July 29, 2004

Notes for the Weekend

There's no bigger letdown than an off-day following a three-game sweep of your division rivals. Just such a buzzkill. At least the White Sox lost though.

Without a Twins game to talk about and with the weekend coming, I figured now would be a good time for me to just ramble a little bit ...

- It sounds like Kris Benson is headed to the Mets for some package involving Ty Wigginton and a couple pretty good prospects. If this is the sort of package the Pirates were looking to get from the Twins -- and I've heard from several people that they asked for Jason Kubel -- I'm happy Benson is headed to New York. He's good, but not that good. For more on this, check out my thoughts on him from yesterday.

- Over at ESPN.com, Eric Neel's always-entertaining "Eric Neel on Baseball" column includes a poll for people to vote on a nickname for Johan Santana. There are 10 choices to pick from, but sadly "The Official Pitcher of Aaron's Baseball Blog" is not one of them.

Trying to find Santana a good nickname has been something I've thought about for a while now, but I've come to the conclusion that his name doesn't lend itself to anything that sounds good. Plus, does someone named "Johan Santana" really need a nickname? I think I'm fine with just calling him Johan.

Of course, that's not to say I don't applaud Neel's efforts, because I'm very pleased with any and all attention Santana receives from the national media. I'm also willing to forgive the exclusion of "The Official Pitcher of Aaron's Baseball Blog" as a nickname choice, mostly because Neel's column also included a big, fat plug for my "Re-Examining 300" article over at The Hardball Times.

- You know what I realized yesterday? I don't give nearly enough link-love to Will Young's Minnesota Twins page. Will, in addition to being a huge Twins fan and a good guy, is doing great stuff over there on a semi-daily basis. Go check it out.

- As long as I'm handing out links to blogs, here's one to an article about Johan Santana's Cy Young candidacy over at The Baseball Savant. The writer of the article, David Bergner, has a fairly strong hatred of Yours Truly, but that doesn't keep the article from being a worthwhile read. David likes to call me a "charlatan" and I like articles praising Johan Santana, so it's an interesting match.

- Speaking of people who don't like me ... Remember all those White Sox fans who were upset about Torii Hunter's collision at home plate with Jamie Burke, calling both the play and Hunter dirty? Here's a pre-Game 3 quote from Chicago's manager, Ozzie Guillen, that might make a few White Sox fans rethink what great and clean sportsmen the have on their team:

I expect the first ground ball to shortstop or second base, we go after somebody, hopefully we hurt somebody. That's the way to go. Last night we had two opportunities to do it and we didn't do it.

All of a sudden we can take somebody out there and they don't have any more infielders. We didn't take the shot. I want my players to take the shot -- take a clean shot and go out there and try and break the bone.

I look forward to all the "that quote was out of context" e-mails I will receive today, but let me just tell you in advance: I'm not buying it.

- If you haven't yet, you really need to do yourself a favor and check out Bat-Girl's reenactment of the Twins/White Sox brawl that actually didn't happen after Corey Koskie was beaned for the third time in one game. I sometimes wish I could write more like Bat-Girl and less like a math textbook, but I guess we all have to play to our strengths, right?

- For you prospect hounds in the audience, my latest couple articles over at The Hardball Times -- Top 50 Prospects: July Checkup Part One and Part Two -- look at how my pre-season top 50 prospects are fairing this year. Unless you're a fan of the Astros, Cubs, Expos, Giants, Rangers or Rockies, there's something for you to read about a prospect on your team.

- Anyone besides me know what this Sunday is the anniversary of? Seriously, anyone?

- And finally ... I need a favor.

My uncle -- the man most responsible for making me the insane baseball fan I am today -- is taking a trip to Chicago with his family and would like to secure tickets for either August 10th or 11th. He says he would prefer the Cubs, but he's not picky enough to turn down tickets for the White Sox either.

He needs at least four tickets. If someone out there -- either in the ticket-broker world or someone who just lives in Chicago and has tickets for that game(s) -- could help my uncle out, I would be forever grateful.

Oh, and he's willing to pay for them too! Just drop me an e-mail with your information and I'll get you in contact with him.

See ya Monday ...

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