March 8, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Trent Reznor and Carly Rae Jepsen don't know it, but they made a catchy song together.

• I can finally put all those pointless years of Hebrew school to some use and read it (from right to left) for the articles.

• Last week Nikola Pekovic met Zach Galifianakis, so this week he dressed up as him.

• I'm loving David Brauer's "returning to college as a 53-year-old" updates.

Louis C.K. and Hank Aaron were on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" together in 1993.

• This is the quickest I've ever deleted an e-mail.

• I'm guessing we'll probably never see Terry Ryan do this.

Aaron Hicks had a decent Thursday afternoon, if you're into that type of thing.

• And to think, a day earlier some idiot claimed the Twins have three prospects better than Hicks.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode features lengthy discussions on Ron Gardenhire's future with the Twins and why Liam Hendriks could be the top Australian pitcher ever.

• Last week in this space I wondered if it was finally time to replace Mila Kunis as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com and then she went and did this:

To be clear: I'm not the interviewer in that video, but I certainly could have been.

• Speaking of which: Back off, LeBron.

• News story lead sentence of the week: "A quick-thinking worker at Dunkin' Donuts threw hot coffee at a man who tried to climb through the drive-through window to rob the store, telling him 'go run on Dunkin'' as he fled."

Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford teamed up for an in-game dunk better than anything in the dunk contest, and Griffin's reaction afterward is pretty good too.

• Sad, disturbing details about the death of a Nationals prospect in the Dominican Republic.

Torii Hunter may disagree, but Justin Verlander says the Tigers' clubhouse would be a good atmosphere for a gay teammate.

• I almost like the 1995 opening of "Breaking Bad" better, if only for the Foreigner.

• This is what happens when a blogger leaves the house.

• I used to think Barry Bonds posting a .480 on-base percentage at age 42 was amazing, but then I learned Nigella Lawson is 53. On a related note, I've been watching "The Taste" on ABC despite the fact that it's not a very compelling show.

• An eating contest involving seafood seems to be asking for trouble. And it definitely got it.

• As a fan of comedy, women, Jews, and working from bed this is basically the perfect video:

Joan Rivers and Sarah Silverman are so great together that I sent the link to my grandma.

• Fank you to whoever put together this Adele video.

Delmon Young is making fast friends with another group of media members.

• I watched "Chelsea Lately" for the first (and probably last) time and this GIF explains why.

• My mom, who apparently watches "Chelsea Lately" regularly, offered this unsolicited review.

Agents are agents in fake baseball too.

Carson Cistulli's weekly chat with Dayn Perry was spectacular, as usual.

• Congrats to my former The Hardball Times partner, Dave Studeman, for winning this year's "Analytics Research Award" from SABR.

• Podcast recommendation: "The Crab Feast" with Jay Larson and Ryan Sickler. Get started with a Jen Kirkman episode, because she's always a can't-miss podcast guest.

• Mark your calendars: Twins Daily is having a get-together/viewing party on March 23 to watch the Saturday afternoon Twins-Rays spring training game on television. Starting at noon we'll be hanging out at 612 Brew in Northeast Minneapolis, drinking beer and talking baseball.

• Some of this week's weird and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Marney Gellner age"
- "Will Chinese buffet kill my Atkins diet?"
- "I'm 29 years old and lost"
- "Corey Koskie net worth"
- "Chuck Berry and Sammy Sosa"
- "Brian Dinkelman girlfriend"
- "Is Terry Gross a baseball fan?"
- "How much does Louis C.K. weigh?"
- "Anthony Slama's mom"
- "Gleeman fashion"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Sweet Wanomi" by Bill Withers:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

January 6, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Much to the delight of The Wire fans, Omar Little got arrested in Baltimore last week.

Simon Konecki may not know it yet, but someday he'll be the subject of a No. 1 album.

Adrian Peterson didn't let career-altering knee surgery ruin his New Year's Eve celebration.

Howard Stern used Twitter to drunk dial a bunch of his fans on New Year's Eve.

• This week's 60 Minutes had a segment about someone who ran a scam charging kids to take the ACT and SAT for them, and I'm proud to say the homepage on his computer is Rotoworld.

• Having two kids cost Jessica Alba the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title, but she's staging a helluva comeback.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode featured me chasing scotch with beer, pitching an idea for a podcast recording my blind dates, and ultimately concluding that "this podcast is completely off the rails." Oh, and we talked Twins too.

• I turned on the Nuggets-Kings game Wednesday to see rookie Kenneth Faried get garbage time action and this immediately happened:

And then moments later he did this too.

Alex Rodriguez, nerd or hipster? You decide!

Brandon Warne's lengthy chat with Twins hitting coach Joe Vavra is well worth reading.

Aaron Rupar of City Pages raised an intriguing question in relation to the start of my age-29 season: Prime age for baseball players is typically around 26-30, but what's the prime age for bloggers? In terms of producing content I'd say prime blogging age is 20-24, but in terms of producing good content it's probably closer to 24-28. Either way, I'm over the hill.

• I'd watch a lot more soccer if all the goals were like this one.

• I never watch hockey, but I've never missed a second of HBO's great 24/7 series on the NHL.

• Old friend Carlos Silva has found a new home after making $48 million to throw 297 innings with a 5.82 ERA since leaving the Twins.

• I know I said not to get me anything for my birthday, but I'm still kind of disappointed that no one got me Lizzy Caplan. Maybe next year.

Brad Miller hasn't played for the Timberwolves yet because of microfracture knee surgery, but he's already had a significant impact on the team.

• As you'd expect, Charles Barkley is even better when he thinks the microphones are off:

Something tells me TNT won't exactly be thrilled with Kevin Harlan either.

• Because of her divorce Zooey Deschanel's finances went public and I'm kind of surprised she doesn't have more money. Her eyes alone should be worth at least $1 million per month.

• I'm ashamed to have missed Portlandia until now, but immediately watched every episode on Netflix and the new season starts tonight on IFC. Until then, watch their take on baseball.

Aimee Teagarden has maintained her adorability since Friday Night Lights ended.

• Latest podcast recommendation: "Throwing Shade" with Bryan Safi and Erin Gibson, whose various great podcast appearances have made her my favorite Erin/Aaron, including myself.

• I picked against the spread for every NFL game this season and my final tally was 129-119-8 overall, but only 69-69-4 on my favorite picks each week. That may not look bad, but if you bet $100 per game going 129-119-8 would equal a $190 loss with the vig. Gambling is hard, kids.

• In case you were wondering, this is what a 29-year-old adult eats for lunch on his birthday.

• Friend of AG.com Lindsay Guentzel is auditioning to be this season's MLB Fan Cave resident and could use your help to win the contest.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Vika Yermolyeva doing a piano cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana (and there are a bunch more where that came from):

September 23, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Nunchucks would probably be pretty close to the top of my list of things not to give inmates.

• Life lesson: If you work on the new Charlie's Angels remake and "slap Minka Kelly across the rear end while holding a $100 bill" the producers will fire you. Presumably he reacted like this.

Glen Rice is pretty smooth: "It was all done in a respectful way, nothing hurried."

Rob Ryan and I apparently have similar taste, as the Cowboys defensive coordinator had a photo of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Diora Baird on his play chart last week.

• Thanks to Judd Zulgad and Joe Anderson for having me on their new 1500-ESPN radio show to talk baseball yesterday. You can listen to my half-hour appearance by clicking here.

Ozzie Guillen on marriage: "What attracted me to my wife is she's hot. She's also nice, she's a great mom, but that comes after she's hot."

Adele hopefully at least has some recording time set aside for when they break up again.

• Reminder: TwinsCentric is hosting a get-together tomorrow afternoon for the Twins-Indians game. I'll be there, along with John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman, and we'll be recording an episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" too. For details, click here.

• As a huge fan of The Wire it pains me to see Bodie Broadus doing lame commercials:

In fairness to Fedex, he was always pretty good at delivering packages.

• Not only is former Gophers wide receiver Eric Decker starting to put up some good numbers for the Broncos, he's apparently dating country music singer Jessie James.

• It turns out if you request a new meme people on the internet will actually make one for you.

• Between being played by Brad Pitt and getting kissed too many times by Angelina Jolie this Moneyball movie has really been rough on Billy Beane.

Moneyball, Pitt, and the equation for FIP are on the cover of Sports Illustrated. xFIP is jealous.

Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote a lengthy "where are they now?" feature about Chuck Knoblauch and his reclusive retirement.

• According to Esquire magazine 90 percent of great-looking women cook without pants on.

• My nomination for worst person ever goes to whomever stole the glasses off Ernie Harwell.

• This might be the lamest arrest in NBA history.

• I'm a sucker for outtakes, especially from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

Charlie Day's genius has never been more apparent.

Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson reportedly earned $72 million from their involvement with Full Tilt Poker, which is now accused of being "a global Ponzi scheme."

• Rookie hazing now extends to the bullpen bathroom.

• Based on this Portland Oregonian column David Kahn penned in 1989 about the Trailblazers' "poor, deluded men" I wonder what he'd write about the Timberwolves' current situation.

• It sounds like Patrick Reusse's son is a stat-head, which amuses me. Good column, too.

• Netflix streaming recommendation: Conan O'Brien is significantly funnier and more likeable in "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" than he's ever been on his talk show.

• Reading the glowing reviews of "Drive" makes me think I'm insane. I disliked it despite being a Ryan Gosling fan and the audience I saw it with laughed at most of the dramatic moments.

Christina Hendricks had a minor role in "Drive," but she was much better in this.

Eric Freeman of The A.V. Club wrote a guide to choosing the right entrance song for closers.

Gregg Rosenthal's kid is only one day old and already has her own post on ProFootballTalk.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Samson" by Regina Spektor:

April 25, 2011

Nevermind, I’ll find someone like you

Catching up with old friends in new places ...

Matt Guerrier signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Dodgers and got off to a great start in Los Angeles with 11 straight scoreless innings before coughing up five runs Saturday. Guerrier has filled largely the same role with the Dodgers that he did with the Twins, working the seventh and eighth innings setting up closer Jonathan Broxton while recording more than three outs in five of his first 10 appearances.

Brian Fuentes has been filling in for the injured Andrew Bailey as the A's closer, converting six of seven save chances with a 4.09 ERA and 10-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 innings. He was unable to find a full-time closing opportunity as a free agent and settled for a two-year, $10.5 million deal at age 35. Bailey is due back early next month, at which point Fuentes will slide into a setup role alongside former Twin and original AG.com favorite, Grant Balfour.

Jon Rauch also stumbled into a brief stint filling in as Toronto's closer with Frank Francisco sidelined to begin the season. Just as he did for the Twins last year Rauch did a perfectly solid job in the role, converting all three save chances before Francico returned 18 games in, and he has a 2.25 ERA and 6-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in nine innings overall. Dating back to last year Rauch has converted 24-of-28 saves with a 2.98 ERA and 52/18 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

• Obviously the three-year, $13 million contract helped, but Jesse Crain also talked about the opportunity to be in the mix for saves as one of the reasons for signing with the White Sox. Chicago's bullpen has been a mess, with closer Matt Thornton blowing four saves already and manager Ozzie Guillen trying all kinds of different combinations late, but Crain has yet to get a crack at closing duties despite a 1.93 ERA and 11-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio in nine innings.

Orlando Hudson got off to strong start in San Diego while oddly batting third in the Padres' lineup, but a recent slump has knocked his overall line down to .229/.349/.271 in 21 games. Of course, even that .620 OPS is still much higher than the Twins have gotten from Alexi Casilla (.485), Matt Tolbert (.469), Luke Hughes (.448), and Tsuyoshi Nishioka (.519) in the middle infield and Hudson is playing half his games in the majors' most pitcher-friendly ballpark.

• I didn't like the Twins' decision to trade J.J. Hardy after he was above par offensively among shortstops and outstanding defensively in the 101 games he was healthy enough to be in the lineup, but they have to be smiling after he lasted just six games with the Orioles before being placed on the disabled list. Hardy is out until mid-May with a strained oblique and one of the two minor-league relievers the Twins got for him, Jim Hoey, has been thrust into a setup role.

Brendan Harris was also traded to Baltimore in the Hardy swap or more accurately dumping $1.25 million of his $1.75 million salary on the Orioles was part of the Twins' side of the deal. No one will ever be able to explain why the Twins handed Harris a two-year, $3.2 million deal last January, but after spending most of last season at Triple-A he failed to make the Orioles out of spring training and is once again struggling in the International League.

Wilson Ramos has overtaken Ivan Rodriguez as Washington's starting catcher and all of a sudden articles have popped up explaining how the Twins don't regret trading a 22-year-old top catching prospect for the right to pay $10 million for one-and-a-half years of Matt Capps. I'm sure the timing is purely coincidental. Ramos is hitting .351 with surprisingly decent plate discipline early on, giving him a .302/.347/.414 career line through 34 games.

Dealt for Single-A reliever Paul Bargas in December after the Twins settled on Drew Butera as their preferred backup catcher, Jose Morales is now backing up Chris Iannetta in Colorado and playing sparingly in the early going. He owns a career line of .295/.374/.358 in 81 games, but the Twins never trusted his glove. Bargas unfortunately has been hospitalized due to a neurological condition, with general manager Bill Smith describing him as "very sick."

Nick Punto's one-year, $750,000 contract with St. Louis got off to a rough start when he underwent hernia surgery within days of reporting to spring training, but he's healthy now and already starting regularly in place of injured second baseman Skip Schumaker. I thought the Twins should have re-signed Punto as long as the money was no more than $1 million and the projected role was minor. For all his faults, he'd be their best middle infielder right now.

Pat Neshek not only won a spot in the Padres' bullpen out of spring training after being lost on waivers for nothing by the Twins, he threw eight innings with a 2.25 ERA and .222 batting average against. However, while I'm happy to see Neshek doing well and didn't understand cutting him loose, his 7-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio is anything but impressive, his average fastball has clocked in at just 85.6 miles per hour, and now he's been optioned to Triple-A.

• Traded to the Braves for Rule 5 pick Scott Diamond last month in one of the most confusing Twins moves in a long time, Billy Bullock has struggled at Double-A with a 12.15 ERA through 6.2 innings. He thrived at Double-A in the second half of last season, but his shaky control has been a big problem with six walks. Diamond, meanwhile, has a 3.48 ERA and 13-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in three starts at Rochester.

Rob Delaney was lost on waivers to Tampa Bay in late January when they Twins dropped him from the 40-man roster to make room for Dusty Hughes. Delaney failed to make the Rays out of spring training, but has a 2.45 ERA and 14-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 11 innings at Triple-A and will likely get a chance in Tampa Bay at some point this season. Hughes has been a mess so far, living up to his mediocre track record by allowing seven runs in seven innings.

Ron Mahay left the Twins as a free agent, signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers only to be released in the final week of spring training, and has latched on with the Diamondbacks at Triple-A, continuing a career-long pattern of having to prove himself anew seemingly every season despite consistently solid numbers. He might finally just be out of gas at age 40, but Mahay has a career ERA of 3.83 that includes a 3.49 mark in the previous five seasons.

Dennys Reyes beat out Hideki Okajima for the left-handed specialist role in the Red Sox's bullpen coming out of spring training, turning a minor-league deal into $900,000 in guaranteed money, and then got demoted to Triple-A one week into the season after four shaky outings. Reyes cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Pawtucket, but the $900,000 salary is locked in whether "Big Sweat" gets called back up to Boston or not.

Yohan Pino, a right-hander the Twins swapped to the Indians for Carl Pavano in mid-2009, was traded to the Blue Jays last week for cash considerations. Pino was a mid-level prospect when the Twins dealt him, posting standout numbers in the minors despite mediocre raw stuff, and now he's organizational filler at age 28. Pavano was an impending free agent back then, but went on to re-sign with the Twins twice and has a 4.09 ERA in 326 innings since the trade.

March 4, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Next time someone complains that professional athletes are overpaid, show them this.

• I'm convinced this will happen to me some day, except with Pizza Hut and chicken wings.

Rest in peace, Uncle Leo. And my condolences to Cousin Jeffrey at the parks department.

Mila Kunis wasn't actually nominated for anything, but the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com still managed to win the Academy Awards. Hopefully she will always remember who blogged about her obsessively before it was cool.

Ozzie Guillen basically told Bobby Jenks to check himself before he wrecks himself.

Dr. Dre, Sedale Threatt's ex-wife, Burning Man, and the greatest sign-off to a hand-written love letter of all time: "I'm bout to pass out girl, wish I was up in that ass."

• It never occurred to me that "eating full boxes of Cap'n Crunch" was odd until a big deal was made of CC Sabathia stopping that practice, which is one of many reasons why we're around the same weight and he's 6-foot-7.

• On a related note, I'm not much for feet but there's no doubt Rex Ryan and I could hang.

• Phew. Glad that's settled, finally.

David Brauer of MinnPost writes that things are looking up for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website, which is a good sign as mainstream outlets figure out how to make money online.

• Not sure if "Where's Waldo?" is even still around, but this needs to replace it immediately.

• Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke dances to "Single Ladies" by Beyonce. Sort of:

He seems very undecided about the hat's value.

Doc Gooden and Doc Drew is a sad combination.

• Oregon State defensive lineman Stephen Paea bench-pressed 225 pounds 49 times at the NFL scouting combine, which set the record and earned him the right to be called "hoss" by the always awesome John Lott.

• Such a simple concept and such an amazing site.

• In retrospect, I'm amazed that no one thought of this life-changing invention before now.

• I went into a Borders recently to use a gift certificate before they close up shop and just kept thinking "I can get this cheaper online." Big bookstores like Borders put a ton of mom-and-pop shops out of business because they could sell at a discount thanks to buying in such massive bulk and now Amazon.com is essentially doing the same thing to the big boys. The whole thing is kind of sad, but then again books are cheaper and more readily available now than ever.

Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch wrote a very good profile of Bill James.

• Baseball-Reference.com mastermind Sean Forman is among the recipients of the Society for American Baseball Research's annual Henry Chadwick award. Well-deserved and then some.

• I'll remember these rules if I ever make it back into another pressbox.

Alyssa Milano is having her first kid and Jessica Alba is having her second kid. Oh well.

Bill Simmons is launching a new, ESPN-funded website and some of the details have leaked out, including his hiring of personal favorites Chuck Klosterman and Katie Baker.

• Meanwhile one of my favorite sports sites, AOL Fanhouse, is no more, as Sporting News sadly bought the name and let go of the many excellent writers who deserved a much better fate.

• Fanhouse is gone, but at least this epic e-mail chain lives on. Craig Calcaterra is everywhere.

• Speaking of Craig, he fell in love at first sight with Jeff Francoeur.

• Way before Rob McElhenney was on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia ... well, just watch this:

My favorite part is the attempt to keep things casual with the ultra-scripted "hold up."

Funny podcast of the week: Zach Galifianakis on "Who Charted?" with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack.

Bryant McKinnie is doing his best to prepare for the potential NFL lockout.

Dennis Green's son and former ESPN.com writer Jeremy Green is expected to serve at least five years in prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges in Connecticut.

• When great beards meet, everyone wins (except Baron Davis, who was traded to Cleveland a couple days later).

• ESPN just got a whole lot more stat-heady.

• Here's a unique look at how Kevin Love fills a statsheet by Matt Scribbins of HoopData.com, who actually e-mailed me saying I should give the article to my NBA-loving mom. I did and the last part made her sad.

• This is definitely one of the better bobblehead giveaways I've seen. Design and function!

• Here's the best argument yet for buying an iPad, although I wouldn't know where to begin.

• A pair of new blogs to check out: Twins Territory Talk and Off The Bench.

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

- Carlos Ruiz's wife gave birth exactly nine months after Roy Halladay's perfect game
- Elijah Dukes arrested, accused of hitting pregnant ex-girlfriend
- Brandon Phillips wants a long-term contract extension, but do the Reds?
- Ron Gardenhire says Brian Duensing will "absolutely" be in Twins' rotation
- Garret Anderson retires after 17 seasons and 2,529 hits
- White Sox giving Dayan Viciedo a look in the outfield
- Austin Kearns was arrested for a DUI in Kentucky last month
- Jeremy Bonderman is "likely going to sit this year out"
- Carl Pavano seriously considered one-year offer from Yankees

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "He Won't Go" by Adele: