March 29, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Sad news about Johan Santana, who's probably my favorite Twin of all time and was such a huge part of this blog, beginning with the "Free Johan!" days and extending to his time as the best pitcher in baseball. AG.com began in 2002, from 2002-2010 a total of 121 pitchers started at least 125 games, and Santana was the only one with an ERA below 3.00. And I'll never stop being upset that he was robbed of three straight Cy Young awards by win-obsessed voters.

• Congrats to everyone involved for what is probably the best moment in journalism history. And the follow-up might be even better if you pay close attention to the photo credit.

• Crazy, sad story about catfishing, blackmail, suicide, and a Minnesota native.

• Turning an old ballpark into an apartment complex is absolutely brilliant. I want to live there.

Headline of the week/weak: "Police called over man singing 'Free Falling.'"

• If you were house-sitting a mansion and found $100,000 worth of 100-year-old whiskey, what else could you possibly do?

• As a big "Parenthood" fan I already liked Dax Shepard, but his excellent, emotional story about saying goodbye to his father makes me a fan for life.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked Aaron Hicks and Drew Butera, recapped Saturday's big Twins Daily meet-up, and discussed why getting to second base without passing out can be difficult.

Alison Agosti is one of my favorite Twitter follows and podcast guests, and this video of her, Kyle Kinane, and Nick Rutherford telling jokes to avoid drinking "toilet wine" is funny:

After watching that I'm more convinced than ever that we need to do a "drinking game" episode of "Gleeman and The Geek." You know, as opposed to the usual "just drinking" episodes.

• Baltimore reassigned 36-year-old Lew Ford to the minors, where he could be Triple-A teammates with Danny Valencia.

• First-year manager Mike Redmond picked Kevin Slowey for a spot in the Marlins' starting rotation. Redmond caught Slowey for 11 games as Twins teammates.

• What does the Twins' season-opening roster look like? I'm glad you asked.

• I made my triumphant return to Paul Allen's show on KFAN and after 20 minutes of Twins talk he called me out for not following him on Twitter as I warned: "I don't like where this is going."

Rob Dibble was fired as a high school baseball coach after 10 games.

• Addiction-wise I'm exactly like Buzz Bissinger, except for eating Chinese food and queuing movies I'll never watch on Netflix.

• Shouldn't the goal be to spend as little time as possible in public bathrooms?

• As someone who writes about baseball for a living I'm not qualified for much else, but "full-time barbeque editor" seems like a job I could thrive at.

• If what Tilda Swinton did qualifies as performance art then I'm ... actually, I don't know of any famous performance artists.

• Important question from my childhood: Why did Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky never hook up?

• RIP Gus Triandos, who was a very good catcher and a very memorable part of "The Wire":

Most underrated part of that whole thing? Officer Dozerman is a stat-head.

Norm MacDonald launched a new video podcast and his first guest was Bob Einstein, who you may also know as Super Dave Osborne and/or Marty Funkhouser. It was great.

• "Aaron Gleeman loves him more than Mila Kunis and Julie Klausner combined" is big talk.

Close enough, I guess.

• My super-cheery Twins season preview on NBCSports.com.

• I defy you to find a better picture of DMX.

George Clooney, late bloomer.

• As someone who legitimately likes Pizza Hut's chicken wings I don't have much room to talk, but Mike Trout has terrible taste in chicken wings.

• If you love listening to Al Green's music as much as I do you'll also enjoy listening to Oliver Wang talk about his music and the greatness of "I'm Still In Love With You."

• Congrats to friend of AG.com Ray Henson for winning a World Series of Poker circuit event.

Ron Swanson fans should listen to this, if only to hear how great/goofy Nick Offerman's real-life laugh is.

• Netflix instant recommendation: "Bachelorette" is pretty mediocre overall, but there was plenty of fuel for my longtime Lizzy Caplan crush.

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

- "Aaron Hicks girlfriend"
- "My nose cartilage grow is it normal?"
- "Delmon crab stick"
- "How much does Boof Bonser make?"
- "Pronounce Trevor Plouffe"
- "Nick Blackburn awful"
- "Does Kate Mara wear braces?"
- "Is Darren Wolfson married?"
- "Wild boar watching"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the aforementioned "I'm Still In Love With You" by Al Green:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Territory Train, which takes the heavy lifting out of planning and executing Twins road trips. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

November 16, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I recently wrote a lengthy article touting my 15 must-listen podcasts and yesterday I had the honor of being a guest on one of them. I talked to one of my favorite people for 93 minutes and baseball was barely mentioned, which is another way of saying it was a fantastic time. If you like me even the slightest bit, check it out (and leave some comments there too).

• Next time someone says Twitter is pointless, show them this brilliant chronicling of life as a drunken, Dwayne Rudd jersey-wearing Vikings fan.

• Someone broke down every episode from all 20 seasons of "Law and Order" to analyze the trial results, sabermetrics-style. Hopefully the Pulitzer Prize committee has been alerted.

• OK, but did he like the restaurant or not?

• Now that the election is over Nate Silver went back to his baseball-writing roots to explain why Mike Trout deserved the AL MVP over Miguel Cabrera.

• I'm having trouble deciding whether Trout or Ryan Gosling was robbed more this week.

LaVelle E. Neal III has made the big time now. Or again, I guess.

Scott Baker signed a one-year deal with the Cubs after seven seasons with the Twins.

• Who can the Twins (realistically) sign to replace Baker? I'm glad you asked.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we mostly talked Claire Forlani and facial hair, but also found time for an argument that made me want to punch John Bonnes again.

Manny Ramirez made quite a debut in the Dominican Winter League:

Seems like kind of a fun place to watch a baseball game, huh?

• Knowing what I know about both parties involved, this exchange made my week.

• This interview with longtime AG.com favorites Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie was so good I had to take a break halfway through to compose myself.

• Old friend Torii Hunter signed a two-year, $26 million deal with Detroit, where he more or less replaces old friend Delmon Young in the lineup.

• After seeing Dave Attell perform live at Mystic Lake Casino last week I really enjoyed watching his two-hour chat with Joe Rogan and Brian Redban.

• Speaking of really good stand-up comedy, I'm going to see Hannibal Buress at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis next weekend. I invited him on the podcast, too.

Royce White's rookie season isn't off to such a great start.

• My favorite part of Jon Hamm drunkenly strolling around Los Angeles is the hat.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer bought Casey Stengel's old house.

• Everyone getting hurt is bad news for the Timberwolves and good news for local pot dealers.

• I asked Twitter for post-apocalyptic book recommendations and then immediately spent $100 ordering them all on Amazon, leading to this exciting Wednesday evening.

• This look lasted less than 72 hours, for fear it was too sexy even during Movember.

Chelsea Peretti's greatness is a frequent Link-O-Rama topic and her script-flipping appearance on "You Made It Weird" with Pete Holmes is her at the peak of her powers.

• We didn't know it at the time, but Twins fans were watching history being made in 1999.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is my pick for the most underrated podcast around and this week's episode is an excellent example of why.

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

- "Toddler found in cage"
- "Mila Kunis or Aubrey Plaza"
- "Anthony Slama deception"
- "Gleeman Cistulli enemies"
- "Robby Incmikoski real name"
- "Jerome Felton girlfriend"
- "Kevin Slowey engaged"
- "Minnesota chubby chasers"

• Seriously, go listen to me as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts. Money-back guarantee!

• Finally, in honor of the song turning 20 years old and me still knowing all the words this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Nothin' But A G Thang" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg:

June 15, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• It turns out that Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis apparently doesn't own a mirror.

Pete Campbell has established himself as the Chuck Wepner of Mad Men.

• It got my hopes up, but "Cougars move to reclaim Midwest" was just a misleading headline.

• My weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen included the usual Twins talk but was mostly about my never-ending supply of beautiful female groupies. And for anyone who listens to the appearance, know that I played this in the car while driving home from the studio (alone).

Aubrey Huff was on the bench for Matt Cain's perfect game and then injured his knee tripping over the dugout railing in an attempt to celebrate.

• Sad news about one of the best pitchers in Twins history, as Dave Boswell passed away this week at age 67. Boswell, who debuted with the Twins as a teenager in 1964 and spent seven seasons in Minnesota, ranked 36th on my list of the best players in team history.

• Was last night's season-worst outing against the Phillies the start of Scott Diamond coming crashing back down to earth? I'm glad you asked.

• So far at least Bryce Harper looks like the best 19-year-old hitter in baseball history. He's also the leader in the clubhouse for best quote of the year: "That's a clown question, bro."

• In less than two weeks the annual Society for American Baseball Research convention will be in downtown Minneapolis at the Marriott City Center from June 27-July 1. I've attended every SABR convention since 2004 and obviously won't miss this one. Some parts of the convention require registering, but as my annual convention recaps show I go mostly to talk baseball, hang out, and drink beer. And you certainly don't need to be a SABR member for that.

• This week Tom Scharpling did his 500th episode of The Best Show On WFMU, which gets my vote for the most underrated consistently hilarious thing ever. It'll change your life.

• If you're interested in being an AG.com "sponsor of the week" click here for details.

Minka Kelly seems nice.

• I finally convinced my brain it was safe to empty my closet of clothes I wore at 355 pounds and buy new clothes to wear at 175 pounds. I'm still trying to decide what to do with dozens of XXXL shirts, but for now this is what a fatboy's entire wardrobe looks like piled on a couch:

Donating to charity is a good idea, except my brain remains convinced I'll need it all again.

• People: Still the worst.

• Deadspin gave Jay Mariotti the attention he deserves.

Stephen Strasburg made his 30th career start this week--with a 12-month break for Tommy John surgery included--and his overall numbers are pretty crazy.

• It took long enough, but Mark Wahlberg can finally make something of his life now.

• I wish I could get as excited about anything in life as my mom and aunt were to watch TNT's reboot of Dallas on Wednesday night. And apparently they weren't alone.

Henry Hill, who was portrayed by Ray Liotta in Goodfellas and often called Howard Stern's radio show to promote public appearances while in witness protection, died of natural causes.

• Suffice it to say that mixed martial arts and Anderson Silva are a bigger deal in Brazil.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan starring in a new Showtime series called Masters of Sex is probably the greatest idea in the history of television.

In which Nick Blackburn is Jodie Foster and Kyle Kendrick is Matthew McConaughey.

Preach, brother Patrick!

• I realize year-old movie reviews are sort of pointless, but they're also kind of my specialty here and I finally saw 21 Jump Street. It exceeded expectations more than any movie I can remember, with tons of big laughs. And not only that, on the way to the movie theater I saw a car pull over and a woman get out to puke on the sidewalk. One of the highlights of my life.

• I also saw a rare new release in Bernie, which was more weird and interesting than actually good but did feature Jack Black doing a nice job stepping way outside of his comfort zone.

• One of my favorite podcasts, You Had To Be There with Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer, is coming to MTV as a late-night talk show.

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek is live on KFAN this Sunday at 4:00, right after the Twins-Brewers game. My co-host John Bonnes is on vacation, so we'll have a couple special guests.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the longest song in my iTunes library, David Gray's cover version of "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" by Soft Cell:

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.

February 17, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I'll be hanging out at Smalley's 87 Club in downtown Minneapolis tonight, raising money for charity and supporting Lindsay Guentzel's bid for the "MLB Fan Cave" contest. My podcast co-host John Bonnes will also be there, along with Nick Nelson and Parker Hageman. And depending on how things go, we might even record a "Gleeman and The Geek" episode in front of an actual audience for the first time. Here are the details:

Who: Gleeman, Bonnes, Guentzel, Nelson, Hageman, and more

What: Blogger get-together, MLB Fan Cave voting party, charity fundraiser

Where: Smalley's 87 Club at 100 Sixth Street downtown

When: 7:00 p.m. Friday night, February 17

Why: Drink beer, talk Twins, win prizes

It'll be fun, trust me.

• I've spent 29 years thinking I was pretty weird, but then I read about this guy.

Jeff Sullivan at SB Nation collected footage of the 10 worst swings of the 2011 season.

• I can't imagine why Ricky Rubio wouldn't spend $500,000 on this.

• If you've ever wondered what famous literary characters would look like if drawn by police sketch artists, this is your lucky day.

• When does getting cut from a basketball team qualify as the good news? When the reason you were cut involves "male enhancement pills."

• I normally mock people who bring signs to sporting events, but this is an obvious exception.

• 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.

Louis C.K. is nearly everyone's favorite comedian at this point, but only because he evolved:

On a related note: George Carlin was pretty great.

• After being on life support for years my 1994 Grand Am finally died. I'm having a difficult time deciding on a replacement, in part because it would be nearly impossible to pick a car that wasn't a huge upgrade and in part because I know absolutely nothing about cars. I drive so infrequently that spending more than, say, $5,000-$7,500 seems sort of silly, which has me wondering if leasing might be my best option.

An argument against leasing is that you don't own the car, but if you're only spending $7,500 to begin with owning that car a few years later barely has value anyway. For similar money in a cheap lease you can get a significantly newer, better car for three years. My dream scenario is that a nice reader with a car dealership wants to trade an inexpensive lease for Official Car Dealership of AG.com status and various other ads/plugs, but I'd settle for some advice.

• What did Royals fans do to deserve this?

• Quote of the week, from television writer Alan Sepinwall about Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke playing himself on Luck: "The sabermetric side of me can't stand the guy."

Jon Heyman can't stop being Jon Heyman.

Tony Gwynn had a facial nerve transplant during a 14-hour surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his cheek, which is yet another reminder that using smokeless tobacco is stupid.

Matthew Leach is almost as good at photo-bombing as he is at writing for MLB.com.

• Also good at photo-bombing? Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan.

Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model Kate Upton is helping Justin Verlander, David Price, C.J. Wilson, and Jay Bruce sell video games:

There are so many possibilities for a joystick-related joke that I'm not even going to make one.

• Texas Christian University is apparently a lot more fun than the name would suggest.

• How did Allen Iverson burn through $150 million by age 35? Practice.

• If you've ever seen me reference the "defensive spectrum" and wondered what it meant, read this article by friend of AG.com Jay Jaffe.

• As an 18-year-old wannabe writer I attended a sports journalism event at the University of Minnesota during the Final Four in 2001. Lots of big-name media members were there, but none impressed me more than Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe. This week he announced his upcoming retirement on Bill Simmons' podcast.

• In light of his Grammy performance earlier this week, it's important to remember certain things about Chris Brown.

• Netflix recommendation: I put off watching Buck despite hearing it was great because a documentary about a horse trainer didn't sound all that interesting, but ... it's great.

• Baseball Prospectus should definitely give Kevin Goldstein's girlfriend her own column.

Carl Pavano got married, apparently.

• It's now the law that the Twins and White Sox are "arch rivals."

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Whitney Houston singing a live version of "How Will I Know" from 1986:

February 3, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• These would be the latest fashion trend for bloggers, except we don't wear pants.

• I was a guest on "Fan Graphs Audio" with Carson Cistulli and had a great time chatting about non-baseball stuff for around 45 of the 50 minutes. We discussed the Twins briefly at the end, but not before talking about Louis C.K.'s greatness, how getting rejected made me start blogging, the downside of having to wear pants at work, being propositioned for sex, the advantage of having a name that starts with back-to-back A's, and high-brow versus uni-brow. I think you'll like it a lot.

• Congrats might be the wrong word, but Darren Wolfson and Joe Schmit made Deadspin.

Jon Heyman made Deadspin too and as Hardball Talk readers know it was a long time coming.

• Grown men getting angry at teenagers for changing their minds about which college to attend is one of the weirdest things about sports, especially when the decision-making is based on food.

• I'm worried that my soulmate might die before we even have a chance to share a meal.

• Bad news for Matt Garza, but it only seems fair given how the Rays stole him from the Twins.

• I'll bet even Jim Marshall is confused about how this happened.

John Bonnes called in sick for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, so I poured myself a scotch and babbled for an hour.

Blake Griffin's dunk on Kendrick Perkins earlier this week was one of the best you'll ever see:

"Oh me oh my!"

• This deserves a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Royce White was the lead story/photo on ESPN.com, with an article about his on-court success and off-court difficulties written by former Minneapolis Star Tribune beat reporter Myron Medcalf.

• Twenty years from now I'm sure his therapist will say this was really healthy.

• In that case, I'll take World to cover the spread.

• If you like soul music as much as me, D'Angelo simply getting back on stage is good news.

Jimmy Kimmel was an excellent guest on Marc Maron's podcast and I especially enjoyed their discussion about two of my favorite things, holding grudges and napping.

• Focusing on NBCSports.com stuff meant ending a five-year run as editor-in-chief of Rotoworld's fantasy baseball magazine, but I still wrote several articles and the online version is available now.

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a nice article on Terry Kunze, with whom I've been fortunate enough to watch a bunch of basketball games over the years.

• Proving that I'd make an excellent television executive, Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan has been cast as the lead in a new Showtime series with "sex" in the title.

Kevin Love celebrated his $62 million by taking a Luis Scola fastball to the ... well, you'll see:

Houston's announcer also coined a new phrase in describing the play: "The Love Stomach."

Scott Aukerman and Harris Wittels doing a lot of drugs, recording their experience at a Phish concert, and then later commenting on the recordings made for a pretty great podcast.

• Netflix recommendation: Jens Pulver: Driven, a very gritty, compelling documentary about MMA fighter Jens Pulver, from his difficult upbringing and early UFC success to his comeback attempt.

• It's reassuring that one of my favorite comedians, Chelsea Peretti, was funny seven years ago.

Evan Silva's "matchups" column has been a weekly must-read throughout the NFL season and his Super Bowl breakdown is no different even if I disagree with the ending.

• One of the best and longest-running baseball blogs went back to its roots after leaving ESPN.

• There might finally be a good reason to attend White Sox games at U.S. Cellular Field.

• Both my IBM Thinkpad and backup IBM Thinkpad died more or less of natural causes on Sunday, so I decided to take the plunge and get my first Macintosh computer. I got plenty of warnings that it takes some getting used to and even then the number of subtle differences are more frustrating than expected, but after five days with a Macbook Pro it's easy to see why the cult of Apple has so many members. And the Apple Store employees in Ridgedale Mall were incredibly nice and helpful.

• Person you should follow on Twitter: Than Tibbetts, who keeps AG.com running behind the scenes, answers my annoying tech questions, and consistently passes along good Link-O-Rama material.

• Finally, in honor of Etta James passing away recently this week's AG.com-approved music video is her 1968 classic "I'd Rather Go Blind":

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