November 5, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• And to think, all this time I was ashamed of my collection of Tim Biakabutuka rookie cards.

• I've done some really weird things out of sheer laziness, but this seems like a bit much.

• Like clockwork, every couple decades Bill Carter gets to write amazing stuff about Jay Leno screwing over another late-night host.

• Roughly translated this story means "Aaron will see the movie in a theater the night it opens and probably buy the DVD."

• I used to listen to "Ice Ice Baby" on my Walkman while waiting for my dad to pick me up from first grade. Now the song is 20 years old and Sony has stopped making Walkmans. I feel old.

John Mayer is obviously a big believer in the "if there's grass on the field, play ball" theory.

• It took 20 years too long, but the most underrated performer in radio history is finally getting the attention he deserves.

• If you've ever wondered why Diora Baird is an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate, click here to see the beauty and click here to see the charm. And her Twitter feed is great too.

• I remain a huge Kevin Garnett fan, but the odds of him actually uttering the words "you are cancerous to your team and our league" are about the same as me saying "no thanks, I don't like donuts."

• As someone who attempted to sit in the back of any classroom he ever entered, this analysis couldn't be more accurate.

• He may be a 12-year-old in a smoking jacket, but he's also only human.

• All the restaurants in Tennessee better get their shit together in a hurry.

• And yet Green Man gets away scotfree.

• Yuengling is looking to spread its wings and hopefully it means my favorite beer being widely available in Minnesota some day.

• One man, one word, one hilarious video:

Luckily for Don Draper it'll be another 30 years before Wayne's World.

• This seems like a big mistake for someone who has become a sex symbol because she looks unlike other women on television. I vote nay.

• I can't wait to read the "Ida Blankenship, Queen Of Perversions" chapter.

• Last month I read an interview with Kiernan Shipka and assumed that her responses must have been written by someone else because they seemed impossibly mature and well-spoken. Turns out, Sally Draper is just the world's most thoughtful 10-year-old.

• I'm predictably hooked on AMC's new show The Walking Dead after one episode, and based on the incredible premiere ratings apparently I'm not alone.

• Friend of AG.com and Basketball Prospectus writer Kevin Pelton penned an in-depth analysis of the first of many John Wall-Evan Turner matchups.

This picture is one of the many reasons why he's my favorite pitcher.

Pablo Sandoval celebrated the Giants' championship much like I would have.

• If you think of it as 25 percent of his lifetime earnings, this suddenly doesn't seem so crazy.

• How can someone have so many television shows and so little money?

• I enjoy when Baseball America dusts off their old scouting reports, like this one on the World Series MVP as a 20-year-old prospect.

• Friend of AG.com Andrew Bryz-Gornia is up for a blogging scholarship and needs your vote.

• I'm addicted to WhatIfSports.com's Hardball Dynasty game and my league has one franchise open with a new season set to begin next week. Hardball Dynasty is not fantasy baseball, but rather an incredibly detailed simulation of running a fictional MLB organization from rookie-ball to the majors, so due to the steep learning curve and time commitment required we're looking for an owner with previous Hardball Dynasty experience. If you're interested, let me know.

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

- Brian Sabean has no plans to trade Barry Zito … because he can't
- Why did the Yankees fire their pitching coach if it had nothing to do with pitching?
- Rangers decline $9 million option on Vladimir Guerrero
- Are coaches underpaid? (And how much was Davey Lopes worth to the Phillies?)
- State taxes could play a factor in Cliff Lee choosing between Rangers and Yankees
- Don't count on Eduardo Nunez as Derek Jeter's successor
- Adrian Beltre officially becomes a free agent by declining $10 million option
- Astros eliminate "advance scout" position to focus on video

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Evolve" by Kermit Quinn, which really is an excellent song if you're willing to overlook it being made for use in a Gatorade commercial:

September 24, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Hey look, the Twins have the best record in baseball.

• As a college dropout who's secretly hoping to be retired by age 33, this study confuses me.

• I can certainly understand not liking Dave Matthews, but this might be taking it a bit far.

• Stories like this one scare me away from a life of crime.

• This beats the hell out of that G.B. Leighton song FSN plays every damn night.

• I may be willing to pay extra for Derek Jeter's old apartment, but only if Minka Kelly stayed there after he moved out.

• I'll be on 1500-ESPN after tonight's Twins-Tigers game, co-hosting "Twins Wrap" with Darren Wolfson. Starting about 30 minutes after the final out we'll talk Twins and take phone calls for at least an hour. Stay up late and call in, or just listen online here.

UPDATE: We'll talk plenty about Ron Gardenhire all but ruling out Justin Morneau until 2011.

• My favorite Mad Men quote of the week, in picture form.

• Based on this interview with AMC's website, Kiernan Shipka (aka Sally Draper) is either the world's most brilliant 10-year-old or someone with a horrible sense of how 10-year-olds speak is answering the questions in her name. I'm honestly not sure which, but "fortunately the hair department is quite amazing"?!

• Apparently clothing from the 1960s is to Christina Hendricks what long hair was to Samson.

• Inspired by Felix Hernandez's latest tough-luck start yesterday afternoon, here's my rant on how silly it is to evaluate pitchers on "wins" and "losses."

• The first and last time I'll ever be compared to Carl Crawford. More like Carl's Jr.

• Do you think this comes in a XXXL?

• This commercial is hilarious, but I can't decide if it's intentional or unintentional:

Either way, genius.

• It never ceases to amaze me that the woman in these pictures is someone's mother.

• Journalism Barbie seems like sort of a misguided idea, although surely most guys in the Jets' locker room would approve.

• It takes a special kind of 53-year-old man to use the phrase "poopy pants" on the radio.

• So far I've only liked two (or maybe two-and-a-half) of this season's new television shows: Boardwalk Empire on HBO looks great (and has already been renewed for Season 2), Terriers on FX looks very good, and Running Wilde on FOX looks like it may be decent. Otherwise, meh.

• This isn't quite the sideways-world high school Lost spinoff I was hoping for, but it'll work.

Jose Bautista is the Kim Kardashian of 50-homer, 100-walk hitters.

Red Man is no Green Man, and Matt Diaz is no friend to the drunken doofus.

• In case you don't have time to watch Maury every day, you can get the highlights here.

Katy Perry was too hot for Sesame Street, which no doubt could have set an all-time ratings high in the "men ages 25-54" demographic.

• The team with the most strikeouts in MLB history has scored more runs than the two teams with the fewest strikeouts this season, because a strikeout is just an out.

• University of Minnesota law school student Joshua Fisher was profiled in the New York Times for his blog's coverage of the Dodgers' divorce-related drama.

Jason Whitlock also got the New York Times profile treatment and he always intrigues me.

GQ magazine's oral history of Goodfellas is a great read.

• KFAN morning show co-host Cory Cove signed a three-year contract extension.

• This year's The Hardball Times Baseball Annual is now available for pre-order, and as always I highly recommended it.

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

- David Wells calls Joe Torre a "coward" and "terrible manager"
- Cardinals released Felipe Lopez because they were sick of him showing up late for games
- Brewers hitting coach says Alcides Escobar "has to change his mechanics"
- Bobby Jenks "may have thrown his last inning for White Sox"
- Impending free agent A.J. Pierzynski has "no idea" if he'll be back with White Sox
- Alex Gordon: "I'm going to dominate next year"
- Russell Martin faces an uncertain future with the Dodgers
- Dan Uggla wants a five-year, $58 million contract extension
- Finally! Chris Carter gets first hit after starting career 0-for-33

• Finally, because between her name being Florence and her choice of footwear the degree of difficulty is insanely high, this week's AG.com-approved music video if Florence and the Machine doing a live version of "Dog Days Are Over":

September 3, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• I'm not going to write anything about last night's game, because it was gross to watch and Fridays are for linking, but feel free to read my real-time commentary on Twitter to re-live the magic in reverse-chronological order. It works best if you take a shot between each tweet.

UPDATE: OK, so I lied about not writing something on the game. Read it at your own risk.

• The only thing worse than a 48-year-old 354-game winner with frosted tips is the mugshot of a 48-year-old 354-game winner with frosted tips.

• In equally likely news, I want to marry Diora Baird after I divorce Mila Kunis.

• My mom has a new favorite Twins player.

• This seems about right, at least before last night's disaster.

• I obviously could never play for Bruce Bochy.

• As a fellow fatso I empathize with James Toney, but I bet against him and it was the easiest money I've ever made. He never even threw a punch.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com wrote an outstanding article about concussions in baseball, with Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie both prominently featured.

• As a devoted Gmail user who's absolutely awful about promptly replying to e-mails, I'm really hoping this will help.

• I wrote quite a bit about Rob Dibble this week, first suggesting that bone-headed comments about Stephen Strasburg are hardly his biggest fault and then explaining why he ain't exactly Howard Stern. And then ... he got fired.

• Photo-shopping the stars of Mad Men is sort of like giving me a coupon to a buffet. They don't need the help.

• Aside from seeing Christina Hendricks on the red carpet Ricky Gervais' appearance was my favorite part of the Emmys. Of course, I'm such a huge Gervais fan that I'd enjoy just watching him laugh for five straight minutes. Seriously:

• I'm in a fantasy football league with the Rotoworld and NBCSports.com baseball writers, and Adam Levitan wrote a column analyzing our picks without knowing the identity of each team. See if you can guess mine just by the players selected.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal made five predictions for the impending Comcast and NBC merger, and I'm just happy none of them involve me being out of a gig.

• I posed a couple of interesting (to me, at least) questions on Hardball Talk this week. First, is Albert Pujols the greatest right-handed hitter of all time? And second, was Wednesday night's Rays outfield the fastest in baseball history?

• For some reason Mike Wise attempted to catch bloggers in a "gotcha" moment, but instead got himself suspended for a month by the Washington Post.

Jessica Alba, making a comeback six years after losing Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status?

• Twins fans and mainstream columnists would like to believe otherwise, but Manny Ramirez is hardly washed up.

Rex Ryan and the Jets read Pro Football Talk. Something tells me HBO will never catch Ron Gardenhire on Hardball Talk.

• When he was pitching for the Twins, would anyone have bet on Livan Hernandez getting a guaranteed contract for 2011?

• His brother, on the other hand, will not be joining him in Washington.

• New podcast to check out: The Lavender Hour with Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell.

• I'm not really much of a Cameron Diaz fan, but some of you will surely appreciate this picture of her posing next to a bust of Harry Caray (and after having lunch with Alex Rodriguez).

David Brauer of MinnPost has the latest on local radio ratings, which somehow fascinate me despite the fact that I'll often go weeks without listening to any radio whatsoever.

• Just a reminder: I'm still taking questions via Twitter for a mailbag entry here next week.

• Happy birthday to my uncle Jon Gallop, who's without question the person most responsible for my love of baseball. So, blame him for all of this.

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

- After hitting 102.7 mph in debut, Aroldis Chapman throws 103.9 mph in second appearance
- Cliff Lee avoids another loss, but struggles again for Rangers
- Royals top prospect Mike Moustakas has 3-homer, 11-RBI game at Triple-A
- Brandon Wood to play in the Arizona Fall League at age 25
- C.J. Wilson's transition from bullpen to rotation has been huge for the Rangers
- Angels rookie Jordan Walden throws really, really hard
- Cole Hamels' win-loss record doesn't show it, but he's having a great season
- Something strange is going on between Tony La Russa and Colby Rasmus
- Jim Edmonds says "I'm leaning toward shutting it down and being a family man again"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy singing a live, acoustic version of "Billionaire":

August 20, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Not surprisingly, this news set the all-time AG.com record for number of people who sent me a story. Hollywood could produce The Aaron Gleeman Story starring Brad Pitt as me and I'd be less likely to see it than Black Swan.

• When it comes to old baseball cards, apparently "worst" is synonymous with "best."

• See if you can spot the biggest sex symbol of the 1990s in this photo from high school.

• I probably get to sleep before 1:00 a.m. at most a few dozen times each year, so if this data and research is accurate I should be a genius.

Headline of the Week: "Tila Tequila attacked at Insane Clown Posse festival‎."

Eric Fisher of Sports Business Journal wrote about NBCSports.com's blog-based growth.

• If you've ever wondered what Craig Calcaterra and I do all day, read this. If nothing else it explains why I like to think of myself as the Samantha Ronson of baseball bloggers.

• I was planning to make some sort of Kelly Brook-in-3D comment in linking to these pictures, but then the sheer number of possibilities overwhelmed me.

• I follow White Sox beat writer Joe Cowley on Twitter and find him hilarious, even (or maybe especially) when he's goofing on the Twins or Minnesota, but apparently not everyone agrees.

• It's tough not to root for Stafon Johnson given his ridiculously horrendous luck.

Suzanne Solheim interviewed Jeff Manship on just about everything but baseball.

• I'm not even really sure why exactly, but I find this incredibly funny:

I actually think Don't Stop or We'll Die's music is legitimately good, even without the humor.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune was on fire all this week. First he referenced Ultimate Zone Rating in an article about Danny Valencia, then he quoted Lester Freamon in a blog entry about the AL Central, and last but not least a throwaway line from one of his game stories was the inspiration for two of my posts on Hardball Talk.

• Even at 46 years old Jose Canseco is still better at hitting home runs than he is at spelling.

• One of my favorite columnists, Jason Whitlock, has left the Kansas City Star after 16 years at the newspaper. Hopefully he'll find another good platform to go with his FOXSports.com gig.

• Based on this story, Peggy Olson clearly didn't follow Freddy Rumsen's advice on marriage.

• Speaking of Mad Men, any fans of the show will also enjoy watching John Slattery's lengthy appearance on Kevin Pollak's Chat Show.

• Sad news but an incredibly compelling piece from my NBCSports.com colleague Mike Celizic.

• HBO has thankfully thought better of their decision to cancel The Life and Times of Tim, which is one of television's most underrated shows.

Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley put together a nice collection of resources for sabermetric stats.

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

- Mark Prior is "having a blast" playing independent league ball
- Bryan Bullington gets first career win eight years after being No. 1 overall pick
- Designated for assignment by Reds, should Micah Owings try hitting full time?
- Carlos Gonzalez makes a great catch, but loses to the still-undefeated wall
- Mike Leake moved to bullpen to keep rookie's workload down
- Nationals call up 22-year-old catching prospect Wilson Ramos
- A's send Chris Carter back to Triple-A with .000 average
- Despite monster debut, J.P. Arencibia sent back to minors
- Nationals president says draft pick signing setup is "silly"
- Shawn Chacon's grievance versus Astros denied by arbitrator

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Aloe Blacc singing "Femme Fatale":

August 13, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Quote of the Week, courtesy of Ozzie Guillen: "Who gives a shit who's in town? How about, 'the White Sox are back in Chicago after a long trip.' Even my wife told me Minnesota is coming to town. I said, 'Good, you dating somebody from there? Who cares.'"

• If you learn anything from this week's Link-O-Rama, it's that you should be nice to every girl in high school just in case.

• This is admittedly saying a lot, but the "synopsis" of "Regulate" by Warren G and Nate Dogg is probably the best thing I've ever seen on Wikipedia.

• Sure, but does she know where to find me?

• I may save this article to have on hand the next time I'm in another city and someone brings up the notion of "Minnesota nice." It's a keeper, if only for the presence of brass-knuckles.

Johan Santana had kind of an up and down week.

Big deal. Call me when Mila Kunis' father's daughter decides to get into porn.

• I'm a little surprised the Twins didn't become free agents and shop their radio rights around to various stations, but their decision to sign a two-year extension with 1500-ESPN strikes me as a good thing. Phil Mackey and Tom Pelissero have done a very nice job covering the team as beat writers on 1500ESPN.com and while a move back to WCCO may have been an option KFAN's general lack of interest in baseball seemingly would have made them a poor fit.

• Surely this will get the "Joe Mauer or Mark Prior?" debate stirring again.

• Not even cancer and the resulting hair loss can keep Maura Tierney from looking good.

• A confession: I make myself a drink before watching Mad Men each week.

If I'm feeling extra nerdy, I make it an old fashioned.

• I'd approve of this possible Steve Carell replacement on The Office as long as they promise he'll take attendance each morning.

• I'll have to consult with fellow members of the tribe to be certain, but much like with Lindsay Lohan a while back I'm not sure we necessarily want Amar'e Stoudemire even if he would be our best big man since Dolph Schayes.

• As a fatso who literally keeps his house at 68 degrees year-round, this makes a lot of sense.

• Last week I linked to a few anti-Mitch Albom rants that some of you felt were unfair even for criticism, so you may prefer the always great Joe Posnanski's more even-handed take-down.

• Earlier this month Dennis Green's son and former ESPN.com NFL analyst Jeremy Green was arrested on child pornography charges and the details that have since emerged are very sad.

• This extensive list of salaries for television stars is equal parts fascinating and maddening.

• Last month Seth Stohs essentially forced Amanda Bynes into retirement at age 24 through the sheer power of his mind, but now she's reconsidered.

• I remember renting this movie at like a dozen different sleepovers as a ... well, kid.

• As the world's biggest Lizzie Caplan fan, I approve of this message.

• Some long-awaited good (and sensible) news on the online-gambling front.

• Had gambling on your own grades been around when I was in college I might have actually stayed in school.

• I'm clearly the Inception of baseball bloggers.

• After reading this, I really feel like starting a Twitter "feud" of my own.

• Usually my favorite new television shows get canceled, but FX renewed Louie for Season 2.

• If you're like me and you enjoy Nick Nelson's excellent blog, you should read this interview.

• Two new(ish) blogs to check out: That's Twins Baseball and Glorious Nation of Hrbekistan.

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

- Jason Heyward snaps 31-game homerless streak
- Mike Stanton is first 20-year-old with five-hit game since 1978
- This just in: Curtis Granderson can't hit left-handed pitching
- LaTroy Hawkins goes back on DL with more shoulder pain
- Javier Vazquez is worried about his declining fastball velocity
- Time for Indians to move Justin Masterson to the bullpen
- Randy Johnson is now the world's tallest music photographer
- Picked up for nothing, Pat Burrell has come up big for Giants
- Brandon Wood predictably collecting dust on Angels' bench
- David Price sets Rays' franchise record with 15th win

• Finally, because he was good when I saw him in Atlanta last week while attending the SABR convention, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Eddie Spaghetti of the Supersuckers doing a live version of "Sleepy Vampire":

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