Oakland has one of the worst offenses in the league and he eventually allowed three runs, but Nick Blackburn holding the A's scoreless through seven innings yesterday afternoon probably qualifies as a minor miracle given the horrendous outfield that the Twins put out there behind him. Of course, the three runs came after the Twins ditched the Delmon Young-Michael Cuddyer-Jason Kubel alignment, which is why I'm not sitting on an island somewhere counting my winnings from betting on baseball.
Braves prospect Barbaro Canizares has a great name and an even better scouting report, because an unnamed teammate explained: "He can't run, can't throw, and can't field, but the sumbitch can hit."
Here's what manager Ozzie Guillenhad to say following one of the White Sox's recent losses:
Is the clubhouse closed? We should open it and let them answer why they're so horse shit. I talked to them. One thing about it: Good teams win games. Bad teams have meetings. Well, I think we're to the point of having a lot of meetings. That's all I can say.
Meanwhile, there's speculation that the White Sox are preparing to sell off some of their veterans.
If the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com competition were limited to native Minnesotans, Kelly Carlson of Nip/Tuck fame would be a front-runner.
Despite all the hype in the world, Selena Roberts' book about Alex Rodriguezsold 16,000 copies.
In a Minneapolis Star Tribunecolumn ostensibly about Joe Mauer's contract, Patrick Reusse wrote:
Baseball's descent from the national pastime to relying on regional appeal--as with basketball and hockey--has left the grand old game with a fan base that can be rather dimwitted. There's the smug minority that think it's all about make-believe statistics, and there is the obtuse majority that looks at a 162-game baseball schedule through the same lens as it does a 16-game NFL season.
Those are people with baseball observations that are neither bright nor original, and yet they have an urge to express them in BlogWorld or in calls to radio shows. A couple of months ago, this crowd was insistent that Mauer was an injury-prone singles hitter and in need of a position change for the Twins to get much more out of him.
I'm amused by the notion of "make-believe statistics" as opposed to, presumably, "real statistics." Also, Reusse has both a blog and a radio show. Just saying. On a more serious note, the idea that people in "BlogWorld" were "insistent that Mauer was an injury-prone singles hitter" and "in need of a position change" is absolutely absurd, unless by "BlogWorld" he just means people who make comments on the Star Tribune's website and not actual bloggers who, like him, produce content for an audience.
If he's referring to the people who hang out in the Star Tribune's comments section then congrats for finding a barrel full of fish to shoot, but if he's referring to the people who actually blog about the Twins then Reusse either has no clue what he's talking about or is simply being intelluctually dishonest. Or maybe he's just confusing us with Jim Souhan, who prior to about six weeks ago consistently wrote all of those things about Mauer in the same newspaper. I'd say more, but ... I dunno, who cares?
For the most part Jimmy Fallon strikes me as unwatchable, but Mark-Paul Gosselaar appearing on his show in character as Zack Morris was beyond awesome:
Sad news about his relationship with Kelly Kapowski, though.
Meanwhile, Conan O'Brien provided some late-night awesomeness of his own by revealing the true inspiration for his new set design:
I'm not even really much of a O'Brien fan, but he's still several million times better than Jay Leno.
While talking about Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley many years ago, Howard Stern theorized that for every incredibly beautiful, lusted-after woman in the world there's a man somewhere sick of being with her. Leonardo DiCaprio and Bar Refaeli are the latest data points supporting that theory.
HBO is reportedly undecided about renewing one of my favorite shows, In Treatment.
We just finished the inaugural season of "Gleeman World 2" in WhatIfSports.com's Hardball Dynasty game and it looks like we'll have some franchise openings. Hardball Dynasty is not a fantasy baseball game, but rather a simulation of running a fictional MLB organization from rookie-ball to the majors. It's incredibly detailed and time-consuming with a steep learning curve, so first and foremost we're looking for owners who've played Hardball Dynasty in the past, although anyone is free to express interest.
Finally, in honor of Gosselaar/Morris and my childhood this week's AG.com-approved music video is the Saved By The Belltheme song:
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.