April 24, 2008

Link-O-Rama

  • FHM recently revealed their annual list of the "Top 100 Sexiest Women in the World" and I'm proud that two former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title-holders and one current OFGoAG.com candidate rank second, third, and fourth, respectively. My baseball analysis may be stats-driven, but my taste in women apparently shows some pretty decent scouting skills.
  • OFGoAG.com candidate Marisa Miller somehow managed to place just 58th on FHM's list, but the rankings were obviously compiled before she threw out the first pitch at a Cubs game last weekend:


    Setting aside the fact that Miller wearing a baseball uniform might be the greatest thing I've ever seen, it's very impressive that she made the throw all the way from the mound while showing off an arm that would make Shannon Stewart and Rondell White jealous.
  • As a fat person and Twins fan, this idea intrigues me.
  • Fresh off receiving surprisingly non-horrible reviews last month for my first ever on-camera work for NBCSports.com, I'm going to be a guest on the local FOX affiliate's "Sports on Demand" show Monday. The show is hosted by KMSP sports director Jim Rich, who also serves as the sideline reporter when Twins games are on WFTC each weekend. You can watch the show live on the station's site Monday afternoon and hopefully I'll be able to post a clip here afterward.
  • For years now my favorite meal in the world has been "hunan chicken with carrots, baby corn, and extra rice" from Yangtze in St. Louis Park. I can say without even an ounce of hyperbole that I've ordered it 500 times. The other day they raised the price a couple dollars, informing me that the cost of rice had risen too high for them to stick with the old amount. That didn't bother me at all, especially after seeing a "Skyrocketing rice prices has Sam's Club limiting sales" headline on CNN.com.

    However, the good people at Yangtze then informed me that even before the price increase the cost of each order had already included $5 to account for the seemingly minor "extra rice" part. So now, after ordering the exact same thing from the exact same restaurant multiple times per week for the past 7-8 years, I've come to the startling, highly disturbing realization that I've likely spent somewhere around $2,500 on white rice. If only Guinness had a category for carbohydrate-based stupidity.

  • How is a lowly Twins blogger who spends a fortune on white rice supposed to have a chance when professional basketball players start invading his turf?
  • Finally, some compelling video evidence to support the New York Times' hard-hitting investigation into blogging sweatshops.
  • Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star has long been my favorite newspaper sports columnist and like me the people who read his blog are big fans of Lori Loughlin (although sadly not enough to make her a first-ballot Pozcar winner).
  • Speaking of Posnanski, friend of AG.com Chris Jaffe interviewed him over at The Hardball Times.
  • Over 1,800 votes were cast in this week's poll to determine the best submission from the AG.com logo/header contest and there's an overwhelmingly clear winner:


    With 45 percent of the vote and nearly four times as many votes as the second-place finisher, "Double Stitches" from Dan Olson is the winner:


    With over 50 submissions the response to the contest was far beyond my expectations, so thank you to everyone who sent in a design. You'll notice that the new logo hasn't been added to the site yet, mostly because my extremely limited web-design skills guarantee that it'll take me a while to figure out how to actually make that happen.

  • Curmudgeonly, blog-hating Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse wrote the following tidbit about himself earlier this week:
    Answer never changes when someone asks if he read a Bill Simmons column: "No. What newspaper is he with?"

    Bill Simmons isn't with a newspaper, of course. Instead, he writes for a media outlet that people under the age of 50 actually read. One of the most rewarding aspects of blogging or creating a website like The Hardball Times is that your writing has to speak for itself and your audience has to seek you out. Unlike Reusse's column this blog isn't thrown onto someone's doorstep each morning along with a bunch of local news, advertisements, and coupons, so people read it solely because of the content.

    There's something satisfying about that, even if it means old-school newspaper writers like Reusse are automatically dismissive of your work because it doesn't appear as ink on a page. Meanwhile, his column appears alongside the brilliant prose of Sid Hartman and Jim Souhan in a medium that sees its audience decline further each day. The shift has already begun to some degree and in a few years people may be dismissive of writers like Reusse because they work for a newspaper.

  • Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe established himself as one of the best, most respected baseball writers in the country during his 35 years in the newspaper business, but he'll apparently now have to cross Reusse off his list of readers. It if makes Edes feel any better about losing Reusse's respect, the "no, what newspaper is he with?" club has expanded pretty rapidly over the past year.
  • Speaking of Minnesota's elite group of local newspaper sports columnists, Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote this nugget the other day:
    One longtime Twins fan is willing to bet that, at season's end, Twins rookie pitcher Nick Blackburn wil have a lower earned-run average than ex-Twins starter Johan Santana of the New York Mets.

    That sentence is fascinating on a number of levels, beginning with the notion that the opinion of "one longtime Twins fan" is somehow noteworthy enough to deserve space in a newspaper. Walters gives no hint about who the "one longtime Twins fan" might be and that one sentence is the entire extent of the note, which is found in the middle of a lengthy column made up of similarly random tidbits such as "the Gophers are trying to close a deal to schedule a home football game with Texas in 2015."

    As if Walters devoting column space to an anonymous, random thought from "one longtime Twins fan" isn't absurd enough--seriously, think about that for a moment--the Pioneer Press' editors failed to catch an obvious misspelling and "wil" made it to print, as if the newspaper is some lowly, unedited blog. Of course, as 10,000 Takes pointed out, the most amazing aspect might be that "there are actually people who pay money to have this kind of incredible sports insight 'dropped' on their doorstep each day."

  • He previously struck me as annoying because my first exposure came via the forgettable XFL, but after staying up into the wee hours listening to him call last Thursday's amazing 22-inning game and making a point to hear him work several times since then, Padres play-by-play man Matt Vasgersian is quickly becoming one of my favorite baseball announcers. He's extremely laid back, witty, smart, and has a great on-air rapport with partner Mark Grant.

    If all my money wasn't currently tied up in rice, I'd pay a decent price to have him replace Dick Bremer.

  • Friend of AG.com and Rotoworld football guru Gregg Rosenthal passed along the following note while working on the annual Rotoworld Football Draft Guide: On passes that traveled at least 20 yards, Tarvaris Jackson went 4-of-36 with two touchdowns and four interceptions last season. Me opining repeatedly that Jackson "throws a nice deep ball" now seems sort of silly, but as Rosenthal pointed out: "Well, it looks nice and goes far. It just lands on the ground."
  • Perhaps realizing that it's tough to justify cutting content when you're printing articles devoted entirely to my mom attending basketball games, the Star Tribune is bringing back Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com LaVelle E. Neal III's weekly minor-league reports.
  • I've never read the Mankato Free Press before, but if my names keeps showing up in articles it might become my favorite local newspaper.
  • A new(ish) Twins blog to check out: Tuesdays With(out) Torii.
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Mike Doughty doing a live version of "Looking at the World From the Bottom of a Well":


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

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