September 20, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Nick Punto had his most Nick Punto moment ever, sliding head-first into first base on a single to the outfield. Randball's Stu may have to update his oral history of Punto's head-first slides.

Baseball America's article naming Byron Buxton as their minor league player of the year is essentially porn for Twins fans.

• "Breaking Bad" fans will enjoy this Yelp page.

• As an embarrassed, longtime BlackBerry user I can safely say most of these reasons are bullshit.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra showed why I almost never call into radio shows when invited.

• There's a ton of dead weight on the Twins' roster, so who will they get rid of this offseason?

• Thanks to everyone who attended the "Grand Drunk Railroad" event Saturday. It was a major success, as more than 100 people joined the light rail pub crawl in the afternoon and the group continued to have fun at night despite the Twins-Rays game being delayed by rain, thanks in no small part to Glen Perkins buying us a round of beers from the bullpen. It went so well that we'll definitely do something similar again and we're already brainstorming other get-together ideas.

• We recorded this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode at various stops along the pub crawl, so it features multiple special guests and everyone getting progressively drunker/weirder as the show goes on. I already posted a bunch of videos and photos from the event on the episode page, but here are a couple more pictures of the podcasting in progress:

pub crawl podcast

We're recording a new "Gleeman and The Geek" show this weekend at New Bohemia's inaugural beer fest, where a taster pass gets all-you-can-drink beer from 10 different breweries.

• More people will probably click on this link than watched the Astros on CSN Houston.

Chiara Atik of How About We explains why I'll never stop tweeting at Jon Taffer.

• One of my rules is that whenever Lizzy Caplan appears on a talk show I'll link to it.

• During my weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen he grilled me about a first date, I complained about getting a ticket driving to the studio, and we brainstormed questions for Terry Ryan.

Todd Helton is one of the most productive home hitters in baseball history, but Coors Field is all over the list.

• After six years as Minneapolis Star Tribune editor Nancy Barnes left for the Houston Chronicle.

Conan O'Brien playing "Grand Theft Auto" made me also want to play the game without a clue.

• I have no idea how to handle this emotionally.

• One second on the internet is plenty of time for anything.

• In real life Jonathan Banks is very different than the Mike Ehrmantraut character he played on "Breaking Bad." But he's no less fun to watch.

• After watching last week's "Breaking Bad" episode I wondered on Twitter what happens if no one ever tells Huell he can leave that room now and it turns out someone did the research:

I watched that for ... well, longer than I'm comfortable admitting.

• This conversation started at 1:30 a.m.

• Uh oh. It turns out NBC has had a hidden camera in my office this entire time.

• One of my favorite stand-up comedians, Gary Gulman, is performing all this weekend at the comedy club in the Mall of America.

• Netflix recommendation: "Starlet" is a well-done, small-scale story that avoids the usual movie cliches and features two really strong lead performances by unknown actresses.

Alison Agosti is always one of my favorite podcast guests and she was great on "Hey, Teens!" with Eric Gosselin and Jon Wiener.

• "Parks and Recreation" writer (and former AG.com commenter) Harris Wittels had a funny, interesting chat with Marc Maron.

• Two of my favorite podcasts joined forces when Graham Clark from "Stop Podcasting Yourself" was on a live show with Jesse Thorn and Jordan Morris from "Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

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

- "Byron Buxton's mom"
- "Grand Drunk Railroad"
- "How did Meatsauce from KFAN lose weight?"
- "Nick Punto head-first slide"
- "Ben Grieve net worth"
- "Jim Souhan is the worst"
- "Gillian Jacobs introvert"
- "Connie and Aaron play me"
- "Tevin Campbell radio interviews in 1999"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Humpty Dance" by Digital Underground:


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May 17, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• We spent 20 minutes talking about this story on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, but the headline should be enough to draw you in: "Tammy Jung, 23, feeds on 5,000 calories a day through a funnel in hope to become an obese internet star." Also: NSFW (sort of).

• Gophers football assistant coach Matt Limegrover lost 175 pounds via gastric bypass surgery.

• This is the reason why I'm afraid to get married. Also, girls have cooties.

• Seriously though, if you were in prison for a year what's the first thing you'd wanna do once you got out? OK, so maybe the second thing. And feel free to throw on some jeans and a t-shirt.

• Having reserved a "party bus" for an outing next month I'm starting to think maybe we should scratch LeSean McCoy from the guest list.

• I did a podcast that isn't mine and swore a lot "like a true baby."

• If you watched this week's "Kitchen Nightmares" in which Gordon Ramsay quit for the first time in 100 episodes you'll love this follow-up to the insanity of the restaurant owners.

• I've long been mostly ambivalent about "The Office" and Thursday night's finale didn't change much, but it was great to read the story of how a superfan/blogger landed a speaking role.

Joe Mauer is now the active career leader in batting average.

Byron Buxton hit a walk-off grand slam Thursday night at low Single-A and there's video.

• Last week I mentioned the Michael Schur/Ken Tremendous-created show on FOX co-starring Andre Braugher and Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Chelsea Peretti. Here's the first preview for "Brooklyn Nine-Nine":

As far as network sitcoms go that looks pretty decent, albeit predictably broad. I'll check it out.

• Speaking of Peretti, she joined Adam Scott and Harris Wittels for another silly installment of "Farts and Procreation" on "Comedy Bang Bang." At this point the inside jokes have inside jokes, but I love it.

• Learning that the "Seinfeld" finale aired 15 years ago this week makes me feel old, but not as old as knowing that most of my wardrobe is still white sneakers, dad jeans, and collared shirts.

Bryce Harper somehow avoided a serious injury despite crashing full speed, head first into the outfield wall like he was someone at a mall who didn't notice a glass door in front of them.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode it finally occurred to me that I can choose the intro and outro music now that we're on the radio. I'll let you guess how long it took before Mase made an appearance. Oh, and also John Bonnes was on vacation and Parker Hageman subbed for him like Lou Gehrig stepping into the Yankees' lineup for Wally Pipp.

• I do about 90 percent of my interacting with people via Gchat, so I enjoyed this quiz.

• I was out of town at the SABR convention when Jason Tyner hit his only career homer and two people called me to break the news. It was memorable for the people actually involved too.

• I try not to link to a ton of my HardballTalk posts here in the hopes that most AG.com readers are already reading that stuff too, but just a reminder: I write about baseball all day, every day at HardballTalk on NBCSports.com. I also babble about various things all day, every day on Twitter.

• I checked out the British television show "Pulling" after comedian Rob Delaney recommended it on Twitter and ended up watching the entire series in less than a week. Here's a sample:

It's a bit like if "Sex and The City" were actually funny, but also the characters were crazy.

• I also started watching the HBO show "Enlightened" and like it a lot, but now I'm mad at myself for not realizing that and telling other people to watch before it got canceled.

• The constant shit-talking between Marc Maron and Kumail Nanjiani on "Doug Loves Movies" completely derailed the show and was also extremely funny.

• If you weren't already a Marc Gasol fan his dropping Winston Wolfe quotes in postgame interviews should seal the deal.

• My favorite moment from my weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen came during a break, when he turned to me and asked: "Do you like '90s rap?" And that was after I'd outed myself as a Hawk Harrelson fan.

• I finally saw "Jack Reacher" and it was like an action movie parody. Cheesy dialogue with never-ending cliches and over-acting. So bad. And the Wikipedia page for the Jack Reacher character in Lee Child's novels is hilarious.

• Two of my favorite Minnesotans, Kulap Vilaysack and Joe Mande, teamed up on this week's "Who Charted?"

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

- "Kevin Correia stopped throwing fastballs"
- "Fee clip art of umpires fighting"
- "Gleeman gum"
- "Who does Clete Thomas play for?"
- "Porn star that looks like Kate Mara"
- "Started watching 'Dawson's Creek' on Netflix"
- "Marc Maron shirtless"
- "How much does Kate Upton give to charity?"
- "Where is Joe Christensen and who is Phil Miller?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is a live version of "Sail" by Awolnation:


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July 13, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• August 1 will be the 10-year anniversary of this blog and it seems like I should do something special to celebrate, but so far I'm drawing a blank. If you have any ideas besides "announce your retirement" I'd love to hear them, but please keep in mind my usual level of laziness.

Glen Perkins outed himself as a stat-head with interesting thoughts about how knowing the numbers can help pitchers and how advanced metrics might underrate relievers like him.

• Finally, my working from bed while lying down emerges as a brilliant way to beat the system.

• This almost makes up for all the parents who threw their kids' baseball card collections away.

• All you need to know about my appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen yesterday: It was three segments long and after listening my mom said: "Now you have two Jewish mothers."

• Making fun of Jonah Hill would be easy, except the best-case scenario for my current weight loss involves spending the rest of my life in constant fear of following in his footsteps.

• And at the opposite end of the spectrum there's Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis.

• Should the Twins trade Denard Span, Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, and Francisco Liriano? I'm glad you asked.

• Amazon's plan for taking over the world would guarantee that I never leave the house.

• Eight years, one marriage, and two children later former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Jessica Alba is still getting the job done.

Larry Bird had a very sensible take on the current Olympic team vs. Dream Team "debate."

Ballplayer: Pelotero is a new documentary about teenage prospects in the Dominican Republic that's made headlines because Bud Selig is angry about how it portrays the allegedly corrupt system in which they sign with MLB teams. Twins fans should be particularly interested in the film because it tells the behind-the-scenes story of two players who signed as 16-year-olds in 2009 and one of them is Miguel Sano. Here's a preview:

Sano is now the Twins' top prospect and one of the best prospects in baseball, and the movie opens today. I'll have a review early next week, but in the meantime I'd encourage anyone in the Twin Cities to see it locally at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, where Ballplayer: Pelotero is showing from July 13-19 as part of The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. For show times and further details, click here.

• As someone totally obsessed with the Food Network show Chopped this is pretty great.

• When he's done counting his $18.3 million Antonio Esfandiari can say he won the richest poker tournament of all time.

• One out of every eight MLB regulars was an All-Star this season and even that might be stretching the definition of "regulars" a little bit.

Adrian Peterson hired Roger Clemens' lawyer following his arrest in Houston.

Kyrie Irving does things with a basketball that shouldn't be possible and it's only a practice.

Zach Lowe's blog on SI.com has become an hourly must-read during the NBA offseason.

• I'm way too excited that this show is coming back on the air next week.

• Minnesotans complain a lot about Joe Mauer's contract, but it could be much, much worse.

• I saw Moonrise Kingdom and definitely enjoyed parts of it, but mostly came to the conclusion that I just don't get Wes Anderson.

• If you're interested in a movie that's still quirky, but in a less annoying, more compelling way I rented Death of a Superhero and highly recommend it.

Dov Davidoff's appearance on You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes was full of really deep, interesting conversation with some comedy sprinkled in.

• As always, the combination of Chelsea Peretti and Harris Wittels on the same podcast can't be beat, especially when you add in Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman.

• Netflix instant recommendation: The Swell Season is such a well-done documentary that I loved it despite only barely being familiar with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

• This week's Gleeman and The Geek episode mostly featured me obsessing about unknowingly wearing a shirt that John Bonnes owns too, but there's also a look back at how our winter over/under predictions for the Twins have fared.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "For You" by Angus and Julia Stone:

March 16, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Ricky Rubio is adorable, with or without a functioning ACL.

Try as she might, Mila Kunis is in no danger of losing Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status.

• My theory is that they didn't know what to do with 1,200 crumpled one-dollar bills.

• I've always wondered about the origins of my last name and this obviously fits.

Glen Perkins signed a $10 million contract extension and met Elton John.

Pamela Hill Nettleton was one my favorite professors (and people, period) at the University of Minnesota, so it's not surprising that she raised a helluva son.

• I was really getting into Luck on HBO, so this is unfortunate on multiple levels.

• As a television junkie, the history and process of naming shows is fascinating and weird.

• Not only did I drive all the way to Uptown for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, I parallel parked for the first time since I used to regularly go to a dentist on Grand Avenue in 1999. Seriously, so you better listen.

• My trek to Uptown was so out of character that it spawned an amusing Twitter hashtag.

Gerald Green returned to the NBA with one of the best in-game dunks you'll ever see:

It seems like a decade since he disappointed with the Timberwolves, but Green is only 26.

Merrill Markoe describes why I always attend blogger get-togethers, but rarely plan them.

• Shockingly, it turns out that eight-pound hamburgers named after people with reconstructed elbows are really, really bad for you.

• Just in case you thought the Dodgers' ownership situation couldn't get any crazier.

• Lifelong residents know "Minnesota Nice" often equals "Minnesota Passive Aggressive."

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra wrote an interesting post about why access in sports writing isn't as important as what you actually do with the access.

Ozzie Guillen got his first ejection as Marlins manager out of the way early.

• As always any mention of being a John Mayer fan opens me up for mockery, but this is sad.

David Ortiz's life should be hosted by Maury Povich.

• Last week I wrote about eating Hormel "natural choice" chicken on a regular basis while losing 150 pounds in one year and then this showed up on my doorstep:

I talked about buying a new car for months without getting a freebie, but I'll certainly take it.

• On a related note, people are actually using my recipes.

• My first thought upon reading this story? It makes me feel better about buying a Honda Fit.

• My longtime boss was named to Sports Business Journal's annual "40 Under 40" list.

• New manager Robin Ventura won't have to watch that clip of Nolan Ryan beating him up when the White Sox are in the Texas.

• I finally saw The Descendants. It wasn't bad and I'm a big George Clooney fan, but it's easily one of the most overrated movies I've ever seen.

• I've never not enjoyed Harris Wittels on a podcast and his appearance on "Who Charted?" with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack is no exception.

• My latest podcast subscription: "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka. Their recent episode with the aforementioned Vilaysack is a good place to start.

• If you liked the new "Gleeman and The Geek" theme song, check out the band responsible.

• Thanks to Jay Boller for the kind words and for including me in such good company.

• Finally, in honor of Perkins' new best friend this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Amoreena" by Sir Elton:

June 24, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by the Minnesota salsa company Curt's Salsa, whose stuff I've enjoyed on several occasions and personally recommend ...

UPDATE: I'll have more later/Monday, but for now ... Justin Morneau is having neck surgery.

• Needless to say I've been doing it for comedic purposes too. Just not intentionally.

• My mom's favorite news of the week/month/year/decade/century.

Mary-Louise Parker in a uniform, playing baseball. That's all.

• The local media has been rough on Kevin Slowey, but at least he doesn't play in Atlanta.

• I've become a Bruce Springsteen fan relatively recently, but even before learning to really appreciate all the great music Clarence Clemons made I was always a fan of The Big Man for his heroic attempts to woo Robin Quivers. She missed out on the chance to be the sixth wife at his funeral.

Ryan Dunn also passed away this week, which made me really sad because I'd just watched (and enjoyed) the third Jackass movie and then made me really mad when I read the details of his death. Epic beard, funny guy, unfortunate end.

• Supermodel mom shows up to her kid's school looking like a supermodel, causing a blogger's head to explode.

• For the journalism school graduates out there: 1500-ESPN is looking to hire a beat reporter to cover Gophers sports for their website, which is a great opportunity.

• Last week I wondered why Idris Elba "isn't in everything, ever." This week he replaced Tom Cruise in a Guillermo del Toro-directed movie. Never doubt the power of Link-O-Rama.

• In the span of one year Harris Wittels has gone from leaving Link-O-Rama comments here to writing articles for Grantland. #humblebrag

• This ranks as Megan Fox's worst decision since getting all those tattoos.

• Speaking of bad decisions: Jamey Toney versus Ken Shamrock.

Sebastian Pruiti from NBA Playbook wrote an incredibly detailed Ricky Rubio scouting report that includes charts, video, and hardcore numbers. Must-read stuff, although I'm still skeptical and the incredible amount of hype is setting him up to disappoint early on.

• By far the highlight of Rubio's introductory press conference was Dana Wessel of 1500-ESPN reacting to Sid Hartman asking a question:

Someone really needs to start a blog devoted exclusively to pictures of other media members reacting to Hartman doing things. If nothing else I'd link to it every week.

• Does anyone know if David Kahn truly made Kurt Rambis write a report before firing him? If so, Rambis ought to add one final chapter and post that sucker online. Kahn isn't much of a general manager, but it takes some special talent to make people feel sorry for a coach who went 32-132. He made the right call picking Derrick Williams, at least.

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press displays the "Kahn is talking again" face.

Dwane Casey, who never should have been let go by the Timberwolves in the first place, is now the Raptors' new coach. Casey was 20-20 when the Timberwolves fired him--in the middle of a season, no less--and they've gone 90-280 since then.

Joe Morgan is getting his own radio show just in time to comment on the Moneyball movie.

Rashida Jones is making a strong push for Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com contender status.

• My latest podcast discovery is "Walking The Room" with Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt, which is as funny as two guys sitting in a room talking to each other while eating Tim Tams can possibly be and has quickly become a must-listen for me.

Good news for Mad Men fans, but that seems like an awful lot of money for the 1960s.

• In my mind, this whole mess started with Jim Riggleman asking Mike Rizzo: "Where do you see this relationship going?"

UPDATE: It looks like Riggleman rebounded well enough.

• It seems sort of crazy to me that there are rankings for the best 15-year-old baseball teams in Minnesota, but my uncle is excited because he's coached Hopkins to No. 6 on the same list that has the Scott Leuis-coached Plymouth/Wayzata team at No. 4 and the Anthony LaPanta-coached Totino Grace team at No. 10. If they crack the top five maybe I'll calculate everyone's Wins Above Replacement.

• I ate here twice this week with a total of 15 people and without exception they liked it.

• As someone who recently became slightly less fat, I enjoyed the "Put This On" episode about finding clothes that fit better.

• I'd quit my diet just to eat this ice cream.

• Will manager Ned Yost's friendship with Jeff Foxworthy offset the Royals' young talent?

• I talked Michael Cuddyer, pennant races, and All-Star picks with not one, but two Seidmans.

• I'm addicted to WhatIfSports.com's great Hardball Dynasty game and my league has a pair of franchises open with the new season set to begin next week. Hardball Dynasty is not fantasy baseball and in fact has nothing to do with fantasy baseball. It's much better. From rookie-ball to the majors it's an incredibly detailed simulation of running a fictional MLB organization, with fictional players and everything from the Rule 5 draft to international signings.

Due to the steep learning curve involved in the game and extensive time commitment required to master it we're looking first and foremost for owners with some previous Hardball Dynasty experience. Mostly, though, we're just looking for good owners and despite the sales pitch-like tone of this note I get absolutely nothing in return for someone signing up (except for a better league to enjoy, of course). If you're interested, let me know.

• Finally, in honor of Dunn this week's AG.com-approved music video is the theme song to the Jackass movies, "If You're Gonna Be Dumb" by Roger Alan Wade:

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