April 22, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Every cop's fantasy, starring Sofia Vergara.

• Humble bragging is sweeping the nation and the Wall Street Journal talked to the man behind the phenomenon, Harris Wittels, who once upon a time left a comment here. #humblebrag

• I'm not sure what took them so damn long, but better late than never: NFL Network will be replacing Matt Millen and Joe Theisman with Mike Mayock for their Thursday night games.

• Quote of the week: Royals manager Ned Yost on Billy Butler wanting to play first base: "I'd like to be an astronaut."

• This was the same excuse I used for skipping class in college, with the only difference being that no one on the entire campus knew who I was.

Elisha Cuthbert is back on television. I'm unlikely to watch the former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com's new show, but I am fully committed to looking at any screen caps posted online.

• Friend of AG.com Phil Mackey has been named "best sports talk radio host" in Minnesota by City Pages, which is remarkable considering he didn't have a full-time on-air spot until leaving 1130-KFAN for 1500-ESPN about 18 months ago and might be even better covering the Twins as a beat reporter than he is as the co-host of an afternoon show. Not bad for a stat-head.

• Stat-head setup man? Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard reads Fan Graphs.

• As a white, point guard-playing kid I owned his Sacramento Kings jersey and proudly wore it while attempting ill-advised but fancy passes, so this news makes me feel both sad and old.

David Carr of the New York Times wrote an interesting profile of Michael Klingensmith, who has helped turn the Minneapolis Star Tribune around since taking over as publisher in mid-2008. He's a native Minnesotan and "a serious Twins fan" who utilizes "statistical data to help guide product improvements." And under his watch the newspaper is one of the few in the country on an upswing. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Pioneer Press' website sadly remains nearly unusable.

• As someone who greatly prefers using Tweetdeck to the actual Twitter interface I'm worried about what may happen now that Twitter is in talks to buy Tweetdeck for "around $50 million."

• Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison has become one of my favorite players thanks to his great tweeting.

• Not that you can tell a ton from a 92-second clip, but HBO's upcoming new series Lucky looks pretty good and it's definitely star-studded.

Bonus points for using the World Series of Poker intro jingle.

• Thanks to a government crackdown the online poker world has basically been ruined, leaving tons of people out of work, taking away recreational enjoyment from part-timers like me, and even impacting television programming on numerous channels.

• Now that online poker is banned I feel the same about playing poker as I do about hosting a podcast. I'd really like to do both, but ultimately it takes a backseat to my even stronger desire not to leave the house or invite relative strangers over to my house. Helluva catch-22.

Buster Posey's sister can out-hit your sister.

• My mom's all-time favorite athlete is much better at pistol-whipping than he was at dieting.

• After six weeks of dieting I'm down 40 pounds, which sounds misleadingly great because of how much weight fatsos like me have to shed in the first place. I'm still fat enough that telling someone how much weight I've lost only leads to them thinking: "And you still look this bad?!" I've been counting every calorie and working out an elliptical machine every day, but once my calorie intake loosens up a bit this alcohol-to-calorie chart will be very helpful.

• Up until six weeks ago I was one of the leading donut consumers in the country, yet I had no idea that many (and perhaps even most) people spell it "doughnut." I also had no idea that a "free year's supply of donuts" could cost you $237.

Bill Simmons continues to build an excellent writing staff for his upcoming ESPN-funded site, hiring Bill Barnwell away from Football Outsiders.

Evangeline Lilly is either pregnant or there will soon be a disheveled yet still incredibly great looking blond woman with an Australian accent looking for her son again. Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that the kid's name should be Aaron.

• Following the latest veteran media member to write a really dumb thing about sports, David Matthews of The Good Men Project wonders how long before more of the higher-quality online writers land full-time gigs and how many of them will be forced to quit in search of non-writing jobs that actually pay the bills. I've been fortunate in that respect, but many good writers are not as lucky and having to live on income from AG.com would have forced me to quit long ago.

• After reading this news I'm thinking about suing myself for being paid almost no money from 10 years of blogging here. We'd probably settle out of court.

• Speaking of real life getting in the way of good blogging, Stick and Ball Guy has hung up the keyboard. I enjoyed SBG's community of bloggers and readers so much that it remains the only other blog on which I've ever regularly posted comments and I also enjoyed attending several in-person get-togethers with SBG and friends. He'll be missed, but the community has decided to go on without SBG by starting up a spinoff site that is definitely worth checking out.

• I was surprised to learn that an average of just 22,000 television sets were tuned into each Timberwolves game this season and even more shocked to find out that didn't even rank them among the NBA's least-watched teams.

• I'm not sure $105 million in added risk makes much sense for the Brewers, but Ryan Braun is now signed through 2020.

• I'm excited that Friday Night Lights is back for a final season, although the scene in the first episode where the new guy dribbles and shoots free throws like he's never played the sport before despite supposedly being a basketball star has me re-thinking my love for the first four seasons. It might even keep me from bidding on more than a dozen items in this auction.

Vanessa Hudgens either needs to get much fatter or hire a new public relations person.

• Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for allegedly stealing $60 in shirts from Macy's.

• When the Timberwolves fired Dwane Casey they were 20-20. They are 90-280 since then.

• I saw these guys do a presentation at last year's SABR convention. Very interesting stuff.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys doing "Heavy Soul" live:

  • Brandon Whipple

    We have a similar taste in music, Aaron. I like your website.

  • http://wgom.org spookymilk

    Thanks for the mention about the WGOM, Gleeman. Although SBG no longer handles the incredible workload that he used to, he does still use the site but in a more limited capacity. So, thankfully, our godfather isn’t totally gone.

  • brianS

    Aaron: I’m sure I speak for many in saying thanks for the plug for the new WGOM digs. You are welcome to hang out in our moms’ basement any time.

    I believe I heard SBG singing “My Heart Will Go On” over the weekend. We bought him a rocking chair and a brand new crystal radio set tuned to the Twins Radio Network as retirement presents.

  • Paul

    “Harris Wittels, who once upon a time left a comment here.”
    Nice Humblebrag

  • marietta mouthpiece

    Logan Morrison – “told u fantasy people not to pick me up” … Humblebrag?

  • http://www.mmmrhubarb.wordpress.com Rhubarb_Runner

    “…it remains the only other blog on which I’ve ever regularly posted comments…”

    That’s regular?! Don’t me a stranger, man. So far this season, misery loves company.

  • Zach Morris

    Really though, how accurate are those NBA estimations? I’d guess not very.

  • mike wants WINS

    Can’t wait to get home and watch the music video….

    22K is not the least watched franchise? Ouch. Of course, I find it odd that anyone would watch the NBA, but it’s hard to believe how far that league has fallen on the various local levels for some franchises.

  • ewen21

    Not that there is anything to report on the subject, but I am surprised you haven’t made any mention about flu situation with Morneau. Any thoughts on this Aaron? Afterall, like it or not, YOU are THE most prominent Twins blogger there is. Seems sort of odd you haven’t discussed this here. It is becoming a bizzare situation to say the least–particularly with Nishioka, Joe and Delmon all out. If anyone could suck it up you would think the guy with the flu should be able to.

  • brian

    He’s suffering the “flu.”

  • ewen21

    That’s what we are being told. I find it incredible that flu symptoms would take down an athlete like this. If it’s something else we will eventually find out. But what their telling us now just doesn’t fit. The way this team has dealt with these situations are bizzare to say the least. Joe’s situation is strange all on it’s own, but Justin’s is getting weirder by the day. I wish Aaron would provide some of his own perspective on this here. I believe this franchise is at a crossroad RIGHT NOW. I believe this ‘flu situation’ warrants some kind of conversation here. Kind of hard to ignore or overlook at this point, imo

  • http://wgom.org spookymilk

    ewen, the reports are that Morneau has been reduced to using IV bags – multiple bags a day – for the last week. The flu he has isn’t the flu that keeps a person out of school for a half-day. He can’t just “suck it up” if he’s bedridden.

    That said, I hope it doesn’t turn out to be something more serious.

  • Steven Ellingson

    Aaron, I have to say, you are a master of the “self deprecating” humble brag.

  • ML

    Let’s just say we don’t need him sliding into first. Or third.

  • the mix

    You should watch Cuthbert’s new show, it’s actually pretty frickin hilarious