November 9, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Changes at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, as Joe Christensen and Phil Miller are swapping roles in 2013, with Christensen covering Gophers football and Miller covering the Twins. I'm sad to see Christensen leave the Twins beat he did so well while increasingly blending stats into his work and being nice/understanding to bloggers. With that said, Miller is an excellent writer, an even better guy, and was stellar on the Twins beat in his St. Paul Pioneer Press days.

• "Saturday Night Live" really ought to just have Louis C.K. host every week.

• I'm thinking about getting a similar tattoo that reads "You've Made A Terrible Mistake."

• I saw Artie Lange, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, and Amy Schumer perform a great stand-up comedy show Saturday night at Mystic Lake Casino. One of the running jokes of the night was how no one--comedians or audience members--could drink, but apparently that's all changing.

• Now the real insanity test will be if I keep watching "Survivor" after Jeff Kent's crazy exit.

• If we pretend for a moment that the Twins might actually sign a top-of-the-rotation starter, who are their options?

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded Sunday at Stella's Fish Cafe and featured me getting so annoyed with John Bonnes that I threatened to punch him in the face. After the podcast mercifully ended we headed upstairs to hang out with a few dozen people who got together in the name of charity to watch the Vikings game, at which point Bonnes thought it would be a great idea to shoot this four-minute (four-minute!) video of me:

My co-stars are Dana Wessel of 1500-ESPN, Chris Long of KSTP, and Heather Balgaard of being completely ashamed to appear in the above video.

• And speaking of Bonnes' anti-semitism discussed in the video, congrats to Delmon Young!

Charles Barkley leaving "Inside The NBA" would make me incredibly sad, but in the meantime at least this was funny.

• Sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski is leaving FOX Sports North to take a job in Pittsburgh, where hopefully the bloggers aren't such big jerks and he can live in peace.

• Say what you will about Tim Tebow, but the man has good taste.

• Remember all those "best shape of his life" stories from spring training? How did those players actually fare this season?

• Once upon a time Brien Taylor was a No. 1 overall pick and baseball's best pitching prospect. Now he's going to prison for selling crack.

Melky Cabrera is a finalist for the "Heart and Hustle" award despite his suspension.

• This is definitely my favorite form of child abuse.

• I have no doubt this show would be terrible and no doubt I would watch it.

• One of the most amusing knockouts you'll ever see.

• Baseball Think Factory is where all the good international scouting directors got their start.

• If you liked the Pepsi commercial in which Kyrie Irving was made up to look like an old man and played basketball you'll really love the new version with Irving and Kevin Love:

Love does a pretty convincing job stumbling around the court initially, although the whole being 6-foot-10 thing is tough to hide.

Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic made Alexey Shved cut his hair.

Gregg Popovich's contempt for in-game television interviews is already in midseason form.

• Any fellow Maximum Fun podcast fans want to go with me to this convention next year? I'm mostly serious, I think.

• Speaking of which, for anyone into podcasts I wrote a lengthy article reviewing my favorites.

• In at least one key area Bryant McKinnie hasn't lost a step since leaving the Vikings.

• Old friend Mike Redmond has replaced Ozzie Guillen as Marlins manager and weather-wise Miami is a pretty good locale for naked batting practice.

• Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is good story and his wife is a great story.

• Popeyes is trying to move into KFC's turf in Minnesota.

Carson Cistulli's chat with Matt Klaassen was very enjoyable if you're interested in two baseball writers talking about anything but baseball.

• AG.com reader Mike Fuchs compared Target Field to six other ballparks he visited recently.

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

- "Dana Wessel hair"
- "Gleeman and Christopher Walken"
- "Jose Mijares girlfriend"
- "Jacqueline Bisset podcast"
- "Snoop Dogg bobblehead"
- "Statistical analysis for hire"
- "Nude party notes"
- "Marijuana and Chinese food"
- "How many donuts would equal 40 pounds"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Don't Sweat The Technique" by Eric B. and Rakim:

June 22, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Fat-O-Meter update: I'm down to 168 pounds, compared to 355 pounds on March 7, 2011. Back on March 7 of this year I wrote about having lost 153 pounds in one year, but since then I've lost another 34 pounds to bring the grand total to 187 pounds lost in 472 days. I'm trying to think of interesting ways to write, talk, and chat about my weight loss, because whenever I mention it here or on Twitter it gets a far larger response than anything about baseball.

Here's a recent picture of me at around 170 pounds with my dad on Father's Day, along with a picture of the two of us when I was 355 pounds:

Not exactly the most flattering photos, but you get the idea. I realize at this point many of you are likely sick of hearing about my ongoing weight loss effort, but for those of you who remain interested in the topic please let me know what types of additional content related to the weight loss you'd like to see. Articles about specific aspects of my process? Podcasts devoted to weight loss and dieting? Q&A sessions? Let me know, via the comments section or e-mail.

• Last reminder: This year's SABR convention is in Minneapolis next week. Come hang out.

Congrats to Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Marisa Miller. It was a helluva run.

• Suddenly the fact that he regularly throws 100 miles per hour is the least interesting thing about Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

• Imagining basketball stat-head LeBron James is pretty funny.

Geoff Schwartz, who signed with the Vikings in March, and Mitchell Schwartz, who was the Browns' second-round pick in April, are now the first Jewish brothers in the NFL since 1923.

• Do the Twins have a new long-term building block in Trevor Plouffe? I'm glad you asked.

• On a related note, all the cool kids at Target Field will wear this "Plouffe! There It Is!" shirt.

Padma Lakshmi covered in chocolate is a compelling advertisement for anything, always.

• Nationals manager Davey Johnson on Rays manager Joe Maddon: "I don't know him that well, but I thought he was a weird wuss anyway."

• Speaking of which: Throwback uniforms for a team that didn't exist yet? Sure, why not.

Jack White's appearance on Marc Maron's podcast was incredibly good.

• Friend of AG.com Bill Parker wrote an interesting article about the Twins' increasing efforts to engage fans via social media.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis shoots a basketball with Rick Barry's form and Shaquille O'Neal's accuracy:

And apparently she was so ashamed that she couldn't show her face for days.

• When he feels like playing tournament poker Phil Ivey is absolutely ridiculous.

• Compelling evidence that Mad Men is in fact a documentary, at least when it comes to dating.

January Jones as a redhead just inspires unflattering comparisons to Christina Hendricks.

• Baseball's leading thief had his wallet stolen at gunpoint.

Jim Rome took his television show from ESPN to CBS Sports Network and went from 442,000 daily viewers to 40,000 daily viewers. As always, no one is a bigger star than ESPN itself.

• Turner is reportedly in talks to buy Bleacher Report for $200 million.

• Because the story of Brien Taylor wasn't sad enough already, apparently.

• I try not to excessively plug my day job here, but I've written a dozen or more posts on Hardball Talk every day this week and I'd love it if every AG.com reader checked it out. If you like me and you like baseball, I promise you'll like it (and the rest of NBCSports.com too).

Chelsea Peretti is one of my favorite stand-up comedians, podcast guests, and Twitter follows, but she's no longer a writer on one of my favorite television shows.

• I was sad when TNT canceled the highly underrated Men of a Certain Age, but at least Ray Romano can have a guest role on an underrated show that didn't get canceled, Parenthood.

Esther Povitsky has gone from "Little Esther" the oddly lovable character in the powerful world of Joe Rogan's podcast to getting her own television show on MTV.

• I wrote way too many Twins notes yesterday.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the aforementioned Jack White and Ruby Amanfu performing "Love Interruption" on Saturday Night Live: