Before getting to the latest batch of links, my apologies for the lack of content here this week. My alarm went off at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in order to catch an early morning flight to New York, where I was met at John F. Kennedy International Airport by a woman from a car service who was holding a sign that read: "Mr. Gleeman." After crossing that oddly thrilling experience off my list of things to do in life, I was driven in style to the former home of Dunder Mifflin's "other" branch, Stamford, Connecticut.
In addition to a fictional paper company, Stamford is also home to the NBCSports.com offices. I spent two days there meeting many of my co-workers and bosses in person for the first time, working in an office setting for what was more or less the first time in my entire life, and shooting a slew of "season preview" videos with Tiffany Simons and Gregg Rosenthal. Over at her NBCSports.com blog, Tiffany had some kind words to say about my time there:
I must say a small gracias to our special guest. Over the course of the past two days, Studio H (where the magic happens) has been graced by the presence of the one and only Aaron Gleeman. Normally Aaron calls in to give his advice but for this special occasion, he flew in to co-host the Fantasy Fix Baseball Preview Shows.
It's not often we hang out. Backing up a tad, Aaron and I's relationship has mainly consisted of telephone calls and a few emails here and there. We've met in person only a handful of times so as one would expect, 48 hours of Gleeman in Stamford was a treat. We shot I think four shows yesterday and then another six today (give or take a few).
Let me be the first to tell you AG happens to be extremely comfortable gabbing to a camera (I definitely had wayyyy more mess ups then him) and offers some good one liners along with his analysis. Throw in Gregg Rosenthal with his list of sleepers and you got yourself some pretty good advice from two credible experts. Plus the "Man Crush" segment is a nice touch.
First of all, "48 hours of Gleeman" sounds like a fate that should have been included on the wheel in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, somewhere between "Aunty's Choice" and "Gulag." Second, as you'll see when the videos go live on NBCSports.com at some point next week, the "man crush" segments (and the various off-camera jokes that predictably stemmed from them) were probably more "homo erotic" than "a nice touch."
Either way, everyone in Stamford was extremely nice, the NBCSports.com offices seem like they'd be a great place to work, and as Tiffany alluded to above the in-studio video shoots went far better than my camera-phobic mind expected thanks to help from pros like Simons, Rosenthal, Matt Casey, and Brett Vandermark. The whole experience was a fantastic one, but the downside is that I've yet to master the art of blogging on the road.
Thanks to Rotoworld and NBC Sports I've seemingly traveled morein the pastcouple years than in my first 20-plus years on the planet combined and each time my big plans for blogging get wiped away by jet lag, work, being social, and alcohol. I really can't imagine how people with actual lives manage to maintain decent blogs. Luckily there are no more travel plans on the horizon, so things should get back to normal here just in time for Opening Day. In the meantime, here is this week's linkage ...
Long before he became an annoyingly repetitive television analyst who loves to attach "type" and "level" to nearly every word that he says, spends half of each broadcast circling people in the crowd with his telestrator, and botches every other opposing player's name, Bert Blyleven was merely a Hall of Fame-caliber pitcher who had equally outstanding fashion sense:
It won't stop me from having to mute the FSN broadcasts all season, but that's a great photo.
Finally, there's photographic evidence that being a backup guard on the NBA's second-worst team and dressing like me in the ninth grade hasn't stopped Marko Jaric from dating a supermodel.
No doubt motivated by my video-shooting trip to Stamford, the Minneapolis Star Tribune's dynamic duo of LaVelle E. Neal III and Joe Christensen is now saying stuff in front of a camera.
It's not as shocking as Ken Tremendous/Michael Schur from Fire Joe Morgan recently revealing that he's married to Regis Philbin's daughter, writes for, produces, and plays Mose Schrute on The Office, and was formerly a writer on Saturday Night Live, but the man behind The Big Lead has also revealed his identity after two years of anonymity. Following in the footsteps of Schur and now Jason McIntyre, perhaps some day soon even I'll ditch this silly pen name.
Difficult as it may be to believe, one absolutely horrendous article by long-time Cincinnati Enquirer columnist Paul Daughtery made me thankful for both Patrick Reusse and Ron Gardenhire.
A recent study showing Derek Jeter's defense as poor has predictably upset fans, media members, and the Yankees, which is especially amusing given that countless studies have consistently shown the exact same thing for the past decade or so. One of many writers to stick up for Jeter's glove, Yahoo! Sports columnist Tim Brownopined that "if there was a four-hopper straight at the shortstop to end a game I had to win, I'd want Jeter and his alleged cement-shoed range standing right there."
In other words, if a ball is hit right at the shortstop and range isn't even a factor, Brown would be fine with Jeter's lack of range. Admittedly, it's tough to argue with that. Yankees scout Gene Michael made a similarly flawed case for Jeter, saying: "A ball is hit to shortstop. Who do you want to catch it? Who's going to catch the ball at him and then make the throw?" Like Brown, Michael seemingly attempts to defend Jeter's range by saying that he's perfectly capable of making plays that require zero range.
In related news, I'm a fantastic cook if all that's needed to prepare a meal is heating something up in the microwave.
If you missed it last week, I penned the Twins season preview for Deadspin, managing to work in references to Boof Bonser's gut, Pat Neshek's blog, and Keeley Hazell within the same article.
For the most part I've recently avoided discussing the newspaper industry's decline after repeatedly delving into the topic previously, but Editor and Publisherreports that the country's top 20 newspapers "have collectively lost about 1.4 million copies in daily circulation" over the past four years, which works out to around 10 percent of their overall print readership. Locally, the Star Tribune declined 10.2 percent during that time and as of September had "only" 341,645 copies in daily circulation.
I Am Legend the movie was disappointing because it strayed far from Richard Matheson's amazing novel in so many important ways. The film's ending was particularly upsetting to me, but the alternate version would have been even worse.
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.