January 25, 2013

Link-O-Rama

John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs from Twins Daily are hosting a get-together Saturday night at Hubert's across from the Metrodome. It starts at 6:00, which is when TwinsFest ends for the day, and I'm told there will be several rounds of free beer and prize giveaways. I'll be there, probably hanging out until they kick me out, and would love to see some AG.com readers and "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners there too.

Delmon Young's one-year contract with the Phillies includes a be-less-fat clause that basically would pay the 238-pound "outfielder" $600,000 for losing eight pounds. I've asked to renegotiate my contract with NBC to include the same clause, at which point they'd owe me $11.25 million.

• Another week, another missed connection for me.

• Seriously, how did I not make this list?

• As someone who never knows how to get anywhere and often previews the route via Google street view this was pretty great.

• This is definitely the first time in my life I've ever been referred to as "hot." Well, sort of.

• Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide" is now available online and in magazine form, featuring about 10,000 of my words.

Sammy Sosa talked to HardballTalk's automated Twitter feed.

• Like me, David Brauer of MinnPost dropped out of the University of Minnesota to become a full-time writer. Unlike me, the prospect of returning to school--three decades later in Brauer's case--apparently doesn't make him physically ill. This is how I imagined Brauer's first class:

And then presumably he'll join the diving team.

• My blog-mate and lifelong Cardinals fan Drew Silva wrote a touching tribute to Stan Musial.

• I've often talked here about the potential downsides to having "access" and Jeff Sonderman of Poynter put together some interesting notes on how that applied to the Manti Te'o story.

• I watched "Breaking Bad" when it first aired on AMC in 2008 and gave up after a few episodes because it seemed cheesy to me and none of the secondary characters were compelling. Since then basically everyone I know has fallen in love with the show, so I gave it a second chance and re-watched it from the beginning on Netflix instant. And it's amazing. I watched all 54 episodes in nine days and can't wait for the final eight episodes to air on AMC this summer.

I still think the first handful of episodes are mediocre at best, but I've never seen a show improve more dramatically and once it gets cooking "Breaking Bad" never lets up. From the second season forward nearly every new character introduced is compelling, including a few of the best regulars in recent television history, and the show's narrative and visual styles are fantastic. If you haven't yet, definitely check out "Breaking Bad" on Netflix or Amazon.

• And for everyone who's watched "Breaking Bad" already, you'll enjoy re-watching my favorite scene from the fourth season. Such a great quote/delivery.

• Speaking of great AMC shows, Pete Campbell apparently has sideburns now.

This beauty arrived in the mail yesterday as a late birthday present, which gives me an idea for a new weekly podcast segment and should come in handy tomorrow night at Hubert's.

• Speaking of the best characters in recent television history Robert Chew, who was excellent on "The Wire" as Proposition Joe, died at age 52. My favorite Prop Joe moment:

Compelling arguments from both sides, really.

• Friend of AG.com and Fan Graphs writer David Temple, with whom I've consumed many beers, started a new baseball podcast that's so professional sounding he's calling it a radio show.

• In addition to being a Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver was into sabermetrics before such a thing actually existed and the author of a must-read book.

• A couple weeks ago I noted that Bill Burr, Nick Offerman, and Tom Segura are all performing in Minnesota within the next two months and now John Mulaney can be added to the list of good stand-up comedians doing shows here soon. I'm thinking of going to all four.

Terry Gross' interview with Jimmy Kimmel was funny and touching and just great.

• Two of my longtime favorite writers/online buddies got new gigs, as Kevin Pelton goes from Basketball Prospectus to ESPN.com and Chris Wesseling goes from Rotoworld to NFL.com.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed whether the Twins can truly be done pursuing starting pitching and what happens when the person cutting your hair wants to talk about nothing but prostitutes killing their customers.

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

- "What if I forget what flavor my Lean Cuisine was for rewards?"
- "What does an 11 x 16 bedroom look like?"
- "Drew Butera girlfriend"
- "How long for pounds to show up?"
- "Older women who have lost 50 pounds"
- "Jon Rauch father"
- "Solomon Burke underrated"
- "Nicholas Batum languages spoken"
- "Gus Johnson millionaire"
- "Baseball sex blog"

Finally, in honor of Brauer going back to school this week's AG.com-approved music video is Chuck Berry with "School Days" from 1958:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Fresh Brewed Trivia at Granite City in Rosedale Center on Tuesday nights, where you can drink $3 tap beers and win prizes. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

December 14, 2012

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is super-sized and some of the stuff is a little dated because the Twins selfishly bumped the links in back-to-back weeks by making Thursday trades ...

Last month Joe Christensen and Phil Miller swapped Minneapolis Star Tribune beats, with Christensen moving to Gophers football and Miller taking over the Twins. And now the St. Paul Pioneer Press is changing their Twins coverage too, with John Shipley shifting to an unnamed beat and former "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Ben Goessling moving to the Vikings. It's a shame we never got to see Goessling cover the Twins full time, because he's great.

• NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports are partnering up, which has the potential to be huge in the online sports content world and means I'm no longer allowed to search for things via Google.

David Brauer of MinnPost put together a very cool project and I'm probably not just saying that because I rank 16th.

Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated wrote a lengthy, well-done profile of the NBA's leading stat-head, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.

• On a related note, stat-head/writer John Hollinger has been hired away from ESPN.com by the Memphis Grizzlies.

• This actually seems sort of brilliant to me, but then again ... nevermind.

• Thanks to everyone who listened to this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode. We set a record for most downloads in one day and may set a record for most overall downloads.

Hannibal Buress was incredibly funny three Saturday nights ago at Acme Comedy Company in downtown Minneapolis, doing an hour of great material that was totally different than his recent album. His opening act, Drew Michael, was very good too. I'd never been to Acme before, but it's a really nice club and we had a good time hanging out in the bar afterward. I'll definitely be back. And if you've never seen Buress, here's an example of his current stuff:

Despite being a huge stand-up comedy fan I hadn't seen much live, but last month I saw Buress, Amy Schumer, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, and Artie Lange. And now it's all I wanna do.

• Last month KFAN had the fourth-highest ratings of any sports radio station in the country.

• Wednesday night I talked Twins and various other topics for two hours over at TwinsDaily.com. If you missed it, you can read the lengthy transcript.

• It took me 19 days to read the extended, 1,152-page version of "The Stand" by Stephen King. I'm a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic and King has an amazing ability to bring that world to life while developing compelling characters across numerous storylines. Some of the supernatural stuff frustrated me because I was so into the people and places portrayed as relatively realistic, but "The Stand" definitely ranks as one of my all-time favorite books.

The time Louis C.K. met Luis Tiant.

• Not surprisingly, Rasheed Wallace is responsible for my favorite moment of the NBA season.

• It's been years since I left The Hardball Times, but the website I co-created back in 2004 is stronger than ever and they've partnered with Fan Graphs to publish this year's "The Hardball Times Baseball Annual." So many good writers, so much good analysis, so worth it.

• As someone who recently lost 150 pounds and will probably always struggle to keep the weight off I love reading other stories like this in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• It took 10 years, but I finally discovered the secret to generating blog traffic.

• I've played 40 seasons of "Hardball Dynasty" on WhatIfSports without ever really thinking to write about the experience, but Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs has been in my league for two weeks and he's already churning out some interesting articles about the game.

• Speaking of Cistulli, congratulations to him for being voted into the Baseball Writers Association of America. And congratulations to the authors of his inexplicably immense Wikipedia page for finally having some decent material.

• "Aaron" ranked just 65th on the list of most popular male baby names for 2012 and some of the top-ranked names make me preemptively sad about our future as a nation.

• My fellow longtime Howard Stern fans will be interested to discover what Dominic Barbara is up to these days.

• In preparation for John Bonnes' month-long Australian vacation he finally showed me how to actually record, edit, and upload the podcast and we also created a video demonstration:

A few weeks ago we also shot a "Cribs"-style tour of my house that I'd avoided linking.

• Just imagine Ron Gardenhire's reaction to this news.

Torii Hunter could use a hug.

• Plan your work, work your plan.

• After seeing this I feel like a piece of meat.

• I sent this link to my mom and she thanked me for it.

• Great moments in winter meetings baseball reporting.

• More great moments in winter meetings baseball reporting.

• Two weeks ago we recorded "Gleeman and The Geek" at New Bohemia Wurst and Bier Haus in downtown Minneapolis. I liked it a lot--great beer selection, good food, nice place--and the manager turned out to be a podcast listener, so check it out next time you're downtown.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" is always great, but their recent episode with guest Katie-Ellen Humphries was especially fantastic and a lot of what they talked about hit close to home.

• One of the few movies I saw in a theater this year, "The Queen of Versailles," is available on Netflix instant. Despite not being about the Twins' former MVP it's really, really good.

• Two-time "Gleeman and The Geek" guest and one half of the podcast's "official couple" Kate Agnew got some nice pub for her new gig with Girls In Tech Minneapolis-St. Paul.

• New blog to check out: A Bit Of Randomness by AG.com reader Casey Knollmaier.

Jerry Rodes is the band behind one of the two "Gleeman and The Geek" theme songs that we use each week and just released a new album that's available on iTunes. They're nice guys, good musicians, and podcast fans, so I'd love it if everyone checked the album out.

• Finally, in honor of their new album coming out this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Be Excellent" by Jerry Rodes:

This week's content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's new "Game Six" shirt, commemorating one of the most exciting moments in Minnesota sports history.

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