April 8, 2011

Link-O-Rama

I'm bummed out about Tsuyoshi Nishioka, but the links must go on ...

• I've been trying to make the switch from sportswriter to pimp for years.

Kris Humphries and Kim Kardashian are still going strong and the former Gopher obviously has "The Kardashian Effect" to thank for becoming one of the NBA's most improved players.

Vin Scully is a big fan of the Honky Tonk Man. Greatness appreciates greatness, obviously.

Charlie Sheen's live show went about as well as should have been expected.

• Speaking of Sheen: Take a number, pal.

• Do all these people moving back into their parents' basements realize they're now obligated to become bloggers? Oddly, my mom threatens to move into my basement on a weekly basis.

• Whenever the level of discourse in the comments section gets me down I remind myself that about one percent of AG.com readers comment regularly. Apparently that's true for most blogs.

Mark Cuban was hanging out in the Hardball Talk comments section, which moves him ahead of Colby Rasmus' dad and Curt Flood's son as our most famous commenter.

• Today's technology would have ruined a bunch of Seinfeld episodes.

Wearing swimsuits remains her specialty, but Brooklyn Decker looks decent in clothes too.

Karl Pilkington is ratings gold.

• I wrote a lot of sentences this week, but this one was definitely my favorite: "Admittedly you can't invite Minka Kelly over to hang out in an earplug." Controversial, but true!

• I haven't danced since leaving the bar mitzvah circuit in 1996 and things have changed quite a bit since then based on Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Kate Upton's impromptu "Dougie" lesson at a basketball game:

My specialty back in the mid-90s was awkward slow dances set to Boyz II Men songs.

• I'm dumbfounded how baseball "analysis" this mind-bogglingly bad gets into any mainstream publication, let alone the New York Times. It would have been a better fit on April 1.

• How long did the New York Times have an Elizabeth Taylor obituary ready to go before she actually died last month? Well, at the bottom of the piece was this footnote: "Mel Gussow, the principal writer of this article, died in 2005."

• Red Sox sideline reporter Heidi Watney narrowly avoided death by chicken and waffles.

• Here's a handy recap of my Twitter exchange with Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, who called me out (sort of) after hearing me talk Twins with Cathy Wurzer on Minnesota Public Radio.

• As my NBCSports.com colleague Craig Calcaterra notes, the Indians treat their bloggers far better than, say, the Twins.

• Friend of AG.com and local Associated Press reporter Jon Krawczynski is standing his ground in the face of a ridiculous lawsuit by NBA referee Bill Spooner.

• A former NBA referee tried to beat up Dominique Wilkins at a Hawks game in Atlanta. Based on the mugshot, he failed.

Gus Hansen might be even better at dating than he is at poker.

• My initial reaction after reading this sad story? Even that guy had a girlfriend.

Ken Rosenthal is the Brother Mouzone of baseball reporters.

• In addition to being the youngest champion in UFC history Jon Jones excels at apprehending thieves on the way to pre-fight waterfalls.

• I've never seen Brock Lesnar be more likable or interesting than in this interview with Ariel Helwani, who also switched gears for a hilarious MMA-driven chat with comedians Jim Norton and Robert Kelly.

Jose Canseco's twin brother Ozzie Canseco tried to impersonate him in a "celebrity boxing" match worth $10,000, but the tattoos gave him away.

• Not surprisingly, the best comedy on television has a great blooper reel:

In related news, my crush on Aubrey Plaza has grown even stronger.

• I can't blame HBO for canceling In Treatment given the lowly viewership numbers, but as one of the few people to see every episode from all three seasons of the Gabriel Byrne-led drama I'll definitely miss what was a truly unique, marvelously acted show.

• In much better television news AMC and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have worked out a deal to ensure the show will run at least two and possibly three more seasons, although the bad news is that new episodes won't begin again until 2012.

• One positive is that should give Jon Hamm plenty of time to shave, put on some socks, find a nice suit, and ditch the Cardinals hat for a little pomade.

• This could revolutionize television and movies or it could be nothing, but Netflix is getting into the content-creation business and their first partnership is with David Fincher.

Zach Galifianakis is creating a show starring one of the few comedians weirder than him.

• Not that this should surprise anyone who's seen her in Boardwalk Empire on HBO, but Paz de la Huerta seems like fun.

• Here's the fatal flaw of these never-ending Domino's commercials: Their new chicken is awful. I'm a fatso who ate chicken wings from Pizza Hut multiple times per week for months, yet even I'll never get it again. Also, what good is having a "rate our chicken" survey on the actual box? Are people supposed to fill it out and bring it back to the restaurant?

• I'm going to be honest about something embarrassing: As a kid I used to like the baked ziti.

• Friend of AG.com and Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Phil Miller got an "honorable mention" for best "game story" of 2010 from the Associated Press Sports Editors.

• Google discovery during the NCAA tournament: Marv Albert's real name is Marvin Aufrichtig and he'll be 70 years old in June.

• If the Timberwolves finally win the draft lottery, here's the guy they'll almost certainly pick.

• If you're into the NBA and interesting artwork, check out this site.

• Along with hosting my latest podcast obsession,Tom Scharpling had an interesting history as a basketball writer.

• My favorite podcast this week was Conan O'Brien's appearance on "WTF" with Marc Maron.

• Where do you stand on The Great Ketchup Debate of 2011?

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Steve Earle singing "I Feel Alright" live:

January 7, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• In what can't possibly be merely a coincidence, my 28th birthday was Monday and that same day Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis announced her breakup with longtime boyfriend Macaulay Culkin. The wheels are in motion, people!

• Speaking of Kunis, her co-star Natalie Portman gave an accurate answer when asked what the makers of Black Swan did to ensure that both women and men would want to see a movie about ballet: "A lesbian scene. Everyone wants to see that." And sure enough, the movie has already grossed over $50 million after being made on a $13 million budget.

Adrian Beltre really, really hates it when someone touches the top of his head, so naturally his teammates do it constantly.

• My house smells like this 24/7 anyway, so I guess I just saved $13.

• A sixth-grade Aaron Gleeman would've been thrilled with this news. Better late than never.

• One of my favorite podcasters, Marc Maron, was profiled this week in the New York Times.

• After seeing True Grit last week, I was shocked to learn what Mattie Ross actually looks like.

• My fellow Louis C.K. fans will enjoy this 11-installment series of 15-minute clips from the time he hosted a three-hour radio show by himself. It was part stand-up comedy and part Loveline.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com tells the story of how a baseball blogger helped get Bert Blyleven into the Hall of Fame after 14 years on the ballot. I'm guessing there's a good chance Blyleven will thank Rich Lederer in his induction speech.

Hurley Reyes won $114 million playing 4-8-15-16-23-42 in the lottery on Lost, but in real life so many peopled used his numbers that they each got just $150.

• If you watch only one video this week starring a man with "a head like a f***ing orange," make it this one:

That's what genius looks like.

• After winning the bidding for Tsuyoshi Nishoka and finishing runner-up for Hisashi Iwakuma it'll be interesting to see if the Twins make a legitimate push for Japanese superstar pitcher Yu Darvish next offseason.

Salma Hayek is a 44-year-old mother. That's all.

Robert DeNiro has been agreeing to star in almost exclusively bad films for the past decade, so at this point you'd think it wouldn't cost so much for him to make another one.

• I'd been holding out to keep my chance at the Gophers job intact.

Brad Radke is one of the biggest names among the first-timers on next year's Hall of Fame ballot, which is hopefully good news for Barry Larkin, Jeff Bagwell, and Tim Raines.

• Now that Andrew Luck has decided to stay in school for his senior season, teams at the top of the draft should really consider making Maria Menounos their top quarterback target, if only because the old "she'd look good in a [fill in the blank] uniform" cliche applies to all 32 teams.

Good for Boston Herald columnist Steve Buckley, although I'm still curious how long it'll take before one of the players he writes about does the same.

• I haven't seen the whole movie, but Let Me In contains one of the most interesting scenes in recent memory.

• I finally signed up for Netflix steaming and highly recommended it for $8 a month, especially if you use this website to help find stuff worth watching. Some early recommendations: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Exit Through The Gift Shop, Super High Me, Restrepo, King of Kong, I Am Comic, Hard Eight.

• Finally, because I'm slowly but surely starting to appreciate Bruce Springsteen in my old age this week's AG.com-approved music video is The E Street Band with a live version of "Rosalita" from five years before I was born:

October 1, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Many times the word "irony" gets misused. This is not one of those times.

• Fan Graphs crunched some numbers on Kenny Powers' career stats and calculated his Wins Above Replacement despite the fact that he "f***ing hates computers, all kinds."

• I hope she asks for the kidney back.

• If your sibling is significantly better looking than you, don't appear in front of cameras while wearing the exact same clothes.

• I'll be co-hosting "Twins Wrap" on 1500-ESPN again tonight with Joe Anderson, starting 40 minutes after the last out.

• If you're into schadenfreude, click here.

• On a related note, Ozzie Guillen will be back with the White Sox next season.

• It's tough to blame a guy too much for having crazy goals when he's already dating Rihanna.

• In a "worlds colliding" discovery, Jin from Lost diagnosed Kramer with gonorrhea on Seinfeld:

Also in the scene: Brian Posehn.

• One of my favorite stand-up comedians, Greg Giraldo, died Wednesday. September was an awful month for the comedy world, with the great Robert Schimmel also passing away.

• After a Fred Lynn-like rookie season doing FSN's weather updates during Twins games, Kate Bilo has taken a new job in Philadelphia. She'll be missed.

• Pittsburgh fired ex-Twins catcher Matt Walbeck after he won Double-A manager of the year.

• More than 40 percent of AOL's revenue still comes from people using their service through a dial-up connection, which is the most shocking thing I've heard since ... well, since I stopped using AOL's dial-up service like 10 years ago.

Doc Rivers' son Austin Rivers is the top-ranked high school basketball player in the country and yesterday he committed to Duke. It surely had nothing to do with this.

• Phew, good to know that whole thing is finally settled. We're cool again, Germany.

• MLB.com has a mesmerizing video showing all 54 of Jose Bautista's homers in two minutes.

• Here's something to think about next time you read an article quoting "an unnamed scout."

• If you're unfamiliar with the brilliance of Karl Pilkington, this video is a good place to start:

And there's more where that came from.

• My main man Drew Silva wrote a lengthy article about the Cy Young award and everything that comes with it this season.

• On one hand, this is pretty cool. On the other hand, I have 20 of the real thing in my garage.

• YoYo Donuts and Coffee Bar opened recently and has really good donuts, which is bad news for fatso baseball bloggers who live a couple blocks away. I'm already into the place for $9.

• Friend of AG.com Ted Berg wrote a very touching, personal piece about life and baseball that you should probably read.

• If you're a student and a blogger, you can get a $10,000 scholarship.

• Here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- The Big Three could start 17 of 19 playoff games for the Phillies
- Pirates clinch MLB's worst record and next year's No. 1 pick
- Mariners "not thinking about changing the general manager at all"
- Pedro Feliciano becomes fifth pitcher in MLB history to make 90 appearances
- Matt Murton threatening to break Ichiro Suzuki's hit record in Japan
- "Setup man of the decade" Scot Shields pondering retirement
- Japanese outfielder Hitoshi Tamura "exploring" move to MLB
- Elvis Andrus is doing Vince Coleman-like things
- Rickey Henderson wants to be on the A's coaching staff

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Sara Bareilles performing a live version of "King of Anything" on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson:

May 7, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Stuff the internet was invented for: Buying, photographing, eating, and reviewing every item in an office vending machine. Godspeed.

• Having blitzed through the entire Kevin Pollak's Chat Show archive last week I've moved on to devouring all The Ricky Gervais Show podcasts, plus his older (and harder to find) radio shows. I'm now in love with Karl Pilkington and have come to the conclusion that I need to utilize the word "bollocks" far more in my writing.

• Seventeen years after beginning his professional career with the Saints, Kevin Millar is back playing independent ball in St. Paul.

• Jets wide receiver and former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes got into trouble recently for doing something on a plane that I've done on every flight I've taken in the past three years.

• My favorite part of tasergate in Philadelphia is that the second doofus who ran onto the field warned his friends beforehand via Twitter and had drugs on him. When you can't be bothered to get rid of (or at least consume) the drugs you're holding before doing something essentially guaranteed to get you arrested ... well, maybe a tasering would have done him some good.

• And speaking of tasergate, this is one of the best photos I've ever seen. Seriously.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Diora Baird's Twitter page is worth reading because she's funny, but posting self-shot pictures like this one also doesn't hurt.

Phil Mackey's latest fantastic blend of traditional reporting and sabermetrics examined J.J. Hardy's defense. If you haven't already, you really ought to bookmark 1500ESPN.com's Twins page for all the great content Mackey and Tom Pelissero are pumping out. I'm jealous.

• My favorite Twins stat of the early season: They're batting .149 with zero homers when the bases are loaded. And they're on pace for 105 wins.

• I stay away from politics here, but it just seems wrong that the country's president is funnier than its most-watched talk show host:

In fairness, the president has better writers.

• You know things are going badly for the White Sox when someone else on the coaching staff is swearing more than Ozzie Guillen.

Joe Posnanski describes exactly why I've never organized an AG.com get-together.

• I can't decide whether Jonah Hex will be the best movie of the year or the worst movie of the year, but after watching the preview I think it'll probably be one or the other.

• My latest weight-loss effort has apparently had a state-wide impact already. Unfortunately, after three straight months with zero slip-ups I fell off the wagon a bit this week. Still down 60 pounds, but I need to get back into a groove Monday or things can snowball. It's amazing how after just one little slip-up my brain immediately starts saying, "Aw screw it, eat whatever you want." I'm realizing more and more that may not be a battle I can ultimately win, but we'll see.

• How do I say this nicely? I'm sick of this Justin Bieber son of a bitch. He can't throw, either.

• Rondell White has filed a federal lawsuit against a financial adviser who allegedly defrauded him out of $1 million in a real estate scam. No word yet on if the Twins plan to sue White for the $5 million they paid him to hit .229/.266/.354 in 2006 and 2007.

• Before the Twins signed Orlando Hudson to play second base many people wanted them to go after Akinori Iwamura and Freddy Sanchez. Now one is injured and the other has already worn out his welcome.

• My obsession with Twitter hasn't weakened any and I'm trying to accumulate 5,000 followers to somehow justify all the time spent posting stuff on there, so give me a follow.

• Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Lance Berkman says the Astros should trade him
- Will the Royals actually play Kila Ka'aihue?
- Stephen Strasburg one step from majors after promotion to Triple-A
- GM says slumping Drew Stubbs won't be demoted
- Heavy workload catching up to Mets setup man Fernando Nieve
- Jim Tracy eschews save-based managing in win
- How bad is the Astros' offense? Really, really bad

• Finally, in honor of Guru passing away recently, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "You Know My Steez" by Gang Starr: