July 2, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Once upon a time Steve Carrell leaving The Office would have made me sad, but it's tough to get too worked up given how far the show has slipped recently. It was a good run.

Mariano Rivera is the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history and the New York Times has an amazing video breakdown that sheds some light on how he's been able to dominate for 15 years with basically one pitch.

• Despite being among the most brutal reviews of all time the Washington Post account actually increases my interest in a Courtney Love concert.

• Losing to the Twins wasn't even close to the worst part of Johan Santana's week. Setting aside everything else, my first question is what kind of maniac has sex and then immediately plays tennis?

• Starting next year the Mets will pay Bobby Bonilla a $1.2 million annual salary through 2035.

• While the TwinsCentric viewing party watched the Twins' ridiculous extra-inning win over the Phillies last week one of the televisions at Park Tavern showed an Amanda Bynes movie. We naturally spent the final few innings debating which movie it was, to the point that Seth Stohs missed Ryan Howard's game-ending strikeout because he was busy looking at her IMDB page on his phone. Less than 24 hours later Bynes retired from acting at age 24. Eerie, huh?

• Hopefully they'll also be able to trade him for Tom Gugliotta.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook spent the week modeling various bikinis while on vacation. Surely no further commentary is necessary.

• Video of the "100 Greatest Movie Insults" is almost as not-safe-for-work as it is fun to watch:

My favorite is "go home and get your shine box," but anything from Alex Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross and R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket is pretty great too.

Ron Artest celebrated an NBA title just like you'd expect Ron Artest to celebrate an NBA title.

• I'm apparently one of the few people who loved Louis C.K.'s first show that got canceled by HBO after one season, so it's no surprise that I also love his new show on FX. They're running back-to-back episodes every Tuesday night and I highly recommend watching assuming that you enjoy things that are really funny. And if you've never seen his amazing stand-up before, watch this recent set on Lopez Tonight. If you don't laugh, we can't be friends any more.

Party Down deserved far better than to be canceled after two seasons on STARZ, but it was such a good show and so overlooked that most of the actors got better gigs. Adam Scott will be a regular on Parks and Recreation and my crush on Lizzy Caplan will live on forever.

Freaks and Geeks is another show that deserved much better, but at least the Independent Film Channel will now be home to the old episodes nearly a decade after NBC sadly canceled the series after one amazing season. IFC also has Arrested Development re-runs.

• There's still time for the Twins to choose him over Joe Mauer.

• Some rare good news from the newspaper world: Let go by the St. Pioneer Press a year ago, friend of AG.com Phil Miller has been hired full time by the Minneapolis Star Tribune after doing a bunch of part-time work for them recently. I'm a little sad that Miller will be covering Gophers football after previously reporting on the Twins and Timberwolves, but his writing is so good it might actually get me to read about Tim Brewster and company. Maybe.

Conan O'Brien can feel good knowing that at least no one is watching Jay Leno.

• My weight-loss effort was a total failure last month and the fact that there's a donut shop opening soon about a block from my house isn't going to help.

• Next time you get frustrated by a Twins baserunning mistake, remember Ruben Rivera:

Jon Miller's play-by-play really takes the clip to a whole new level.

• Rather than make some lame joke about fumbling, I'll simply link to Adrian Peterson and his Playboy-posing fiancee.

• Having chatted with him about such things, let's just say that this drawing of Jon Heyman is not a self-portrait.

David Kahn has accomplished in two years what two decades filled mostly with losing could not, because between the draft and first couple days of free agency I'm giving serious thought to picking a new favorite NBA team. Any suggestions?

• This song randomly got stuck in my head last week despite not hearing it for 15 years, and I defy you to find a superior lyric: "Leave you kinda startled like the funk off a Frito / Make your man jealous while hoes cheese like Doritos."

• Based on this quote, I'd guess Ron Gardenhire reads Twins blogs, but not this Twins blog or any of the Twins blogs I read.

• A pair of Twins blogs Gardenhire and you should check out: OMG MN Twins and Knuckleballs.

• For whatever reason I was very late to the Drew Magary party, but he's quickly become one of my favorite writers because of absurd-yet-interesting things like this. As for the question on the table, I'd definitely take the over on 25,000.

• Friend of AG.com and awesome poker writer Paul McGuire has a new book called Lost Vegas that I can guarantee will be worth reading.

• I've been writing the "Daily Dose" column on Rotoworld each weekday since April 3, 2006, so it definitely feels weird to say that today's is my 515th and final column.

• On a related note, here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Can Ubaldo Jimenez be the first 30-game winner since 1968?
- Stephen Strasburg's teammates let him down again in loss
- The next 300-game winner? How about Jamie Moyer?
- Pat Burrell apparently left his bat back in the National League
- White Sox are winning, so rookie Dayan Viciedo isn't playing
- GM says Carlos Zambrano's contract wasn't a bad deal ... and he's right
- White Sox reportedly targeting Nationals slugger Adam Dunn

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Eddie Vedder joining Bruce Springsteen for a live version of "No Surrender":

March 26, 2010

Link-O-Rama

  • After more than seven years of using Blogger to run AG.com, last week's disaster-inspired switch to WordPress has gone pretty smoothly thanks to Than Tibbetts' hard work behind the scenes. Still a few kinks to work out, but I'm happy with how things are looking and the new setup should allow me to eventually do a lot more interesting stuff in terms of content presentation. Plus, now the RSS feed is actually fully functional.

    We're definitely still in overhaul mode and some stuff isn't quite right yet, but if anyone has suggestions for ways to improve the blog's layout, look, presentation, or basically anything aside from "write better" please let me know.
  • Sure, the actual games are nice and all, but my favorite part of this year's NCAA basketball tournament might be the Gus Johnson soundboard. "Rise and fire!"
  • Mila Kunis has not let her recent ascension to Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com go to her head and continuing to give 100 percent after receiving the greatest honor of her life provides an excellent example for Joe Mauer to follow after signing his $184 million contract.
  • Would any Lost fans not watch a buddy cop spin-off show featuring Sawyer and Miles?


    Actually, some sort of high school drama starring Ben Linus wouldn't be bad either.
  • I've likely spent several thousand dollars on lemon chicken from Leeann Chin, so the actual Leeann Chin dying at age 77 made me sad.
  • As someone in the midst of yet another weight-loss effort, this news got my attention: After tipping the scales at 340 pounds Jets coach Rex Ryan recently underwent surgery to shrink his stomach. I've actually thought about doing that, but am literally too lazy and clueless to go through the necessarily steps. So far, so good losing weight the old-fashioned way this time around, as I'm down 50 pounds since February 1.
  • One of my favorite stories this week is MLB.com beat writers Anthony DiComo and Jordan Bastian challenging each other to a half-mile race, which turned into a mini-event called the "Dot Com Dash" that raised some money for charity. You'd think the competition might have inspired me to challenge a fellow baseball writer to something, but even down 50 pounds I got winded just watching the video of their race.
  • Surprisingly, there's apparently a limit to how excited people are about the new ballpark.
  • UFC president Dana White recently shot a video blog while flying to Canada on a private jet and the star was former Rookie of the Year and Twins outfielder Marty Cordova, who forgot his passport because he didn't realize Toronto was in another country:


    I've spotted Cordova in White's videos before and they're apparently close enough friends that White feels free to goof on him non-stop for an entire flight.
  • It sounds like HBO is canceling Joe Buck Live, which technically ran for nine months but might be the shortest-lived talk show of all time with a grand total of three episodes. Joe Buck is the only person who could make Chevy Chase feel good about his hosting career.
  • Friend of AG.com and former KFAN staffer Phil Mackey officially joined KSTP-1500 as Patrick Reusse's sidekick this week. I was skeptical about the pairing, since they're about 40 years apart with an even bigger gap in preferred styles of baseball analysis, but after listening to the first show I think it could actually work. KSTP also hired Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette to run its soon-to-be-revamped website and he comes with a good rep.
  • I'm a huge fan of Scott Huff, Joe Stapleton, Jackie Bray, and the always entertaining "Two Jacks In The Hole" podcast, so check out the show's recently re-launched website for tons of good content.
  • My weekly podcast-listening routine includes the aforementioned Huff, Stapleton, and Bray trio along with Adam Carolla, Bill Simmons, Joe Rogan, Kevin Smith, Ricky Gervais, and of course Seth Stohs. Any recommendations for other podcasts that are worth trying?
  • Speaking of Carolla, there's a lengthy article about him in Fast Company magazine.
  • Here's what happens when two good, legitimately funny talk-show hosts discuss Jay Leno:


    Of course Leno still beats both of them in the ratings, which makes me sad about mankind.
  • If you have a fantasy draft over the weekend please check out Rotoworld's award-winning Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide, which has up-to-date rankings, projections, and write-ups for 1,000 players along with a couple dozen strategy columns and all kinds of other good stuff.
  • New blog to check out: That's Twins Baseball.
  • Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

    - What kind of damage can Heyward do as a 20-year-old rookie?
    - Mauer deal has other catchers licking their chops
    - Giants send struggling Bumgarner to Triple-A
    - Pujols has got milk and a sledgehammer
    - Dodgers surprisingly tab Padilla for Opening Day
    - Rays pick Davis over Sonnanstine as fifth starter
    - Comeback complete: Edmonds makes Brewers
    - Don't call it a setback: Bedard cancels bullpen session
    - Marcum gets Opening Day nod after sitting out 2009
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Eddie Vedder doing a live cover version of "My City Of Ruins" by Bruce Springsteen: