Before I get to the regularly scheduled link dump, a quick note: I will be featured on this week's Rosen's Sports Sunday, which airs locally at 10:35 p.m. on CBS. I'm hoping there's a video clip online that I can link to here Monday, but if you feel like watching me babble about myself and the Twins live, turn on CBS right after the 10 o'clock news Sunday night.
As far as I know Sunday's piece will complete my little media blitz, so you won't have to see my mug again for a while. With that bit of promotion out of the way, let's get to the links ...
I haven't linked to any new pictures of the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com in a while, so here are some shots of Elisha Cuthbert in something called 944 Magazine. The other day I was debating whether or not Cuthbert should lose her title, but then I watched The Girl Next Door for probably the dozenth time and decided she was safe for another decade or so.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present ... Battle of the Gleemans. Pretty scary, huh?
This isn't a link, but humor me. Last week a service person from a company that shall remain nameless came out to my house to fix the air conditioner. After looking things over and flipping a few switches he told me that the AC needed a new filter. I'm just about the least-handy person in the world, so I asked where I would go to get something like that.
He quickly responded, "You can get it at any hardware store in free, white America." Maybe I'm just out of touch with the world, but that's sort of an odd thing for someone being paid to provide a service to a complete stranger to say, isn't it? Perhaps the saying is more prevalent than I know, but it seemed to me like a fairly racist comment. I'm not the sort of person who would call the guy's employer and tell them what he said, but apparently I am the sort of person who would write about it on his blog.
It's amazing how quickly the Wolves have gone from being in the Western Conference Finals to being a complete joke of a franchise. They benched their two best players for the final two weeks of the season in order to secure better draft position and then made an absolute mockery of the final game of the year.
Mark Madsen went 1-for-15 from the floor, taking (and missing) seven three-pointers after not attempting a single three-pointer during the first 81 games of the season. I'm not sure why the NBA turns a blind eye to teams that so blatantly throw games, but apparently it's not considered a big deal. As a Wolves fan, it certainly leaves a horrible taste in my mouth heading into the offseason. Of course, Wolves fans already have a horrible taste in their mouth after watching the losses pile up this year.
Considering the team's recent draft and trade history, and the many horrendous contracts on the books, I find it hard to stomach that Kevin McHale will be back for another year. The team better hit a home run with this year's lottery pick, because the Wolves lost their first-round pick for 2007 and 2008 while making bad trades with the Clippers and Celtics.
This is easily one of the greatest things in the history of great things.
If you are somehow able to ignore the left side of this picture, the right side is pretty amazing.
How is that a college basketball player can be named "the nation's top amateur athlete" after shooting 3-for-18 and 5-for-21 in arguably the two biggest games of his season? Hell, in the final 10 games of the season J.J. Redick shot 36 percent from the floor while committing 25 turnovers, and his team lost three times. You're telling me he was better than Reggie Bush or Vince Young, let alone athletes from the sports no one cares about?
At least Redick has the right idea:
I'm thinking to myself I really don't belong in their company. They win world championships and all I do is score.
This is why people hate Duke. Oh, and put me on record as saying that Redick will be nothing more than a role player in the NBA. Because of that I fully expect the Wolves to take him with the seventh pick.
David Sifry has a ton of interesting notes in his "State of the Blogosphere" write-up. Among them:
- There are at least 35 million blogs, with approximately 19 million that are updated regularly and four million that are updated weekly.
- The blogosphere has doubled in size every six months since 2004 and is now 60 times bigger than it was three years ago.
- About 75,000 new blogs are created each day, which works out to a new blog every second.
I was talking to someone who I would consider an old-school print journalist last week and he mentioned to me that he thinks "blogging is nothing more than a fad." Maybe, but that's one hell of a fad. When I started this site, way back in 2002, there were no more than a dozen widely read baseball blogs. Now there are literally hundreds. It's been amazing to watch the entire medium grow at such an incredibly rapid pace.
Mark Saxon of the Orange County Register suggests that the Twins might look to sign pending free agent (and North Dakota native) Darin Erstad if they decide not to pick up Torii Hunter's $12 million option for next season. Erstad has been incredibly overrated while playing first base for the past two years, but as a center fielder he has plenty of value.
2003-2005 AVG OBP SLG OPS
Signing Erstad to a one-year deal for a fraction of what Hunter would cost while giving Denard Span a little extra time at Triple-A would be a decent idea. On the other hand, Span is hitting .380/.446/.480 in 13 games at Double-A this year, so if he keeps that up the Twins can just skip the middle man.
It's good to know that A.J. Pierzynski is up to his old tricks, ratting out teammates.
I meant to link to this at the time, but forgot. Last week I wrote a rare article for The Hardball Times about Neifi Perez's quest to become the least-valuable hitter in modern baseball history. I think the article is pretty amusing and it was linked to by a whole bunch of different places--including the Wall Street Journal--so some of you might be interested in reading it.
I've also been lax in promoting my work at Rotoworld, so here's a reminder that I write a "Daily Dose" column every weekday. You can read it at Rotoworld.com each afternoon by clicking here or you can read it each afternoon at USAToday.com by clicking here.
Finally, I want to once again offer my sincere thanks to everyone who sent along words of support and sympathy regarding my sick dog, Samantha. It's been a tough few days for me, but having this blog has helped keep my mind occupied and the wonderfully thoughtful and heartfelt comments and e-mails that continue to roll in have helped me feel better about the situation. She's doing well so far, and I'm hoping for a few more good weeks that allow her to live out the rest of her life without much pain.
Torii Hunter .262 .335 .460 .785
Darin Erstad .277 .330 .374 .704