March 9, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Before getting to the good stuff, I want to thank everyone who read my post about losing 150 pounds in one year. Not only is it already the most-read post in this blog's decade-long history, the number of e-mails and tweets and links and comments that I received were overwhelming. Losing the weight felt amazing, writing about the experience made it feel even better, and the response might be the most rewarding part of the whole thing. Thank you.

• I'll have a full write-up Monday, but the Twins gave Glen Perkins a three-year, $10.3 million extension that buys out his first two and possibly first three seasons of free agency.

• Behold, the greatest restaurant review in newspaper history. Grand Forks must be amazing.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis is on the cover of Harper's Bazaar this month, with an interview and accompanying photo shoot.

Kris Humphries' sister, Kaela Humphries, recently signed a contract with Ford Models' plus-size division.

• Speaking of athletes' sisters, Holley Mangold is a 5-foot-8, 374-pound weight-lifter who made the Olympic team.

Bunk Moreland is "just a humble motherf***er with a big-ass d***" and a grocery store.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra is covering spring training and wrote an interesting piece about the downside of writers gaining access to the people they write about.

Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love on the cover of Slam magazine hits a little too close to home for someone who used to have the old version taped to his bedroom wall.

• My lifelong dream of working with Beyonce is finally a reality.

Lenny Dykstra, who's three months younger than the still-pitching Jamie Moyer, was sentenced to three years in prison.

• Imagine paying someone to write this. And then imagine him being your doctor.

• Honestly, this lasted much longer than I expected.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded in front of an audience and includes John Bonnes singing (or at least "singing") and Nick Nelson reciting poetry.

• At this point Louis C.K. is everyone's favorite comedian and Todd Barry is also one of my favorite comedians, and for some reason this video cracked me up:

"You're not good at it."

• Congratulations to friend of AG.com and "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Lindsay Guentzel for beating out 22,000 other applicants for a spot in the MLB Fan Cave.

• Scientific evidence that we should all be afraid of gingers.

• This is interesting, but don't go getting any bright ideas.

Jon Hamm didn't play baseball with Roger Clemens at the University of Texas, but he did used to post comments on Deadspin.

• Speaking of Deadspin, they grabbed the "Best Shape Of His Life" baton from HardballTalk and ran with it.

Next thing you know Ice Cube will try to tell us that Santa Claus doesn't exist.

• The only thing minor-league baseball players love more than eating Chipotle is tweeting about eating Chipotle.

• More importantly: Did he set the record or not?

CC Sabathia must eat a ton of food at home, because otherwise if this is true he'd be shedding weight like crazy.

• Somehow this new sport still seems slightly less dangerous than football.

Elisabeth Moss on ex-husband Fred Armison: "He's so great doing impersonations, but the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person." Ouch.

• And to think, I was genuinely excited that my new car had a CD player.

Jose Canseco can't even do a proper Kenny Powers impression.

• SABR's website posted a bunch of information about the annual convention coming to Minnesota this summer, including the logo.

• Someone paid $8,100 for a Chicken McNugget that doesn't look like George Washington.

Don Mincher, who played a big part in Twins history, died at age 73.

Dan Duquette is not buying what Jon Heyman is selling.

UPDATE: Sometime between yesterday and this morning Heyman blocked me on Twitter.

• My favorite part of Grantland is NBA analyst Sebastian Pruiti breaking down plays.

• My latest podcast discovery, "You Had To Be There" with Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer, got a nice write-up in New York Times Magazine.

• Netflix streaming recommendation: Elevate, which is a documentary about teenage basketball players in Senegal trying to secure college scholarships in the United States.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Jay-Z sampling Bobby Bland's classic "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" for his own "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)":

February 24, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• There was some big news in the Twins blogosphere this week, as John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman launched a new site called TwinsDaily.com that combines their four blogs into one mega-blog and offers a platform for other writers to find an audience. I'm not involved with the site, but it's a great project and I'd encourage everyone to go hang out there (after you're done reading everything here, of course). Check out TwinsDaily.com.

• In which Craig Calcaterra reveals our private conversations and says Ronald Belisario bought drugs from my mother.

Raquel Welch has to be the best-looking 71-year-old person ever, right?

• Seems like Elijah Dukes misunderstood the whole concept of edibles.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis is beautiful and talented.

• Two great tastes that taste great together: Tom Scharpling and Marc Maron teamed up for a fantastic podcast that was about five hours too short.

• Twins beat writers aren't afraid to show plenty of leg at spring training.

• Sometimes perception and reality are a perfect match.

Nobody puts Niese-y in a corner.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was taped at Smalley's 87 Club in downtown Minneapolis, which closed up shop literally a day later. And if you've listened to the episode, that probably seems fitting.

Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, and the Wolves sing (sort of) "Tearin Up My Heart" by NSYNC:

If you can make it to the end Nikola Pekovic steals the show, as usual.

Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland broke down some video for a very detailed, interesting analysis of Love's low-post game.

"Googly oogly oogly baby!"

David Price taped a commercial with Kate Upton, but his Rays teammate Evan Longoria is dating an actual Playboy playmate, Jaime Edmondson.

• Speaking of the Rays, this is the first ballpark giveaway guaranteed to cause nightmares.

• Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Novak in the same photo.

Bob Wickman's sexiness did not come naturally.

• Hell hath no fury like a baseball writer scorned.

• Friend of AG.com and Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Phil Miller was named one of the top 10 beat reporters in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

Daniel Von Bargen, the actor who brilliantly played George Costanza's boss on Seinfeld and was also good in the highly underrated movie Super Troopers, attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head.

• As if Louis C.K. writing and producing a sitcom for CBS wasn't confusing enough, apparently Ashley Tisdale has been cast as the star.

• One of my favorite shows, Community, is coming back on the air next month after a long layoff and threat of cancellation.

• Fear not: Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kate Beckinsale is still great looking.

• I hope Greg Oden can find some happiness after basketball, because otherwise life isn't fair.

• And speaking of Oden's latest setback, Joel Przybilla is back in the NBA.

• Congrats to former "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Lindsay Guentzel for making the MLB Fan Cave's final 30 candidates. She's now headed to Arizona for spring training.

• Bonnes and I are planning a get-together for March 5 to watch the Twins-Red Sox spring training game on television. We'll have all the details next week on the podcast and our blogs, but in the meantime mark your calendar and start preparing your liver.

• Finally, in honor of Dukes' latest brush with the law this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Young, Wild, and Free" by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa:

January 13, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• By virtue of her contribution to Jay-Z's new song his week-old daughter Blue Ivy Carter has already experienced more success than 99 percent of musicians ever will.

• One bad thing about being George Clooney is that he has to make such difficult tradeoffs.

Alex Rodriguez definitely has a type.

Rob McElhenney gained 50 pounds for the latest season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, so naturally now he's interested in the lives of bloggers.

• This would be like arresting me for writing about the Twins or looking at Mila Kunis pictures.

Donovan McNabb finally found a place where his bounce passes are a positive thing.

• If anyone knows Katy Perry, tell her I'm willing to overlook this whole thing.

Bud Selig makes $22 million per year. That's all.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra had some interesting thoughts about guys like us joining the Baseball Writers Association of America.

• This week's podcast is a mailbag episode, so thanks to everyone who submitted questions.

• Last month I opined that Glen Perkins is one of the few athletes worth following on Twitter, as evidenced by this picture of him dressed up as Bear Bryant for the Alabama-LSU game:

And clearly he wasn't kidding about hoping Ricky Rubio popularizes the neck beard locally.

• Apparently my diet has had a profound impact on the world.

• Good news if you like good television: Community is coming back to NBC, for a while at least.

Russell Wilson was the Rockies' fourth-round draft pick in 2010 and played 93 games in the low minors as an infielder, but the Wisconsin quarterback told them he's sticking with football.

• I rented Blue Valentine about six months ago and then watched it again last weekend ... four times. Luckily the free Showtime preview on DirecTV came to an end, because I couldn't stop.

• I also learned that Showtime has some pretty good shows and has definitely closed the gap on HBO. And now I'm confused about why Emmy Rossum isn't a huge star.

• Seven years ago I wrote this article touting Barry Larkin for the Hall of Fame.

Johan Santana is 16 months removed from left shoulder surgery and still not sure when he'll rejoin the Mets' rotation. He's owed $55 million for the next two seasons.

• Earlier this week the "F" key on my laptop stopped working and it's still giving me problems, but rather than getting it fixed I'm thinking about adopting this approach to writing.

• Very few one-person podcasts are any good--which is why I partnered up with John Bonnes for "Gleeman and the Geek"--but Bill Burr's solo show "Monday Morning Podcast" is hilarious.

• Two of my favorite comedians, Tom Segura and Todd Glass, will be at Acme Comedy Club on back-to-back weeks. Instead of talking someone into driving me or figuring out how not to be so clueless getting places and buying a new car I'm thinking of just moving next to the club.

Evan Drellich of MLB.com penned a fitting tribute to Society for American Baseball Research member and all-around nice guy Greg Spira, who died last month at age 44.

• This year's SABR convention is coming to Minnesota from June 27 to July 3 and I've gotten a lot of questions from locals curious about joining, so click here for details about what it entails.

• Finally, in honor of me binging on Blue Valentine this week's AG.com-approved music video is "You and Me" by Penny and The Quarters:

December 30, 2011

Link-O-Rama

Boof Bonser is back with San Francisco on a minor-league contract, so Giants fans are surely just fine with that trade now.

• As always, corrections are a very important part of journalism.

John Biggs of the New York Times did an interesting article about who owns Twitter accounts and their followers, which is something Judd Zulgad had to deal with locally when he switched from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to 1500-ESPN.

Glen Perkins is one of the few professional athletes worth following on Twitter, and not just because he shares my desire for Ricky Rubio to make neck beards acceptable in Minnesota.

• On a related note Britt Robson has a nice article at SI.com analyzing Rubio's first two games.

• As part of an ongoing series of posts about transitioning from lawyer to baseball writer Craig Calcaterra explained how I ruined his life.

Scott Raab of Esquire has a pretty accurate take on why writers write.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook's annual calendar is out.

• If you stick around until (or fast forward to) the end of this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode you can hear my dieting advice, which is a lot like Drew Butera sharing his hitting tips.

• Even if the lockout soured you on the NBA this welcome back video from TNT was amazing:

Kevin Love makes an appearance fighting for a rebound with Jerry Lucas.

April Ludgate highlights are the best highlights.

Keith Law, who left Baseball Prospectus to take a job in the Blue Jays' front office a decade ago, may soon be leaving ESPN.com to take a job in the Astros' front office. That could put an end to his Twitter account, but hopefully they'd at least let him keep reviewing Top Chef.

• My favorite football announcer, Mike Mayock, got some much-deserved national praise from Sports Illustrated media critic Richard Deitsch.

• Maria Menounos' football career continues.

• Sadly, this is a fitting end to a spectacularly awful year in Minnesota sports.

• Earlier this week I fell asleep with my laptop on and woke up to find this page on the screen, which is extra weird/nerdy when you consider I haven't played the game in at least 10 years.

• I'll still be working from bed in Minnesota, but Elizabeth Kim of the Stamford Advocate penned a lengthy article about the new 300,000-square foot NBC Sports offices in Connecticut.

• It's painful for me to see Michael Jordan with his new wife after eating "Juanita's macaroni and cheese" at his restaurant in Chicago about 20 years ago. It was good, too.

John Legend's taste is apparently even better than his voice.

Don Cherry's hockey analysis and flamboyant suits are well known, but he has another skill:

Imagine how much more work would get done around the world if everyone had a piano desk.

Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post wrote an intriguing column examining the prominent role marijuana plays in professional sports.

• Congrats to one of my favorite baseball writers, Matthew Leach, for his MLB.com promotion from Cardinals beat reporter to national columnist.

• Podcast recommendation: "Your Mom's House" with Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitsky.

• I didn't know Greg Spira well, but got a chance to see him each year at the SABR convention and he was a great guy despite getting a raw deal health-wise. He'll definitely be missed.

• For anyone curious about what Hanukkah cookie-making looks like, here's a blurry picture.

• My beloved Hardball Dynasty league on WhatIfSports.com starts a new season next week. If you're interested in joining, click here for more details.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Billy Bragg singing a live, solo version of "A New England" from 1985:

September 16, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by the Minnesota law firm Snyder Gislason Frasier LLC, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your legal needs ...

• I'd like to have seen the FBI agent's face when this case landed on his desk.

• Three words: Amish beard mugshots. And the reason for their arrests is funny too.

• It looks like Pablo Sandoval found all the weight I lost. And last night he hit for the cycle.

• Congrats to Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman for being exactly as cool as my mother.

• More importantly: How does Rob Pelinka fit into all of this?

• Hardball Talk "fan fiction" is kind of freaking me out, although at least Craig Calcaterra and Tiffany Simons appear to be the focus.

• I attended an advance screening of Moneyball and wrote a review of the movie, which comes out on September 23 and stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane. We also spent the first 20 minutes of this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" podcast discussing the film immediately after seeing it.

• On a related note: It seems like there's a pretty decent chance Pitt and Angelina Jolie have had a conversation about Wins Above Replacement. Talk about fan fiction.

• Breaking news: Male sex symbol from 2010s sort of resembles male sex symbol from 1990s.

• What does a 19-year-old guy ask for from Make-A-Wish? Christina Hendricks, of course.

• Former big leaguer Curtis Leskanic got really, really, really drunk and drove around with his 5-year-old daughter before passing out at the wheel.

• Sadly, this weird story didn't get the "woman dies of hot beef injection" headline it deserved.

• I think we should all pool our money together and buy Ted Williams' MVP award.

• This cinematic history of "shut up" is pretty great:

In the interest of accuracy, many of them have two other words between the "shut" and "up."

Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon, together again.

• It turns out Mariano Rivera doesn't even like Metallica or "Enter Sandman" and the Yankees only picked it for him because they wanted to copy Trevor Hoffman's entrance in San Diego.

Robb Quinlan's eight-year career in the big leagues ended last season, so he's headed back to the University of Minnesota as a volunteer hitting instructor for the Gophers. If nothing else, Quinlan should be able to teach the hitters how to mash lefties.

• It sounds as though Rick Adelman thinks about as much of general manager David Kahn as Timberwolves fans do. My prediction: Adelman outlasts Kahn in Minnesota.

• It wasn't the most uplifting movie, but I recommend Down to the Bone on Netflix instant. Vera Farmiga plays an excellent drug addict and is still less depressing than the Twins' season.

• Congrats to Tom Pelissero for taking over the 6-8 pm show on 1500-ESPN. Competition has turned this into a great era for local sports radio.

• Next year's Society for American Baseball Research convention is in Minnesota and yesterday SABR announced the dates: June 27 to July 1. I'll definitely be there, because I haven't missed a convention since going to my first one way back in 2004, and I'm hoping a bunch of AG.com readers and my fellow Twins bloggers will check it out. If you like baseball, drinking, poker, and shooting the shit it isn't to be missed. More later, obviously, but for now save the date.

• Speaking of which: "He was one of the most laid back characters I've ever met" is maybe the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me. And the part about beer is right too.

Anthony Bourdain was a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast earlier this week and was every bit as great as expected, talking food and fame and drugs and tons of other interesting stuff.

• Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez's father is a Los Angeles Times copy editor and wrote a fun article about attending his son's big-league debut last week.

John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman have planned a TwinsCentric get-together for September 24 (which is next Saturday) at Manitou Station in White Bear Lake. Not the most convenient location, but there's a Twins-Indians doubleheader that day and their meetups are always a good time, so I'll be making the trek and we'll likely record an episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" there while everyone hangs out. For more details, click here.

• Finally, in honor of the 15th anniversary of his death in 1996 this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Changes" by Tupac Shakur:

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