March 20, 2009

Link-O-Rama

  • Quote of the Week, courtesy of Mariners southpaw Erik Bedard: "My ass feels good and that's that."
  • One thing I've always wondered is whether or not being charged with criminal mischief and earning the nickname "Dookie" for defecating in a laundry basket would negatively impact someone's post-NFL modeling career. Thanks to Najeh Davenport, we may soon have an answer.
  • Oakland signed 16-year-old pitching phenom Michael Ynoa last year by handing him a $4.25 million bonus that's the largest ever given to an international free agent and now A's beat writer Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle has a scouting report on him:
    Santiago Casilla told me a few weeks ago when I asked if he'd seen Ynoa this winter that Ynoa has "beautiful eyes," which made me laugh, since I'd been asking about his pitching. (Casilla hadn't seen him pitch, as it turned out.) But Casilla wasn't just cracking a joke: Ynoa does have extraordinary eyes--aquamarine or sea green, something like that. Striking.

    Slusser may be on to something, as looking back at the Twins' biggest prospect busts of the past two decades shows a clear lack of beautiful eyes. If nothing else, that was clearly Willie Banks' problem.

  • Last year the Royals avoided their fifth straight last-place finish by one win, yet their fans apparently do not take well to someone predicting that they'll be a last-place team in 2009. Funny how that works.
  • On a related note, Sidney Ponson is 32 years old and has gone five seasons without an ERA under 5.00, but two decent outings in the World Baseball Classic convinced Royals general manager Dayton Moore to sign him:
    Our scouts saw him in the WBC and were very aggressive in their recommendation that we need to bring him in here so we could evaluate him ourselves. We've got several scouts who have seen him pitch who are convinced this guy needs to be part of our rotation competition.

    Obviously it's safe to bump the Royals up into fourth place now. Also, the above Kansas City Star article is worth reading, if only to see this picture of Ponson and his Ynoa-like eyes.

  • Is former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Elisha Cuthbert making a Josh Hamilton-like comeback or does Women's Health magazine just have a good air-brushing team?
  • LaVelle E. Neal III announced that there will not be a weekly minor-league report in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this season because "there just isn't any space available to do it the right way." You know, because the newspaper's sports section obviously needs to save up all the space it possibly can for a few more reprinted Associated Press articles and 2,000-word Sid Hartman columns. Wouldn't want to clog up the pages with any unique, Minnesota-specific content that can't be found everywhere else.
  • Last month the Rocky Mountain News shut down after 149 years and the list of two-newspaper cities shrunk even further this week when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ceased producing a print edition after 146 years. Luckily for Rockies fans, longtime Rocky Mountain News staffers Tracy Ringolsby and Jack Etkin have started their own website and will continue to cover the team despite the newspaper folding. I'm guessing that Inside the Rockies will have room for some minor-league reports.
  • I've done a few photo shoots and inevitably the photographer will ask that you get into some kind of weird pose. With me it usually involves a laptop and a bed, but with Alex Rodriguez ... well, you'll see.
  • Had it been a regular-season game, Delmon Young hitting into four double plays Wednesday would have tied the all-time MLB record. Young hit into the sixth-most double plays in baseball during the past two seasons, so the more surprising thing is that he also homered in the game.
  • Not only is my childhood friend Jeremy Neren getting good press in Madison, here's better than me at the weight-loss thing without even trying (or needing).
  • It's nice to know that Craig Monroe can still hit against the Twins even if he couldn't hit for the Twins.
  • My favorite couple has broken up, again.
  • It's been a while since I've thrown a plug to Scott Huff and Joe Stapleton of Two Jacks in the Hole, but their podcast this week was especially funny.
  • Ben Reiter of SI.com thinks the Twins "won't sneak up on people this season."
  • If you're curious about how sabermetric-style statistical analysis is changing the NBA, Bill Simmons' recent podcast with Rockets general manager and admitted stathead Daryl Morey is a must-listen.
  • For anyone wondering, AG.com reached five million visitors at 4:30 yesterday afternoon while I was in the middle of a 90-minute conference call, which gives you an idea of how glamorous the event was. I've gotten much better at keeping secrets over the years, but I'm still not good enough to stop myself from at least hinting at something in this space. So, I'll just say that there's some exciting news on the baseball-writing front coming up for me very soon and regular AG.com readers should be pleased.
  • Finally, in honor of Simmons ripping him at the end of the aforementioned podcast with Morey this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ray LaMontagne doing a live version of "Trouble":


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