March 26, 2010

Link-O-Rama

  • After more than seven years of using Blogger to run AG.com, last week's disaster-inspired switch to WordPress has gone pretty smoothly thanks to Than Tibbetts' hard work behind the scenes. Still a few kinks to work out, but I'm happy with how things are looking and the new setup should allow me to eventually do a lot more interesting stuff in terms of content presentation. Plus, now the RSS feed is actually fully functional.

    We're definitely still in overhaul mode and some stuff isn't quite right yet, but if anyone has suggestions for ways to improve the blog's layout, look, presentation, or basically anything aside from "write better" please let me know.
  • Sure, the actual games are nice and all, but my favorite part of this year's NCAA basketball tournament might be the Gus Johnson soundboard. "Rise and fire!"
  • Mila Kunis has not let her recent ascension to Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com go to her head and continuing to give 100 percent after receiving the greatest honor of her life provides an excellent example for Joe Mauer to follow after signing his $184 million contract.
  • Would any Lost fans not watch a buddy cop spin-off show featuring Sawyer and Miles?


    Actually, some sort of high school drama starring Ben Linus wouldn't be bad either.
  • I've likely spent several thousand dollars on lemon chicken from Leeann Chin, so the actual Leeann Chin dying at age 77 made me sad.
  • As someone in the midst of yet another weight-loss effort, this news got my attention: After tipping the scales at 340 pounds Jets coach Rex Ryan recently underwent surgery to shrink his stomach. I've actually thought about doing that, but am literally too lazy and clueless to go through the necessarily steps. So far, so good losing weight the old-fashioned way this time around, as I'm down 50 pounds since February 1.
  • One of my favorite stories this week is MLB.com beat writers Anthony DiComo and Jordan Bastian challenging each other to a half-mile race, which turned into a mini-event called the "Dot Com Dash" that raised some money for charity. You'd think the competition might have inspired me to challenge a fellow baseball writer to something, but even down 50 pounds I got winded just watching the video of their race.
  • Surprisingly, there's apparently a limit to how excited people are about the new ballpark.
  • UFC president Dana White recently shot a video blog while flying to Canada on a private jet and the star was former Rookie of the Year and Twins outfielder Marty Cordova, who forgot his passport because he didn't realize Toronto was in another country:


    I've spotted Cordova in White's videos before and they're apparently close enough friends that White feels free to goof on him non-stop for an entire flight.
  • It sounds like HBO is canceling Joe Buck Live, which technically ran for nine months but might be the shortest-lived talk show of all time with a grand total of three episodes. Joe Buck is the only person who could make Chevy Chase feel good about his hosting career.
  • Friend of AG.com and former KFAN staffer Phil Mackey officially joined KSTP-1500 as Patrick Reusse's sidekick this week. I was skeptical about the pairing, since they're about 40 years apart with an even bigger gap in preferred styles of baseball analysis, but after listening to the first show I think it could actually work. KSTP also hired Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette to run its soon-to-be-revamped website and he comes with a good rep.
  • I'm a huge fan of Scott Huff, Joe Stapleton, Jackie Bray, and the always entertaining "Two Jacks In The Hole" podcast, so check out the show's recently re-launched website for tons of good content.
  • My weekly podcast-listening routine includes the aforementioned Huff, Stapleton, and Bray trio along with Adam Carolla, Bill Simmons, Joe Rogan, Kevin Smith, Ricky Gervais, and of course Seth Stohs. Any recommendations for other podcasts that are worth trying?
  • Speaking of Carolla, there's a lengthy article about him in Fast Company magazine.
  • Here's what happens when two good, legitimately funny talk-show hosts discuss Jay Leno:


    Of course Leno still beats both of them in the ratings, which makes me sad about mankind.
  • If you have a fantasy draft over the weekend please check out Rotoworld's award-winning Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, which has up-to-date rankings, projections, and write-ups for 1,000 players along with a couple dozen strategy columns and all kinds of other good stuff.
  • New blog to check out: That's Twins Baseball.
  • Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

    - What kind of damage can Heyward do as a 20-year-old rookie?
    - Mauer deal has other catchers licking their chops
    - Giants send struggling Bumgarner to Triple-A
    - Pujols has got milk and a sledgehammer
    - Dodgers surprisingly tab Padilla for Opening Day
    - Rays pick Davis over Sonnanstine as fifth starter
    - Comeback complete: Edmonds makes Brewers
    - Don't call it a setback: Bedard cancels bullpen session
    - Marcum gets Opening Day nod after sitting out 2009
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Eddie Vedder doing a live cover version of "My City Of Ruins" by Bruce Springsteen:

    • Steve B

      Marty Cordova played 62 games for the Blue Jays in 2000 lol. Too funny.

    • http://none Matt

      AG –

      Podcasts:
      -Never Not Funny
      -The Nerdist Podcast
      -Jordan, Jesse Go

      all have been guests on Carolla, though Jordan and Jesse did not seem to develop a great rapport with Adam, in my opinion.

      Also, This American Life – though I would guess you have heard of that before.

    • http://www.armyofmom.com Army of Dad

      Letterman is not funny at all. Kimmel is, but even that shouldn’t be enough to make you feel sad for mankind.

    • http://www.freewebs.com/eclecticentertainment Eric

      Though the logistics of two characters on a TV show about a mystical island would be hard to hammer down as to why they’re in LA…but I would love to see Sawyer and Miles together in a buddy cop movie OR TV show.
      Both are sardonic, acerbic, and can toss out pop culture references as easily as Peter from Family Guy.

      It was a very good scene that shows what could be!

    • ben

      Craig Fergusson is the funniest now that Conan is gone.

      It is disappointing that Leno gets the ratings. I’ve never laughed at a single Leno joke. When I catch any of his show, his audience politely applauds after punchlines and the band makes some noise to cover up the lack of laughing. Fergusson improvises most of his show and he’s actually funny. There must be a lot of dumb people out there who like bad jokes spoon-fed to them.

    • Jake

      All of Matt’s podcasts suggestions are very funny.
      I’d also recommend Comedy Death Ray Radio and I Love Movies.

    • http://stickandballguy.com/blog SBG

      @Steve B

      I’m pretty sure that you didn’t need your passport to get into Canada in 2000. I’ve been to Canada many times, all before 2001, and I’ve never needed my passport. In fact, I once went on a concert bus to Winnipeg and I took my passport with, just in case. Due to the nature of our entry (going to see a rock concert), the agents were much more strict than normal. When asked for identification, I handed the border patrol officer my passport — the official document provided by the U.S. Government. That did not satisfy him. He wanted to see my North Dakota driver’s license. WTF???

      So, yeah, playing for Toronto in 2000 may not have prepared Cordova for the new reality of traveling between Canada and the US. If he really thought that Toronto was in the US, hmmm.

    • Paul

      Congrats to Tom Pelissero and ESPN Twin Cities is lucky to have him, I can attest to the good rep mentioned.

    • Erik

      50 pounds since Feb 1!?? Holy crap.

    • Dan

      My favorite from the soundboard: “THE CATCH!”

    • Son of Shane Mack

      There must be a lot of dumb people out there who like bad jokes spoon-fed to them.

      Duh. Look around. This is what makes up most of our population.

    • Ryan

      One quick suggestion on the design. The tags at the end of each post aren’t very easy to see with the white text on light gray. Overall, I have to say it looks better.

    • BO

      If Leno ratings make you “sad about mankind”, you must be down right suicidal whan you see the crap that “mankind” puts into political office & the WH!!

    • Jonathan

      Re: Podcasts to Check Out: You’re not a soccer guy I know, but the Spurs Show with Phil Cornwell is hilarious (Cornwell is a d-list celebrity in the UK and a former stand-up comedian who specializes in impressions mostly.

      It won Best Club Podcast and Cornwell won Best Podcast Presenter in the EPL Talk (biggest US soccer blog)’s reader awards last season.

    • brock

      I know you said “might have inspired” but, i vote aaron vs. seth in a 1/2 miler.