May 3, 2007

Link-O-Rama

  • Picture of the Week: Believe it or not, Tom Brady's choice of headwear completely overshadows the supermodel whose hand he's holding while walking down the street.
  • I used to think that the Mike Morris path was pretty much the best-case scenario for an NFL long-snapper, but apparently not.
  • Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune passes along the following encouraging note about Francisco Liriano:
    Lefthander Francisco Liriano strolled into the Twins clubhouse after coming up from Fort Myers, Fla., where he is rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery. He will travel with the team from Tampa to Minnesota for the next homestand, just to be closer to the action for a while.

    Liriano said he has been playing catch from 30 feet every other day and hasn't had any setbacks. He said he will be throwing from 50 feet soon and beyond that, he's not sure. He will miss this season but hopes to pitch again in the Dominican winter league.

    Liriano said he weighs 222 pounds after pitching at 201 last year. His shoulders have become much more muscular. "I wanted to [gain the weight]," Liriano said. "I think I was too skinny. I feel good. I want to stay the way I am now."

    There's a long way to go, of course, but he's getting there.

  • Misleading Stat of the Week, also courtesy of Christensen:
    Luis Castillo returned to the Twins lineup after missing 10 games with a strained left quadriceps muscle. To say the team missed him is an understatement.

    The Twins went 4-6 without Castillo in this latest stretch, but since he joined the team, the Twins are 101-56 with Castillo in the lineup and 10-21 without him.

    Think of how horrible their record is going to be next season after he leaves as a free agent!

  • Charles Barkley is the most consistently entertaining sports personality I've ever seen and Kenny Smith is highly underrated, but after watching Inside the NBA Monday night I found myself in complete agreement with this article.
  • Ozzie Guillen Quote of the Week, regarding the White Sox's injuries and offensive struggles:
    I had tears in my eyes when I was doing the lineup. I can even hit in this lineup.

    If you're curious, Guillen was a career .264/.287/.338 hitter in 7,133 plate appearances, while the White Sox are hitting a combined .221/.309/.377 this year. Incidentally, Ron Gardenhire hit .232/.277/.296 in 777 plate appearances and the Twins are batting .279/.339/.405.

  • With the Twins in Tampa Bay, Devil Rays beat writer Marc Topkin offered up the following note in the St. Petersburg Times:
    Elijah Dukes, Akinori Iwamura and Delmon Young combined to score 43 April runs, more than any rookie trio in the past 50 years, according to research by the Rays. Minnesota's Gary Gaetti (now the Rays' Triple-A hitting coach), Kent Hrbek and Randy Johnson scored 40 in 1982.

    No, not that Randy Johnson. This one.

  • At first I thought this article was merely a late April Fool's Day joke, but then I got the bottom, where Tubby Smith uttered the Understatement of the Week: "I'm expecting them to be back."
  • With Gregg Rosenthal taking the week off to get married and go on his honeymoon, I was left to co-host NBCSports.com's "Fantasy Fix" show with Tiffany Simons. On Monday's show we went over my weekly waiver-wire suggestions and on Wednesday's show we discussed which April performances will end up looking like flukes by the end of the year. I also taped a new "Gleeman Report" that focused on the most-valuable and least-valuable fantasy players from the season's first month.
  • I've been on the Adrian Peterson bandwagon for quite a while now and he was the No. 2 player on my wish list behind Calvin Johnson, so I'm thrilled that the Vikings were able to grab him with the No. 7 overall pick in last weekend's draft. On the other hand, I'm disappointed that the Vikings had a chance to follow my advice even further by grabbing Dwayne Jarrett in the second round and instead chose a different wide receiver. Interestingly, Jarrett was snatched up one pick later.

    Only time will tell if I'm right, but I'll go on record as saying that I think Jarrett will be the second-best wide receiver from the draft behind only Johnson. With that said, I don't think taking Sidney Rice in the second round was a bad pick by itself, so I'll be very curious to see how Rice and Jarrett ultimately compare. Most post-draft analysis seems to assume that the Browns are the big winners simply because every writer in the country is familiar with Brady Quinn, but the Vikings did as well as anyone.

  • Last month, Jon Heyman of SI.com got my dander up a bit by doing some questionable "reporting" regarding Johan Santana's future with the Twins. This month, he's using the Indians to push the same "small-market teams can't possibly keep their star players" agenda.
  • Studies have shown that 87 percent of Americans between the ages of 15 and 60 wish they could switch places with one of the two people in this picture. The other 13 percent would happily be willing to switch places with either person.
  • I realize this isn't actually the noteworthy part of the story, but Rich Eisen's wife was surprisingly understanding and even pretty funny given the circumstances.
  • Twins fans learned to live with Brad Radke's rough first innings, but so far this year Zack Greinke has made Radke look like a smooth starter. In six starts, Greinke has a .448 opponent's batting average and 14.29 ERA in the first inning, including a pair of grand slams. Once he gets out of the first frame, Greinke has a 2.52 ERA while holding opponents to a .245 batting average and zero homers. That's not quite what I had in mind back in 2004 when I wrote that Greinke might be "the next Radke."
  • There's really no reason for this to be funny, yet it still is.
  • Given that they've already run their way out of a half-dozen innings this season, can we get a break from the constant talk about the Twins "doing all the little things"? Please?
  • Seven years ago, while watching Arizona Fall League games on a vacation with my uncle, Orlando Cepeda autographed a baseball for me. At the time, the idea of me one day blogging about Cepeda being arrested on drug charges would have seemed outlandish. You know, because "blogging" didn't exist back then.
  • Never before has a headline gone from exciting to depressing this quickly.
  • If you only read one new blog that claims to be inspired by the unlikely tag-team combination of Sports Illustrated and Yours Truly, make it this one.

  • Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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