July 20, 2012

Link-O-Rama

(Our whole crew, including me in the middle and Bill Parker talking to Robby Incmikoski.)

I spent yesterday afternoon at Target Field watching the Twins-Orioles game in FOX Sports North's suite. Along with a few other bloggers I was invited there to try the "Game Connect" platform that incorporates play-by-play, statistics, scores, social media, and a bunch of other stuff for an online supplement to the game-watching experience. It's definitely worth trying, especially if you're like me and typically watch Twins games on FSN with your computer nearby.

(After seeing John Bonnes' tweet they actually asked to do this and who was I to say no?)

FSN treated us too well. Becky Ross and Laura Beshire were great hosts, plying us with beer and food. Angie Avestruz and Kaylin Cockriel--also known as "The FSN Girls"--couldn't have been nicer, even when John Bonnes creepily used Twitter to peer-pressure them into running their fingers through my hair. And sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski hung out, interviewed me on television, and was incredibly nice despite me often being critical of him and FSN.

 (Nick Nelson was more focused on his beer and sunglasses than my FSN television debut.)

And then after the game we put the finishing touches on a fun day at the Fulton Tap Room. You can find some more pictures and details about the whole experience on my Twitter page. Thanks to FOX Sports North for reaching out to the bloggers and thanks to everyone involved for being so damn nice. And last but not least check out "Game Connect" the next time you're watching the Twins on FSN, if only so they don't regret inviting me. OK, now on to the links ...


• As always, Louis C.K. is the best.

Pete Rose is getting his own reality television show and it sounds as bad as you'd expect.

• Yesterday morning during my KFAN appearance with Paul Allen the inevitable happened, as PA and my mom joined forces in the name of ... well, listen for yourself.

Heidi Klum was the first Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com way back in 2002 and suffice it to say she's aged a whole helluva lot better than I have.

• Friend of AG.com and former Gleeman and The Geek guest Lindsay Guentzel made it to the MLB Fan Cave's final seven, but after four months in New York she was voted out this week.

• Speaking of which, this week's Gleeman and The Geek show was our 50th episode, which means only 450 more until my mom is allowed to come on as a guest.

• Having reached the point where losing more weight isn't really possible--I'm down under 170 pounds after being 355 pounds on March 7, 2011--for the past two weeks or so I've been on a Chinese food and gum diet mostly just to see what happens. And despite getting takeout from Yangtze in St. Louis Park literally every day I somehow haven't gained any weight. Order the "hunan chicken with just carrots and baby corn." It'll change your life.

• Jets coach Rex Ryan went from 348 pounds in late 2009 to 242 pounds now, although he underwent lap-band surgery rather than relying strictly on diet and exercise.

Pete Caldera is officially the coolest beat reporter in baseball. And best-dressed, too.

• Nationals first-round pick Lucas Giolito has $2.9 million and a signed lightsaber from Samuel L. Jackson hanging in his room.

• If you're into statistical analysis for basketball, Court Vision's graphics showing exactly where rebounds wind up based on where shots are taken are pretty great.

Bert Blyleven had a perfect response to Reggie Jackson: "God gives us many holes in our body and he just spoke out of the wrong one."

• As someone forced to use a Blackberry for work, the company's situation is depressing.

• This will probably make it even more confusing when I try to explain where I work to people.

• Congrats to my HardballTalk blog-mate Craig Calcaterra for being named "internet writer of the year" by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

• Looking at Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook is just like riding a bike.

Darren Wolfson's ongoing coverage of the Timberwolves' offseason has been a must-read at 1500-ESPN and his lengthy article breaking down the Nicolas Batum drama was excellent.

• Except for the parts about leaving the house and hanging out with strangers for three hours this sounds like a great way to watch a Twins game at Target Field.

Paul F. Tomkins filmed a series of short video interviews with interesting actors, comedians, and musicians over drinks and they're all worth watching.

• Netflix instant recommendation: Rampart, which stars Woody Harrelson and convinced me even further that he's one of the best, most versatile, and most underrated actors around.

• On a related note, one screenshot can tell the story of a crazy evening.

John Legend was a great guest on The Champs with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Legend singing the hook to "Do You Wanna Ride" by Jay-Z:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Ballplayer: Pelotero, a controversial new documentary about baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic starring Miguel Sano as a 16-year-old.

  • Hinkstar

    I love that you are back on the radio, Aaron. KFAN should never have stopped having you on as a guest in the first place.

  • Franklin

    Aaron, at the risk of both presenting you with a loaded question and revealing myself to be kind of a jerk, I wonder: How do you feel about people undergoing the sort of procedure Rex Ryan did in order to lose weight? As someone who lost a ton of weight through diet and exercise, do you feel any disdain towards people opting for surgery rather than working on it themselves?

    I can’t help but experience some negative feelings towards Ryan and others who’ve done this. It’s possible, and perhaps even likely, that these feelings are rooted in envy, since I am overweight and have been nearly my whole life. I’ve repeatedly tried to change my habits and failed, while these guys throw money at the problem and the weight comes flying off.

    Anyway, I was wondering what you think about this, if anything. Keep up the great work.

  • http://aarongleeman.com aarongleeman

    Aaron, at the risk of both presenting you with a loaded question and revealing myself to be kind of a jerk, I wonder: How do you feel about people undergoing the sort of procedure Rex Ryan did in order to lose weight?

    I certainly think diet and exercise is the way to go, but as someone who has struggled with weight issues for most of my life I can’t blame anyone for taking other measures. I’d assume that Rex Ryan has tried the diet and exercise route many times before, although I don’t know that to be true.

    I also give Ryan credit for being open about having had the surgery, because some other well-known people who’ve lost huge amounts of weight via non-natural methods haven’t been so truthful and I think that’s doing a disservice to others who struggle with weight.

    It’s definitely an interesting topic.

  • Breaker

    As someone who has battled my weight my entire life, and is currently down about 60 pounds (and hoping to take that another 20 or so) through diet and exercise, I have given lots of thought to other forms of weight loss.

    I have an acquaintance who once said that “lap-band surgery is using a physical solution on an emotional issue”. I have to agree with her. And I know a handful of people who have actually had the surgery, lost lots of weight, and still managed to put it back on.

    I have to think the natural way is the best, even though it is extremely difficult and full of pitfalls. Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.

  • http://aarongleeman.com aarongleeman

    I have an acquaintance who once said that “lap-band surgery is using a physical solution on an emotional issue”. I have to agree with her. And I know a handful of people who have actually had the surgery, lost lots of weight, and still managed to put it back on.

    This is a very good point and something I should have mentioned in my initial reply. Losing the weight is only part of the issue for obese people, which is part of why I think making the lifestyle changes needed to lose huge amounts of weight via diet and exercise is important beyond simply the pounds lost.

    Ultimately, though, losing the weight is better than not losing the weight.

  • Cracka

    What happened to that other FSN girl who looked like Roy Smalley?

    Or wait, was that just Roy Smalley? So confused.

  • Sinking Liner

    Cracka–Looks like Paige is out (It actually wasn’t Roy Smalley, just a clever lookalike)—-Jenny has taken over. She’s even doing between innings stuff at Target Field now.