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:

November 19, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• I'll be on 1500-ESPN tonight, talking Twins with Doogie Wolfson starting at around 7:15. You can listen online here.

• Who knew 19-year-old girls from Apple Valley were so tech-savvy?

Fire(d) Joe Morgan.

• As someone who regularly eats $11 worth of food from Taco Bell, this amused me.

• I'm following A.J. Pierzynski's lead and not shaving for the entire month of "Movember."

• On a related note, I live in fear of this every day.

• Not a bad week for Ron Gardenhire, who won the Manager of the Year after five runner-up finishes and then signed a contract extension the next day.

• If you're good-looking and a female, Coco Crisp might pay you $40,000 to live with him.

• I'm not sure which is the more unlikely bit of Kris Humphries news, that he might be dating Kim Kardashian or that he's had two double-doubles in the past week.

• I already have an app for this. Her name is Judi.

• I can't think of a way to describe this properly, but I found it impossibly cool.

• It's slightly less funny after his big game Wednesday night, but this video made me laugh:

And if you're not already a fan of The Basketball Jones, you should be.

• At the end of the day, we're all Craig T. Nelson.

• In fairness, ESPN was only off by about $36.5 million.

• I'd be really worried about this, except luckily leaving the house, interacting with people, and dating are all required before fertility becomes an issue.

• My latest podcast discovery is "Never Not Funny" with Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap. They offer the first 20 minutes of each episode for free and after listening to a few of them I ponied up the $19.99 for a season's worth of the full-length versions. And then I liked those so much that I spent $19.99 on each of the previous six seasons. Seriously. I spent $140 on a podcast, that's how good it is.

• After years of annoying people about this topic, the world finally listened to me.

• Beyond the Boxscore crunched the numbers on how long pitchers take between pitches and the results are very interesting. I'd have pegged the Twins as one of the faster-working staffs, but it turns out they're basically average.

• Next time someone brings up Gold Glove awards as a viable measure of defensive ability feel free to tell them to shut up.

• On a related note, my writing finally made into the newspaper. Sort of.

• And to think, people have always accused the Spurs of being "boring" for a great team. Ha!

• Call me nuts, but if someone offers me $2.1 million, for just about anything, I'll take it.

• Linking to weirdos lip-synching isn't as fun now that celebrities are showing up in the videos:

Stick with it for a full minute or so, it's worth it.

Awful news for anyone who likes calm, reasoned talk radio. Shouting dumb stuff wins, again.

• NBC will mercifully start showing Parks and Recreation again, and with a whole bunch of other comedy surrounding it too.

• My favorite aspect of Twitter--aside from the ego boost involved in having "followers"--is that you really never know who's going to see and reply to your tweets. Within the past week I've gotten random replies from Peter Gammons, Mike Mayock's daughter, and the official Twitter page of the NBC show Community. Still waiting for one from Diora Baird, though.

• My old friends at The Hardball Times are beginning to ship their annual book and, as always, you should buy it.

• Remember the French-Asian fusion restaurant I reviewed a few months ago? They finally got a website and my review highlights the "press" page. It's kinda cute. And the food is nice, too.

• Speaking of local places where I eat stuff, a new "donuts and coffee bar" called YoYo Donuts opened near me and I've quickly become one of their best (and fattest) customers.

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

- Does the free agent compensation system overrate relievers?
- Royals acquired Vin Mazzaro for the stuff, not the stats
- Ramon Hernandez is kicking himself (or his agent) after seeing John Buck's contract
- Diamondbacks "listening" to offers for Justin Upton, but "need to be blown away"
- Neftali Feliz beats Austin Jackson for AL Rookie of the Year
- Vladimir Guerrero’s undeserved Silver Slugger award
- By giving White Sox chance to match any offer is Paul Konerko limiting interest?
- Rickie Weeks is "open to listening" about contract extension

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ben l'Oncle Soul doing an acoustic cover version of "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes:

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