Hola, amigos. How goes it? It's been a long time since I rapped at ya, and, I tell ya, it's been a rough off-season. We're facing hard facts and swallowing bitter pills, that's for sure. Burls and my man Quentin have left for greener pastures, with only question marks in their places. The acquisition of prospects has become the leading hot stove chatter, football and American football have taken over the off-topic discussions, and quality commenting is down (not helped by these White Sox or ol' TP here, admittedly). I miss baseball, though, you know? Hornsby had it right, but I'm sick of staring out this damn window. Soon enough, folks. Soon enough. Winter is halfway through, surprisingly. Pitchers and catchers report in fewer than six weeks and that's all that matters. Here's a get-me-over edition of the Links, as I get my feet wet again.
We start with a non-baseball link. Of course. Ditch the preconceptions, SSS'ers, we're really your friends. This twelve-and-a-half minute TED talk explains why the acronym IRL should be banished, arguing that online presence is real life, too. This here blog community - it exists.
As part of the grieving process, here I include a radio interview with TCQ on XX1090 in San Diego. He gives more than a couple rote and noncontroversial answers (cough, spacious outfield, cough), and is actually complimented by the interviewer on such responses. However, his seriousness and abhorrence for distractions is very evident. He even explains his disdain for at-bat music, and his hopes to eventually get his masters in education. And that he ruled out becoming a lawyer. Huh.
From The Atlantic, a slightly cynical conversation between four sportswriters regarding fans' attitudes toward "classless" behavior by athletes. Ideas touched on: media hypocrisy, an "athlete-as-child" theory, envy of athletes by fans, and, of course with a topic like this, Bob Costas. Though it's not an in-depth piece, it's a good start to the discussion, since I doubt anyone here is completely opinion-free on the matter. I, for one, take the semi-OPOS route; for the most part I don't like players watching their home runs or A-Rod trotting over Braden's mound. My favorite excerpt:
Athletes also happen to make more money, achieve more fame and (for us male fans anyway) have a far, far easier time with women. So when we spy a chance to assert our moral superiority... we take full advantage. Sure, that guy makes millions of dollars a year, signs autographs wherever he goes, is in perfect shape and has more athletic talent in his little finger than I do in my whole body. But he doesn't play the RIGHT way, not like me. I put on my hard hat and go to work every day without flash, just like a real American.
Moving on, Pitchers and Poets holds six of the 2012 Hall of Fame candidates to "imaginary scrutiny of both a pitcher and a poet of (their) choosing." Regarding Tim Raines, early ‘80s California Angels starter Dave Frost says: "Rock has been overlooked for way too long." Poet Robert Frost: "He is all pine and I am apple orchard."
Eephus League, though still somewhat lacking in content, is simply too good lookin' to turn away from completely, especially now that they're coming out with a print magazine. Pretty sexy, especially the "on this day" section. Speaking of sexy "on this day" sections, if you hate work and need a baseball site to dick around on for a while, Baseball Library is your place. However, if you like work and just need a job, many MLB teams are hiring for assorted positions. Unfortunately the Sox are not one of those teams (link via tangotiger).
More graphic goodness: Flip Flop Fly Ball shows us how each teams' system fared in 2011. It's probably the roughest estimation of organizational talent ever, but interesting nonetheless.
I like finding small, baseball-filled corners of the internet. Justin Verlander talking about Taco Bell on Conan is not one of them. It's a great interview; is it wrong to actually like Verlander?
Okay, some actual news: Bud Selig was set to retire from baseball after this season, but his contract was recently extended through 2014. Selig is a polarizing figure, but it can't be denied that the game has changed (and expanded) under his watch. As I don't much recall Life Before Selig, I'd love to hear some older fans' insight on this signing.
Yeah, she's been with us for a full season, and this is a dated story(lots of backlog here at the Links wing of SSS HQ) but here's a more detailed profile of Lori Moreland, organist.
On the heels of KenWo's story, Old Time Family Baseball features Bo Jackson's comic from 1992. It's pretty ridiculous, though the Sesame Street clip at the end is filled with quality cameos.
Quickly, ‘round the Central: Twinkie Town features an oddly-amusing Oscar preview, Let's Go Tribe gives up on the off-season, Rany looks at Bruce Chen's new contract (I can't look away. Seriously, it's a problem), and Miguel Cabrera isn't allowed behind the wheel for a while. Dude can't even drive a car! How's that for moral superiority?