October 26, 2007

Link-O-Rama

  • As I've documented previously, every few months I get an odd form letter from someone claiming to be interested in purchasing AaronGleeman.com. The latest version arrived in my e-mailbox yesterday:
    Good morning,

    My name is Chris and I am writing to ask if you know if the aarongleeman.com domain name may be for sale?

    I am looking to purchase numerous websites in the entertainment industry, so I am emailing websites that I have in my bookmarks.

    I appreciate this is not your usual request, but could you please put me in touch with the site owner.

    Many thanks,

    Chris

    I remain as confused as ever about why exactly someone would send out an e-mail like that, but last year I replied to one after settling on $1.2 million as my asking price. I figured it was such a ridiculous, random number that it might be so intriguing to the prospective buyer that they couldn't help but pay it. Sadly, I didn't hear back. I'm thinking of asking for $10.6 million this time, just because I turn 25 years old in January and it's probably time to retire to an island somewhere. What do you think? Too low?

  • Before the internet, where would people have gone to find video of a way-too-intense, borderline insane-looking Kevin Garnett doing a Ric Flair impression? Also, there's this.
  • Who knew that the sidelines at Lambeau Field were so interesting?
  • Miami Heat beat writer Ira Winderman reported Tuesday on his South Florida Sun Sentinel blog that an unnamed scout opined to him that "he could not envision any team trading for Antoine Walker." Less than 24 hours later the Wolves traded for Walker as part of a five-player deal. The timing of the scout's quote and the Wolves' trade is no doubt less than shocking for everyone who's gotten used to Kevin McHale's ways as general manager, but the trade actually isn't a bad one.

    Ricky Davis and Mark Blount for Walker, Michael Doleac, Wayne Simien, and a future first-round pick. Simien was a first-round pick in 2005 and at 24 years old still has a chance to be a productive NBA player if he can get healthy, but it doesn't sound like he's in the Wolves' plans. That means they turned Davis into what will likely be a mid-first rounder in 2008 while swapping the three seasons remaining on Blount's albatross of a contract for the two seasons remaining on Walker's albatross of a contract.

    A mid-first rounder and salary relief isn't a great haul for the team's second-best player, but Davis is a pending free agent whose departure clears minutes and shots for the team's building blocks. Walker would be a horrible fit on such a young team (or any team, for that matter), so hopefully McHale can make him disappear. It sounds like several other trades are in the works, which makes sense given that the Wolves currently have more players under contract than can fit on the 15-man roster.

    It's too little too late and he's only in this position to begin with because of his own decision-making ineptitude, but so far at least McHale's rebuilding effort has been a pleasant surprise. It's nice to see the Wolves actually gaining future draft picks in trades after doing the opposite for far too long and between Al Jefferson, Randy Foye, Gerald Green, Corey Brewer, Rashad McCants, Sebastian Telfair, and Craig Smith there are some intriguing long-term pieces in place.

  • In the wild world of punctuation-related comedy, there's no doubt that this blog is the "best."
  • I've had to turn down many interesting opportunities because of my exclusive deal with Rotoworld and NBC Sports, which I knew would be the case when I signed a multi-year contract. However, the one that I regret most might be recently passing on managing the Twins in a Strat-O-Matic reenactment of the 1986 season on The Sporting News' website. Friend of AG.com Stick and Ball Guy took the job instead, so the Twins are in good hands, but the list of other managers is impressive.

    Along with SBG, the league's skippers include Curt Schilling, Doug Glanville, Will Leitch, Dan Shanoff, David Pinto, Sean Forman, Jeff Sackmann, Chris Mottram, and Jeff Sullivan. That's a murderer's row and it doesn't even include the two guys who I'd most like to be in a league with: Gary Dell'Abate and Jon Hein from Howard Stern's radio show. The idea that I turned down a chance to manage a pretend baseball team alongside Bababooey is something that keeps me up at night.

  • Having once unsuccessfully pitched a "you could turn my blog into a book" idea to a publisher, I'm glad to see that I didn't ruin it for everyone.
  • As if offering up a new Johan Santana-to-the-Yankees rumor every week isn't enough, the New York media is now trying to pass Chad Pennington off on the Vikings. Thanks, but no thanks.
  • One of the only positive things associated with the University of Minnesota football team's dismal season is being able to read Sid Hartman's column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune following each loss. It's almost as if Hartman watches a different team play a different game each week, because the inexplicably positive spin that he puts forth has grown thicker with each defeat. Last week, rather than wait for the Gophers to lose again before praising them, he instead wrote the following prediction:
    The Jeff Sagarin computers ratings make North Dakota State a one-touchdown favorite to beat the Gophers on Saturday at the Metrodome. The Las Vegas oddsmakers don't offer a line on any games involving teams in the Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA). However, the Sid Hartman pick is: Gophers 42, North Dakota State 21.

    This is a game the Gophers won't lose, even though with 25,000 visiting fans in the stands, there might not be much of a home-field advantage. NDSU (6-0) has an impressive record but against non-Big Ten opposition. ... I'm convinced that last year's narrow escape by the Gophers--a 10-9 victory over NDSU--was an accident. They caught the Gophers on a bad day.

    It turns out that last year's Gophers victory was an accident, but not quite in the way that Hartman meant. Apparently the computers were right, because the Gophers were "caught" on another "bad day" while losing 27-21 at home to a Division I-AA team. On a related note, I'm usually not shy about pointing out when a prediction that I've made turns out to be right, but this time friend of AG.com Al Bethke was kind enough to point it out for me.

  • Three words: Fantasy philanthropy league. If someone can get it going, I'll gladly write a Daily Dose column for it.
  • Longtime Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly recently left the magazine to sign what's reported to be a five-year, $10 million contract with ESPN. Reilly has held one of the highest-profile jobs in all of sportswriting for a long time and wins big-time industry awards seemingly every year, but I've never understood what all the fuss was about. With that said, I give him credit for doing an interview with The Big Lead in which he accurately described the money that he'll be getting from ESPN as "ridonkulous."

    I can't imagine leaving a gig as the back-page columnist for SI and the magazine reportedly offered Reilly $7.5 million over five years to stick around, but apparently the lure of television, radio, and the many other opportunities that only ESPN can offer were too strong. The non-compete clause in his contract means that Reilly can't start his new job until June, at which point he'll no doubt begin screaming opinions into the camera alongside the other writers who're now ESPN "personalities."

  • In light of this new, horrifying evidence, I now believe that I'm the only person in the world who has avoided doing the Soulja Boy dance on video.
  • Over at The Hardball Times, frequent AG.com commenter Chris Jaffe interviewed Rob Neyer of ESPN.com, who I described earlier this week as "basically my introduction into the world of baseball analysis." Here's an exchange from the interview that might be of interest to Twins fans:
    Jaffe: Growing up, were you always a baseball fan? Who was your favorite player as a kid?

    Neyer: Gosh, that was a long time ago. My first memories of Major League Baseball are from 1973 or '74. We lived in southwest Michigan, and my best friend Joel Proud must have been a White Sox fan, because I remember listening to the radio and hearing a great deal about Wilbur Wood and Richie Allen. But earlier we'd lived in Minnesota, and while I'd never become a Twins fan, at some point I did adopt Rod Carew as my favorite player, which lasted for a few years. When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, we had to make a photo collage on a silhouette of our head, and the dominant element in mine was a photo of Carew I snipped from Sports Illustrated.

    One of the many reasons why I'm such a big Neyer fan is that his story reminds me an awful lot of my own, from dropping out of college to sort of lucking into a great opportunity to write about sports for a living. He discussed all of that within the interview, and also re-told the story of how he came to work for Bill James.

  • Speaking of THT, along with their annual season review--the fourth edition of which will be in stores beginning next month--they also recently announced plans to publish a season preview that includes player projections and team forecasts. I'm no longer involved with THT, but it remains a must-read site and an excellent cause to support.
  • Earlier this week I noted that it'd be nice to see more Twins blogs focused on the team's history. If you found yourself agreeing with that, make sure to check out Will Young's blog for an outstanding six-part series on "The Shakeup of 1986": Part 1 ... Part 2 ... Part 3 ... Part 4 ... Part 5 ... Part 6.
  • Speaking of Twins blogs that focus on the team's history, readers sent in a few favorites that I wasn't all that familiar with: Coffeyville Whirlwind ... Tony, The Killer, and Carew ... Metrodome Memories.
  • And while you're looking over some new blogs, check out Baseball Reflections and JeffShreve.com.
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Billy Joel doing "Only the Good Die Young" on a Chevy Chase-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live from 1978:


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

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