March 22, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Reminder: Twins Daily is having a get-together Saturday afternoon to watch the Twins-Rays spring training game on television. I'll be there and you should too. Details here.

• They did pretty well casting the show, but seeing the other names on the original call sheet for "The Office" is very interesting. Adam Scott and Mary Lynn Rajskub as Jim and Pam would have been fun.

Zach Lowe's article on Grantland about the next big thing in basketball analysis is fascinating.

• My pick for the best team in the American League probably won't surprise anyone.

• I saw John Mulaney at the Varsity Theater in Dinkytown last weekend and he was incredible. An hour of non-stop laughs, mostly from stories rather than one-liners, and the 500-person crowd couldn't possibly have been more charmed by him. He seamlessly mixed in some funny stuff about Minnesota, coaxed a ton of laughs out of talking to a random audience member halfway through the set, and was basically just perfect. And his opener, Carmen Lynch, was really good too.

• Lynch is coming to Acme Comedy Company this summer to headline her own show, where she'll do closer to an hour instead of the 15 minutes she did Saturday. I'm already looking forward to it. Oh, and here's a picture she took of the audience from backstage (I'm the good-looking one).

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked about Kyle Gibson's assignment to Triple-A and whether our bar-buying idea might be helped by Kickstarter.

• Speaking of using Kickstarter to fund a new bar opening, apparently it's already worked locally.

• Life is tough for Jon Hamm. Poor guy must be so whatever the opposite of embarrassed is.

• On a related note (sort of), "March Mad Men" is just a good use of the internet:

Every time I watch a video like that I can't stop thinking about how long it took someone to make.

• Old friend Pat Neshek talked about what life is like six months after losing his newborn son.

Cory Cove, who goes mostly by "Sludge" on KFAN, won a poker tournament worth $50,000.

• Thanks to everyone who submitted mailbag questions via Twitter. Here are all the answers.

• Speaking of comedy shows I'm looking forward to attending, Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi are coming to Minnesota to do a live "Throwing Shade" podcast at Lee's Liquor Lounge on June 27. I wrote about "Throwing Shade" as part of my guide to podcasts last year. It's great, they're great, and I'll bet the live show here will be great.

• Hey guys, did you know "bloggers are where it's at"?

Nick Offerman brought out the big guns to promote his new movie.

• Time-lapse NBA boxscores are pretty damn cool.

• What happens when a Diamondbacks minor leaguer interacts with comedian Rob Delaney on Twitter? Outing yourself as anti-gay marriage and the type of person who has to tell someone that you're unfollowing them on Twitter is quite a combo.

• I hope his one-scene cameo on "Girls" reminds everyone how great Colin Quinn is. I'd love to see a "Girls" spinoff starring Quinn and Alex Karpovsky. And maybe Amy Schumer too.

• I wrote a Royals season preview on HardballTalk and then got wonderful replies on Twitter.

• Oh man, the 80s were crazy.

• Thunderous dunks and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony are two of my favorite things, so I loved this:

Jason Terry misses his uncle Charles, basically.

Miguel Sano was in the Twins' lineup against the Yankees last night and had two hits.

• I haven't listened yet, but I'm really hoping this new Beyonce song "Bow Down" is a Westside Connection cover.

Alex Speier of WEEI.com wrote an interesting article about how Alex Meyer almost ended up with the Red Sox. Instead he's the Twins fifth-best prospect.

• Another look at catcher defense that doesn't show Ryan Doumit in a very good light.

• I really enjoyed Jeff Garlin's chat with Will Ferrell (and the Zach Galifianakis cameo).

Lachlan Patterson was a great guest on this week's "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka, which has emerged as my favorite podcast.

• I finally saw "Zero Dark Thirty" and thought the first two hours were mostly mediocre and the last 30 minutes were excellent. My favorite part of the whole movie was Andy Dwyer playing horseshoes and my second favorite part was this face. Also, props to the casting director for going with Dwyer, Coach Taylor, Michael Dawson, Pete Eckhart, and Tony Soprano. That's some good taste in television if nothing else.

• Netflix recommendation: "The Trip" starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon.

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

- "Craig Calcaterra Minnesota"
- "Elliptical workouts for beer drinkers"
- "Jared Burton girlfriend"
- "J.J. Hardy dyes his hair"
- "Guys wearing black socks"
- "Emmy Rossum Mets game"
- "Coach Taylor got fat in Fargo"
- "Had sex with Jack White"
- "John Bonus"
- "How much does Louis C.K. weigh?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Pistol" by Dustin Kensrue:

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.

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