Francisco Lirianoturned in yet another dominant outing Tuesday at Triple-A, tossing seven shutout innings while striking out 10 and allowing just two hits. Liriano is now 9-0 with a 2.37 ERA and 81-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 64.2 innings spread over his last 10 starts. He's 5-0 with a 0.26 ERA over his last five starts, allowing a grand total of one run with a 42-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 35 innings, and Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribunespeculates that he's on the verge of a call-up.
Let go by the New York Timesearlier this year after decades as a columnist, Murray Chass recently started a personal website. MurrayChass.com is an eponymous address, has near-daily entries about baseball, includes enough obvious errors within the text to show that there's no editor, encourages comments, has almost zero visual appeal, and features the writing of someone who complains a lot. In other words, it's just like AaronGleeman.com and qualifies as a "blog." Just don't tell Chass that:
This is a site for baseball columns, not for baseball blogs. The proprietor of the site is not a fan of blogs. He made that abundantly clear on a radio show with Charley Steiner when Steiner asked him what he thought of blogs and he replied, "I hate blogs." He later heartily applauded Buzz Bissinger when the best-selling author denounced bloggers on a Bob Costas HBO show.
This site will most likely appeal primarily to older fans whose interest in good old baseball is largely ignored in this day of young bloggers who know it all, and new- fangled statistics (VORP, for one excuse-me example), which are drowning the game in numbers and making people forget that human beings, not numbers, play the games.
That'd be Maria Menounos doing her best "pretty girl pose" on the left and David Ortiz doing his best "Captain Morgan pose" on the right. Not seen is me doing my best "jealous loser in his underpants with chip crumbs on his t-shirt pose" while watching the game from a couch in my living room .
Speaking of pictures from the All-Star game, MLB.com set up a "Twins Confidential" site featuring behind-the-scenes shots of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Joe Nathan, Joe Vavra, Paul Molitor, Rod Carew, and Harmon Killebrew in New York for the festivities. Among the many photos, you can see Morneau sitting next toErin Andrews during the Home Run Derby and everyone being paraded down the red carpet with their families in the bed of a truck (except for Mauer, who is oddly sitting alone).
In addition to sharing a bench with the 2006 AL MVP, SI.com reports that Andrews' exciting All-Star experience also included this moment that only my fellow Howard Stern fans will truly appreciate:
Howard Stern wack packer High Pitch Erik stepped up. The longtime Stern character didn't get a picture taken with Andrews. He just asked her who she was and if she wanted to go on Stern's show. When Andrews told him that the show should go through ESPN to book her as a guest, he then asked her for her phone number. Seriously.
About a dozen years ago I was playing in a youth-league flag football game when a fight broke out. Punches were thrown, parents and grandparents were shocked, and it seemed likely to me that it was one of the most ridiculous "brawls" in the history of sports. That is, until now:
After reportedly going through Barry Zito, Brad Penny, Carl Pavano, Tom Glavine, and who knows how many other former All-Star starting pitchers, Alyssa Milanoannounced recently that she's "sworn off dating baseball players because they are too childish." She explained: "They're grown men playing a little boy's sport. That makes them childish." Significantly less childish? Grown men who write about other grown men playing a little boy's sport. Once you go blogger, you'll never go back.
While she waits for Hazell to potentially falter, OFGoAG.com runner-up Marisa Miller has smartly decided to kill time by looking great.
For whatever reason this struck me as interesting: Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Pressreports that Al Jefferson purchased Johan Santana's $1.6 million home in Golden Valley.
Walters also wrote last week that "one rumor has Los Angeles Angels utility player Robb Quinlan of St. Paul and minor league third baseman Brandon Wood headed to Atlanta for slugger Mark Teixeira." As with most "rumors" that Walters feeds to his audience, that one doesn't even pass the sniff test. Not only would that be a horrendous deal for the Braves, why would they be targeting Quinlan, a 31-year-old career .287/.331/.423 hitter who has never received even 250 plate appearances in a season?
Not surprisingly, Jon Heyman of Sports Illustratednotes that Angels general manager Tony Reagins "understandably laughed off the absurd report from a Minnesota paper ... as the babble of bloggers." Apparently not seeing the disconnect between something simultaneously coming from "a Minnesota paper" and being "the babble of bloggers," Heyman writes: "Good line, though some bloggers actually do great work." Gee, thanks. Walters being mistaken for one of us is a low point for all bloggers.
The bad news for Tiffany Simons fans is that she's not co-hosting the video this week, so you're stuck looking only at me. The good news for fans of my beard is that it's become even more spectacular than last week. Actually, I'm giving some serious thought to shaving, because how long can someone really walk around with something completely ridiculous attached to their face before it's totally absurd? I'll obviously keep everyone constantly updated on the status of my horrible facial hair, so stay tuned.
Speaking of my various video shoots, it struck me recently that putting NBCSports.com's camera equipment to use for this blog would make sense too. Why not, right? Unfortunately, so far my only idea for an angle to take with a blog-related video is a behind-the-scenes glimpse at my weekly KFAN radio appearance, but a) they might not be into that, and b) it seems too complicated for someone as lazy as me anyway. So, if you have any ideas for videos e-mail me or drop a note in the comments section.
This news is sad because they were seemingly such a perfect match, although at least now Jimmy Kimmel is finally free to be with his true love, Adam Carolla.
As owner of the world's worst sense of direction and recipient of a $128 ticket that stemmed from getting lost last week, I've decided that it would probably be a good idea to buy a GPS system for my car rather than continuing to print out Mapquest directions for any trip longer than three miles. After reading a few articles about the various brands Garmin seems to be the consensus top choice, but my hope is that some of my beloved readers are willing to share their thoughts on the best GPS options. Thanks.
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.