• Three weeks ago I started re-watching "The Sopranos" and became obsessed with the show all over again a decade later, postingscreenshots and commentsonTwitter. 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 Timesstory from May 20, 1988 about "the apartment gypsies of Manhattan."
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.
• 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 Christieopting 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.
• 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 Smolinskiwas particularly enjoyable.
• "Community" fans should definitely check out "WTF" with Marc Maron this week, because he talked to Gillian Jacobsone day and Alison Briea couple days later. They were both great.
• Netflix documentary recommendation: "The Restauranteur" about businessman and restaurant mogul Danny Meyer, featuring "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchiowith 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.
• 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 withWill Leitch about nontraditional paths to sportswriting and blending statistical analysis with old-school reporting. Just really good stuff from two really good writers.
• 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 withKate 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!
• 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" episodeJohn 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.
• 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.
• 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 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.
• 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 Formanis more famous than Kim Kardashian. But also a world where Kardashian runs a baseball stats website.
• Tom Scharpling and Jesse Thorn joining Julie Klausnerfor her 100th episode of "How Was Your Week?" is like when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in Miami.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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:
• 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.
• 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.
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