October 4, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Before getting to the links, I just want to say thank you to everyone who stopped by AG.com, followed me on Twitter, came to various get-togethers, and listened to "Gleeman and The Geek" this season. Being a Twins fan hasn't been much fun lately and at times writing and talking about a third straight 95-loss team felt more draining than rewarding, but knowing there are so many other people out there who also can't bring themselves to look away helped me keep going.

This was my 12th season blogging about the Twins and fan morale has never been lower during that time, but if you can stand all the losing there are certainly plenty of interesting aspects of a rebuilding team. It'll be business as usual here this offseason, which means weekly podcasts, my annual Top 40 Twins Prospects series, lots of free agency analysis, next-day break downs of any moves that happen, and player-by-player outlooks. And lots of other stuff too. Thank you.

• My favorite sentence from this excellent New York Times article: "A recent six-month fling with a 90-year-old woman he met at synagogue did not work out." Happens to the best of us.

• Back when I was shopping for a house I remember really enjoying looking at all the real estate photos online, but this website allows you to enjoy them on another level.

• Here's my analysis of the Twins bringing back Ron Gardenhire and his entire coaching staff.

• Incidentally, regardless of your opinion about Gardenhire re-signing his sunglasses placement and overall style during the press conference were amazing.

• Nothing has ever given more hope to the hopeless than 15-year-old George Clooney.

• For this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we tried something new by recording from the Target Field stands during one of the final games of the season and the results were interesting.

• For those of us in mourning after the "Breaking Bad" finale there's always the Latin American version starring Walter Blanco. There's a trailer and everything:

Can't wait to see what they do with the Todd character.

Francisco Liriano had a fun Tuesday night. And a few dozen internet friends who got together to watch him beat the Reds had fun too. I even dug this out of the closet for the occasion.

• If you want to read all about Liriano's big night, Jenn Menendez of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette put together a nice quote-filled story on deadline.

• Five years later, Chuck Mindenhall of MMAFighting.com wrote a lengthy article about the night everything came crashing down around Kimbo Slice.

• This is more or less how I watch sporting events at home, but he's taken things to another level.

• "Gleeman and The Geek" regular Kate Agnew was featured in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies might hire a stat-head to do ... something.

• There has since been backtracking, but that doesn't change the grossness of #playyousissies.

• SABR announced that next year's convention in Houston will be held from July 30 to August 3, which is less than ideal for me because it's during the trade deadline and will be 1,000 degrees.

David Temple and Than Tibbetts are the only tuba players I know/am willing to associate with, so this is how I choose to imagine their day-to-day lives:

Temple says I'm not the first person to make that joke, but that's just the sign of a great joke.

• We'll be recording the next "Gleeman and The Geek" episode Saturday at 612 Brew's (totally free) Octoberfest event. Beer, food trucks, live music, and at least one podcast. Should be fun.

• Living legend Carson Cistulli chatted with my hero Rob Neyer, so how I could I not listen?

• Twins social media guru Keith Beise, who got guilted into inviting me to the Deckstravaganza event last month, did an interesting interview about his job.

• Last week Keith Moyer was kind enough to invite me to chat with his sports journalism class and one of the students, Mike Potter, has a Gopher sports podcast that you should check out.

• I highly recommend checking out Nightingale restaurant/bar on Lyndale Avenue in Uptown. I've been there twice now and loved the vibe and crowd both times. They also have maybe my favorite bartender of all time, so look for the guy stumping people with hardcore baseball trivia. And the Minneapolis Star Tribune just said they have one of the Twin Cities' best hamburgers.

• I sat a few seats over from Corey Koskie at Target Field last week, which reminded me that he's one of the most underrated players in Twins history.

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

- "Aaron Glee"
- "Can you safely carry a child at 245 pounds?"
- "How will the Twins look next year?"
- "Bill Smith tough decisions"
- "Rob Dibble's ex-wife"
- "Michael Keaton married again"
- "Will elliptical give me my six-pack back?"
- "Aaron Gleeman on Tinder"

• Finally, in honor of the Twins' season mercifully coming to an end this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Love Is A Losing Game" by Amy Winehouse:


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February 22, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• This is just a fantastic picture of Ron Gardenhire.

Ricky Rubio and Kenneth Faried are the cutest.

The Onion, being perfect on the subject of television show binging.

• My fellow "Pulp Fiction"-obsessed Quentin Tarantino fans will absolutely love this lengthy Vanity Fair article by Mark Seal.

Joe Posnanski made his NBCSports.com debut today, with lots more to come, and I'm pretty damn excited to call him a co-worker.

Vance Worley started dating his fiancee when she asked him out via Twitter.

Baseball America's annual top 100 prospects list includes six Twins: Miguel Sano (9), Byron Buxton (10), Oswaldo Arcia (41), Alex Meyer (59), Kyle Gibson (68), Aaron Hicks (72).

• This innovation is so up my alley that I pulled some strings to make sure Anthony Jeselnik actually sees mad scientist Carson Cistulli's creation.

• Not only will the Tigers probably win the AL Central again, Detroit finished first in this too.

• Friend of AG.com and Fan Graphs writer David Temple hosts an NPR-style baseball podcast called "Stealing Home" and I was a guest this week, along with Jonah Keri of Grantland.

• My mom e-mailed me this link and wrote "Link-O-Rama idea!"

• I'm starting to feel a real kinship with Delmon Young.

• My iTunes has been playing non-stop Frank Ocean all week, so this is good news.

• One way to tell that we drank beer during this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode is that I discussed Ocean writing "Swim Good" about Liam Hendriks.

• I'm fairly convinced that the woman in this video is my soul mate:

And the outtakes are even better. Addy, seriously, I'll move to Seattle.

• Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was a guest on "The Nerdist" podcast with Chris Hardwick.

• Vikings owner Zygi Wilf invaded my Netflix.

• This is great news about Justin Timberlake, because Craig Calcaterra is covering spring training in Arizona and we could use the extra help on HardballTalk that week.

• I had an amusing interaction this week with a FedEx delivery guy after I answered the door:

Him: "You must work from home."

Me: "Yep."

Him: "Doing what?"

Me: "Writer."

Him: "Thought maybe meth or something cool."

Not quite, although I've always considered myself the Jesse Pinkman of baseball bloggers.

• Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa shaves his beard exactly like I do, which is to say infrequently, lazily, and with something meant to give haircuts.

• I'm currently going through "House of Cards" withdrawal, but this is basically what my inner-monologue looks like at all times.

• I'm sort of hoping that "leading Kate Mara enthusiast Aaron Gleeman" sticks as my nickname.

• Just in case you weren't already convinced of Rickey Henderson's awesomeness.

• You'll never believe this, but no one wanted to watch Pete Rose's horrible reality show.

• Revenge, frog-style.

I was on #TeamFrog from the beginning.

• My favorite NBA writer interviewed one of my favorite NBA players and it was great.

• Two of the greats, AG.com favorite Chelsea Peretti and "Parks and Recreation" actor Adam Scott, teamed up for podcasting gold.

• Thanks to the recent return of my insomnia I had time to catch up on well-regarded movies that I should have seen in the theater. I liked "Argo" a lot and maybe this is just the result of raised expectations, but it fell well short of great. Definitely worth watching just to see Ben Affleck pull off the beard look that I'm always striving for and a supporting cast that includes Walter White, Coach Taylor, Floyd Gondolli, The Smoke Monster, and Lucas from "Empire Records."

• I'm not much of a James Bond fan in general and haven't seen Daniel Craig's first two cracks at the role, but I enjoyed "Skyfall" well enough. Craig plays slick-but-weathered very well and I'm always a huge Javier Bardem fan, but the car chases and shootouts just do nothing for me. I'd watch a movie that was just close-ups of Craig and Zooey Deschanel staring at each other for 96 minutes, though.

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was underwhelming, especially considering how many people I tend to trust about such things loved it. Mae Whitman is always great and Emma Watson might be the heir to Halle Berry's "looks spectacular with short hair" throne, but I thought it was a little too cute for its own good overall.

• Between the hotel room scene and the airplane scene "Flight" started amazing well, but after that not even Denzel Washington could carry it beyond mediocre when Kelly Reilly or John Goodman weren't involved.

• Actually, the best (or at least most compelling) movies I watched this week were documentaries. "Like Water" about Anderson Silva is a must-watch for any mixed martial arts fans despite his questionable taste in restaurants. "The Bitter Buddha" about Eddie Pepitone was hilarious and touching with lots of fun cameos from stand-up comedians. Oscar winner "Undefeated" is so good that it had me pretty close to tearing up over a football team.

Paul F. Tompkins joining Graham Clark and Dave Shumka on this week's "Stop Podcasting Yourself" episode is a perfect example of why it's probably my favorite podcast.

• New blog to check out: The Kid's Take.

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

- "Pictures of 153-pound kids"
- "Marney Gellner age"
- "Does Delmon Young look like Jay-Z?"
- "What to buy with 150 pounds"
- "Anna Kendrick baseball"
- "Gary Gaetti religion"
- "Why did my scale go up after eating turkey?"
- "Troy Aikman hands"
- "Hunan chicken bad for stomach"
- "Danny Valencia naked"
- "Pornstar looks like Zooey Deschanel"
- "Nick Punto speaks Italian"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved song is the aforementioned "Swim Good" by Frank Ocean:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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.