As if Opening Day wasn't enough to make for an exciting Monday, I've got a big announcement coming next week that smart readers can probably figure out on their own before then. In the meantime, here's the usual end-of-week linkage ...
If this University of Melbourne study is accurate, then I'm the greatest employee of all time.
Driveline Mechanics examines the AL Central's starting pitching and concludes that all five rotations are actually pretty close, although Scott Baker's season-opening stint on the disabled list unfortunately may change that analysis.
Obviously being without Baker for any significant stretch would be a huge blow to the Twins' playoff chances, but R.A. Dickey is stepping into the rotation for him and watching a knuckleballer will at least be interesting even if he's not all that good.
One of my favorite writers, Eric Neel, and one of my favorite coaches, Mike D'Antoni, got together for an interesting 12-minute video interview and lengthy profile article over at ESPN.com.
I'm not much for artwork--a framed Homer Hanky from 1987 and a couple photographs taken by my uncle are literally the only things hanging on my walls here at The House That Blog Built--but I'm willing to pay big bucks for a print of this beauty.
Joe Posnanski started up a blog devoted to "the future of newspapers" that recently ran a guest post from none other than Bill James. My favorite line is his opener: "I hate to be the rational doomsayer, but in the modern world it is unnecessary to cut down trees to spread ideas."
On a related note, the Minneapolis Star Tribunehas decided to make some content print-only by not posting it on the website. I'm certain that the idea behind the move is to convince everyone that buying the actual newspaper remains worthwhile, but for people like me that ship sailed a long time ago and print-only content just means that I'll probably never see it. The more time newspapers waste trying to salvage the ink-on-paper version of their content the bigger hole they'll eventually have to dig out of.
I'm not really sure why Kelly Brock is famous, but clearly it's deserved.
It's been so long since I've regularly watchedER that half the characters on last night's series finale were strangers to me, but I'm in complete agreement with the top two places on this list of the "hottest" women in the show's 15-season run. I've had a crush on Linda Cardellini since Freaks and Geeks and for reasons not entirely clear even to me Maura Tierney is right in my wheelhouse. Most underrated? Kellie Martin, who was an awesome guest on the Carolla-hosted Loveline like 10 years ago.
Joe Christensen of the Star Tribunewrote a great piece earlier this week about defense, discussing why errors totals are often misleading and quoting The Fielding Bible author John Dewan. Not only is it the type of article that you never would've seen in a major newspaper just a few years ago, Christensen supplemented the already thorough article with an even lengthier blog entry that has tons of interesting tidbits about the Twins' gloves.
On a related note, Torii Hunterexplained to Sports Illustrated how he's still a much better fielder than Carlos Gomez by saying: "Just look at his errors." Not surprisingly, Hunter also took the opportunity to use the media to a) inform everyone what a tough guy he is, and b) tear down others. Unlike his range in center field, some things never change. Setting aside Hunter's same old shtick, Albert Chen's article about the advancements in fielding analysis is well worth a read.
Friend of AG.com Keith Arnoldinterviewed SI.com writer Jeff Pearlman, who has a new book out on Roger Clemens.
Since losing 90 pounds a few years ago and then regaining most of it right back, I've unsuccessfully tried to restart my weight-loss effort by announcing it here in the hopes that public humiliation could be a good motivator. Unfortunately my fatness seems to be immune to such things, but I'm going to give it yet another try starting on Opening Day. In fact, my latest "what the hell, maybe this will work" idea is to compare my weight to the Twins' record, trying to keep my pounds lost ahead of their games won.
Hopefully by season's end both numbers will be around 95, although the Twins winning 82 games and me gaining another five pounds is probably more likely. For now, the Fat-O-Meter has been reset.
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.