September 7, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Kevin Goldstein left Baseball Prospectus to become the Astros' pro scouting coordinator, which is all kinds of great even if it means he'll no longer be a power tweeter.

• For anyone curious, my blog-mate Craig Calcaterra described the inner workings of Hardball Talk and how our virtual office operates.

• It took nearly six years, but it's good to see that Elisha Cuthbert has finally gotten over being stripped of her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title in late 2006.

Ozzie Guillen returned to Twitter after saying "Twitter is stupid" and "everybody following me can [expletive] his pants" when he angrily quit in May. That's easily one of my favorite quotes ever and in thinking it over I'm not even certain which "expletive" he used.

• Apparently the Red Sox are counting on Bill James to help turn things around.

• Good times on KFAN with Paul Allen yesterday morning, as we talked Twins, football, dating, Stephen Strasburg, Bobby Valentine, and other random stuff. Click here to listen.

• As someone who deals with anxiety and various other weirdness, Grantland's documentary about Royce White gave me a totally different view of his personality and issues:

I'm now officially a Royce White fan.

Sarah Hyland seems nice.

Artie Lange, Dave Attell, Amy Schumer, and Jim Norton are coming together to Mystic Lake in November, which is basically a must-attend for any stand-up comedy fans.

Shane Spencer is still taking advantage of that big September for the Yankees in 1998.

Sad news about one of the original baseball bloggers. We lost a good one.

• I saw Lawless and it was about as good as a Shia LaBeouf movie can possibly be, which is to say C-plus. Also, it turns out Tom Hardy's actual voice when he's doing an American accent sounds not totally unlike his Bain voice. Oh, and Jessica Chastain seems nice.

• I also saw the classic movie Bullitt and liked it a lot, but don't quite get the fuss about Steve McQueen. On the other hand, Jacqueline Bisset circa 1968 ain't no joke. Mercy.

• It remains to be seen if Tony Levine can coach, but his saxophone skills aren't in doubt:

I'll be rooting for my old JCC basketball referee in his first full season at the University of Houston.

• Speaking of St. Paul and members of the tribe, oh the stories I could tell regarding this bit of news from my days growing up in Highland Park.

Nicole Richie's appearance on The Champs with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher totally changed my opinion of her and made me realize she's not just another Paris Hilton.

• Obviously this is what happens when I do live radio there twice in the same week.

• Netflix instant recommendation: I don't eat sushi or speak Japanese, but Jiro Dreams of Sushi was a very compelling documentary about work ethic, greatness, and routine.

• For some reason this makes me sadder than most divorces.

• On a related note, I love Parks and Recreation blooper reels even more than the actual show:

As usual Chris Pratt steals every scene even when he's screwing everything up.

• Speaking of which, if this kid isn't funny then genetics are useless.

• I ate at the original, downtown location during the SABR convention this summer and liked it a lot, so I'm glad to hear Ike's Food & Cocktails is opening a second place near me.

• After five months on the radio Gleeman and The Geek returned to its podcast-only roots, which meant no more commercial breaks and way more beer. And also Jacqueline Bisset.

• Back by popular demand, this week's most amusing, weird, and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Delmon Young fat"
- "Jon Taffer salary"
- "Terry Francona new girlfriend"
- "Aaron Gleeman elliptical"
- "Why isn't Michael Cuddyer playing?"
- "Joe Frazier sings to Robin Quivers"
- "Low angle shot Kim Kardashian"
- "Anthony Slama stuff"
- "How old is Roy Smalley?"
- "How does Fat-O-Meter work?"

• Finally, in honor of his daughter changing my perception of her through the magic of podcasting this week's AG.com-approved music video is "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie:

September 9, 2011

Link-O-Rama

Otis Redding is my favorite musician of all time and the amazing thing about the quality and depth of his work is that he died in a plane crash at age 26. His music is often the soundtrack to my writing and it never ceases to make me sad when I think about how many great songs we missed out on. Today would have been his 70th birthday and to celebrate I'll be listening to non-stop Otis. Whether you're a fellow fan or unfamiliar with him, give these songs a try:

- "I've Got Dreams to Remember"
- "That's How Strong My Love Is"
- "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay"
- "Hard To Handle"
- "Try A Little Tenderness"
- "The Happy Song"
- "Your One And Only Man"
- "My Girl"
- "Shake"

And once you're done listening to those, you're encouraged to shake it like a bowl of soup.

• This is why I need an agent.

• It takes some real skill to write an article for MLB.com that would more easily fit in The Onion.

Adele is the Donovan McNabb of female British soul singers.

• I've always avoided marrying Hank Aaron for specifically this reason. Lauren Lauren!

Gus Johnson finally gets a much-deserved bigger stage by going from CBS to FOX and one of his broadcast partners for NFL games is Tim Brewster.

• One question was missing from this interview: "Why does Aaron Gleeman sound like you?"

• As a Minnesotan I'm firmly on the "pop" side of the heated pop-versus-soda debate, but we can hopefully all agree to make fun of the people who call it "coke" regardless of the brand.

• If you're going to sit directly behind Brooklyn Decker at an Andy Roddick tennis match, this is basically the perfect shirt to wear.

• As a rookie Jerome Williams was too scared to correct any Giants coaches or players when they called him by the wrong name, so they thought he was "Jeremy" for two years. Seriously.

• I'm going to be on 1500-ESPN before the Twins-Tigers game Saturday afternoon, talking with Darren Wolfson from 1:30 to 2:30. Tune in, listen online, and/or give us a call.

Larry David's rules of society are pretty, pretty, pretty good:

Words to live by, especially if you're really into having fights with strangers.

Louis C.K.'s great tribute to George Carlin was equal parts hilarious and touching.

• It's good to see that Elisha Cuthbert has finally recovered from being stripped of the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title in 2006.

• I hated Jonathan Taylor Thomas because every girl in my elementary school loved him. And now I hate him because his 30th birthday makes me feel very old. Other than that, we're cool.

Alex Rodriguez is so cheap that he spent less than one year's salary on his new house.

Brock Lesnar's first fight in 14 months will be one of the biggest in UFC history.

• My cooking show again wasn't mentioned, but everything else sounds good to me.

• In back-to-back games the Twins' official lineup card--which is typed out and signed by Ron Gardenhire--listed Brian Dinkelman as "Dinkleman" and Liam Hendriks as "Hendricks."

Stephen Strasburg returned to the big leagues 12 months and three days after Tommy John elbow surgery and averaged 96.7 miles per hour with his fastball.

• I finally watched Source Code. It was a B-minus execution of an A-plus concept, but still pretty enjoyable. Seems like it kinda flew under the radar, but definitely worth renting.

• On a related note, there won't be a problem as long as he stays away from Aubrey Plaza.

• Fantasy football continues to take over the world.

• Thanks to Kirsten Brown of K-Bro's Baseball Blog for the new "Gleeman and The Geek" logo.

• And if you haven't listened to this week's podcast yet, click here. It was a fun/weird one.

• My latest weight-loss effort reached the sixth-month mark Wednesday and I'm very happy to report that I'm down 102 pounds. That sounds impressive and it was definitely hard work, but without question the biggest key to losing 102 pounds in six months is being really, really fat to begin with. I also still have lots more work to do, so anyone who sees me can't be blamed for thinking: "Wait, he still looks like this after losing 102 pounds?!"

Because of all that I'm always sort of embarrassed to talk about losing weight, but hopefully it serves as motivation for me to keep going and maybe even for other people to make a change as well. Certainly if I can do it, you can do it. I didn't have any surgeries or go on any extreme diets, so simply cutting way back on calorie intake and working out on an elliptical machine for a half-hour or so each day can have a significant impact. Now we'll see if I can avoid relapsing.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the King of Soul performing "You Left The Water Running":

April 29, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• I'm not a fan of the Vikings picking him 12th, but Christian Ponder's girlfriend seems nice.

• My mom sent me this link, for some reason.

• Rays outfielder Sam Fuld can be the leadoff hitter on the all-stathead team.

• Lots of people make fun of TSA agents, but based on this photo they're pretty smart.

• ESPN issued a press release with details about Bill Simmons' new website, GrantLand.com. Naming the site after early 1900s sportswriter Grantland Rice seems like an odd decision, but there's no doubt that Simmons has built an incredible staff of writers and editors that includes personal favorites Chuck Klosterman, Bill Barnwell, and Katie Baker. Big names like Malcolm Gladwell and Dave Eggers will also be on board when the site launches in June.

• GrantLand.com may or may not also add another personal favorite, Tommy Craggs.

• Among the candidates interviewing for the Houston Rockets' coaching gig are Kevin McHale, Dwane Casey, and Sam Cassell. Marlon Maxey, Gundars Vetra, Felton Spencer, and Gerald Glass were apparently unavailable.

• Once upon a time Tom (Anderson) was everyone's friend on MySpace. Now he's flipping real estate in Las Vegas. Let's see Aaron Sorkin write a great movie about that.

Tony La Russa's daughter, Bianca La Russa, is the newest Oakland Raiders cheerleader.

• Best wishes to my MinnPost colleague David Brauer as he takes a health-related break from covering the local media scene better than anyone else.

Matthew Leach of MLB.com did an excellent job blending reporting and analysis for his article about how the save statistic unfortunately controls managers' decision-making.

Charles Barkley is the new Andy Sipowicz:

Inside the NBA on TNT is good when they talk about basketball and great when they don't.

• Actors, doing actor-type stuff.

• I'm unclear if these are new pictures of former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Elisha Cuthbert or Maxim is just trotting out old shots because she has a new ABC show, but it doesn't matter.

• In case you were wondering, Charlie Manuel is not Ric Flair.

• SABR is drawing some big names for this year's convention in Los Angeles. I mostly just drink and shoot the shit with my old friends from Baseball Primer, but so many of my favorite writers will be in attendance this year that I may have to actually make some attempt at schmoozing.

Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a column about the Twins' many injuries that was so filled with cliched, rabble-rousing drivel it initially read like a parody. Sadly, he's for real.

• If you're a fan of stand-up comedy make sure to find a replay of Talking Funny on HBO, which featured Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld basically just discussing comedy and breaking each others' balls for an hour. I would have watched it for five hours.

• Podcast of the week: Adam Carolla spending 90 minutes with Joe Rogan and Brian Redban.

• According to a recent British movie rental company poll 30 percent of people lie about seeing The Godfather "to impress people." Of all the things to lie about, why pick something enjoyable that takes three hours? It's not like only a select group of people get to watch each movie.

• Netflix instant recommendations: Bronson, which is a C-plus film with an A-plus performance by Tom Hardy. Marwencol, which is an oddly fascinating documentary that defies description.

• I've kept advertising on AG.com to a minimum for 10 years and that won't change, but rather than always selling my limited ad space to ticket-brokers and the like I'm looking to partner up with someone advertising stuff that would be of interest to AG.com readers. I'm open to ideas beyond that, so to promote your product, service, local business, website, or whatever else to the thousands of people who visit this space every day please drop me an e-mail.

(To anyone vehemently against the notion of bloggers making a little money, my apologies.)

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

- Mat Latos has lost nine straight starts dating back to last year
- Derek Jeter leads MLB in ground-ball percentage, ranks 188th in slugging percentage
- Everyone else is injured, so Ryan Madson finally gets a shot to be Phillies' closer
- Rays bounce back from 1-8 start to climb above .500
- Astros announcer criticizes Lance Berkman in Houston return
- What fluke? Jose Bautista hitting .364 with AL-high eight homers
- Pittsburgh media already turning on first-year Pirates manager Clint Hurdle?
- Yankees sticking with Rafael Soriano in eighth-inning setup role despite 7.84 ERA
- Mariners plan to limit 22-year-old Michael Pineda's workload

• Finally, in honor of how the Twins are playing right now this week's AG.com-approved music video is Susan Tedeschi singing a live version of "Looking For Answers":

April 22, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Every cop's fantasy, starring Sofia Vergara.

• Humble bragging is sweeping the nation and the Wall Street Journal talked to the man behind the phenomenon, Harris Wittels, who once upon a time left a comment here. #humblebrag

• I'm not sure what took them so damn long, but better late than never: NFL Network will be replacing Matt Millen and Joe Theisman with Mike Mayock for their Thursday night games.

• Quote of the week: Royals manager Ned Yost on Billy Butler wanting to play first base: "I'd like to be an astronaut."

• This was the same excuse I used for skipping class in college, with the only difference being that no one on the entire campus knew who I was.

Elisha Cuthbert is back on television. I'm unlikely to watch the former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com's new show, but I am fully committed to looking at any screen caps posted online.

• Friend of AG.com Phil Mackey has been named "best sports talk radio host" in Minnesota by City Pages, which is remarkable considering he didn't have a full-time on-air spot until leaving 1130-KFAN for 1500-ESPN about 18 months ago and might be even better covering the Twins as a beat reporter than he is as the co-host of an afternoon show. Not bad for a stat-head.

• Stat-head setup man? Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard reads Fan Graphs.

• As a white, point guard-playing kid I owned his Sacramento Kings jersey and proudly wore it while attempting ill-advised but fancy passes, so this news makes me feel both sad and old.

David Carr of the New York Times wrote an interesting profile of Michael Klingensmith, who has helped turn the Minneapolis Star Tribune around since taking over as publisher in mid-2008. He's a native Minnesotan and "a serious Twins fan" who utilizes "statistical data to help guide product improvements." And under his watch the newspaper is one of the few in the country on an upswing. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Pioneer Press' website sadly remains nearly unusable.

• As someone who greatly prefers using Tweetdeck to the actual Twitter interface I'm worried about what may happen now that Twitter is in talks to buy Tweetdeck for "around $50 million."

• Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison has become one of my favorite players thanks to his great tweeting.

• Not that you can tell a ton from a 92-second clip, but HBO's upcoming new series Lucky looks pretty good and it's definitely star-studded.

Bonus points for using the World Series of Poker intro jingle.

• Thanks to a government crackdown the online poker world has basically been ruined, leaving tons of people out of work, taking away recreational enjoyment from part-timers like me, and even impacting television programming on numerous channels.

• Now that online poker is banned I feel the same about playing poker as I do about hosting a podcast. I'd really like to do both, but ultimately it takes a backseat to my even stronger desire not to leave the house or invite relative strangers over to my house. Helluva catch-22.

Buster Posey's sister can out-hit your sister.

• My mom's all-time favorite athlete is much better at pistol-whipping than he was at dieting.

• After six weeks of dieting I'm down 40 pounds, which sounds misleadingly great because of how much weight fatsos like me have to shed in the first place. I'm still fat enough that telling someone how much weight I've lost only leads to them thinking: "And you still look this bad?!" I've been counting every calorie and working out an elliptical machine every day, but once my calorie intake loosens up a bit this alcohol-to-calorie chart will be very helpful.

• Up until six weeks ago I was one of the leading donut consumers in the country, yet I had no idea that many (and perhaps even most) people spell it "doughnut." I also had no idea that a "free year's supply of donuts" could cost you $237.

Bill Simmons continues to build an excellent writing staff for his upcoming ESPN-funded site, hiring Bill Barnwell away from Football Outsiders.

Evangeline Lilly is either pregnant or there will soon be a disheveled yet still incredibly great looking blond woman with an Australian accent looking for her son again. Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that the kid's name should be Aaron.

• Following the latest veteran media member to write a really dumb thing about sports, David Matthews of The Good Men Project wonders how long before more of the higher-quality online writers land full-time gigs and how many of them will be forced to quit in search of non-writing jobs that actually pay the bills. I've been fortunate in that respect, but many good writers are not as lucky and having to live on income from AG.com would have forced me to quit long ago.

• After reading this news I'm thinking about suing myself for being paid almost no money from 10 years of blogging here. We'd probably settle out of court.

• Speaking of real life getting in the way of good blogging, Stick and Ball Guy has hung up the keyboard. I enjoyed SBG's community of bloggers and readers so much that it remains the only other blog on which I've ever regularly posted comments and I also enjoyed attending several in-person get-togethers with SBG and friends. He'll be missed, but the community has decided to go on without SBG by starting up a spinoff site that is definitely worth checking out.

• I was surprised to learn that an average of just 22,000 television sets were tuned into each Timberwolves game this season and even more shocked to find out that didn't even rank them among the NBA's least-watched teams.

• I'm not sure $105 million in added risk makes much sense for the Brewers, but Ryan Braun is now signed through 2020.

• I'm excited that Friday Night Lights is back for a final season, although the scene in the first episode where the new guy dribbles and shoots free throws like he's never played the sport before despite supposedly being a basketball star has me re-thinking my love for the first four seasons. It might even keep me from bidding on more than a dozen items in this auction.

Vanessa Hudgens either needs to get much fatter or hire a new public relations person.

• Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for allegedly stealing $60 in shirts from Macy's.

• When the Timberwolves fired Dwane Casey they were 20-20. They are 90-280 since then.

• I saw these guys do a presentation at last year's SABR convention. Very interesting stuff.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys doing "Heavy Soul" live:

May 14, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• My favorite story of the week involves a 22-year-old who posed as a 16-year-old and led his high school basketball team to the state tournament. And as an added bonus, the high school is the one Friday Night Lights is based on. Amusing quote: "Everyone just thought he was a big guy. He played the part good, skipping down the hallways acting goofy like a 16-year-old."

Stephen Strasburg hurled six no-hit innings earlier this week in his second Triple-A start and his next outing comes against Wilson Ramos and the boys at Rochester.

Keith Hernandez had a busy week. First he took a nap while calling a game and then Bernie Carbo revealed that he tried to pay someone to break Hernandez's arms in 1985. Seriously. Imagine if Carbo's plan was successful, perhaps robbing the planet of "I'm Keith Hernandez." I'm sad just thinking about it.

• Spotting my name in Richard Deitsch's must-read "Media Power Rankings" column on SI.com made my week, especially since he backed up my reporting on the whole MLB/Twitter story.

• No fewer than a dozen of you perverts e-mailed me links to "Elisha Cuthbert in a bikini" this week, but ... well, even the best pitchers lose their fastball eventually.

• However, at least these pictures of Brooklyn Decker doing bikini-clad cartwheels on the set of some new Adam Sandler movie were there to cheer me up.

• Padres right-hander Tim Stauffer had an emergency appendectomy after diagnosing himself via iPhone at three in the morning, which would be a great story to tell if he wasn't out for 4-6 weeks now.

• Not satisfied with using the old "statheads living in basements" routine Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe has heroically added "eating pudding" to the cliche.

• One of my favorite shows has added one of my favorite underrated actors in Adam Scott.

• And if you've never heard of Scott, here he is co-starring with Joe Mauer in a commercial:

Scott is the guy in the commercial who isn't the best player in baseball at his position.

• Speaking of casting decisions I approve of, NBC has a new show coming out starring Olivia Munn and The Waitress from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Apparently the casting meetings were held in my dreams.

• On top of everything else, Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis is a nerd too.

• Unfortunately for everyone involved, the Mariners are much better at sleeping during games and blackballing reporters than they are at playing baseball.

• Fat-O-Meter update: All the damage from briefly falling off the dieting wagon last week has been undone and I'm back to being down 64.0 pounds overall, which puts me dangerously close to merely "really fat." My new goal is to lose enough weight to actually fit into one of the outstanding "Thome Is My Homey" t-shirts that the TwinsCentric boys are selling. For those of you who aren't fatsos, I recommend buying one.

• Speaking of the TwinsCentric crew, they're throwing another get-together tomorrow at noon to watch the Twins-Yankees game at Majors Sports Cafe in Bloomington. I drove all the way to Blaine for the last one and didn't regret it, so I'll be there for sure. It's definitely worth going, if only to marvel at how fat someone can still be after losing 64.0 pounds (and also to hang out with Seth Stohs, John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman).

• My fellow Karl Pilkington fanatics should enjoy this.

• In the ongoing sports bloggers versus female comedians battle, angering A.J. Daulerio has not worked out well for Sarah Silverman.

• Sixteen months after KFAN fired him, Chad Hartman has been hired as the new mid-morning host on WCCO. As my MinnPost colleague David Brauer notes, Hartman will go head-to-head with Paul Allen, although I'm sure he'll talk non-sports more than sports.

• As a late addition to Link-O-Rama here's a Twins-Yankees series preview that I recorded this morning with Ted Berg for the New York sports channel SNY:

• Is it bad sign for my diet and chances of ever getting not-fat that instead of eating I'm now relegated to just browsing through pictures of food that looks good?

• Jets coach Rex Ryan has shed 40 pounds in two months thanks to gastric bypass surgery.

• For those of you not completely bored with all the diet talk, I'd love to get some suggestions for low-calorie meals that require zero cooking skill. I'm not looking for anything extraordinarily healthy beyond the low calorie count and I'm not looking for anything that takes much effort, just decent-tasting ideas that are somewhat filling and easy to make. After three months, I'm getting sick of oatmeal, deli meats, and Lean Cuisine.

• New blog to check out: Wet Socks.

• Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Royals fire Trey Hillman minutes after victory
- Andre Ethier is undisputed king of walk-off hits
- Carlos Zambrano will stay in the bullpen for now
- Bobby Jenks wants everyone to "chill out"
- Orioles sending slumping Nolan Reimold to Triple-A
- Juan Cruz has surgery after being cut by Royals
- Alex Rodriguez ties Frank Robinson for seventh on homer list

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The White Stripes doing a live version of "Seven Nation Army":

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