Not only did Torii Hunter miraculously escape yesterday afternoon's potentially serious beaning with little more than a busted lip, he returned from a trip to the hospital to provide some amusing quotes afterward:
A few innings after Zack Greinke's pitch hit Hunter, radio announcers Dan Gladden and Jack Morris had a discussion about how it'd be a shame if any of Hunter's teeth were knocked out. The reason? Because, as Gladden explained, he went through the trouble of wearing braces as an adult.
Hunter's rough day in pictures (click here for a bigger version):
It was so much pain, I thought all my teeth were out. I thought my jaw was broken, I thought my nose was bleeding, I thought everything. I'm thinking about all this while I'm on the ground. Now, he just messed up my pretty face, you know what I'm saying? I look good today, and now I can't go anywhere. I can't go eat.
One of my teeth is a little loose. I think it's a little sensitive. I think it's going to be fine. They just stitched me up, they gave me three or four stitches. It hurts. The novocaine shot, that was pretty good actually.
(From left to right: Charging the mound, down on the ground, elephant man.)
Ron Gardenhire's recent interview with the Kane County Chronicle focused mostly on bowling, milk, and Jesse Ventura, with few serious moments to be found, but it did contain a couple interesting exchanges. Asked "which ballplayer of today reminds you of yourself as a major leaguer," Gardenhire responded with a familiar name:
If you're curious, Toby Gardenhire played at the University of Illinois, was taken by the Twins in the 41st round of the 2005 draft, and hit .198 at Single-A Beloit last season. Asked whether or not he did any partying with Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden when they were all teammates on the 1985 Mets, Gardenhire said:
A futility infielder? Right now, it's my son. He swings at sliders in the dirt just like I did. Toby Gardenhire, he's 24 playing in A-ball for the Twins.
The '85 Mets won 98 games, led by a 20-year-old Gooden going 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA while winning the Cy Young Award with one of the greatest pitching seasons of all time and a 23-year-old Strawberry hitting .277/.389/.557 to rank seventh among NL hitters in OPS. Playing in what would be his final big-league season, a 27-year-old Gardenhire hit .179 in 39 at-bats.
Remember how longtime Timberwolves beat writer Steve Ashburner accepted a buyout from the Minneapolis Star Tribune? Well, it looks like Ashburner wants his job back.
Pat Neshek's interview with ESPN.com earlier this week is a fantastic read and contains interesting stuff about blogging, collecting autographs, throwing sidearm, and using stats to become a better pitcher. If he isn't already, the interview should help Neshek become one of your favorite players.
As you might expect, Johan Santana has one of the "most unhittable pitches in baseball."
Congratulations to Stick and Ball Guy and his lovely wife, who welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world this week and simultaneously discovered a fantastic billboard for SBG's blog.
As usual, my weekly call-in segments on NBCSports.com's "Fantasy Fix" show are available for viewing. On Monday's show I called in to discuss my favorite waiver-wire pickups and Thursday's show is worth watching just to hear co-host Tiffany Simons work the phrase "1970s porn star" into a fantasy baseball discussion. In addition to the two call-ins, I also taped my weekly "Gleeman Report" from NBCSports.com's Minnesota studio (read: in front of my Ikea bookcase).
None, whatsoever. But they were two very, very quality young men when I was there. They were rookies coming into the league, and I honestly thought the world of them. I thought they were super guys--and I know they went through some stuff. But I had a chance to be with them early and they were pretty special people. They still are. They've struggled and went through a lot of stuff in their lives, but they're good people.
Honestly I think they are something we should all learn from. No matter how big you become, reality is going to set in someday and you have to watch yourself and take care of yourself. I think they're good stories because they're on the path to healing and getting better. I think it's a good story for everyone to learn from.
With regular "Fantasy Fix" co-host Gregg Rosenthal getting married next week, it sounds like I'll be stepping in to co-host the shows with Tiffany. I don't exactly have visions of being Lou Gehrig to Gregg's Wally Pipp, but it should be interesting.
AG.com's No. 5 Twins prospect, Anthony Swarzak, has been suspended 50 games for violating baseball's drug policy. Friend of AG.com Tim Kolehmainen, who cover's Swarzak's Double-A New Britain team for the Meriden Record-Journal, has all the details on his blog.
Jake Rossen writes for Sherdog.com, which is a must-read mixed martial arts site, so he's clearly biased on the subject. With that said, his piece on how boxing is gradually moving into MMA's shadow is an outstanding, thought-provoking read.
Apparently being from the same country as a mass murderer is enough to get you booed at Triple-A.
When he played left field for the Twins, I once described Shannon Stewart's fly-ball tracking as "Mr. Magoo-like," so I was shocked to see what position he played during the final inning of Wednesday's A's-Mariners game. On the other hand, I'm far from shocked to learn that his bat remains as punchless as it was during his final two seasons in Minnesota, with Stewart sporting a .239/.287/.352 hitting line through 21 games. Apparently all those spring-training puff pieces were just a tad premature.
Fortune magazine recently named "blogger" as one of "50 bulls**t jobs." The write-up is a little harsh and I'd argue that any blogger doing enough blogging to turn it into an actual job is working pretty damn hard. With that said, including it on the list makes a whole lot more sense than People magazine handing Drew Barrymore the No. 1 spot on their annual "100 Most Beautiful People" list.
As editor of LAist, friend of AG.com Tony Pierce has beefed up the site's Dodgers-related coverage.
Random music recommendation from a guy who admits publicly to liking John Mayer: Paolo Nutini
Gardenhire has spent years seemingly living in constant fear of what would happen if an injury struck while both Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond were in the lineup together. Meanwhile, the A's are so comfortable with the same scenario that has Gardenhire frightened that they've demoted backup catcher Adam Melhuse to Triple-A, leaving everyday DH Mike Piazza as the team's second backstop. In other words, the A's plan to "risk" Gardenhire's nightmare scenario during every game.
I'm working on a whole bunch of stuff for the upcoming Rotoworld Fantasy Football Draft Guide, which means much of my weekend will be spent watching the NFL draft (the informative NFL Network version, not the annoying ESPN version). With the Vikings picking seventh overall, here's my ranking of who I'd like to see them end up with in the first round:
1. Calvin Johnson, WR, Georgia Tech
2. Adrian Peterson, RB, Oklahoma
3. JaMarcus Russell, QB, Louisiana State
4. Joe Thomas, LT, Wisconsin
5. LaRon Landry, SS, Louisiana State
6. Brady Quinn, QB, Notre Dame
7. Gaines Adams, DE, Clemson
No. 7 is way too early to take him, but I'd love to see the Vikings end up with USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett in the second round.
Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.