May 1, 2008

Link-O-Rama

  • If you don't have HBO and haven't seen the video online yet, do yourself a big favor and watch Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and Friday Night Lights author Buzz Bissinger make an absolute fool of himself by verbally attacking Deadspin editor Will Leitch during a roundtable "discussion" about blogging on Costas Now. The full-length version of the 20-minute train wreck is definitely worth watching, but here's perhaps the most relevant clip:


    My thoughts on the subject could redefine Gleeman-length, but the video pretty much speaks for itself and some of my favorite writers have already weighed in on the topic, so check out Bissinger-related takes from Alan Sepinwall of the Newark Star Ledger, Michael David Smith of AOL Fanhouse, Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star, Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead, King Kaufman of Salon, and Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts.

    Leitch recovered from the experience to pen a well-done postmortem piece hours after the taping, and Jason Whitlock of FOXSports.com and Ken Tremendous of Fire Joe Morgan also wrote interesting takes after being involved in the show. Bissinger surely got high fives backstage and congratulatory phone calls from fellow old-school media types, but to me he just looked like an angry, bitter, out of touch man who unknowingly made a great case for why blogs are thriving and newspapers aren't.

  • On a related note, my MinnPost colleague David Brauer reports that the Minneapolis Star Tribune's circulation declined seven percent over the past year and has dipped a total of 10 percent over the past 18 months. Given the overall state of the newspaper industry that's certainly not shocking, although the Star Tribune's decline is the sixth-largest in the country among major newspapers. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Pioneer Press essentially holding steady during that same stretch is definitely surprising.

    I haven't read either newspaper's print edition regularly in years, but frequent the Star Tribune's website daily. Doing the same with the Pioneer Press' website is tough, because the layout is awful and most articles vanish within days, making linking to content nearly impossible. For a newspaper to make life difficult on people who'd like to read and link to stories online is inexplicable at this stage of the game, and I'd be curious to see a comparison of online readership in addition to print circulation.

    Based on personal experience, my guess is the Star Tribune dominates online even more than in print (where Brauer notes they still hold a 2-to-1 edge). Phil Miller is a nice, smart guy who does a good job as Twins beat writer in St. Paul, but LaVelle E. Neal III and Joe Christensen will continue to dominate the links here until the Pioneer Press' website ceases being a mess. Also of note (to me at least) is that Rotoworld's daily readership is now within 10 percent of the Pioneer Press' print circulation.

  • As someone who spent several hundred summer afternoons mimicking entire lineups while playing home run derby growing up, this guy's eclectic mix of batting-stance impressions and attention to detail were very impressive and oddly fascinating:


    My favorite was Willie McGee.
  • It was a good week for Keeley Hazell's longstanding and increasingly convincing Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com campaign, although as usual anyone at work may want to think twice about clicking those links. She even put out a music video that's pretty damn good if you watch it with the sound muted.
  • If you missed it earlier this week, check out my in-studio appearance on FOX's "Sports on Demand" show with Jim Rich and Seth Kaplan. And if for some insane reason you're hungry for more of me on video, check out my picks for April fantasy awards on NBCSports.com's "Fantasy Fix" show with Tiffany Simons and Gregg Rosenthal.
  • Quote of the Week: "She is fully aware of the potential of her body."
  • Between the multiple mentions in this space and this news, Lori Loughlin is on a role lately.
  • I've intentionally avoided any hint of politics here over the years, but it's probably worth making an exception when the Dilated Peoples provide the soundtrack to Barack Obama basketball highlights:


    His court vision and passing are actually pretty impressive. Seriously.
  • As a rare straight, male John Mayer fan whose blog traffic has benefited greatly over the years from Jennifer Aniston, they have my blessing.
  • Can you imagine living in a world where Avery Johnson loses his job after going 194-70 (.735) and Mike D'Antoni possibly moves on after going 267-172 (.608), all while Randy Wittman keeps his gig after going 96-192 (.333)?
  • One of my rules is that whenever the original Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com poses with a current OFGoAG.com candidate, it gets a link.
  • The following "Point of View: Guy Stuck in Class" video is sadly a fairly accurate representation of my illustrious college career:


    Four years of that definitely prepared me for a life of blogging.
  • Even local television weathermen can't contain their air-quote making excitement about Jared Allen.
  • Rotoworld rookie Drew Silva is showing an awful lot of range with his new blog, One Droo Hill. A look at the front page reveals entries about Peyton Manning, Kim Kardashian, and Kosuke Fukudome, plus Silva live blogging an episode of The Hills.
  • Two more new(ish) blogs to check out: Down With Goldy and SoCalTwinsFan Musings.
  • Like me, Will Young's wife Laurie is fed up with the Twins' longtime lack of plate discipline. Unlike me, she's actually doing something about it that will help a worthwhile cause, raising money for the Susan G. Koman Three-Day Walk to benefit breast cancer awareness. I'll let her explain:
    I'll walk 60 miles over the course of three days with other people in an effort to raise awareness and to find a cure for breast cancer. I've created a mini-program named "Walks for a Walker" to raise money for the walk. In this program, people are donating a certain amount of money for each Twins walk from the beginning of the season until August 1 (since the walk is in September).

    So far the people are donating anywhere from 25 cents per walk to $1 per walk. I'm making this pretty painless for the people who want to donate in that I'm sending out monthly e-mails to each person who decides to be part of this program, letting them know how much they owe. Each donor has the option of donating money per month, at any point they want, or at the end of the "program."

    For more information, please check out her blog, where you can pledge a donation and then have even more reason to hope that Carlos Gomez can learn some semblance of the strike zone.

  • In honor of Mrs. Young's "Walks for a Walker" fund-raising effort this week's AG.com-approved music video is James Taylor doing a live version of "Walking Man":


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

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