November 5, 2009

Link-O-Rama

UPDATE: Twins have traded Carlos Gomez to the Brewers for J.J. Hardy. Lots more later, obviously.

  • 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 Levy admitted 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 featured Larry 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 Leitch to 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.
  • And speaking of nude women and desserts, Kelly Brook has some lovely cupcakes.
  • When all is said and done, there's little doubt that Lady Gaga's greatest contribution to the world will be Christopher Walken reading the lyrics to her terrible song:


    "Oh!"
  • One of my "realistic free agent options" for second base can already be crossed off the list after the Pirates got Akinori Iwamura from 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.
  • Shockingly, following Phil Ivey around the globe for four days produced some interesting footage.
  • 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 Zavada has been named "Mustached American of the Year" by the American Mustache Institute.
  • Popeye Jones may be one of the few men for whom a bloody mugshot is actually an improvement.
  • 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 me Joe 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 Weekly we 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 Souhan is blogging now on the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website. That's all.
  • Tubby Smith's third season with the Gophers isn't off to such a fantastic start, but at least they aren't letting someone else write their research papers!
  • 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.
  • Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

    - TBS boss admits Caray "made some errors"
    - Diamondbacks rookie Zavada named "Mustached American of the Year"
    - Hudson passes physical, extension with Braves all but official
    - Chamberlain's mother pleads "no contest" to drug charges
    - Angels re-sign Abreu to two-year deal
    - Tracy a free agent after Arizona picks buyout over option
    - Dodgers decline Garland's $10 million option
    - Girardi wins World Series, helps crash victim on way home

  • Finally, in honor of Lincecum this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Mayer doing a live version of his new song "Who Says":


  • Once you're done here, check out my NBCSports.com blog and Twitter updates.

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