July 20, 2012

Link-O-Rama

(Our whole crew, including me in the middle and Bill Parker talking to Robby Incmikoski.)

I spent yesterday afternoon at Target Field watching the Twins-Orioles game in FOX Sports North's suite. Along with a few other bloggers I was invited there to try the "Game Connect" platform that incorporates play-by-play, statistics, scores, social media, and a bunch of other stuff for an online supplement to the game-watching experience. It's definitely worth trying, especially if you're like me and typically watch Twins games on FSN with your computer nearby.

(After seeing John Bonnes' tweet they actually asked to do this and who was I to say no?)

FSN treated us too well. Becky Ross and Laura Beshire were great hosts, plying us with beer and food. Angie Avestruz and Kaylin Cockriel--also known as "The FSN Girls"--couldn't have been nicer, even when John Bonnes creepily used Twitter to peer-pressure them into running their fingers through my hair. And sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski hung out, interviewed me on television, and was incredibly nice despite me often being critical of him and FSN.

 (Nick Nelson was more focused on his beer and sunglasses than my FSN television debut.)

And then after the game we put the finishing touches on a fun day at the Fulton Tap Room. You can find some more pictures and details about the whole experience on my Twitter page. Thanks to FOX Sports North for reaching out to the bloggers and thanks to everyone involved for being so damn nice. And last but not least check out "Game Connect" the next time you're watching the Twins on FSN, if only so they don't regret inviting me. OK, now on to the links ...


• As always, Louis C.K. is the best.

Pete Rose is getting his own reality television show and it sounds as bad as you'd expect.

• Yesterday morning during my KFAN appearance with Paul Allen the inevitable happened, as PA and my mom joined forces in the name of ... well, listen for yourself.

Heidi Klum was the first Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com way back in 2002 and suffice it to say she's aged a whole helluva lot better than I have.

• Friend of AG.com and former Gleeman and The Geek guest Lindsay Guentzel made it to the MLB Fan Cave's final seven, but after four months in New York she was voted out this week.

• Speaking of which, this week's Gleeman and The Geek show was our 50th episode, which means only 450 more until my mom is allowed to come on as a guest.

• Having reached the point where losing more weight isn't really possible--I'm down under 170 pounds after being 355 pounds on March 7, 2011--for the past two weeks or so I've been on a Chinese food and gum diet mostly just to see what happens. And despite getting takeout from Yangtze in St. Louis Park literally every day I somehow haven't gained any weight. Order the "hunan chicken with just carrots and baby corn." It'll change your life.

• Jets coach Rex Ryan went from 348 pounds in late 2009 to 242 pounds now, although he underwent lap-band surgery rather than relying strictly on diet and exercise.

Pete Caldera is officially the coolest beat reporter in baseball. And best-dressed, too.

• Nationals first-round pick Lucas Giolito has $2.9 million and a signed lightsaber from Samuel L. Jackson hanging in his room.

• If you're into statistical analysis for basketball, Court Vision's graphics showing exactly where rebounds wind up based on where shots are taken are pretty great.

Bert Blyleven had a perfect response to Reggie Jackson: "God gives us many holes in our body and he just spoke out of the wrong one."

• As someone forced to use a Blackberry for work, the company's situation is depressing.

• This will probably make it even more confusing when I try to explain where I work to people.

• Congrats to my HardballTalk blog-mate Craig Calcaterra for being named "internet writer of the year" by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

• Looking at Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook is just like riding a bike.

Darren Wolfson's ongoing coverage of the Timberwolves' offseason has been a must-read at 1500-ESPN and his lengthy article breaking down the Nicolas Batum drama was excellent.

• Except for the parts about leaving the house and hanging out with strangers for three hours this sounds like a great way to watch a Twins game at Target Field.

Paul F. Tomkins filmed a series of short video interviews with interesting actors, comedians, and musicians over drinks and they're all worth watching.

• Netflix instant recommendation: Rampart, which stars Woody Harrelson and convinced me even further that he's one of the best, most versatile, and most underrated actors around.

• On a related note, one screenshot can tell the story of a crazy evening.

John Legend was a great guest on The Champs with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Legend singing the hook to "Do You Wanna Ride" by Jay-Z:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Ballplayer: Pelotero, a controversial new documentary about baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic starring Miguel Sano as a 16-year-old.

June 8, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• In fairness to new Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, who among us hasn't been arrested while in the drive-thru line at McDonald's?

• Craziest sentence I've read in a long time: "Police said that Carter then cut off pieces of his skin and intestines and threw them at officers." And the rest of the story is similarly insane.

• Nerds need to get their head out of a spreadsheet and watch a game read a dictionary.

• Up is down, black is white, and the Minnesota Twins are drafting power arms.

• Sure, going to 6,000 different Chinese restaurants is impressive, but what about me going to the same Chinese restaurant 6,000 different times?

• Renewing the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidacy of Kelly Brook is like riding a bike.

• My weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen involved some NBA chatter along with talk about the Twins' turnaround, what to make of Francisco Liriano, and how batting average on balls in play factors into analysis of hitters. You can listen to the entire appearance here.

Jeff Manship may not seem like a particularly tough name to spell, but facts say otherwise.

• My first thought after reading this story? Even that guy/chair had a live-in girlfriend.

Jamie Anne Royce's list of "things you should know before you date a writer" is funny/true.

• People: Still the worst.

• I'm willing to pitch in some of my salary if NBC makes a run at MLB broadcasting rights.

Jose Berrios, the high school pitcher from Puerto Rico drafted by the Twins with the 32nd pick they got as compensation for losing Michael Cuddyer, had a great reaction to the news:

 And that was before he looked up the slot signing bonus amount for his pick: $1.55 million.

• Rochester Century pitcher Mitch Brown was drafted 79th overall by the Indians after the Twins passed on the local right-hander at 32, 42, 63, and 72. Slot value for his pick: $640,000.

• Why did the Twins choose Byron Buxton over Mark Appel? I'm glad you asked.

• Some context for Buxton negotiations: No. 1 pick Carlos Correa has already signed for $4.8 million and No. 5 pick Kyle Zimmer signed for $3 million.

• This is like one of those "pick any three people to have dinner with" questions, come to life.

• Actually, in reading Maxim's oral history of The Wire it might be more interesting to see what they did after dinner. "We smoked a lot of good weed, did a lot of strip clubs. A lot of that."

• On a related note, Anthony Bourdain is leaving the Travel Channel for CNN, which seems like an odd fit but probably won't matter as long as he sticks with the No Reservations tone.

• Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is the new MC Skat Kat.

Terry Francona has ... well, let's just say remarkable self-esteem. And also a towel.

• I've been saying that Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija looks like the doll from the Saw movies, so a Twitter follow found proof.

• FX pairing Louis C.K. with Jim Jeffries is brilliant, assuming you like filthy, hilarious people.

Jamie Moyer quickly found a new home after being cut by the Rockies and the 49-year-old is now on the same team as J.C. Romero, Lew Ford, and Pat Neshek.

• The fastest man in baseball is on pace for 160 steals.

David Brauer of MinnPost reports that the St. Paul Pioneer Press "is offering buyouts across all departments" in what is another sad development for the local journalism scene.

• As someone who got good grades at the University of Minnesota despite frequently skipping classes, rarely doing any homework, and eventually dropping out this seems like old news.

Barry Zito is selling his $11.5 million house because he didn't like commuting to the ballpark.

Scott Aukerman, who runs the Earwolf podcast network and has a new television show on IFC that debuts tonight, got the New York Times profile treatment.

• We just passed 200,000 downloads for the Gleeman and The Geek podcast. To everyone who listens: Thank you so much ... and maybe leave an iTunes review?

Tiffany Simons is on vacation, so naturally I filled in on HBT Extra for yesterday and today.

• Within his interesting Trevor Plouffe analysis, Parker Hageman of Twins Daily suggests my weight as the new "Mendoza Line." Of course, even Mario Mendoza could hit above .175.

• According to Pew Research Center's study 15 percent of American adults with a computer use Twitter, which is nearly double the total from 18 months ago. I joined Twitter in mid-2009 and can't imagine life without it, as it's become essential for my job and time-wasting ability.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the studio version of "The Basement" off Eric Hutchinson's new album:

This week's blog content is sponsored by PickPointz, where you can make predictions, pick games, and win prizes for free. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 20, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek will be live on KFAN again Sunday at 4:00, shortly after the Twins-Rays game. If you missed last week's show, which was our radio debut, give it a listen.

• One of my favorites writes about one of my ... well, not-so-favorites. And credit to the Minneapolis Star Tribune for printing an equally damning follow-up.

• Internet list perfection: The 21 Absolute Worst Things In The World.

• No doubt worried about her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status, Mila Kunis was quick to deny this very troubling report.

Kelly Shoppach's first career stolen base was spectacular.

• While sitting out the end of the Timberwolves' season Kevin Love has really stepped up his mustache-growing game.

Delmon Young hilariously doing a 360-degree spin in pursuit of a fly ball and then dropping it was inexplicably ruled a "triple" by the official scorer in Chicago, but MLB has since stepped in to overrule the decision.

• This is very close to being online dating sabermetrics and is also very creepy.

• Sorry everyone, this is what happens when I make an effort to leave the house more.

• Ram Jam plus Mad Men equals amazing:

Helluva advertisement for Bugles, too.

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus wrote a great article about what happens when you get a press pass and have to actually use it, which is ... well, more on that a later date.

• And speaking of press passes and access, what Bill James wrote about the value of being a baseball outsider remains fantastic 30 years later.

Yangtze in St. Louis Park is my favorite restaurant even though I've never had their dim sum, which was just named the Twin Cities' best by City Pages. I'm partial to the hunan chicken, but everything there is good.

• This sketch is way funnier than it probably should be.

Alison Brie is great on Mad Men and great on Community and looks like this.

• I can't imagine standing while I work, so instead I emulate Mark Twain's approach.

• Based solely on the fact that my mom drives with one foot on the gas and one foot on the break this study makes a lot of sense.

• Tuesday night 49-year-old Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher in baseball history to record a win and amazingly did so without cracking 80 miles per hour on any his 84 pitches, which got me wondering what percentage of adult males can throw that hard.

• And then the whole Moyer/velocity question turned into a movie idea.

• I'm a sucker for blooper reels and this one from Parks and Recreation is great:

"What kind of boys?"

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook is really good at Tumblr.

• If his t-shirts are any indication Amare Stoudemire is pretty serious about this whole member of the tribe thing.

Doug Miller of MLB.com wrote a lengthy story about Fan Graphs analyst Dave Cameron and his battle with leukemia.

Trevor Mbakwe using a medical redshirt for a second senior year has inspired me to go back to college, so I'm sending my updated resume to the Minnesota Daily. Fingers crossed!

• Not surprisingly, Showtime's new season of The Franchise starring Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins looks pretty good aside from way too much Jeffrey Loria.

• Considering the crush I had on Anna Chlumsky after seeing My Girl in the early 1990s not immediately recognizing her in the previews for Veep on HBO brings me great shame.

• If you like funny people talking about not-so-funny topics and/or have struggled with depression, Morgan Murphy's appearance on The Mental Illness Happy Hour with Paul Gilmartin is a must-listen. And she's also great to follow on Twitter.

• For anyone with Netflix who enjoys documentaries, I highly recommend Knuckle, Into The Abyss, and Cocaine Cowboys.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Vintage Trouble with a very acoustic version of "Nobody Told Me":

This week's blog content is sponsored by PickPointz, where you can make predictions, pick games, and win prizes for free. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

December 30, 2011

Link-O-Rama

Boof Bonser is back with San Francisco on a minor-league contract, so Giants fans are surely just fine with that trade now.

• As always, corrections are a very important part of journalism.

John Biggs of the New York Times did an interesting article about who owns Twitter accounts and their followers, which is something Judd Zulgad had to deal with locally when he switched from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to 1500-ESPN.

Glen Perkins is one of the few professional athletes worth following on Twitter, and not just because he shares my desire for Ricky Rubio to make neck beards acceptable in Minnesota.

• On a related note Britt Robson has a nice article at SI.com analyzing Rubio's first two games.

• As part of an ongoing series of posts about transitioning from lawyer to baseball writer Craig Calcaterra explained how I ruined his life.

Scott Raab of Esquire has a pretty accurate take on why writers write.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook's annual calendar is out.

• If you stick around until (or fast forward to) the end of this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode you can hear my dieting advice, which is a lot like Drew Butera sharing his hitting tips.

• Even if the lockout soured you on the NBA this welcome back video from TNT was amazing:

Kevin Love makes an appearance fighting for a rebound with Jerry Lucas.

April Ludgate highlights are the best highlights.

Keith Law, who left Baseball Prospectus to take a job in the Blue Jays' front office a decade ago, may soon be leaving ESPN.com to take a job in the Astros' front office. That could put an end to his Twitter account, but hopefully they'd at least let him keep reviewing Top Chef.

• My favorite football announcer, Mike Mayock, got some much-deserved national praise from Sports Illustrated media critic Richard Deitsch.

• Maria Menounos' football career continues.

• Sadly, this is a fitting end to a spectacularly awful year in Minnesota sports.

• Earlier this week I fell asleep with my laptop on and woke up to find this page on the screen, which is extra weird/nerdy when you consider I haven't played the game in at least 10 years.

• I'll still be working from bed in Minnesota, but Elizabeth Kim of the Stamford Advocate penned a lengthy article about the new 300,000-square foot NBC Sports offices in Connecticut.

• It's painful for me to see Michael Jordan with his new wife after eating "Juanita's macaroni and cheese" at his restaurant in Chicago about 20 years ago. It was good, too.

John Legend's taste is apparently even better than his voice.

Don Cherry's hockey analysis and flamboyant suits are well known, but he has another skill:

Imagine how much more work would get done around the world if everyone had a piano desk.

Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post wrote an intriguing column examining the prominent role marijuana plays in professional sports.

• Congrats to one of my favorite baseball writers, Matthew Leach, for his MLB.com promotion from Cardinals beat reporter to national columnist.

• Podcast recommendation: "Your Mom's House" with Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitsky.

• I didn't know Greg Spira well, but got a chance to see him each year at the SABR convention and he was a great guy despite getting a raw deal health-wise. He'll definitely be missed.

• For anyone curious about what Hanukkah cookie-making looks like, here's a blurry picture.

• 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.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Billy Bragg singing a live, solo version of "A New England" from 1985:

October 28, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Don't worry: I'll continue working from bed.

Nick Punto got robbed of a hit and tried to break his bat, Bo Jackson-style. It didn't go well.

• After reading this story it's hard to believe I was the one expelled from Hebrew school.

• The kid from Jerry Maguire turned 21 years old and his name was spelled wrong on the cake.

Josh Hartnett is stealing my look again.

• Behold: Easily the worst column you'll read this week.

• MLB Network is launching a new sabermetrics show and I'm actually sort of optimistic about it because host Brian Kenny is always great.

Zooey Deschanel might be the only person I'll forgive for leaving a World Series game early.

• I'll be wearing this costume for Halloween. For the past 10 years I've gone as a fat blogger.

• Google's new television commercial features the story of a music teacher from Louisiana who won $1 million by tossing a perfect game with Roy Halladay on "MLB 2K11." My favorite part? Brian Kingrey knew little about baseball before buying the video game, so he studied stats on Baseball-Reference.com and got scouting reports on Rotoworld:

Presumably our check is in the mail.

• I was all set to star in this before the weight loss.

• My favorite couple is having another kid.

Johnny Depp seems weird, but at least he has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook, looking all classy and everything.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" podcast went so long we broke it into two episodes. Part 1 has talk of Joe Nathan's future, Jim Thome's choices, the Twins' medical staff, and blog comments. Part 2 has talk of John Bonnes' offseason blueprint, Ron Gardenhire's stance on platooning hitters, and my "sexiness levels." Oh, and they closed down the bar around us.

• Her new show is kind of unwatchable, but thankfully Mrs. Coach is still very adorable.

• I'd love to see a similar picture of the Twins' general manager.

• Hopefully the upcoming Playboy issue featuring Lindsay Lohan will come with a time machine.

• I'm no longer involved with The Hardball Times after co-creating the site back in 2004, but their annual book is always a must-read and looks better than ever this year.

• If even a fraction of the allegations are true Chris Cook is an awful human being.

• Game 6 of the World Series was crazy and the Win Probability graph is hilarious.

• This commercial is almost as good as the NBA lockout is bad:

I liked it so much that I bought this shirt. And this kid is my new favorite person ever.

Michael Beasley's publicist annoyingly sent 20 e-mails promoting his charity game, but oddly enough there were no follow-ups after the event. And coincidentally nothing about this either.

• I'm apparently one of the few people who still loves Netflix.

• As someone who hates to talk to anyone on the phone I sympathize with Tony La Russa.

Albert Pujols prepared for Game 6 of the World Series by putting on a sleeveless shirt and hanging out at Best Buy.

Jerry Kill finally signed his seven-year contract and it has a $50,000 bonus for the Gophers winning a national championship, which will come in handy in the post-apocalyptic world.

• Next time you feel embarrassed about something, remember this: Thousands of people own a Donovan McNabb Vikings jersey.

• Hopefully comedian Patrice O'Neal recovers from his stroke as well as my mom did in 2002.

• My condolences to Roy Smalley, whose father passed away this week. Roy Smalley II was also a longtime shortstop in the majors and it's one helluva baseball family.

• I'll be tweeting lots of commentary, analysis, and snark during Game 7 tonight, so follow me.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys' new song "Lonely Boy":

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