November 20, 2008


  • The boys over at Stick and Ball Guy have been running various Twins blogs through and, with amusing results. For instance, the gender analysis is 89 percent sure that is "written by a man," so apparently more weight is placed on the constant links to pictures of Keeley Hazell than the blogger doing the linking having the musical taste of a 13-year-old girl. Phew. Meanwhile, "the analysis indicates that the author of is of the type":

    The Doers

    The active and playful type. They are especially attuned to people and things around them and often full of energy, talking, joking, and engaging in physical, outdoor activities.

    The Doers are happiest with action-filled work which craves their full attention and focus. They might be very impulsive and more keen on starting something new than following it through. They might have a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time.

    A lack of recent progress on the "Top 40 Minnesota Twins" series is evidence of me being "more keen on starting something new than following it through," but otherwise that description couldn't be further from the truth. There's a decent chance that no one has ever described me as "active and playful" and "engaging in physical, outdoor activities" likely would lead to a bit more success with the Fat-O-Meter. Plus, no human has less of "a problem with sitting still or remaining inactive for any period of time."

  • Tubby Smith is off to a great start turning the University of Minnesota basketball program around, but sadly there's one thing that he couldn't bring with him from Kentucky.
  • Finally some good news for everyone who missed out on careers in marine biology, hand modeling, latex sales, importing, exporting, hen supervision, and architecture: The Red Sox are looking to hire an "assistant to the traveling secretary" and George Costanza may not want to work for the Yankees' rival:

    Derek Jeter hasn't shown that much range in years.
  • If you miss out on that job, the new Mariners' regime is creating a "statistical research and analysis department" to be run by fellow Society for American Baseball Research member and former Rotowire writer Tony Blengino. Surely the Twins will soon be searching for their own SABR member and fantasy writer to run a similar front-office department, and once hell thaws out they know where to find me.
  • Pat Neshek has long been the Official Relief Pitcher of, but during his lengthy recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery Craig Breslow may prove to be a capable fill in. Not only did Breslow post a 1.63 ERA in 38.2 innings with the Twins after being claimed off waivers in May, he's a member of the tribe and Yale graduate with a degree in molecular biophysics who founded a charity that raises money for childhood cancer research. I'd pay to hear what his conversations with Carlos Gomez sound like.
  • Shockingly, Official Fantasy Girl of runner-up Marisa Miller cleans up pretty nice.
  • One of the misconceptions that many people have regarding the rapidly changing media landscape is that good reporting will vanish along with ink-on-a-page newspapers. In reality newspapers are just a platform for that type of writing and as online media continues to evolve plenty of sites will emerge as similar platforms. Or at least that's the point I've been trying to make in this space over the past couple years, which is why it was nice to see a New York Times article on "web-based news operations":

    As America's newspapers shrink and shed staff, and broadcast news outlets sink in the ratings, a new kind of Web-based news operation has arisen in several cities, forcing the papers to follow the stories they uncover. ... Their news coverage and hard-digging investigative reporting stand out in an Internet landscape long dominated by partisan commentary, gossip, vitriol and citizen journalism posted by unpaid amateurs.

    The fledgling movement has reached a sufficient critical mass, its founders think, so they plan to form an association, angling for national advertising and foundation grants that they could not compete for singly. And hardly a week goes by without a call from journalists around the country seeking advice about starting their own online news outlets.

    These things obviously don't happen overnight, but the ball is definitely beginning to roll. Locally there's MinnPost, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary and was featured in the Times article:

    Most of this new breed of news sites have a whiff of scruffy insurgency, but MinnPost, based in Minneapolis, resembles the middle-age establishment. Its founder and chief executive, Joel Kramer, has been the editor and publisher of The Star Tribune, of Minneapolis, and its top editors are refugees from that paper or its rival, The Pioneer Press in St. Paul.

    MinnPost is rich compared with its peers--with a $1.5 million bankroll from Mr. Kramer and several others when it started last year, and a $1.3 million annual budget--and it has been more aggressive about selling ads and getting readers to donate.

    The full-time editors and reporters earn $50,000 to $60,000 a year, Mr. Kramer said--a living wage, but less than they would make at the competing papers. MinnPost has just five full-time employees, but it uses more than 40 paid freelance contributors, allowing it to do frequent reporting on areas like the arts and sports.

    As one of those freelance contributors I'm obviously biased, but clearly sites like MinnPost will continue to pop up all over the country as newspapers continue to shut down. Good writing and reporting is not limited to ink on a page and given some time to develop the online world will become a fine home.

  • Sadly my last contribution to The Hardball Times came in mid-2006, but my little baby is all grown up and thriving without me thanks to the hard work of Dave Studenmund.

    If you haven't already, make sure to order a copy of The Hardball Times Baseball Annual, which begins shipping next week and includes articles from Rob Neyer, Joe Posnanski, Will Leitch, John Dewan, Tim Marchman, Tom Tango, Craig Wright, and Don Malcolm, plus THT's awesome staff of regulars.
  • How popular was Fire Joe Morgan before they retired from blogging last week? Michael Schur, Alan Yang, and Dave King did an exit interview with Leitch over at Deadspin and the blog itself essentially got an obituary in the New York Times. Along those lines, when eventually comes to an end my goal is for the news to warrant a one-sentence note near the bottom of Seth Stohs' latest 3,000-word entry and a quasi-obituary in the Hopkins Sun Sailor.
  • Schur is retiring from baseball blogging in part because he's in charge of the upcoming NBC sitcom starring Amy Poehler of Saturday Night Live. As if one of the driving forces behind The Office creating a new show starring Poehler wasn't enough to make me watch, Rashida Jones is reportedly also joining the cast. Fire Joe Morgan going dark is bad news, but at least the world gets another funny television show and the return of Karen Filippelli out of the deal.
  • Brad Childress has had a busy week. First he criticized the local media for criticizing him, ending his press conference with a quote about how "editorialists and columnists are like men that come down from the mountains after the battle and shoot the wounded." Obviously between Sid Hartman and the rest of the notoriously blood-thirsty Minnesota media looking to tear Childress and the Vikings down he has it tough. Or something. My apologies to anyone who drowned in that sarcasm. Wait, it gets better.

    Childress apparently made an enemy of Troy Williamson, the former No. 7 overall pick who was a bust in three seasons with the Vikings. Williamson is now on the Jaguars, who host the Vikings this week, and said Thursday that he'd like to "go at it" and "duke it out" with Childress at the 50-yard line prior to Sunday's game. "I'd even tie my hands around my back," Williamson said. Of course, as Childress and Vikings fans know all too well, Williamson's hands were never good for much anyway. Rimshot!

    After initially trying to avoid addressing Williamson's comments, Childress eventually loosened up and displayed some rare humor to all those men who come down from the mountains after the battle and shoot the wounded. "I'm not like a woman, I'll give you my weight," Childress offered. "It's 190 pounds of twisted steel and rompin', stompin' dynamite." Then, to make sure that his status as a world-class blowhard with a grating personality wasn't in danger, Childress asked: "Is that enough humor for you?"

  • My appearance on KFAN radio Tuesday night went very well, and you can listen to the hour-long clip of me talking Twins with Doogie Wolfson and Phil Mackey by clicking here. You may want to skip past the first 20 minutes, because it's all Vikings talk and my appearance doesn't begin until after the first break. Amusingly, the very first thing that Wolfson did after introducing me was ask why the Fat-O-Meter reads "still fat." You know, because talking on the radio about how fat you've become is always fun.
  • Donovan McNabb doesn't know much about kissing his sister.
  • Finally, this week's music video is Margot & the Nuclear So and So's performing an absurdly busy, live version of "As Tall As Cliffs" on Late Night With Conan O'Brien earlier this week:

  • Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.

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