March 27, 2008

Link-O-Rama

  • As hinted at last week, I've joined the staff at MinnPost, where my byline will appear in the sports section alongside the likes of former Minneapolis Star Tribune reporters Steve Aschburner and Jay Weiner, former City Pages editor G.R. Anderson, and frequent New York Times contributor Pat Borzi. My weekly contribution to MinnPost will be primarily "best of" content pulled from AG.com that runs each Thursday, with my analysis of Joe Nathan's contract extension serving as my debut column.

    I'm a fan of what MinnPost is doing and admire many of the veteran journalists founder Joel Kramer has assembled since launching the venture just months ago, so I'm thrilled to be joining the team. If you're looking for some good, Minnesota-based journalism that goes beyond what's offered in the two local newspapers, the site is a daily must-read. And if you just want to visit MinnPost each day to stare at the lovely drawing of me that they commissioned, I wouldn't blame you for that either.Scary, huh? If only my hair looked even half that good in real life. Along with Aschburner, Weiner, Borzi, and Anderson, the MinnPost staff also includes familiar names from the world of local journalism like Doug Grow and Britt Robson, not to mention my idol and former journalism-school professor (and Pulitzer Prize winner) Chris Ison. As someone who was unable to fulfill his childhood dream of writing for a newspaper, it's surreal to see my work alongside so many of the journalists I grew up reading.

    Kramer was formerly editor, publisher, and president of the Star Tribune, and at MinnPost he's put together an interesting mix of old-school journalism in an online format. It's a non-profit outfit that aims to "provide high-quality journalism for news-intense people who care about Minnesota" while aiming for "a thoughtful approach to news." My hope is that you'll stop by to sniff around my page and then stay to check out everything else, because even ignoring my involvement the site is definitely worth reading.

  • While searching through my archives the other day looking for something else, I stumbled across a crazy story about Livan Hernandez that was originally linked to here way back in 2003:
    San Francisco Giants pitcher Livan Hernandez denied Thursday that he pushed an elderly warehouse owner or swung golf clubs at him, saying that he was the victim in a scuffle that resulted in his arrest.

    Hernandez posted $10,000 bond and was released from Miami-Dade County Jail late Wednesday after he was charged with felony aggravated assault and battery on the elderly. Each charge carries up to five years in prison. He is scheduled for arraignment Jan. 29.

    Police said Hernandez pushed Francisco Martinez, 65, to the ground during an argument outside a warehouse he rents from the man. The dispute escalated and police said Hernandez grabbed some golf clubs from the trunk of his car and tried to hit Martinez.

    All of that stuff is plenty good, but by far the best part of the story was this picture:

    Hernandez appears to be doing some sort of Gilbert Gottfried impression.

  • The good people at Sony have been kind enough to send me five copies of MLB 08: The Show for Playstation 3, which retails for around $60. The idea was that I'd get them in the hands of my readers via some sort of giveaway and I'd love to do just that, but so far no great giveaway ideas have come to mind. I'm very much open to suggestions, so if you have a good idea for a way to pick the five AG.com readers who get a free copy, please post a note in the comments section or e-mail me.

    My lone potential giveaway idea was to hold a logo-making contest, similar to what friend of AG.com Tim Dierkes is doing over at MLB Trade Rumors. This blog is long overdue for a redesign given that it's essentially had the same basic look for the past five years, but I'm not skilled enough to create a logo. If you feel like putting your design skills to the test, come up with a logo (or multiple logos) that you think would work well atop AG.com and send it to me.

    If you submit something that I end up using, I'll send you a copy of MLB 08: The Show for Playstation 3 and give you a nice plug. The only requirements are that the design can't involve copyrighted images, such as the Twins logo or a player's picture, and must feature "AaronGleeman.com" prominently. Other than that, I'm open to anything that looks good. And for those of you who aren't much for logo-making, don't forget to send me any other ideas you have for a potential giveaway.

  • The Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com throne remains vacant for now, but Keeley Hazell may be on the verge of taking over the title that has gone unclaimed since Elisha Cuthbert was stripped of her crown over 15 months ago. No doubt sensing that new episodes of The Office are right around the corner and Jenna Fischer may be gearing up for a strong run, Hazell had a fantastic week, with new photo shoots showing her in bikinis, out of bikinis, and somewhere in between. It's your move, Jenna.
  • Speaking of Cuthbert, she's seemingly well on her way to becoming the Alyssa Milano of the NHL, hopping from hockey player to hockey player much like Milano does with pitchers. Her career has gone downhill since 24 and her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com stock has plummeted since The Girl Next Door single-handedly won her the title, but Cuthbert appears to be looking better recently and is set to star in a new hour-long drama on CBS:
    In Ny-Lon, Elisha plays Edie Miller, a free-spirited, New Yorker who works in a record store and also moonlights as a literacy teacher. On a trip to London, she meets a British stock broker, Michael. Their whirlwind romance leads to their deciding to try a cross-continental love affair.

    My grandmother's name was Edie, no record-store clerk in the history of the world has looked anything like Cuthbert, and that show sounds like it'll be painful to watch. Interestingly, the show is a remake of a British series in which Rashida Jones starred in the same role as Cuthbert. Jones used to be on The Office, where her character Karen Filippelli had a rivalry with Fischer's character Pam Beesly. I'm not sure what all of that means in the grand scheme of OFGoAG.com business, but it's something.

  • Last month I wrote about how silly it was that various fans and media members were comparing Delmon Young to Frank Robinson. It seemed like a worthwhile point to make at the time, but now I'm not so sure. Earlier this week Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan referred to Young as "a former No. 1 overall pick who has been compared, however unwisely and prematurely, to Frank Robinson." Either Shecky is reading this blog or we're simply starting to think alike, and I'm not sure which is worse.
  • Speaking of Souhan thinking like me, his recent column about the Twins' lineup contains the phrase "on-base percentage" six times in fewer than 1,000 words, which might be more mentions than OBP had previously received in the entire history of the newspaper. As if that weren't enough, Souhan wrote the following about Joe Mauer in the same column:
    I'd prefer to see Mauer as the leadoff hitter. Even in a down year, Mauer had the Twins' best on-base percentage last season. If I were writing the lineup, I'd want my best on-base percentage hitter leading off, to try to build big innings.

    That said, Mauer should be an ideal No. 2 hitter, as well, because of his ability to work the count and pull grounders through the right side.

    Souhan writing that "Mauer should be an ideal No. 2 hitter" scares me, because just last week I wrote that "the No. 2 spot is ideal for Mauer." If Souhan starts writing regularly about on-base percentages and Mauer being a good fit atop the lineup, does that mean I have to start making cheesy one-liners and poultry references?

  • My friend and Rotoworld colleague Gregg Rosenthal was in Japan for the Red Sox-A's series this week and wrote a pair of good articles about his experience.
  • Speaking of the series in Japan, my fellow Highland Park native Jack Hannahan is starting at third base for the A's while Eric Chavez is sidelined and ranks second among all MLB hitters in OPS behind only Manny Ramirez.
  • I'm not proud to admit this, but for a brief time in the early 1990s there were Zubaz in my closet. Then I turned 10 years old and realized how ridiculous they looked. It's now 15 years later and my guess is that Zubaz's attempt to find relevance again will rank somewhere between "Juan Gonzalez" and "Bret Boone" on the comeback scale.
  • Pat Jordan's piece about spending three months trying to interview Jose Canseco may be 4,000 words long, but my favorite part is the final line.
  • Patriots coach Bill Belichick was recently seen scouting tight ends at the University of Florida.
  • I'm not sure if Royals pitcher Brian Bannister can duplicate the success that he had as a rookie, but I'll definitely be rooting for him when he's not facing the Twins.
  • A new blog to check out: Super Terrific Happy Hour.
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Mayer doing a live version of "Belief":


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