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3.05.2007

I've Got Me a Date with Botticelli's Niece 

A couple years ago Oakland Trib beat writer Andrew Baggarly broke the news that AJ Pierzynski was a jerk-face. OK, maybe not "broke," but certainly "reinforced."

Baggarly took some heat at the time -- by the typical fandoids who say sports reporters should stick to telling us about the games played on the fields, courts, and ice -- but his story was a touchstone that year. It turned out the guy who outed AJ, Brett Tomko, wasn't exactly Mr. Wonderful, although he won back a lot of points in my book for his artistic touch.

Now Baggarly has struck again, revealing the truth about another Giant whose eccentricities may have his teammates scratching their heads. It turns out Omar Vizquel is a major artist, and not just with the glove. This isn't breaking news; I've seen previous mentions of Omar's artistic inclinations.

But Baggarly devotes a full feature, visiting Vizquel's suburban Seattle home, which was designed around a Dale Chihuly glass sculpture. He's not just a charcoal pony sketcher, not just a wearer of outrageous duds, not just a groovy musician, but a multi-talented, intellectually curious, creative dude. His media include acrylic paints, marble, fallen trees, and bronze. He goes crazy in the art store and once even used a chain saw.

Please note that he is not such an aesthete as to dismiss worldly pleasures, especially those to which his teammates -- or 90% of them, statistically speaking, if you know what I mean -- can relate: "My favorite thing to paint," he says, "are the naked ladies."

***

Mo' Mound Mechanics: The hard cheese of Matt Cain. Includes video breakdown, with side-by-side comparison to Dice-K -- a must-see. Thanks to this McCoven post for the link and subsequent discussion.

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