July 19, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Sign-ups are open for the Twin Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game on September 14. For just $36 you get a ticket to the Twins-Rays game, a t-shirt commemorating the event, and a chance to go pregame bar-hopping with me, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and various other people of note from the internet. Space is limited, so go reserve your spot.

Daunte Culpepper, who once received a $16 million signing bonus from the Vikings, just had his 10,000-square foot house in Florida taken by the bank as part of a foreclosure case.

Carly Rae Jepsen looked good throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles game two months ago, but her second try at a Rays game didn't go so well.

• There was an entertaining profile of Mets ace Matt Harvey in Men's Journal and his comments about modeling his dating life after Derek Jeter drew headlines, but here's my favorite excerpt:

"Dirty martinis and music--that's the big motto in our family," he says, describing his extended Italian-American clan as a rowdy tribe, fond of letting loose as often as possible. "We get the booze going, and the music starts playing. Always old-school hip-hop. Jay-Z. Tribe Called Quest. The Pharcyde. My parents love that stuff."

Do you think Harvey's parents would adopt me? Imagine going to a family dinner and everyone is drinking and your mom puts on Tribe Called Quest. No wonder their son is a superhero.

• All-Star game reminder: Mariano Rivera is amazing, but Joe Nathan is pretty great too.

• I have a couple openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode includes a special guest co-host, on-air reactions to the Twins' just-announced roster moves, and lots of Ron Gardenhire talk.

• Oh nothing, just Rosie O'Donnell awkwardly introducing Puff Daddy and Mase to the crowd at the Nickelodeon awards in 1998:

I was 15 years old in 1998, so you can imagine how things got to be the way they are.

Bud Selig says he's never sent an e-mail in his life.

Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey are the cutest.

• Apparently the Kenny Chesney concert screwed up the grass at Target Field.

• My weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen on KFAN included Glen Perkins trade talk, debating the merits of the Twins not spending money, and the apparent return of "Girls Gone Gleeman."

• On a related note, if the Twins trade Perkins this is the picture fans can look at before storming Target Field.

• And speaking of pictures of the Twins' closer, here's Perkins and Joe Mauer through the years as high school All-Stars, World Baseball Classic teammates, and MLB All-Stars. Pretty cool.

Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky forever.

• I'm apparently not the only blogger re-watching "The Sopranos."

Ben Revere, who hit .347 in 65 games since May 1, is now out two months with a broken foot.

• Before that injury Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs wrote a great piece examining how close Revere has actually come to hitting a home run.

• Netflix's new original series "Orange Is The New Black" is definitely worth watching. It's a little uneven at times in terms of tone and some of the performances border on cheesy, but there's lot of good characters, some very compelling scenes, and more humor than I expected.

• "Orange Is The New Black" has a scene in which a prisoner references a YouTube video about the positive impact from minimal amounts of exercise, so I found the video and it's good:

As a lazy person with a sedentary job that's basically the exercise approach that worked for me.

• I'm not sure why, since it was the All-Star break and the team is so depressing, but for some reason I wrote three lengthy Twins articles this week in addition to a two-hour podcast. It would make me feel better about my questionable use of time if you'd read all the stuff:

- Reviewing the Twins' first half: Hitters
- Reviewing the Twins' first half: Pitchers
- Who are the worst All-Stars in Twins history?

Those three articles were written in the span of 72 hours and include about 6,000 words. To put that in some context, many novels are 40,000-50,000 words. This is one of those weeks when I start to think about the amount of Twins content I could produce if it were a job rather than an unpaid hobby and then start to think about needing a new hobby. Anyway, do me a favor and read as many of those 6,000 words as you can.

• I went with a different photo to accompany my "Who are the worst All-Stars in Twins history?" post, but this "Ronald Coomer" baseball card definitely needs to be seen.

• I still can't believe they let my HardballTalk blog-mate Craig Calcaterra (and his HBT Daily co-host Kay Adams) on the field for the All-Star game.

Chris Davis quit Twitter right before the All-Star game and I'm surprised he lasted that long.

• I love when celebrities talk about their Howard Stern fandom and Jonah Hill was the latest to do so on Marc Maron's podcast.

• For my fellow Stern fans: Did you know the morning show that friend of AG.com Dana Wessel now produces on KTWIN-96.3 is co-hosted by longtime Stern show regular Cane? I just pieced that together last week and now I have so many Crazy Cabbie questions for him.

• Speaking of Maron, he was a guest on Joe Rogan's show and they had a good three-hour talk.

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

- "What did the Twins get for Matt Capps?"
- "Picture of Brendan Harris hitting"
- "Famous people over 350 pounds"
- "Zooey Deschanel fantasy baseball"
- "Aaron Gleeman watches 'Blue Valentine'"
- "Man stuffing face"
- "Elliptical workouts at midnight"
- "Elisha Cuthbert in Minnesota"
- "Nikola Pekovic girlfriend"
- "Who was Roy Smalley?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Royals" by Lorde:


This week's blog content is sponsored by the Twins Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game, where you can join Aaron Gleeman, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs for a day of bar-hopping and baseball on September 14. Space is limited, so book your spot.

November 16, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I recently wrote a lengthy article touting my 15 must-listen podcasts and yesterday I had the honor of being a guest on one of them. I talked to one of my favorite people for 93 minutes and baseball was barely mentioned, which is another way of saying it was a fantastic time. If you like me even the slightest bit, check it out (and leave some comments there too).

• Next time someone says Twitter is pointless, show them this brilliant chronicling of life as a drunken, Dwayne Rudd jersey-wearing Vikings fan.

• Someone broke down every episode from all 20 seasons of "Law and Order" to analyze the trial results, sabermetrics-style. Hopefully the Pulitzer Prize committee has been alerted.

• OK, but did he like the restaurant or not?

• Now that the election is over Nate Silver went back to his baseball-writing roots to explain why Mike Trout deserved the AL MVP over Miguel Cabrera.

• I'm having trouble deciding whether Trout or Ryan Gosling was robbed more this week.

LaVelle E. Neal III has made the big time now. Or again, I guess.

Scott Baker signed a one-year deal with the Cubs after seven seasons with the Twins.

• Who can the Twins (realistically) sign to replace Baker? I'm glad you asked.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we mostly talked Claire Forlani and facial hair, but also found time for an argument that made me want to punch John Bonnes again.

Manny Ramirez made quite a debut in the Dominican Winter League:

Seems like kind of a fun place to watch a baseball game, huh?

• Knowing what I know about both parties involved, this exchange made my week.

• This interview with longtime AG.com favorites Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie was so good I had to take a break halfway through to compose myself.

• Old friend Torii Hunter signed a two-year, $26 million deal with Detroit, where he more or less replaces old friend Delmon Young in the lineup.

• After seeing Dave Attell perform live at Mystic Lake Casino last week I really enjoyed watching his two-hour chat with Joe Rogan and Brian Redban.

• Speaking of really good stand-up comedy, I'm going to see Hannibal Buress at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis next weekend. I invited him on the podcast, too.

Royce White's rookie season isn't off to such a great start.

• My favorite part of Jon Hamm drunkenly strolling around Los Angeles is the hat.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer bought Casey Stengel's old house.

• Everyone getting hurt is bad news for the Timberwolves and good news for local pot dealers.

• I asked Twitter for post-apocalyptic book recommendations and then immediately spent $100 ordering them all on Amazon, leading to this exciting Wednesday evening.

• This look lasted less than 72 hours, for fear it was too sexy even during Movember.

Chelsea Peretti's greatness is a frequent Link-O-Rama topic and her script-flipping appearance on "You Made It Weird" with Pete Holmes is her at the peak of her powers.

• We didn't know it at the time, but Twins fans were watching history being made in 1999.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is my pick for the most underrated podcast around and this week's episode is an excellent example of why.

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

- "Toddler found in cage"
- "Mila Kunis or Aubrey Plaza"
- "Anthony Slama deception"
- "Gleeman Cistulli enemies"
- "Robby Incmikoski real name"
- "Jerome Felton girlfriend"
- "Kevin Slowey engaged"
- "Minnesota chubby chasers"

• Seriously, go listen to me as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts. Money-back guarantee!

• Finally, in honor of the song turning 20 years old and me still knowing all the words this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Nothin' But A G Thang" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg:

November 2, 2012

A podcast-obsessed podcaster’s guide to podcasts

I've always loved talk radio. As a kid I stayed up late listening to nationally syndicated sports talk and as a teenager I was so obsessed with Howard Stern that I recorded his shows on cassette while at school, later paying a New Yorker to send me tapes when he went off the air locally. As an adult I've been lucky enough to do quite a bit of radio, including co-hosting a show on KFAN, but sitting in a studio with a mic in front of me never ceases being a thrill.

Podcasts have taken that to another level, as both a listener and a talker. I do a weekly podcast of my own with co-host John Bonnes called "Gleeman and The Geek" that's been an amazing experience for 65 episodes and averages 7,500-10,000 listeners per show. Podcasts also provide the daily soundtrack to my work life, as I subscribe to more than 40 of them and listen non-stop while writing about baseball for NBCSports.com.

All of which is a long way of saying that I listen to an absurd, perhaps even unhealthy number of podcasts on a regular basis and people who read this blog or follow me on Twitter know that I also talk about podcasts constantly, recommending good episodes and pointing out new shows I've discovered. With that in mind I thought it would be worthwhile to create a guide to my favorite podcasts, so I've highlighted 15 that are absolutely worth checking out.


"WTF With Marc Maron"

I'm not sure if "WTF" is the most downloaded podcast, but it's definitely among the leaders and can probably lay claim to being the most influential podcast. Marc Maron started the show in 2009 after being fired from radio and it has turned into a 300-plus episode collection of long-form, probing, occasionally confrontational interviews with the biggest names in comedy. And in the process Maron has found the following his emotional, honest stand-up comedy deserves.

In a relatively short time Maron has become so synonymous with interesting, revealing chats that he's constantly referenced on other podcasts and many comedians seem to view going on his show as a career achievement. If you have a favorite comedian and want to know their story or what they're like in real life, there's no better place than the "WTF" archives. And along the way Maron will probably become one of your favorite comedians too.


"The Best Show On WFMU"

Tom Scharpling predates podcasting by hosting his radio show on an independent New Jersey station since 2000, but like many listeners I know "The Best Show on WFMU" as a podcast. It's hard to explain Scharpling's brilliance because his weekly three-hour show is unlike any other. He interacts with callers, monologues about music and pop culture, has comedians and musicians as guests, and does lengthy sketches with an always in-character Jon Wurster.

Scharpling's tag line for the show is "three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem" and that's just about right. It took me a while to get into the show initially, because the world he's created is often so absurd and the lines separating people from characters isn't always so clear, but now it might be my favorite podcast. Wurster's characters are great, the callers are great, the guests are great, the music is great, and Scharpling is a spectacular puppet-master and comedic genius.


"Stop Podcasting Yourself"

Here's how good "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is: I didn't discover it until March and yet have already plowed through their 240-episode archive. Friends and comedians from Vancouver who make for a perfect odd couple, Clark and Shumka come across as effortlessly hilarious and endearingly silly. And they do it largely without big-name guests, relying on friends from the Canadian comedy scene who're inevitably great.


"My Brother, My Brother, And Me"

My latest "consume their entire archive like a crazy person" discovery, "My Brother, My Brother, And Me" is an advice show hosted by brothers Travis McElroy, Griffin McElroy, and Justin McElroy. They field questions from listeners, some serious and some not, and dispense mostly ridiculous and silly advice as a conduit for comedy. As you'd expect from three brothers their rapport is pretty amazing and few podcasts get me actually laughing out loud like MBMBAM.


"Doug Loves Movies"

One of the first podcasts I stumbled upon and still a weekly listen, Doug Benson brings on three guests each episode to chat (ostensibly about movies) and then play a name-that-movie contest called "The Leonard Maltin Game" in front of a live audience. I often enjoy the pre-game chatter more than the game itself, but Benson is always great and books tons of well known comedians, actors, and directors on what's basically the world's most laid back game show.


"Throwing Shade"

Erin Gibson was consistently one of my favorite guests on other people's podcasts, so I was thrilled when she started a podcast of her own called "Throwing Shade" about a year ago. Along with co-host Bryan Safi they discuss pop culture, politics, and their personal lives, going from farcical to serious and back again without missing a beat. My crush on Gibson has reached epic proportions at this point--she's a must-follow on Twitter--and Safi is a fantastic foil.


"Fan Graphs Audio"

Along with Bill Simmons' show "Fan Graphs Audio" is one of two sports podcasts to which I'm subscribed, although I listen solely for Carson Cistulli's weekly chat with Dayn Perry that has nothing to do with sports. I was once a guest on Cistulli's show and loved it, but my mom listened and offered this review: "I don't understand what's funny about it." That's probably the perfect tag line for the Cistulli-Perry chats and I find them to be more or less perfection.


"Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

"Stop Podcasting Yourself," "Throwing Shade," and "My Brother, My Brother, And Me" are all part of the Maximum Fun network run by Jesse Thorn, who hosts an interview show called "Bullseye" that can be heard on public radio. I discovered Thorn by way of "Jordan, Jesse, Go!," his other, far less formal podcast with co-host Jordan Morris. Thorn's radio polish and podcast goofiness is a wonderful mix, Morris is an excellent running mate, and their guests are top notch.


"Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast"

Bill Burr is an incredible, well-respected stand-up comedian and in addition to being really funny his podcast is also unique in that it's just him. He occasionally has guests, including his hilarious girlfriend, but 95 percent of the episodes are simply Burr talking/ranting for an hour. I realize that doesn't sound particularly appealing and in most cases it wouldn't be, but Burr makes it work and the more podcasts I listen to the more impressed I am by his ability to entertain solo.


"How Was Your Week"

I could not possibly be more charmed by a woman than I am by Julie Klausner. Her book was a great read, her tweets are 140-character gold, and "How Was Your Week" is a must-listen. She opens each episode with a monologue that somehow manages to seem off the cuff while being way too amusing to actually be improvised, and then welcomes one or two guests, often from totally different walks of life, for half-hour chats that would best be described as delightful.


"The Long Shot"

Sean Conroy is the capable, sarcastically funny host, Eddie Pepitone is the grizzled comedy veteran who's equal parts lovable and bitter, Amber Kenny is the fresh-faced, sharp-witted optimist, and Jamie Flam is the awkwardly amusing punching bag. Together they form an unlikely but incredibly likeable quartet, sharing tales of complaints and triumphs in the Los Angeles comedy world before welcoming a guest to what is, if nothing else, the most crowded podcast.


"Who Charted?"

"Who Charted?" is a rare podcast with a truly unique format, as co-hosts Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack use charts as a jumping off point for hour-long chats with guests. They often stray from the format, sometimes hilariously so, but the ability to come back to a discussion about the No. 1 song in the country or the week's highest-grossing movie keeps things rolling smoothly along with their great chemistry and playful humor. Oh, and Vilaysack is a Minnesotan.


"Totally Laime"

Hosted by Elizabeth Laime and her husband/sidekick "psychic" Andy Rosen, the mix of silliness, sweetness, and occasionally raunchy humor found in "Totally Laime" is hard to resist. Each show features a guest, usually a comedian or actor, but the hour-long episodes definitely seem more like chats among friends than traditional interviews. Laime is consistently funny and charming while encouraging the guests to go as far down the silliness path as they want.


"The Joe Rogan Experience"

Joe Rogan is a stand-up comedian, actor, reality television host, and UFC analyst, but his best work might be as a podcaster. Multiple times per week he and sidekick/podcast network kingpin Brian Redban welcome a guest for the longest of long-form conversation, often lasting 2-3 hours. Rogan is never short on interesting stories or weird theories and seems to genuinely love digging deep with people, which makes for consistently entertaining episodes.


"Comedy Bang Bang"

Scott Aukerman is runs Earwolf, which is home to "Who Charted?" and "Totally Laime," among other podcasts. Before all that he hosted his own show, which features interviews with comedians, actors, and musicians mixed with crazy, improvised sketches in which characters interact with those same (real) guests. It's so good and so weird that it became a television show on IFC, but the "Comedy Bang Bang" podcast remains as fun as when I started listening a few years ago.


Just missed the cut: "Your Mom's House" - "Fitzdog Radio" - "The J.V. Club" - "The B.S. Report" - "You Had To Be There" - "The Todd Glass Show" - "Professor Blastoff" - "The Champs" - "Weird Adults" - "Nerdist" - "This Feels Terrible" - "You Made It Weird" - "Bullseye" - "Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend" - "The Adam Carolla Show" - "Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident" - "Making It With Riki Lindhome" - "Call Chelsea Peretti" - "Pop My Culture" - "Fixing Joe" - "You Know What Dude" - "Mental Illness Happy Hour" - "Sklarbro Country"

And if you haven't already, please check out my podcast: "Gleeman and The Geek"


August 3, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• If you thought Tom Hardy was hard to understand as Bane, wait until you hear the original.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Aubrey Plaza seems nice.

Delmon Young is back in court and looking for a plea deal in his hate crime case. Mazel tov!

Lew Ford is 35 years old and back in the majors for the first time since 2007.

• My mom sent me this link and wrote "could be trouble."

• And then about three minutes later she sent me this link and wrote "sorry."

• Let this be a lesson to local mainstream media: Being nice to bloggers is good for business.

• Nine rejections, one chip on your shoulder, and zero other ideas can make you do something for 10 years. Thankfully.

• Speaking of which, can I use all you guys as references? Fingers crossed!

• My blogging debut on August 1, 2002 was about the Marlins overworking A.J. Burnett. One day short of exactly 10 years later Burnett threw a one-hit shutout.

• This is the perfect tweet, obviously.

Vin Scully + Twitter = adorable:

I still tune into Dodgers games almost every night just to hear him, at age 84.

• Maybe things get polished a little bit in translation, but Andrei Kirilenko comes across as incredibly smart in this interview about signing with the Timberwolves.

• Guess who leads the AL in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, and OPS since May 15?

Amanda Dobbins examined if The Cutting Edge holds up 20 years later, which reminded me that I watched it at least 10 times on television as a kid and had a crush on Moira Kelly.

• Speaking of movies I've seen on TV double-digit times, Super Troopers is getting a sequel.

• I never know what topics Paul Allen has in mind when I show up to KFAN's studio and this week we ended up talking about our respective food issues and my weight loss quite a bit.

• For anyone who heard the aforementioned weight loss discussion on KFAN yesterday and wants to know more about my story, click here.

• My bourbon-drinking buddy Cee Angi has a very interesting article about the role of gender in baseball writing.

• I'm ashamed and disgusted to admit how charmed I was by this conversation between Carson Cistulli and Dayn Perry.

Parker Posey had a great guest role on Louie and did an interview with Grantland about the experience which she ended by asking: "Why isn't there more ping-pong on television?"

Glen Perkins shared some unique insight into the trade deadline experience.

• If you missed my analysis of the Francisco Liriano trade, I wrote a bunch of words about it and also talked a bunch about it on the radio.

• I'm convinced Paul F. Tompkins deserves a talk show, but these videos will have to suffice:

Zach Galifianakis is pretty good too, of course.

• My all-time favorite podcast guest, Chelsea Peretti, was predictably great on Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend.

• I was way too excited for Sunday's season premiere of Bar Rescue, which is my favorite cheesy reality show. You can watch the episodes online and fall in love with Jon Taffer.

• As someone who attended the annual National Sports Collectors Convention a handful of times as a kid, I can only imagine the crazy scene there as this happened.

• I got a nice e-mail from Steve Braun after he read my profile ranking him as the 35th-best player in Twins history. Now if only I had enough free time to finish the series. (Sorry.)

• UFC fans will enjoy watching Tito Ortiz's informal, two-hour conversation with Joe Rogan. It really changed the way I think of him.

• Netflix instant recommendation: Goon, which charmed me despite a shaky start.

• In terms of great Jon Hamm guest roles, this might be even better than his 30 Rock stint.

Artie Lange, Todd Barry, and Greg Fitzsimmons was podcasting magic (and also filthy).

• Having dealt with them in the past, Metro Magazine closing up shop is sad but not surprising.

• Back by popular demand, this week's most amusing, weird, and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Aaron Gleeman fat"
- "Dick Bremer salary"
- "Binge once a week weight loss"
- "Aaron Gleeman chicken"
- "Jerome Felton girlfriend"
- "Hormel chicken packaging"
- "Rob McElhenney exact weight"
- "Yuengling in Minneapolis"
- "Mustache dresser games"
- "Back hair baseball jersey"
- "Jason Kubel's sister"
- "Jon Rauch tattoos"
- "Paul Charchian versus Karl Pilkington"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is a live version of "I Can't Hear You" by The Dead Weather:

This week's blog content is sponsored by the local B&B Blog, a top 20 accounting blog and "the most fascinating accounting blog in the world." Please support them for supporting AG.com.

November 4, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• It turns out "replacement level" means something totally different in the non-baseball world.

• I'm not much for petitions, but this is certainly a worthwhile cause. They've suffered enough.

• An important reminder from my mom's favorite player: Being fat isn't the same as being jolly.

Kris Humphries stayed with the Gophers longer than this.

Scarlett Johansson quote of the week: "There's nothing wrong with that. It's not like I was shooting a porno. Although there's nothing wrong with that either. I know my best angles."

Cory Provus will replace John Gordon as the Twins' radio play-by-play announcer. Provus previously worked with Bob Uecker in Milwaukee and Brewers fans on Twitter gave him lots of very positive reviews yesterday.

This news is responsible for more nerd fantasies than all six Star Wars movies combined.

• Of course, it's not all good news on the fantasy girl marketplace.

• As promised, I now have both of these in my closet.

Nick Diaz shouting "train by day, Joe Rogan podcast all night" after defeating B.J. Penn was my favorite post-fight moment in UFC history.

Except for the whole training part, I'm the same way.

Mark Brunell has earned $50 million during an 18-season NFL career that's still going at age 41, but once he retires he'll be working as a medical sales representative to make ends meet.

• Remember how Michael Beasley's publicist annoyingly sent me 20 e-mails in the span of two days last week? Despite being perfect for each other they've parted ways already.

• My favorite journalism school teacher, Paul McEnroe, wrote a really interesting article for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• More than three million people still pay to subscribe to AOL's dial-up service. Seriously.

• My musical taste is often mocked, and rightfully so most of the time, but two of my favorites are struggling with eerily similar throat problems that seemingly could threaten their careers.

• Once upon a time, before he managed 5,000 games and wore jeans on late-night television talk shows, Tony La Russa was just a Triple-A infielder with a weak bat and strong sideburns.

John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman apparently did a group photo shoot for their TwinsCentric blog on the Star Tribune's website and it reminded me of this:

"Straight Outta Warroad."

• Speaking of the Star Tribune's website, they moved to a metered paywall for content, which is a bold move to say the least. StarTribune.com sports coordinator and Twins blogger Howard Sinker is scheduled to be our guest on next week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, so we'll definitely get into the newspaper talk along with the usual baseball stuff.

• And if you haven't checked out this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" show yet, it's probably worth listening to just to hear us compare Aaron Hicks to a bad Adrian Brody movie.

• SB Nation hired one of my favorite baseball writers, Amy K. Nelson, away from ESPN.

• My latest podcast discovery: "The Champs" with Moshe Kasher and Neal Brennan, which is the perfect mix of funny, serious, interesting, and silly. Listening to their two-part episode with Blake Griffin immediately made him my favorite NBA player.

• Kasher and Brennan also recommended watching Eddie Murphy's first guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which mostly made me sad that he's spent the past 15 years making kids movies.

• Listening to Sarah Silverman chat with Julie Klausner was a highlight of this Hebrew school expellee's week.

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are among 10 candidates on the special "golden era" Hall of Fame ballot. To me they both narrowly miss the cut, but I'm sure many Twins fans feel differently.

This guy is the Twins' new Triple-A hitting coach.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "How You Like Me Now?" by The Heavy:

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