February 4, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• If you don't think this will soon be hanging on my wall, you clearly don't know me very well.

• NHL goalie fights are pretty funny to begin with, but NHL goalie fights ending after one punch are hilarious.

Henry Abbott of ESPN.com took a very interesting look at the difference between perception and reality when it comes to Kobe Bryant and "clutch."

• An army of Christina Hendricks look-a-likes sounds fine to me.

Rob Neyer is for me what Bill James was for many baseball fans in the 1980s, shaping the way I watch and write about the sport to the point that I've basically been attempting to do a semi-passable Rob Neyer impression for the past decade. He's the first online writer I read on a regular basis and I remain a huge fan, so much so that I've never really gotten over being starstruck when I see him each year at the Society for American Baseball Research convention.

When it comes to bringing sabermetrics to a mainstream audience Neyer has been the single most effective baseball writer of all time, and that includes James. This week, after 15 years of great work at ESPN.com, he decided to make a change and is now the national baseball editor at SB Nation. And not only didn't he take even one day off between jobs, Neyer is churning out more content than ever at his new home. Congratulations and good luck to one of my heroes.

Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference.com wrote a guest column for the New York Times on Kevin Love's unique brand of greatness this season. And somehow he's not an All-Star (yet).

• I'm willing to help Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer reach her goal.

• An unlikely radio partnership between friend of AG.com Phil Mackey and longtime Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse has been so successful that 1500-ESPN has decided to expand their show by another hour each afternoon. In addition to more Mackey they smartly also lured Judd Zulgad away from KFAN, where the fantastic Star Tribune reporter had been an exclusive Vikings analyst. It almost makes up for the times they mistakenly put me on the air.

Least surprising news of the week: A.J. Pierzynski is friends with the guys from Creed.

• As a lifelong Minnesota it takes a lot to impress me regarding winter driving, but this did it:

If you look carefully, I think the other car has a "Geek Squad" logo on the door.

Eric Stonestreet is outstanding on Modern Family, but his greatest contribution to society will always be snapping a picture of Minka Kelly and Sofia Vergara posing together at the Golden Globes and posting it on Twitter.

• Twins president Dave St. Peter is now on Twitter, so you should probably follow him.

• Based on this lengthy article in New York magazine I clearly picked the wrong type of website to start nine years ago.

• I finally saw "The Social Network" this week. I liked it a lot, and the script and acting were so good that I would've happily watched it go on for another five hours, but for whatever reason it struck me as just short of being great. My primary takeaways from the film: 1) Rooney Mara is responsible for everything, ever. 2) Guys named Zuckerman should never interact with Aryan twins. 3) Don't throw beer. Grade: A-minus.

Apparently the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com liked "The Social Network" too.

• Now that he's dropped the price, I think we should pool our money together and buy Shawn Green's house.

Seth Stohs' annual "Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook" is now available for purchase and you should buy it. Seriously. I can't stress this enough: You should buy it. Not only is it a great read and an amazing value at $14.95 for 170 pages, Seth has spent thousands of hours and most of the past decade churning out good baseball writing that can be enjoyed for absolutely free. Paying him 15 bucks for a good product seems like an easy way to show support. Do it.

• My latest podcasting discovery is "Pop My Culture" with Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland, which is basically hour-long, mostly silly conversations with various comedians and actors. For instance, here's one with longtime Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Linda Cardellini.

• If you have Netflix streaming and are as into offbeat documentaries as me, check out "I Like Killing Flies" and "I Think We're Alone Now." Both are equal parts engrossing and weird.

• Last weekend I had dinner at Mix Fusion Bistro in Eden Prairie and the food was every bit as good as when I reviewed the restaurant after it opened in July, with an added bonus that lots of people were there this time. Chalk one up for customers eventually finding a good product.

• I've done a 180-degree turn on the Super Bowl, going from initially believing in the Steelers as small underdogs to now thinking the Packers will win and cover the 2.5-point spread. For a slightly more comprehensive analysis of Sunday's matchup, read this.

• Here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Red Sox want David Ortiz to continue facing lefties even if he can't hit them
- White Sox GM after making 1984 trade for Ozzie Guillen: "I think we just signed a jockey"
- Andy Pettitte's retirement (and Jamie Moyer's injury) means no active pitcher has 200 wins
- Chris Carter is going to be disappointed when the A's send him to Triple-A
- Lance Berkman criticizes the Rangers in explaining why he chose St. Louis over Texas
- Royals' projected 2011 payroll is $33 million (or $2 million more than Alex Rodriguez's salary)
- If healthy, Jesus Flores could be trade bait for the Nationals
- LaTroy Hawkins expects to be ready for Opening Day after shoulder surgery

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally":

  • Kurt

    I don’t know about other AG.com readers, but the Mackey/Ruesse show still takes a backseat to The Common Man Progrum 12-3pm. Partly because, well, Common is just a beast and can’t be beat, and also because Patrick Reusse’s voice is atrocious and honestly close to not listen-able, IMO.

  • Paul

    I’m pretty sure every movie review you’ve ever done has been ‘Really good, yet not quite great.’

  • D-Luxxx

    Common Man is a douche. I can stand him for all of about 30 seconds before he says something that pisses me off.

  • Kermit

    I completely agree regarding Rob Neyer. Back in the early 00s, I would keep reloading his ESPN page all day anxious for a new column. He changed the way I view baseball. I also admired how ballsy he was, that he didn’t just spout cliches, and would wasn’t afraid to go against the grain if he felt the evidence supported his position. He treats baseball like a science, and that is awesome.

  • Ian

    Consider listening to “up and in: the baseball prospectus podcast,” it’s very enjoyable.

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

    Be glad you weren’t in Dallas this week. The Beckett office has been closed 3 out of 5 days and was subject to rolling brownouts.

  • Pat

    “Paying him 15 bucks for a good product seems like an easy way to show support.”

    sounds like he has you on commission

  • brian

    Didn’t AG love Black Swan? Social Network seems so much better because it’s a weak Hollywood year. Nobody honestly “raves” about it. Forgotten within five years.

  • Josh

    Neyer is one of my favorite writers, period. I’ve bought 4 of his books and his column at ESPN was always one of my first stops in the morning. (I was furious with ESPN when they stuck it behind a firewall for a while when I didn’t have “insider” access) Good for him being at SB Nation, but bad for ESPN: they’re losing one of their most prolific writers who always maintained the highest standards (and built a great team-by-team blog network for their baseball operations too).

  • http://bottomofthefourth.blogspot.com Xave

    Don Cherry would be proud of “that Johnson kid”.

  • Hinkseams

    I have seen “I like killing fies” and I must say that there has never been a better final 45 seconds ever recorded on film. The Man tells it like it is.

  • Jake

    I am clearly in the minority here, (and admittedly I’m probably working from a smaller sample size than some of his long-time readers), but I don’t like Rob Neyer’s writing. The moment where I went from being just somewhat negative about it, to downright down on it, is when he pretty much trashed Ken Griffey Jr the day he retired. He said he never lived up to his potential, said his career was basically a disappointment, and hinted at PED use. To me, it was a totally uncalled for attack on a player who to me was one of the top 5 most talented baseball players ever. There were other columns that he wrote that I didnt like, as well. I actually stopped reading his espn column last summer. Just my two cents.

  • Kermit

    Neyer could be harsh and seemingly impulsive at times. His infamous piece in which he was critical of Willie Stargell shortly after he died comes to mind. But I think he still spoke the truth more often than not, even if it wasn’t always “tactful.”