October 11, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• This week the New York Times' "fashion and style" section featured an article by Matt Haber about Minnesotans trying to date in Uptown. It was met mostly with derision, as locals felt it was cheesy and cliche-filled. And it definitely was, as the intro makes very clear:

As night-life emissaries go, one could do worse than Robert John Wayne, a 31-year-old artist here who happily told a recent visitor about everything from an indigenous delicacy called the Juicy Lucy (a burger with cheese baked into the patty) to what women want, something Mr. Wayne should know, seeing as how he's dating four of them.

"Nobody's exclusive," he said "That's what dating is." Mr. Wayne, who described his work as "graffiti realism," was at Mortimer's, a wood-paneled bar on Lyndale Avenue in the swath of Minneapolis known as Uptown.

However, as someone who started hanging out in Uptown recently I mostly found it amusing and made a joke about what a quote of mine would've looked like in the article. And then a few days later friend of AG.com Randball's Stu wrote a brilliant parody of the Times article starring local sports bloggers for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's site. I'd suggest reading the Times version first and then reading Stu's version, because it's a masterful spoof, but here's how it begins:

As night-life emissaries go, one could do better than Aaron Gleeman, a 30-year-old Minnetonka sports blogger who wearily told a recent visitor about everything from a baseball statistic called FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) to what women want, something Mr. Gleeman shouldn't know, seeing as how he recently asked one if he could live-tweet their date.

"It's an endless series of half-starts and missed opportunities," he said. "That's what dating is." Mr. Gleeman, who described his work as "sitting at my computer and writing about baseball as I wait for death's sweet embrace," was at Stella's, a multi-level bar in the swath of Minneapolis known as Uptown.

And then it just keeps building from there. As one of the main characters I'm biased, but it's one of the funniest things I've ever read and so perfectly matches the tone and structure of the New York Times version. My sincere hope is that for the rest of my life whenever anyone Googles me that article is the first result they see. Also, you should follow Stu on Twitter for more genius.

• Here's a non-parody response to the New York Times dating-in-Minnesota article that's also interesting. I'm definitely very guilty of No. 2 on her list and thought for a second she might be talking about me with the quote: "We had a really awesome date and then he bailed on the second date citing 'baseball' as the reason."

• So the Twins are hiring a "full-time data engineer" and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE COMMENTS.

• Going back to read the stuff about Christian Ponder from right after the Vikings drafted him is quite an experience.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked a ton about Ron Gardenhire, sung the praises of 612 Brew, and unknowingly had our picture taken from across the bar.

• I'm probably Hawk Harrelson's biggest/only fan in Minnesota, but Awful Announcing's lengthy compilation of the season's best "Sad Hawk" moments is undeniably magical:

Harrelson is the Vin Scully of freaking out on the air when things go against the White Sox.

• Speaking of which, Scully will record your outgoing voicemail message for $299 and the money goes to Autism charity. "Hello, this is Vin Scully. You’ve reached Aaron, but there’s zero chance he wants to talk to you, or anyone, on the phone. Seriously, just text him. But leave a message if you want to, I guess."

• Scully's radio call of Juan Uribe's series-winning homer was predictably lovable.

• No one ever listens to me about John Mayer, but maybe you'll listen to Molly Lambert and Tess Lynch.

• Seriously, are any of you even real?

• Twins Daily's annual "Offseason Handbook" is available for presale, so order now and you can get tons of great content featuring analysis of free agent and trade targets, payroll breakdowns, and organizational depth charts for just $4.95. Not only is it a worthwhile product for a very fair price, buying the "Offseason Handbook" also supports all the free content John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs churn out at Twins Daily all season.

• Hageman's year-end collection of Twins numbers has lots of interesting tidbits.

• I'm not on Tinder, in part because I have a Blackberry and in part because it sounds awful, but if I were on it I'd follow this guy's lead and exclusively talk to women in rap lyrics.

David Ortiz celebrating with Koji Uehara is not safe for work.

• America's highest-paid sportswriter.

• It might be time to re-think America's drug laws now that they're hurting our chubby comedians.

Aubrey Plaza behaved around Chris Bosh the same way I'd behave around Aubrey Plaza.

• In addition to being one half of my favorite podcast, Dave Shumka also writes funny stuff for CBC Music, like how WebMD would diagnose Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus based on their lyrics.

• Take two minutes and see why Jen Kirkman is great:

Related: My mom really liked that video.

Michael Rand is now shooting daily videos for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website and his latest captures the pure, unadulterated Dana Wessel Experience.

Gabe Vodicka of Flagpole wrote a really good article about Jason Isbell's success as a solo artist, struggles with substance abuse, and songwriting prowess. I'm going to see Isbell at the Varsity Theater in a couple weeks and couldn't be more excited about it.

• How much payroll space do the Twins have and will they actually spend it?

This exchange made me chuckle. Funny how fast it goes from strong opinion nationally to being nice locally.

• Also: Presented without comment, other than to say those all occurred within 24 hours.

Amy Poehler wrote about working at an ice cream parlor for The New Yorker.

Marc Maron's new stand-up comedy special "Thinky Pain" is now available on Netflix and I love that the first person you see and hear is Tom Scharpling giving a pep talk.

• I enjoyed Todd Barry's chat with Natasha Leggero.

• Does anyone in or around Green Bay have any leads on lodging for Packers-Vikings weekend next month? I'm thinking about driving there with a bunch of doofuses, but hotels are all booked up and we'd rather not make a trek from somewhere like Appleton. We're willing to get creative.

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

- "Professional baseball duos"
- "Aaron Gleeman hot wife"
- "What if I eat Green Giant steamers every night?"
- "Nick Punto head-first slide"
- "Influential conservative podcasts"
- "Aaron gettin fat"
- "0.25 pounds in one day is how many pounds in one year?"
- "Lori Loughlin socks"

• Finally, because I stumbled across this video and immediately fell in love with both the singer and her acoustic rendition of the Whitney Houston song this week's AG.com-approved music video is Possum Plow's cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody":


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November 19, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• I'll be on 1500-ESPN tonight, talking Twins with Doogie Wolfson starting at around 7:15. You can listen online here.

• Who knew 19-year-old girls from Apple Valley were so tech-savvy?

Fire(d) Joe Morgan.

• As someone who regularly eats $11 worth of food from Taco Bell, this amused me.

• I'm following A.J. Pierzynski's lead and not shaving for the entire month of "Movember."

• On a related note, I live in fear of this every day.

• Not a bad week for Ron Gardenhire, who won the Manager of the Year after five runner-up finishes and then signed a contract extension the next day.

• If you're good-looking and a female, Coco Crisp might pay you $40,000 to live with him.

• I'm not sure which is the more unlikely bit of Kris Humphries news, that he might be dating Kim Kardashian or that he's had two double-doubles in the past week.

• I already have an app for this. Her name is Judi.

• I can't think of a way to describe this properly, but I found it impossibly cool.

• It's slightly less funny after his big game Wednesday night, but this video made me laugh:

And if you're not already a fan of The Basketball Jones, you should be.

• At the end of the day, we're all Craig T. Nelson.

• In fairness, ESPN was only off by about $36.5 million.

• I'd be really worried about this, except luckily leaving the house, interacting with people, and dating are all required before fertility becomes an issue.

• My latest podcast discovery is "Never Not Funny" with Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap. They offer the first 20 minutes of each episode for free and after listening to a few of them I ponied up the $19.99 for a season's worth of the full-length versions. And then I liked those so much that I spent $19.99 on each of the previous six seasons. Seriously. I spent $140 on a podcast, that's how good it is.

• After years of annoying people about this topic, the world finally listened to me.

• Beyond the Boxscore crunched the numbers on how long pitchers take between pitches and the results are very interesting. I'd have pegged the Twins as one of the faster-working staffs, but it turns out they're basically average.

• Next time someone brings up Gold Glove awards as a viable measure of defensive ability feel free to tell them to shut up.

• On a related note, my writing finally made into the newspaper. Sort of.

• And to think, people have always accused the Spurs of being "boring" for a great team. Ha!

• Call me nuts, but if someone offers me $2.1 million, for just about anything, I'll take it.

• Linking to weirdos lip-synching isn't as fun now that celebrities are showing up in the videos:

Stick with it for a full minute or so, it's worth it.

Awful news for anyone who likes calm, reasoned talk radio. Shouting dumb stuff wins, again.

• NBC will mercifully start showing Parks and Recreation again, and with a whole bunch of other comedy surrounding it too.

• My favorite aspect of Twitter--aside from the ego boost involved in having "followers"--is that you really never know who's going to see and reply to your tweets. Within the past week I've gotten random replies from Peter Gammons, Mike Mayock's daughter, and the official Twitter page of the NBC show Community. Still waiting for one from Diora Baird, though.

• My old friends at The Hardball Times are beginning to ship their annual book and, as always, you should buy it.

• Remember the French-Asian fusion restaurant I reviewed a few months ago? They finally got a website and my review highlights the "press" page. It's kinda cute. And the food is nice, too.

• Speaking of local places where I eat stuff, a new "donuts and coffee bar" called YoYo Donuts opened near me and I've quickly become one of their best (and fattest) customers.

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

- Does the free agent compensation system overrate relievers?
- Royals acquired Vin Mazzaro for the stuff, not the stats
- Ramon Hernandez is kicking himself (or his agent) after seeing John Buck's contract
- Diamondbacks "listening" to offers for Justin Upton, but "need to be blown away"
- Neftali Feliz beats Austin Jackson for AL Rookie of the Year
- Vladimir Guerrero’s undeserved Silver Slugger award
- By giving White Sox chance to match any offer is Paul Konerko limiting interest?
- Rickie Weeks is "open to listening" about contract extension

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ben l'Oncle Soul doing an acoustic cover version of "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes: