March 20, 2008

Link-O-Rama

  • I began a weight-loss program on January 11, 2006 and ended up shedding 90 pounds in one year, which was a tremendous feeling. Unfortunately, over the past six months or so I've gradually packed some of that weight back on, although I'm nowhere near my "peak" weight. With that said, after noticing recently that my clothes have gotten snug and watching myself on the NBCSports.com videos that were shot last week, it's clear that getting back on the weight-loss program is a good idea.

    A big part of what motivated me to drop the original 90 pounds was frequently updating my status here via the Fat-O-Meter on the left-hand sidebar, because tracking my progress publicly forced me to stick with the program. On some level losing a huge amount of weight only to gain a chunk of it back might be an even worse feeling than being fat to begin with, so I'm hoping that reinstating the Fat-O-Meter will get me back on track.

    Past experience has proven to me that I need to go "cold turkey" in order for a diet to work and I'm going out to dinner Monday night to celebrate my grandfather's birthday, so the second weight-loss effort will officially begin with a clean slate Tuesday. I'm aware that many of you have zero interest in my weight, so there won't be many in-depth status updates. However, a shocking number of you were legitimately interested in my progress the first time around, so I'll be updating the Fat-O-Meter daily.

  • Along with the Fat-O-Meter starting up again, I'll have an announcement next week about my joining a local media outlet. One hint: I'm not replacing Sid Hartman at the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
  • If the thought of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Keeley Hazell starring in a video version of those "choose your own adventure" books sounds like it has the potential to be the single best thing in the history of the world, you'll want to click here. And if not, we can't be friends any longer.
  • Asked recently about the oft-stated conventional wisdom that "clubhouse chemistry" is very important to a team's success, Tigers manager Jim Leyland had an amusing response:
    All that is so far overrated. The worst word ever used is "chemistry." That's something you take in school. That's a class you take.

    When a 65-year-old, chain-smoking baseball lifer and a 25-year-old, laptop-toting baseball blogger can agree on something, anything is possible.

  • Speaking of clubhouse chemistry, ESPN.com had some funny video of Michael Cuddyer performing a magic trick on Denard Span:

    My favorite part is the schoolgirl-like giggling that's followed by a disgusted Span throwing the card at Cuddyer as Kevin Slowey looks on.
  • It seems surreal to say this, but I've now been a home owner for over a year.
  • Joe Posnanski of the Kansas City Star has long been one of my favorite newspaper columnists, but over the past few months he's also become one of my favorite bloggers. Posnanski has an amazing ability to strike a perfect balance between funny, interesting, and informative, whether he's interviewing Bill James or remembering mistakes that he made as a young journalist. Regardless of topic, reading his stuff is so enjoyable that it makes me angry about Minnesota's local columnists.
  • On a related note, remember Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan's odd infatuation with poultry? Not only has his poultry fetish returned, Shecky is re-using his poultry material. Back in May, after quipping that something was "as fashionable these days as cell phones the size of Cornish hens," Souhan wrote that Geoff Jenkins had "holes in his swing the size of Butterball turkeys." Amazingly, earlier this month he described Boof Bonser as having lost "the equivalent of two Butterball turkeys."

    Guess what? I've got a fever! And the only prescription ... is more Butterball!

  • I'm not sure how Jessica Biel expects to make a run at the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title if she keeps going out in public looking like this.
  • As if "Official Twins Beat Writer of AG.com" and "LEN3" weren't enough, LaVelle E. Neal III provided a fantastic new nickname for himself (and fellow Star Tribune writer Joe Christensen) over at his blog:
    Joe C. is, once again, on Alligator Alley and headed to today's Twins-Orioles matchup in Fort Lauderdale. Mrs. Joe C. is with him, so, for the first time all spring, I'll have the Strib compound to myself.

    I'm not saying that I'm sloppy, but there's a little bit of a Felix Unger-Oscar Madison dynamic to our living approaches. But that's O.K. Joe has made it easy for me to keep things tidy. For example, he's placed post-it notes on the wall above two garbage cans. One reads, 'trash,' and the other, 'recycling.' Joe, I don't know what my life would be like without you ...

    "The Felix and Oscar of Twins reporters" definitely needs to stick. Also, after reading that I can't help but picture the scene at the Star Tribune "compound" as being eerily similar to Rob & Big on MTV, except with slightly fewer skateboards and Patrick Reusse playing the role of Drama.

  • Not only has it been providing this site with search-engine traffic since way back in 2002, "Jennifer Aniston's butt" can still get the job done six years later.
  • My plan was to write a long rant criticizing Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor for the misguided shot that he took against Kevin Garnett this week, but instead here's Britt Robson's far superior version.
  • Something tells me that Manuel Uribe never had a Fat-O-Meter, although it hasn't stopped him from doing better than me in the romance department.
  • You'll find no bigger Adam Carolla fan than me, although having to sit through the execrable Dancing With the Stars just to watch him has been a low point in my fandom. The good news is that he'll likely be booted off the show within weeks and has already provided at least one amusing moment.
  • Speaking of Carolla, he recently appeared on Bill Simmons' podcast to discuss his dancing career.
  • After some gentle nudging by the NBC Sports public-relations department, I've finally decided to set aside my phobia and agreed to do some phone-in radio interviews, including a segment on St. Louis legend Ron Jacober's show this weekend. I'm hoping that the call-ins are either exceptionally good or complete disasters, because anything in between would probably just mean that I'll have to keep doing them while remaining incredibly nervous.

    UPDATE: For better or worse, the bookings keep rolling in. I'm also going to be on "The Ticket" in Miami tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. central time, talking with Craig Mish.

  • A new blog to check out: Baseless Speculation.
  • My latest Rotoworld column examines AL-only pitching sleepers, including several Twins hurlers.
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Chris Cornell of Audioslave doing a stripped down, solo version of "Original Fire":


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