June 11, 2010
• Who among us hasn't been tempted to break into a donut shop at three in the morning?
• After one career start, Stephen Strasburg has an xFIP of -0.50. Seriously.
• Carrie Underwood would immediately become an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com contender if all she did was play softball.
• I'll be hugely disappointed if the person who eliminates Jamie Hector from this weekend's paintball tournament featuring The Wire cast members doesn't yell: "My name is my name!"
• Is it really possible that the entire landscape of college athletics conferences is changing and all the Big Ten ends up with is Nebraska? If they're going to 12 teams, why not go all the way to 16 and at least get Kansas (and Kansas State) in for basketball? I have no allegiance to the Big 12, but for some reason the whole thing makes me sad.
• In case there was any doubt about The Roots being the best part of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, this should settle it. Gotta love Ice Cube bleeping himself throughout.
• Twins second-round pick Cartier Goodrum wasn't the only amazing name drafted this week.
• Gophers catcher Kyle Knudson was drafted by the Twins in the ninth round and two of his teammates were also picked by other teams. Catcher/outfielder Mike Kvasnicka went to the Astros a dozen spots after the Twins selected Alex Wimmers and reliever Seth Rosin went to the Giants at No. 138. As former Twins blogger Trevor Born points out in the Minnesota Daily, the last Gophers position player to be drafted higher than Kvasnicka was Brent Gates in 1991.
• My two favorite radio personalities of all time, together in one awkward picture.
• Not surprisingly, Phillies fans get their drinking careers started very early.
• Re-runs of Seinfeld have grossed $2.7 billion (yes, billion) since the show went off the air 12 years ago, with most of that money going to creators Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David. As the latter would say: "Pretty, pretty, pretty good."
• There's zero doubt that this hilarious mockumentary about Ralph Macchio will be significantly better than the sure-to-be-horrible Karate Kid remake:
"You sure, Ralph? I mean, the cuddling is your favorite part."
• Just because I haven't linked to any pictures of Marisa Miller in a while.
• Ozzie Guillen is unhappy that his son Ozney Guillen (no, that's not a typo) warranted only a 22nd-round pick, but he was actually just one of five managers' sons to be drafted this year.
• Speaking of Guillen, general manager Ken Williams sounds ready to blow up the White Sox.
• This actually isn't that far off from what my elliptical machine looks like with a laptop perched on top and the ability to wedge an IBM Thinkpad between the handles was purely coincidence.
• Here's everything you ever wanted to know about The Hardball Times and my involvement, including an exclusive photo from our first staff meeting.
• This year's World Series of Poker is underway in Las Vegas and Tom Dwan was very close to winning millions of dollars in side bets from a bunch of the high-stakes players.
• ESPN is gradually expanding to various markets with "local" sites like ESPNNewYork.com and ESPNLosAngeles.com, but now SB Nation (which runs Twinkie Town) is taking a Blogger-based approach to the same process. Newspapers may be in the death rattle stage, but that doesn't mean there will be a shortage of sportswriting jobs in the near future.
• Speaking of newspapers, if you've watched television during the past couple decades you've probably seen this one a few times.
• Jason Heller of A.V. Club provides a guide for getting as obsessed with Van Morrison as me.
• Their owner Frank McCourt is going through a messy divorce, so the Dodgers are seemingly taking advantage of the draft's failed-signing compensation rules to make things easier on him financially.
• Of course, the Dodgers aren't so strapped for cash that they can't pay a Russian "healer" to "send positive energy over great distances" for the past five years.
• After two seasons HBO recently canceled one of my favorite underrated shows, The Life and Times of Tim, but there's a chance it could wind up another channel.
• Jay Mohr appeared on Adam Carolla's podcast and discussed his now-inaccurate reputation for being a jerk, which fittingly was my impression of him before hearing him be a great guest.
• Speaking of great podcast guests, Steve Nash was excellent with Bill Simmons. One of my favorite players on and off the court.
• Blogging for the past eight years finally paid off this week, as a longtime reader sent me 110 hours of Karl Pilkington (and Ricky Gervais/Stephen Merchant) audio. Sadly though, none of you have sent me the audio of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Diora Baird's recent appearance on Loveline yet. You guys are really slacking off.
• Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:
- Kosuke Fukudome living up to "Mr. April" label
- Indians send Matt LaPorta back to Triple-A
- Chone Figgins not happy about move to bottom of Mariners' lineup
- Pirates calling up Jose Tabata and Brad Lincoln
- Brandon Wood's struggles carry over to Triple-A
- Randy Wolf allows five homers in loss to Cubs
• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Elvis Costello singing "Alison" during his first ever television appearance:
What is the source of Elvis clip?
Comment by Chris — June 11, 2010 @ 2:47 am
Love the blog, just wanted to comment about the Big 10 expansion.
1. They’re not stopping with just Nebraska.
2. No way they take Kansas or KState, its all about football and getting the BigTen Network into as many households as possible. They will soon be adding either a. Texas/Texas A&M/Mizzou/ND or b. Some combination of east coast schools such as Rutgers, UConn, Syracuse, Maryland, Virginia, WVU plus ND. More likely scenario a.
Comment by Brian — June 11, 2010 @ 2:59 am
There’s zero doubt that this hilarious mockumentary about Ralph Macchio will be significantly better than the sure-to-be-horrible Karate Kid remake:
Can’t be any worse than the original.
Comment by Michael — June 11, 2010 @ 6:59 am
Your comments regarding Big Ten/college expansion are borderline ignorant and totally tone deaf to what is driving the changes now taking place. They are akin to me say something like, oh, Nick Punto is a great player ’cause he really hustles and does the little things well.
Comment by Nick — June 11, 2010 @ 10:34 am
Nick why the intellectual arrogates in your comments toward Brain? Not very Gracious and/or Tolerant.
I have never met you however I have met Nick Punto. He is a gracious and generous person and player. To be drafted in the 21st round by the Phillies and been playing in the bigs for 9 years is a success story. His salary is $4,000,000 this year. Nick will never be in the Hall of Fame and nobody claims the he is a Hank Aaron type player. However Nick Punto is a great player in the sense of what his style and attitude on and off the field and how he helps the “Great” players win. If you comment on your silly position it is only for yourself, because I will not take the time to come back.
Comment by Dan — June 11, 2010 @ 12:20 pm
I’m not sure if Nick’s comment was directed towards me or towards Aaron, but what I said is completely accurate.
“its all about football and getting the BigTen Network into as many households as possible.”
The Big10 Network has been incredibly successful and is a contributing reason to the Big12 falling apart. All of the other conferences see how much TV revenue the Big10 and SEC have been bringing in and they want a piece of the pie too. Especially with all of the cuts being made across the country to budgets, including significant shortfalls in numerous athletic departments such as Texas A&M. This is pushing everything towards 4-5 “super-conferences” of 14-16 teams each, and the likely death of the BCS.
Comment by Brian — June 11, 2010 @ 1:50 pm
Although its looking like Texas, Oklahoma, Ok State, Tex Tech and maybe Tex A&M to the Pac10 is for real. I had thought it was a bluff or misinformation by Texas and what they really wanted was the Big 10.
If the Big 10 loses out on Texas they will look east and attempt to get into the NYC, and maybe Balt/DC markets via scenario b, as outlined in my original comment. Either way they will probably get Notre Dame.
Comment by Brian — June 11, 2010 @ 2:20 pm
Well, at least now I have another Big 10 team to root for once the Gophers fall from their traditional 4-0 starts.
Comment by Evan — June 11, 2010 @ 2:31 pm
Yes, I agree w/ Brian
Comment by Nick — June 11, 2010 @ 2:42 pm
Thanks for clarification Nick, thats what I figured but I wasn’t sure.
Comment by Brian — June 11, 2010 @ 2:56 pm
“However Nick Punto is a great player in the sense of what his style and attitude on and off the field and how he helps the “Great” players win.”
How do you write something like that with a straight face? Nick Punto is a lousy player who actually prevents the great players on this team from winning. Last night Punto demonstrated that he is a fundamentally unsound player (sliding into first), that he is lazy (not running home to beat the throw to second on the Mauer fly out), and that he just plain sucks (two errors in one inning that made the difference in the game). If the Twins cut Nick Punto tomorrow, they would instantly be a better team.
Comment by A different Dan — June 11, 2010 @ 3:54 pm