March 6, 2008


  • Here's some video of Francisco Liriano throwing on the side down in Fort Myers:

    Liriano is scheduled to make his spring debut today against the Red Sox.
  • I've been meaning to put together a similar summary of my own, but for now here's Minneapolis Star Tribune blogger Howard Sinker's take on the ever-expanding Twins blogosphere.
  • The New York Times recently ran an interesting look at Johan Santana's world-class changeup.
  • When two of my favorite sportswriters get together to discuss one of my favorite television shows, it's definitely worth listening to. An hour-long discussion about The Wire between Bill Simmons and Jason Whitlock couldn't help but be highly entertaining, and they even veered off into an interesting tangent about one of my pet topics, the newspaper industry. Plus, hearing one grown man call another grown man "Big Sexy" at the end of a serious, in-depth conversation made the whole thing even better.
  • Long-time Official Fantasy Girl of candidate Jenna Fischer was recently featured alongside the likes of Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman in a Vanity Fair article about funny women, which included a unique photo shoot that produced this picture.
  • A moderately slimmed down Sidney Ponson is still trying to latch on somewhere, but thankfully the Twins only have room in their rotation for one chubby, washed-up veteran right-hander this season.
  • This week's "Fantasy Fix" show features me talking with Tiffany Simons about what to expect from last season's top rookies:

    I'm heading to New York next week to shoot some season-preview episodes at the NBC Sports studio, so you'll be able to definitively see why my face was made for calling in over the phone.
  • Along with discussing his impending free agency and how it relates to Jonathan Papelbon, a recent article in the Boston Herald noted that Joe Nathan "has the lowest ERA of any reliever with at least 200 innings since 2004." That's the year when Nathan joined the Twins and during that four-year span he's gone 19-8 with a 1.94 ERA, 160 saves, and a 355-to-80 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 282.1 innings.
  • Kristin Cavallari has always looked fetching enough to be a strong Official Fantasy Girl of candidate, but the whole part about her being famous for no apparent reason hurts her case.
  • Pat Neshek paid me a random compliment earlier this week on his (non-permalink enabled) blog, writing: "I love his site!" I'm occasionally asked if "the Twins" read this blog and always reply that it's pretty unlikely, but it's nice to know that at least one player is a fan. And the feeling is definitely mutual. As I've written several times before, between his fantastic on-field performance and unique off-field personality it's difficult not to be a huge Neshek fan. He is, after all, the Official Relief Pitcher of
  • Quote of the Week, from Twins top prospect Carlos Gomez, on where he'd hit in the lineup if he wins the starting job in center field: "Ahead of Morneau and the catcher and the other guy."
  • I recently stumbled across this graphic advertising a podcast on the Star Tribune's website:

    Regular Star Tribune readers will surely recognize John Millea's name and face (he's the guy in the middle, holding the bat), because he's been covering high-school sports (among other things) for the newspaper since 1991. The two guys flanking him on either side, Brian Stensaas and David LaVaque, are familiar to me because they were both sports editors at the Minnesota Daily and both rejected me for a position on the staff.

    LaVaque e-mailed me a couple years ago and suggested that it was time to "shed the enormous chip on your shoulder regarding not getting hired at the Daily." I'm of the opinion that my disappointing experience there has driven me to find success, so I'm in no hurry to remove whatever chip remains on my shoulder, but any grudge that I'm holding isn't necessarily directed at LaVaque or Stensaas, who were both perfectly friendly to me in person.

    They're not alone in turning down my attempts to join the student-run Daily, because there were a total of nine rejections during my four years at the University of Minnesota. The people doing the rejecting and the circumstances involved in the rejections changed throughout the years, while the one constant in every situation was obviously me. All of which is a long-winded way of saying that while my feelings about the Daily in general remain unfavorable, I'm glad to see Stensaas and LaVaque doing well.

  • Perhaps my aforementioned sit-downs with assorted Daily editors would have gone differently if I'd have read Radar's "100 things not to say in a job interview" beforehand. Looking back, I'm fairly certain that leading off with No. 81 was a mistake.
  • I've never even attempted to get a press pass to a local sporting event in the past, but may finally be motivated to pull some strings in August.
  • Against all odds, my LeBron James-led squad has advanced to the Final Four of's 30-team "experts" fantasy basketball league.
  • Al Newman has had problems ever since his bobblehead was shown on the top of my television.
  • Jason Bartlett is getting very close to his new double-play partner in Rays camp.
  • I'm asked every week to plug various new blogs in this space and can't always oblige, but one way for bloggers to guarantee themselves a link here is to marry the sister of my best friend growing up. It works every time.
  • In honor of The Wire sadly coming to an end Sunday, this week's music video is Steve Earle doing a live version of the show's theme song, Tom Waits' "Way Down in the Hole":

    In addition to singing this season's version of the song, Earle also plays Bubbles' sponsor Walon.

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