October 28, 2011


• Don't worry: I'll continue working from bed.

Nick Punto got robbed of a hit and tried to break his bat, Bo Jackson-style. It didn't go well.

• After reading this story it's hard to believe I was the one expelled from Hebrew school.

• The kid from Jerry Maguire turned 21 years old and his name was spelled wrong on the cake.

Josh Hartnett is stealing my look again.

• Behold: Easily the worst column you'll read this week.

• MLB Network is launching a new sabermetrics show and I'm actually sort of optimistic about it because host Brian Kenny is always great.

Zooey Deschanel might be the only person I'll forgive for leaving a World Series game early.

• I'll be wearing this costume for Halloween. For the past 10 years I've gone as a fat blogger.

• Google's new television commercial features the story of a music teacher from Louisiana who won $1 million by tossing a perfect game with Roy Halladay on "MLB 2K11." My favorite part? Brian Kingrey knew little about baseball before buying the video game, so he studied stats on Baseball-Reference.com and got scouting reports on Rotoworld:

Presumably our check is in the mail.

• I was all set to star in this before the weight loss.

• My favorite couple is having another kid.

Johnny Depp seems weird, but at least he has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook, looking all classy and everything.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" podcast went so long we broke it into two episodes. Part 1 has talk of Joe Nathan's future, Jim Thome's choices, the Twins' medical staff, and blog comments. Part 2 has talk of John Bonnes' offseason blueprint, Ron Gardenhire's stance on platooning hitters, and my "sexiness levels." Oh, and they closed down the bar around us.

• Her new show is kind of unwatchable, but thankfully Mrs. Coach is still very adorable.

• I'd love to see a similar picture of the Twins' general manager.

• Hopefully the upcoming Playboy issue featuring Lindsay Lohan will come with a time machine.

• I'm no longer involved with The Hardball Times after co-creating the site back in 2004, but their annual book is always a must-read and looks better than ever this year.

• If even a fraction of the allegations are true Chris Cook is an awful human being.

• Game 6 of the World Series was crazy and the Win Probability graph is hilarious.

• This commercial is almost as good as the NBA lockout is bad:

I liked it so much that I bought this shirt. And this kid is my new favorite person ever.

Michael Beasley's publicist annoyingly sent 20 e-mails promoting his charity game, but oddly enough there were no follow-ups after the event. And coincidentally nothing about this either.

• I'm apparently one of the few people who still loves Netflix.

• As someone who hates to talk to anyone on the phone I sympathize with Tony La Russa.

Albert Pujols prepared for Game 6 of the World Series by putting on a sleeveless shirt and hanging out at Best Buy.

Jerry Kill finally signed his seven-year contract and it has a $50,000 bonus for the Gophers winning a national championship, which will come in handy in the post-apocalyptic world.

• Next time you feel embarrassed about something, remember this: Thousands of people own a Donovan McNabb Vikings jersey.

• Hopefully comedian Patrice O'Neal recovers from his stroke as well as my mom did in 2002.

• My condolences to Roy Smalley, whose father passed away this week. Roy Smalley II was also a longtime shortstop in the majors and it's one helluva baseball family.

• I'll be tweeting lots of commentary, analysis, and snark during Game 7 tonight, so follow me.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys' new song "Lonely Boy":


  1. The comments on the punto mauer article are amazing. “Articles like these make us look like idiots.”

    Comment by Beauregard — October 28, 2011 @ 3:14 am

  2. That DeLand article about Punto/Mauer is an absolute joke. Punto played in 63 games this year. Mauer played in 82. Based on his World Series time (LaRussa must think he’s good enough), you’d think he’d have played well over half the regular season if his “head cold” wasn’t too much to bear.

    Comment by William — October 28, 2011 @ 9:20 am

  3. Also, Mauer played just as many positions (3, discounting DH) as Punto did last year. Who’s the utility man now?

    Comment by Jason w — October 28, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  4. Kill should get the bonus if they win A game!

    Comment by ganderson — October 28, 2011 @ 10:05 am

  5. Can we please discuss Joe Buck stealing his father’s line last night from one of the most memorable calls in WS history and the American media fawning over it!?!? If he copied his Dad’s Kirk Gibson walk off call or a walk off call from a special Yankees or Red Sox historic game people would be outraged. How about if he copies “Long drive, left field, if it stays fair it’s gone, HOME RUN!” would that be cool even though it wasn’t his Dad who said it??? It’s insulting since that is one of the most special sports memories I have as a child and people think this was neat-o since he was related to the guy who originally made a similar call.

    -“Small Market” Fan

    Comment by SS — October 28, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

  6. SS, ridiculous. A: who cares? B: it was an homage to his dad, not a “stealing”. They talked to PA about this on KFAN this am, and he said it would be awesome if his kids ever used one of his lines someday (if they were an announcer.

    And, who cares, and why do they care? What is insulting about, even a little? Who did it insult? How did it ruin your memory? I’m baffled by this reaction all over town, baffled.

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 28, 2011 @ 12:48 pm

  7. Regarding the Game 6 Win Probability graph, I found it interesting that after Berkman’s RBI single in the 10th tied the game at nine and advanced Pujols to third base, the Cardinals chances at victory stood at 63.4%. After Berkman took second base on defensive indifference the Cards chances actually diminished, albeit slightly, to 63.2%. Does this mean that it is more probable to score with men at first and third with two out than with men at second and third with two away? I’ve always heard announcers say “if they are giving it to you, take it” but maybe that’s not always the best course of action, although the difference is so miniscule it probably doesn’t matter. It was also interesting that after singles by Descalso and Jay leading off the bottom of the tenth, the Cards chances to win stood at 31.7% but after Kyle Lohse’s successful sacrifice bunt, St. Louis saw their win probability reduced to 28%. I suspect that there is not a manager in baseball who wouldn’t have laid one down at that point, but looking at the percentages can certainly be entertaining, not to mention enlightening. Thanks for the graph, Aaron.

    Comment by CoachFSCB — October 28, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  8. coach, in the bunt situation, I doubt win probability takes into account the batter there and it is more likely to score multiple runs with no outs, than to score runs with one out….but yes, I’d guess that nearly everyone would bunt in that situation…..I cannot explain the first example.

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 28, 2011 @ 2:45 pm

  9. Joe Buck’s see you tomorrow night was weak and didn’t add to the game. It selfishly took me out of the moment just so he could be cute.

    Great. Your dad is a legend and you love him. But I don’t care, and I don’t want to hear it.

    His grating, forceful monotone is unbearable and pretentious. He is the sonic equivalent of COMMENTING IN ALL CAPITALS. McCarver used to be great but is not anymore. I hate having to turn the TV sound off when I watch the game just because we’re stuck with these guys. With all the great performances, errors and reversals of fortune, could there ever be a series better suited to Vin Scully? Especially the way Vin handles errors. Al Micheals? Anybody else?

    Comment by brian — October 28, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

  10. SS/Mike,

    While I’m not insulted by Buck’s call, I do think it’s terribly lazy. It’s like how the only movies Hollywood makes anymore are sequels or remakes or sequels to remakes. They’ve given up creatively. Instead of leaving his own mark and contributing to the canon of famous World Series calls, Joe Buck just took the easy road and remade his dad’s call.

    To expect something original and great out of Joe Buck presumes he’s an original and great announcer. Actually this is exactly the sort of thing I’d expect out of him. Come on, this is a guy who called a fake mooning “disgusting”, for Pete’s sake.

    Comment by Ed Bast — October 28, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  11. Mike, I like PA as well but I don’t think that since the Vikings radio announcer gives it a thumbs up that I should feel different about it.

    Since you are so baffled I will attempt to help you understand. I do not speak for all Minnesotan’s (and I am not sure how long you have been one, maybe you have lived here longer than I have been alive) but Joe Buck is not a fan favorite for most. I am guessing there are those that disliked his pompous, over the top reaction to the Randy Moss Mooning scenario in Green Bay and others that simply don’t like him and his announcing style (this is a common theme woven throughout the interwebs, google Joe Buck and see what comes up).
    The last great sports memory from this town was from the 1991 WS and it’s something we hold close to us and want to protect as ours. Even as pathetic as you may think that is, it’s a fact. When someone held in ill regard samples from someone held in high regard, especially if that sample is of a cherished memory, you are going to get polarizing opinions. Remember when people started sampling classic rock into rap music in the late 90s and early 2000’s? The people sampling the music were written off as lazy and unoriginal by the older generation. I remember not understanding that at the time and thinking that it didn’t bother me that Puff Daddy stole from the Police to write “Ill be missing you” because I was a child in 1983 and I didn’t have any idea or memories of who the Police were.

    I am being a little satirical here, but now I do know where that line came from, and I do have memories associated with that call. So I now find it lazy and unoriginal that he hijacked his Dad’s call in what seemed to me to be a premeditated act and a contrived self serving homage to his father. Maybe I am just getting old and grumpy and it shouldn’t matter to me…but it does. And I don’t think I am alone on this. Get off my lawn.

    Comment by SS — October 28, 2011 @ 3:21 pm

  12. Joe Buck is a massive tool. I absolutely cannot stand him. The call was lame, but so is everything else that guy does.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — October 28, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

  13. Why does Punto have his bat with him at first base?

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — October 28, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  14. to be fair, I hate listening to Buck call any sporting event, so I understand that part totally. I rarely listen to any announcers anymore.

    I just don’t see how it ruins anyone’s memories of the Twins wins. That said, memories and emotions are very indivdualistic, and I am certainly willing to let people feel how they feel. I just don’t get how it ruins what happened years ago, but to each their own. I was not trying to tell people how to feel, I legitemately don’t get it, but like I said, I’m cool if people want to feel that way.

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 28, 2011 @ 4:10 pm

  15. A few years back, a World Series game went past midnight (Eastern time). A player hit a walk-off homerun, and Joe Buck said “We’ll see you — later tonight!” I certainly didn’t mind that, since it was a play on words off of his father’s famous call of Kirby Puckett’s home run, and a tribute to his dad. However, using the same call as his father’s last night was uninventive, unoriginal, and unfortunate. Both the Kirby homer and the Freese homer will be re-played for years to come, and now, both will have the same call. Dramatic homeruns like those deserve to have their own unique statement and feel, and by re-using the same words, Joe Buck diminished both Puckett’s and Freese’ homers just a bit. Buck may have thought it would be cool to copy his dad, but as time goes by I suspect that he will regret that decision. I already do.

    Comment by CoachFSCB — October 28, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

  16. As Joe Pos says, if an announcer isn’t adding to the game, they are taking away. I agree with SS, Coach, ed and others: it was lazy and regrettable. The problem wasn’t that it affected my memories of the past, it was that it affected my experience of the present.

    Comment by brian — October 28, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

  17. I agree with Coach.

    My opinion is I don’t know if Buck loves what he does. Is he good at play by play – sure. Is he a safe and solid play for FOX – yep. The difference is does he love the game ala John Gordon or countless other baseball play by play guys. Gordon for all of his missed calls and confusion at times, never a doubt, he loves the game and his job.

    Comment by PK — October 28, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

  18. Mike Wants Wins-

    A) I care. So does SS, and so should a lot of Twins fans. As I think our friend AG would agree (his favorite announcer being one Vern Scully), announcing is not about making yourself the center of the broadcast. Rather, it’s about calling what you see and enhancing the broadcast for the viewer. When Joe Buck “paid homage” to his late father last night, he did something he usually does: moved himself to the front of the broadcast. He stole what was an astounding ending to a baseball game to do something solely for his own reasons. To me that is upsetting in and of itself.

    The reason it should be upsetting to Twins fans everywhere is because once and a while, when the announcer does their job correctly, that voiceover will etch itself in with a great play in history. Jack Buck’s call of Kirby’s game six home run was one of those calls.

    When many Twins fans see the video of that hit and the crowd’s reaction, most fans will associate those emotions with the call that Jack Buck gave too. At that point, it starts to become part of the memory. It’s the same reason some kids have trouble giving up their childhood blanket – because of those memories that are associated with it. It’s the same reason you don’t want to lose all of your clothes, pictures and personal belongings in a house fire – they have memories and sentimental value that come with them.

    When Joe Buck jumped in front of the camera last night waving his hands ‘look at me!’ he took a little bit of the shine off of a memory which Twins fans hold near and dear to their hearts. As any Queen fan can tell you, Vanilla Ice’s “Ice, Ice Baby” is a rip off of “Under Pressure”, Ice can say it’s different until he’s blue in the face, but he’s an unoriginal hack and his song cheapened the original a bit if you were a fan of the original. Much in the same manner that this call made Twins fans feel cheapened and it made that special memory and ultimately, great play a little less special.

    B) PA may feel that it would be cool if one of his kin paid homage to him through one of his calls. I also think it would be cool too if one of my children pay homage to me someday, but there’s a time and place for that.

    At the end of the day, Joe Buck made himself the centerpiece of a great play and a great baseball moment last night, and that’s not what announcing is about. That’s not what great moments in sports history are about.

    If Joe wanted to pay homage to his father, name a kid after him. Say a prayer at the dinner table about him when the family is around. Don’t jump up and down screaming: “I’m Joe Buck, Jack Buck’s son!”, when the World Series and the plays that just happened should be front and center. We all know you he is Jack Buck’s son – that’s the only reason he has his job.

    Comment by joeymitch — October 28, 2011 @ 10:33 pm

  19. $50k for winning the national chamipionship. Really. Don’t you think Kill’s agent messed up a little there? I’m sure they meant $50M and something got printed wrong but the contract was signed anyhow.

    Comment by PK — October 28, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  20. Nick Punto has a World Series ring.

    Comment by Ted — October 29, 2011 @ 10:50 am

  21. To me, the Joe Buck’s “homage” just highlighted the differences between son and father.

    Jack Buck’s call was filled with enthusiasm and captured the emotion and significance of the moment. It was a perfect compliment to the play. I don’t think I actually heard it live, since I was probably listening to the radio and watching the TV – so I probably got the Gordo version.

    Still, it’s a classic.

    Joe Buck’s call on the other hand, however well intentioned – or not, depending on your opinion – just illustrated the difference. While Jack’s captured so much of that moment, Joe intoned “We’ll see you tomorrow night” with the same amount of emotion and enthusiasm as he would when announcing that a Buick Skylark had it’s lights on in the parking lot. Dull, dead, utterly lacking in anything that could be construed as emotion.

    He may have a great voice, but he’s basically a robot when calling sports.

    He doesn’t bother me on football – probably because I don’t care about football much and I don’t get too excited about it either – much like him. I don’t actually think he’s good on either sport, but the difference between him and good baseball announcers is quite stark.

    During Game 7, I listened a bit more closely to him than normal, since I was trying to see if he’d get caught up in the moment. I didn’t think he would and was correct. However, anytime he did a promo, then his voice WOULD get more expressive. Basically, he only gave a damn when shilling some crap. Which totally fits.

    Comment by Son of Shane Mack — October 29, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

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