slider to go with the games best power change. He's a joy to watch, unless it happens to be a game your team is playing.

    Santana and the Twins beat Schilling and the Red Sox 1-0.

  • My favorite article of the week: GQ's profile of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson, and TNT's Inside the NBA. The show has been consistently fantastic for years, Barkley is one of the most engaging sports personalities of all time, and the article even includes a cameo by Kevin Garnett.
  • Funny, Dave St. Peter only paid me $500.
  • Earlier this week I received a package in the mail from England, which would have seemed even more mysterious than it already was had I not recognized the return address as a long-time reader. I opened it up, in front of my curious mother, and discovered a multi-issue "Keeley Goes Pop!" spread from Zoo Weekly, which features Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Keeley Hazell reenacting famous pictures of "pop babes" like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Madonna.

    Oh, and she's at least half-naked in every picture, because ... well, that's what Keeley does. The moral of the story is that "opening porn I receive from other continents without my mother being in the same room" can now be added to the ever-growing list of reasons why I need to buy my own place (more on this in a moment). Most importantly, I'd like to thank Richard G. (I'd print his full name, but this probably isn't the type of thing he wants to be Googled about) for sending me the Hazell collection.

    I get a lot of free stuff in the mail because of this blog--from books and movies to video games and music--but completely unsolicited British porn is tough to top.

  • Speaking of OFGoAG.com candidates, Jenna Fischer photo sets sadly aren't nearly as plentiful (or lacking in clothing) as Hazell photo sets, but she definitely makes them count.
  • Have you ever wanted to read an incredibly lengthy roundtable discussion about the Kansas City Royals that involves Yours Truly and the Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com, LaVelle E. Neal III? Yes? Seriously? OK ... well, here's your chance.
  • As you might expect, Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune hating blogs has put him in some wonderful company. One of the worst columnists in Seattle, Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times, feels largely the same way. Over at his new Star Tribune blog, LEN3 introduced a solid nickname for Reusse: "The Blog Basher."
  • Providing his weekly reminder of why I've always been such a huge fan, Bill Simmons reportedly said the following earlier this week when asked about potentially working for Sports Illustrated when his contract with ESPN.com is up:
    I would never work for SI. They've slipped so much that they couldn't even throw a party for the Swimsuit Issue without giving everybody Hepatitis A.

    Spoken like a man who has plenty of "f*** you money."

  • Speaking of Simmons, his running diary of a Celtics-Rockets game included this amusing note:
    8:33 -- Funny replay of Gomes (who just twisted his foot) getting feedback on the injury from Wally Szczerbiak, who's really become the league's premier authority on knee, foot and ankle sprains over the years. That was like watching video of a young actress asking Paris Hilton why it hurts every time she pees.

    It's pretty difficult to make me laugh at a Paris Hilton joke at this point (see all of Jim Souhan's columns in the Star Tribune for evidence), but that one's more like a Wally Szczerbiak joke, which is definitely an untapped comedic resource.

  • On a somewhat-related note (you'll see, just wait), consider the following quote and think about who might have written it:
    Last year, the Twins started the season with Tony Batista at third and Juan Castro at short and turned their season around when they went to Jason Bartlett and Nick Punto. This spring, the Twins could face a similar choice--limited veterans or unproven kids? If the rotation flounders in April, they better not wait until June to go young.

    That could very well have been written by me, in any of several offseason entries about the Twins' rotation, but that's not my doing. Believe it or not, that's actually Souhan prose. Seriously. Now that I know he's in agreement with me on the issue, I'm considering changing my stance on the whole thing.

  • My latest call-in segment on NBCSports.com's "Fantasy Fix" show is available for viewing. This week's topics: Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. We're doing position-by-position season previews throughout next week, so there'll be plenty of opportunity to hear and see me on video for those of you who are into such things (hi mom!).
  • This should be taken with massive grains of salt given that it's coming from Sid Hartman's column, but it sounds like Justin Morneau is more interested in signing a long-term deal with the Twins than was initially reported last month. On the other hand, Morneau said he was never offered a similar deal to the one Joe Mauer signed, while it was widely reported that he had turned one down.
  • Much like many of the stunts pulled by the guys in Jackass, Tom Brady has reportedly managed to do something that's simultaneously incredibly stupid and oddly impressive. If nothing else, the guy is damn potent.
  • I'm all for ripping apart ridiculous articles, but sometimes it's easy to see that something is simply so absurd that it's not even worth commenting on. With that said, I did like this response, from an anonymous Timberwolves player: "No. 1 best or No. 1 worst?" Exactly.
  • There was a time not so long ago when a "Rivas staking claim on infield spot" headline would have upset me, but now that the Twins aren't involved it just makes me smile.
  • When I first read this note in the Star Tribune it struck me as amusing, but things quickly fell apart once I thought about what Ron Gardenhire actually said:
    First baseman Ken Harvey, coming back from a strained chest muscle, can do everything but hit. Infielder Alejandro Machado, out because of a weak shoulder, can do everything but throw. "Put them together and you have a heck of a ballplayer," Gardenhire said.

    Since injuries are keeping Ken Harvey from hitting and Alejandro Machado from fielding, putting them together would give you a lumbering designated hitter with non-existent power. Sign him up!

  • Speaking of lumbering designated hitters, judging from Kelly Thesier's profile of him on MLB.com, it sounds like everyone involved with the Twins would love to have Matthew LeCroy back on the team.
  • I'm typically not much of a Stacy Ferguson fan, but I'll gladly give credit where credit is due.
  • The Quintessential American Sportswriter, Bob Ryan, recently penned a feature article about the Twins in the Boston Globe.
  • A couple new blogs to check out (because they asked for plugs and I'm a nice guy): Sam's Sports Thoughts and Bugs & Cranks.
  • I've talked quite a bit recently about my ear problems and adventures in real estate, so let's finish the week with an update on both topics (in other words, those of you who don't care about either thing can save some time by leaving now). First, I'm undergoing ear surgery this afternoon. My hope is that there won't be a whole lot of ear-related stuff to talk about in this space next week, because that would more or less mean that the whole surgery went smoothly. No news is definitely good news.

    I'm slowly but surely progressing to the point of buying my first home. After looking at 11 places last week, I narrowed it down to three homes that I really liked and visited them for a second time yesterday. I haven't been able to decide which is the No. 1 choice yet and I might look at a few more places that have come on the market, but it's nice to know that there are several options I'd feel comfortable buying right now. If the surgery is as painless as the home-buying process has been thus far, I'll be thrilled.

    And on that note, I'll see you (and hopefully hear you) Monday ...


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