October 6, 2005


  • I received an absurd number of e-mails and comments about this, so let's address it once and be done with it: The "rumor" about the Twins potentially trading Justin Morneau to the Blue Jays for a package centering around Corey Koskie is beyond ludicrous. The idea that such a thing gets reported in a major newspaper is only slightly less disappointing to me than the fact that Twins fans would actually take it even remotely seriously.

    Do you really think Terry Ryan is going to trade Morneau, a 24-year-old who led the team in RBIs and ranked second in homers during his first full season, when his main goal this offseason is to improve the lineup? Beyond that, if the Twins wanted Koskie back -- which I suppose is a possibility -- do you really think they'd have to give up a player the caliber of Morneau for him? Koskie is 32 years old, missed nearly half the season with injuries, has a contract that pays him about 15 times more than Morneau, and hit .249/.337/.398.

  • The Arizona Republic answers an age-old question: What's up with Vai Sikahema?
  • Terrible news for those of us planning to attend the 2006 SABR convention in Seattle: Seattle Passes Stricter Strip Club Rules, Bans Lap Dances.
  • We learned this week that Vikings coach Mike Tice is not a quitter, but rather just a really bad coach.
  • The Onion now has a sports section. Oh, and they also interviewed Steve Carell.
  • Writer, director, and all-around genius Judd Apatow penned a week-long journal for Slate.
  • ESPN.com's Bill Simmons has been on a book tour/media blitz over the past few weeks, promoting Now I Can Die in Peace. I've been trying to keep up with all the interviews and stories about Simmons in various media outlets, but it's getting to be really difficult (which is good news for book sales, I'm sure). A few highlights:

    * Part 1 and Part 2 of Simmons' awesome e-mail exchange with Chuck Klosterman.

    * Over at Deadspin, Will Leitch documents a Simmons book signing, complete with pictures of a sweaty, worn out Simmons signing books and Klosterman hanging out in the background.

    * Slate's Bryan Curtis profiles Simmons.

    * David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch asks Simmons a whole bunch of questions and gets a surprising number of revealing answers.

  • The Week in Waffle Crappers:

    * For some reason the fact that an engaged-to-be-married Elisha Cuthbert is hanging out with Justin Timberlake is more upsetting to me than the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com being engaged in the first place.

    * I'm guessing comedian Dane Cook has been told to "kiss my ass" by any number of people in the past, but never has the offer been as enticing as when it comes from Charlize Theron.

    * Apparently I have a real eye for talent. Jessica Biel, whom I called an "underrated Waffle Crapper" just two weeks ago, has been named "The Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire. She celebrated by looking really good at the unveiling of the magazine's cover.

    (Incidentally, whether or not the readers of this blog are 100% in favor of the phrase "Waffle Crapper" is something that can safely be kept to yourselves. Speaking out against it as if this is some sort of FCC-regulated blog for kids just makes me want to use it more often.)

  • I've been reading a lot of NBA stuff this week, trying to get caught up with what went on during the offseason, and I was astounded at how weak this year's draft class projects to be. Here is ESPN.com's top 10:

    1) Rudy Gay, Connecticut
    2) Andrea Bargnani, Italy
    3) Rajon Rondo, Kentucky
    4) Daniel Gibson, Texas
    5) LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas
    6) Tiago Splitter, Brazil
    7) Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas
    8) Adam Morrison, Gonzaga
    9) Al Horford, Florida
    10) Malik Hairston, Oregon

    Now, I'm sure just about every draft class looks worse before the season has started and breakout players have had a chance to emerge from the rest of the pack, but this year's looks particularly pathetic. And it's not like ESPN.com just ranked seniors or anything -- all eight of those college players are underclassmen.

  • As October rolls on and Fox begins dominating the baseball schedule, here's a site to keep bookmarked: ShutUpTimMcCarver.com. My percentage of postseason innings watched with the TV muted has been extremely high this year, although I will say that I thought Mike Piazza did a nice job behind the mic.
  • Here's an interesting profile of poker player Phil "The Unabomber" Laak in the Boston Globe. Or as you may know him these days, Jennifer Tilly's boyfriend (and poker coach).
  • This was my first week writing football columns for Rotoworld and FoxSports.com. If you're interested in reading them, here are the links: Tuesday ... Wednesday ... Thursday.

    And if that's not enough Gleeman for you, my brand new weekly column on keeper-league rankings for baseball is up over at Rotoworld. I started with Joe Mauer and the catchers.

  • Finally, John "Twins Geek" Bonnes announced earlier this week that he is retiring from blogging. John is without question the godfather of the Twins blogosphere, first on his own at TwinsGeek.com and recently as part of the community at Twins Territory. I've been fortunate enough to meet and hang out with John on a number of occasions and he is as great a guy as he is a blogger.

    When I first started this blog back in 2002, Twins Geek was one of only a handful of baseball blogs that I knew of. Now there are literally hundreds, with more than a dozen devoted to the Twins. It is to John's credit that he was able to sustain a high level of writing for this long and in doing so he played a major part in the thriving society of Twins blogs that he leaves behind.

    In his farewell, John spoke of burning out:

    The reason is that I'm just plain done. I'm burned out by a thousand little flames. The time. The ISP costs. The programming. The relentless task of posting every day. The lack of revenue. The system problems. The frustration of trying to grow a different kind of publishing model. The editing. The emails. The comments. The links, the other sites, the research, the syndication, the ads. Most surprising (and disappointing) is that I'm tired of the writing. And I'm tired of doing all of them, but not doing any of them well.

    They can all be overcome, but the bottom line is that the passion isn't there any more. It's become more burden than pleasure. And the truth is that I couldn't be happier about walking away from it all. I'm looking forward to spending a little more time with my wife and kids, having a little more mental energy to dedicate towards my job, and being able to work on The Addition while listening to the radio call of the game without stopping to take notes.

    I don't have a wife or kids, and my job involves writing about baseball. Still, I completely understand where John is coming from. There have been many times when I've thought that it would be nice to take an extended break from blogging, or perhaps a permanent one. I've kept going and still love it, but if I were in John's shoes I'm not sure that I wouldn't have stepped away some time ago.

    Whatever you think of blogging or bloggers, know that what John has done took a tremendous amount of time, effort, energy, passion, and dedication. The beauty of blogging is that it is something anyone can do, but few can do it well and for a sustained period of time. John did both of those things, better and longer than most, and he should be very proud of his impact on the lives of many Twins fans.

  • Today at The Hardball Times:
    - The Devil's Advocate - Playoff Edition: Homeward Bound (by Larry Mahnken)
    - Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Mo ... (by Craig Burley)

    Today's Picks (115-101, +$1,220):
    Chicago (Garcia) +150 over Boston (Wakefield)

    Saturday's Picks:
    Ohio State -3.5 (-110) over Penn State

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