October 26, 2006


  • Over at The Baseball Analysts, Kent Bonham wrote perhaps the best description of a website that I've ever seen:

    If Bill James and Jessica Alba ever bore a child, and their child came out as a minor league baseball website, it would probably look something like minorleaguesplits.com.

  • It's funny, because I've always told people that if Tim McCarver and Rosie O'Donnell ever bore a child, and their child came out as a blog, it would probably looking something like AaronGleeman.com.

  • I keep this blog relatively free of football talk because that's what I'm focusing on over at RotoWorld and NBC Sports right now, but I stumbled across some good quotes while doing my news-gathering and column-writing duties this week. First, here's what Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden told reporters when asked about the differences between quarterbacks Chris Simms and Bruce Gradkowski:

    They're totally opposite. One is left-handed, one's right-handed. One is 6-foot-5, one is 6 foot. One is handsome, one is ugly.

    In typical newspaper fashion, the Tampa Tribune declined to speculate about which player fits which description, instead offering only that "Gruden wouldn't say which one he thought was ugly." In typical blog fashion, I'll point out that Simms looks like this and Gradkowski looks like this, and then make a pithy comment about how neither of them are likely to win any beauty contests. Then, in typical reader fashion, you'll go to the comments section and remark that I'm not exactly in a position to comment.

  • Meanwhile, Tiki Barber fired back at various media members who criticized him for saying earlier this month that he plans to retire following the season:

    I will call them idiots because they have neither spoken to me nor any one of my teammates or any of my coaches, yet all they do is criticize me for being a distraction with this retirement thing.

    Barber went on to name names, mentioning New York Daily News columnist Gary Myers and ESPN's Tom Jackson before saying:

    That includes the ultimate character guy, facetiously speaking, of course, Michael Irvin. Please get a clue how to be a journalist.

    While I'm in complete agreement with Barber, I think it's safe to say that "how to be a journalist" is pretty far down on the list of things Michael Irvin should "get a clue" about.

  • This doesn't qualify as a quote, but I was amused by the New York Times reporting that first-year Jets coach Eric Mangini "was nicknamed the Penguin ... by receiver Laveranues Coles." There are several possible reasons for the nickname and nearly all of them are funny.
  • According to MLB, 28 of the 30 players "who sacrifice for their team in often unrecognized effort" are white guys (including Jason Tyner from the Twins). Long-time readers of this blog may remember me discussing a Sports Illustrated player survey in which the question "who gets the most from the least talent?" yielded nine white guys among 11 total vote-getters, while "who gets the least from the most talent?" yielded all but one minority. I don't really have a point to make here, but it's sad.
  • It's been quite a while since the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title was passed from Jessica Alba to Elisha Cuthbert, although Alba has remained in serious contention ever since. When it comes time for the torch to be passed again, there's a pretty good chance Keeley Hazell will take over the top spot. I've been scouting her for a while now and I think she's on the verge of making The Leap.
  • Of course, additional evidence like this could make me reconsider.
  • I haven't been paying much attention to the Timberwolves, but the one thing I was hoping for was that Paul Shirley would make the opening-night roster. Shirley writes a regular column at ESPN.com and reading about the Wolves' season through his eyes might have made it easier to tolerate wasting another year of Kevin Garnett's career. Instead, the Wolves cut Shirley, robbing fans of an interesting way to follow the team and robbing beat writers everywhere of a good quote.

    The good news is that being let go allowed Shirley to fire some amusing parting shots on his way out of Minnesota, via his next-day ESPN.com chat. Asked about "going up against Mark Madsen every day in practice," Shirley called it "a flurry of paleness." He also described the team as "a franchise that has made some interesting decisions over the last few years" before adding that "I don't know that cutting me will have many lasting ramifications, though."

    Asked how good he thinks the team will be, Shirley replied: "If they start well, they'll be fine. If they don't, it will quickly disintegrate." Asked about his brief time in Minnesota, Shirley deemed the women "better looking than those in Kansas City, but just as predisposed to prudish behavior" and requested that "someone explain ... how there can be so many homeless people in the coldest big city in the country."

    And just so you don't think he's merely a jerk with an axe to grind--the responses came off much more playful in the context of an entire chat--here's what Shirley had to say about Garnett:

    I was thoroughly impressed with Kevin Garnett. He may be the most individually unstoppable basketball player I've ever seen. It's almost unfair that he is that tall, that skilled, and can jump so well. He's a hard worker and a fairly down-to-earth guy. Funny, too.

    In a season that will likely see the Wolves lose 45 games and the interest of most fans, a player who uses words like folly, methodology, adulation, extrapolated, predisposed, and apathetic in his writing was let go so they could keep Vin Baker around. I have no idea if Shirley is a legitimate NBA player or not, but I do know that the state's level of writing talent just took a nosedive. Unless Baker has found a time machine, that's a bad tradeoff.

  • Speaking of NBA players who are entertaining in print, the first installment of Raja Bell's journal at ESPN.com was very enjoyable.
  • Finally, be nice to Will Young today. We matched up in the ALCS of a Diamond-Mind keeper league last night and he suffered a horrific collapse. Despite my team having homefield advantage and Johan Santana starting Game 1, Will's team won the first two games of the best-of-seven series on the way to taking a 3-1 lead. My squad then came up with back-to-back wins to force a Game 7, but Will seemingly ended my comeback hopes before they could even get started by jumping out to an early 7-0 lead.

    He then watched in horror as his Game 7 starter Kyle Lohse (seriously) and his bullpen proceeded to cough up the lead before eventually falling 9-7 in extra innings. I found myself feeling sorry for Will and almost felt bad for coming back to take the series, but then I remembered there's a decent chance I'll be similarly crushed after losing in the World Series. Whether it's real life or what someone I know refers to as "a dork league," no one likes their season to end.

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