August 23, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Thursday morning I was a guest on Paul Allen's show live from the KFAN booth at the State Fair. I had zero idea what they had planned, but much like last year it turned into an excuse to find me a date on the radio and in front of fair-goers sitting on bleachers watching us. Things got awkward and (hopefully) funny enough that I stayed on for three segments. You can listen to the first part here and the second part here. And then let's agree to never speak of this again.

• Ain't no party like a Corey Feldman party because a Corey Feldman party ... looks really sad.

Joe Mauer is the latest on a long list of catchers suffering concussions at an alarming rate.

• Alcoholism-enabling news of the week: "Australian researches have found a way to improve the hydrating qualities of beer without compromising on taste and ... may even have found a way to avoid a post-drink hangover."

• My favorite moment from this week's "Breaking Bad" episode was an easy choice. And the guy on the left, Bill Burr, is a great stand-up comedian who also hosts a very good podcast.

• Not only is "Community" creator Dan Harmon returning to the show next season, Jonathan Banks is joining the cast after brilliantly playing Mike Ehrmantraut on "Breaking Bad."

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we tried to figure out how the Twins' rotation can avoid being terrible again next season and examined the two major types of Twins fandom.

St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer Ben Garvin made a stop-motion video of his magic beard:

Us beardos have to stick together.

Delmon Young has been reunited with the Rays six years after they traded him to the Twins.

• Every six months or so Peter Gammons takes a seemingly random shot at me on Twitter for some reason. I try not to get worked up about it, because he's one of the best baseball writers of all time, he's been nice to me personally, and he turned me on to Susan Tedeschi years ago.

Will Leitch, formerly of Deadspin and currently of Sports On Earth and New York magazine, invited me on his podcast to chat about old-school blogging, staying away from steroids, and why Gammons likes to jab at me. I've been online acquaintances with Leitch for a decade or so and we were even featured together in a Sports Illustrated article alongside Bill Simmons, but I'm not sure I'd ever actually spoken to him before. It was fun and I think you'll enjoy listening.

• I can only assume that my working from home as an internet baseball writer played a big part in Google naming Minnetonka this year's "eCity of Minnesota." Whatever that means.

• Exactly how discouraging was Kyle Gibson's first taste of the big leagues?

• Grantland followed Hannibal Buress around with a camera as he worked on jokes.

• As a longtime John Mayer fan a lot of this stuff makes sense to me, but it's probably not a winnable battle at this point. His new album is good, though.

• If only for nostalgia I wouldn't mind the Twins signing Johan Santana to a cheap deal.

Morgan Murphy is hilarious on Twitter and pretty damn funny on stage too. Woo!

• MLB formed a seven-person committee of SABR members to incorporate as 25 percent of their Gold Glove award selection process. And my favorite part is that the man wearing these socks is one of the seven chosen. You probably didn't realize I was hanging out with defensive experts.

• Angels manager Mike Scioscia claims the A's never taught Grant Green how to bunt, but his story doesn't quite check out.

• My fellow Howard Stern fans will enjoy this: Within the span of around 72 hours this week "Baba Booey" was mentioned during a Padres broadcast and on "The Newsroom":

That made me feel slightly better about still watching "The Newsroom."

• I had an in-depth discussion with Glen Perkins about what it takes to be a closer.

• Honestly, sometimes I wish my fans would dial back the praise just a little bit.

Clayton Kershaw is a bad, bad man.

• I finished re-watching "The Sopranos" via HBO GO, devouring all 86 episodes in 84 days. I'd like to write something substantial about the experience at some point, but the short version is that I loved the show even more the second time around and certainly appreciated many of the themes more as a 30-year-old than as a 20-year-old. Here's a collection of my tweets about re-watching the show, in reverse order.

• Any movie co-starring Adam Scott and Robin Tunney can't help but be good and "See Girl Run" is definitely worth checking out on Netflix. Scott did steal my tuxedo t-shirt look, though.

• I was home from the State Fair by 11:30 a.m. on opening day and left without eating anything. And that might be my only State Fair appearance of the year, although I'm reconsidering because Julie Klausner is hosting the Walker Arts Center's "internet cat video festival" there Wednesday. I'm not sure what that is, exactly, but I do know she's great.

• I'm tempted to go check out "Wits" at the Fitzgerald Theater because they have a bunch of good comedians scheduled as guests and must-follow tweeter Alison Agosti writes for the show.

Tom Segura might be my pick for the most underrated stand-up comedian and he also co-hosts a good podcast, so not surprisingly he was a great guest on Marc Maron's show.

• This week I re-upped my yearly subscription to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index, which is the most indispensable research tool in sports and probably my favorite thing ever.

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

- "Inga Hammond and Scott Erickson"
- "Girls Gone Gleeman"
- "Lindsay Lohan baseball"
- "Lean Cuisine keeps me in shape"
- "Paulie Gualtieri tattoo"
- "What size shirt should a 265-pound man wear?"
- "St. Paul chubby chasers"
- "Something so ugly that it's beautiful"
- "David Fincher babyface"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell:


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May 25, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Dmitri Young sold his baseball card collection for $2.5 million. And here's my favorite part of the story: "Only seven cards in the entire collection received no bids and all were rookie cards of his brother, current Tigers outfielder Delmon Young."

• Anyone know if this team needs a blogger?

• Oddly both brilliant and creepy: The evolution of a family, one picture per year.

Joe Mauer and Snoop Dogg, together again at Thursday night's White Sox-Twins game.

• Financing the remake of a Pauly Shore movie is a sure sign that you have too much money.

• Thing that made me feel elderly: This week is the 20th anniversary of The Real World on MTV.

• Friend of AG.com and former Gleeman and The Geek guest Lindsay Guentzel beat out 22,000 applicants for a spot in the MLB Fan Cave, but now they're voting out residents, Survivor-style, and she needs your help to stick around and keep living in New York all season. Go vote.

LeBron James reads The Hunger Games in the locker room, obviously.

Michael Cuddyer is in a new league and on a new bad team, but the newspaper articles about him and "clubhouse chemistry" predictably live on.

Curt Schilling: Great pitcher, not-so-great businessman.

• Saying this will inevitably lead to ridicule, but whatever: John Mayer's new album is really good and also quite a bit different than most of his previous stuff.

• If you're interested in becoming an AG.com "sponsor of the week" click here for details.

• Fat-O-Meter update: I wrote on March 7 about losing 153 pounds in one year. Since then I've dropped another 23 pounds and now weigh 179 pounds, compared to 176 pounds lost.

• My weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen was fun and you can listen to us talk about the Twins and the MLB draft and my life as a robot by clicking here.

• On a related note, I showed up at the radio station immediately after this took place:

 Not so long ago I'd have been excited about the fact that there were still donuts around.

• I'd like this cake for my next birthday, please. But definitely not the blond version.

Aroldis Chapman was arrested for driving significantly slower than he throws.

Jim Thome is single-handedly trying to prop up the housing market by selling his old place for $3.8 million and buying a new place for $4.6 million.

• Someone bought Babe Ruth's old jersey for $4.4 million.

Torii Hunter has yet to rejoin the Angels two weeks after his 17-year-old son's arrest on sexual assault charges.

• My former Sunday school classmate Leora Itman writes about how my old temple in St. Paul has a new, supposedly "cool" rabbi. And he has a sports blog called The Great Rabbino.

Chris Brown and his fans truly deserve each other.

Albert Chen of Sports Illustrated wrote a lengthy profile of Georgia high school center fielder Byron Buxton, who might end up being the Twins' choice with the No. 2 pick next month.

• I've never tuned in specifically to watch this show, yet cancellation is probably the only way to stop me from watching five episodes in a row every time I stumble across a marathon.

• NBC renewed Community for another season, but creator and show-runner Dan Harmon got fired and it's tough imagine the quality and creativity not suffering without him.

• Who is Cole De Vries and what is he doing in the Twins' rotation? I'm glad you asked.

• In similar news, I'm taking myself out of consideration for People's sexiest man of the year.

Jesse Thorn's long-form interview show Bullseye is always a must-listen, but that's especially true this week with Mets knuckleballer R.A. Dickey as his guest.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the studio version of the title track from Mayer's new album, "Born and Raised":

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March 16, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Ricky Rubio is adorable, with or without a functioning ACL.

Try as she might, Mila Kunis is in no danger of losing Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status.

• My theory is that they didn't know what to do with 1,200 crumpled one-dollar bills.

• I've always wondered about the origins of my last name and this obviously fits.

Glen Perkins signed a $10 million contract extension and met Elton John.

Pamela Hill Nettleton was one my favorite professors (and people, period) at the University of Minnesota, so it's not surprising that she raised a helluva son.

• I was really getting into Luck on HBO, so this is unfortunate on multiple levels.

• As a television junkie, the history and process of naming shows is fascinating and weird.

• Not only did I drive all the way to Uptown for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, I parallel parked for the first time since I used to regularly go to a dentist on Grand Avenue in 1999. Seriously, so you better listen.

• My trek to Uptown was so out of character that it spawned an amusing Twitter hashtag.

Gerald Green returned to the NBA with one of the best in-game dunks you'll ever see:

It seems like a decade since he disappointed with the Timberwolves, but Green is only 26.

Merrill Markoe describes why I always attend blogger get-togethers, but rarely plan them.

• Shockingly, it turns out that eight-pound hamburgers named after people with reconstructed elbows are really, really bad for you.

• Just in case you thought the Dodgers' ownership situation couldn't get any crazier.

• Lifelong residents know "Minnesota Nice" often equals "Minnesota Passive Aggressive."

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra wrote an interesting post about why access in sports writing isn't as important as what you actually do with the access.

Ozzie Guillen got his first ejection as Marlins manager out of the way early.

• As always any mention of being a John Mayer fan opens me up for mockery, but this is sad.

David Ortiz's life should be hosted by Maury Povich.

• Last week I wrote about eating Hormel "natural choice" chicken on a regular basis while losing 150 pounds in one year and then this showed up on my doorstep:

I talked about buying a new car for months without getting a freebie, but I'll certainly take it.

• On a related note, people are actually using my recipes.

• My first thought upon reading this story? It makes me feel better about buying a Honda Fit.

• My longtime boss was named to Sports Business Journal's annual "40 Under 40" list.

• New manager Robin Ventura won't have to watch that clip of Nolan Ryan beating him up when the White Sox are in the Texas.

• I finally saw The Descendants. It wasn't bad and I'm a big George Clooney fan, but it's easily one of the most overrated movies I've ever seen.

• I've never not enjoyed Harris Wittels on a podcast and his appearance on "Who Charted?" with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack is no exception.

• My latest podcast subscription: "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka. Their recent episode with the aforementioned Vilaysack is a good place to start.

• If you liked the new "Gleeman and The Geek" theme song, check out the band responsible.

• Thanks to Jay Boller for the kind words and for including me in such good company.

• Finally, in honor of Perkins' new best friend this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Amoreena" by Sir Elton:

March 2, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Monday night John Bonnes and I are hosting a get-together/meet-up/viewing party.

• Who among us hasn't tried to steal hash browns by putting them in our pants?

Jonathan Abrams' "oral history of the scariest moment in NBA history" at Grantland is one of the best things I've read so far this year.

• I'd pay big money for a set of these wind-up action figures of The Wire characters, but sadly they're apparently not for sale.

• Of course, if a certain The Wire fan took up the cause he could probably change that.

• A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy got hardcore into sabermetrics because he "didn't want to suck at baseball anymore" and turned into one of the best pitchers in the league.

Billy Beane wasn't the only MLB general manager at the Oscars, as Ned Colletti snagged a seat right behind Michelle Williams despite the fact that Brad Pitt has never portrayed him.

• I suppose Fez from That '70s Show is basically a lateral move from Derek Jeter.

Ozzie Guillen has one rule: Don't be late for the f***ing National Anthem.

• After months of waiting and way too much online research I finally bought a new car.

Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley passes along this old video about Steve Carlton's sick slider:

"I hold it like this and I throw the s*** out of it."

• Congrats to Jim Souhan for becoming the one millionth mainstream media member to make a parents' basement joke about bloggers.

Mike Pomeranz is leaving his news anchor job at KARE-11 to become the Padres' new pregame show host on FOX Sports San Diego.

Jessica Alba lost her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title in 2004 and has since had two kids, but she's still getting the job done.

• After years of tireless research I finally found the perfect podcast and it's Jen Kirkman's recent appearance on Todd Glass' show.

Luke Scott brought seven-foot-long, pig-killing spears into the Rays' clubhouse and then the next day he called Red Sox fans "ruthless and vulgar." Should be a fun season in Tampa Bay.

• In fairness, the straw man was really asking for it. Oof.

• The story of how a little-read 16-year-old blogger broke the Ryan Braun news weeks ahead of everyone else is pretty amazing.

• Being known as the world's most famous urine sample collector must be weird.

• Not only is Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch one of baseball's best beat reporters, he's a hell of an artist too.

• According to Chris Broussard of ESPN the Lakers turned down a trade for Michael Beasley.

Barely anyone is watching Luck on HBO, but I'm there every week for the slow burn.

• I watched the premiere episode of Awake on NBC and it hooked me, although I agree with Alan Sepinwall that there's reason to be skeptical long term.

Delmon Young remains as graceful as ever.

• Even the scariest baseball team of my childhood couldn't defeat time.

• My fellow Howard Stern fans will enjoy Artie Lange's appearance on Adam Carolla's show.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Mayer's new song "Shadow Days":

November 5, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• And to think, all this time I was ashamed of my collection of Tim Biakabutuka rookie cards.

• I've done some really weird things out of sheer laziness, but this seems like a bit much.

• Like clockwork, every couple decades Bill Carter gets to write amazing stuff about Jay Leno screwing over another late-night host.

• Roughly translated this story means "Aaron will see the movie in a theater the night it opens and probably buy the DVD."

• I used to listen to "Ice Ice Baby" on my Walkman while waiting for my dad to pick me up from first grade. Now the song is 20 years old and Sony has stopped making Walkmans. I feel old.

John Mayer is obviously a big believer in the "if there's grass on the field, play ball" theory.

• It took 20 years too long, but the most underrated performer in radio history is finally getting the attention he deserves.

• If you've ever wondered why Diora Baird is an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate, click here to see the beauty and click here to see the charm. And her Twitter feed is great too.

• I remain a huge Kevin Garnett fan, but the odds of him actually uttering the words "you are cancerous to your team and our league" are about the same as me saying "no thanks, I don't like donuts."

• As someone who attempted to sit in the back of any classroom he ever entered, this analysis couldn't be more accurate.

• He may be a 12-year-old in a smoking jacket, but he's also only human.

• All the restaurants in Tennessee better get their shit together in a hurry.

• And yet Green Man gets away scotfree.

• Yuengling is looking to spread its wings and hopefully it means my favorite beer being widely available in Minnesota some day.

• One man, one word, one hilarious video:

Luckily for Don Draper it'll be another 30 years before Wayne's World.

• This seems like a big mistake for someone who has become a sex symbol because she looks unlike other women on television. I vote nay.

• I can't wait to read the "Ida Blankenship, Queen Of Perversions" chapter.

• Last month I read an interview with Kiernan Shipka and assumed that her responses must have been written by someone else because they seemed impossibly mature and well-spoken. Turns out, Sally Draper is just the world's most thoughtful 10-year-old.

• I'm predictably hooked on AMC's new show The Walking Dead after one episode, and based on the incredible premiere ratings apparently I'm not alone.

• Friend of AG.com and Basketball Prospectus writer Kevin Pelton penned an in-depth analysis of the first of many John Wall-Evan Turner matchups.

This picture is one of the many reasons why he's my favorite pitcher.

Pablo Sandoval celebrated the Giants' championship much like I would have.

• If you think of it as 25 percent of his lifetime earnings, this suddenly doesn't seem so crazy.

• How can someone have so many television shows and so little money?

• I enjoy when Baseball America dusts off their old scouting reports, like this one on the World Series MVP as a 20-year-old prospect.

• Friend of AG.com Andrew Bryz-Gornia is up for a blogging scholarship and needs your vote.

• I'm addicted to WhatIfSports.com's Hardball Dynasty game and my league has one franchise open with a new season set to begin next week. Hardball Dynasty is not fantasy baseball, but rather an incredibly detailed simulation of running a fictional MLB organization from rookie-ball to the majors, so due to the steep learning curve and time commitment required we're looking for an owner with previous Hardball Dynasty experience. If you're interested, let me know.

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

- Brian Sabean has no plans to trade Barry Zito … because he can't
- Why did the Yankees fire their pitching coach if it had nothing to do with pitching?
- Rangers decline $9 million option on Vladimir Guerrero
- Are coaches underpaid? (And how much was Davey Lopes worth to the Phillies?)
- State taxes could play a factor in Cliff Lee choosing between Rangers and Yankees
- Don't count on Eduardo Nunez as Derek Jeter's successor
- Adrian Beltre officially becomes a free agent by declining $10 million option
- Astros eliminate "advance scout" position to focus on video

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Evolve" by Kermit Quinn, which really is an excellent song if you're willing to overlook it being made for use in a Gatorade commercial:

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