Friday February 13, 2004
MY SENSITIVE SIDE
I’ll be honest, I was out of town in the cities for work Wednesday and part of Thursday. I missed a couple of Timberwolves wins and even a shocking Gophers Big 10 win against Michigan in Men’s Basketball. I have been backed up on sharing some excellent writing from some of the great baseball blogs on the left of this screen. So today, I am just going to catch up a little bit. This will be short and will primarily be some links to other great websites for you to check out.
I would like to encourage everyone to
e-mail me. I am looking for potential topics, guest writers
and new Discussion Questions of the Week.
Send me an e-mail and let’s chat.
The last three days, I have shared some excellent conversations that I have had with three great baseball blog writers. Check them out if you missed any of them.
Tuesday - David Bergner, The Baseball Savant
Wednesday - JD Arney, Redsfaithful Baseball Blog
Thursday - Eric Justman Reichart - The Baseball Boys
I happen to think that they turned out very well and the discussions were quite interesting. I would like to extend an invitation to any other baseball blog writers who would like to have such a discussion to e-mail me, and we can set up a time to have a conversation. Of course, anyone else who is reading this and would like to Instant Message or chat can e-mail me, and I can let you in on my Yahoo Messenger name or my MSN Messenger account. Talking baseball is the best, and I’d be more than happy to if anyone is interested!
There have been some really great postings on some other really great websites that I would encourage you to take the time to read, either today or over the weekend. I am always so impressed with some of these other writers who not only fill space on their websites every day, but fill it with fascinating information. Here are some of them:
Aaron Gleeman - Aaron’s Baseball Blog
As we all know, Aaron writes some of the most indepth baseball entries anywhere. Earlier this week, he devoted two entries to some great basketball statistics. In Part One, he shared how Peja Stojakovic’s 48% shooting is as good as Shaquille O’Neal’s 55% field goal percentage. In Part Two, he got help from Craig Burley of Batter’s Box, who discussed more statistical reasoning that Kevin Garnett is the best overall player in the NBA and would be the league’s MVP if the season ended now.
Of course, Wednesday Aaron showed off his connections by conducting an interview with injury-guru and author Will Carroll. He asks Will about injury questions involving Twins players such as Corey Koskie, Joe Mays, Johan Santana and more.
Al Bethke - Al’s Ramblings
Al writes a great baseball blog that primarily focuses on the Milwaukee Brewers organization. Al just finished with his 2nd Ramblings Roundtable discussion, where he and three others discuss some player-related issues that the Brewers face. From their opinions on the Richie Sexson trade to what the team should do with Geoff Jenkins this year. It is very interesting to read.
Of course, part of what makes things interesting for me is that Chris Coste is mentioned a couple of times in the discussions. For the question, “Other noteworthy events or non-events, as you see it?”, “Greg” responded (in part), “I don't get paying money for Gary Bennett with Coste on hand, but it's a minor issue (what isn't for the 2004 Brewers?).”
Al responded to the same question writing, “Let's see...Coste is a catcher that can hit, as well as play 1B and 3B.”
It’s good to see that the Brewers blog writers see value in Chris Coste. Hopefully he can get to Spring Training next week and really perform well and give himself a chance to make the Brewers Opening Day roster in a reserve role.
Alex Ciepley - Ball Talk
Alex, if you remember, is a pioneer of sorts in the baseball blogging community. He is the first known openly gay blogger. Recently, ESPN.com’s Jim Caple wrote an article asking when we will see an openly gay ballplayer in the major leagues, and discusses the circumstances that it would need to happen under. Alex responded to the article on 2/10.
Caple says that it would be best if the first player to come out would be a star. Ceipley explains that he doesn’t necessarily agree:
That said, there is one caveat: the first gay player to come out will have an easier time of it if he is good enough to have a secure starting role. If the 25th man on a team were to come out, it would cause management all sorts of nightmares. The player in question might be easily replaceable, but any move to replace him would draw the ire of the gay community, just as keeping him on the roster might be seen as an owner's sacrifice to the wiles of Political Correctness. A gay Lenny Harris would still hit and field like a straight Lenny Harris, and would deserve to be cut if someone better came along.
But to me, the most interesting part of his response is who he thinks will be the “hardest audience of all” to face. Check it out to find out who that is.
Jody Gerut, Cleveland Indians
Jody Gerut, of course, was one of the best rookies in the American League last year for the Indians. He has been writing an occasional blog entry for a Cleveland newspaper. Last week, he wrote a great article on the Sophomore Slump. He says he went through something like it in college and has no intention of going through it again. He writes:
After all this I seem to have more of a grip on the situation. I know to what to expect and how to handle it. But it is still no guarantee that it won't happen to me just as it has happened to others. Granted there are players like Albert Pujols who had no such correction in their career line of success, and for now his history will be my inspiration for 2004. Not only did he avoid the jinx but he obliterated every single expectation set upon him in his first 3 years in the big leagues. Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle once told me 'there are 2 types of player in this game, Jody: those that are humble, and those that will be humbled.' Well I am humble. Being humbled sucks. And I want no part of that again. If I approach this season with a humble heart just as I have in the past I know I will be satisfied with the results, no matter what they are. No wise fools here any longer- that is one thing I can guarantee.
Gerut sounds so very intelligent and writes so well. It is fun to read what he has to say.
Bryan Smith - Wait ‘Til Next Year
I have mentioned before that I love reading this site. He has been entering five pressing questions for each major league team, by division. I think he asks some great questions. Take a minute to go through some of those questions and take a minute to figure out how you would answer them.
Rich Lederer - Rich’s Weekend Baseball Beat
Last weekend, Rich wrote a great article called Weapons of Mass Production. It discusses the millions of different statistics that are available to the baseball world and all of us.
Sabermetricians are guilty of developing too many Weapons of Mass Destruction. Too many stats. Too much confusion. It's time to get back to the basics. If we reduce the number of weapons (stats), then it follows we can reduce the amount of destruction (confusion).
After that, he discusses a few of the statistics that he finds most valuable.
Bryan and Flynn , Redbird Nation
There has really been some great postings coming out of Redbird Nation the last week. It started when Flynn wrote a great article on Bill Veeck.
Then, Brian wrote a very interesting article called The White Hairs where he gives a position-by-position list of the top hangers-on, the guys who are old and maybe should be done, but are still playing. The list is really a pretty impressive team and had they been in the same lineup 8-12 years ago, it would have been a great team!
Finally, Bryan wrote an article remembering the recently deceased “Hub” Kittle. He is a guy that I hadn’t even heard about, but I’m glad I read this posting. He was quite the baseball man!
David Pinto, Baseball Musings
David has a posting entitled Twins Stadium? that is worth reading. He gives a great quote from Hennepin Country Board Chairman Randy Johnson had to say about a possible referendum.
“I am not a big fan of referendums,” Johnson said. “I believe in representational government. If the people don’t like the decisions that their elected officials make, they can elect someone else.”
Pinto’s response, “If I were an opponent of Hennepin County Board Chairman Randy Johnson, I'd definitely bring that quote up in the next election.”
I agree with David. I personally hate partisanship in government, but all I really care about is that the people are represented by their REPRESENTatives! The REPRESENTatives are supposed to REPRESENT their constituents. That’s just how it is supposed to be and should be! This is a quote that should be flying around Hennepin County!
MY SENSITIVE SIDE
I can’t cry. I don’t remember the last time I did. Even in the saddest of movies, my eyes may well up, but tears never form and trickle down my face. That changed last night. Watching the last segment of Survivor: All Stars last night was some of the toughest, most emotional television I have ever watched. There were tears falling down my face under both eyes.
Say what you will about reality shows, but no one episode has ever packed such a real punch as the end of last night’s show. It would have been emotional had it been acting, but the fact that it was real life made it even more powerful. The little note in the end was just the final straw in this.
I don’t want to give too much away for those of you who, like me, taped Survivor while watching the NBC lineup (including Phoebe’s wedding on Friends), so I won’t even write what happened. But I want to hear the thoughts of those of you who did watch Survivor last night. If you haven’t seen it and have access to the tape of it, watch it! If that doesn’t affect you, well, I don’t know what that means.
Any thoughts, please e-mail me.
Well, as I said, it would be short. I hopefully will have some time over the weekend to develop some ideas to write about as Spring Training approaches. As always, if you have any questions, comments or ideas, please send me an e-mail. Have a wonderful weekend!
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