May 3, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Another week, another example of Glen Perkins being the best.

• Crazy story of the week: A mother of two went missing for 11 years and was presumed dead only to return and reveal that she left voluntarily to live among homeless people.

Jim Thome is still looking for work even as the Indians build him a statue outside their ballpark.

Jon Bois does a lot of good writing about sports for SB Nation, so not surprisingly his tales of being homeschooled for Vice are a must-read.

• When it comes to making terrible decisions for breakfast I go with Burger King over McDonald's, but people like me have been waiting decades for this news.

• "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill" is one of my favorite albums of all time, so if it takes the threat of prison time to coax the first new music in a decade out of Lauryn Hill then so be it.

Snoop Dogg and Philip Seymour Hoffman are besties, obviously.

• You can't listen to "Gleeman and The Geek" live on Sunday because the Wild-Blackhawks playoff game bumped us off KFAN, but you can hear what we sounded like on the radio last Sunday.

• Podcast listeners know my policy of asking John Bonnes about the parking situation before we record an episode at a new location and my fear of winding up in a video like this one is why:

I'd have just gone home about 30 seconds in.

Tommy Lasorda reacted to seeing Psy at Dodger Stadium exactly like you'd expect.

• What has gotten into Kevin Correia? I'm glad you asked.

Jack Morris has a new radio gig in Toronto and he's accusing opposing pitchers of cheating.

Julio Borbon has a hit by pitch he'd like to sell you.

Mila Kunis was just named FHM's "sexiest woman in the world" after previously being named GQ's "sexiest woman alive." I've been driving that bandwagon since naming her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com back in 2010, but now that it's the consensus opinion it may be time to move on. Kate Mara is the current front-runner, but I'm also considering Lizzy Caplan, Aubrey Plaza, Chelsea Peretti, and Alison Brie. Obviously this isn't a decision that should be made quickly.

• Baseball-Reference.com now has game logs and splits for minor leaguers dating back to 2008, because Sean Forman is a saint.

• What happens when A.J. Pierzynski leaves a team after eight seasons and then faces them for the first time?

• The most shocking revelation from Jason Collins' hour-long chat with Bill Simmons is that he's a Blackberry user just like me.

• As a lifelong Howard Stern fan it always make me happy when he has someone else I like on as a first-time guest and they get along well, so Marc Maron's appearance was great.

• Sunday afternoon the Minneapolis JCC is hosting "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren for a chat about Hank Greenberg and Jewish baseball players.

• "Modern Comedian" is a well-done series of short films by Scott Moran and I especially enjoyed the most recent one about "crowd work" featuring Phil Hanley:

Hanley has also been a guest on my favorite podcast, "Stop Podcasting Yourself."

• I'm very happy with my employers for renewing the most underrated show on television.

• In her latest recap Molly Lambert of Grantland asked arguably the most important question in "Mad Men" history: What did Pete Campbell order from the Chinese restaurant?

• I got into a bar debate about which "Mad Men" character you'd most like to be friends with and my choice was Stan Rizzo, so I'm happy that the actor who plays him, Jay R. Ferguson, seems pretty great too. Especially for a former teen heartthrob.

• On a related note, here's my favorite GIF from the most recent "Mad Men" episode.

• No one cares because reviewing movies six months later is silly, but I finally saw "Silver Linings Playbook" and didn't love it. Lots of good parts, but also lots of rough draft-like parts. I've decided that 2012 had tons of very good movies, but zero great movies.

• Follow-up from last week's Link-O-Rama: Stand-up comedian Rob Delaney actually did a very nice job singing the National Anthem at the Dodgers-Brewers game.

Dayn Perry, whose podcasts with Carson Cistulli are basically my favorite thing ever, has a new book out called "Drinking With Boileryard Clarke."

Parker Hageman of Twins Daily was a guest on "The Sportive" podcast and a good, filthy time was had by all.

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

- "She men's restroom recap"
- "Ribas Twins what team is he in now?"
- "Dick Bremer retiring"
- "Jason Kubel shirtless"
- "Girl in baseball jersey"
- "Zubaz limousines"
- "Joe Mauer personal life"
- "Why doesn't my brain want me to lose weight?"
- "Cybermetrics on A.J. Pierzynski"
- "Binging on macaroni and cheese"
- "Started watching 'Dawson's Creek' on Netflix"
- "Aaron Gleeman is Jew"

• Finally, in honor of me knowingly listening to a Daft Punk song for the first time and actually liking it, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Get Lucky" featuring Pharrell Williams:


This week's blog content is sponsored by "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren's upcoming appearance at the Minneapolis Sabes JCC on May 5. Please support him for supporting AG.com.

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:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.