Monthly Archives: November 2007

Today’s Writings

On E-Gear, Verizon’s network is being opened up to any phone that “meets its specifications,” so you’ll be able to buy a phone at Best Buy, call Verizon, and get service. It doesn’t work with the iPhone, though. Also, a group of Geek Squad employees in Minneapolis are fans of “Chuck,” although they’re jealous that, unlike them, Chuck gets to have adventures, and hook up with beautiful women.
Also, on Dealerscope, here’s one of the periodic crime stories I always put on the site: A Milwaukee-area Kmart became engulfed in chaos due to a computer glitch that caused every single credit card applicant to be approved, regardless of credit history. This led to a rumor that “free money,” or at least $4,000 of instant in-store credit, was available to anyone who wanted it- leading to huge crowds, and eventually fisticuffs and multiple arrests. Kmart eventually turned off the spigot, but even after that one enterprising fellow took several credit card applications from a nearby Kmart and began selling them outside the first store, for $20 a pop.

Seven Hours of Simmons, and Santana

Internet history was made Wednesday afternoon when Bill Simmons chatted for over seven hours on ESPN.com, to benefit the V Foundation.
Of the chat’s seven hours, approximately two of them were taken up entirely by Johan Santana trade scenarios. But Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, who is a comedy morning show personality first and a writer second, has possibly the worst one of all (as pointed out by Fire Joe Morgan.com:)

If I’m the Twins’ general manager, here’s what I do. (And I’d do it under duress because I’d be working for a cheapskate owner.) I get on the horn with Boston Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein and say, “You want Johan Santana, right?”
Epstein likely will say, “Right.”
Then I say, “Tell you what. I’ll trade you Santana and Carlos Silva and Joe Nathan.”
Then I wait for Epstein to pick the phone up off the floor, and I say, “I don’t really want to part with Santana or Nathan, but my owner is a cheapskate and won’t pay what it will take to sign them long term. So, you give me center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, second baseman Dustin Pedroia, closer Jonathan Papelbon, starters Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, and we’ve got a deal.”

My favorite thing about when people propose outlandish trade scenarios is when they get really angry at their team’s GM for not having yet made the trade. Sansevere does that, and also seems to not understand that 1) Silva is a free agent and can’t be traded, 2) the Sox probably aren’t in such a hurry to trade five young, inexpensive key players from a team that just won a World Series for two pitchers who are a year away from free agency, as well as another who is already in free agency.
I think the Twins should trade Nick Punto and Jason Tyner to the Yankees for Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. Come on, Bill Smith! What’s wrong with you?
Not any better is the common Philly idea of trading Ryan Howard for Santana, because Howard “strikes out too much.” But I still haven’t heard that one as many times as the Donovan McNabb for Devin Hester idea. I’ve heard five different WIP callers suggest that one in the last year, although I think three of the five called him “Kevin Hester.”
UPDATE: Supposedly, the Red Sox and Twins are “talking about the framework” of a deal for Santana, in which the Twins get Coco Crisp, Jon Lester, Jed Lowrie and a fourth minor league pitcher. I don’t know how i feel about this- ANOTHER Minnesota superstar in Boston to go with Garnett, Ortiz, Moss, and Schools Superintendent Carol Johnson, and I don’t know that Lester is enough pitching in return when there’s a chance to maybe get Hughes from the Yanks. And the Sox getting Santana without giving up Ellsbury or Buchholz? Giving them a rotation of Santana, Beckett, Schilling, DiceK, Buchholz and Wakefield? They could win 120 games.

How Will They Find An Actor With a Big-Enough Head?

News Item: HBO to Make Movie Adaptation of “Game of Shadows”
Ron Shelton (“Bull Durham”!) will direct. And since HBO has made many great movies and ESPN never has, I think they made the right choice. The script could do it like “All the President’s Men” and make Williams and Fainaru-Wada the stars, without Bonds even being in it. Either that, or they’ll have to have multiple actors play Bonds in different parts of his career, sort of like with Dylan in “I’m Not There.”

Thoughts on Garza for Young

What a weird, weird trade. Neither team is really buying or selling, and how often do you see small-market teams exchange high-upside talents with almost no service time? It’s a risk to give up Garza, but Young is a damn-good talent, and the Twins needed some offense in a big way.
I’m happy to have Delmon Young, provided he doesn’t throw any more bats at any more umpires.
The biggest surprise? The Rays may actually not be that far away from being good. They’ve gotten rid of their awful owner, awful GM, awful manager, awful uniforms and awful name, and they’re working on replacing the awful stadium. Plus, they suddenly have a very impressive nucleus of young pitchers, and hitters to match. I’d be worried about them if they weren’t sharing a division with Boston and the Yankees.
As for the Twinkies, they must’ve seen something they didn’t like in Garza-maybe the fact that he can’t pitch to save his life in the Metrodome, and the Twinkies still have to play there two more years.
The other most surprising thing of the trade? Brendan Harris is white. I didn’t see that one coming at all, since i haven’t exactly watched a lot of Rays games lately. I guess they needed another Reggie Clevelander now that Lew Ford has been released.
Two more reasons to love baseball: the winter meetings next week, and the return of powder-blue road uniforms!

Joe on Herschel

Joe Posnanski has an excellent blog post about Herschel Walker and his amazing college career. It reminds me that one of the most ironic things about the Minnesota/Philly sports fan dichotomy is that while Walker may be the most hated athlete in Minnesota history (along with Christian Laettner and J.R. Rider), he’s absolutely beloved in Philly. That’s got to be the only case of any athlete I can think of, where they’re more popular in Philadelphia than in another city. Well, I suppose it’s possible that Rangers fans hate Eric Lindros more than Flyers fans.