July 6, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I was on KFAN today with Paul Allen and Paul Charchian, and it was probably the most fun I've ever had on the radio. We talked Twins and shower sex, obviously. Download it here.

Kevin Costner's little daughter in Field of Dreams played Louis C.K.'s girlfriend in the season premiere of Louie, blowing my mind in the process.

• Speaking of which, C.K.'s lengthy, unedited chat with Bill Simmons made a great podcast.

• I'm pretty sure this article is saying that picking Mila Kunis as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com makes me a great person women should be lining up to date.

Kris Humphries probably thought he'd never be on TMZ again once Kim Kardashian dumped him, but he was wrong. Congrats?

• No word yet on whether smoking this stuff will make you want to eat tasteless donuts.

• News that Brandon Roy is coming out of retirement to sign a two-year, $10 million deal with the Timberwolves makes this excellent eulogy of his career worth reading again.

• I've always felt guilty about having to step away from The Hardball Times after co-creating the site back in 2004, but this news makes me feel better about the future of THT.

• Vikings fans wondering how much to regret missing out on drafting Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III should read Evan Silva's detailed breakdown of Christian Ponder.

• If you haven't already, check out my star-studded, picture-filled, booze-drenched recap of the SABR convention in downtown Minneapolis.

• And here's a tidbit for anyone who already read the recap: Pizza Luce's general manager got in touch with me and he's a longtime AG.com reader. As always, the internet is amazing.

• I've enjoyed basically everything Aaron Sorkin has ever done, including HBO's new good but flawed show The Newsroom, but seeing his recycled dialogue all in one place is pretty jarring:

Of course, his recycled dialogue is livelier than most new dialogue, so I'll take it.

• People: Still the worst.

Mark Appel likely lost out on at least $2 million by the Astros and Twins passing on him in favor of Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton, and there isn't much Scott Boras can do about it.

• I know absolutely nothing about hockey, but Ben Goessling's detailed timeline of how the Wild snagged Zach Parise and Ryan Suter was still a very interesting read.

• I subscribe to 50 podcasts at this point, but two that have recently moved to the front of the line are Stop Podcasting Yourself with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka and Throwing Shade with Erin Gibson and Bryan Safi. I listen to both immediately when they come out each week.

• This might be the closest I'll ever come to having something I wrote in an actual newspaper, so my mom was pretty excited.

• Speaking of my mom being excited, she's now incredibly jealous of Jared Burton.

• It may not matter because the Twins stink, but everyone was right about Detroit's defense.

Jim Thome is back in the AL with the Orioles, who come to Target Field on July 16.

Jon Heyman, who regularly blocks critics and other writers on Twitter, didn't credit Buster Olney for breaking a story before him because Olney blocked him on Twitter.

• Two odd stories involving MLB play-by-play announcers, as Dave Barnett took an indefinite health leave from the Rangers and the Diamondbacks basically told Daron Sutton to go away.

• I'm obviously biased, but based on what NBC has done since taking over the Sunday Night Football franchise from ESPN it would be nice to see what they could do with MLB games again.

Cameron Maybin doesn't hit many homers, but he sure makes them count when he does.

• Finally, in honor of Roy and his bum knees giving it another go this week's AG.com-approved music video is "The Weary Kind" by Ryan Bingham:

February 17, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I'll be hanging out at Smalley's 87 Club in downtown Minneapolis tonight, raising money for charity and supporting Lindsay Guentzel's bid for the "MLB Fan Cave" contest. My podcast co-host John Bonnes will also be there, along with Nick Nelson and Parker Hageman. And depending on how things go, we might even record a "Gleeman and The Geek" episode in front of an actual audience for the first time. Here are the details:

Who: Gleeman, Bonnes, Guentzel, Nelson, Hageman, and more

What: Blogger get-together, MLB Fan Cave voting party, charity fundraiser

Where: Smalley's 87 Club at 100 Sixth Street downtown

When: 7:00 p.m. Friday night, February 17

Why: Drink beer, talk Twins, win prizes

It'll be fun, trust me.

• I've spent 29 years thinking I was pretty weird, but then I read about this guy.

Jeff Sullivan at SB Nation collected footage of the 10 worst swings of the 2011 season.

• I can't imagine why Ricky Rubio wouldn't spend $500,000 on this.

• If you've ever wondered what famous literary characters would look like if drawn by police sketch artists, this is your lucky day.

• When does getting cut from a basketball team qualify as the good news? When the reason you were cut involves "male enhancement pills."

• I normally mock people who bring signs to sporting events, but this is an obvious exception.

• My beloved Hardball Dynasty league on WhatIfSports.com starts a new season next week. If you're interested in joining, click here for more details.

Louis C.K. is nearly everyone's favorite comedian at this point, but only because he evolved:

On a related note: George Carlin was pretty great.

• After being on life support for years my 1994 Grand Am finally died. I'm having a difficult time deciding on a replacement, in part because it would be nearly impossible to pick a car that wasn't a huge upgrade and in part because I know absolutely nothing about cars. I drive so infrequently that spending more than, say, $5,000-$7,500 seems sort of silly, which has me wondering if leasing might be my best option.

An argument against leasing is that you don't own the car, but if you're only spending $7,500 to begin with owning that car a few years later barely has value anyway. For similar money in a cheap lease you can get a significantly newer, better car for three years. My dream scenario is that a nice reader with a car dealership wants to trade an inexpensive lease for Official Car Dealership of AG.com status and various other ads/plugs, but I'd settle for some advice.

• What did Royals fans do to deserve this?

• Quote of the week, from television writer Alan Sepinwall about Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke playing himself on Luck: "The sabermetric side of me can't stand the guy."

Jon Heyman can't stop being Jon Heyman.

Tony Gwynn had a facial nerve transplant during a 14-hour surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his cheek, which is yet another reminder that using smokeless tobacco is stupid.

Matthew Leach is almost as good at photo-bombing as he is at writing for MLB.com.

• Also good at photo-bombing? Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan.

Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model Kate Upton is helping Justin Verlander, David Price, C.J. Wilson, and Jay Bruce sell video games:

There are so many possibilities for a joystick-related joke that I'm not even going to make one.

• Texas Christian University is apparently a lot more fun than the name would suggest.

• How did Allen Iverson burn through $150 million by age 35? Practice.

• If you've ever seen me reference the "defensive spectrum" and wondered what it meant, read this article by friend of AG.com Jay Jaffe.

• As an 18-year-old wannabe writer I attended a sports journalism event at the University of Minnesota during the Final Four in 2001. Lots of big-name media members were there, but none impressed me more than Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe. This week he announced his upcoming retirement on Bill Simmons' podcast.

• In light of his Grammy performance earlier this week, it's important to remember certain things about Chris Brown.

• Netflix recommendation: I put off watching Buck despite hearing it was great because a documentary about a horse trainer didn't sound all that interesting, but ... it's great.

• Baseball Prospectus should definitely give Kevin Goldstein's girlfriend her own column.

Carl Pavano got married, apparently.

• It's now the law that the Twins and White Sox are "arch rivals."

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Whitney Houston singing a live version of "How Will I Know" from 1986:

February 3, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• These would be the latest fashion trend for bloggers, except we don't wear pants.

• I was a guest on "Fan Graphs Audio" with Carson Cistulli and had a great time chatting about non-baseball stuff for around 45 of the 50 minutes. We discussed the Twins briefly at the end, but not before talking about Louis C.K.'s greatness, how getting rejected made me start blogging, the downside of having to wear pants at work, being propositioned for sex, the advantage of having a name that starts with back-to-back A's, and high-brow versus uni-brow. I think you'll like it a lot.

• Congrats might be the wrong word, but Darren Wolfson and Joe Schmit made Deadspin.

Jon Heyman made Deadspin too and as Hardball Talk readers know it was a long time coming.

• Grown men getting angry at teenagers for changing their minds about which college to attend is one of the weirdest things about sports, especially when the decision-making is based on food.

• I'm worried that my soulmate might die before we even have a chance to share a meal.

• Bad news for Matt Garza, but it only seems fair given how the Rays stole him from the Twins.

• I'll bet even Jim Marshall is confused about how this happened.

John Bonnes called in sick for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, so I poured myself a scotch and babbled for an hour.

Blake Griffin's dunk on Kendrick Perkins earlier this week was one of the best you'll ever see:

"Oh me oh my!"

• This deserves a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Royce White was the lead story/photo on ESPN.com, with an article about his on-court success and off-court difficulties written by former Minneapolis Star Tribune beat reporter Myron Medcalf.

• Twenty years from now I'm sure his therapist will say this was really healthy.

• In that case, I'll take World to cover the spread.

• If you like soul music as much as me, D'Angelo simply getting back on stage is good news.

Jimmy Kimmel was an excellent guest on Marc Maron's podcast and I especially enjoyed their discussion about two of my favorite things, holding grudges and napping.

• Focusing on NBCSports.com stuff meant ending a five-year run as editor-in-chief of Rotoworld's fantasy baseball magazine, but I still wrote several articles and the online version is available now.

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a nice article on Terry Kunze, with whom I've been fortunate enough to watch a bunch of basketball games over the years.

• Proving that I'd make an excellent television executive, Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan has been cast as the lead in a new Showtime series with "sex" in the title.

Kevin Love celebrated his $62 million by taking a Luis Scola fastball to the ... well, you'll see:

Houston's announcer also coined a new phrase in describing the play: "The Love Stomach."

Scott Aukerman and Harris Wittels doing a lot of drugs, recording their experience at a Phish concert, and then later commenting on the recordings made for a pretty great podcast.

• Netflix recommendation: Jens Pulver: Driven, a very gritty, compelling documentary about MMA fighter Jens Pulver, from his difficult upbringing and early UFC success to his comeback attempt.

• It's reassuring that one of my favorite comedians, Chelsea Peretti, was funny seven years ago.

Evan Silva's "matchups" column has been a weekly must-read throughout the NFL season and his Super Bowl breakdown is no different even if I disagree with the ending.

• One of the best and longest-running baseball blogs went back to its roots after leaving ESPN.

• There might finally be a good reason to attend White Sox games at U.S. Cellular Field.

• Both my IBM Thinkpad and backup IBM Thinkpad died more or less of natural causes on Sunday, so I decided to take the plunge and get my first Macintosh computer. I got plenty of warnings that it takes some getting used to and even then the number of subtle differences are more frustrating than expected, but after five days with a Macbook Pro it's easy to see why the cult of Apple has so many members. And the Apple Store employees in Ridgedale Mall were incredibly nice and helpful.

• Person you should follow on Twitter: Than Tibbetts, who keeps AG.com running behind the scenes, answers my annoying tech questions, and consistently passes along good Link-O-Rama material.

• Finally, in honor of Etta James passing away recently this week's AG.com-approved music video is her 1968 classic "I'd Rather Go Blind":