March 1, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I also carefully considered my options before deciding to move out and buy my own house.

• Every student in a Johns Hopkins University class boycotted the final exam, so based on the established grading curve they all got a perfect score.

• I was conflicted seeing all the good-looking movie stars sporting beards at the Oscars, but ultimately they can't be blamed for believing in science.

Nikola Pekovic and Zach Galifianakis are besties now. Lotta respect in the beard game.

• Never forget: Kelsey Grammer was the original Jennifer Lawrence.

• Tough to decide between Lawrence and Jack Nicholson or Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Sally Field for cutest Oscar couple.

• It was a good run, but after nearly three years as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com this might be the end of us. I've got a committee putting together a list of potential candidates.

• And don't feel too bad for Mila Kunis. She's used to it.

• Just to be clear, I'm still willing to marry into Kate Mara's family.

• My annual series ranking the Twins' top prospects will conclude next week, but in the meantime here's the first installment of the top 10.

Ricky Rubio to Alexey Shved on TNT last night: "Change your face. Be happy. Enjoy it."

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode one of my family members was randomly at the bar we chose for the recording and I also compared myself to Jennifer Lawrence.

• Locking yourself out of a hotel room naked is essentially my worst nightmare:

And based on that amazing video it's the worst nightmare of everyone around him too.

Wright Thompson's lengthy ESPN.com piece about Michael Jordan on his 50th birthday is a must-read, if only for the part about Jordan's security code name being a Hebrew word.

• I kind of want to go to New Mexico and take this "Breaking Bad" tour, even if Bryan Cranston isn't around to pose for pictures with everyone.

• Congrats to friend of AG.com and two-time "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Lindsay Guentzel for her new gig on K-TWIN, where she'll co-host a show with Ron Coomer and Mark Rider.

• I've always been a big believer in naps, so I loved the Boston Globe's "how to nap" guide that illustrates the best methods for napping and explains why napping is a good thing. My personal recommendations: Try to nap immediately after finishing work for the day and buy a sleep mask to block out any sunlight for daytime napping (and also to look really cool, obviously).

Erin Andrews had no interest in going to the candy shop.

Zach Lowe of Grantland wrote a really interesting analysis of stat-head general manager Daryl Morey building the Rockets into a high-powered, statistically ideal offense.

• Reading this interview with Linda Cardellini it occurred to me that she's 37 years old, which seemed impossible considering she brilliantly played a teenage Lindsay Weir in 2000. My crush has not dissipated since then and I recommend spending 99 cents to watch Cardellini co-star with John Slattery in the 2011 independent movie "Return."

• Hey, it's spring training for national anthem singers too.

• Now that we know Ron Gardenhire texts I imagine him as a heavy emoticon user.

Stephen Curry had a crazy degree of difficulty while scoring 54 points on 28 shots.

• I first saw Haralabos Voulgaris when he made the final table of a World Poker Tour event in 2007, but poker is just a hobby. He's gotten rich from betting on basketball and as Scott Eden of ESPN.com chronicles that makes him arguably the most successful statistical analysis in sports.

• UFC president Dana White's buddy challenged unassuming lightweight Joe Lauzon to a grappling match and the results were amusingly predictable:

Any weight advantage was canceled out by the scarf.

• Fictional players from my "Hardball Dynasty" league are now being interviewed on Fan Graphs.

• Sure, it's only March 1, but it's hard to believe you'll see a better catch this year.

Jim Thome is still looking for work, so I'll make a standing offer: $20 per episode to co-host the podcast and I'll do the best I can to keep John Bonnes from hugging him.

• It took Joe Posnanski all of two posts on HardballTalk to write something better than anything I've ever written on there.

• In addition to Posnanski we also added Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley to the HardballTalk crew.

• My mom tried to get the inside scoop about the Baer hiring before anyone else.

• There's a podcast about embarrassing pooping stories and it's actually pretty good. "How I Met Your Mother" writer Doug Mand is the host and he's joined on "Doodie Calls" by lots of funny guests, like "Happy Endings" actress Eliza Coupe and Twitter must-follow Alison Agosti.

Adele is great and all, but Paul F. Tompkins does the best version of "Skyfall."

Louis C.K.'s latest stand-up special, which I happily bought for $5 on his website last year, is now available on Netflix online. Here's a screenshot of me watching it for the third time.

• In addition to being an age-old debate Blondes vs. Brunettes is also a female flag football game to raise money for Alzheimer's awareness, so check out a good, fun cause and go to their happy hour at Brit's downtown next week.

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

- "Father of Diora Baird's child"
- "Aaron Gleeman dating Linda Cardellini rumors"
- "Carlos Gutierrez baseball agent"
- "Ear lump"
- "Shecky Souhan"
- "Aaron is fat and mental"
- "NBA players wearing teeth braces"
- "How do I lay my leg with a broken fibula?"
- "Alexey Shved shirtless"
- "Kate Mara ugly"

• Finally, in honor of Cardellini still being great at 37 and Ronda Rousey using it for her entrance at UFC 157 this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Bad Reputation" by Joan Jett:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

February 22, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• This is just a fantastic picture of Ron Gardenhire.

Ricky Rubio and Kenneth Faried are the cutest.

The Onion, being perfect on the subject of television show binging.

• My fellow "Pulp Fiction"-obsessed Quentin Tarantino fans will absolutely love this lengthy Vanity Fair article by Mark Seal.

Joe Posnanski made his NBCSports.com debut today, with lots more to come, and I'm pretty damn excited to call him a co-worker.

Vance Worley started dating his fiancee when she asked him out via Twitter.

Baseball America's annual top 100 prospects list includes six Twins: Miguel Sano (9), Byron Buxton (10), Oswaldo Arcia (41), Alex Meyer (59), Kyle Gibson (68), Aaron Hicks (72).

• This innovation is so up my alley that I pulled some strings to make sure Anthony Jeselnik actually sees mad scientist Carson Cistulli's creation.

• Not only will the Tigers probably win the AL Central again, Detroit finished first in this too.

• Friend of AG.com and Fan Graphs writer David Temple hosts an NPR-style baseball podcast called "Stealing Home" and I was a guest this week, along with Jonah Keri of Grantland.

• My mom e-mailed me this link and wrote "Link-O-Rama idea!"

• I'm starting to feel a real kinship with Delmon Young.

• My iTunes has been playing non-stop Frank Ocean all week, so this is good news.

• One way to tell that we drank beer during this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode is that I discussed Ocean writing "Swim Good" about Liam Hendriks.

• I'm fairly convinced that the woman in this video is my soul mate:

And the outtakes are even better. Addy, seriously, I'll move to Seattle.

• Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was a guest on "The Nerdist" podcast with Chris Hardwick.

• Vikings owner Zygi Wilf invaded my Netflix.

• This is great news about Justin Timberlake, because Craig Calcaterra is covering spring training in Arizona and we could use the extra help on HardballTalk that week.

• I had an amusing interaction this week with a FedEx delivery guy after I answered the door:

Him: "You must work from home."

Me: "Yep."

Him: "Doing what?"

Me: "Writer."

Him: "Thought maybe meth or something cool."

Not quite, although I've always considered myself the Jesse Pinkman of baseball bloggers.

• Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa shaves his beard exactly like I do, which is to say infrequently, lazily, and with something meant to give haircuts.

• I'm currently going through "House of Cards" withdrawal, but this is basically what my inner-monologue looks like at all times.

• I'm sort of hoping that "leading Kate Mara enthusiast Aaron Gleeman" sticks as my nickname.

• Just in case you weren't already convinced of Rickey Henderson's awesomeness.

• You'll never believe this, but no one wanted to watch Pete Rose's horrible reality show.

• Revenge, frog-style.

I was on #TeamFrog from the beginning.

• My favorite NBA writer interviewed one of my favorite NBA players and it was great.

• Two of the greats, AG.com favorite Chelsea Peretti and "Parks and Recreation" actor Adam Scott, teamed up for podcasting gold.

• Thanks to the recent return of my insomnia I had time to catch up on well-regarded movies that I should have seen in the theater. I liked "Argo" a lot and maybe this is just the result of raised expectations, but it fell well short of great. Definitely worth watching just to see Ben Affleck pull off the beard look that I'm always striving for and a supporting cast that includes Walter White, Coach Taylor, Floyd Gondolli, The Smoke Monster, and Lucas from "Empire Records."

• I'm not much of a James Bond fan in general and haven't seen Daniel Craig's first two cracks at the role, but I enjoyed "Skyfall" well enough. Craig plays slick-but-weathered very well and I'm always a huge Javier Bardem fan, but the car chases and shootouts just do nothing for me. I'd watch a movie that was just close-ups of Craig and Zooey Deschanel staring at each other for 96 minutes, though.

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was underwhelming, especially considering how many people I tend to trust about such things loved it. Mae Whitman is always great and Emma Watson might be the heir to Halle Berry's "looks spectacular with short hair" throne, but I thought it was a little too cute for its own good overall.

• Between the hotel room scene and the airplane scene "Flight" started amazing well, but after that not even Denzel Washington could carry it beyond mediocre when Kelly Reilly or John Goodman weren't involved.

• Actually, the best (or at least most compelling) movies I watched this week were documentaries. "Like Water" about Anderson Silva is a must-watch for any mixed martial arts fans despite his questionable taste in restaurants. "The Bitter Buddha" about Eddie Pepitone was hilarious and touching with lots of fun cameos from stand-up comedians. Oscar winner "Undefeated" is so good that it had me pretty close to tearing up over a football team.

Paul F. Tompkins joining Graham Clark and Dave Shumka on this week's "Stop Podcasting Yourself" episode is a perfect example of why it's probably my favorite podcast.

• New blog to check out: The Kid's Take.

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

- "Pictures of 153-pound kids"
- "Marney Gellner age"
- "Does Delmon Young look like Jay-Z?"
- "What to buy with 150 pounds"
- "Anna Kendrick baseball"
- "Gary Gaetti religion"
- "Why did my scale go up after eating turkey?"
- "Troy Aikman hands"
- "Hunan chicken bad for stomach"
- "Danny Valencia naked"
- "Pornstar looks like Zooey Deschanel"
- "Nick Punto speaks Italian"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved song is the aforementioned "Swim Good" by Frank Ocean:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

February 8, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• ZiPS projections for the Twins are now available and in addition to being really ugly they have a bad personality too.

Zach Lowe, formerly of SI.com and now of Grantland, is my favorite NBA writer, and he chatted with Will Leitch about nontraditional paths to sportswriting and blending statistical analysis with old-school reporting. Just really good stuff from two really good writers.

• Typos can be fun sometimes.

• A glimpse at my mom being a parents-versus-technology stereotype.

Mark Willis has been designing soccer-style MLB jerseys and posted his AL Central creations, including a surprisingly understated Twins version that would no doubt sell amazingly well.

• "Delmon Young striking out looking" by Jeff Sullivan of Fan Graphs is a must-read.

Torii Hunter Jr. signed to play football at Notre Dame.

Todd Helton, who's earned more than $150 million playing baseball, got a DUI while going to buy lottery tickets at a gas station in the middle of the night. Helluva mug shot, too.

• Netflix released the first season of "House of Cards" and it took me just 48 hours to watch all 13 episodes. And that was me actually trying to pace myself. Kevin Spacey is incredible in the lead role, everything about the show is HBO-caliber from the characters and storylines to the acting and look, and I'm completely smitten with Kate Mara. I've already pitched hiring Zoe Barnes for HardballTalk to my bosses at NBC. If nothing else she's familiar with social media.

• Mara has single-handedly put Mila Kunis' status as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com in jeopardy after nearly three years with the title. When told, this was her reaction. Or maybe this.

• According to Variety, approximately 25 percent of Netflix users who watched the first episode of "House of Cards" finished all 13 episodes within five days. My people!

• And now we're all going through the six stages of grief together. I'm currently stuck on Stage 5.

• Netflix announced that the first episode of "House of Cards" is available to everyone through the end of February, even if they don't subscribe, so I highly recommend checking it out.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode John Bonnes tried his best to stop me from talking about "House of Cards" for 90 consecutive minutes and we also took a team-by-team look at the AL Central and discussed Dave St. Peter's dimples.

• This week's "The Ultimate Fighter" episode had an incredible knockout and the quick reversal in everyone's reaction made for compelling drama too:

Nothing mixes humanity and fighting like a heartfelt "I'm sorry" to an unconscious person.

Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone needed couples therapy, basically.

• I would award Jason Whitlock a Pulitzer Prize for unintentional comedy.

• Twins prospect Aaron Hicks makes good use of Twitter.

Jonathan Rauch of The Atlantic wrote an interesting article titled "Caring For Your Introvert" and the opening paragraph might as well have been written specifically about me:

Do you know someone who needs hours alone every day? Who loves quiet conversations about feelings or ideas, and can give a dynamite presentation to a big audience, but seems awkward in groups and maladroit at small talk? Who has to be dragged to parties and then needs the rest of the day to recuperate? Who growls or scowls or grunts or winces when accosted with pleasantries by people who are just trying to be nice?

He goes on to talk about how introverts are often perceived incorrectly as arrogant or aloof, which is something that's definitely been an issue for me. Good article and hits close to home.

• On a related note, I was on television this week (sort of).

• "Replacement-level player" isn't just an abstract idea, as Dave Cameron of Fan Graphs shows.

Jack Morris, who previously did some part-time radio work for the Twins, was hired by the Blue Jays as their new radio analyst.

• NFL.com has great audio of both teams during the final minutes of the Super Bowl, including Joe Flacco suggesting Ravens on the sideline should run onto the field to stop 49ers kick returner Ted Ginn if he looked headed for a touchdown. My favorite part? Matt Birk hearing that and reacting like you would when a drunk buddy wants to do something crazy: "Why can't you?"

• On a related note, this is a great story about a Ravens player who didn't get much attention for saying something good and a sportswriter who thanked him for it.

• For one day at least I actually liked Curt Schilling.

Jacob Wheatley-Schaller of Vegas Watch is my favorite gambling-related follow on Twitter and this e-mail is an example of why. Being a degenerate is amazing sometimes.

• If you're into human trafficking the Super Bowl is great.

Adrian Peterson's legend continues to grow.

• Listening to Chelsea Peretti's latest podcast reminded me that I wore Michael Jordan cologne throughout junior high, but don't let that stop you from listening to it.

• My favorite part of this slow-motion video of Kobe Bryant dunking on the Nets is spotting John Legend and Chrissy Teigen freaking out in the background:

And of course Teigen tweeted about it afterward.

• "SimCity" and "The Sims" are basically the only non-sports computer/video games I've ever played, so I enjoyed "A History of All Things Sim" by Rob Lammle of Mental Floss.

• While this article was intended to show how amazing Kevin Durant is at basketball it also did a nice job showing how great Kirk Goldsberry is at writing about basketball.

Anna McDonald of ESPN.com has an in-depth look at how the Cardinals and general manager John Mozeliak use sabermetrics. As co-creator of The Hardball Times this made me happy:

For now, Mozeliak's desk offers a clue to one way the Cardinals have maintained a competitive edge since he became general manager in October 2007. There are a few black binders scattered about on his desk. There is also a copy of "The Hardball Times 2013 Annual" on top of a pile of papers. When I ask if it is all right if I mention that he reads these sabermetric books, Mozeliak smiles and with the tone of confidence only a GM with one World Series championship under his belt (and plans for more rings in the future) can have, says, "Sure."

Makes for an "interesting" comparison to the Twins, huh?

• FX's website has the first three episodes of Jim Jefferies' new show "Legit" available for free. It's not as good as Jefferies' stand-up comedy (yet), but it's also not bad.

Scott Aukerman hosting Gillian Jacobs and "Garry Marshall" is a prime example of why "Comedy Bang Bang" is such a great podcast.

Mel Brooks is 86 years old and still the best.

Spencer Hall of SB Nation wrote some really good stuff about Randy Moss' career.

• The greatest website of all time, Baseball-Reference.com, turned 13 years old this week. I want to live in a world where creator Sean Forman is more famous than Kim Kardashian. But also a world where Kardashian runs a baseball stats website.

Tom Scharpling and Jesse Thorn joining Julie Klausner for her 100th episode of "How Was Your Week?" is like when LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwayne Wade in Miami.

• As a big mixed martial arts fan I'm happy to see NBC get into the MMA game.

• Minnesotan and AG.com reader Michael McGivern could use your help getting into the MLB Fan Cave after being chosen as one of the 50 finalists.

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

- "Maura Tierney glasses"
- "Aaron Gleeman age"
- "Billy Bragg baseball"
- "Linda Cardellini podcast"
- "Top prospect Samuel Deduno's future role"
- "J.J. Hardy naked"
- "Maria Bello looks like Kate Beckinsale"
- "From out of shape and overweight to badass"
- "Anna Chlumsky feet"
- "Yuengling in Minneapolis"
- "Lean Cuisine spring rolls anxiety"

• Finally, because it's sad to think some people like The Black Crowes' cover and haven't heard the original this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Hard To Handle" by Otis Redding:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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