Last spring, when NBCSports.com began planning to launch a new baseball blog, Matthew Pouliot and I were asked to think of a third writer to possibly bring into the mix. We both immediately suggested Craig Calcaterra, who has predictably been a perfect fit at Circling the Bases. In fact, he's such a great fit that Craig has decided to quit being a lawyer to become a full-time blogger. I've been giving him tips on how to live for weeks without showering and obviously he'll be moving into his parents' basement.
Turner president David Levyadmitted that horrible play-by-play announcer Chip Caray made "some errors" during TBS' playoff coverage. In related news, I'm admitting to carrying "some" extra pounds.
As if Curb Your Enthusiasm could get any funnier, last week's episode featuredLarry David getting into an argument about Derek Jeter with a stonemason, who called him "the most overrated player in baseball" and "the worst defensive shortstop in baseball statistically." David responded by screaming: "Oh Bullshit! He's a great clutch hitter, he's a great clutch player!" The whole scene made me giddy and the actor who played the stonemason, Eric Edelstein, e-mailed Will Leitchto explain:
I just wanted to let you know that, yes, I am "the rare mason familiar with advanced baseball defensive metrics." I had just read a bunch about SABR and UZR before the audition and I had to bring it up. I am not sure I buy it ... it has Aaron Rowand as below average defensively and I disagree wholeheartedly.
Edelstein also plays Lawrence (the angry townsperson) on Parks and Recreation, which was created by former Fire Joe Morgan blogger Michael Schur, so there's a pretty decent chance that we could see him dropping a VORP reference on Leslie Knope or arguing the merits of xFIP with Ron Swanson.
Two of my favorite things, together: Chocolate and a naked former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com.
One of my "realistic free agent options" for second base can already be crossed off the list after the Pirates got Akinori Iwamurafrom the Rays for a run-of-the-mill reliever. Not sure if the Twins were ever in the mix, but at that price they should have been.
Joe Mauer led the AL in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. This week Derek Jeter received the Hank Aaron Award that "recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each league." There's no need to get worked up about an award that's voted on by fans, but how can MLB.com's 1,200-word article about Jeter winning not even mention Mauer's name?
At least not all awards are undeserved: Diamondbacks rookie pitcher Clay Zavadahas been named "Mustached American of the Year" by the American Mustache Institute.
Friend of AG.com Mike Chiappetta hosts "Inside The Ultimate Fighter" and this week's podcast has a pair of really interesting interviews with NFL first-round pick turned MMA heavyweight Marcus Jones and comedian/announcer/guy who once took a picture with meJoe Rogan. Listen to the whole thing if for no other reason than to hear Rogan talk about the time he almost fought Wesley Snipes.
Thanks to Us Weeklywe now know that Alex Rodriguez has two painted portraits of himself "as a centaur hanging over his bed" and has impressed girlfriend Kate Hudson with his sexual ability.
Do we really want the police wasting their time and our money issuing 10,000 citations in two weeks to people who weren't wearing a seat belt? Really?
My new favorite Timberwolves player is Oleksiy Pecherov, who shoots almost every time he touches the ball and looks like a cross between Keith Van Horn and Stewie Griffin:
On a related note, my mom went to the Wolves-Cavs game and filed this scouting report on Australian center Nathan Jawai via instant message the next morning: "Made some points. Oliver Miller like."
In perhaps the least-surprising news of the week, Tim Lincecum was busted for having three grams of marijuana in his car following a traffic stop. He wasn't found to be impaired in any way and that small an amount is classified as "personal use" in his home state of Washington, so police rightfully let the 25-year-old off with a citation.
Jim Souhanis blogging now on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website. That's all.
HBO is trying to talk Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie into doing another season of Flight of the Conchords, but it doesn't sound likely. We can still hold out some hope for a Murray Hewitt spinoff.
I've been on many flights where "a track suit" would have made someone the best-dressed person on the entire plane, yet a Best Buy executive was denied a first-class seat for being "too casual."
I've now officially seen every episode of Lost. Took me less than two months to go from never having seen a minute of the show to burning through 103 episodes, which says plenty about my social life. I'm now in need of another long-running show to obsess over and catch up on. I'd ask for suggestions, but admittedly that's tough without knowing every show that I've seen. So, well ... I dunno.
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.