November 1, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Christian Ponder sure seems miserable, reenacting great movie scenes with his great-looking wife for Halloween. Poor guy.

• Here's my follow-up question: What kind of maniac carpets over a giant, hand-painted Monopoly board in the first place?

Maggie LaMaack of L'étoile Magazine interviewed me about Twitter addiction, over-sharing on the internet, my favorite people to follow, and my idea for a new kind of online dating. I'm always looking for any opportunity to talk about something other than baseball, so it was a fun chat. Also, you should follow LaMaack on Twitter because she's great even though we're currently feuding.

• As a wise man once said: "Double-check the quotes you get off the internet."

• I'm officially part of The One Percent.

• I went to a Jason Isbell concert at the Varsity Theater last Friday night and it was amazing. Best show I've ever seen and I can't imagine someone being better. So much talent and energy and passion (plus his wife, Amanda Shires, is an awesome, spectacular-looking fiddle player). I'm already looking forward to Isbell's return to Minnesota at First Avenue in February.

UPDATE: Success!

• I'm crushed by news that Tom Scharpling is ending "The Best Show On WFMU" after 13 years. It's been such a brilliant, unique listening experience and Scharpling is one of my heroes.

• Congrats to Colin Wyers, who's leaving Baseball Prospectus for a gig with the Houston Astros. I was sitting next to Wyers in Anaheim for Mike Trout's first career hit and I remember thinking at the time that two of the three people involved in this story will go on to big things.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed Paul Molitor joining the Twins' coaching staff and Terry Ryan's maddening quotes before welcoming special guest Randball's Stu for the final 30 minutes of pre-Isbell excitement (and confusion, for John Bonnes).

• Halloween costume baseball at San Diego State is fun:

Maybe the Twins should try wearing costumes next season. Can't be much worse.

• Like everyone else in life, Robert De Niro really just wants to be understood.

• Would it be weird if I brought this on dates? Just want to get it right, you know?

• I'm not sure that any of these "reasons you should love guys with beards" actually make much sense, but we can use all the help we can get.

• I'd laugh, but this could easily be me with the Twins some day.

• The bad news for Nate Burleson is that he crashed his car and broke his arm while trying to keep a pizza from sliding off the seat. The good news is that he's been offered a free year's supply of pizza. The worst news is that the pizza is DiGiorno.

• My mom sent me this link and said: "Your room is still available!"

• TwinsFest is switching from the Metrodome to Target Field, so the Twins are capping attendance among lots of other changes. We're still planning to host a Twins Daily/AG.com get-together.

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is the new Baseball Writers Association of America president.

• Video rental stores were a massive part of my childhood, but that window has closed.

• Why would a 25-year-old quit baseball after making his MLB debut?

• This is what I'll be doing everywhere I go throughout Movember.

• I'm totally useless in the kitchen, but this can't possibly be real can it? Obviously the music adds a whole new dimension.

• Probably going to ask Allison Williams to recap my podcast like this too:

Also, hopefully "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners realize that I am sparing you some details.

• What exactly do the Twins have in Brian Dozier?

Ron Swanson fans will love this.

Johnny Knoxville's chat with Marc Maron was lots of fun and led to me discovering through research (Wikipedia) that his real name is Philip Clapp.

• I retweeted this Sam Miller masterpiece during the ninth inning of every Red Sox playoff game.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is my favorite podcast and this week they had on their most consistently delightful guest in Alicia Tobin.

Amber Tamblyn and Todd Glass were an amazing guest combo on "Comedy Bang Bang" with Scott Aukerman.

• I listened to this whole thing just to hear them say my name.

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

- "Head size contest"
- "Cory Cove is a punk"
- "Who is Big Papi?"
- "Brett Favre shirtless"
- "Guide to sports podcasting"
- "Best shoes for men over 400 pounds"
- "How fat is he?"
- "Tom Scharpling vs. Howard Stern"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Link-O-Rama favorite Possum Plows doing an acoustic cover version of "Don't Kill My Vibe" by Kendrick Lamar:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Twins Daily's new "2014 Offseason Handbook" featuring everything you need to prepare for the Twins' winter moves for just $6.95. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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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July 6, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I was on KFAN today with Paul Allen and Paul Charchian, and it was probably the most fun I've ever had on the radio. We talked Twins and shower sex, obviously. Download it here.

Kevin Costner's little daughter in Field of Dreams played Louis C.K.'s girlfriend in the season premiere of Louie, blowing my mind in the process.

• Speaking of which, C.K.'s lengthy, unedited chat with Bill Simmons made a great podcast.

• I'm pretty sure this article is saying that picking Mila Kunis as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com makes me a great person women should be lining up to date.

Kris Humphries probably thought he'd never be on TMZ again once Kim Kardashian dumped him, but he was wrong. Congrats?

• No word yet on whether smoking this stuff will make you want to eat tasteless donuts.

• News that Brandon Roy is coming out of retirement to sign a two-year, $10 million deal with the Timberwolves makes this excellent eulogy of his career worth reading again.

• I've always felt guilty about having to step away from The Hardball Times after co-creating the site back in 2004, but this news makes me feel better about the future of THT.

• Vikings fans wondering how much to regret missing out on drafting Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III should read Evan Silva's detailed breakdown of Christian Ponder.

• If you haven't already, check out my star-studded, picture-filled, booze-drenched recap of the SABR convention in downtown Minneapolis.

• And here's a tidbit for anyone who already read the recap: Pizza Luce's general manager got in touch with me and he's a longtime AG.com reader. As always, the internet is amazing.

• I've enjoyed basically everything Aaron Sorkin has ever done, including HBO's new good but flawed show The Newsroom, but seeing his recycled dialogue all in one place is pretty jarring:

Of course, his recycled dialogue is livelier than most new dialogue, so I'll take it.

• People: Still the worst.

Mark Appel likely lost out on at least $2 million by the Astros and Twins passing on him in favor of Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton, and there isn't much Scott Boras can do about it.

• I know absolutely nothing about hockey, but Ben Goessling's detailed timeline of how the Wild snagged Zach Parise and Ryan Suter was still a very interesting read.

• I subscribe to 50 podcasts at this point, but two that have recently moved to the front of the line are Stop Podcasting Yourself with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka and Throwing Shade with Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi. I listen to both immediately when they come out each week.

• This might be the closest I'll ever come to having something I wrote in an actual newspaper, so my mom was pretty excited.

• Speaking of my mom being excited, she's now incredibly jealous of Jared Burton.

• It may not matter because the Twins stink, but everyone was right about Detroit's defense.

Jim Thome is back in the AL with the Orioles, who come to Target Field on July 16.

Jon Heyman, who regularly blocks critics and other writers on Twitter, didn't credit Buster Olney for breaking a story before him because Olney blocked him on Twitter.

• Two odd stories involving MLB play-by-play announcers, as Dave Barnett took an indefinite health leave from the Rangers and the Diamondbacks basically told Daron Sutton to go away.

• I'm obviously biased, but based on what NBC has done since taking over the Sunday Night Football franchise from ESPN it would be nice to see what they could do with MLB games again.

Cameron Maybin doesn't hit many homers, but he sure makes them count when he does.

• Finally, in honor of Roy and his bum knees giving it another go this week's AG.com-approved music video is "The Weary Kind" by Ryan Bingham:

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":