January 18, 2008

Link-O-Rama

  • Perhaps some day in the future, when it's time to quit blogging, I'll simply copy Jenna Jameson's recent retirement speech and inform my readers that "I will never, ever, ever spread my legs again in this industry. Ever!"
  • From the man who brought the world "straight cash homey" comes the early leader in the clubhouse for Best New Phrase of 2008: "Consensual horseplay."
  • Apparently life sometimes imitates John Pinette's comedy bits, although 6-foot-3 and 265 pounds isn't what I'd normally associate with "banned from a buffet for eating too much." Here's my favorite part of the story:
    "She says, 'Y'all fat, and y'all eat too much,'" Labit said.

    Labit and Borrelli said they felt discriminated against because of their size. "I was stunned, that somebody would say something like that. I ain't that fat, I only weigh 277," Borrelli said, adding that a waitress told him he looked like he a had a "baby in the belly."

    I'm guessing that she didn't get the full 15 percent.

  • Seth Stohs added to his ever-expanding collection of outstanding interviews by posting a lengthy chat with Kevin Slowey about what life was like as a big-league rookie and what he's expecting this season as a full-time member of the Twins' rotation. Slowey is very well spoken and his insanely good strikeout-to-walk ratios suggest that he's a pretty smart pitcher, but using "grievous" correctly in an interview with a blogger probably makes it official.
  • Quote of the Week, from former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Jessica Alba:
    Contrary to how people may feel, I've never used my sexuality. That's not part of it for me.

    Sure, but it's "part of it" for everyone else. Or maybe I've watched Honey a dozen times because of the fantastic acting.

  • New York Magazine points out that there's little reason to pay attention to what Hank Steinbrenner says when it comes to the Yankees potentially trading for Johan Santana (or anything, really).
  • For my fellow hardcore fans of The Wire, check out Nick Hornby's interview with series creator David Simon, Atlantic Monthly's profile of "the angriest man in television" (Simon), and Freakonomics' look at what "real thugs" think of the show. And for those of you who're unfamiliar with one of the best shows on television, you can get caught up on the series' first four seasons in just four minutes:


    "McNulty has a drink."
  • As a member of the tribe, for some reason it amuses me that Christina Aguilera is now the mother of a boy named Max Bratman. In related news, there's a too-tall goy dominating the six-foot-and-under basketball league at the Minneapolis JCC.
  • As a wise man once said, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
  • Not only has LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune long been the Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com, he's been named "Rumor Royalty" by Tim Dierkes over at MLB Trade Rumors.
  • LEN3's partner in reporting over at the Star Tribune, Joe Christensen, recently wrote a good article about the Twins' history of trading star players for prospects. Christensen correctly points out that many veteran-for-prospect trades have turned out well for the Twins despite being ripped initially by fans and media members who were simply unfamiliar with the young players involved. With that said, the article contained one assertion that seemed like a stretch:
    In 2003, some thought the Twins were fleeced when they sent A.J. Pierzynski to the Giants for Joe Nathan, Boof Bonser and Francisco Liriano.

    That day, Giants GM Brian Sabean said, "It's not often that you can send a reliever and two unproven prospects for a front-line, lefthanded-hitting All-Star catcher."

    Yeah, silly Twins.

    While it's technically true that "some" thought the Twins were fleeced in the sense that "some" could very well just mean Brian Sabean and A.J. Pierzynski's grandmother, my recollection is that the typical reaction to the deal was pretty favorable at the time. I'm not sure what the local newspapers printed on the deal, but on November 17, 2003 my analysis was that "trading Pierzynski now seems like a very reasonable thing to do" because "his value has probably never been higher."

    My conclusion: "Ultimately I don't think there's really any way for the Pierzynski trade to be viewed as a bad one." And that came despite my dramatically underrating the potential of Francisco Liriano ("a shot at becoming a dominant left-handed reliever") and also selling Joe Nathan's upside a little bit short. Pierzynski was a fan favorite and a good player, but the Twins had Joe Mauer ready to replace him and needed bullpen help with both LaTroy Hawkins and Eddie Guardado set to leave as free agents.

  • On their way to the World Series, the 1991 Twins apparently often had a pair of spousal abusers batting back-to-back in the middle of their lineup.
  • My very first "favorite basketball player" and the man whose odd free throw-shooting routine I copied during my playing career continues to make headlines for all the wrong reasons even in retirement.
  • The old-school, print version of The Sporting News has become increasingly irrelevant over the past couple years, but TSN has smartly decided to change directions by snatching up some of the best bloggers in the business to join their staff.
  • In a quote that has to be true because it's too over the top to be effective parody, long-time Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy wrote the following about Jim Rice's Hall of Fame candidacy:
    Memo to 30-year-old stat geeks combing through Jim Rice's numbers: Get out of the house and look at the sky one time. I know personal contact frightens you, but let go of OPS for a moment and try talking to someone who saw Rice play, or better yet, played against him.

    The man who many Bostonians mockingly refer to as "Curly Haired Boyfriend" is apparently under the impression that "30-year-old stat geeks" have some sort of say in who becomes a Hall of Famer, but in reality that couldn't be further from the truth. Only Shaughnessy's fellow newspaper writers--the guys who presumably "saw Rice play" when they "get out of the house and look at the sky"--have Hall of Fame ballots and they've failed to give Rice enough votes for 14 straight years.

  • Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine senior editor Jayne Haugen Olson recently appeared on the Cities 97 morning show (scroll down a bit) to discuss the magazine's recent article on local websites that prominently featured AG.com and my ugly mug. I'm certainly not against self-promotion, but it's also nice when someone else does it for you (plus, Cities 97 is one of the few local radio stations that I can stand listening to).
  • The jury is still out on Matt Leinart's quarterbacking ability, but a season-ending broken collarbone hasn't had a negative impact on his off-field exploits and I'm a big fan of his taste.
  • Like the opposite of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Bob Sansevere and Jack Morris' Hall of Fame case are two bad tastes that taste horribly together.
  • AG.com favorite Artie Lange, living large in Las Vegas. "Fiyah!"
  • Deadspin's Will Leitch is featured in the February edition of Penthouse (seriously), which has led to some amusing adventures in pornography purchasing.
  • The first installment of my annual series on the Twins' top 40 prospects kicked off yesterday with a familiar, disappointing name in the No. 40 spot.
  • If you missed it on Monday, there's still time to submit questions for me to answer next week in this space. For details, click here.
  • Otis Redding was my pick for this week's AG.com-approved music video, but it was tough deciding between a black-and-white version of "My Girl" or a live version of "Shake." On one hand, "My Girl" is a classic song and Redding covered it well in the version that I stumbled across. On the other hand, "Shake" includes Redding encouraging everyone to "shake it like a bowl of soup," which is one of my all-time favorite lyrics. I'm pretty sure that no one will mind, so I'll just pick both. First up, here's "My Girl":


    And to close out the week, here's "Shake":


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