August 10, 2003

0% baseball, 100% babble do you like the new look? Nothing too drastic I guess, but I was getting sick of all that red at the top and I think the little bit of gray on the side-bar is a nice touch. Feel free to email me to let me know what you think, since you guys are the ones who have to actually look at it every day. Now, onto today's ramblings...

One of the best things about having this website is that people from other websites often write things about me. I'm not sure what it says about me as a person that I get so excited about seeing my name mentioned somewhere, but it never ceases to thrill me when I see someone has written something about me.

Occasionally, I stumble across the mentions of me while I am surfing the various links on the left side of this page. I also have this thing called "Site Meter" that tracks all the visitors to this blog and tells me where they are all coming from. In other words, if I am linked as a "Clutch Hit" over at Baseball Primer, I get a count of how many people came here via that link. I'd say, on average, at least 25 websites per day send people here via some sort of a link, and I'd like to think I send people to at least that many websites on a daily basis as well. That's how the blogging community works for the most part.

While checking out some of the recent website "referrals" during the weekend, I had the bright idea that gathering some of the more interesting and humorous things people have said about me on their sites during the last year would make for a good entry some day. Of course, I didn't think of this brilliant idea until two days ago and had not been collecting such mentions, so that idea was out before it even got off the ground.

What I do have is something Alex Belth of the Bronx Banter blog said about me recently. Alex was telling people about my entry from last Friday and said the following:

"Aaron Gleeman, the Irving Thalberg of baseball bloggers, weighs in on the Nellie-Benitez deal."

Now, Alex and I have chatted several times and I would consider him a buddy of mine (or at least an "internet buddy," since we've never actually met), so I assumed his comment was a compliment. On the other hand, I had absolute no clue who Irving Thalberg was, so for all I knew, Alex may have really said something horrible about me. I mean, what if Thalberg were a rapist or a serial killer, or worse, a White Sox fan? I had no clue.

So, I did a little research and came upon the following biography, courtesy of Yahoo!:

Irving G. Thalberg:

U.S. film executive. Born in New York City, he skipped college, joined Universal Pictures, and soon became its studio manager in Hollywood. Hired by MGM as head of production in 1925, he became known as the "boy wonder of Hollywood." He tightly controlled MGM's output by supervising script selection and final film editing, and was responsible for the high quality of such movies as The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934), Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), and Romeo and Juliet (1936) and for making stars of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald with Naughty Marietta (1935). He died of pneumonia at 37.

Obviously, that's quite a compliment from Alex and I really appreciate it. I have to say that most of the compliments I receive on other websites either center around the sheer mass of content I produce or my youth, and usually both. Which is fine with me of course, I am young and I definitely like to babble (like I'm doing right now...).

The nice thing about Alex calling me the "Irving Thalberg of baseball bloggers" is that he is saying I am a "boy wonder," which is really quite kind of him. The not-so-great thing about it is that Thalberg "died of pneumonia at 37." But, you've got to take the good with the bad, right? I mean really, the worst-case scenario is that you only get to read my daily blog entries for another 17 years or so. I know it'll be tough for a while, but you'll get over it.

So anyway, the point is that I love seeing my name mentioned more than almost anything in the world. There are other things I like slightly better, like attractive members of the opposite sex, eating really good Philly cheese steaks and making a "F---ing A!" trade in one of my Diamond-Mind leagues, but seeing my name mentioned somewhere is right up there. Actually, some combination of all those things would be perfect. Like maybe a beautfiul woman coming up to me at a restaurant while I'm eating a Philly to congratulate me on one of my trades and then seeing a newspaper story about the trade that mentions my name? Yeah, I think that would just about be the perfect situation. Can someone out there make that happen please?

The moral of the story for everyone with a website out there is that you should mention me as much as possible, because I like to congratulate myself on such mentions and I will almost assuredly discuss the mention on this blog, like I just did with what Alex said. And you know what that means? You'll get your website mentioned!

Pretty much any type of mention will do the trick. For instance, Brian over at "Redbird Nation" referred to me as "the always great Aaron Gleeman" the other day. That'll get you a plug on this blog, but bonus points go to people who, like Alex, are able to give me a compliment that I am not quite sure is a compliment until I look up some of the particulars. Think of it like a Dennis Miller joke. You're pretty sure it's funny, but it's a little over your head, so when you get home you bust open the encyclopedia, do a little research, and then, when you have all the relevant information, you can have yourself a good laugh and fully enjoy the joke.

By the way, in case you haven't noticed, today appears to be one of those days when I just don't feel like writing about baseball. Once in a while, usually during the off-season, I feel as though I want to write something beyond baseball, to sort of show that I am not completely limited in my writing ability. What comes of that, of course, is some babbling entry where I congratulate myself for a mention on another blog, so whether or not me going away from baseball is a good idea is entirely debatable.

Since I've already written this many words not on baseball, I might as well keep going. Whenever I stray from baseball stuff, I inevitably get a ton of emails. The majority of them express happiness that I wrote about my life (which I do more of during the school year) or told a story about myself or something, but I usually get a few from people who are just really pissed I didn't write about baseball. That's perfectly fine, of course, because if I was going to a "Baseball Blog" every day looking for nothing but baseball, I would be upset if the guy started talking about other stuff. It is, however, still "Aaron's Baseball Blog," which means I'm running things. And, as long as the positive emails out-number the negative ones, you'll see a non-baseball entry once in a while.

Let's see, what else can I talk about...

Oh, I know, have you all seen the "World Series of Poker" on ESPN? If you haven't, you are seriously missing out. I don't think I have ever been this fascinated by something in my life. Every year, there is a gigantic poker tournament held in Las Vegas called The World Series of Poker. It costs $10,000 to enter and the winner gets $2.5 million. It is a 5 day event, but ESPN breaks it down into 7 one-hour shows.

It may not sound that great, but if you give it a chance and sit down and watch a few minutes of it, I guarantee you will be asking for more. I stumbled upon it a couple weeks ago at like 3 in the morning and I haven't missed an episode yet. ESPN's coverage is excellent, with Norman Chad and Lon McEachern doing commentary and tiny cameras implanted in the table so that you can actually see what cards everyone has as they're being dealt. There is nothing better than knowing a guy with three of a kind just got bluffed out a $500,000 pot by a guy with a pair of twos. The strategy involved is great to watch and the "personalities" playing in the tournament are so good you couldn't make them up if you tried.

You've got Johnny Chan (the last back-to-back champ, who holds an orange in his hand the entire time and who Matt Damon's character referred to as "Johnny F---ing Chan" in Rounders), Phil Hellmuth (the "John McEnroe of poker"), Scotty Nguyen (who wears massive gold chains, sips beer the entire time and is constantly shouting "yeah baby!") and a cast of literally hundreds. My favorite player is a guy in his early 20s named Phil Ivey, who wears NBA jerseys to the table every day. Any guy who can wear a Steve Francis jersey while winning $300,000 pots from a bunch of guys wearing sun glasses and holding oranges is okay with me.

Making things even more exciting is the fact that they play "no limit Texas Hold 'Em," which means, at any time, a player can go "all in" and bet all of his chips on a hand. ESPN has a few problems when it comes to their television shows lately, but they are doing an excellent job with The World Series of Poker. Get out your TV Guide, find out when it's on, and check it out. You'll thank me.

Speaking of addicting TV shows...

Did anyone else catch the premiere episode of FOX's new show, "The O.C."? I haven't read much about it (although my mom said she saw somewhere where it got horrible reviews), but I've gotta say, I loved the first episode. Which is sort of weird, because I never watched more than 5 minutes of "Beverly Hills, 90210" (which The O.C. has been compared to) or any of those other horrible FOX "dramas."

I think the plot is somewhat interesting. Basically, a tough kid from a bad neighborhood finds himself in Orange County, where everyone has a mansion with a pool and drives an SUV. It's just one episode old, but he's already gone to a party where seemingly every female there is a model, he's already been beaten up by a couple of "OC" guys and he's already smoked about 50 packs of cigarettes.

I had a favorite moment from the first episode. It came near the beginning, when the main character first arrives in Orange County. He's outside of the mansion he is staying at, smoking the first of many cigarettes, and the girl who lives next-door (one of the models who is later at the party) is also outside, waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up. The following dialogue takes place:

Girl: So...who are you?

Guy: (Taking a big drag and then blowing a giant puff of smoke out) I'm whoever you want me to be.

Folks, that is just great writing! The guy is new in this incredibly wealthy/fancy/impressive neighborhood, he's wearing a dirty hooded sweatshirt over a white undershirt and one of the most beautiful women I have ever seen asks him who he is, to which he replies, "I'm whoever you want me to be." I've gotta say, I don't know that I could have delivered that line if I were actually acting in the scene, let alone in real life. But yet, the girl is not put off at all by him and she actually gives a look like, "Wow, this guy is a real badass" and then asks him for a cigarette. I say it's 2-1 odds they are sharing a cigarette in bed within 3 episodes.

In a few years, most of the characters in the show are going to have lung cancer, but for now the women are extremely easy on the eyes.

In particular, "Marissa" (the girl smoking the cigarette and looking intrigued in the scene I just described) is worth watching the show for by herself.

Maybe it is just the fact that the show features literally hundreds of shots of pretty girls in swimsuits or the fact that the show is on during the Summer when there's nothing else to watch, but I think I might give "The O.C." a shot. You know, put it in my regular rotation, along with 3 daily Seinfeld reruns, every show that HBO has ever come up with, Howard Stern on E!, and World Series of Poker episodes.

In addition to getting caught up in the actual show, which almost certainly will be canceled very soon if the reviews have anything to do with it, I also got caught up in the soundtrack. The opening credits featured "California" by Phantom Planet, which went perfectly with the rest of the show.

Ben Harper's "Diamonds on the Inside" was also prominently featured. In fact, right in the middle of the show, there was sort of a mini music video for the song, which was weird, but also apparently extremely effective, as I found myself singing it in my head after the show ended. It continued the next day and then I finally broke down on Friday and spent $1.09 on it over at

I hadn't heard of until the other day, when the creator/owner of the site was on Howard Stern with Tommy Lee. I used to use "Grokster" to download free music, but I haven't done it lately. Not because I am against doing so (I am, sort of, but not enough to stop doing it), but because, for some reason, once I left the dorm and went home for the Summer, it stopped working (I think it has something to do with a "firewall," but I honestly don't know what the hell that is). Anyway, paying $1 for a song isn't such bad thing and I like the idea of the musicians actually getting compensated for their work (which I think they do, although I'm not 100% sure). So, I signed up for a account and I have purchased two songs thus far.

Just to show you what strange musical taste I have, here are the two songs:

"Diamonds on the Inside" by Ben Harper (as featured in The O.C.)

"Boom Boom Boom" by John Lee Hooker (as featured in my head, because I couldn't stop singing it after I heard it the other day)

Those two songs cost me like $2.19 total, which is pretty much my music budget for this month, particularly since it'll be time to shell out about $500 for a bunch of textbooks in about 2 weeks. I don't forsee my digital music library growing particularly big anytime soon at even a buck per song, although I am open to the idea of donations from loyal readers of this blog! You know your money will go to good use and, if nothing else, you can just imagine me sitting in my room, with my dog as my only audience, doing my best John Lee Hooker impersonaton...

Boom boom boom boom

I'm gonna shoot you right down,

right offa your feet

Take you home with me,

put you in my house

Boom boom boom boom

A-haw haw haw haw

Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm

Hmmm hmmm hmmm hmmm

I love to see you strut,

up and down the floor

When you talking to me,

that baby talk

I like it like that

Whoa, yeah!

Talk that talk, walk that walk

When she walk that walk,

and talk that talk,

and whisper in my ear,

tell me that you love me

I love that talk

When you talk like that,

you knocks me out,

right off of my feet

Hoo hoo hoo

Talk that talk, and walk that walk

I'll be back tomorrow with some baseball-related stuff, I promise. Now, if you'll excuse me...Boom boom boom...

Link of the Day:

David Pinto's Baseball Musings

Today's picks:

Houston (Miller) +130 over Chicago (Wood)

Total to date: + 1,185

W/L record: 199-203 (1-3 on Friday for -200.)

*****Comments? Questions? Email me!*****

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