Thanksgiving gave me an excuse to take Friday off, because tryptophan-powered blogging can be dangerous. However, since my "bookmarks" folder would get completely out of control if two weeks pass between Link-O-Rama entries, here's a special Monday link dump for your enjoyment.
This blog has been around since August of 2002, which seems to me at least like a ridiculously long time to be writing about Johan Santana and Jessica Alba every day, but according to the Wall Street Journalnext month marks the 10th anniversary of blogging. In trying to imagine what things might be like if I'm still doing this in August of 2012, I couldn't decide whether it would signal that my life has gone exceptionally well or horribly bad. But it's definitely either one or the other.
If you're looking for some good, Minnesota-based journalism that goes beyond what's offered by the two local newspapers, I highly recommend checking out MinnPost.com. Started by former Minneapolis Star Tribune publisher Joel Kramer, it's a non-profit outfit that aims to "provide high-quality journalism for news-intense people who care about Minnesota" while promising "a thoughtful approach to news." I'm already a fan because it's old-school journalism in an online-based format, which is intriguing.
The MinnPost staff includes tons of familiar names, with the sports section alone featuring former City Pages editor G.R. Anderson (who wrote a pair of articlesinvolving me), former Star Tribune basketball reporter Steve Aschburner, and frequent New York Times contributor Pat Borzi. Being exclusive to NBC Sports and Rotoworld sadly kept me from getting involved in the project, but having talked privately with Kramer about his goals and plans there's no doubt in my mind that it'll be a worthwhile daily stop.
I'm usually willing to wait until a movie comes out on pay-per-view to see it, but for some reason the previews that I've seen for I Am Legend have piqued my interest to the point that I'm actually looking forward to the December 14 release date. In fact, the movie looked so intriguing to me that I went out and bought the Richard Mathesonnovel that it's based on and read it in one sitting. If the movie is even half as good as the book, it'll be fantastic.
I ask this question every year, but why do we place so much importance on what some newspaper writers think? How many illogical, biased, backward-thinking ballots need to be cast before everyone stops caring? My favorite argument is that you can't understand how valuable a player was unless you "see him play every day," as if the person saying that was able to watch every candidate play 162 times. The further voters stray from "vote for the best player" the more confusing their rational becomes.
The only positive thing I can think of about Hitler's time on earth: I'm sure he would have eliminated all bloggers. In Colonial times, bloggers were called "Pamphleteers." They hung on street corners handing them out to passersby. Now, they hang out on electronic street corners, hoping somebody mouses on to their pretentious sites. Different medium, same MO.
One good BBWAA member is Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune, and I mentioned last week in this space that he deserves his own "Official [Blank] of AG.com" title, opening the floor for suggestions. There were quite a few posted in the comments section and e-mailed to me, but here are a handful of the better ones:
- Official Homegrown Twins Beat Writer of AG.com
- Official Twins Insider of AG.com
- Official Reliable Twins Source of AG.com
- Official Mainstream Twins Blogger of AG.com
- Official Twins Features Writer of AG.com
None of those seem especially catchy at first glance, but I'm willing to trust the masses if everyone feels strongly one way or another. Feel free to cast your vote in the comments section.
The Vikings may not be all that great when Eli Manning isn't kind enough to repeatedly throw them the ball, but at least they're unique.
Upset that Delmon Young didn't fare as well as he'd hoped in the Rookie of the Year balloting, Devil Rays manager Joe Maddonsaid the following:
It's really disturbing. I can see him not winning the award, but leaving him off eight ballots is just a sign of personal prejudice. I think it's wrong. At that point, it has nothing to do with the player's performance. The award is not a popularity race. I don't think there was any way he wasn't one of the top three rookies in the league.
The idea that "personal prejudice" needed to be present for a right fielder who batted .288/.316/.408 to be left off eight Rookie of the Year ballots is absurd. If anything, by finishing second in the voting Young's mediocre season was significantly overrated by voters who saw his 93 RBIs and ignored everything else. My ballot is meaningless because I don't write for a newspaper, but Young wasn't even close to being on it. Apparently that's "disturbing" and "has nothing to do with the player's performance."
I've been asked to "present seven random facts about myself," but after five-plus years of boring everyone with the minute details of my life, constantly linking to pointless things that strike me as interesting, and regularly answering reader-submitted questions, I'm not sure that there's anything left to reveal. Actually, I guess one random fact about myself is that I'm too lazy to avoid being a buzzkill when someone asks me to participate in an otherwise fun meme. Sorry, Shelley.
Believe it or not, the thing that interests me most about these underwear-free pictures of Christina Aguilera is that they were taken outside of Amalfi, which is a restaurant that's owned by Adam Carolla.
The Big Lead's interviews with various mainstream media members are always must-reads and their recent exchange with Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is worth checking out, if only because one of his answers begins with "Jose Lima threatened to kill me once."
It's been a busy few weeks when it comes to professional athletes and the Bubba The Love Sponge radio show. Earlier this month Aubrey Huff of the Orioles predictably madeheadlines for criticizing the city of Baltimore and sharing the studio with a naked woman while on the show. Then last week a Penthouse Pet named Jaime Hammer revealed on the show that current Timberwolves guard Marko Jaric is one of several "famous guys" who she's "been with."
Jaric has been a huge disappointment (that was initially written as "huge bust," but avoiding the pun seems like a good move) since general manager Kevin McHalemisguidedly tradedSam Cassell and a future first-round pick for him and Hammer called him "incredibly stupid" (among other unfavorable things). Of course, Jaric is a mediocre player with a $38 million contract and Hammer probably isn't the only woman he's dated who makes a living by being attractive, so he must be doing something right.
In much darker news, longtime BTLS friend and Huff's former Devil Rays teammate Joe Kennedydied early Friday morning at the age of 28. Selected by Tampa Bay in the eighth round of the 1998 draft, Kennedy won 43 games with a 4.79 ERA in 908.2 innings while pitching for four teams spread over seven big-league seasons. Kennedy was especially close to BTLS sidekick Matt "Spice Boy" Lloyd, who wrote a pretty touching tribute to him on his BTLS.com blog.
Friend of AG.com and ESPN.com columnist Eric Neel wrote a lengthy, interesting piece about USC coach Pete Carroll, who's led the Trojans to a 68-8 record since going 6-6 in his first season.
Rarely does a professional athlete say "I'm not all about money" and then actually prove it.
Get the 22nd edition of the New York Times bestselling Baseball Prospectus Annual. Edited by Aaron Gleeman, it features a foreword from Twins pitcher Glen Perkins, a Twins team chapter written by Gleeman and Parker Hageman, and 600 pages of analysis, projections, essays, rankings, and in-depth coverage of all 30 teams.