January 25, 2013

Link-O-Rama

John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs from Twins Daily are hosting a get-together Saturday night at Hubert's across from the Metrodome. It starts at 6:00, which is when TwinsFest ends for the day, and I'm told there will be several rounds of free beer and prize giveaways. I'll be there, probably hanging out until they kick me out, and would love to see some AG.com readers and "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners there too.

Delmon Young's one-year contract with the Phillies includes a be-less-fat clause that basically would pay the 238-pound "outfielder" $600,000 for losing eight pounds. I've asked to renegotiate my contract with NBC to include the same clause, at which point they'd owe me $11.25 million.

• Another week, another missed connection for me.

• Seriously, how did I not make this list?

• As someone who never knows how to get anywhere and often previews the route via Google street view this was pretty great.

• This is definitely the first time in my life I've ever been referred to as "hot." Well, sort of.

• Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide" is now available online and in magazine form, featuring about 10,000 of my words.

Sammy Sosa talked to HardballTalk's automated Twitter feed.

• Like me, David Brauer of MinnPost dropped out of the University of Minnesota to become a full-time writer. Unlike me, the prospect of returning to school--three decades later in Brauer's case--apparently doesn't make him physically ill. This is how I imagined Brauer's first class:

And then presumably he'll join the diving team.

• My blog-mate and lifelong Cardinals fan Drew Silva wrote a touching tribute to Stan Musial.

• I've often talked here about the potential downsides to having "access" and Jeff Sonderman of Poynter put together some interesting notes on how that applied to the Manti Te'o story.

• I watched "Breaking Bad" when it first aired on AMC in 2008 and gave up after a few episodes because it seemed cheesy to me and none of the secondary characters were compelling. Since then basically everyone I know has fallen in love with the show, so I gave it a second chance and re-watched it from the beginning on Netflix instant. And it's amazing. I watched all 54 episodes in nine days and can't wait for the final eight episodes to air on AMC this summer.

I still think the first handful of episodes are mediocre at best, but I've never seen a show improve more dramatically and once it gets cooking "Breaking Bad" never lets up. From the second season forward nearly every new character introduced is compelling, including a few of the best regulars in recent television history, and the show's narrative and visual styles are fantastic. If you haven't yet, definitely check out "Breaking Bad" on Netflix or Amazon.

• And for everyone who's watched "Breaking Bad" already, you'll enjoy re-watching my favorite scene from the fourth season. Such a great quote/delivery.

• Speaking of great AMC shows, Pete Campbell apparently has sideburns now.

This beauty arrived in the mail yesterday as a late birthday present, which gives me an idea for a new weekly podcast segment and should come in handy tomorrow night at Hubert's.

• Speaking of the best characters in recent television history Robert Chew, who was excellent on "The Wire" as Proposition Joe, died at age 52. My favorite Prop Joe moment:

Compelling arguments from both sides, really.

• Friend of AG.com and Fan Graphs writer David Temple, with whom I've consumed many beers, started a new baseball podcast that's so professional sounding he's calling it a radio show.

• In addition to being a Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver was into sabermetrics before such a thing actually existed and the author of a must-read book.

• A couple weeks ago I noted that Bill Burr, Nick Offerman, and Tom Segura are all performing in Minnesota within the next two months and now John Mulaney can be added to the list of good stand-up comedians doing shows here soon. I'm thinking of going to all four.

Terry Gross' interview with Jimmy Kimmel was funny and touching and just great.

• Two of my longtime favorite writers/online buddies got new gigs, as Kevin Pelton goes from Basketball Prospectus to ESPN.com and Chris Wesseling goes from Rotoworld to NFL.com.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed whether the Twins can truly be done pursuing starting pitching and what happens when the person cutting your hair wants to talk about nothing but prostitutes killing their customers.

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

- "What if I forget what flavor my Lean Cuisine was for rewards?"
- "What does an 11 x 16 bedroom look like?"
- "Drew Butera girlfriend"
- "How long for pounds to show up?"
- "Older women who have lost 50 pounds"
- "Jon Rauch father"
- "Solomon Burke underrated"
- "Nicholas Batum languages spoken"
- "Gus Johnson millionaire"
- "Baseball sex blog"

Finally, in honor of Brauer going back to school this week's AG.com-approved music video is Chuck Berry with "School Days" from 1958:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Fresh Brewed Trivia at Granite City in Rosedale Center on Tuesday nights, where you can drink $3 tap beers and win prizes. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

November 23, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Headline of the week/weak: "Two drivers arrested for drunken driving in same car."

• Considering everyone involved, this has to be the best-looking fight of all time.

Elisha Cuthbert heard the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title might be up for grabs again and wants to apply for a second term.

• If you liked last week's Link-O-Rama music video, "Nothin' But A G Thang," you'll love this oral history of "The Chronic" as the album nears its 20th anniversary.

Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus crunched the numbers from Jack Taylor's record-breaking 138-point game for Grinnell and the sabermetric-style analysis is fun.

Hannibal Buress is at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis tonight and tomorrow night. I'll be there for the late show Saturday and if you like stand-up comedy you should go too.

• I'd make Guillermo a -340 favorite.

• If the Twins go looking for free agent pitching in the bargain bin, what will they find?

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded at my house while we were being filmed for a documentary and then afterward I forced John Bonnes to drink Scotch.

• LSU coach Les Miles had an amazing start to his postgame press conference after a comeback win against Mississippi:

There isn't an actor alive who can display that range of emotion in the span of two minutes.

• In case you thought you had a rough week, Robert Andino got traded by the Orioles to make room for Alexi Casilla.

• Just a really important conversation about an extremely serious topic between two adults.

• Two of the greats, Chelsea Peretti and Bill Burr, teamed up for what might be my favorite podcast episode of all time.

Chris Brown of Grantland wrote a really interesting article about Chip Kelly's frantic offense, although naturally Oregon lost while scoring just 14 points Saturday.

• "Extreme Makeover: Bud Selig Edition" is a show I'd watch.

Casey Affleck is directing a movie about Josh Hamilton.

• Whatever this is, I had the opposite.

• I've enjoyed listening to David Cone announce Yankees games on YES Network and the former Cy Young winner is very much into sabermetrics.

• I'd make a joke about the 25-year history of cellphones, but I still have a Blackberry.

• Congrats to friend of AG.com and two-time "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Lindsay Guentzel for her new gig with the Minnesota Swarm.

Jimmy Kimmel's chat with Chris Hardwick on the "Nerdist" podcast was really enjoyable.

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

- "Rob Dibble ex-wife"
- "Phil Ivey fat?"
- "Happy Festivus certificate"
- "Will the Twins sign someone already?"
- "Pictures of Otis Redding's funeral"
- "How to include beer into weight loss"
- "Gundars Vetra photo"
- "Aubrey Plaza face shape"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Fugees covering "No Woman No Cry" by Bob Marley:

February 3, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• These would be the latest fashion trend for bloggers, except we don't wear pants.

• I was a guest on "Fan Graphs Audio" with Carson Cistulli and had a great time chatting about non-baseball stuff for around 45 of the 50 minutes. We discussed the Twins briefly at the end, but not before talking about Louis C.K.'s greatness, how getting rejected made me start blogging, the downside of having to wear pants at work, being propositioned for sex, the advantage of having a name that starts with back-to-back A's, and high-brow versus uni-brow. I think you'll like it a lot.

• Congrats might be the wrong word, but Darren Wolfson and Joe Schmit made Deadspin.

Jon Heyman made Deadspin too and as Hardball Talk readers know it was a long time coming.

• Grown men getting angry at teenagers for changing their minds about which college to attend is one of the weirdest things about sports, especially when the decision-making is based on food.

• I'm worried that my soulmate might die before we even have a chance to share a meal.

• Bad news for Matt Garza, but it only seems fair given how the Rays stole him from the Twins.

• I'll bet even Jim Marshall is confused about how this happened.

John Bonnes called in sick for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, so I poured myself a scotch and babbled for an hour.

Blake Griffin's dunk on Kendrick Perkins earlier this week was one of the best you'll ever see:

"Oh me oh my!"

• This deserves a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Royce White was the lead story/photo on ESPN.com, with an article about his on-court success and off-court difficulties written by former Minneapolis Star Tribune beat reporter Myron Medcalf.

• Twenty years from now I'm sure his therapist will say this was really healthy.

• In that case, I'll take World to cover the spread.

• If you like soul music as much as me, D'Angelo simply getting back on stage is good news.

Jimmy Kimmel was an excellent guest on Marc Maron's podcast and I especially enjoyed their discussion about two of my favorite things, holding grudges and napping.

• Focusing on NBCSports.com stuff meant ending a five-year run as editor-in-chief of Rotoworld's fantasy baseball magazine, but I still wrote several articles and the online version is available now.

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a nice article on Terry Kunze, with whom I've been fortunate enough to watch a bunch of basketball games over the years.

• Proving that I'd make an excellent television executive, Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan has been cast as the lead in a new Showtime series with "sex" in the title.

Kevin Love celebrated his $62 million by taking a Luis Scola fastball to the ... well, you'll see:

Houston's announcer also coined a new phrase in describing the play: "The Love Stomach."

Scott Aukerman and Harris Wittels doing a lot of drugs, recording their experience at a Phish concert, and then later commenting on the recordings made for a pretty great podcast.

• Netflix recommendation: Jens Pulver: Driven, a very gritty, compelling documentary about MMA fighter Jens Pulver, from his difficult upbringing and early UFC success to his comeback attempt.

• It's reassuring that one of my favorite comedians, Chelsea Peretti, was funny seven years ago.

Evan Silva's "matchups" column has been a weekly must-read throughout the NFL season and his Super Bowl breakdown is no different even if I disagree with the ending.

• One of the best and longest-running baseball blogs went back to its roots after leaving ESPN.

• There might finally be a good reason to attend White Sox games at U.S. Cellular Field.

• Both my IBM Thinkpad and backup IBM Thinkpad died more or less of natural causes on Sunday, so I decided to take the plunge and get my first Macintosh computer. I got plenty of warnings that it takes some getting used to and even then the number of subtle differences are more frustrating than expected, but after five days with a Macbook Pro it's easy to see why the cult of Apple has so many members. And the Apple Store employees in Ridgedale Mall were incredibly nice and helpful.

• Person you should follow on Twitter: Than Tibbetts, who keeps AG.com running behind the scenes, answers my annoying tech questions, and consistently passes along good Link-O-Rama material.

• Finally, in honor of Etta James passing away recently this week's AG.com-approved music video is her 1968 classic "I'd Rather Go Blind":

March 11, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• It's no surprise that "the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be" also has the best family photo of all time.

• At a gymnastics meet Saturday a 60-year-old St. Thomas math professor punched a person wearing the Goldy Gopher mascot outfit and I'm having a hard time choosing who to side with in the story. Incidentally, my cousin once punched Mickey Mouse in the face while eating dinner at Epcot Center and 20 years later I still consider the moment one of the highlights of my life.

Jack Dickey recapping the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference is a must-read, if only for the analogy comparing Malcolm Gladwell to Delmon Young.

• Doesn't she know that dropouts never amount to anything?

Felicia Pearson, who played Snoop on The Wire, is among 63 people arrested in a Baltimore drug raid. David Simon chimed in regarding the incident, which probably doesn't qualify as "life imitating art" considering that Pearson's character on the show already imitated her actual life. "How my hair look, Mike?"

Tim McCarver will be calling games on FOX through at least 2013. I'm going to need a new mute button by then.

Ozzie Guillen quote of the week: "I'm the Charlie Sheen of baseball, but without drugs and a prostitute."

• For someone who grew up playing video games and marveling at the Chicago Bulls this video is just about perfect:

Whoever put that together and spliced in the old audio clips is a genius. Seriously.

J.C. Romero drove his Porsche Panamera from his offseason home in Alabama to the Phillies' spring training complex in Florida. And then someone stole it.

• I'm proud to say that three different people e-mailed me this link, which is a testament to my consistent perviness and the AG.com readers' continued support of said perviness.

• Some people may see an awful lot of tattoos, but I see an awful lot of teeth.

• I'm seeking recommendations for the best baseball writers who extensively cover prospects across MLB, rather than a team-specific focus, and also aren't affiliated with a prominent site already. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments section or e-mail them to me.

• Everyone has been spelling Kendry Morales' name wrong since 2004.

Kelly Oxford is one of my favorite non-baseball people to follow on Twitter and now she has television and book deals based on her great tweets.

• In case you missed this public service announcement earlier in the week: LaVelle E. Neal III would like everyone to stop confusing him with Al Newman.

• This is obviously very sad, but how long should I wait to inquire about the job opening?

Mike Pelfrey learned the hard way that you never assume a woman is pregnant.

• As part of the Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival there's a screening of "Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story" on March 30 at the Mall of America. Here's a trailer for the film:

Howard Sinker of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is introducing the film at MoA, Dustin Hoffman is the movie's narrator, and there are interviews with everyone from Sandy Koufax and Kevin Youkilis to Ron Howard and Larry King. Recommended for members of the tribe and goyim.

• Last week Howard Stern, who lives in New York, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, which is in Los Angeles. And instead of the usual satellite setup, they green-screened him into the chair.

• On a related note, Jimmy Kimmel's ex-girlfriend, Sarah Silverman, had a great appearance on Stern's show yesterday.

Andy Dick's appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast was pretty great too.

• My uncle and cousin are both available for scouting jobs.

• Rotoworld's annual fantasy baseball draft guide is now available online. I'm "editor-in-chief" and it's a big part of my job, so I'd be grateful if AG.com readers checked it out. You get 1,000 player profiles and projections, a couple dozen strategy articles, customizable cheat sheets, and a whole bunch of other good stuff that adds up to 150,000-plus words of content updated all spring. Buy it, so I don't have to move back to the proverbial parents' basement.

• I'm still loving Netlix streaming. Some recent documentary recommendations: The September Issue, The Parking Lot Movie, Eternal Enemies: Lions and Hyenas, The Wild and Wonderful Whites, Gonzo, Rolling Stones: Stones in Exile.

• Here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Chase Utley's status for Opening Day in doubt due to on knee injury
- Someone should tell Nyjer Morgan to stop trying to steal bases
- Coco Crisp was being followed by "secret service" at time of DUI arrest
- Domonic Brown set for surgery tomorrow; out 4-6 weeks
- Jake Peavy throwing well and aiming "to break camp with the team"
- Charlie Manuel close to two-year extension with Phillies
- Adam Dunn should visit Baseball-Reference.com some time
- Ryan Madson hopes to stay with the Phillies, but wants to be a closer
- For some reason the Royals want Billy Butler stealing bases

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Mark Schottinger performing "Black and White" from the aforementioned The Parking Lot Movie:

August 27, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• The good side and bad side of working from home, accurately presented in cartoon form.

• All that money bloggers save by living in their parents' basements is now coming in handy.

• I'm proud to say that Time magazine named Rotoworld one of the 50 best websites of 2010.

Macaulay Culkin turned 30 years old yesterday. I'd normally make some sort of joke, except he's been dating Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis for nearly a decade.

Hawk Harrelson thinks umpire Joe West is conspiring against the White Sox, which sure is fortunate for the Twins.

• If you're not clear exactly what a "shit-eating grin" looks like, see the face Roy Oswalt made while playing left field in the 15th inning Tuesday night.

• Let's just say Jay Mariotti doesn't take the "practice what your preach" approach to life.

• My head exploded while trying to think of the best possible ball-related joke for this story.

Matt Capps feeding Adam Dunn with his hands on Top Chef was pretty hilarious, but Wilson Ramos will probably be better on a future show.

• AMC's upcoming new series The Walking Dead looks amazing.

• Speaking of amazing AMC shows, Christina Hendricks is still spectacular looking without the 1960s wardrobe.

• The greatest broadcaster in baseball history is coming back next year, and Ryan Longwell, Steve Hutchinson, and Jared Allen didn't even have to talk him into it.

• It took some digging, but I've uncovered a worse "specialist" than Randy Flores.

• Mighty Mighty Bosstones frontman Dicky Barrett is also the announcer on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Jimmy Kimmel recently joined the band by playing bass clarinet at a recent show:

At least he picked the one ska band that all wear suits and ties.

• Like father, like son (except for the whole being great at basketball thing).

• Not surprisingly, mainstream media members still treat one of their own a lot different than a blogger in a similar situation.

• The results of this study on baseball teams and access match what's going on locally.

Tom Tango launched his annual "scouting report by the fans for the fans," which is your shot to play a scout by entering in personal observations about the players you watch on a regular basis to become part of the huge collection of scouting reports compiled entirely by fans. Take a look at the instructions and details, and then go to the Twins page to mark down what you think of, say, Delmon Young's "instincts" in the outfield.

• Just in case you thought the stereotype about Polish people was in danger of dying off.

• Last week's Link-O-Rama featured a funny music video by the band Don't Stop or We'll Die. Their drummer, Harris Wittels, left a nice note in the comments section:

Thanks for linking my band's video, Aaron! I know nothing about baseball, but my boss Ken Tremendous seems to like ya!

Ken Tremendous is the pen name Michael Schur went by when he blogged about baseball at Fire Joe Morgan. He's also the co-creator of Parks and Recreation on NBC and Wittels writes for the show. I'm not sure if that qualifies more as "brush with greatness" or "worlds colliding" but either way I enjoyed it.

Jason Whitlock's exit from the Kansas City Star turned into an epic radio appearance that I'm sure makes him an even more polarizing figure than before.

Bert Blyleven is one of just three pitchers to reach 1,000 career strikeouts at a younger age than Felix Hernandez did earlier this week.

• Because my greatest skill in life is growing facial hair, I typically try to hit every data point on the spectrum in a given week.

Al Newman is the new head baseball coach at Apple Valley high school.

• Here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- White Sox reportedly planning waiver claim on Manny Ramirez
- Albert Pujols and Joey Votto must go through Omar Infante to win Triple Crown
- Behold: The most Jon Heyman tweet in the history of Jon Heyman tweets
- Bobby Jenks comes up big for worn out White Sox bullpen
- Dan Uggla reportedly seeking five-year extension worth at least $55 million
- With contract up season, would Joe Girardi want to replace Lou Piniella in Chicago?
- Billy Butler is closing in on the all-time record for double plays
- Johnny Damon turns down Red Sox, saying: "I'm not going"
- Dusty Baker taking his time deciding on Reds extension offer

• Finally, if you like soul music and don't care about curse words your mind should be blown by this week's AG.com-approved music video, which is Cee-Lo Green singing "F*** You":