October 12, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Mila Kunis has been the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com since March of 2010, but it took Esquire until now to name her "Sexiest Woman Alive." Ahead of my time, as always.

Phil Ivey is too badass for his own good.

Hulk Hogan dominated my wrestling-watching experience as a kid and there was a brief period a few years ago when I listened to Bubba The Love Sponge regularly, so ... wow.

• Well, now everyone knows what to get me for my birthday.

• One bad thing about Louis C.K. doing basically every job involved in making "Louie" is that he occasionally needs a break. The good news is that he wants to do a bunch more seasons.

• I died for a good cause, at least.

• At least he died doing what he loved.

Chelsea Peretti started her own podcast and the first episode is predictably great, meaning it's time to promote her from frequent Link-O-Rama topic to OFGoAG.com candidate.

• I had dinner at a new, family-owned restaurant Tuesday and it was really good, so if you're near Eden Prairie and into Greek food check out Zorba's. Nice food, nice decor, nice owner.

• I still need a bunch more questions for next week's Twitter mailbag.

Every drink from every episode of "Mad Men"? Sure, why not:

I love that we live in a time when people get paid to create videos like that.

• On a related note, Jon Hamm and his girlfriend really hate the intentional walk.

• Having grown up listening to him on Howard Stern's radio show I consider Gilbert Gottfried a misunderstood comedic genius and his interview with Marc Maron didn't disappoint.

Behind the scenes of HardballTalk. (And here's the post in question.)

• Speaking of which, blogging is apparently the job of the future.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe wrote a really interesting article about the Patriots' no-huddle offense and how it was influenced by college football.

• "Barb Wire" came out when I was 13 years old and as such I watched it a dozen times once it hit cable, so the "How Did This Get Made?" celebration of its awfulness was fun.

• It sounds like I'll have only five more years to complain about how the light-rail doesn't do anyone in the suburbs any good, but I can squeeze a lot of complaining into five years.

• What to make of beat reporters stumping for players they cover come award season?

• For anyone else who loved "Looper" and is curious about the little kid, read this.

• Honestly, this isn't even fair.

Jeff Kent is still on "Survivor."

• I guess the Twins can just re-use this from last year, which will at least save some money.

• On a recent "Gleeman and The Geek" episode I mentioned possibly doing a second podcast about movies and television, and show favorite Kate Agnew wants to take me up on it.

Tom Hanks seems like he's probably the best person.

• I've binged on Netflix instant lately, so here are some recommendations: "Marley," "The Off Hours," "Tyrannosaur," "Neds," "The Unloved," "The Snowtown Murders," "95 Miles To Go."

• And of course if you've never seen "Freaks and Geeks," first of all why the hell not? Second of all, it's now available on Netflix instant.

• I have two openings in my Hardball Dynasty league on WhatIfSports.com. If you're interested, please read this for details.

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

- "Zubaz hipster"
- "J.D. Harmeyer crush"
- "Kyle Waldrop girlfriend"
- "Picture of money tree"
- "Why does Aimee Mann plays Gibsons"
- "Alison Brie velocity"
- "Hormel chicken"
- "Jim Rome wuss"
- "Delmon Young mustache"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ben Howard covering "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen:

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.

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.

October 7, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• If only they had this program for journalism school students 10 years ago.

• Conclusive evidence that blogging has jumped the shark: Sid Hartman has a one now.

Two decades later the hair restoration cream from China finally worked on George Costanza.

• This totally ruins my Gail Simmons shiksa obsession and also shatters my entire world view.

• If you're not sick of Moneyball already, check out my article examining some of the history and ideas behind the movie (and the book).

• The look on this guy's face as he stares at Rihanna from behind is as amazing as the view.

• On a related note, they had to go all the way to Ireland to find a man who wanted her to put on more clothes.

Jordan Schafer isn't much of a hitter, but he's a Hall of Famer at getting arrested with pot.

Eva Amurri is the Ken Griffey Jr. of famous actress offspring.

Bernard Berrian and his public relations team seem like a perfect match.

• Congratulations to Kenan Thompson on his recent engagement and for showing why being on television every week is so great.

• I'd watch every episode of Prime Suspect if they'd let Trey Kirby write the scripts while Maria Bello wears the hats.

• I finally watched Bridesmaids and thought it was somewhat over-hyped while still very good, but this deleted scene of "the longest argument ever" beats anything in the actual movie:

Hell of an ending, too.

• I'm thrilled that Arrested Development might return from the dead, but once that happens can we resuscitate Freaks and Geeks too?

• Zooey Deschanel and Lizzy Caplan on the same show may shatter the adorability scale.

• And in other casting decisions taken directly from my dreams, Maura Tierney is joining Jenna Fischer on The Office.

• Of course, not every decision NBC makes is a good one.

• My favorite quote of the playoffs so far: "There was poo everywhere."

Joel McHale wrote a good article for Grantland about his time as a walk-on tight end for the University of Washington.

• I'm still skeptical about a(nother) Friday Night Lights movie, but everyone knows that Connie Britton doesn't say "for realsies" unless she means it.

Ozzie Guillen's replacement as White Sox manager came out of nowhere.

Jon Hamm's appearance on Marc Maron's podcast was every bit as enjoyable as expected.

• Speaking of which, Ida Blankenship remains the Queen of Perversions.

• No one has looked this good in a Pittsburgh Pirates hat since Barry Bonds.

• I look forward to this happening to me on Twitter some day.

• I've been debating getting a tablet computer, but reading this made me even more unsure.

• This week's episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" includes lots of arguing, a little drinking, and a new groupie.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Shine" by Laura Izibor:

August 5, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by Minnesota's top variable frequency drive company, IDEAL Service, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your industrial electronic needs ...

• I didn't realize it until afterward, but Monday marked the ninth anniversary of this blog, which started on August 1, 2002 with a post about A.J. Burnett being overworked by the Marlins. That night the Twins beat the White Sox behind Eric Milton's three-hit, 11-strikeout shutout and Michael Cuddyer's grand slam. Two months later the Twins made the playoffs for the first time since 1991, shortly after that Burnett blew out his elbow, and now here I am.

I started as a 19-year-old in search of a writing outlet while home from college for the summer and now I'm a 28-year-old lucky enough to write about baseball for a living. In between seems like kind of a blur, but I know that without this blog and the people who read it I may never have gotten the opportunity to make a career out of something I love and for that I'm forever grateful. Whether you've been here for nine years or this is your first visit, thanks for reading.

There but for the grace of blogging go I.

• This is one service that the YoYo Donuts near my house does not provide.

Joel Lovell's lengthy profile of Louis C.K. in GQ magazine is well worth the read.

• In one of the most disappointing revelations in cinematic history, Mila Kunis has admitted to using a "butt double" in Friends With Benefits. As the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com explained:

I showed side boob and I figured I can't just give away everything all at once. I gotta let it all out in little pieces here and there.

Legally, does that count as a binding contract?

• Kunis defending Justin Timberlake by yelling at reporters in Russian was fun to watch.

• In one of the craziest plays you'll ever see Brendan Ryan caught Oakland's defense napping for an "infield triple."

• Picture of the Week: Jimi Hendrix gets his hair done while reading Mad magazine.

Kate Upton saying she "prayed every day" to look like Kate Upton has made me reconsider everything I've ever thought about religion.

• In honor of Randy Moss' retirement, here's a commercial he and Jason Williams did for Nike that I thought was pretty badass as a kid:

Still is, actually.

Bethlehem Shoals was an awesome basketball blogger, but he might be even better writing about Otis Redding, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and the history of "Try A Little Tenderness."

Latrell Sprewell is still just trying to feed his family in Wisconsin.

• Of course, Sprewell is a piker compared to Stephon Marbury.

Marko Jaric is faring slightly better after leaving the Timberwolves.

Kevin Durant scored 66 points in a Rucker Park game and the video is excellent.

• For a 51-year-old fat guy Stan Van Gundy can still handle the rock pretty well.

• After seeing Half Nelson and Blue Valentine during the past week I've officially become a Ryan Gosling fanboy, which is something I never expected to write. Blue Valentine is definitely worth renting, while Half Nelson is a must-watch for anyone with Netflix instant.

• To anyone who made the mistake of not watching already: Netflix instant just added the first four seasons of Mad Men. Pour yourself an old fashioned and watch all 52 episodes. Trust me.

• In odd marriage news, Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari broke up before their wedding while Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed are now engaged after 28 years and two grown kids.

• Cavallari has rebounded with ... the kid from Boy Meets World? Sure, why not.

• Even my mom would begrudgingly admit that George Clooney made a solid rebound choice.

Alex Rodriguez being investigated for "playing in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used" makes him significantly more likable. Even if he isn't very good.

• Oh great, now my hopes are up for a Friday Night Lights movie.

• Now that everything has been settled, the worst part of the NFL lockout is without question HBO skipping Hard Knocks this season.

Community was already one of my favorite shows, and now they're adding Omar Little and Bill Haverchuck to the cast for next season. Omar comin':

It sounds like Michael K. Williams had a good first day on the set, too.

• People who insist on saying happy birthday to every "friend" on Facebook deserve this.

• Maybe it's not too late for me to become a newspaper reporter after all.

Sarah Hyland provides a compelling sneak preview of next season's Modern Family.

• Versus is becoming NBC Sports Network, which means I'm a step closer to that cooking show I've always wanted. "Aaron Makes Stuff With Rice And Oyster Sauce" is the working title.

David Cameron, whom I got a chance to meet and play poker with at the SABR convention, has been diagnosed with leukemia. Whether you like his work as Fan Graphs managing editor or just hate when bad things happen to good people, root for him.

• I'm on board the Rick Adelman bandwagon, which guarantees David Kahn won't hire him.

• I'm thrilled that 1500-ESPN decided to dump Colin Cowherd's syndicated show and replace it with a local host. My nomination: Darren Wolfson.

• In related news, Sporting News Radio just became Yahoo! Sports Radio, with lots of Yahoo! writers getting their own shows. KFAN-1130 will air some locally, I believe.

UPDATE: And now more intrigue in the local sports radio scene, as David Brauer of MinnPost reports that KFAN is switching from AM to FM.

• Want to feel old? Raul Mondesi's son just signed with the Royals for $2 million.

• For any DIPS and/or FIP doubters out there: When position players pitch they have the same batting average on balls in play as actual pitchers pitching.

Fedor Emelianenko went from the top of the MMA food chain to washed up in three fights.

• I was feeling good about our recent traffic at HardballTalk, but then I saw that my colleagues at ProFootballTalk had 3.9 million page views in one day. To put that in some context, AG.com has had a total of around 13 million page views ... in nine years.

Curb Your Enthusiasm fans will like Jeff Garlin's appearance on The Sound of Young America.

• I've now been on Twitter for two years and 7,000 tweets later can't imagine life without it.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The King of Soul singing what will always be my favorite version of "Try A Little Tenderness":

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