Happy end-of-summer Saturday, all. I admit to being a little confused; I watched parts of four college football games on Thursday night, and frankly, every day has seemed like Saturday since. And that was just the warm-up, filled with your Minnesota-Duluths and your Eastern Kentuckys. Today there's real live big-time football. I am a little bit giddy. To quote Ed Orgeron: FOOBAW!
Rand, on the other hand, is tuckered out from week one of high school pigskin. (As part of the terms of my contract, I'm required to include the following: #gamefacemn). This being the case, I'm here with a few links to get us through the day:
*I promised I wouldn't link to Joe Posnanski anymore, because you should be reading him regularly, and if you are not, you are a fool. That said, I loved his post on baseball announcers, including the following, which I am planning to shout from rooftops and possibly have tattooed on my flesh: "But for me the best television baseball announcers are the ones who tell me stuff I don’t know without bludgeoning me with stuff I can see perfectly well for myself." This goes QUADRUPLE for football color guys. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO NARRATE THE REPLAY, PEOPLE.
*A lesson, in spinning the same story two different ways. You could look at the numbers, and reach either of the following conclusions: 1) "MLS beating EPL in ratings on ESPN2" 2) "English soccer drawing similar ratings to MLS, despite the latter being broadcast in prime time and the former being on at 6:55 AM." I will leave it to the reader to decide which is closer to the truth.
The other day, Ron Gardenhire said that Joe Nathan was dropping down on his slider. Over the Baggy's Parker Hageman examined this assertion, found it to have some merit, and also noted what this release point change is doing to Nathan's pitches. In a related story: don't you EVER tell me that bloggers aren't contributing anything to sports journalism. This kind of thing is wonderfully illuminating, and OtB does it with regularity.
*Speaking of Gardy: "cmathewson" at Twinkie Town wrote a nice piece on Gardenhire's all-consuming love of veterans, and how it hurts the team. Seth Stohs goes further, noting that he's heard from several up-and-coming players about how afraid they are to make a mistake and get on the manager's bad side forever. For a team like the Twins that can't afford not to develop talent from within, it can't help to have a manager who believes it's his job to be as rough as possible on young players.
That'll do it for another week. You've got three days left to enjoy summer. Get to it.