December 21, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I'll have a lot more on this next week in this space and on the podcast, but the Twins signed Rich Harden to a minor-league contract.

David Brown of Yahoo Sports created internet gold by ranking MLB's sexiest general managers and Terry Ryan fares better than you might expect.

Mark Willis designed soccer-style jerseys for the AL East teams and I'm really wishing he'd do the same for the AL Central so I could buy a Twins "kit."

Jeff Dubay returned to local radio this week as a guest co-host on 1500-ESPN and also did a very honest, compelling interview about his long road back with Steve Marsh of MSPMag.com.

Samantha Micelli was one of my original crushes, so it's hard to believe Alyssa Milano turned 40 years old this week.

• Last week I mentioned the new NBC Sports/Yahoo Sports partnership and my longtime boss gave an interview laying out some of the details and plans.

• As part of his 1500-ESPN radio show with Patrick Reusse changing time slots Phil Mackey will no longer be covering the Twins as a reporter, joining Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press in leaving the beat.

• This is, without question, the craziest story of the week.

Wade Boggs has 3,010 hits and zero rhythm.

• This week's "Gleeman and the Geek" episode features lots of Kevin Correia talk and me breaking up with John Bonnes. Finally.

Kevin Garnett and Kevin McHale shared an amazingly emotional moment at the end of a Celtics-Rockets game:

And here's the story of what was said.

• For all their talk about wanting more strikeout pitchers the Twins keep signing pitchers who don't get any strikeouts.

Brian McTaggart of MLB.com wrote a nice profile of Kevin Goldstein, who recently went from Baseball Prospectus writer to Astros pro scouting coordinator.

• Chubby is always funnier than ripped, but Chris Pratt's transformation was pretty amazing.

• It turns out the only thing keeping me from becoming one of Hollywood's most successful leading men is that I'm way too tall.

• As a big "30 Rock" fan this makes me sad.

• There's a reason why Peter Gammons is a Hall of Famer.

Chris Hardwick has turned his "Nerdist" podcast into a television show, so it's only a matter of time before we do the same with "Gleeman and The Geek."

• Where does Trevor Plouffe fit into the Twins' short- and long-term plans?

Rob Trump of The Classical put together an amusing history of the now-defunct blog "Fire Joe Morgan" and the hilarious, surprisingly famous people behind it.

• My feelings about fans calling their favorite teams "we" and "us" can be more or less summed up by this brilliant video:

Twins fans generally seem less guilty of that than Vikings fans, for whatever that's worth.

• My family apparently knows me pretty well, because I got this as a Hanukkah present.

Bill Baer of ESPN.com wrote a good article about Joe Mauer from a non-Minnesota point of view, although as always I'd advise against venturing into the comments section.

• Former No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush will be in prison until 2016.

• "Sleepwalk With Me" is now on Netflix instant and really enjoyable, especially if you're into stand-up comedy.

• On a related note, adding foreign movies to my Netflix queue is my version of a drunk dial.

• Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the Norwegian movie "Headhunters" on Netflix instant and apparently an American version is in the works.

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

- "Ricky Rubio neck tattoo"
- "Yuengling Minneapolis"
- "Kevin Slowey engaged"
- "Influential podcast"
- "Jeff Kent family pictures"
- "Why did Plouffe cut his hair?"
- "Value of Brian Harper autograph"
- "How much does Rene Rivera make?"
- "I weigh 350 and I'm lazy"
- "Best elbow surgeon in Minnesota"
- "Vance Worley girlfriend"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Mystikal's new song "Hit Me":

This week's blog content is sponsored by Paul Bennett, an Independent Certified Financial Planner Practitioner. Discover what he can do for you at PaulMBennett.com. And please support him for supporting AG.com.

May 18, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• This is a great New York Times correction: "An earlier version of this article misstated the name of Howard Stern's bulldog. It's Bianca, not Bernice."

Mila Kunis took a break from her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com duties to save someone's life.

• They told me to bring the stats, so I unleashed some sabermetrics (to the tune of Steely Dan) on KFAN with Paul Allen yesterday. You can listen to my entire appearance here.

• Almost every supermodel claims to have been unattractive in high school, but based on their yearbook pictures almost every supermodel is lying.

Torii Hunter took a leave of absence from the Angels after his 17-year-old son was arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child following a months-long investigation.

• Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, great teacher, and awesome person Chris Ison was badly burned in a propane explosion, but thankfully is now recovering well.

• Not since Brett Favre has a legend coming out of retirement been such a sad idea. On the other hand, maybe that's just the 12-year-old me who had the original version talking.

• Last week's Gleeman and The Geek episode featured my mom's podcast/radio debut. Hilarity did not, as they say, ensue. And she claims to have been trying to sound like Lauren Bacall.

• My fellow Friday Night Lights fans will like this compilation of Coach Taylor warning people that he has something to tell them:

Let me tell you something: That video somehow makes me miss the show even more.

• On a related note, Coach Taylor's television daughter seems to be doing well post-FNL.

• As always my MinnPost colleage David Brauer analyzing local radio ratings is a must-read. Among the interesting notes: KFAN has the No. 1 or No. 2 rated show among male listeners in every time slot.

• On a related note, KFAN's overall ratings rank No. 9 among all sports stations in the country.

• I look forward to running into Michelle Beadle at the NBC holiday party. Also, congrats on getting away from Colin Cowherd.

• As an NBC homer I'm extra happy that they renewed Parks and Recreation, Community, 30 Rock, and the highly underrated Parenthood.

• Once again, Penn State seems like a wonderful place to spend your college years.

Jon Hamm answering advice questions submitted by teenage girls is pretty great, and as usual when not dressed as Don Draper he's repping the St. Louis Cardinals.

• Speaking of which, if John Slattery co-stars as Andrew McCutchen this movie will be great.

• One of my favorite basketball writers, Zach Lowe of SI.com, writes about the return of vintage Kevin Garnett at age 36.

• If you haven't been following the Sarah Phillips story, it's a weird one about fake identities, Twitter followers, ESPN, and gambling.

Ozzie Guillen explains, via video, that he's quitting Twitter because "people out there are nasty" and "I'm not Kim Kardashian":

I'm sad to see him go, because Guillen's tweets were pretty great, but he's basically right.

• Who are the Twins considering with the No. 2 pick in next month's draft? I'm glad you asked.

• Thing that makes me feel elderly: Kerry Wood is retiring.

David Letterman and Conan O'Brien get together to talk Jay Leno.

• After hundreds of Link-O-Rama posts over the years I'm amazed this has never happened.

Chelsea Peretti might be my all-time favorite podcast guest regardless of the show, so not surprisingly she was great recently on Sklarbro Country and You Made It Weird.

• Worlds colliding: Will Leitch was a guest on Julie Klausner's podcast to chat about Fargo.

• It was fun while it lasted, but I certainly understand.

• Congrats to friend of AG.com and original baseball blogger Jay Jaffe for his new SI.com gig.

Drive is on Netflix streaming now, so I'm planning to re-watch it over and over again until I figure out why so many people loved it.

• Car update: I bought a new Honda Fit on February 27 and it took me until May 9 for the little 10.6-gallon gas tank to be empty for the first time. I drove a total of 315 miles in 73 days.

• If you're interested in advertising your product, service, business, or website on AG.com I'm taking "sponsor of the week" reservations through the All-Star break. Click here for details.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ellie Goulding's live version of "Lights":

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.

January 27, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Rihanna seems like fun.

• In retrospect, Kevin Garnett had the right idea in this picture.

• If she wasn't already an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate this quote would put Lizzy Caplan in the mix: "What I like to do every single night is fall asleep watching Larry Sanders."

Joe Mauer is engaged now, so perhaps there's a similar explanation for last year's injuries.

• One of my favorite comedians, Todd Glass, came out of the closet on Marc Maron's podcast and it was incredibly compelling stuff.

• Speaking of Maron, this article about podcasting quotes me right alongside him, which was a big thrill. And coincidentally the writer, Gaby Dunn, conducted the interview with Jewish porn star James Deen that appeared in Link-O-Rama last month. As always, life is weird.

• We had a first on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, as a random drunk woman interrupted the podcast to show us her bra for no apparent reason.

• Imagine a world in which Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and Delmon Young are all on the same American League team and someone else is the designated hitter.

Jimmer Fredette's transition to the NBA is proving to be a difficult one and Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland has a very detailed, interesting analysis of his early struggles.

• Speaking of NBA rookies, I bought one of these.

Katy Perry unfollowed Russell Brand on Twitter after their divorce, which is no doubt where this is headed too some day.

• I was talking about wrestling on Twitter, so my mom dug up this picture of me with Sergeant Slaughter in 1985:

I apparently inherited his jaw line from that one brief meeting.

• Fat-O-Meter update: This is day 330 of my diet and I'm down 140 pounds.

• This is absurd, of course, but he almost deserves it for not getting a prenup.

• I wonder what Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie think about this.

• Two great tastes that go great together: Kate Beckinsale and Maria Menounos.

• Stuff like this fascinates me: Back in 1995 the Mariners turned down a deal with the Yankees for a 23-year-old catching prospect named Jorge Posada.

Moneyball was nominated for six Oscars, including "best actor" for Brad Pitt, "best supporting actor" for Jonah Hill, and "best picture." I liked these outtakes better than the actual movie.

• Not only is new Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow sabermetrically inclined, he announced via Twitter that Baseball Prospectus analyst Mike Fast is joining the front office.

Bill James used to write the occasional guest piece for The Hardball Times when I was there and it was a big honor, so Grantland talking him into being a regular is quite a get.

• As a Sarah Hyland fan, I might have actually tuned into the Golden Globes for this.

• I have some mixed feelings about this, but it's an interesting story and an important lesson when it comes to baseball rumors and reporting.

Zooey Deschanel, describing her college experience that sounds an awful lot like mine: "My specialness is not appreciated in this place." With the main difference being that mine still isn't.

• I've always said there's a little Gilbert Gottfried inside all of us:

 If you don't think that's funny we probably can't be friends.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Aubrey Plaza on meeting Ryan Gosling: "I think he has a girlfriend, but maybe I'll murder her someday and we'll be together forever."

Flip Saunders got fired by the Wizards, who hilariously replaced him with Randy Wittman.

JaVale McGee's mom seems a lot like my mom.

Harris Wittels, who once left a comment here, was cast in Sarah Silverman's new show.

• I watched all 10 episodes of Bar Rescue despite not really enjoying it and thinking the star is like Gordon Ramsay without the charm, charisma, and hair. Is that a recommendation?

• Showtime is following the Marlins for Season 2 of The Franchise, which leaves the door open for Ozzie Guillen to appear on Shameless. I'll bet he has great chemistry with Emmy Rossum.

• For anyone with HBO: Make sure to watch the documentary series about Freddie Roach.

• Speaking of great sports documentaries, the final episode of the series following MMA fighter Allistair Overeem is spectacular and features his recent win over Brock Lesnar. Great stuff.

• As always I'm proud to be a very, very small part of MinnPost, which saw its readership grow 21 percent in 2011.

• If you haven't already, go buy Seth Stohs' annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook for 190 pages of hardcore prospect profiles, analysis, interviews, and rankings.

Nick Nelson's old blog-mate, Nick Mosvick, has a new blog all his own.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Work" by Gang Starr:

July 1, 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 ...

• Baseball is nice and all, but I think I've finally found my sport.

• I wish Otis Redding would come out with as much post-death material at Tupac.

• Thankfully they didn't print any of my personal information. How embarrassing.

• Just by walking down the street Chrissy Teigen shows why supermodels are supermodels.

• As you might expect, Bruce Springsteen's eulogy for Clarence Clemons was pretty amazing.

• If forced to guess which female cast member on The Office was formerly an NFL cheerleader every single person would be wrong.

Dave Chappelle took all the time he used to spend being funny and used it to work out.

Jim Riggleman sure knows how to celebrate being fired. And now he's my colleague. Sort of.

• Don't let the Sports Illustrated poll fool you: LeBron James stinks at baseball.

• Being traded to Cleveland probably isn't much fun post-James, but it's tough to feel too sorry for Omri Casspi these days.

• Weird question (that reveals too much about me) of the week: Do you ever lie while getting a haircut?

• I recently finished re-watching all five seasons of The Wire and even the second time around it was so amazing that I started to get angry with just a handful of episodes remaining. I also came to the realization that my fashion sense is the exact same as Dukie's. I'm not sure what the best way is to convince anyone who hasn't yet watched The Wire to take the plunge, but here's a video of every epigraph from my favorite television drama of all time:

As the great Lester Freamon put it: "All the pieces matter." What a f***ing show.

• In the latest installment of "other media members reacting to  Sid Hartman doing things" an amused Dana Wessel is joined by a delighted Phil Mackey.

• For several reasons Tanguay Ngombo will go down as the most David Kahn draft pick in the history of David Kahn draft picks.

• I e-mailed this link to my mom, who remains the world's biggest Kevin Garnett fan, and she replied: "She might just be a friend and he just forgot his ring on his nightstand."

• Much like the person in this story, whenever a nude, redheaded actress drunkenly knocks on my hotel room door in the wee hours of the morning my immediate reaction is to call security.

Lindsay Lohan is doing great, as usual.

David Eckstein isn't even playing, yet he still leads the league in "grit and desire."

• As a big Party Down fan, my hopes are officially up.

• OK, now this whole government shutdown thing is getting serious.

• After watching his various appearance this week I'm in favor of making Louis CK all-time talk show guest, like all-time quarterback. Here's part one of his Jimmy Kimmel Live interview:

His segment on The Daily Show was hilarious too and if you don't laugh at those two videos we probably can't be friends. Also, watch his show on FX.

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

Cheick Kongo's crazy knockout of Pat Barry at last weekend's UFC event is the equivalent of a baseball team scoring 10 runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to win 10-9.

• Locally trained MMA fighter Brett Rogers couldn't beat Josh Barnett at the Strikeforce event two weekends ago, so instead he beat up his wife.

• On his podcast Joe Rogan repeatedly warned that he likely couldn't pass up the ridiculous money they were offering, so he's back as the host of Fear Factor.

• Before last week my only experience with Brazilian food was gorging myself at a steakhouse, but I'm officially a fan of the cuisine after eating at Samba in Hopkins.

• Recommended podcast of the week: Rob Delaney (the stand-up comic, not the former Twins pitching prospect) was a great guest on "Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

• Last weekend I was at a local baseball tournament where they raffled off a game-used Luis Rivas bat, which longtime AG.com readers will hopefully find as funny as I did. At one point the announcer told the crowd: "There haven't been many sold, so pretty good chance you'd win."

• Another old friend, J.C. Romero, has found a new home with the Nationals ... at Triple-A.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Tom Waits growling his original The Wire theme, "Way Down In The Hole":

May 13, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• If only click on one link today, make it this photo of Kevin Garnett and his date at prom.

• According to a recent study people who sit for most of their day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack, which is exactly why I've done all my blogging lying in bed for the past 10 years. Gotta be smart (or at least super lazy) to beat the system.

Cedric Daniels meeting Frank Reynolds is proof that television producers can read my mind.

• FOX no doubt gave Gus Johnson more money and a higher overall profile than he previously had at CBS, but the one thing they can't offer is an announcing gig as perfect for Johnson as calling the NCAA tournament. He deserved to get paid and CBS never fully appreciated what it had in Johnson, but selfishly I'll miss him calling buzzer-beaters every March.

Kyle Lohse plays a pretty convincing Tony La Russa, but his cover was blown when he failed to make more than two pitching changes in an inning.

• Maybe I'm just getting old, but the idea of a state full of Masons and Avas is disconcerting.

Brock Lesnar's mixed martial arts career is once again in limbo after his June 11 fight against Junior Dos Santos was canceled yesterday due to more health problems.

• As a former baseball card fanatic who later became a stat-head this illustrated history of how the statistics displayed on the backs of cards have evolved over the years is a must-read from Larry Granillo at Baseball Prospectus.

• ESPN and FOX teamed up to keep NBC away from college football.

• You've probably never heard of Jesse Heiman, but you've definitely seen him on screen:

He's a five o'clock shadow away from having the perfect look to play the lead in my life story.

• Pandora now has stand-up comedy stations, which I've been listening to non-stop all week.

Ozzie Guillen, romantic wine connoisseur.

• Congrats to the Minnesota Daily for being named the best student newspaper in the country by the Society of Professional Journalists. I'll probably never get over repeatedly being turned down by the Daily while in college--the final rejection count was nine, including three in-person interviews--but the reason I wanted so badly to join the staff in the first place is because it's a tremendous newspaper that churns out quality writers and reporters every year.

• Speaking of journalism school, Rick Reilly had awful advice while giving the commencement address at the University of Colorado school of journalism and mass communication:

When you get out there, all I ask is that you: Don't write for free! Nobody asks strippers to strip for free, doctors to doctor for free or professors to profess for free. Have some pride! What you know how to do now is a skill that 99.9 percent of the people don't have. If you do it for free, they won't respect you in the morning. Or the next day. Or the day after that. You sink everybody's boat in the harbor, not just yours. So just don't!

Every job I've ever gotten and every dollar I've ever earned ultimately stems from starting this blog as a 19-year-old and devoting myself to writing hundreds of thousands of words for free. Through that I gained an audience that otherwise wouldn't have been available to me, which allowed me to improve through experience and eventually get my work in front of people who actually pay. Listening to Reilly's advice would have been the worst decision I've ever made.

• When is the last time a longtime couple breaking up had both men and women this excited?

• On a related note, this breakup means there has to be a new "most confusing couple" vote.

Jon Heyman of SI.com has an odd way of evaluating contracts.

• Sad to hear about the death of 34-year-old former University of Michigan star and NBA player Robert "Tractor" Traylor, whose need to pull up his shorts after every dunk made me a fan in the mid-90s. Traylor had a fantastic college career, but his NBA days will likely be remembered most for the Mavericks picking him sixth overall in the 1998 draft and then swapping him to the Bucks for the ninth pick, a little-known German teenager named Dirk Nowitzki.

Alexi Casilla's first experience with hail earlier this week at Target Field was amusing:

"I'm trying to get better with my hands."

• These pictures of a pregnant Jessica Alba at the beach with her infant child are probably the most visually confusing things my brain has ever had to process.

Bill James was a guest on The Colbert Report.

• Mets catcher Josh Thole deleted his Twitter account after getting too many mean messages, which is funny because I've become obsessed with Twitter partly thanks to the interactions on there generally involving a higher level of discourse and a lower percentage of trolls than blog comment sections. In fairness to Thole, my Twitter followers may just be nicer than Mets fans.

• Young Me/Now Me is an interesting website where people match photos from their childhood with the same pose as adults. I'd contribute, but there aren't any pictures of me in bed typing on a laptop from 1988.

Jay Mariotti is no longer a newspaper columnist, but he's still a scumbag.

• As part of their combining with NBC Universal the regional Comcast sports networks will soon be re-branded as, for instance, NBC Sports Philadelphia and NBC Sports Chicago.

Kent Youngblood of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote a lengthy piece about the Twin Cities' sports radio landscape, which has undergone a ton of changes over the past year. I'm biased because 1500-ESPN occasionally invites me on their airwaves, but more than that I've always been a huge fan of talk radio and increased competition leading to more options and better content is a good thing for everyone.

• Newish podcast recommendation: "The Mental Illness Happy Hour" with Paul Gilmartin, who talks to comedians, actors and artists about depression and other serious stuff in a funny way.

• One of my favorite MLB reporters, Yankees beat writer Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger, is now also contributing columns to Baseball Prospectus. The lines, they are a blurring.

• As perhaps the only 20-something male who watches the underrated show, I'm happy that NBC picked up Parenthood for a third season despite mediocre ratings.

• Fat-O-Meter update: I'm down 55 pounds since March 7 and am getting dangerously close to being merely "really fat." My initial goal was to have my pounds lost be higher than the Twins' win total, but that may not be so impressive this year. Right now they're on pace for 56 wins.

• How much rain would be required for this to happen to the Twins' entire season?

• Finally, in honor of that Daily-sized chip on my shoulder , this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Shot Down" by The Sonics:

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