June 21, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Three weeks ago I started re-watching "The Sopranos" and became obsessed with the show all over again a decade later, posting screen shots and comments on Twitter. It's amazing how well the show holds up and in particular James Gandolfini's performance is even more powerful and captivating now, which is why his death at age 51 seems so damn unfair. Rarely has there been such a perfect marriage between a great part and a great actor.

• As a struggling 26-year-old actor Gandolfini was featured in a New York Times story from May 20, 1988 about "the apartment gypsies of Manhattan."

• I'd probably be just as guilty of this as everyone else if not for the fact that I have a Blackberry instead of an iPhone, but "Pictures Of Hipsters Taking Pictures Of Food" is great.

Gillian Jacobs from "Community" is a big NBCSports.com fan, obviously.

• Tuesday the bus carrying the Twins' rookie-ball Elizabethton team was involved in a fatal crash when it was struck by a car going the wrong way at 4:25 in the morning.

• Where does Oswaldo Arcia rank among the best young hitters in Twins history?

Jay-Z would be so proud.

• For any Minnesotans who use the Amazon Associates program, this really sucks.

Justin Morneau finally snapped his career-long homerless streak Wednesday night and then high-fived some invisible teammates:

Good quote, too: "You can stand there and look like an idiot or high-five the air like an idiot. I chose to high-five the air like an idiot."

• Sure it's a long commute, but my new office is really nice.

• Speaking of my office, you can go behind the scenes of Hardball Talk.

• I almost want to go back to high school just to steal this yearbook quote.

Manny Ramirez hit .352/.422/.555 in 49 games in Taiwan and increased his team's attendance by 412 percent.

• I've never really been into superhero movies, but I'm in favor of the new Superman reboot if Henry Cavill can get chest hair to make a comeback.

Jon Rauch might be 6-foot-10 with neck tattoos, but Matt Harvey is Matt Harvey.

LeBron James was great and all, but Mike Miller made a three-pointer with one shoe on.

Joe Torre's daughter caught a falling baby.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode includes a weird story about me being followed by the cops, plus lots on Samuel Deduno, Byron Buxton, Anthony Slama, and Arcia.

• Oh, and John Bonnes was a guest on "The Sportive" podcast. He even said naughty words.

• Fans of "The Shining" will really enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at life on the set with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, and Stanley Kubrick in 1980:

Vivian Kubrick shot the footage.

• It's not so much that Mase is able to speak to god as it is god is able to speak to Mase.

• Here's an example of the type of newspaper sports column that makes people read bloggers.

Kiernan Shipka on playing Sally Draper: "My eyes, by the end of this season, were so rolled out. I couldn't move them!"

• My favorite GIF from this week's "Mad Men" was a no-brainer.

Jon Hamm and Cardinals third baseman David Freese are "text pals."

• You can have Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. I'll take this couple.

City Pages is looking for a full-time staff writer, which sounds like a pretty good opportunity.

• Last month I accidentally left "The American" off my top 10 movies of all-time list, but watched it again this week for probably the 20th time and have yet to stop loving the slow burn.

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

- "Aaron Glee"
- "Aaron Gleem"
- "Aaron Gleemna"
- "Arron Gleeman"
- "Aaron Glemman"
- "Sid Hartman ridiculous"
- "Pizza Luce security guards"
- "Trevor Plouffe shirtless"
- "Carlos Gomez shirtless"
- "John Bonus Twins"
- "Where is Shane Mack?"
- "Greg Gagne net worth"
- "Who pays Dick Bremer's salary?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3, which is better known as "The Sopranos" opening theme:


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May 10, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I'd say Otis Nixon's mugshot is a pretty compelling argument against using crack cocaine, but even in his baseball-playing prime he always looked 60 years old.

Glen Perkins' sabermetric legend continues to grow. Not only did he go through his advanced stats one-by-one and explain them all, he's trying to convert other Twins pitchers into stat-heads.

• Like that old saying goes, be careful whose urine you borrow.

• See, now this is why I'm scared to sign up for J-Date.

Science is cool and all, but I've got about 15 years of personal evidence to the contrary.

• Who were the best Twins prospects of the 2000s and how did they turn out?

• Growing up my friends and I probably watched/rented "Kids" a dozen times, so 18 years after the controversial movie was made it's fascinating and also sad to read about the actors' lives.

• Speaking of movies I loved as a kid, "Hoop Dreams" co-star William Gates' son is going to play Division I college basketball.

• On a related note, I was talking with people on Twitter about my favorite movies and came up with this preliminary list:

1. "Seven"
2. "The Godfather"
3. "No Country For Old Men"
4. "Pulp Fiction"
5. "Boogie Nights"
6. "Blue Valentine"
7. "The Shawshank Redemption"
8. "Memento"
9. "Dog Day Afternoon"
10. "Hoop Dreams"

I'm probably forgetting one or two because I didn't put a whole lot of thought into the initial list, but I might spend a little more time on it and come up with a top 50. Also, looking at those 10 movies apparently I only like comedy on television.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we got kicked off the radio.

• If you like "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifianakis you'll really like "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifianakis when his James Franco interview turns into a Lonely Island video:

"Of all the art projects that you've done, what has made people roll their eyes the hardest?"

• In addition to being a former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com, Elisha Cuthbert is a world-class eye-roller at hockey games.

• I'm one of those Blackberry-using weirdos, but this may finally convince me to get an iPhone.

• Setting aside the fact that he didn't actually tag the runner, this is a pretty amazing play by a 6-foot-5 catcher.

• As someone who recently lost 150 pounds strictly through diet/exercise and is now struggling to keep the weight off I'm fascinated by Chris Christie opting for surgery. I don't blame him, since I considered doing the same at times when obesity felt impossible to conquer, but the relapse rate for surgery is frighteningly high and trying to keep the surgery secret suggests he's not thrilled with what the choice says about him. Beating obesity sadly isn't as simple as losing weight.

• How did nachos and cheese become a ballpark staple?

• Wearing glasses is increasingly popular among people who don't actually need glasses, but as someone who's been wearing them since ninth grade I nodded along to almost every item here.

• Did you know that Twins Daily blogger Parker Hageman was in "Tiger Beat" magazine?

• During my weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen we discussed the Twins, but also the etiquette of following and unfollowing people on Twitter. And also how my mom is stalking him.

• As far as Ron Gardenhire quotes go, I think I like "we're heroes on the internet" even more than "fire it through the internet." Also, he's officially too self-aware now. Not as much fun.

• I'll watch any video in which comedians make jokes while drinking too much, especially if they star Kyle Kinane:

"Just a case of the spits."

Todd Barry's podcast is only three episodes old, but it's already become one of my favorites. Good, laid-back conversations with funny, interesting people who aren't regulars in the comedy podcasting world. This week's chat with Julieanne Smolinski was particularly enjoyable.

• "Community" fans should definitely check out "WTF" with Marc Maron this week, because he talked to Gillian Jacobs one day and Alison Brie a couple days later. They were both great.

• If you've never listened to "Comedy Bang Bang" before this week's fourth-anniversary episode is a perfect representation of the show.

• Netflix documentary recommendation: "The Restauranteur" about businessman and restaurant mogul Danny Meyer, featuring "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio with hair.

• "Parks and Recreation" creator Michael Schur, who's also known as Ken Tremendous from his "Fire Joe Morgan" blogging days, has created a new FOX show co-starring Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Chelsea Peretti and the always great Andre Braugher.

• Oh, and NBC renewed "Parks and Recreation" for another season.

• My favorite cheesy reality show, "Bar Rescue" on Spike, is back for another 20 episodes.

• "The Sportive" was good this week because Holly Manthei was such a great guest that she carried everyone else.

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

- "Jay R. Ferguson shirtless"
- "I love Bob Einstein"
- "Scott Diamond Jew"
- "Casey Fien Jewish"
- "Ryan Doumit Jewish"
- "Jon Taffer hair transplants"
- "Where is Drew Butera playing baseball?"
- "Where can I find naked picture of Scott Conant?"
- "Matt Capps dating"
- "Matt Harvey's sister"
- "Mae Whitman monologues"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Still Not a Player" by Big Punisher:


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February 8, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• ZiPS projections for the Twins are now available and in addition to being really ugly they have a bad personality too.

Zach Lowe, formerly of SI.com and now of Grantland, is my favorite NBA writer, and he chatted with Will Leitch about nontraditional paths to sportswriting and blending statistical analysis with old-school reporting. Just really good stuff from two really good writers.

• Typos can be fun sometimes.

• A glimpse at my mom being a parents-versus-technology stereotype.

Mark Willis has been designing soccer-style MLB jerseys and posted his AL Central creations, including a surprisingly understated Twins version that would no doubt sell amazingly well.

• "Delmon Young striking out looking" by Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs is a must-read.

Torii Hunter Jr. signed to play football at Notre Dame.

Todd Helton, who's earned more than $150 million playing baseball, got a DUI while going to buy lottery tickets at a gas station in the middle of the night. Helluva mug shot, too.

• Netflix released the first season of "House of Cards" and it took me just 48 hours to watch all 13 episodes. And that was me actually trying to pace myself. Kevin Spacey is incredible in the lead role, everything about the show is HBO-caliber from the characters and storylines to the acting and look, and I'm completely smitten with Kate Mara. I've already pitched hiring Zoe Barnes for HardballTalk to my bosses at NBC. If nothing else she's familiar with social media.

• Mara has single-handedly put Mila Kunis' status as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com in jeopardy after nearly three years with the title. When told, this was her reaction. Or maybe this.

• According to Variety, approximately 25 percent of Netflix users who watched the first episode of "House of Cards" finished all 13 episodes within five days. My people!

• And now we're all going through the six stages of grief together. I'm currently stuck on Stage 5.

• Netflix announced that the first episode of "House of Cards" is available to everyone through the end of February, even if they don't subscribe, so I highly recommend checking it out.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode John Bonnes tried his best to stop me from talking about "House of Cards" for 90 consecutive minutes and we also took a team-by-team look at the AL Central and discussed Dave St. Peter's dimples.

• This week's "The Ultimate Fighter" episode had an incredible knockout and the quick reversal in everyone's reaction made for compelling drama too:

Nothing mixes humanity and fighting like a heartfelt "I'm sorry" to an unconscious person.

Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone needed couples therapy, basically.

• I would award Jason Whitlock a Pulitzer Prize for unintentional comedy.

• Twins prospect Aaron Hicks makes good use of Twitter.

Jonathan Rauch of The Atlantic wrote an interesting article titled "Caring For Your Introvert" and the opening paragraph might as well have been written specifically about me:

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

He goes on to talk about how introverts are often perceived incorrectly as arrogant or aloof, which is something that's definitely been an issue for me. Good article and hits close to home.

• On a related note, I was on television this week (sort of).

• "Replacement-level player" isn't just an abstract idea, as Dave Cameron of Fan Graphs shows.

Jack Morris, who previously did some part-time radio work for the Twins, was hired by the Blue Jays as their new radio analyst.

• NFL.com has great audio of both teams during the final minutes of the Super Bowl, including Joe Flacco suggesting Ravens on the sideline should run onto the field to stop 49ers kick returner Ted Ginn if he looked headed for a touchdown. My favorite part? Matt Birk hearing that and reacting like you would when a drunk buddy wants to do something crazy: "Why can't you?"

• On a related note, this is a great story about a Ravens player who didn't get much attention for saying something good and a sportswriter who thanked him for it.

• For one day at least I actually liked Curt Schilling.

Jacob Wheatley-Schaller of Vegas Watch is my favorite gambling-related follow on Twitter and this e-mail is an example of why. Being a degenerate is amazing sometimes.

• If you're into human trafficking the Super Bowl is great.

Adrian Peterson's legend continues to grow.

• Listening to Chelsea Peretti's latest podcast reminded me that I wore Michael Jordan cologne throughout junior high, but don't let that stop you from listening to it.

• My favorite part of this slow-motion video of Kobe Bryant dunking on the Nets is spotting John Legend and Chrissy Teigen freaking out in the background:

And of course Teigen tweeted about it afterward.

• "SimCity" and "The Sims" are basically the only non-sports computer/video games I've ever played, so I enjoyed "A History of All Things Sim" by Rob Lammle of Mental Floss.

• While this article was intended to show how amazing Kevin Durant is at basketball it also did a nice job showing how great Kirk Goldsberry is at writing about basketball.

Anna McDonald of ESPN.com has an in-depth look at how the Cardinals and general manager John Mozeliak use sabermetrics. As co-creator of The Hardball Times this made me happy:

For now, Mozeliak's desk offers a clue to one way the Cardinals have maintained a competitive edge since he became general manager in October 2007. There are a few black binders scattered about on his desk. There is also a copy of "The Hardball Times 2013 Annual" on top of a pile of papers. When I ask if it is all right if I mention that he reads these sabermetric books, Mozeliak smiles and with the tone of confidence only a GM with one World Series championship under his belt (and plans for more rings in the future) can have, says, "Sure."

Makes for an "interesting" comparison to the Twins, huh?

• FX's website has the first three episodes of Jim Jefferies' new show "Legit" available for free. It's not as good as Jefferies' stand-up comedy (yet), but it's also not bad.

Scott Aukerman hosting Gillian Jacobs and "Garry Marshall" is a prime example of why "Comedy Bang Bang" is such a great podcast.

Mel Brooks is 86 years old and still the best.

Spencer Hall of SB Nation wrote some really good stuff about Randy Moss' career.

• The greatest website of all time, Baseball-Reference.com, turned 13 years old this week. I want to live in a world where creator Sean Forman is more famous than Kim Kardashian. But also a world where Kardashian runs a baseball stats website.

Tom Scharpling and Jesse Thorn joining Julie Klausner for her 100th episode of "How Was Your Week?" is like when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in Miami.

• As a big mixed martial arts fan I'm happy to see NBC get into the MMA game.

• Minnesotan and AG.com reader Michael McGivern could use your help getting into the MLB Fan Cave after being chosen as one of the 50 finalists.

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

- "Maura Tierney glasses"
- "Aaron Gleeman age"
- "Billy Bragg baseball"
- "Linda Cardellini podcast"
- "Top prospect Samuel Deduno's future role"
- "J.J. Hardy naked"
- "Maria Bello looks like Kate Beckinsale"
- "From out of shape and overweight to badass"
- "Anna Chlumsky feet"
- "Yuengling in Minneapolis"
- "Lean Cuisine spring rolls anxiety"

• Finally, because it's sad to think some people like The Black Crowes' cover and haven't heard the original this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Hard To Handle" by Otis Redding:


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October 26, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Clark Kent quit his newspaper job at the Daily Planet and might become a blogger.

• Something tells me this isn't quite how "the archetypal blogger's lair" should really look, if only because it appears to be an above-ground room.

Behind the scenes of HardballTalk, where we're very serious about the photos used in posts.

Alison Brie and Gillian Jacobs are my new favorite tag team, replacing The Road Warriors.

Delmon Young, in addition to being MVP of the ALCS, is also the reigning king of GIFs.

• Old friend Mike Redmond is a strong candidate to replace Ozzie Guillen as Marlins manager.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode featured lots of talk about what to expect from the Twins' offseason and me singing a Beyonce song. We're recording next week's episode Saturday afternoon at "Surly Darkness Day" in Brooklyn Center, so if you see a couple weirdos talking into microphones while everyone around them drinks beer come say hello.

• Last week my YouTube debut was such a massive hit that I decided to get behind the camera for this week's video, so here's my debut as a film maker:

Hey, at least I figured out how to shoot the video in landscape mode.

Marco Scutaro as Andy Dufresne is my favorite moment from the playoffs so far.

• It's almost as if Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis doesn't care what I think any more.

• CopyBlogger.com posted "eight strange habits for very successful writers" and I'm happy to say at least three and sometimes four of them apply to me. Feel free to guess which ones.

Louis C.K. is hosting "Saturday Night Live" on November 3, so I'll be watching "Saturday Night Live" for the first time in a long time.

Carlton Fisk decided to make his own very weird sequel to "Field of Dreams."

• Ball Don't Lie has an interesting, lengthy preview of the Timberwolves co-written by three of the best basketball bloggers around.

• The world's toughest job is now open.

• Truth or dare? Truth. I took two pages of notes while watching this week's "Survivor" so I could write a stupid Jeff Kent recap post.

• This review of "Gleeman and The Geek" describes exactly what we're going for.

• In bad movies forcing the title into the dialogue can seem incredibly forced, but in a good movie you get some memorable moments like this:

I also appreciate the sheer randomness of the movies picked for that video.

• If you're into mixed martial arts this lengthy roundtable discussion with Ariel Helwani and my old NBCSports.com colleague Mike Chiappetta is definitely worth watching.

• And people say Twitter bots are dumb.

• Finally, some meaningful analysis about homefield (or grass) advantage in the World Series.

• Whatever you think of the Twins' farm system in recent years, at least they aren't forcing top prospects to go through this silliness.

• Since the World Series is also known as the "fall classic" it's safe to say Lil Wayne finally gave at least one of the seasons reason to hate him.

• "Fantasy Football Almanac" is a pretty cool idea from Deadspin.

• Oh, no. This changes everything.

• I'm proud to be a very small part of MinnPost, which is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

• My new thing is watching dark, depressing foreign movies on Netflix after midnight, so if you want to be a miserable insomniac check out "King of Devil's Island," "Bonsai," and "Sidewalls."

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

- "What real men look like"
- "Brooklyn Decker baseballs"
- "Authentic dark colored chicken fried rice"
- "John Sharkman"
- "Susan Tedeschi baseball game"
- "Top rated elbow surgeons"
- "Glen Perkins net worth"
- "Carson Cistulli wife hot"
- "Chelsea Peretti drugs"
- "Livan Hernandez golf club"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley:

April 27, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek will be live on KFAN again Sunday at 4:00, shortly after the Twins-Royals game. Taking calls from listeners went well last week, so we'll probably do that again if you feel like listening live on 100.3-FM or KFAN.com instead of waiting for the podcast.

Josh Willingham welcoming his son into the world is pretty damn cute.

According to the New York Post a "highly intoxicated" Delmon Young was arrested and charged with assault late Thursday night. And not only did the incident occur on the six-year anniversary of his 50-game suspension for throwing a bat at an umpire, Young is being charged with a hate crime for "anti-Semitic remarks" during the assault.

Bobby Valentine had to redo the Red Sox's lineup Wednesday because he had no idea Liam Hendriks was right-handed and not left-handed. And then they clobbered him anyway.

• In addition to the "Mr. Irrelevant" title and a celebration at Disneyland the last pick in the NFL draft now also gets ... well, let's call it a date.

Picture of the week: Louis C.K. meets Hillary Clinton, with photo-bomb by Amy Poehler.

Mila Kunis has made headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, but thankfully the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com still looks like this at a photo shoot and like this at the airport.

Chuck Klosterman bravely attended Creed and Nickelback concerts on the same night so he could write about the experience for Grantland.

• I'm pretty much obsessed with weight loss after being fat for most of my life and losing 150 pounds in one year, so Tara Parker-Pope's lengthy New York Times article was fascinating.

• Speaking of which, it's been a while since the last Fat-O-Meter update: My new goal is to have lost more pounds than my current weight. I started at 355 pounds on March 7, 2011 and now I'm 188 pounds, so the goal is to weigh 177 pounds compared to 178 pounds lost.

Brad Miller closed out his 13-year career in style with a three-pointer and some tears:

And most of Miller's teammates, including the injured, in-street-clothes Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, wore headbands to honor him.

• It turns out not speaking Spanish really hurt Kyrie Irving's case for Rookie of the Year.

• Court Vision is a great website for "examining the NBA through spatial and visual analytics."

• On last week's Gleeman and The Geek episode I talked about playing basketball for the first time in five years and how depressing it was. One of my former teammates chimed in with a glowing scouting report on my old skills: "Undersized 4, no left hand, ugly jump shot."

Kerry Ligtenberg, the former Gophers pitcher who went from the independent league Minneapolis Loons to closing for the Atlanta Braves, is the St. Paul Saints' new pitching coach.

• Watching live as this bit of baseball history unfolded was surreal.

• Remember last week when I wondered what percentage of adult males could throw as hard as Jamie Moyer? I apparently wasn't the only person curious.

Chris Parmelee's life passing before his eyes, in picture form.

Kathleen Robertson is so good (and so good-looking) on the Starz show Boss that I'm willing to forgive her for bouncing the first pitch at a White Sox game.

Hanley Ramirez always wear a Nirvana shirt and a white belt when he hangs with Jay-Z.

Chelsea Peretti writes for one of my favorite shows, Parks and Recreation, and is one of my favorite follows on Twitter. And as this video shows, she's also a hilarious stand-up comic:

For a woman so thin to accurately describe life as a fat man is impressive.

Torii Hunter is up to his old tricks, throwing people under the bus in the media.

• For years now friend of AG.com Ted Berg has been an expert at eating and writing about sandwiches, so making sandwiches on YouTube was the natural progression.

• HBO sadly has canceled one of my favorite shows, The Life And Times Of Tim, after three underrated seasons.

• My fellow Community fans will enjoy Gillian Jacobs' appearance on Janet Varney's podcast.

• I'm hooked on HBO's new show, Veep, and it's reassuring to know that 29-year-old me likes 31-year-old Anna Chlumsky as much as 9-year-old me liked 11-year-old Anna Chlumsky.

• If you don't like Astros second baseman Jose Altuve we can't be friends.

• My cousin Josh Gallop had a 0.90 ERA and 13-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Hopkins sophomore team, so they moved him up to the junior varsity squad. I've already put in a request with Baseball America editor John Manuel for a cover story.

• Netflix recommendation: The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster.

• Finally, in honor of the Twins' terrible start this week's AG.com-approved music video is "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" by Charles Bradley:

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