April 29, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• I'm not a fan of the Vikings picking him 12th, but Christian Ponder's girlfriend seems nice.

• My mom sent me this link, for some reason.

• Rays outfielder Sam Fuld can be the leadoff hitter on the all-stathead team.

• Lots of people make fun of TSA agents, but based on this photo they're pretty smart.

• ESPN issued a press release with details about Bill Simmons' new website, GrantLand.com. Naming the site after early 1900s sportswriter Grantland Rice seems like an odd decision, but there's no doubt that Simmons has built an incredible staff of writers and editors that includes personal favorites Chuck Klosterman, Bill Barnwell, and Katie Baker. Big names like Malcolm Gladwell and Dave Eggers will also be on board when the site launches in June.

• GrantLand.com may or may not also add another personal favorite, Tommy Craggs.

• Among the candidates interviewing for the Houston Rockets' coaching gig are Kevin McHale, Dwane Casey, and Sam Cassell. Marlon Maxey, Gundars Vetra, Felton Spencer, and Gerald Glass were apparently unavailable.

• Once upon a time Tom (Anderson) was everyone's friend on MySpace. Now he's flipping real estate in Las Vegas. Let's see Aaron Sorkin write a great movie about that.

Tony La Russa's daughter, Bianca La Russa, is the newest Oakland Raiders cheerleader.

• Best wishes to my MinnPost colleague David Brauer as he takes a health-related break from covering the local media scene better than anyone else.

Matthew Leach of MLB.com did an excellent job blending reporting and analysis for his article about how the save statistic unfortunately controls managers' decision-making.

Charles Barkley is the new Andy Sipowicz:

Inside the NBA on TNT is good when they talk about basketball and great when they don't.

• Actors, doing actor-type stuff.

• I'm unclear if these are new pictures of former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Elisha Cuthbert or Maxim is just trotting out old shots because she has a new ABC show, but it doesn't matter.

• In case you were wondering, Charlie Manuel is not Ric Flair.

• SABR is drawing some big names for this year's convention in Los Angeles. I mostly just drink and shoot the shit with my old friends from Baseball Primer, but so many of my favorite writers will be in attendance this year that I may have to actually make some attempt at schmoozing.

Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a column about the Twins' many injuries that was so filled with cliched, rabble-rousing drivel it initially read like a parody. Sadly, he's for real.

• If you're a fan of stand-up comedy make sure to find a replay of Talking Funny on HBO, which featured Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld basically just discussing comedy and breaking each others' balls for an hour. I would have watched it for five hours.

• Podcast of the week: Adam Carolla spending 90 minutes with Joe Rogan and Brian Redban.

• According to a recent British movie rental company poll 30 percent of people lie about seeing The Godfather "to impress people." Of all the things to lie about, why pick something enjoyable that takes three hours? It's not like only a select group of people get to watch each movie.

• Netflix instant recommendations: Bronson, which is a C-plus film with an A-plus performance by Tom Hardy. Marwencol, which is an oddly fascinating documentary that defies description.

• I've kept advertising on AG.com to a minimum for 10 years and that won't change, but rather than always selling my limited ad space to ticket-brokers and the like I'm looking to partner up with someone advertising stuff that would be of interest to AG.com readers. I'm open to ideas beyond that, so to promote your product, service, local business, website, or whatever else to the thousands of people who visit this space every day please drop me an e-mail.

(To anyone vehemently against the notion of bloggers making a little money, my apologies.)

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

- Mat Latos has lost nine straight starts dating back to last year
- Derek Jeter leads MLB in ground-ball percentage, ranks 188th in slugging percentage
- Everyone else is injured, so Ryan Madson finally gets a shot to be Phillies' closer
- Rays bounce back from 1-8 start to climb above .500
- Astros announcer criticizes Lance Berkman in Houston return
- What fluke? Jose Bautista hitting .364 with AL-high eight homers
- Pittsburgh media already turning on first-year Pirates manager Clint Hurdle?
- Yankees sticking with Rafael Soriano in eighth-inning setup role despite 7.84 ERA
- Mariners plan to limit 22-year-old Michael Pineda's workload

• Finally, in honor of how the Twins are playing right now this week's AG.com-approved music video is Susan Tedeschi singing a live version of "Looking For Answers":

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:

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