June 21, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Three weeks ago I started re-watching "The Sopranos" and became obsessed with the show all over again a decade later, posting screen shots and comments on Twitter. It's amazing how well the show holds up and in particular James Gandolfini's performance is even more powerful and captivating now, which is why his death at age 51 seems so damn unfair. Rarely has there been such a perfect marriage between a great part and a great actor.

• As a struggling 26-year-old actor Gandolfini was featured in a New York Times story from May 20, 1988 about "the apartment gypsies of Manhattan."

• I'd probably be just as guilty of this as everyone else if not for the fact that I have a Blackberry instead of an iPhone, but "Pictures Of Hipsters Taking Pictures Of Food" is great.

Gillian Jacobs from "Community" is a big NBCSports.com fan, obviously.

• Tuesday the bus carrying the Twins' rookie-ball Elizabethton team was involved in a fatal crash when it was struck by a car going the wrong way at 4:25 in the morning.

• Where does Oswaldo Arcia rank among the best young hitters in Twins history?

Jay-Z would be so proud.

• For any Minnesotans who use the Amazon Associates program, this really sucks.

Justin Morneau finally snapped his career-long homerless streak Wednesday night and then high-fived some invisible teammates:

Good quote, too: "You can stand there and look like an idiot or high-five the air like an idiot. I chose to high-five the air like an idiot."

• Sure it's a long commute, but my new office is really nice.

• Speaking of my office, you can go behind the scenes of Hardball Talk.

• I almost want to go back to high school just to steal this yearbook quote.

Manny Ramirez hit .352/.422/.555 in 49 games in Taiwan and increased his team's attendance by 412 percent.

• I've never really been into superhero movies, but I'm in favor of the new Superman reboot if Henry Cavill can get chest hair to make a comeback.

Jon Rauch might be 6-foot-10 with neck tattoos, but Matt Harvey is Matt Harvey.

LeBron James was great and all, but Mike Miller made a three-pointer with one shoe on.

Joe Torre's daughter caught a falling baby.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode includes a weird story about me being followed by the cops, plus lots on Samuel Deduno, Byron Buxton, Anthony Slama, and Arcia.

• Oh, and John Bonnes was a guest on "The Sportive" podcast. He even said naughty words.

• Fans of "The Shining" will really enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at life on the set with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, and Stanley Kubrick in 1980:

Vivian Kubrick shot the footage.

• It's not so much that Mase is able to speak to god as it is god is able to speak to Mase.

• Here's an example of the type of newspaper sports column that makes people read bloggers.

Kiernan Shipka on playing Sally Draper: "My eyes, by the end of this season, were so rolled out. I couldn't move them!"

• My favorite GIF from this week's "Mad Men" was a no-brainer.

Jon Hamm and Cardinals third baseman David Freese are "text pals."

• You can have Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. I'll take this couple.

City Pages is looking for a full-time staff writer, which sounds like a pretty good opportunity.

• Last month I accidentally left "The American" off my top 10 movies of all-time list, but watched it again this week for probably the 20th time and have yet to stop loving the slow burn.

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

- "Aaron Glee"
- "Aaron Gleem"
- "Aaron Gleemna"
- "Arron Gleeman"
- "Aaron Glemman"
- "Sid Hartman ridiculous"
- "Pizza Luce security guards"
- "Trevor Plouffe shirtless"
- "Carlos Gomez shirtless"
- "John Bonus Twins"
- "Where is Shane Mack?"
- "Greg Gagne net worth"
- "Who pays Dick Bremer's salary?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3, which is better known as "The Sopranos" opening theme:


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April 5, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Roger Ebert, who's the greatest film critic of all time and still had his fastball at age 70, passed away yesterday after a harrowing battle with cancer. Even as cancer ravaged his body his mind remained incredibly sharp and he never ceased being the first review I read for every movie. And beyond his greatness as a writer and film critic Ebert lived a fascinating life and was a hilarious regular guest on Howard Stern's radio show for many years. Truly a legend.

Parker Hageman of Twins Daily escaped from his parents' basement long enough to interview Glen Perkins about the role of sabermetrics in his career and I'm confident it's the best baseball article you'll read this week. Perfect mix of blogging, reporting, stats, and quotes.

• Speaking of Hageman, as part of his Opening Day trip to the Target Field press box he co-stars in this amazing GIF of Sid Hartman sipping hot chocolate.

• Believe it or not, the headline "Hopkins man trying to connect with woman he met at drunken driving class" is not about me. But can you audit those classes without the whole arrest part?

Brett Favre's bedroom on draft day 1991 was absolutely spectacular.

• Who should be batting second for the Twins? I'm glad you asked.

• I jokingly asked via Twitter for someone to start a Tumblr page devoted to Roy Smalley's hair and the internet being the internet it now exists.

• I'm really hoping that J.J. Barea becomes a trend-setter.

• Probably my biggest regret in life was not having my breathalyzer to test John Bonnes midway through this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode.

• My mom weighed in on the podcast.

• Someone over at "MLB 13: The Show" decided to make a video of me as a player in the game and they even included the glasses, constant five o'clock shadow, and slow bat. Screen shot:

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 10.24.45 PM

Honestly, those frames are hipper than I'm comfortable with and I don't have that much range.

• I've been letting my NBC bosses know that I'm available to take over Jimmy Fallon's old spot.

• As a lifelong Howard Stern fan I loved that his guests on Wednesday were Drew Magary from Deadspin and Louis C.K. from being the funniest person alive. Stern and C.K. had a tremendous hour-plus chat and afterward my main thought was: "I really hope they liked each other." Because for some reason that would make me incredibly happy.

• If you like "Parks and Recreation" you'll love this.

• Apparently there's now a third sports radio station in the Twin Cities, as Love 105 has become The Ticket, with programming that includes syndicated CBS Sports Radio shows.

• With free agency around the corner Robinson Cano fired Scott Boras as his agent and hired Jay-Z, which has me wondering what type of commission Mase charges.

Kirk Goldsberry of Grantland wrote an awesome visual, statistical, and analytical article about how LeBron James became the best player in basketball and then got even better.

• Presented without comment: For three games this year the Twins are hosting a "Wine, Women, and Baseball" event at Target Field, sponsored by Midwest Facial Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic Skincare and featuring "pamper yourself stations."

• During my weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen we discussed Eduardo Escobar's Hall of Fame candidacy for a half-hour or so. Plus some other stuff, probably.

• "Mad Men" returning is exciting enough, but in promoting the upcoming season Jon Hamm was a great guest on "Comedy Bang Bang" and very amusing on "Seven Minutes in Heaven":

"I thought that would make you kiss me."

• My attempt to figure out exactly how bad the Twins will be this season.

• Hebrew school expellees aren't much help in trivia contests.

• If anyone cares, here's my roster for the 13-team Rotoworld fantasy baseball league.

• A long time ago lots of people thought Delmon Young would be really good, so that's cool.

• "Blue Valentine" is one of my favorite movies--it came out in 2010 and I've seen it at least 10 times--and you can watch it for just 99 cents this week on both Amazon.com and iTunes.

• Maybe it was just low expectations because everyone seemed to hate it at the time, but I finally saw "This is 40" and really liked it a lot, especially Albert Brooks and Maude Apatow.

• I donate to Maximum Fun every month because they provide tons of great, free content in the form of several of the best podcasts around. They rely on donations to keep afloat, so please join me in sending them some money for the annual pledge drive.

• Stand-up comic, "Parks and Recreation" writer, Twitter must-follow, and fellow "Bar Rescue" fan Joe Mande is coming to Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis next month. We should all go.

• Interested in sponsoring a week of AG.com and advertising your product, service, local business, or website to thousands of readers per day? Click here for details.

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

- "Jared Burton girlfriend"
- "Darin Mastroianni girlfriend"
- "Robb Quinlan girlfriend"
- "Fat Zubaz"
- "What happened to Scott Erickson?"
- "Who did the Twins all trade?"
- "Twins future prospect"
- "Is Drew Butera married?"
- "Dick Bremer hates Aaron Gleeman"
- "Husband says I'm fat"
- "Alexey Shved shirtless"
- "Byron Buxton shirtless"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "You and Me" by Penny and The Quarters from the "Blue Valentine" soundtrack:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Territory Train, which takes the heavy lifting out of planning and executing Twins road trips. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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:

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:

October 12, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Mila Kunis has been the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com since March of 2010, but it took Esquire until now to name her "Sexiest Woman Alive." Ahead of my time, as always.

Phil Ivey is too badass for his own good.

Hulk Hogan dominated my wrestling-watching experience as a kid and there was a brief period a few years ago when I listened to Bubba The Love Sponge regularly, so ... wow.

• Well, now everyone knows what to get me for my birthday.

• One bad thing about Louis C.K. doing basically every job involved in making "Louie" is that he occasionally needs a break. The good news is that he wants to do a bunch more seasons.

• I died for a good cause, at least.

• At least he died doing what he loved.

Chelsea Peretti started her own podcast and the first episode is predictably great, meaning it's time to promote her from frequent Link-O-Rama topic to OFGoAG.com candidate.

• I had dinner at a new, family-owned restaurant Tuesday and it was really good, so if you're near Eden Prairie and into Greek food check out Zorba's. Nice food, nice decor, nice owner.

• I still need a bunch more questions for next week's Twitter mailbag.

Every drink from every episode of "Mad Men"? Sure, why not:

I love that we live in a time when people get paid to create videos like that.

• On a related note, Jon Hamm and his girlfriend really hate the intentional walk.

• Having grown up listening to him on Howard Stern's radio show I consider Gilbert Gottfried a misunderstood comedic genius and his interview with Marc Maron didn't disappoint.

Behind the scenes of HardballTalk. (And here's the post in question.)

• Speaking of which, blogging is apparently the job of the future.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe wrote a really interesting article about the Patriots' no-huddle offense and how it was influenced by college football.

• "Barb Wire" came out when I was 13 years old and as such I watched it a dozen times once it hit cable, so the "How Did This Get Made?" celebration of its awfulness was fun.

• It sounds like I'll have only five more years to complain about how the light-rail doesn't do anyone in the suburbs any good, but I can squeeze a lot of complaining into five years.

• What to make of beat reporters stumping for players they cover come award season?

• For anyone else who loved "Looper" and is curious about the little kid, read this.

• Honestly, this isn't even fair.

Jeff Kent is still on "Survivor."

• I guess the Twins can just re-use this from last year, which will at least save some money.

• On a recent "Gleeman and The Geek" episode I mentioned possibly doing a second podcast about movies and television, and show favorite Kate Agnew wants to take me up on it.

Tom Hanks seems like he's probably the best person.

• I've binged on Netflix instant lately, so here are some recommendations: "Marley," "The Off Hours," "Tyrannosaur," "Neds," "The Unloved," "The Snowtown Murders," "95 Miles To Go."

• And of course if you've never seen "Freaks and Geeks," first of all why the hell not? Second of all, it's now available on Netflix instant.

• I have two openings in my Hardball Dynasty league on WhatIfSports.com. If you're interested, please read this for details.

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

- "Zubaz hipster"
- "J.D. Harmeyer crush"
- "Kyle Waldrop girlfriend"
- "Picture of money tree"
- "Why does Aimee Mann plays Gibsons"
- "Alison Brie velocity"
- "Hormel chicken"
- "Jim Rome wuss"
- "Delmon Young mustache"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ben Howard covering "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen:

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