Tag Archives: list mania

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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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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More List Mania

Listing season is again upon us.

Kids have Chrismukah lists, Kelly Clarkson (or Vanessa Williams, whichever you version you prefer) has a grown-up Christmas list, mom has a longer than usual grocery list, Rustin Dodd just made a Christmas movies list, TIME has end of the year and decade lists and soon so will just about any other form of media.

Everyone loves a good list.

With that in mind, here is a nice December addition of List Mania. For those not in the know, List Mania is an ode to 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…

Two ideal next jobs for Mark Mangino (not including obvious weight-related jokes, like donut taster)
1. Lumberjack (who’s better at sawing wood?)
2. Stunt double for a movie about “Baby Mangino”

Three places where Mark Mangino need not apply for work (not including obvious weight-related jokes, like a gym)
1. The BCS committee
2. KU Parking
3. Philosophy department (We all know Mangino never deals with hypotheticals)

Three regular songs that sound like Christmas songs
1. Vanessa Carlton, “1,000 Miles*”
2. Michael Buble, “Home”
3. Norah Jones, “Don’t Know Why”

*And this is not because it was featured on one of those old Christmas jewelry/Lexus holiday commercials. Trust me, listen, and you’ll think Christmas.

Four really good modern Christmas songs
1. “Winter Song” by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
2. “Christmases When You Were Mine” by Taylor Swift
3. “Believe” by Josh Groban
4. “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by NSync

Five places you never visit once you graduate college
1. The library
2. The student union
3. The rec center
4. Office hours
5. The quad

Six reasons why, if not for Stephen Colbert, no one would have even noticed that the Winter Olympics begin in about two months
1. Usain Bolt and the Jamaican bobsled team didn’t make it.
2. When the water is frozen, Michael Phelps can’t swim as well.
3. Campbell’s got rid of those Nancy Kerrigan commercials a long time ago.
4. Bode Miller hasn’t partied often enough.
5. The Russian judges can’t cause controversy like they used to.
6. They’re in Canada.

Three of the best Kansas City ways to enjoy the Christmas season
1. A drive through Mission Hills
2. Ice skating at Crown Center
3. Dinner at the Plaza

Two people who weren’t considered for flipping the lights at the Plaza on Thanksgiving night
1. Larry Johnson
2. Mayor Mark Funkhouser’s wife

One disturbing, yet entertaining holiday Web site to check out
1. Sketchy Santas

Five college basketball players who are as fun to watch as John Wall
1. Xavier Henry, Kansas
2. Greg Monroe, Georgetown
3. Denis Clemente, Kansas State
4. James Anderson, Oklahoma State
5. Isaiah Thomas, Washington

Four wishes for 2010
1. USA making it out of pool play in the World Cup
2. The ending of the Tiger Woods media frenzy
3. Matt Cassell having a QB rating higher than 34
4. Sherron Collins getting drafted in the first round

Six questions
1. Did he get her a Jared?
2. What happened in Vegas?
3. Did Sarah Palin mean rouge, instead of rogue?
4. How long until one of Tiger Woods’ mistresses writes a book?
5. Could Scot Pollard please replace Greg Gurley on the Jayhawk Network?
6. Do you hear what I hear?

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