September 6, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Will you guys come visit me in Pennsylvania?

• Imagine how great LeBron James would be if he didn't have the world's most disgusting feet.

Chase Utley finally responded to Mac's love letter from "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

• I'm proud to have been there to see Twins Daily writer and local rap superstar Nick Nelson get kicked out of karaoke for swearing.

• My analysis of the Twins trading Justin Morneau to the Pirates, including the identity of the not-yet-official player to be named later.

• I went back through my archives to find the earliest stuff I wrote about Morneau in 2003.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded live in front of an audience at the Minnesota State Fair. We broke down the Morneau trade, fan favorite producer Kate Butler made her triumphant return, the microphones exploded, and the crowd booed John Bonnes when he explained that Paul Allen and Dan Barreiro wouldn't be showing up because it was just us. And we said goodbye to KFAN for the season. Next week it's back to podcast-only (and beer drinking).

• In fact, Saturday afternoon we'll be recording "Gleeman and The Geek" at Summit Brewing's annual "Backyard Bash" event. Details here.

• As a Twins fan it makes me incredibly sad whenever prominent media members ignorantly and dangerously downplay the damage done by concussions, so watching this video felt good:

Imagine being the guy on the other end of that.

• 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.

• I'll probably never write a better headline in my life and I'm fine with that.

"Where Bloggers Blog" might only be of interest to me.

• I really enjoyed this New York Times story about Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem and his wife.

• As someone who lost 150 pounds almost exclusively via counting calories and moderate exercise Susan Perry's "why we can't rely on counting calories" piece for MinnPost was very interesting.

• Much like me, Alison Pill regrets having a BlackBerry.

Craig Finn from The Hold Steady talked Twins with The A.V. Club.

• Defensive lineman Terrence Stephens, who eventually got cut by the Bengals, sang a John Mayer cover on "Hard Knocks." It wasn't bad, either.

Ben Revere is bootylicious.

• I'm always a sucker for bloopers and "Parks and Recreation" has some of the best:

Keep clicking through YouTube, because it's broken up into five parts.

• I had Korean food for the first time in Philadelphia during the SABR convention last month and loved it, so Thursday night I went to a hole-in-the-wall restaurant located in the back of a grocery store in Columbia Heights called Dong Yang Oriental Food and fell further in love.

dong yang restaurant

Definitely worth checking out.

Road Warrior Animal followed me on Twitter, so 10-year-old me had an amazing week.

• "Jordan, Jesse, Go!" is always great, but Shelby Fero joining Jordan Morris and Jesse Thorn this week was especially delightful. And also Thorn encouraged listeners to "write something about us on your f***ing blog." Done and done.

• Netflix just added Gary Gulman's stand-up special and it's basically perfect.

• During my weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen we discussed the Twins' projected 2014 lineup and my pick to win the World Series. And dating at the State Fair, of course.

Julie Klausner was also at the Minnesota State Fair last week and her recap was magical.

Neko Case is really funny/great.

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

- "Chase Utley groupies"
- "Pirates trade for Joe Mauer"
- "Dick Bremer awful"
- "Jonny Flynn shirtless"
- "Complete list of all Matt Capps cards"
- "Kevin Garnett prom picture"
- "Tim Lincecum fan fiction"
- "Who is Aaron Gleeman?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Wake Me Up" by Avicii and Aloe Blacc:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

August 23, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Thursday morning I was a guest on Paul Allen's show live from the KFAN booth at the State Fair. I had zero idea what they had planned, but much like last year it turned into an excuse to find me a date on the radio and in front of fair-goers sitting on bleachers watching us. Things got awkward and (hopefully) funny enough that I stayed on for three segments. You can listen to the first part here and the second part here. And then let's agree to never speak of this again.

• Ain't no party like a Corey Feldman party because a Corey Feldman party ... looks really sad.

Joe Mauer is the latest on a long list of catchers suffering concussions at an alarming rate.

• Alcoholism-enabling news of the week: "Australian researches have found a way to improve the hydrating qualities of beer without compromising on taste and ... may even have found a way to avoid a post-drink hangover."

• My favorite moment from this week's "Breaking Bad" episode was an easy choice. And the guy on the left, Bill Burr, is a great stand-up comedian who also hosts a very good podcast.

• Not only is "Community" creator Dan Harmon returning to the show next season, Jonathan Banks is joining the cast after brilliantly playing Mike Ehrmantraut on "Breaking Bad."

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we tried to figure out how the Twins' rotation can avoid being terrible again next season and examined the two major types of Twins fandom.

St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer Ben Garvin made a stop-motion video of his magic beard:

Us beardos have to stick together.

Delmon Young has been reunited with the Rays six years after they traded him to the Twins.

• Every six months or so Peter Gammons takes a seemingly random shot at me on Twitter for some reason. I try not to get worked up about it, because he's one of the best baseball writers of all time, he's been nice to me personally, and he turned me on to Susan Tedeschi years ago.

Will Leitch, formerly of Deadspin and currently of Sports On Earth and New York magazine, invited me on his podcast to chat about old-school blogging, staying away from steroids, and why Gammons likes to jab at me. I've been online acquaintances with Leitch for a decade or so and we were even featured together in a Sports Illustrated article alongside Bill Simmons, but I'm not sure I'd ever actually spoken to him before. It was fun and I think you'll enjoy listening.

• I can only assume that my working from home as an internet baseball writer played a big part in Google naming Minnetonka this year's "eCity of Minnesota." Whatever that means.

• Exactly how discouraging was Kyle Gibson's first taste of the big leagues?

• Grantland followed Hannibal Buress around with a camera as he worked on jokes.

• As a longtime John Mayer fan a lot of this stuff makes sense to me, but it's probably not a winnable battle at this point. His new album is good, though.

• If only for nostalgia I wouldn't mind the Twins signing Johan Santana to a cheap deal.

Morgan Murphy is hilarious on Twitter and pretty damn funny on stage too. Woo!

• MLB formed a seven-person committee of SABR members to incorporate as 25 percent of their Gold Glove award selection process. And my favorite part is that the man wearing these socks is one of the seven chosen. You probably didn't realize I was hanging out with defensive experts.

• Angels manager Mike Scioscia claims the A's never taught Grant Green how to bunt, but his story doesn't quite check out.

• My fellow Howard Stern fans will enjoy this: Within the span of around 72 hours this week "Baba Booey" was mentioned during a Padres broadcast and on "The Newsroom":

That made me feel slightly better about still watching "The Newsroom."

• I had an in-depth discussion with Glen Perkins about what it takes to be a closer.

• Honestly, sometimes I wish my fans would dial back the praise just a little bit.

Clayton Kershaw is a bad, bad man.

• I finished re-watching "The Sopranos" via HBO GO, devouring all 86 episodes in 84 days. I'd like to write something substantial about the experience at some point, but the short version is that I loved the show even more the second time around and certainly appreciated many of the themes more as a 30-year-old than as a 20-year-old. Here's a collection of my tweets about re-watching the show, in reverse order.

• Any movie co-starring Adam Scott and Robin Tunney can't help but be good and "See Girl Run" is definitely worth checking out on Netflix. Scott did steal my tuxedo t-shirt look, though.

• I was home from the State Fair by 11:30 a.m. on opening day and left without eating anything. And that might be my only State Fair appearance of the year, although I'm reconsidering because Julie Klausner is hosting the Walker Arts Center's "internet cat video festival" there Wednesday. I'm not sure what that is, exactly, but I do know she's great.

• I'm tempted to go check out "Wits" at the Fitzgerald Theater because they have a bunch of good comedians scheduled as guests and must-follow tweeter Alison Agosti writes for the show.

Tom Segura might be my pick for the most underrated stand-up comedian and he also co-hosts a good podcast, so not surprisingly he was a great guest on Marc Maron's show.

• This week I re-upped my yearly subscription to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index, which is the most indispensable research tool in sports and probably my favorite thing ever.

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

- "Inga Hammond and Scott Erickson"
- "Girls Gone Gleeman"
- "Lindsay Lohan baseball"
- "Lean Cuisine keeps me in shape"
- "Paulie Gualtieri tattoo"
- "What size shirt should a 265-pound man wear?"
- "St. Paul chubby chasers"
- "Something so ugly that it's beautiful"
- "David Fincher babyface"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell:


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June 28, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Richard Matheson, whose brilliant novel "I Am Legend" was made into a mediocre Will Smith movie that completely missed the entire point, died this week at age 87. Read the book.

Big deal. My office has never not served beer. On weekends too.

• There were tons of GIF-able moments in the "Mad Men" season finale, but this was my favorite.

• I didn't have any plans last Friday night, so I was just thrilled to be part of this guy's tweeting.

• There are lots of amazing Byron Buxton stats, but I'll put this one up against any of them.

• Congrats to Tom Pelissero for his new gig at USA Today. Vikings fans were lucky to have his in-depth coverage at 1500ESPN.com.

Glen Perkins was distraught after being left out of last week's Link-O-Rama, so now I'm just mentioning his name to keep the Twins' closer happy. Look how cute he is!

Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Thome, Paul Molitor, and the best old hitters in Twins history.

• I'm very pleased to have inspired someone to be inspired by Mase.

• Speaking of Mase, once the Blackhawks fans in Wrigleyville celebrating their Stanley Cup win started playing "Mo Money Mo Problems" the barriers had no chance:

Almost makes me wish I cared about hockey.

Bobby Bland, a great and underrated soul singer from the 1960s and 1970s, died this week at age 83. Jay-Z heavily sampled his song "Ain't No Love In the Heart of the City" back in 2001.

• I'll be reading this for the articles.

• This week's reminder that I went to journalism school.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com put together a lengthy, well-done oral history of the 2003 NBA draft, which produced one of the most valuable classes of all time. And also Darko Milicic.

• During my weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen we stopped talking Twins when Flip Saunders called in. I even asked him a question (sort of), but he didn't hint at last night's madness.

• As a devoted "Chopped" fan this news made me smile.

• Gotta be a top five couple of all time in terms of most combined talent in the same field.

Manny Machado is 20 years old and on pace for the most doubles of all time.

• "The Sopranos" creator David Chase gave an incredible eulogy for James Gandolfini.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed Kyle Gibson's call-up and lots of Twins stuff, but then spent way too long analyzing our respective plans for a zombie apocalypse.

Jerry Seinfeld was on Howard Stern's show for a 90-minute interview and it was great:

I grew up obsessively listening to Stern back when Seinfeld first got his television show and then angrily stopped coming on Stern, so the ease with which they reconnected made me happy.

• Oh nothing, just a picture of young Paulie Walnuts from "The Sopranos."

John Mulaney on dating a Jewish woman is pretty great.

Julie Klausner's latest podcast episode was basically perfect. She covered two of my favorite topics, Tony Soprano and hating to talk on the phone, and then had on two excellent guests in Chiara Atik and Kat Dennings.

• AG.com reader Liz Rudolph is doing her master's thesis on sports fans and Twitter, so she's looking for people to help her by filling out this survey.

• Not gonna lie, this was one of my most painful breakups.

• Multiple-time AG.com sponsor of the week Curt's Salsa was recently featured in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

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

- "Baseball blogs"
- "Cuddyer groupies"
- "How long to lose tenths of a pound?"
- "Terry Francona girlfriend"
- "Stan Rizzo shirtless"
- "Troy Aikman has an ugly personality"
- "Alison Brie wearing glasses"
- "Joe Mauer switch-hitter"
- "Obsessed with podcasts"
- "Kevin Love boxers or briefs?"
- "Fat guy asleep"

• Finally, in honor of Wednesday's news this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Let's Get Married" by Al Green:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Curt's Salsa, a locally owned salsa company that believes in fresh ingredients and rooting for the little guy. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

March 15, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Nick Punto took a 3-2 pitch during the ninth inning of Italy's final World Baseball Classic game. He thought it was ball four. The umpire called it strike three. GIF magic ensued.

• "The Professor, the Bikini Model, and the Suitcase Full of Trouble" is a pretty great article title, but it doesn't even begin to convey how insane and fascinating this story is.

• It turns out not even hate groups can hate Jennifer Lawrence.

• I feel sorry for Mariners fans because Jeff Sullivan is one of the best, most original bloggers around, but a lot of what he wrote hit home with me and echoes my thoughts about turning 30.

• I'll bet even the Jerky Boys would be proud of this one.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we spent a whole bunch of time talking about Aaron Hicks and also tried to figure exactly how stupid it would be to buy a bar together.

• Speaking of which, my grandpa owned a bar in Duluth for a long time before I was born and I stumbled across this Duluth News Tribune article about him from 1972.

• If nothing else, Glen Perkins committed to drinking at my bar if we call it "Mom's Basement."

• Perkins and Joe Mauer look more or less the same a dozen years later.

• What happens when a boxer tries to confront his Twitter troll? About what you'd expect.

• I haven't done a mailbag in months, so I'm fielding questions on Twitter to answer next week.

• In case anyone forgot for a second who's the best, Louis C.K. provides a nice reminder.

This wasn't bad either.

• My annual series ranking the Twins' top prospects concluded this week with an overview of the farm system as a whole.

Vin Scully has a story he hadn't told in 50 years that's better than most people's best story.

• "Duck Dynasty" had 8.2 million viewers last week. To put that in context, consider that no "Mad Men" episode has ever topped 3.5 million and "Parks and Recreation" averages 3.1 million.

• I'm not sure if this makes me feel better or worse about getting old, but I'm the same age as, among other things, McNuggets, the moonwalk, the Disney Channel, and Microsoft Word.

• I know almost nothing else about him, but based on this Cory Booker is my favorite politician.

• Twins Daily is hosting a get-together to watch the Twins-Rays spring training game on Saturday afternoon, March 23. I'll be there, drinking and watching and whatevering. Details here.

• Sometimes you can't help but ask yourself "how did I get so damn lucky?"

• As a Gilbert Gottfried fan I'm a little bummed out to learn that he's, like, a real person.

• Old friend Carlos Gomez got a $24 million contract extension from the Brewers and based on the reaction I saw on Twitter many Twins fans refuse to believe he's not terrible.

• With the new Pope and all, I wonder if this is still true or not.

• As someone whose job requires him to keep constant tabs on hundreds of sites at once, Google Reader shutting down makes me incredibly sad. There are some alternatives, though.

Pete Rose and his fiancee are the worst actors ever:

It almost seems like a "Tim and Eric" sketch.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra got himself on MLB Network during the World Baseball Classic and really did everyone at HardballTalk proud.

Julie Klausner, whose "How Was Your Week" podcast and overall crush-worthiness I've touted in the past, is coming here in August to host a "cat video festival" at the State Fair. Which means my new goal for 2013 is to appear together on one of KFAN's live-from-the-fair shows.

• I watched a great French movie this week called "Amelie" and you can get an English-subtitled version on Amazon for just 99 cents. Highly recommended.

• My nomination for the saddest GIF on the internet.

• I miss the old days when a chubby guy with glasses could be in a boy band and not necessarily even be the ugly one.

• My analysis of the Vikings trading Percy Harvin.

• Baseball-Reference.com has made its "Play Index" free through April 15, if you've ever wanted to try the world's most indispensable tool for baseball research.

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

- "Max Kepler fantasy"
- "Dick Bremer final season"
- "Aaron Gleeman chicken rice recipe"
- "Will Joel Zumaya play baseball again?"
- "Why did Chelsea Peretti quit drinking and pot?"
- "Indian women bathroom SABR"
- "Is Joe Mauer a switch-hitter?"
- "First time Anna Kendrick had sex"
- "Jimmer has weird jaws"
- "SABR analytics child"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Newman and Rudimental doing a live version of "Feel The Love":


This week's blog content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's newest shirt honoring the "Legends" of Minnesota baseball. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

January 4, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Here's the job posting for the St. Paul Pioneer Press' new Twins beat reporter. Apply today!

• In their most controversial decision since naming Nick Blackburn the Twins' top prospect, Baseball America named me one of the "top 50 baseball-related Twitter accounts."

• I'm not much of a soccer fan, but Mark Willis' soccer-style MLB jersey designs are fantastic.

Jeff Piascik of College Baseball Daily wrote a nice article about Twins coach Joe Vavra's son, Tanner Vavra, who plays Division I baseball at Valparaiso University despite being blind in his right eye. Remarkable story. He hit .332 with a .425 on-base percentage as a junior.

• Minnesota is close enough to Iowa that she probably should have stopped by to say hello.

• I wrote about turning 30 years old, being a weirdo, doing something for a really long time, and pondering life changes.

• I'm kind of sad that no one got me Anthony Mason for my birthday this year.

• Presumably to celebrate my birthday Netflix instant has added two of my favorite dozen or so movies in "Blue Valentine" and "Blue Chips." I own "Blue Chips" on VHS and have seen it at least 20 times, and I watched "Blue Valentine" four times in one weekend a while ago. I recommend viewing them back-to-back and then having a good cry. The order isn't important.

• Easily the sexiest dress I've ever seen.

Nick Nelson subbed for a vacationing John Bonnes on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode and we discussed our decreasing expectations for the Twins in 2013 and which pitchers they should have signed as free agents.

• Vita.mn named "Gleeman and The Geek" one of the best podcasts of 2012.

• I saw "Django Unchained," which is nowhere close to Quentin Tarantino's best movies but right up there with his most enjoyable movies. If that makes any sense. In terms of overall quality, I'd rank them: "Pulp Fiction," "Reservoir Dogs," "Jackie Brown," "Inglourious Basterds," "Django Unchained," "Kill Bill," "Grindhouse."

• Speaking of Tarantino, this video of every pop culture reference in his movies is pretty great:

"That is Marilyn Monroe. That is Mamie Van Doren. And I don't see Jayne Mansfield, so she must have the night off or something."

Bobby Womack, whose song "Across 110th Street" is one of my all-time favorites, may be suffering from Alzheimer's at age 68.

Ryan Freel's family is donating his brain to science to find out if the former major leaguer's numerous concussions led to his suicide at age 36.

• One of my favorite podcasters/people, Julie Klausner, was profiled in the New York Times.

• Rotoworld surpassed one billion (yes, billion) page views in 2012, which makes a man feel extra good about dropping out of college for a full-time job there in 2005.

• I've soured on Adam Carolla over the years, but my fellow old school "Loveline" fans should definitely check out his new weekly podcast with Dr. Drew Pinsky.

• Former big leaguer Fernando Tatis replied to a random tweet of mine from two years ago.

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus wrote a great article about those absurd "scouting reports" television broadcasts show for starting pitchers.

Torii Hunter used religion as an excuse for intolerance and then showed off his backpedaling skills, which we've seen before.

• My attempt to put Joe Mauer's season in context, which is something few people in Minnesota seem interested in doing.

Chipper Jones is keeping himself busy in retirement.

Andruw Jones was arrested on Christmas for allegedly abusing his wife after she "asked him to help her assemble a computer table." And then she filed for divorce.

• A few people wondered if this was me, as if I'd ever leave the house to go to St. Cloud.

• I really liked "Gosford Park" on Netflix instant, so I also watched another Robert Altman movie, "The Long Goodbye," and was amused to see former major leaguer and "Ball Four" author Jim Bouton in a sizable supporting role. Toss in Elliott Gould and his chest hair in the leading role and the whole thing really made me wish I lived in the 1970s.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" is my favorite podcast and Alicia Tobin is my favorite guest, so this made me happy.

Jessica St. Clair's appearance on "Who Charted?" with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack was very funny.

• This e-mail from Pandora sums me up well.

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

- "Marney Gellner hot"
- "Lori Loughlin twins"
- "Dave Attell twins"
- "Julie Klausner nude"
- "Mitchell Kowitz arrested"
- "Jerome Felton girlfriend"
- "16-year-olds on Chopped"
- "Lindsay Guentzel model"
- "Clarence Clemons and Robin Quivers"
- "Phil Ivey girlfriend"
- "Linda Cardellini martial arts"

• Finally, in honor of hearing this song for the first time in "Blue Chips" as an 11-year-old and immediately becoming hooked on Van Morrison this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Baby Please Don't Go":

This week's blog content is sponsored by Paul "Fantasy Camper" Bennett, who'll be blogging and tweeting about his annual experience at Twins fantasy camp in Fort Myers the week of January 6. Please support him for supporting AG.com.

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