April 13, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• "Gleeman and The Geek" makes its radio debut on KFAN this Sunday afternoon at 4:00, so tune in to 100.3-FM or listen online at KFAN.com. We've never done a live show on the actual airwaves before, so the first one could be an adventure. One nice thing about doing the show in a studio at a radio station (as opposed to on an iPad at a bar like we did for the first 36 episodes) is that we'll be able to take live phone calls from listeners.

• My announcement earlier this week included most of the key details, but for more about the KFAN show and what it means for the podcast listen to the discussion at the beginning of this week's episode. Short version: It's good news, assuming you're not sick of listening to us.

Jeff Gray's early work for the Twins shows the absurdity of pitcher "wins."

Torii Hunter fought the wall at Target Field and the wall won.

• There's hard living and then there's playing multiple seasons for the Orioles.

• Jabar Gaffney of the Redskins made excellent use of Twitter and definitely won't regret it.

• Weirdly, my vacation pictures from the annual SABR convention have never looked like this.

• Speaking of which, happy 25th birthday to Brooklyn Decker.

• Minnesota native and terrible, confrontation-seeking umpire Bob Davidson finally gets the attention he deserves.

• New York reporters and columnists have been unsuccessfully predicting Mariano Rivera's demise for literally a decade.

• Almost everything about this article is great, but here's my favorite sentence: "Most of her clients are men, but she said anyone can hire her service."

• Some of the numbers for internet pornography usage are amazing, including the fact that one website gets more page views than ESPN.com and CNN.com combined and the industry as a whole accounts for more than one-fourth of all data transferred online.

• For some reason this picture of Alison Brie cracked me up.

Raul Ibanez has switched teams, leagues, and positions, but he remains every bit as hilarious to watch defensively.

Jason Marquis paid for his (temporary) Double-A teammates to have steak and lobster for their postgame spread while building up his arm strength in New Britain, which is the kind of thing a nice person with $50 million in career earnings would do.

• And thankfully it sounds like Marquis' daughter is doing much better after her accident.

• Remaking the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony video for "1st Of Tha Month" with pugs is genius:

I can't even imagine how long that took to choreograph and shoot, but hopefully everyone involved knows it was worth every second.

• For just $59 you can eat an eight-pound hamburger named after Stephen Strasburg that contains more calories than I typically eat in an entire week.

• Someone arrived at AG.com via Google search for the phrase "Aaron Gleeman fried rice."

Christian Laettner napping on a bus, because why not? He looks peaceful.

This is my favorite part of Mad Men so far this season.

• Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is the best, as always.

• I've never been able to understand the appeal of hanging out at a coffee shop all day, so this Minneapolis Star Tribune article by Peter Funk was very interesting.

• Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton looks just like Bruno Mars.

• Here's hoping the best announcer in baseball history gets well soon.

• It's good to know that Rachel Bilson is keeping herself ready for The O.C. reunion some day.

Ben Heller of Grantland took offense to something I wrote on Twitter about Orlando Cabrera nine months ago and his article includes praise of "magical things" and Cabrera's "aura" and Bert Blyleven's analysis. Very weird.

Jim Thome started a game at first base for the first time since June 13, 2007.

• Elbow surgery for Scott Baker likely means the end of his Twins career.

Jamie Moyer pitching at 49 is incredible, but check out what Satchel Paige did at 59.

• One of my favorite national writers, Joe Posnanski, is leaving Sports Illustrated for a new gig with USA Today and MLB Advanced Media.

• After watching Lena Dunham's quirky and very enjoyable movie, Tiny Furniture, on Netflix last year I'm excited to see her new show on HBO.

• My fellow Portlandia fans will enjoy Carrie Brownstein's appearance on Marc Maron's podcast and David Cross' appearance a few days later was really good too.

• Deep thought inspired by Twitter conversations: Parents should make sure kids know the importance of choosing their first concert. Mine was Tevin Campbell and Babyface opening for Boyz II Men, and now I'm stuck with it forever.

• This week's blog content is sponsored by GoBros, a locally owned family business offering quality outdoor gear and free shipping. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Radio Radio" by Elvis Costello:

March 30, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I'll be on 1500-ESPN radio tonight from 7-8 talking Twins and other stuff with Darren Wolfson, so tune in or listen online.

Carl Pavano was targeted in an extortion attempt by a high school classmate who claims to have had a relationship with the Twins pitcher and it gets even crazier from there.

• Who are the Twins' top five prospects? I'm glad you asked.

This conversation, in my mind: "Oh my god, you're so good looking!"

• I decided to buy The Hunger Games book before seeing the movie and it was so good that I read all 374 pages in one sitting. Being labeled a "young adult novel" obscures the fact that it's darker and has more violence than 99 percent of "adult novels."

• On a related note: People, still the worst.

Sarah Hyland seems like fun.

• For anyone interested in advertising on AG.com and supporting the site's free content, click here for the details of my new "sponsor of the week" program.

Stephon Marbury is a huge Sinead O'Connor fan, obviously.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode unwittingly started an odd Twitter feud between two groups of people, so you'll probably want to hear it.

• Never forget, Geraldo Rivera boxed Frank Stallone on Howard Stern's show in 1992:

Rivera got pummeled, which might explain a lot these days.

Michael K. Williams as Ol' Dirty Bastard? Oh, indeed.

• Minnesota native, former Gophers star, and JCC basketball legend Jack Hannahan is the Indians' new starting third baseman.

Joba Chamberlain's gruesome injury made me think back to fifth grade when a classmate got a trampoline and I went to her house about 15 times in a month ... and then never again. Fifth grade was weird, but at least my ankle stayed inside my skin.

Marion Barber was a rookie at 22, a Pro Bowler at 24, and is finished at 28. Being an NFL running back is scary, but I'll never forget that amazing Barber-Laurence Maroney backfield.

• There's actually one profession that ages someone more rapidly than NFL running back.

• I can't believe I never thought of this for my prom.

Joe Morgan liked Adidas before he disliked Moneyball.

• Not only did I lose 150 pounds in one year my cousin-in-law (which might not actually be a thing, but you know what I mean) has lost 110 pounds.

Carnie Wilson, on the other hand, tried to cheat the system and failed. So she did it again.

• Hall of Fame soul singer Bobby Womack has been diagnosed with colon cancer.

• Which one word best describes how Tim Tebow feels about being traded to the Jets?

Tebow and The Pointer Sisters have something in common.

• I was sad to see him go, but congrats to my longtime Rotoworld teammate Gregg Rosenthal for his new gig at NFL.com. Great writer, great guy, and hugely responsible for my career.

• As part of replacing Rosenthal one of my favorite writers from way back, Michael David Smith, is the new managing editor at ProFootballTalk.

Royce White declared for the NBA draft, so the Gophers only missed one really good season.

• I finally saw The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Another great David Fincher movie and, unlike most foreign remakes, an equal or perhaps even better version than the original. It also gave The Social Network opening breakup scene new meaning.

Josie Long was an exceptionally charming guest on "Stop Podcasting Yourself."

• One of my favorite podcasters, Marc Maron, will soon have his own television show.

• I've always had a phobia of talking on the phone, which is rough because it's needed to set up therapy for the phobia and also because it's really dumb. But after hearing from people on Twitter and reading this I'm surprised to learn it's relatively common. Brains are weird.

• If you watched the season premiere of Mad Men you should read this and then read this.

• Happy birthday to my grandpa, Mel Gallop, who recently turned 89 years old and celebrated by complaining about Drew Butera over lunch with me.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Womack's classic "Across 110th Street":

September 9, 2011

Link-O-Rama

Otis Redding is my favorite musician of all time and the amazing thing about the quality and depth of his work is that he died in a plane crash at age 26. His music is often the soundtrack to my writing and it never ceases to make me sad when I think about how many great songs we missed out on. Today would have been his 70th birthday and to celebrate I'll be listening to non-stop Otis. Whether you're a fellow fan or unfamiliar with him, give these songs a try:

- "I've Got Dreams to Remember"
- "That's How Strong My Love Is"
- "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay"
- "Hard To Handle"
- "Try A Little Tenderness"
- "The Happy Song"
- "Your One And Only Man"
- "My Girl"
- "Shake"

And once you're done listening to those, you're encouraged to shake it like a bowl of soup.

• This is why I need an agent.

• It takes some real skill to write an article for MLB.com that would more easily fit in The Onion.

Adele is the Donovan McNabb of female British soul singers.

• I've always avoided marrying Hank Aaron for specifically this reason. Lauren Lauren!

Gus Johnson finally gets a much-deserved bigger stage by going from CBS to FOX and one of his broadcast partners for NFL games is Tim Brewster.

• One question was missing from this interview: "Why does Aaron Gleeman sound like you?"

• As a Minnesotan I'm firmly on the "pop" side of the heated pop-versus-soda debate, but we can hopefully all agree to make fun of the people who call it "coke" regardless of the brand.

• If you're going to sit directly behind Brooklyn Decker at an Andy Roddick tennis match, this is basically the perfect shirt to wear.

• As a rookie Jerome Williams was too scared to correct any Giants coaches or players when they called him by the wrong name, so they thought he was "Jeremy" for two years. Seriously.

• I'm going to be on 1500-ESPN before the Twins-Tigers game Saturday afternoon, talking with Darren Wolfson from 1:30 to 2:30. Tune in, listen online, and/or give us a call.

Larry David's rules of society are pretty, pretty, pretty good:

Words to live by, especially if you're really into having fights with strangers.

Louis C.K.'s great tribute to George Carlin was equal parts hilarious and touching.

• It's good to see that Elisha Cuthbert has finally recovered from being stripped of the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title in 2006.

• I hated Jonathan Taylor Thomas because every girl in my elementary school loved him. And now I hate him because his 30th birthday makes me feel very old. Other than that, we're cool.

Alex Rodriguez is so cheap that he spent less than one year's salary on his new house.

Brock Lesnar's first fight in 14 months will be one of the biggest in UFC history.

• My cooking show again wasn't mentioned, but everything else sounds good to me.

• In back-to-back games the Twins' official lineup card--which is typed out and signed by Ron Gardenhire--listed Brian Dinkelman as "Dinkleman" and Liam Hendriks as "Hendricks."

Stephen Strasburg returned to the big leagues 12 months and three days after Tommy John elbow surgery and averaged 96.7 miles per hour with his fastball.

• I finally watched Source Code. It was a B-minus execution of an A-plus concept, but still pretty enjoyable. Seems like it kinda flew under the radar, but definitely worth renting.

• On a related note, there won't be a problem as long as he stays away from Aubrey Plaza.

• Fantasy football continues to take over the world.

• Thanks to Kirsten Brown of K-Bro's Baseball Blog for the new "Gleeman and The Geek" logo.

• And if you haven't listened to this week's podcast yet, click here. It was a fun/weird one.

• My latest weight-loss effort reached the sixth-month mark Wednesday and I'm very happy to report that I'm down 102 pounds. That sounds impressive and it was definitely hard work, but without question the biggest key to losing 102 pounds in six months is being really, really fat to begin with. I also still have lots more work to do, so anyone who sees me can't be blamed for thinking: "Wait, he still looks like this after losing 102 pounds?!"

Because of all that I'm always sort of embarrassed to talk about losing weight, but hopefully it serves as motivation for me to keep going and maybe even for other people to make a change as well. Certainly if I can do it, you can do it. I didn't have any surgeries or go on any extreme diets, so simply cutting way back on calorie intake and working out on an elliptical machine for a half-hour or so each day can have a significant impact. Now we'll see if I can avoid relapsing.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the King of Soul performing "You Left The Water Running":

April 8, 2011

Link-O-Rama

I'm bummed out about Tsuyoshi Nishioka, but the links must go on ...

• I've been trying to make the switch from sportswriter to pimp for years.

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian are still going strong and the former Gopher obviously has "The Kardashian Effect" to thank for becoming one of the NBA's most improved players.

Vin Scully is a big fan of the Honky Tonk Man. Greatness appreciates greatness, obviously.

Charlie Sheen's live show went about as well as should have been expected.

• Speaking of Sheen: Take a number, pal.

• Do all these people moving back into their parents' basements realize they're now obligated to become bloggers? Oddly, my mom threatens to move into my basement on a weekly basis.

• Whenever the level of discourse in the comments section gets me down I remind myself that about one percent of AG.com readers comment regularly. Apparently that's true for most blogs.

Mark Cuban was hanging out in the Hardball Talk comments section, which moves him ahead of Colby Rasmus' dad and Curt Flood's son as our most famous commenter.

• Today's technology would have ruined a bunch of Seinfeld episodes.

Wearing swimsuits remains her specialty, but Brooklyn Decker looks decent in clothes too.

Karl Pilkington is ratings gold.

• I wrote a lot of sentences this week, but this one was definitely my favorite: "Admittedly you can't invite Minka Kelly over to hang out in an earplug." Controversial, but true!

• I haven't danced since leaving the bar mitzvah circuit in 1996 and things have changed quite a bit since then based on Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton's impromptu "Dougie" lesson at a basketball game:

My specialty back in the mid-90s was awkward slow dances set to Boyz II Men songs.

• I'm dumbfounded how baseball "analysis" this mind-bogglingly bad gets into any mainstream publication, let alone the New York Times. It would have been a better fit on April 1.

• How long did the New York Times have an Elizabeth Taylor obituary ready to go before she actually died last month? Well, at the bottom of the piece was this footnote: "Mel Gussow, the principal writer of this article, died in 2005."

• Red Sox sideline reporter Heidi Watney narrowly avoided death by chicken and waffles.

• Here's a handy recap of my Twitter exchange with Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, who called me out (sort of) after hearing me talk Twins with Cathy Wurzer on Minnesota Public Radio.

• As my NBCSports.com colleague Craig Calcaterra notes, the Indians treat their bloggers far better than, say, the Twins.

• Friend of AG.com and local Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski is standing his ground in the face of a ridiculous lawsuit by NBA referee Bill Spooner.

• A former NBA referee tried to beat up Dominique Wilkins at a Hawks game in Atlanta. Based on the mugshot, he failed.

Gus Hansen might be even better at dating than he is at poker.

• My initial reaction after reading this sad story? Even that guy had a girlfriend.

Ken Rosenthal is the Brother Mouzone of baseball reporters.

• In addition to being the youngest champion in UFC history Jon Jones excels at apprehending thieves on the way to pre-fight waterfalls.

• I've never seen Brock Lesnar be more likable or interesting than in this interview with Ariel Helwani, who also switched gears for a hilarious MMA-driven chat with comedians Jim Norton and Robert Kelly.

Jose Canseco's twin brother Ozzie Canseco tried to impersonate him in a "celebrity boxing" match worth $10,000, but the tattoos gave him away.

• Not surprisingly, the best comedy on television has a great blooper reel:

In related news, my crush on Aubrey Plaza has grown even stronger.

• I can't blame HBO for canceling In Treatment given the lowly viewership numbers, but as one of the few people to see every episode from all three seasons of the Gabriel Byrne-led drama I'll definitely miss what was a truly unique, marvelously acted show.

• In much better television news AMC and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have worked out a deal to ensure the show will run at least two and possibly three more seasons, although the bad news is that new episodes won't begin again until 2012.

• One positive is that should give Jon Hamm plenty of time to shave, put on some socks, find a nice suit, and ditch the Cardinals hat for a little pomade.

• This could revolutionize television and movies or it could be nothing, but Netflix is getting into the content-creation business and their first partnership is with David Fincher.

Zach Galifianakis is creating a show starring one of the few comedians weirder than him.

• Not that this should surprise anyone who's seen her in Boardwalk Empire on HBO, but Paz de la Huerta seems like fun.

• Here's the fatal flaw of these never-ending Domino's commercials: Their new chicken is awful. I'm a fatso who ate chicken wings from Pizza Hut multiple times per week for months, yet even I'll never get it again. Also, what good is having a "rate our chicken" survey on the actual box? Are people supposed to fill it out and bring it back to the restaurant?

• I'm going to be honest about something embarrassing: As a kid I used to like the baked ziti.

• Friend of AG.com and Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Phil Miller got an "honorable mention" for best "game story" of 2010 from the Associated Press Sports Editors.

• Google discovery during the NCAA tournament: Marv Albert's real name is Marvin Aufrichtig and he'll be 70 years old in June.

• If the Timberwolves finally win the draft lottery, here's the guy they'll almost certainly pick.

• If you're into the NBA and interesting artwork, check out this site.

• Along with hosting my latest podcast obsession,Tom Scharpling had an interesting history as a basketball writer.

• My favorite podcast this week was Conan O'Brien's appearance on "WTF" with Marc Maron.

• Where do you stand on The Great Ketchup Debate of 2011?

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Steve Earle singing "I Feel Alright" live:

May 14, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• My favorite story of the week involves a 22-year-old who posed as a 16-year-old and led his high school basketball team to the state tournament. And as an added bonus, the high school is the one Friday Night Lights is based on. Amusing quote: "Everyone just thought he was a big guy. He played the part good, skipping down the hallways acting goofy like a 16-year-old."

Stephen Strasburg hurled six no-hit innings earlier this week in his second Triple-A start and his next outing comes against Wilson Ramos and the boys at Rochester.

Keith Hernandez had a busy week. First he took a nap while calling a game and then Bernie Carbo revealed that he tried to pay someone to break Hernandez's arms in 1985. Seriously. Imagine if Carbo's plan was successful, perhaps robbing the planet of "I'm Keith Hernandez." I'm sad just thinking about it.

• Spotting my name in Richard Deitsch's must-read "Media Power Rankings" column on SI.com made my week, especially since he backed up my reporting on the whole MLB/Twitter story.

• No fewer than a dozen of you perverts e-mailed me links to "Elisha Cuthbert in a bikini" this week, but ... well, even the best pitchers lose their fastball eventually.

• However, at least these pictures of Brooklyn Decker doing bikini-clad cartwheels on the set of some new Adam Sandler movie were there to cheer me up.

• Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer had an emergency appendectomy after diagnosing himself via iPhone at three in the morning, which would be a great story to tell if he wasn't out for 4-6 weeks now.

• Not satisfied with using the old "statheads living in basements" routine Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has heroically added "eating pudding" to the cliche.

• One of my favorite shows has added one of my favorite underrated actors in Adam Scott.

• And if you've never heard of Scott, here he is co-starring with Joe Mauer in a commercial:

Scott is the guy in the commercial who isn't the best player in baseball at his position.

• Speaking of casting decisions I approve of, NBC has a new show coming out starring Olivia Munn and The Waitress from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Apparently the casting meetings were held in my dreams.

• On top of everything else, Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis is a nerd too.

• Unfortunately for everyone involved, the Mariners are much better at sleeping during games and blackballing reporters than they are at playing baseball.

• Fat-O-Meter update: All the damage from briefly falling off the dieting wagon last week has been undone and I'm back to being down 64.0 pounds overall, which puts me dangerously close to merely "really fat." My new goal is to lose enough weight to actually fit into one of the outstanding "Thome Is My Homey" t-shirts that the TwinsCentric boys are selling. For those of you who aren't fatsos, I recommend buying one.

• Speaking of the TwinsCentric crew, they're throwing another get-together tomorrow at noon to watch the Twins-Yankees game at Majors Sports Cafe in Bloomington. I drove all the way to Blaine for the last one and didn't regret it, so I'll be there for sure. It's definitely worth going, if only to marvel at how fat someone can still be after losing 64.0 pounds (and also to hang out with Seth Stohs, John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman).

• My fellow Karl Pilkington fanatics should enjoy this.

• In the ongoing sports bloggers versus female comedians battle, angering A.J. Daulerio has not worked out well for Sarah Silverman.

• Sixteen months after KFAN fired him, Chad Hartman has been hired as the new mid-morning host on WCCO. As my MinnPost colleague David Brauer notes, Hartman will go head-to-head with Paul Allen, although I'm sure he'll talk non-sports more than sports.

• As a late addition to Link-O-Rama here's a Twins-Yankees series preview that I recorded this morning with Ted Berg for the New York sports channel SNY:

• Is it bad sign for my diet and chances of ever getting not-fat that instead of eating I'm now relegated to just browsing through pictures of food that looks good?

• Jets coach Rex Ryan has shed 40 pounds in two months thanks to gastric bypass surgery.

• For those of you not completely bored with all the diet talk, I'd love to get some suggestions for low-calorie meals that require zero cooking skill. I'm not looking for anything extraordinarily healthy beyond the low calorie count and I'm not looking for anything that takes much effort, just decent-tasting ideas that are somewhat filling and easy to make. After three months, I'm getting sick of oatmeal, deli meats, and Lean Cuisine.

• New blog to check out: Wet Socks.

• Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Royals fire Trey Hillman minutes after victory
- Andre Ethier is undisputed king of walk-off hits
- Carlos Zambrano will stay in the bullpen for now
- Bobby Jenks wants everyone to "chill out"
- Orioles sending slumping Nolan Reimold to Triple-A
- Juan Cruz has surgery after being cut by Royals
- Alex Rodriguez ties Frank Robinson for seventh on homer list

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The White Stripes doing a live version of "Seven Nation Army":