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:

September 21, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• If they ever discover something like this in Chinese food I'm going to be a billionaire.

Headline of the week/weak: "Man killed by truck after allegedly running from Waffle House without paying."

• On second thought, maybe this is actually the headline of the week/weak: "Woman finds out late husband was also her father."

• I'm pretty sure they're just taunting me now.

• Forget the fact that this happened in a Yankee Stadium bathroom, the bigger story is that it happened despite the guy wearing a CC Sabathia shirsey.

• I hadn't watched Survivor since the first season back in 2000, but Jeff Kent being on the show got me tune in for the new season premiere and I recapped the former MVP's debut.

• As part of this season's hazing Twins rookies dressed up like they were in a chain gang:

All things (and potential outfits) considered, the rookies got off pretty easy this year.

• Some things are too far-fetched even for science fiction.

Vince Young really knew how to party.

• If you're wondering how the Twins can fix their starting rotation this offseason, we broke down all the free agent pitching options for 45 minutes on this week's Gleeman and The Geek.

• And if you're wondering what a Gleeman and The Geek recording looks like, here's a picture of us in "action."

• One of the original baseball bloggers, Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts, called it quits after 10 years of great work. He was willing to keep going, but couldn't justify taking so much time away from his family and day job without getting paid to write about the Dodgers. Hmm.

• I love Google and I love DMX, so DMX's reaction to learning about Google was great:

Reminds me of my grandparents' reaction when we bought them a computer a few years ago.

• Not only did the great Tom Scharpling direct Aimee Mann's new video, he got Jon Hamm to play him in the video.

Ted Williams writes pretty well for a 95-year-old who's been dead since 2002.

• I sometimes write posts on HardballTalk just for the accompanying picture choice.

• Kansas City police went undercover to stop underage binge drinking at Royals games and then made some jokes at the Royals' expense.

• Who is Chris Herrmann? I'm glad you asked.

• One of my favorite basketball writers, Sebastian Pruiti, has left Grantland to take a job as the Oklahoma City Thunder's video analyst. I'll miss his Twitter ramblings most.

• I'm starting to like the White Sox more and more.

• This week in Chelsea Peretti being awesome involves Bobby Lee and lots of weirdness:

I suppose at this point I should just make her an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate.

• Good on former MLB Network host and current CSN New England reporter Trenni Kusnierek for publicly sharing her struggles with depression.

• My modest contribution to sabermetrics is still (sort of) breathing despite me.

Spoiler alert!

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

- "How to make chicken wings like Pizza Hut"
- "320 pounds and want to conceive a baby"
- "Bryce Harper fan fiction"
- "Ron Mahay wife"
- "Yuengling in Minneapolis"
- "Picture of old man asleep in a meeting"
- "Kevin Slowey engaged"
- "Boof Bonser tramp stamp"
- "Ricky Rubio my husband"

• I'm hoping everyone checked out the AG.com sponsor of the week, Emily Meier, a fiction author with a very compelling story. Here's part of a Minneapolis Star Tribune profile of her:

For years, there had been nibbles from publishers in New York, but no bites. Now, with breast cancer metastasizing through her bones, she decided she didn't have time to wait; she would publish them herself. But because she was Emily Meier--driven, focused, hardworking--she didn't do this halfway. Instead, she started her own publishing company.

Sky Spinner Press of St. Paul, incorporated as a for-profit business and co-owned by Meier's son and daughter, has published all six of her books in record time. ... The books are done, but Meier continues to write daily---her website (www.emilymeier.com) is an orderly maze of drop-down menus and essays and suggestions for book clubs and links to reviews and interviews. There's even a page of quotes from rejection letters she received over the years.

As someone whose entire writing career has been shaped and fueled by rejection I view Meier as a kindred spirit and it would make me incredibly happy if everyone who visited AG.com this week would take some time to visit her website as well. Poke around Meier's site, look at the rejection letters, get familiar with her collection of writing, and help fulfill someone's dream.

• Finally, in honor of the Twins' rookie hazing outfits this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Chain Gang" by Sam Cooke from 1960:

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:

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