March 15, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Nick Punto took a 3-2 pitch during the ninth inning of Italy's final World Baseball Classic game. He thought it was ball four. The umpire called it strike three. GIF magic ensued.

• "The Professor, the Bikini Model, and the Suitcase Full of Trouble" is a pretty great article title, but it doesn't even begin to convey how insane and fascinating this story is.

• It turns out not even hate groups can hate Jennifer Lawrence.

• I feel sorry for Mariners fans because Jeff Sullivan is one of the best, most original bloggers around, but a lot of what he wrote hit home with me and echoes my thoughts about turning 30.

• I'll bet even the Jerky Boys would be proud of this one.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we spent a whole bunch of time talking about Aaron Hicks and also tried to figure exactly how stupid it would be to buy a bar together.

• Speaking of which, my grandpa owned a bar in Duluth for a long time before I was born and I stumbled across this Duluth News Tribune article about him from 1972.

• If nothing else, Glen Perkins committed to drinking at my bar if we call it "Mom's Basement."

• Perkins and Joe Mauer look more or less the same a dozen years later.

• What happens when a boxer tries to confront his Twitter troll? About what you'd expect.

• I haven't done a mailbag in months, so I'm fielding questions on Twitter to answer next week.

• In case anyone forgot for a second who's the best, Louis C.K. provides a nice reminder.

This wasn't bad either.

• My annual series ranking the Twins' top prospects concluded this week with an overview of the farm system as a whole.

Vin Scully has a story he hadn't told in 50 years that's better than most people's best story.

• "Duck Dynasty" had 8.2 million viewers last week. To put that in context, consider that no "Mad Men" episode has ever topped 3.5 million and "Parks and Recreation" averages 3.1 million.

• I'm not sure if this makes me feel better or worse about getting old, but I'm the same age as, among other things, McNuggets, the moonwalk, the Disney Channel, and Microsoft Word.

• I know almost nothing else about him, but based on this Cory Booker is my favorite politician.

• Twins Daily is hosting a get-together to watch the Twins-Rays spring training game on Saturday afternoon, March 23. I'll be there, drinking and watching and whatevering. Details here.

• Sometimes you can't help but ask yourself "how did I get so damn lucky?"

• As a Gilbert Gottfried fan I'm a little bummed out to learn that he's, like, a real person.

• Old friend Carlos Gomez got a $24 million contract extension from the Brewers and based on the reaction I saw on Twitter many Twins fans refuse to believe he's not terrible.

• With the new Pope and all, I wonder if this is still true or not.

• As someone whose job requires him to keep constant tabs on hundreds of sites at once, Google Reader shutting down makes me incredibly sad. There are some alternatives, though.

Pete Rose and his fiancee are the worst actors ever:

It almost seems like a "Tim and Eric" sketch.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra got himself on MLB Network during the World Baseball Classic and really did everyone at HardballTalk proud.

Julie Klausner, whose "How Was Your Week" podcast and overall crush-worthiness I've touted in the past, is coming here in August to host a "cat video festival" at the State Fair. Which means my new goal for 2013 is to appear together on one of KFAN's live-from-the-fair shows.

• I watched a great French movie this week called "Amelie" and you can get an English-subtitled version on Amazon for just 99 cents. Highly recommended.

• My nomination for the saddest GIF on the internet.

• I miss the old days when a chubby guy with glasses could be in a boy band and not necessarily even be the ugly one.

• My analysis of the Vikings trading Percy Harvin.

• Baseball-Reference.com has made its "Play Index" free through April 15, if you've ever wanted to try the world's most indispensable tool for baseball research.

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

- "Max Kepler fantasy"
- "Dick Bremer final season"
- "Aaron Gleeman chicken rice recipe"
- "Will Joel Zumaya play baseball again?"
- "Why did Chelsea Peretti quit drinking and pot?"
- "Indian women bathroom SABR"
- "Is Joe Mauer a switch-hitter?"
- "First time Anna Kendrick had sex"
- "Jimmer has weird jaws"
- "SABR analytics child"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Newman and Rudimental doing a live version of "Feel The Love":


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March 1, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I also carefully considered my options before deciding to move out and buy my own house.

• Every student in a Johns Hopkins University class boycotted the final exam, so based on the established grading curve they all got a perfect score.

• I was conflicted seeing all the good-looking movie stars sporting beards at the Oscars, but ultimately they can't be blamed for believing in science.

Nikola Pekovic and Zach Galifianakis are besties now. Lotta respect in the beard game.

• Never forget: Kelsey Grammer was the original Jennifer Lawrence.

• Tough to decide between Lawrence and Jack Nicholson or Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Sally Field for cutest Oscar couple.

• It was a good run, but after nearly three years as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com this might be the end of us. I've got a committee putting together a list of potential candidates.

• And don't feel too bad for Mila Kunis. She's used to it.

• Just to be clear, I'm still willing to marry into Kate Mara's family.

• My annual series ranking the Twins' top prospects will conclude next week, but in the meantime here's the first installment of the top 10.

Ricky Rubio to Alexey Shved on TNT last night: "Change your face. Be happy. Enjoy it."

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode one of my family members was randomly at the bar we chose for the recording and I also compared myself to Jennifer Lawrence.

• Locking yourself out of a hotel room naked is essentially my worst nightmare:

And based on that amazing video it's the worst nightmare of everyone around him too.

Wright Thompson's lengthy ESPN.com piece about Michael Jordan on his 50th birthday is a must-read, if only for the part about Jordan's security code name being a Hebrew word.

• I kind of want to go to New Mexico and take this "Breaking Bad" tour, even if Bryan Cranston isn't around to pose for pictures with everyone.

• Congrats to friend of AG.com and two-time "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Lindsay Guentzel for her new gig on K-TWIN, where she'll co-host a show with Ron Coomer and Mark Rider.

• I've always been a big believer in naps, so I loved the Boston Globe's "how to nap" guide that illustrates the best methods for napping and explains why napping is a good thing. My personal recommendations: Try to nap immediately after finishing work for the day and buy a sleep mask to block out any sunlight for daytime napping (and also to look really cool, obviously).

Erin Andrews had no interest in going to the candy shop.

Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a really interesting analysis of stat-head general manager Daryl Morey building the Rockets into a high-powered, statistically ideal offense.

• Reading this interview with Linda Cardellini it occurred to me that she's 37 years old, which seemed impossible considering she brilliantly played a teenage Lindsay Weir in 2000. My crush has not dissipated since then and I recommend spending 99 cents to watch Cardellini co-star with John Slattery in the 2011 independent movie "Return."

• Hey, it's spring training for national anthem singers too.

• Now that we know Ron Gardenhire texts I imagine him as a heavy emoticon user.

Stephen Curry had a crazy degree of difficulty while scoring 54 points on 28 shots.

• I first saw Haralabos Voulgaris when he made the final table of a World Poker Tour event in 2007, but poker is just a hobby. He's gotten rich from betting on basketball and as Scott Eden of ESPN.com chronicles that makes him arguably the most successful statistical analysis in sports.

• UFC president Dana White's buddy challenged unassuming lightweight Joe Lauzon to a grappling match and the results were amusingly predictable:

Any weight advantage was canceled out by the scarf.

• Fictional players from my "Hardball Dynasty" league are now being interviewed on Fan Graphs.

• Sure, it's only March 1, but it's hard to believe you'll see a better catch this year.

Jim Thome is still looking for work, so I'll make a standing offer: $20 per episode to co-host the podcast and I'll do the best I can to keep John Bonnes from hugging him.

• It took Joe Posnanski all of two posts on HardballTalk to write something better than anything I've ever written on there.

• In addition to Posnanski we also added Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley to the HardballTalk crew.

• My mom tried to get the inside scoop about the Baer hiring before anyone else.

• There's a podcast about embarrassing pooping stories and it's actually pretty good. "How I Met Your Mother" writer Doug Mand is the host and he's joined on "Doodie Calls" by lots of funny guests, like "Happy Endings" actress Eliza Coupe and Twitter must-follow Alison Agosti.

Adele is great and all, but Paul F. Tompkins does the best version of "Skyfall."

Louis C.K.'s latest stand-up special, which I happily bought for $5 on his website last year, is now available on Netflix online. Here's a screenshot of me watching it for the third time.

• In addition to being an age-old debate Blondes vs. Brunettes is also a female flag football game to raise money for Alzheimer's awareness, so check out a good, fun cause and go to their happy hour at Brit's downtown next week.

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

- "Father of Diora Baird's child"
- "Aaron Gleeman dating Linda Cardellini rumors"
- "Carlos Gutierrez baseball agent"
- "Ear lump"
- "Shecky Souhan"
- "Aaron is fat and mental"
- "NBA players wearing teeth braces"
- "How do I lay my leg with a broken fibula?"
- "Alexey Shved shirtless"
- "Kate Mara ugly"

• Finally, in honor of Cardellini still being great at 37 and Ronda Rousey using it for her entrance at UFC 157 this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett:


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.