August 5, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by Minnesota's top variable frequency drive company, IDEAL Service, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your industrial electronic needs ...

• I didn't realize it until afterward, but Monday marked the ninth anniversary of this blog, which started on August 1, 2002 with a post about A.J. Burnett being overworked by the Marlins. That night the Twins beat the White Sox behind Eric Milton's three-hit, 11-strikeout shutout and Michael Cuddyer's grand slam. Two months later the Twins made the playoffs for the first time since 1991, shortly after that Burnett blew out his elbow, and now here I am.

I started as a 19-year-old in search of a writing outlet while home from college for the summer and now I'm a 28-year-old lucky enough to write about baseball for a living. In between seems like kind of a blur, but I know that without this blog and the people who read it I may never have gotten the opportunity to make a career out of something I love and for that I'm forever grateful. Whether you've been here for nine years or this is your first visit, thanks for reading.

There but for the grace of blogging go I.

• This is one service that the YoYo Donuts near my house does not provide.

Joel Lovell's lengthy profile of Louis C.K. in GQ magazine is well worth the read.

• In one of the most disappointing revelations in cinematic history, Mila Kunis has admitted to using a "butt double" in Friends With Benefits. As the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com explained:

I showed side boob and I figured I can't just give away everything all at once. I gotta let it all out in little pieces here and there.

Legally, does that count as a binding contract?

• Kunis defending Justin Timberlake by yelling at reporters in Russian was fun to watch.

• In one of the craziest plays you'll ever see Brendan Ryan caught Oakland's defense napping for an "infield triple."

• Picture of the Week: Jimi Hendrix gets his hair done while reading Mad magazine.

Kate Upton saying she "prayed every day" to look like Kate Upton has made me reconsider everything I've ever thought about religion.

• In honor of Randy Moss' retirement, here's a commercial he and Jason Williams did for Nike that I thought was pretty badass as a kid:

Still is, actually.

Bethlehem Shoals was an awesome basketball blogger, but he might be even better writing about Otis Redding, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and the history of "Try A Little Tenderness."

Latrell Sprewell is still just trying to feed his family in Wisconsin.

• Of course, Sprewell is a piker compared to Stephon Marbury.

Marko Jaric is faring slightly better after leaving the Timberwolves.

Kevin Durant scored 66 points in a Rucker Park game and the video is excellent.

• For a 51-year-old fat guy Stan Van Gundy can still handle the rock pretty well.

• After seeing Half Nelson and Blue Valentine during the past week I've officially become a Ryan Gosling fanboy, which is something I never expected to write. Blue Valentine is definitely worth renting, while Half Nelson is a must-watch for anyone with Netflix instant.

• To anyone who made the mistake of not watching already: Netflix instant just added the first four seasons of Mad Men. Pour yourself an old fashioned and watch all 52 episodes. Trust me.

• In odd marriage news, Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari broke up before their wedding while Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed are now engaged after 28 years and two grown kids.

• Cavallari has rebounded with ... the kid from Boy Meets World? Sure, why not.

• Even my mom would begrudgingly admit that George Clooney made a solid rebound choice.

Alex Rodriguez being investigated for "playing in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used" makes him significantly more likable. Even if he isn't very good.

• Oh great, now my hopes are up for a Friday Night Lights movie.

• Now that everything has been settled, the worst part of the NFL lockout is without question HBO skipping Hard Knocks this season.

Community was already one of my favorite shows, and now they're adding Omar Little and Bill Haverchuck to the cast for next season. Omar comin':

It sounds like Michael K. Williams had a good first day on the set, too.

• People who insist on saying happy birthday to every "friend" on Facebook deserve this.

• Maybe it's not too late for me to become a newspaper reporter after all.

Sarah Hyland provides a compelling sneak preview of next season's Modern Family.

• Versus is becoming NBC Sports Network, which means I'm a step closer to that cooking show I've always wanted. "Aaron Makes Stuff With Rice And Oyster Sauce" is the working title.

David Cameron, whom I got a chance to meet and play poker with at the SABR convention, has been diagnosed with leukemia. Whether you like his work as Fan Graphs managing editor or just hate when bad things happen to good people, root for him.

• I'm on board the Rick Adelman bandwagon, which guarantees David Kahn won't hire him.

• I'm thrilled that 1500-ESPN decided to dump Colin Cowherd's syndicated show and replace it with a local host. My nomination: Darren Wolfson.

• In related news, Sporting News Radio just became Yahoo! Sports Radio, with lots of Yahoo! writers getting their own shows. KFAN-1130 will air some locally, I believe.

UPDATE: And now more intrigue in the local sports radio scene, as David Brauer of MinnPost reports that KFAN is switching from AM to FM.

• Want to feel old? Raul Mondesi's son just signed with the Royals for $2 million.

• For any DIPS and/or FIP doubters out there: When position players pitch they have the same batting average on balls in play as actual pitchers pitching.

Fedor Emelianenko went from the top of the MMA food chain to washed up in three fights.

• I was feeling good about our recent traffic at HardballTalk, but then I saw that my colleagues at ProFootballTalk had 3.9 million page views in one day. To put that in some context, AG.com has had a total of around 13 million page views ... in nine years.

Curb Your Enthusiasm fans will like Jeff Garlin's appearance on The Sound of Young America.

• I've now been on Twitter for two years and 7,000 tweets later can't imagine life without it.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The King of Soul singing what will always be my favorite version of "Try A Little Tenderness":

April 30, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• One of the most underrated performers in the history of comedy has written a memoir that comes out later this year, and as if that wasn't enough it's apparently being ghost-written by the guy who covers gambling for ESPN.com.

Pam Grier surely thinks this story about Richard Pryor is something controversial to include in her new book, but the same thing happens to me all the time.

• I've always worked from home, but my goal is to some day have an office one-tenth as nice as new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov's spectacular setup, particularly if the blond woman in the photo is part of the deal.

• Thanks to a few tips from inside sources, I wrote quite a bit on Hardball Talk this week about MLB.com beat writers being asked to cease using Twitter for non-baseball topics. If you missed it, here's my original report, here's the follow-up after speaking to an MLB spokesperson, and here's my final word on the story. An interesting experience to say the least, as it was picked up by, among other places, New York Magazine, Sporting News, The Big Lead, and Mediaite.

• I'm not a journalist, but I am a fat guy who likes to write about trying to become less fat.

• My favorite television writer, Alan Sepinwall, is leaving the newspaper business following 14 years at the Newark Star-Ledger, which is awful news for people in New Jersey and good news for everyone who reads him online anyway.

• Not only have I grown to like Patrick Reusse on the radio since he teamed up with friend of AG.com Phil Mackey, we're starting to think alike. Not sure who should be more disturbed.

George Costanza is such an amazing character that his story is almost as good as a drama:

Also proof that anything can be dramatic with the right music behind it.

• Catching isn't tough enough for Miguel Olivo, so he passed kidney stones during a game.

• Between her being naked on True Blood and incredibly funny on Party Down, it's probably time to make Lizzy Caplan an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate.

A.J. Daulerio and Sarah Silverman star in When Live Chats Get Ugly. Actually, the notion of sports bloggers getting into feuds with female comedians is so amusing to me that I'm giving serious thought to starting a beef with Rita Rudner.

• Speaking of Deadspin, my idol Adam Carolla was the guest on Drew Magary's podcast this week. Good times.

• And speaking of Carolla, one of the guests on his podcast this week was Nick Offerman. I'm actually so excited about Ace Man chatting with Ron "F***ing" Swanson that I haven't even listened yet. I'm saving it for a special occasion or something.

• The genius responsible for creating Swanson and Fire Joe Morgan is now really, really rich.

• If you're into a funnier, online version of Charlie Rose's long-form interviews, check out Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, where Kevin Pollak interviews people from comedy and movies for at least an hour, uninterrupted. His guest list is packed with interesting names and the laid-back chats are great. I've been devouring the archives and my favorites are Jon Hamm, Jason Reitman, Seth MacFarlane, Matthew PerryHank Azaria, Josh Malina, and of course Carolla.

Eastbound and Down will be back for another season on HBO, but Kenny Powers is taking his comeback to Mexico and there are reportedly a shit-ton of changes within the cast.

• My favorite e-mail of the week came from a reader named Chad who sent this link and wrote, "The blond girl in the foreground is what Elisha Cuthbert would look like if she was really hot and holding a giant beer."

• If you threaten to blow up his airplane, Kevin Kennedy will take you out.

• I'm a big fan of SI.com's Richard Deitsch, so this made my week.

Fred Hoiberg left his job as Timberwolves assistant general manager to coach Iowa State.

• Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Bobby Cox thinks slumping Jason Heyward is being too patient
- Rangers prospect Tanner Scheppers is toying with Double-A hitters
- Dusty Baker denies asking the Reds for contract extension
- Carlos Beltran fitted for custom knee brace and "not close to returning"
- Diamondbacks put Kris Benson on disabled list, call up Kevin Mulvey
- Rockies demote Opening Day catcher Chris Iannetta to Triple-A
- A flop in Boston, Brad Penny thriving back in National League

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is a "mash-up" combining "99 Problems" by Jay-Z and "Voodoo Chile" by Jimi Hendrix: