Tag Archives: Joe Posnanski

The Return of List Mania

Well, it’s been forever. The story goes that Mark and I used to sporadically update the Brew House with an edition of “List Mania” — an ode to former Kansas City Star columnist Joe Posnanski, who famously wrote lists until one day, many years ago, he wrote a column saying he would never list again…

For the past year or so, there’s been very little listing around these parts. And that changes today. The era of gimmicky lists and random thoughts is back. And the listing baton has been passed. So here goes…

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Unsolicited Endorsements: XIX

Because sometimes you just want friends to tell you about cool things… the Brew House team offers up its weekly mix of author-supported goodness.

Endorsement: Joe Posnanski’s commenters

A few months ago, Joe Posnanski disallowed comments on his blog, one of the few blogs I consistently frequent. Normally, I don’t read too many comments, aside from perhaps the first five or six after a story on most website, and I rarely comment on any piece of work. Posnanski’s website is different. I always read the comments, and I’ve commented a few times as well.

But, yes, a few months ago, Posnanski removed the comments section from his blog. He was justified for doing so.  In a post, he wrote about a particularly malicious comment he had to delete, which the commenter then just rewrote no more than a few minutes later. He decided to suspend the comments section because he wouldn’t have time to moderate.  A blog without comments is like an SNL episode without “Weekend Update.” It just doesn’t happen.

His readers realized this. A few apparently VOLUNTEERED to monitor the comments for him so the section could return.

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The Window Seat

“What is lost we gain alone and how these things they grow and grow.” Brian Lewis-Jones, Parish Parish

I bit my lip a little bit and blinked hard, exhaled and read the final few sentences again, smiling as I hit the bottom of the page. I was finishing my first read-through of Parish, Parish, a 30-some-page lyric essay by Brian Lewis-Jones, a friend and former colleague of mine. The tale of a week in post-Katrina New Orleans explores the intersection of past and future, indecision and decision, loss and gain.

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75 Degrees

It was 75 degrees on Saturday in Dallas. I’m not sure if that temperature was official. It may have been 71 degrees or even 76. I don’t know. But people were saying it was 75 degrees. The sun gleamed, its rays not burning but warming, pleasantly, like it knew not to overstep its boundaries because it was January Continue reading

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A List Mania unlike any other

So here we go, the sun is out, the golf ball starts flying at Augusta on Thursday, the baseball season has started, and another addition of List Mania is upon us.

For those not in the know, List Mania is an ode to former Kansas City Star and current Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski, who famously wrote lists until one day, many years ago, he wrote a column saying he would never list again…

So here goes…

Three sports upsets that I wish would have happened

1. Tom Watson at the 2009 British Open
2. Butler over Duke in the 2010 NCAA title game
3. U.S. soccer team over Germany in the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup

White players who’ve won MOP of the Final Four since 1977

1. Christian Laettner, Duke, 1991
2. Bobby Hurley, Duke, 1992
3. Jeff Sheppard, Kentucky, 1998
4. Kyle Singler, Duke, 2010

Top five pitchers in baseball

1. Zack Greinke, Kansas City Royals
2. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
3. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
4. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies
5. Johan Santana, New York Mets

The five most underrated players in baseball

1. Ben Zobrist, utility player, Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays’ best-kept secret started 81 games at second base and 44 games in the outfield (also chipped in six games at short and two at first base), but his bat is what really makes him special. He had a .405 on-base percentage and an OPS-plus of 146. That’s what happens when you hit 27 homers and 28 doubles*. To put this in perspective. No Royal has had an OPS-plus of more than 146 since Mike Sweeney posted a 148 in 2002. Did we mention Zobrist will make $438,100** this season?

*Zobrist also seems to have good speed. At least, a high-ranking official in the Royals’ organization once praised Yuniesky Betancourt’s arm because he threw out Zobrist on a slow roller. So I’m guessing the official thinks Zobrist can fly.

**Numbers obtained from of the website, Cot’s Baseball Contracts

2. Shin-Soo Choo, right fielder, Cleveland Indians

Choo, who turns 28 in July, had a .394 on-base percentage with 20 homers and 38 doubles in 2009. Pretty good for a guy who made $420,300. … And I don’t want to sound like a scout here, but the guy really does look impressive in person.

3. Chone Figgins, second baseman, Seattle Mariners

You may ask how Figgins can still be underrated. After all, the Mariners signed him to a four-year, $36 million deal in the offseason. Still, I’m not sure people understand how valuable Figgins is. Last season, according to FanGraphs.com, Figgins’ WAR (a metric that utilizes offense, defense and baserunning to measure total value) was 6.1, the 11th highest in baseball.*

*Who was ranked ahead of Figgins? How about this list?

1. Ben Zobrist, 8.6
2. Albert Pujols, 8.5
3. Joe Mauer, 8.1
4. Chase Utley, 7.6
5. Derek Jeter, 7.4
6. Evan Longoria, 7.2
7. Hanley Ramirez, 7.2
8. Ryan Zimmerman, 7.2
9. Prince Fielder, 6.8
10. Adrian Gonzalez, 6.8

4. Franklin Gutierrez, center fielder, Seattle Mariners

By nearly any defensive metric, Gutierrez is the best outfielder in baseball – and by some, he is the best defensive player in all of baseball. Gold Gloves be damned.

5. Erick Aybar, shortstop, LA Angels

Similar to Figgins, Aybar may be even more valuable than some people realize. He’ll make just a shade over $2 million this season. A pretty solid investment for a 26 year old who hit .312 last season with an on-base percentage of .353. Watch him play in person, and you’ll also realize that the kid can flat out fly.

Five players selected after the Royals picked Luke Hochevar No. 1 in the 2006 MLB draft

1. Evan Longoria, picked third by Tampa Bay
2. Clayton Kershaw, picked seventh by the LA Dodgers
3. Tim Lincecum, picked 10th by San Francisco
4. Joba Chamberlain, picked 41 by the New York Yankees
5. Brett Anderson, picked 55th by Arizona (traded to Oakland)

Five players selected after the Royals picked Alex Gordon No. 2 in the 2005 MLB draft

1. Ryan Zimmerman, picked fourth by Washington
2. Ryan Braun, picked fifth by Milwaukee
3. Troy Tulowitzki, picked seventh by Colorado
4. Andrew McCutcheon, picked 11th by Pittsburgh
5. Jacoby Ellsbury, picked 28th by Boston

Five things that may only interest me

1. So they have Cheeseburger-flavored Doritos now. Really, cheeseburger. Of course, I had to try them. The review? Well, they really do taste like cheeseburger. You get the cheesy taste of regular Doritos, a hint of ketchup – and the smoky flavor of the burger patty. Of course, I’m not so sure this is all a good thing. I’m not so sure I need my cheeseburgers in chip form.

2. President Obama is not allowed to throw out any more first pitches. The poor guy has tried twice, and both times he has come out looking only slightly better than this guy…

Hey, I appreciate that Obama can hoop a little bit. That’s impressive. But is it too much to ask that our commander-in-chiefs have the ability to shoot a basketball AND throw a baseball? Dubya could fill up the strike zone – but he also once did this…

3. The strangest thing about the Masters? How can the most beautiful golf course in the world be in the one of the most plain towns in America?

Five song lyrics for the spring

1. “But times change, sailors these days, when I’m in port I get what I need. Not just Havanas or bananas or daiquiris, but that American creation on which I feed.”

2. “Twelve hours out of Mackinaw City, stopped in a bar to have a brew. Met a girl and we had a few drinks, and I told her what I’d decided to do.”

3. “And its funny how it`s the little things in life that mean the most, not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes.”

3. “The water is warm, but it’s sending me shivers. A baby is born, crying out for attention. Memories fade, like looking through a fogged mirror… Decisions to decisions are made and not bought, but I thought, this wouldn’t hurt a lot, I guess not.”

4. “You can’t start a fire, you can’t start a fire without a spark.”

Five questions to ponder

1. Will Kevin Durant win more NBA titles than LeBron James?

2. Will MGMT’s latest album, Congratulations, released this Tuesday, be the best album of the year?

3. Is Barcelona’s Lionel Messi the most dominant athlete in the world?

4. Whose idea was it to put an “S” in the word “lisp”?

5. Hey is that the truth or are you talking trash? Is your game M.V.P. like Steve Nash?

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March Madness List Mania

So here we go — another addition of List Mania from The Brewhouse.

For those not in the know, List Mania is an ode to former Kansas City Star and current Sports Illustrated columnist Joe Posnanski, who famously wrote lists until one day, many years ago, he wrote a column saying he would never list again…

So here goes…

Five quotes about March – and basketball

1. “The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need. Those boys simply would not play ‘Drop the Handkerchief’.” – James Naismith

2. “Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year.” — Ogden Nash

3. When it’s played the way is spozed to be played, basketball happens in the air; flying, floating, elevated above the floor, levitating the way oppressed peoples of this earth imagine themselves in their dreams.”
— John Edgar Wideman

4. “Beware of the ides of March.” — William Shakespeare

5. Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights.” — John Wooden

Five great pieces of journalism (with links)

1. Bill Self and Confidence, By Joe Posnanski | Sports Illustrated

Joe Posnanski goes poetic about the things that make Bill Self the best college basketball coach in America.

2. The Soul of Basketball, By Kent Babb | The Kansas City Star

A must-read for native Kansans and basketball fans.

3. The Burden of Being Myron Rolle, By Wright Thompson | ESPN.com

ESPN.com’s Thompson crafts a beautiful look at one of sports’ most fascinating athletes.

4. Limits of Rahmism, By Peter Baker | The New York Times

An inside look at Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel — and his struggles to implement the president’s agenda.

5. K-State’s Clemente grows in big picture, By Sam Mellinger | The Kansas City Star

Great storytelling from The Kansas City Star’s newest sports columnist.

The top 5 all-time leading scorers in KU basketball history

1. Danny Manning, 2,951
2. Nick Collison, 2,097
3. Raef LaFrentz, 2,067
4 Clyde Lovellette, 1,979
5. Sherron Collins – 1,822

One man’s Final Four prediction

1. Kansas
2. Kentucky
3. Duke
4. New Mexico

Five things that might only interest me

1. Time Magazine has contributors named Joe Stein and Joel Klein. That always makes me chuckle.

2. Heard a great a joke the other day. Where does the Royals’ Alex Gordon keep all his baseball equipment? … wait for it… The Hurt Locker.

3. This time of year, it sure does seem like most people forget James Naismith was born in Canada.

4. The American professional sports leagues are great. But is sure does seem that in terms of passion, regional pride and traditional cheers, the NCAA Tournament is awfully similar to the World Cup.

5. In the brilliant HBO documentary, “Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals”, (it premiered last week) they spend a few minutes talking about Dennis Rodman’s controversial take on Larry Bird. Rodman was playing on the Pistons at the time, and he said that if Bird was black, he’d just be another guy.

Shortly after, Isiah Thomas said he agreed with Rodman, heightening the drama. Rodman’s argument seems a little absurd, but then again, it does seem that, in general, the mainstream media play up the exploits of white stars.

It all made me reflect a little bit on sports and race. And of course, these days there seems to be another element. For instance, if NBA star Dirk Nowitzki was American — and his name was Derek Knight — would he be hyped more?

Five questions

1. Does anybody realize MLS is about to go on strike?

2. Is anybody else bummed that Jennifer Hudson is going to re-record “One Shining Moment” (thus, replacing the Luther Vandross version) for the NCAA?

3. Does anybody have a better “narrator voice” than HBO Sports’ Liev Schreiber?

4. Who is busier in March – accountants or Joe Lunardi?

5. He was a boy, she was a girl, can I make it anymore obvious?

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