July 24, 2008

Link-O-Rama

  • Francisco Liriano turned 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 Tribune speculates that he's on the verge of a call-up.
  • Let go by the New York Times earlier 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.

    Welcome to the blogosphere, Murray.

  • Remember that invite to an All-Star game party in New York that showed up in my e-mailbox a few weeks ago? Here's a picture of what I missed out on by stupidly living a thousand miles away:


    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 .

  • On a related note, Menounos looks just slightly better than Ortiz in a baseball uniform.
  • 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 to Erin 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.

    They plan to wed in the spring. Mrs. Erin High Pitch has a certain ring to it, you've got to admit.

  • 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:


    For some reason, after watching that debacle I feel sorry for Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn.
  • After reportedly going through Barry Zito, Brad Penny, Carl Pavano, Tom Glavine, and who knows how many other former All-Star starting pitchers, Alyssa Milano announced 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.
  • Congratulations to Stephon Marbury, who's now officially the Mike Tyson of the NBA.
  • Jeff Pearlman of ESPN.com recently wrote a well-done article about Mike Lamb and the sometimes not-so-great parts of playing baseball for a living.
  • Cringe-worthy incidents seem to follow poor Buzz Bissinger wherever he goes.
  • As my Rotoworld colleague Gregg Rosenthal learned this week, it doesn't take much prodding for me to devote a column to Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Keeley Hazell.
  • Speaking of Hazell, this may be the greatest invention in the history of computers. Plus, there's even a behind-the-scenes video of the revolutionary new technology coming to life:


    Never before has news from England been so fascinating.
  • Not letting her previous fifth-place finish get her down, Mila Kunis is still doing her best to remain a viable Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate.
  • 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 Press reports 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 Illustrated notes 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.

  • This week's "Fantasy Fix" show on NBCSports.com features me talking about Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins, Joe Blanton, Brett Myers, and the rest of the Phillies:


    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.
  • When he's not busy being Ken Tremendous at Fire Joe Morgan and Mose Schrute on The Office, Michael Schur is producing a new show on NBC starring Amy Poehler.
  • 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.
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Sara Bareilles singing a live, stripped-down version of "Bottle It Up":


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

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