June 8, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• In fairness to new Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, who among us hasn't been arrested while in the drive-thru line at McDonald's?

• Craziest sentence I've read in a long time: "Police said that Carter then cut off pieces of his skin and intestines and threw them at officers." And the rest of the story is similarly insane.

• Nerds need to get their head out of a spreadsheet and watch a game read a dictionary.

• Up is down, black is white, and the Minnesota Twins are drafting power arms.

• Sure, going to 6,000 different Chinese restaurants is impressive, but what about me going to the same Chinese restaurant 6,000 different times?

• Renewing the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidacy of Kelly Brook is like riding a bike.

• My weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen involved some NBA chatter along with talk about the Twins' turnaround, what to make of Francisco Liriano, and how batting average on balls in play factors into analysis of hitters. You can listen to the entire appearance here.

Jeff Manship may not seem like a particularly tough name to spell, but facts say otherwise.

• My first thought after reading this story? Even that guy/chair had a live-in girlfriend.

Jamie Anne Royce's list of "things you should know before you date a writer" is funny/true.

• People: Still the worst.

• I'm willing to pitch in some of my salary if NBC makes a run at MLB broadcasting rights.

Jose Berrios, the high school pitcher from Puerto Rico drafted by the Twins with the 32nd pick they got as compensation for losing Michael Cuddyer, had a great reaction to the news:

 And that was before he looked up the slot signing bonus amount for his pick: $1.55 million.

• Rochester Century pitcher Mitch Brown was drafted 79th overall by the Indians after the Twins passed on the local right-hander at 32, 42, 63, and 72. Slot value for his pick: $640,000.

• Why did the Twins choose Byron Buxton over Mark Appel? I'm glad you asked.

• Some context for Buxton negotiations: No. 1 pick Carlos Correa has already signed for $4.8 million and No. 5 pick Kyle Zimmer signed for $3 million.

• This is like one of those "pick any three people to have dinner with" questions, come to life.

• Actually, in reading Maxim's oral history of The Wire it might be more interesting to see what they did after dinner. "We smoked a lot of good weed, did a lot of strip clubs. A lot of that."

• On a related note, Anthony Bourdain is leaving the Travel Channel for CNN, which seems like an odd fit but probably won't matter as long as he sticks with the No Reservations tone.

• Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is the new MC Skat Kat.

Terry Francona has ... well, let's just say remarkable self-esteem. And also a towel.

• I've been saying that Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija looks like the doll from the Saw movies, so a Twitter follow found proof.

• FX pairing Louis C.K. with Jim Jeffries is brilliant, assuming you like filthy, hilarious people.

Jamie Moyer quickly found a new home after being cut by the Rockies and the 49-year-old is now on the same team as J.C. Romero, Lew Ford, and Pat Neshek.

• The fastest man in baseball is on pace for 160 steals.

David Brauer of MinnPost reports that the St. Paul Pioneer Press "is offering buyouts across all departments" in what is another sad development for the local journalism scene.

• As someone who got good grades at the University of Minnesota despite frequently skipping classes, rarely doing any homework, and eventually dropping out this seems like old news.

Barry Zito is selling his $11.5 million house because he didn't like commuting to the ballpark.

Scott Aukerman, who runs the Earwolf podcast network and has a new television show on IFC that debuts tonight, got the New York Times profile treatment.

• We just passed 200,000 downloads for the Gleeman and The Geek podcast. To everyone who listens: Thank you so much ... and maybe leave an iTunes review?

Tiffany Simons is on vacation, so naturally I filled in on HBT Extra for yesterday and today.

• Within his interesting Trevor Plouffe analysis, Parker Hageman of Twins Daily suggests my weight as the new "Mendoza Line." Of course, even Mario Mendoza could hit above .175.

• According to Pew Research Center's study 15 percent of American adults with a computer use Twitter, which is nearly double the total from 18 months ago. I joined Twitter in mid-2009 and can't imagine life without it, as it's become essential for my job and time-wasting ability.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the studio version of "The Basement" off Eric Hutchinson's new album:

This week's blog content is sponsored by PickPointz, where you can make predictions, pick games, and win prizes for free. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

September 17, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• R.I.P., White Sox (April 5, 2010 - September 16, 2010)

• Her control and velocity weren't quite as good as the last time she threw out a first pitch, but Marisa Miller still looked great on the mound at AT&T Park.

• I'm willing to undersell any and all pay-to-follow Twitter offerings. I'll even toss in a Facebook friendship.

David Brown of Yahoo! Sports is one of my favorite interviewers and Vin Scully is the best announcer of all time, so when they get together for a chat I link to it.

• Believe it or not this is what an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate looks like after hours of makeup.

• Baseball has proven really difficult for the Royals, so they're giving another sport a try.

• I let my nerd flag fly and brought my laptop to the 1500-ESPN studio for the past two nights. Thanks to Darren Wolfson and Joe Schmit for having me on "Twins Wrap." It was lots of fun.

• My never-ending quest for new podcasts to devour recently led me to discover Jesse Thorn and his pair of great shows. One is a relatively formal, NPR-style interview series called "The Sound of Young America" and the other is a more laid back comedy show with co-host Jordan Morris called "Jordan, Jesse, Go!" Both are excellent podcasts, in large part because of Thorn's incredibly dry yet goofy sense of humor and easy going yet intelligent conversational style.

Plus, he's a big baseball fan and even interviewed Bill James on an episode of "The Sound of Young America." If you're into smart, lengthy interviews listen to Thorn's chats with Louis C.K., Nick Hornby, Adam Carolla, Martin Starr, and Paul Rust. And if you're into funny stuff, check out basically anything in the "Jordan, Jesse, Go!" archives. Thorn is great, Thorn and Morris are a great duo, and both podcasts have quickly become part of my daily listening routine.

• Friend of AG.com Jay Jaffe wrote a nice tribute on the 40th anniversary of my favorite book.

• If you see Kevin Mitchell on a golf course don't ask the former MVP if you can play through.

Torii Hunter is $5,000 poorer because Hideki Matsui hit a triple.

• My fellow Friday Night Lights fans will really enjoy Diablo Cody interviewing Kyle Chandler:

Coach Taylor couldn't possibly have been more charming.

• There are two extraordinarily promising 20-year-old rookie hitters in the National League this season. One is showing historic power and the other is showing historic on-base skills.

• I could definitely see paying a la cart prices for long-form writing online, but unfortunately I suspect I'm in the minority.

• Speaking of good long-form writing, Nicholas Dawidoff's profile of Rex Ryan in the New York Times is a must-read for anyone who enjoyed Hard Knocks on HBO.

• And speaking of the Jets, a female sports reporter told a story about why Orel Hershiser's good-guy reputation is deserved.

• Apparently sometimes "saddest" can be just a synonym for "greatest." After all, she's "up 22 percent in popularity this week."

• I blame Brooklyn Decker for this.

• My favorite television writer, Alan Sepinwall of HitFix.com, gave one-sentence reviews for all the new network shows this season and sadly not one of them struck me as particularly worth checking out. Thank god for the other 500 channels.

• I'm moving further and further down the list of the best writers in my family.

• NBCSports.com unveiled a re-design this week and it looks pretty sweet.

• I'm really hoping this becomes the new Rick-rolled.

• As if I needed any help getting fatter, a restaurant called Yo Yo Donuts just opened up about a block from my house. So far I've been too scared to even check it out, because obviously no good can come of this.

• I'm addicted to WhatIfSports.com's Hardball Dynasty game and my league has one franchise open with a new season set to begin next week. Hardball Dynasty is not fantasy baseball, but rather an incredibly detailed simulation of running a fictional MLB organization from rookie-ball to the majors, so due to the steep learning curve and time commitment required we're looking for an owner with previous Hardball Dynasty experience. If you're interested, let me know.

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

- Clayton Kershaw is 22 years old and really, really good
- Joe Morgan's opinion about the Cy Young debate is exactly what you'd expect
- Carlos Marmol has the highest strikeout rate in MLB history
- Mariners to fire professional scouting director over Josh Lueke controversy
- Manny Ramirez comes up empty as White Sox's playoff hopes slip away
- Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma said to be eyeing MLB
- Fredi Gonzalez turns down interview for Cubs' manager job
- After 10 seasons and 1,500 games Michael Young is finally playoff bound
- Livan Hernandez was a one-man gang in Atlanta

• Finally, in honor of the White Sox this week's AG.com-approved music video is "All Over Now" by Eric Hutchinson: