John Brattain joined The Hardball Times in early 2005, about one year after I co-created the site, but despite giving everyone else on the staff a head start he ranks third in THT history with 234 articles. He was every bit as entertaining as he was prolific, combining an amazing sense of humor with a passion for baseball and cracking everyone up on THT's internal e-mail list when he wasn't writing some of the site's most popular columns. All of which is why I'm so sad to report that John passed away this week.
He leaves behind a wife and two daughters, along with thousands of fans and friends at The Hardball Times, Baseball Think Factory, and the entire online baseball community. THT boss Dave Studemancreated a donation drive via Paypal to help support John's family, so if you're like me and have enjoyed his writing over the years please consider making a contribution. Along with the donation you can also include a personal note for his family to read. For more information, click here. Rest in peace, John.
Sage advice for all the 20-year-old top prospects out there: Don't marry 43-year-old women who like to steal babies.
Friend of AG.com Steve Silverpasses along this video of a liquor store robbery gone horribly wrong:
The whole thing is 159 seconds of comedy gold, but my favorite part is when our hero realizes that he's had enough and decides to sit down, smoke a cigarette, and wait to be busted (or freed).
Rolling Stonecelebrates the 20-year anniversary of "Bust A Move" off Young MC's debut record Stone Cold Rhymin', which may be the very first tape (yes, tape) that I can remember owning. Few things can make you feel older than the 20-year anniversary of a song whose lyrics you memorized in the second grade, although seeing the video that you probably watched 500 times on Yo! MTV Rapsdoes the trick.
Bill Simmons' recent podcast with guest Bill Hader of Saturday Night Live was a hugely entertaining conversation about comedy, show business, impressions, and all things SNL, and amusingly had so little to do with sports in any way that Simmons finished the hour-long ESPN.com production by saying, "We should probably talk about sports for a minute or something."
I've always been a huge fan of talk radio, but have now turned almost exclusively to podcasts for my fix. Why sit through endless commercials, weather reports, and traffic updates on talk radio when you can get uninterrupted, often superior entertainment whenever you want it via podcasters like Simmons, Huff and Stapleton, and Adam Carolla? As someone who has long dreamed of doing radio I'd love to create an AG.com podcast, but for now laziness and a complete lack of tech skills stand in the way.
If you ever wanted to read 5,500 words about the life and times of Sid Hartman, now is your chance. My favorite quote from the very enjoyable Minnesota Monthly piece by Jeff Severns Guntzel comes from CNN anchor Aaron Brown: "Sid's going to outlive newspapers."
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.