My favorite part is the seriousness with which television color commentator Jerry Remy breaks down the incident via slow-motion replay, all while play-by-play man Don Orsillo struggles to contain his giggling.
During his ESPN.com chat earlier this week, Paul Shirley called Kobe Bryant "the biggest douche I've ever met," only to see the ESPN censors quickly erase it from the record. I've been known to use the phrase "douche bag" to describe people occasionally, so I approve, but that wasn't even my favorite part of the chat. No, I liked this question and answer, which led off the multi-hour festivities:
Anthony (Chicago, Illinois): Are there any advantages to playing over in Europe as opposed to the NBA?
Paul Shirley: 1. Good wine is cheaper here. 2. I actually get to play. 3. I constantly get to see uncircumcised dudes in the shower.
I'd almost be willing to forgive Kevin McHale's many sins as general manager of the Timberwolves if only he'd at least sign Shirley to the same type of long-term deal that he's handed out to guys like Troy Hudson and Mark Madsen.
Former Twins blogger Ryan Maus (the guy on the far left in this picture that appeared in the Minneapolis Star Tribune a few years ago) is now writing for the St. Olaf College student newspaper and recently penned an excellent article analyzing new trends in sports media.
The Chicago Sports Review recently published an interesting interview with one my all-time favorite writers, Rob Neyer, who discussed topics like blogging, life at ESPN, print versus online, and why the Baseball Writers Association of America is misguided.
At a press conference promoting his upcoming boxing match against Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweatherresponded to a question about how boxers compare to mixed martial artists:
UFC's champions can't handle boxing. That's why they are in UFC. Put one of our guys in UFC and he'd be the champion. Any good fighter, he'd straight knock them out.
I'm not surprised that a world-class boxer would think that, but I'd be willing to bet a large sum of money that he's very wrong. Because they're both combat sports, it's natural to compare boxing and MMA fighting. However, the reality is that they're very different. Mayweather no doubt feels like he has to stick up for his sport, but there's no more reason for him to do that than for Johan Santana to say that any great pitcher could be the best quarterback in the NFL.
Both sports involve throwing a ball and require many of the same skills, but greatness in one is not dependent upon greatness in the other. The same applies to boxing and MMA fighting. Just as Santana would likely be a terrible NFL quarterback and Peyton Manning would likely be a terrible MLB pitcher, Fedor Emelianko and Chuck Liddell likely aren't capable of being great boxers. On the other hand, world-class boxers like Mayweather would likely get demolished in top-level MMA competition.
All of which isn't to say that I'd pass up the chance to see someone like Mayweather put his money where his mouth is against a world-class MMA fighter, because I'd gladly shell out $50 to see that on pay-per-view. I doubt something like that will happen any time soon, but with MMA fighting's popularity rapidly growing at the expense of boxing, I wouldn't be surprised to see a showdown of the two sports at some point.
If that ever happens and the fight takes place under MMA rules, it might be the tipping point for MMA fighting as a mainstream sport and the final nail in boxing's coffin. Whether or not it's a fair comparison, seeing an elite boxer get taken down and submitted would be an eye-opener for hardcore boxing fans who aren't yet familiar with MMA fighting or don't consider it as legitimate a sport. Assuming it's a matchup between an elite boxer and an elite MMA fighter, I'll take the guy who "can't handle boxing."
Now that I'm officially moved into my new house and somewhat unpacked, I've resumed shooting a weekly video report for NBCSports.com in addition to my twice-weekly call-in segments on the "Fantasy Fix" show. This week's "Gleeman Report" is about the MLB-wide lack of scoring so far this season, but if that topic doesn't interest you it's also worth watching to see my new Ikea bookcase in action or guess the identify of the bobbleheads displayed behind me.
UPDATE: One of my bosses sent along this still picture from the video to entice you to watch it:
I fear there may be some confusion about the meaning of "entice."
Aside from the fact that no movie that prominently features Jessica Biel in a bikini (and in a pool, but without a bikini) can truly be considered "awful" in my eyes, I mostly agreed with this ranking of "Awful Sports Movies" written by longtime AG.com reader Richard Matthes.
It sounds likeTorii Hunter might be a little lighter in the wallet after traveling to Kansas City this weekend:
When the Royals closed last season by sweeping the Tigers in Detroit, it enabled Minnesota to win the American League Central Division. That prompted a promise from Twins outfielder Torii Hunter to send each of the Royals a bottle of Dom Perignon. The Royals are still waiting.
"Nothing yet," Mike Sweeney said. "We're still waiting for Torii to come through. And Torii is making good money, so he can afford it."
Hunter makes approximately $75,000 per game and some quick-and-dirty work on Google suggests that 25 bottles of Dom Perignon would cost him something in the ballpark of $5,000, depending on the year. So yeah, Mike Sweeney probably has a point, although the idea surely sounded a lot more worthwhile to Hunter before the Twins were swept out of the playoffs.
You can take the girl out of Boston, but you can't take the Boston out of the girl. New St. Paul Pioneer Press Twins beat writer Kelsie Smith, who previously covered the Red Sox for the Boston Globe, described seeing the ball through the Safeco Field shadows yesterday as "wicked tough." No word yet on whether she's been involved in any pizza-throwing incidents during her first month on the job.
The Star Tribune ran an interesting article earlier this week about the lack of success "abstinence programs" have had, with various people debating exactly what a recent study on the topic shows. The piece is filled with argument-inducing stuff, but the thing that really floored me was this: "The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education." Whether or not the programs "work," that strikes me as about $176 million too much.
Back in October, I created a WhatIfSports.com "Hardball Dynasty" league for readers of this blog to join me in. I was overwhelmed by the response, as about 200 of you expressed interest in grabbing a franchise, but unfortunately there were only 31 other spots available. We recently completed Season 2 of "Gleeman World"--my Minnesota Fatboys followed up a 91-win Season 1 with 95 wins--and it looks like there will be a handful of open franchises this offseason.
The league is filled with a bunch of friendly AG.com readers who fill the message board with daily chatter, but it's also extremely competitive. Because of that, any new owners would have to convince me that they're capable of devoting a decent chunk of time to maintaining their team on a near-daily basis. If you're interested in claiming a spot and aren't worried about real-life responsibilities getting in the way of managing a fake baseball team, drop me an e-mail.