May 14, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• My favorite story of the week involves a 22-year-old who posed as a 16-year-old and led his high school basketball team to the state tournament. And as an added bonus, the high school is the one Friday Night Lights is based on. Amusing quote: "Everyone just thought he was a big guy. He played the part good, skipping down the hallways acting goofy like a 16-year-old."

Stephen Strasburg hurled six no-hit innings earlier this week in his second Triple-A start and his next outing comes against Wilson Ramos and the boys at Rochester.

Keith Hernandez had a busy week. First he took a nap while calling a game and then Bernie Carbo revealed that he tried to pay someone to break Hernandez's arms in 1985. Seriously. Imagine if Carbo's plan was successful, perhaps robbing the planet of "I'm Keith Hernandez." I'm sad just thinking about it.

• Spotting my name in Richard Deitsch's must-read "Media Power Rankings" column on SI.com made my week, especially since he backed up my reporting on the whole MLB/Twitter story.

• No fewer than a dozen of you perverts e-mailed me links to "Elisha Cuthbert in a bikini" this week, but ... well, even the best pitchers lose their fastball eventually.

• However, at least these pictures of Brooklyn Decker doing bikini-clad cartwheels on the set of some new Adam Sandler movie were there to cheer me up.

• Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer had an emergency appendectomy after diagnosing himself via iPhone at three in the morning, which would be a great story to tell if he wasn't out for 4-6 weeks now.

• Not satisfied with using the old "statheads living in basements" routine Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has heroically added "eating pudding" to the cliche.

• One of my favorite shows has added one of my favorite underrated actors in Adam Scott.

• And if you've never heard of Scott, here he is co-starring with Joe Mauer in a commercial:

Scott is the guy in the commercial who isn't the best player in baseball at his position.

• Speaking of casting decisions I approve of, NBC has a new show coming out starring Olivia Munn and The Waitress from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Apparently the casting meetings were held in my dreams.

• On top of everything else, Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis is a nerd too.

• Unfortunately for everyone involved, the Mariners are much better at sleeping during games and blackballing reporters than they are at playing baseball.

• Fat-O-Meter update: All the damage from briefly falling off the dieting wagon last week has been undone and I'm back to being down 64.0 pounds overall, which puts me dangerously close to merely "really fat." My new goal is to lose enough weight to actually fit into one of the outstanding "Thome Is My Homey" t-shirts that the TwinsCentric boys are selling. For those of you who aren't fatsos, I recommend buying one.

• Speaking of the TwinsCentric crew, they're throwing another get-together tomorrow at noon to watch the Twins-Yankees game at Majors Sports Cafe in Bloomington. I drove all the way to Blaine for the last one and didn't regret it, so I'll be there for sure. It's definitely worth going, if only to marvel at how fat someone can still be after losing 64.0 pounds (and also to hang out with Seth Stohs, John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman).

• My fellow Karl Pilkington fanatics should enjoy this.

• In the ongoing sports bloggers versus female comedians battle, angering A.J. Daulerio has not worked out well for Sarah Silverman.

• Sixteen months after KFAN fired him, Chad Hartman has been hired as the new mid-morning host on WCCO. As my MinnPost colleague David Brauer notes, Hartman will go head-to-head with Paul Allen, although I'm sure he'll talk non-sports more than sports.

• As a late addition to Link-O-Rama here's a Twins-Yankees series preview that I recorded this morning with Ted Berg for the New York sports channel SNY:

• Is it bad sign for my diet and chances of ever getting not-fat that instead of eating I'm now relegated to just browsing through pictures of food that looks good?

• Jets coach Rex Ryan has shed 40 pounds in two months thanks to gastric bypass surgery.

• For those of you not completely bored with all the diet talk, I'd love to get some suggestions for low-calorie meals that require zero cooking skill. I'm not looking for anything extraordinarily healthy beyond the low calorie count and I'm not looking for anything that takes much effort, just decent-tasting ideas that are somewhat filling and easy to make. After three months, I'm getting sick of oatmeal, deli meats, and Lean Cuisine.

• New blog to check out: Wet Socks.

• Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Royals fire Trey Hillman minutes after victory
- Andre Ethier is undisputed king of walk-off hits
- Carlos Zambrano will stay in the bullpen for now
- Bobby Jenks wants everyone to "chill out"
- Orioles sending slumping Nolan Reimold to Triple-A
- Juan Cruz has surgery after being cut by Royals
- Alex Rodriguez ties Frank Robinson for seventh on homer list

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The White Stripes doing a live version of "Seven Nation Army":

  • http://www.senseinthecenter.blogspot.com neckrolls

    Get a crock pot, then check these out:

    http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetariancrockpotrecipe/Vegetarian_Crock_Pot_Recipes.htm

    Not all of them are lo-cal, but the ones I’ve tried are tasty and really easy.

  • Jeff

    I’ve been eating a lot of those marie callender’s pasta al dente meals the past couple of weeks. I think most of them are in the 300-400 calorie range and they’re pretty cheap at around $4 a pop.

  • STEVE BLAZING

    DUDE, MINNESOTA TRANSPLANT LIVING IN FLORIDA. COULD NOT STAND THE COLD ANYMORE AND BASEBALL IS YEAR ROUND ESPECIALLY DURING SPRING TRAINING, SO HOG HEAVEN FOR ME. YOU ARE SPOT ON ON ALL YOUR ANALISIS OF BASEBALL. YOU SHOULD BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS. I AM NOT TRYING TO BUTTER YOU UP, BUT REUSSE, SOUHAN AND THE OTHERS HAVE NOTHING ON YOU. YOUR THOUGHTS ARE RIGHT ON!! NOW ABOUT THE DIET. DUDE, WE LIVE JUST ONCE, AND WE SHOULD BE HAPPY. I USED TO BE OVERWEIGHT. I GOT TIRED OF IT. I LIKE TO DRINK BEER AND EAT. I WENT WITH A SIMPLE PLAN. EXCERSIZE, EXCERSIZE AND EAT ONE MEAL A DAY AT DINNERTIME I HAVE A BEER OR TWO OR THREE AND EAT WHATEVER I WANT AT DINNERTIME. I AM NOW AT 155 AFTER BEING OVER 200. I HAVE DONE THIS FOR TEN YEARS. IT WORKS FOR ME. TRY IT AND IF IT DONT WORK. LIFE IS SHORT, EAT UP HAVE A BEER, JUST DONT OVER DUE. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK. KEEP UP THE EXCELLANT WORK!!!! STEVE

  • John Welsch

    Time to re-think Mila as OFGoAG.com. While she is easy on the eyes, anyone dating Macauley Caulkin isn’t smart enough to date an AG.com reader!

  • John Welsch

    FYI, time to elevate Diora Baird!!!!!!

  • jama

    Diet tip: Baby Carrots. They are very filling and are less than 200 calories per pound.

  • JB (the original)

    I take it you’re not into salads as such, as they are easy, and you can make a zillion varietys easily and eat as much as you want (not taco salad). Here’s a relatively easy one since your not much for cooking: soup.
    There’s a million flavors and if you stay away from ‘cream’ type sauce ones, they’re all relatively healthy. Then, peruse the frozen food aisle and pick up a couple bags of mixed vegetables (however and whatever blends you like, there’s a ton now). When you throw your soup in the pot (or bowl for the microwave), throw in a cup or so of the frozen mixed veggies, and then stir and heat til the veggies are heated through. For a lot of the chili and ‘mexican’ style soups, I’ll drain and add a can of kidney or black beans to it. Again, it’s easy, and good for you.

  • http://jasonwinter.blogspot.com Jason w

    Oh, so NOW you think Hanley Ramirez is better than Jose Reyes ;)

  • JMP

    Jack White rules! I cannot wait to go see The Dead Weather again.

    Anything with grilled chicken is good. In a salad, on the grill, on a sandwich. Stirfry is good with chicken, just use brown rice instead. All you have to do is grill up some chicken, make some instant brown rice, fry up some frozen veggies, combine the three and there you have a delicious stir fry. And if you make enough, it can feed you for a couple of days. If you’re hankerin’ for a burger, try using ground turkey instead of ground beef. Actually, my wife and I rarely buy ground beef. We buy turkey bacon, turkey brats, etc. It doesn’t taste much different than beef and it’s way better for you. Fish is also good and low cal. Catfish, salmon, tilapia from the meat counter. Hope that helps!

  • Chris

    Hey Aaron,

    Have you ever heard of The Hacker’s Diet? That is what I’m trying, it’s all about calorie counting without regard to much else, and is easy to follow for those of us who truly just love food and can’t stink on “real” diets. Just google “hackers diet” and you’ll find the free e-book for it.

    Anyway, some of my favorites:
    - Popcorn. 100 cal packs of Smart Pop Kettle Corn is so filling and way more popcorn then you would think.
    - Lunchables – there are “adult” versions with nice crackers and chicken or turkey, really pretty filling and the whole box with a small snack (toblerone bar – score!) is only 290 cals
    - Jimmy Dean D-lights sausage, egg + cheese sandwiches are less than 400 calories, taste great, and very filling for breakfast.
    - Freschetta Frozen Pizza – I love these, eat half for one meal and half for another, I think half the pizza is like 700-750 cals, so it’s not great but not terrible either.
    - If you have Chick-Fil-A near you, get the 3 piece chicken strips with honey mustard and a coke zero, its only like 400-500 cals and tastes amazing. Add a fruit cup for an extra 100 cals, its also great for a fast food restaurant.
    - Another great snack is Luigi’s Italian Ices, only 100 cals each and they taste great and take forever to eat, which helps!

    I’ve been on this for about 3 weeks and have lost 5ish pounds (was 212, now 207). Good luck man, love your stuff, you’ve been my favorite rotoworld writer for a long time and I love your site – rock on!

  • Chris M

    you need to get a balanced diet, portion control and exercise. otherwise you will just gain the weight back again.

    you can get precooked chicken strips from the meat department, tuna in a can, noodles and sauce. Check out grassfed beef, it is very lean and high in omega 3′s. free range meats are a lot better for you than anything at cub.

  • Dan

    any fish on the grill, along with any variety of veggies with olive oil also grilled, and throw some cajun seasoning on top of it all. low cal, high protein, very filling and will make enough for days. also, try switching to pork, turkey, bison or elk instead of traditionally red meat.

  • Kid A

    I counter your live version of 7 Nation Army with Audioslave’s live cover of it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZmVPD1qak2c

  • Josh

    Aaron, you’re crazy if you think Elisha Cuthbert has lost her fastball. I mean, seriously, dude.

  • jacoby

    slice veges (peppers onions, mushrooms, etc …)and garlic … heat olive oil … saute veges in oil … boil pasta, strain and toss in oil and veges, add some parm and youre good to go

  • martin

    Here is some advice:

    Learn to cook.

    Pick one simple healthy meal. Make it. Experiment and play around with that simple meal and do your own variations.

    Find another and another.

    All you need is less than 45 minutes a day. Eat / cook fresh veggies. Not much salt, not much cheese. Whole grain noodles and brown rice.

    What else are you doing with your time?

  • RickG

    Simple chicken parmesan:

    Preheat oven to 350. Crack an egg, discard the yolk, put the whites in bowl one. Combine 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, 1/2 tbsp of italian seasoning, and a pinch of salt in bowl two.

    Dip one chicken breast in egg whites, then in crumb mixture to coat it.

    Heat up just a touch of olive oil (less than 1 tsp) in a skillet. Toss the chicken in. Cook it four minutes per side.

    Pour 1/2 cup tomato sauce in an oven-safe pan. Put chicken on sauce. Put a bit more (1/4 cup) on top. Then toss 1/4 cup of skim mozzarella cheese on there, plus 1/2 tbsp of parmesan.

    Toss it in the oven. Spend the next 25 minutes blogging. Take out and enjoy, maybe with a small salad?

    Calorie count: 272
    Fat count: 6g

  • Jake

    Just a few random things that help me:

    High fiber breakfast bars. They stick with you longer than a standard granola. At around 100 cal it isn’t a bad way to start the day.

    Sweet peppers, sliced cucumbers, and baby carrots. Pretty tasty and just throw a pile of them in with your lunch.

    Eat the healthy part of your meals first. Food tastes better the hungrier you are. Let your roast beef sandwich be the reward for eating a pile of baby carrots.

    Avoid the disastrous meals. Usually that is what will do you in. Those 3000 calorie bar platters “because it is Phil’s b-day and I’m drunk” can undo an entire week. Only eat healthy-ish choices when you go out. No bar sampler platters.

    Portion control is the biggest key. Bigger portions of the healthy stuff, smaller of the unhealthy. Harder in reality.

    Lifting weights is THE BEST WAY TO CONTROL YOUR WEIGHT. Pump the iron as much as you can. You will burn a tremendous amount of calories doing this not to mention eventually become a macho man. Drawbacks of weight lifting are increased appetite and decreased proficiency with statistics. But worth it.

    The little things. Grilled chicken breast instead of drumsticks. Sirloin instead of rib eye. Pork loin instead of chop. French instead of ranch. 6 beers instead of 13. Little things really add up.

  • Mike Green

    Go with the seasons. In the summer, grill a bunch of skinless boneless chicken breasts. Good as they are, and in salads (with an oil and vinegar dressing, of course). In the winter, soups, tomato-based pasta sauces and stews. Substitute spice for fat. So, instead of fettucine alfredo, go for an arrabiatta sauce on pasta (it’s not hard, saute an onion and two cloves of garlic in olive oil, add some red pepper flakes and pepper, then two large cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of tomato paste and simmer for an hour and a half). If you make the pasta sauce on the weekend, it’ll give you three dinners during the week.

    Don’t be religious about it. If you don’t enjoy the taste of what you are eating, it will be too hard to sustain.

    By the way, some chicks not only dig the long ball, but also guys who can cook.

  • Breaker

    With Burrell being DFA’d by Tampa, any chance the Twins would take a look at him? If he has any ability to play the outfield remaining, wouldn’t he fit pretty well on the bench? If our roster is healthy, it might mean sending Casilla down (and having him pass through waivers, which I’m not sure is even a concern at this point) or going with an 11 man staff, which Gardenhire would almost certainly never do.

    Thoughts?

  • wombat-socho

    I’m going to disagree with most of your commenters (except for the guy that recommended chicken breasts, +5 rep for him) and instead recommend that you go with a low/zero-carb diet. Get rid of all the starches and sugars in your diet, chow down on meats, cheeses, nuts, non-starchy veggies and pork rinds, lose shitloads of weight. I’m diabetic and have lost 35 pounds in the last six months despite being a basement-dwelling nerd who gets next to no exercise, and the weight drop has come along with improved blood sugar control even while I’m dialing back on my meds. YMMV, of course, but think about this: instead of having to spend time whipping up some kind of pasta dish, you can nuke a bag of broccoli, throw a steak in the frying pan, and have dinner ready in 5 minutes. Did I mention that you can slather both the steak and broccoli in butter? Mmmm.

  • Chris Jones

    Aaron, here is a great idea that works for me. Google low fat slow cooker recipes, buy a slow cooker and dump all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning. By the time you get home from work at 5pm or whatever, you have a delicious low fat hot meal.