September 23, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Nunchucks would probably be pretty close to the top of my list of things not to give inmates.

• Life lesson: If you work on the new Charlie's Angels remake and "slap Minka Kelly across the rear end while holding a $100 bill" the producers will fire you. Presumably he reacted like this.

Glen Rice is pretty smooth: "It was all done in a respectful way, nothing hurried."

Rob Ryan and I apparently have similar taste, as the Cowboys defensive coordinator had a photo of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Diora Baird on his play chart last week.

• Thanks to Judd Zulgad and Joe Anderson for having me on their new 1500-ESPN radio show to talk baseball yesterday. You can listen to my half-hour appearance by clicking here.

Ozzie Guillen on marriage: "What attracted me to my wife is she's hot. She's also nice, she's a great mom, but that comes after she's hot."

Adele hopefully at least has some recording time set aside for when they break up again.

• Reminder: TwinsCentric is hosting a get-together tomorrow afternoon for the Twins-Indians game. I'll be there, along with John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman, and we'll be recording an episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" too. For details, click here.

• As a huge fan of The Wire it pains me to see Bodie Broadus doing lame commercials:

In fairness to Fedex, he was always pretty good at delivering packages.

• Not only is former Gophers wide receiver Eric Decker starting to put up some good numbers for the Broncos, he's apparently dating country music singer Jessie James.

• It turns out if you request a new meme people on the internet will actually make one for you.

• Between being played by Brad Pitt and getting kissed too many times by Angelina Jolie this Moneyball movie has really been rough on Billy Beane.

Moneyball, Pitt, and the equation for FIP are on the cover of Sports Illustrated. xFIP is jealous.

Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote a lengthy "where are they now?" feature about Chuck Knoblauch and his reclusive retirement.

• According to Esquire magazine 90 percent of great-looking women cook without pants on.

• My nomination for worst person ever goes to whomever stole the glasses off Ernie Harwell.

• This might be the lamest arrest in NBA history.

• I'm a sucker for outtakes, especially from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

Charlie Day's genius has never been more apparent.

Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson reportedly earned $72 million from their involvement with Full Tilt Poker, which is now accused of being "a global Ponzi scheme."

• Rookie hazing now extends to the bullpen bathroom.

• Based on this Portland Oregonian column David Kahn penned in 1989 about the Trailblazers' "poor, deluded men" I wonder what he'd write about the Timberwolves' current situation.

• It sounds like Patrick Reusse's son is a stat-head, which amuses me. Good column, too.

• Netflix streaming recommendation: Conan O'Brien is significantly funnier and more likeable in "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" than he's ever been on his talk show.

• Reading the glowing reviews of "Drive" makes me think I'm insane. I disliked it despite being a Ryan Gosling fan and the audience I saw it with laughed at most of the dramatic moments.

Christina Hendricks had a minor role in "Drive," but she was much better in this.

Eric Freeman of The A.V. Club wrote a guide to choosing the right entrance song for closers.

Gregg Rosenthal's kid is only one day old and already has her own post on ProFootballTalk.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Samson" by Regina Spektor:

June 24, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by the Minnesota salsa company Curt's Salsa, whose stuff I've enjoyed on several occasions and personally recommend ...

UPDATE: I'll have more later/Monday, but for now ... Justin Morneau is having neck surgery.

• Needless to say I've been doing it for comedic purposes too. Just not intentionally.

• My mom's favorite news of the week/month/year/decade/century.

Mary-Louise Parker in a uniform, playing baseball. That's all.

• The local media has been rough on Kevin Slowey, but at least he doesn't play in Atlanta.

• I've become a Bruce Springsteen fan relatively recently, but even before learning to really appreciate all the great music Clarence Clemons made I was always a fan of The Big Man for his heroic attempts to woo Robin Quivers. She missed out on the chance to be the sixth wife at his funeral.

Ryan Dunn also passed away this week, which made me really sad because I'd just watched (and enjoyed) the third Jackass movie and then made me really mad when I read the details of his death. Epic beard, funny guy, unfortunate end.

• Supermodel mom shows up to her kid's school looking like a supermodel, causing a blogger's head to explode.

• For the journalism school graduates out there: 1500-ESPN is looking to hire a beat reporter to cover Gophers sports for their website, which is a great opportunity.

• Last week I wondered why Idris Elba "isn't in everything, ever." This week he replaced Tom Cruise in a Guillermo del Toro-directed movie. Never doubt the power of Link-O-Rama.

• In the span of one year Harris Wittels has gone from leaving Link-O-Rama comments here to writing articles for Grantland. #humblebrag

• This ranks as Megan Fox's worst decision since getting all those tattoos.

• Speaking of bad decisions: Jamey Toney versus Ken Shamrock.

Sebastian Pruiti from NBA Playbook wrote an incredibly detailed Ricky Rubio scouting report that includes charts, video, and hardcore numbers. Must-read stuff, although I'm still skeptical and the incredible amount of hype is setting him up to disappoint early on.

• By far the highlight of Rubio's introductory press conference was Dana Wessel of 1500-ESPN reacting to Sid Hartman asking a question:

Someone really needs to start a blog devoted exclusively to pictures of other media members reacting to Hartman doing things. If nothing else I'd link to it every week.

• Does anyone know if David Kahn truly made Kurt Rambis write a report before firing him? If so, Rambis ought to add one final chapter and post that sucker online. Kahn isn't much of a general manager, but it takes some special talent to make people feel sorry for a coach who went 32-132. He made the right call picking Derrick Williams, at least.

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press displays the "Kahn is talking again" face.

Dwane Casey, who never should have been let go by the Timberwolves in the first place, is now the Raptors' new coach. Casey was 20-20 when the Timberwolves fired him--in the middle of a season, no less--and they've gone 90-280 since then.

Joe Morgan is getting his own radio show just in time to comment on the Moneyball movie.

Rashida Jones is making a strong push for Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com contender status.

• My latest podcast discovery is "Walking The Room" with Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt, which is as funny as two guys sitting in a room talking to each other while eating Tim Tams can possibly be and has quickly become a must-listen for me.

Good news for Mad Men fans, but that seems like an awful lot of money for the 1960s.

• In my mind, this whole mess started with Jim Riggleman asking Mike Rizzo: "Where do you see this relationship going?"

UPDATE: It looks like Riggleman rebounded well enough.

• It seems sort of crazy to me that there are rankings for the best 15-year-old baseball teams in Minnesota, but my uncle is excited because he's coached Hopkins to No. 6 on the same list that has the Scott Leuis-coached Plymouth/Wayzata team at No. 4 and the Anthony LaPanta-coached Totino Grace team at No. 10. If they crack the top five maybe I'll calculate everyone's Wins Above Replacement.

• I ate here twice this week with a total of 15 people and without exception they liked it.

• As someone who recently became slightly less fat, I enjoyed the "Put This On" episode about finding clothes that fit better.

• I'd quit my diet just to eat this ice cream.

• Will manager Ned Yost's friendship with Jeff Foxworthy offset the Royals' young talent?

• I talked Michael Cuddyer, pennant races, and All-Star picks with not one, but two Seidmans.

• I'm addicted to WhatIfSports.com's great Hardball Dynasty game and my league has a pair of franchises open with the new season set to begin next week. Hardball Dynasty is not fantasy baseball and in fact has nothing to do with fantasy baseball. It's much better. From rookie-ball to the majors it's an incredibly detailed simulation of running a fictional MLB organization, with fictional players and everything from the Rule 5 draft to international signings.

Due to the steep learning curve involved in the game and extensive time commitment required to master it we're looking first and foremost for owners with some previous Hardball Dynasty experience. Mostly, though, we're just looking for good owners and despite the sales pitch-like tone of this note I get absolutely nothing in return for someone signing up (except for a better league to enjoy, of course). If you're interested, let me know.

• Finally, in honor of Dunn this week's AG.com-approved music video is the theme song to the Jackass movies, "If You're Gonna Be Dumb" by Roger Alan Wade:

May 27, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• In a tale as old as time, dating Kim Kardashian got Kris Humphries his own photo spread in GQ magazine, so he gave her a $2 million ring and they're getting married. (He's now No. 2 on the married-to-a-Kardashian sister depth chart at power forward.)

Oscar De La Hoya can apparently confirm what Rick James always said.

David Cone, stat-head.

Tom Brady appears to be enjoying the NFL lockout. Maybe a little too much, even.

• As someone who grabbed chocolate milk in the cafeteria every day from kindergarten to high school this news gives me mixed feelings. On a related note, I've been fat since junior high.

Estella Warren sounds like a fun hang.

• Before he spent $200 million to be the new Mets minority owner David Einhorn finished 18th in the World Series of Poker main event and donated the entire $660,000 prize to charity.

• As a big Bill Withers fan who wishes he'd have kept churning out albums, his interview with The Onion is fascinating.

• After weighing the joy of motherhood versus her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title chances, longtime candidate Jenna Fischer made what can only be described as a questionable call.

• Prior to adopting the "Macho Man" persona and becoming one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time, Randy Savage was Randy Poffo and he played minor-league baseball.

• My first thought after reading this story? "Hey, that happened right next to the Taco Bell and White Castle that I go to." Luckily danger only makes fast food taste even better.

• I've seen enough people mocking "jorts" to know that jean shorts are a no-no and lately I've seen similar goofing on cargo shorts, which has me wondering exactly what type of shorts are acceptable for, say, a 28-year-old man to wear in the summer? I don't buy into the "no shorts are acceptable on men" theory, because I'm not prepared to sweat to death any time the sun comes out. Some of us require ventilation to survive in the outdoors.

Zach Galifianakis' recent appearance on Conan was predictably odd and amusing:

Speaking of Conan O'Brien, the comedian warming up the audience for his show is also one of the original podcasters and the Los Angeles Times ran a nice feature on Jimmy Pardo.

• Four words: The Cosby Sweater Project.

• My boss resigning was a pretty big story. I heard about it in the New York Times.

• ESPN and FOX teamed up to keep NBC away from college football.

• Call me crazy, but it sure seems like Maria Menounos might work out.

• Two of my favorite podcasters, Jesse Thorn and Marc Maron, have teamed up to bring "WTF with Marc Maron" to public radio in a trend we'll likely see more of as the medium evolves.

• My latest podcast discovery: "How Was Your Week" with Julie Klausner, which can probably best be described as delightful even though a scan of the archives shows that I've used that word just twice in 10 years of blogging. For starters, listen to the episode with Jen Kirkman.

David Kahn is as good at telling jokes as he is at general managing.

• Baseball writers might be going a little overboard quoting anonymous scouts.

• I should have spent more time learning about IPO and less time learning about OPS as a kid.

• Speaking of which, I'm now on LinkedIn even if I'm not sure why exactly.

Christina Hendricks, if you read this (she often skips non-Twins entries): I'm not deterred.

• The fatal flaw with this study? What about the men who're moody because they can't attract any women? Not me, of course. I'm asking for a friend.

Worst couple ever?

• One of my favorite writers, Michael David Smith, recently added editor at SB Nation Chicago to his list of gigs along with ProFootballTalk and MMAFighting.com.

• Speaking of Chicago, the "Bear Jew" is a factual nickname for Gabe Carimi.

• On a related note, a couple months ago I mentioned a documentary about Jews in baseball that was playing at a local film festival and now the movie is available on Netflix streaming.

• New blog to check out: Twins Fan From Afar.

• As you may have noticed on the sidebar the "AG.com Sponsor of the Week" program is set to begin next week. I'm happy to report that the response has been positive and early spots are filling up fast, so if you're interested in promoting a product, service, website, or local business while also supporting all the free content on this blog please check it out.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the aforementioned Bill Withers singing a live version of "Use Me":

July 23, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• I'm not quoted in the article, but my tip for avoiding burnout is to never wear pants at work.

• I haven't watched Survivor in years, but might have to start tuning in again just to see what happens to Jimmy Johnson's hair on the island.

• Not only did Anthony Slama throw a scoreless inning with two strikeouts in his long-awaited MLB debut, he did so while sporting a fantastic mustache/stirrup combination.

• This was a banner week for pictures of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis looking cute on the set of some movie she's filming. Incidentally, this is the exact look I imagine Kunis giving if ever told about the title she holds. I've seen the look before in girls. It's called "not amused."

• As fans at last night's Twins game learned, Orioles security is even worse than the Orioles.

• I'm sure going to jail is a pretty big wake-up call too, but when Robert Shapiro can no longer stomach being your lawyer it's probably time to reassess pretty much everything in your life.

• I took my quarterly trip to a movie theater to see Inception last weekend. It was right up my alley in every possible way, from the plot and cast to the basic concept of the entire film, yet I didn't quite love it. I loved the idea of the movie and movie-going experience, but merely really liked the actual movie. With that said, a week later I still haven't stopped thinking and talking about it. I'm giving serious thought to turning my Al Newman bobble-head doll into a "totem."

• I really enjoyed Inception director Christopher Nolan as a guest on Elvis Mitchell's podcast "The Treatment" and also checked out some of the other interviews in the extensive archive.

• Speaking of my tendency to learn about a podcast and then manically burn through its entire archive in days, my latest discovery is "WTF with Marc Maron." I'd heard Marc Maron do some stand-up comedy before and was aware of his stint as a radio host, but the podcast is great in a totally unexpected way. He does laid-back, long-form interviews with fellow comedians, with plenty of laughs mixed in with genuinely interesting conversations about all kinds of topics.

I've hand-picked episodes based on my interest in the guest, but they've all been so good I'm planning to devour the entire 92-show archive. My favorites so far are Maron's interviews with Chelsea Peretti, Dave Attell, Maria Bamford, Jim JefferiesJim Norton, Jen Kirkman, and Doug Stanhope. If you enjoy stand-up comedy, talk radio, and being a fly on the wall for some super-intimate conversations between interesting/weird people, it's basically a perfect show.

• Twins fans are never going to believe this, but umpire Phil Cuzzi screwed up another call.

• Why yes, someone did splice together Seinfeld clips into a trailer for an action/thriller movie:

Wayne Knight is definitely one of the most underrated villains in television history.

• I'm thrilled to say that, for the most part, local media members no longer write this brand of tripe about the Twins' bad players.

• Last month Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom received the coveted Red Smith Award for lifetime achievement from the Associated Press Sports Editors and took the opportunity to lecture his fellow journalists on the morality of their profession, at which point Jason Whitlock, Tommy Craggs, and Dave Kindred all lit into Albom, the APSE, and the newspaper business for ... well, read this particularly eviscerating rant from Whitlock if you don't already know.

• Rotoworld contributor Glenn Colton was featured in the Wall Street Journal, but I'm mostly jealous to learn that he played in a fantasy baseball league with professional poker player and "The Scoop" co-host Adam Schoenfeld.

• I'll happily take the publicity, but this seems like an odd list in that AG.com probably gets like one percent as much traffic as the other "mega traffic" blogs listed.

• Paramedics in Columbus, Ohio own "18 stretchers that can move patients up to 650 pounds" and "those stretchers cost about $5,000 each." But guess what? Now "the city is considering buying even stronger equipment" for "when paramedics have to move patients weighing more than 650 pounds." The kicker? According to this very sad article, that "generally happens twice a month." As a longtime fatso I'm thinking about moving to Columbus so I can feel svelte.

• I finally got around to buying my plane ticket for the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) convention in Atlanta in a couple weeks. If any AG.com readers are going, let me know so I can add you to the list of people who can be counted on to buy me a beer.

• Thanks in part to Twins games and in part to what can only be described as the Phil Mackey Effect, the most recent ratings are pretty much dead even between local sports radio stations KFAN-1130 and ESPN-1500.

• Speaking of Mackey, he and Patrick Reusse interviewed David Kahn and the Timberwolves' general manager blamed Michael Beasley's problems in Miami on his being a "kid who smoked too much marijuana" and called Chris Webber "kind of a schmuck" for their recent on-air chat. I'm not sure if Webber has responded or not, but "takes one to know one" would work.

• I'm amused that a strip club opening several blocks from Target Field qualifies as news worth arguing about, as if men who go to baseball games (and men who play in baseball games) are something other than the exact target audience for such an establishment or just seeing the exterior of an adult-only business among other adult-only businesses will ruin children forever.

• Finally, all my contacts made before being expelled from Hebrew school are paying off.

• New(ish) blog to check out: Designated Sitter.

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

- Indians rookie catcher Carlos Santana is really, really good
- Ouch! Carl Crawford is day-to-day with a "testicular contusion"
- Ken Macha complains to MLB about Brewers being plunked
- Rocco Baldelli stops coaching to begin comeback at Single-A
- Oliver Perez as a "lefty-on-lefty specialist" might actually work
- Stephen Strasburg will beat you and yell stuff at your fans
- Mets manager Jerry Manuel is back on the hot seat again
- Astros reportedly reluctant to trade starter Brett Myers
- Phillies and Twins interested in Ben Sheets, but will A's trade him?

• Finally, in honor of Inception this week's AG.com-approved music video is Fiona Apple singing a live version of "Sleep to Dream":

July 16, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Much like me, Chris Webber has had just about enough of David Kahn.

• Aw, cute. Nick Punto is trying to grow a Carl Pavano-like mustache.

John Sickels projected the career stats of Rick Vaughn from Major League, which is the type of thing I find endlessly amusing. Given that there's basically a website for everything at this point, someone really needs to create a Baseball-Reference.com-style setup dedicated to the careers of players from baseball movies. I'd sponsor Roger Dorn's page.

• I plugged my most recent blog entries into this website that promises to "analyze who you write like" and it spit out Stephen King. Naturally.

• I've always believed pretty girls in baseball hats was basically the perfect combination, until I saw supermodels in baseball uniforms. The game was nice and all, but this picture was clearly the highlight of the entire All-Star break.

• As if Louis C.K.'s new show on FX wasn't amazing enough already, in this week's episode he name-dropped Jamie Moyer in the middle of a sex scene.

Seth Stohs, John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman have partnered with bloggers from other teams to produce a massive, 160-page "Trade Deadline Primer" with player profiles, essays, prospect reports, trade scenarios, and all kinds of other good stuff. I got a look at the product at the latest TwinsCentric gathering and was impressed by the content and layout. They put tons of work into the project and made something very worthwhile, all for under $10.

• Which former Twin is among the best players never to make an All-Star team?

• I tried to sound extra smart for my appearance on Minnesota Public Radio earlier this week. Also, more people have contacted me after hearing my MPR interview than ever contacted me following an appearance on KFAN or KSTP or any other stations. I'm not sure how to explain it, other than maybe just the novelty factor? Anyway, give it a listen.

• My first (and probably last) restaurant review.

• I'm shocked that something like this has never happened involving A.J. Pierzynski.

• If you only watch one video of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh turning heel as the nWo, make it this one:

If you didn't laugh at that, you either didn't watch wrestling as a kid or you don't have a soul.

• Anyone still think the Heat will struggle to fill out the rest of the roster with solid players? I'll be shocked if they don't win 60-plus games in Year 1.

• This is what it looks like when Will Ferrell invades the workspace of an MLB.com writer.

• I'll assume Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven finished sixth.

• Just in case her stellar acting work on Modern Family wasn't enough to make you a big Sofia Vergara fan, there are also these pictures.

Dennis Green's son Jeremy Green lost his ESPN.com job following his recent arrest on drug and child pornography charges. Would it be in bad taste to make a "he is who we thought he was" joke?

Scott Boras comparing Prince Fielder to Mark Teixeira is more reasonable than you might think, but Fielder still looking an awful lot like he did in this picture is why many people have a hard time buying it.

• Poker player Ted Forrest was already in good shape at 188 pounds. Then someone bet him $2 million that he couldn't lose 50 pounds in two months. Now he weighs 138 pounds and has $2 million. The morale of the story is that all my repeatedly unsuccessful weight-loss attempts have lacked is someone willing to bet me a whole bunch of money. Well, that and willpower.

• Naming the five center fielders with 400 or more homers is a pretty good trivia question even if you get Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, and Duke Snider as "hints."

Joe Rogan talks mixed martial arts backstage at one of his comedy shows. Good stuff.

• Clearly my problem is that I don't tell enough lies. Or leave the house.

• Just in case you thought the people involved in the actual process put any kind of thought into anything All-Star related, they don't.

• I'm intrigued by this, mostly because Sports Illustrated and Turner Sports already produce so much quality content on their own, but "challenge ESPN.com" is often planned for and, aside from perhaps Yahoo! Sports, never accomplished.

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

- Justin Morneau likely bound for disabled list with concussion
- He's alive! Carlos Beltran finally returns from knee surgery
- Yunel Escobar may have "attitude problems" but he also has a good track record
- Angels stick with Scott Kazmir despite MLB-worst 6.92 ERA
- Edinson Volquez on the verge of return from elbow surgery
- Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce, together again at ESPYs
- Mariners promote last year's No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley to Triple-A
- Pedro Martinez won't be re-signing with the Phillies and may not pitch at all
- Royals promote 21-year-old stud prospect Mike Moustakas to Triple-A

• Finally, in honor of the Twins' current state this week's AG.com-approved music video is a live version of "Looking For Answers" by Susan Tedeschi: