July 19, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Sign-ups are open for the Twin Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game on September 14. For just $36 you get a ticket to the Twins-Rays game, a t-shirt commemorating the event, and a chance to go pregame bar-hopping with me, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and various other people of note from the internet. Space is limited, so go reserve your spot.

Daunte Culpepper, who once received a $16 million signing bonus from the Vikings, just had his 10,000-square foot house in Florida taken by the bank as part of a foreclosure case.

Carly Rae Jepsen looked good throwing out the first pitch at an Orioles game two months ago, but her second try at a Rays game didn't go so well.

• There was an entertaining profile of Mets ace Matt Harvey in Men's Journal and his comments about modeling his dating life after Derek Jeter drew headlines, but here's my favorite excerpt:

"Dirty martinis and music--that's the big motto in our family," he says, describing his extended Italian-American clan as a rowdy tribe, fond of letting loose as often as possible. "We get the booze going, and the music starts playing. Always old-school hip-hop. Jay-Z. Tribe Called Quest. The Pharcyde. My parents love that stuff."

Do you think Harvey's parents would adopt me? Imagine going to a family dinner and everyone is drinking and your mom puts on Tribe Called Quest. No wonder their son is a superhero.

• All-Star game reminder: Mariano Rivera is amazing, but Joe Nathan is pretty great too.

• I have a couple openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode includes a special guest co-host, on-air reactions to the Twins' just-announced roster moves, and lots of Ron Gardenhire talk.

• Oh nothing, just Rosie O'Donnell awkwardly introducing Puff Daddy and Mase to the crowd at the Nickelodeon awards in 1998:

I was 15 years old in 1998, so you can imagine how things got to be the way they are.

Bud Selig says he's never sent an e-mail in his life.

Tim Lincecum and Buster Posey are the cutest.

• Apparently the Kenny Chesney concert screwed up the grass at Target Field.

• My weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen on KFAN included Glen Perkins trade talk, debating the merits of the Twins not spending money, and the apparent return of "Girls Gone Gleeman."

• On a related note, if the Twins trade Perkins this is the picture fans can look at before storming Target Field.

• And speaking of pictures of the Twins' closer, here's Perkins and Joe Mauer through the years as high school All-Stars, World Baseball Classic teammates, and MLB All-Stars. Pretty cool.

Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky forever.

• I'm apparently not the only blogger re-watching "The Sopranos."

Ben Revere, who hit .347 in 65 games since May 1, is now out two months with a broken foot.

• Before that injury Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs wrote a great piece examining how close Revere has actually come to hitting a home run.

• Netflix's new original series "Orange Is The New Black" is definitely worth watching. It's a little uneven at times in terms of tone and some of the performances border on cheesy, but there's lot of good characters, some very compelling scenes, and more humor than I expected.

• "Orange Is The New Black" has a scene in which a prisoner references a YouTube video about the positive impact from minimal amounts of exercise, so I found the video and it's good:

As a lazy person with a sedentary job that's basically the exercise approach that worked for me.

• I'm not sure why, since it was the All-Star break and the team is so depressing, but for some reason I wrote three lengthy Twins articles this week in addition to a two-hour podcast. It would make me feel better about my questionable use of time if you'd read all the stuff:

- Reviewing the Twins' first half: Hitters
- Reviewing the Twins' first half: Pitchers
- Who are the worst All-Stars in Twins history?

Those three articles were written in the span of 72 hours and include about 6,000 words. To put that in some context, many novels are 40,000-50,000 words. This is one of those weeks when I start to think about the amount of Twins content I could produce if it were a job rather than an unpaid hobby and then start to think about needing a new hobby. Anyway, do me a favor and read as many of those 6,000 words as you can.

• I went with a different photo to accompany my "Who are the worst All-Stars in Twins history?" post, but this "Ronald Coomer" baseball card definitely needs to be seen.

• I still can't believe they let my HardballTalk blog-mate Craig Calcaterra (and his HBT Daily co-host Kay Adams) on the field for the All-Star game.

Chris Davis quit Twitter right before the All-Star game and I'm surprised he lasted that long.

• I love when celebrities talk about their Howard Stern fandom and Jonah Hill was the latest to do so on Marc Maron's podcast.

• For my fellow Stern fans: Did you know the morning show that friend of AG.com Dana Wessel now produces on KTWIN-96.3 is co-hosted by longtime Stern show regular Cane? I just pieced that together last week and now I have so many Crazy Cabbie questions for him.

• Speaking of Maron, he was a guest on Joe Rogan's show and they had a good three-hour talk.

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

- "What did the Twins get for Matt Capps?"
- "Picture of Brendan Harris hitting"
- "Famous people over 350 pounds"
- "Zooey Deschanel fantasy baseball"
- "Aaron Gleeman watches 'Blue Valentine'"
- "Man stuffing face"
- "Elliptical workouts at midnight"
- "Elisha Cuthbert in Minnesota"
- "Nikola Pekovic girlfriend"
- "Who was Roy Smalley?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Royals" by Lorde:


This week's blog content is sponsored by the Twins Daily light rail pub crawl/Twins game, where you can join Aaron Gleeman, John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs for a day of bar-hopping and baseball on September 14. Space is limited, so book your spot.

July 13, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• August 1 will be the 10-year anniversary of this blog and it seems like I should do something special to celebrate, but so far I'm drawing a blank. If you have any ideas besides "announce your retirement" I'd love to hear them, but please keep in mind my usual level of laziness.

Glen Perkins outed himself as a stat-head with interesting thoughts about how knowing the numbers can help pitchers and how advanced metrics might underrate relievers like him.

• Finally, my working from bed while lying down emerges as a brilliant way to beat the system.

• This almost makes up for all the parents who threw their kids' baseball card collections away.

• All you need to know about my appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen yesterday: It was three segments long and after listening my mom said: "Now you have two Jewish mothers."

• Making fun of Jonah Hill would be easy, except the best-case scenario for my current weight loss involves spending the rest of my life in constant fear of following in his footsteps.

• And at the opposite end of the spectrum there's Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis.

• Should the Twins trade Denard Span, Josh Willingham, Justin Morneau, and Francisco Liriano? I'm glad you asked.

• Amazon's plan for taking over the world would guarantee that I never leave the house.

• Eight years, one marriage, and two children later former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Jessica Alba is still getting the job done.

Larry Bird had a very sensible take on the current Olympic team vs. Dream Team "debate."

Ballplayer: Pelotero is a new documentary about teenage prospects in the Dominican Republic that's made headlines because Bud Selig is angry about how it portrays the allegedly corrupt system in which they sign with MLB teams. Twins fans should be particularly interested in the film because it tells the behind-the-scenes story of two players who signed as 16-year-olds in 2009 and one of them is Miguel Sano. Here's a preview:

Sano is now the Twins' top prospect and one of the best prospects in baseball, and the movie opens today. I'll have a review early next week, but in the meantime I'd encourage anyone in the Twin Cities to see it locally at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis, where Ballplayer: Pelotero is showing from July 13-19 as part of The Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul. For show times and further details, click here.

• As someone totally obsessed with the Food Network show Chopped this is pretty great.

• When he's done counting his $18.3 million Antonio Esfandiari can say he won the richest poker tournament of all time.

• One out of every eight MLB regulars was an All-Star this season and even that might be stretching the definition of "regulars" a little bit.

Adrian Peterson hired Roger Clemens' lawyer following his arrest in Houston.

Kyrie Irving does things with a basketball that shouldn't be possible and it's only a practice.

Zach Lowe's blog on SI.com has become an hourly must-read during the NBA offseason.

• I'm way too excited that this show is coming back on the air next week.

• Minnesotans complain a lot about Joe Mauer's contract, but it could be much, much worse.

• I saw Moonrise Kingdom and definitely enjoyed parts of it, but mostly came to the conclusion that I just don't get Wes Anderson.

• If you're interested in a movie that's still quirky, but in a less annoying, more compelling way I rented Death of a Superhero and highly recommend it.

Dov Davidoff's appearance on You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes was full of really deep, interesting conversation with some comedy sprinkled in.

• As always, the combination of Chelsea Peretti and Harris Wittels on the same podcast can't be beat, especially when you add in Adam Scott and Scott Aukerman.

• Netflix instant recommendation: The Swell Season is such a well-done documentary that I loved it despite only barely being familiar with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

• This week's Gleeman and The Geek episode mostly featured me obsessing about unknowingly wearing a shirt that John Bonnes owns too, but there's also a look back at how our winter over/under predictions for the Twins have fared.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "For You" by Angus and Julia Stone:

September 2, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by ... no one. Please help support AG.com's free content and advertise your product, service, local business, or website by becoming a "Sponsor of the Week."

Free Toby!

• I'm fortunate in that no one really liked me much as a fat guy, but Jonah Hill isn't so lucky.

Halle Berry celebrated her 45th birthday by making it very difficult to believe she celebrated her 45th birthday.

Ryan Braun had his sights on an inside-the-park homer, but instead he wiped out. And then his teammates recreated the crime scene.

• I can't wait to hang out with Sarah Silverman at the NBC company Christmas party.

• Texting with Shaquille O'Neal seems like fun.

• TMZ reports that Lenny Dykstra "pulled a bait and switch" with his penis "at least six times."

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a great story about fellow St. Paul native (and JCC basketball league alum) Jack Hannahan and the generosity of his Indians teammates.

• This chart showing the evolution of every NBA team's logo is oddly fascinating.

• I respect Minka Kelly for not calling me immediately. She obviously doesn't want to come off as desperate.

• It turns out no one really wants to watch Conan O'Brien on TBS either.

• Two great tastes that taste great together: Judd Zulgad and Joe Anderson are teaming up for 1500-ESPN's new show.

• My favorite part of Twitter this week was Gilbert Arenas feuding with comedian Joe Mande.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Aubrey Plaza was fantastic on Late Show With David Letterman, progressing from nervous to charming to funny to serious in a 10-minute interview:

And there's even a Minnesota reference thrown in.

Kelly Brook on a bicycle. That's all.

• As a veteran of many conference calls and planning sessions, I can relate.

• One of my favorite baseball reporters, Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger, gave a lengthy, interesting interview about the beat writing world.

• Based on these photos Sammy Sosa seems really bothered by the constant steroid talk.

• If she's in, then I'm out.

• As someone who co-created a similarly ambitious independent sportswriting site I'm rooting extremely hard for Tom Scharpling, Bethlehem Shoals, Eric Freeman, and The Classical.

• My favorite review of "Gleeman and The Geek" was posted after the podcast's first episode:

This is a good medium for Gleeman. He writes like an arrogant spiteful jerk, but he seems like a good guy talking to you.

Aw, shucks.

• My second favorite review of the podcast was sent to the show's Twitter account:

Listening to "Gleeman and The Geek" it hit me: If you close your eyes, Aaron Gleeman sounds like Christopher Walken.

I'd never really heard myself talk for an extended period of time before, but I now realize how ridiculous and inexplicable my accent is for someone who's lived in Minnesota for his entire life. Based on the early feedback I sound like a mix of Christopher Walken, Michael Rapaport, and the "Da Bears" guys from Saturday Night Live. You can, of course, judge for yourself.

Harris Wittels, Chelsea Peretti, and Adam Scott on "Comedy Bang Bang" might have been the hardest I've ever laughed at a podcast.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Diora Baird was a recent guest on Riki Lindhome's new "Making It" podcast.

Alex Rodriguez cares more about gambling than what MLB thinks about his gambling and as a fellow degenerate I approve.

• Mixed martial arts was already rapidly ascending into the mainstream, but the UFC signing a long-term deal with FOX and FX should move things along even more quickly. And they're not messing around with the first event.

Bruce Feldman leaving ESPN for CBS is a very interesting story.

• Renowned never-nude enthusiast and 47-year-old comedian/actor David Cross got engaged to 28-year-old actress Amber Tamblyn.

Bill Simmons and my dad hang out in the same places, apparently.

• Last week was my five-year anniversary at NBC, so if you haven't already maybe think about checking out HardballTalk.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is James Taylor and Joe Walsh teaming up for a live cover of "Goodnight Irene" on Howard Stern's show:

July 22, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by Wholesale Gold and Diamond Distributors in Minneapolis, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your jewelry needs ...

• Not that it was ever tough to sell me bacon in the first place, but this is especially effective.

Bruce Willis has never looked so good.

• Earlier this week the Twins sold $391,000 worth of bobblehead dolls in one day.

Jay-Z and Kanye West teaming up for the sample-filled song "Otis" is interesting, but mostly just reminds me how awesome Otis Redding was.

• Sure, but at least it's a really great face.

• Congratulations to Jonah Hill for losing a ton of weight, although unfortunately for his career this means Hollywood will have to find a new fat guy to co-star in every comedy movie.

David Brauer of MinnPost reports that Chip Scoggins will soon become the Minneapolis Star Tribune's newest sports columnist after years of covering the Vikings alongside Judd Zulgad.

• Someone tell Adrian Peterson to get in line.

• I'm still grieving the end of Friday Night Lights, but Connie Britton has already moved on.

Friday Night Lights was able to squeak out five great seasons despite poor ratings, but sadly the similarly underrated and underwatched TNT show Men of a Certain Age isn't so lucky.

• Cleveland starter Justin Masterson shut out the Twins for 7.2 innings Tuesday night despite throwing a fastball on 103 of his 104 pitches.

• If you turned off last night's Twins game early, you missed Wilson Betemit make one of the worst throws in baseball history.

• I've never seen an episode of iCarly and presumably never will, but there's a big The Wire fan on their writing staff who deserves credit for this scene:

For anyone not smart enough to have watched The Wire already, here's the original scene.

• I'm not sure if Ron Gardenhire really loves Japan women's soccer, but we definitely know he pays off his bets.

• Rochester lost 18-3 yesterday and Toby Gardenhire threw a scoreless ninth inning.

• I'm hoping Rihanna has started a new fashion trend for exceptionally good-looking women.

• His bat no longer works like it once did, but Torii Hunter celebrated his 36th birthday earlier this week by announcing that he doesn't have erectile dysfunction.

• Grantland inducted my favorite book of all time, Ball Four, into their sports book Hall of Fame.

• It's been more than a decade and this still makes me sad and furious at the same time.

• As usual, things are going really well for the Canseco brothers. Jose has had a tough week.

Paz de la Huerta gives good interview, particularly for an insane person.

• Tuesday night's Conan had Marc Maron and Susan Tedeschi, which means they were just a Mila Kunis short of creating a show specifically for me.

Wonderful news for Jenna Fischer is slightly less wonderful news for her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidacy and The Office.

Danny Valencia and Chris Perez had a sleepover.

Michael Rand posted a picture of what his Minneapolis Star Tribune colleague Patrick Reusse looked like in the 1970s and it's way too good not to share:

Mind. Blown.

Howard Stern won't take him back, so Artie Lange is doing a new sports radio show.

• Listening to Jonah Keri's podcast as Jon Weisman brought up my name and said nice things about me pretty much made my week. Us original baseball bloggers have to stick together.

• I actually thought about flying to Philadelphia just to steal all the tea.

• Congratulations to Sam Miller for his new gig at Baseball Prospectus and congratulations to Baseball Prospectus for hiring one of the best baseball writers around.

Ozzie is getting upset.

• One of my favorite writers, Clay Travis, launched a new site called Outkick The Coverage.

• Podcast recommendation: Nick Adams was great as a guest co-host on "Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

• I've extended the AG.com "sponsor of the week" program into September and October, so if you're interested in reserving a spot check out the details and current openings.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Tedeschi and her husband Derek Trucks doing a live cover version of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" by Bob Dylan: