January 25, 2013

Link-O-Rama

John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs from Twins Daily are hosting a get-together Saturday night at Hubert's across from the Metrodome. It starts at 6:00, which is when TwinsFest ends for the day, and I'm told there will be several rounds of free beer and prize giveaways. I'll be there, probably hanging out until they kick me out, and would love to see some AG.com readers and "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners there too.

Delmon Young's one-year contract with the Phillies includes a be-less-fat clause that basically would pay the 238-pound "outfielder" $600,000 for losing eight pounds. I've asked to renegotiate my contract with NBC to include the same clause, at which point they'd owe me $11.25 million.

• Another week, another missed connection for me.

• Seriously, how did I not make this list?

• As someone who never knows how to get anywhere and often previews the route via Google street view this was pretty great.

• This is definitely the first time in my life I've ever been referred to as "hot." Well, sort of.

• Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide" is now available online and in magazine form, featuring about 10,000 of my words.

Sammy Sosa talked to HardballTalk's automated Twitter feed.

• Like me, David Brauer of MinnPost dropped out of the University of Minnesota to become a full-time writer. Unlike me, the prospect of returning to school--three decades later in Brauer's case--apparently doesn't make him physically ill. This is how I imagined Brauer's first class:

And then presumably he'll join the diving team.

• My blog-mate and lifelong Cardinals fan Drew Silva wrote a touching tribute to Stan Musial.

• I've often talked here about the potential downsides to having "access" and Jeff Sonderman of Poynter put together some interesting notes on how that applied to the Manti Te'o story.

• I watched "Breaking Bad" when it first aired on AMC in 2008 and gave up after a few episodes because it seemed cheesy to me and none of the secondary characters were compelling. Since then basically everyone I know has fallen in love with the show, so I gave it a second chance and re-watched it from the beginning on Netflix instant. And it's amazing. I watched all 54 episodes in nine days and can't wait for the final eight episodes to air on AMC this summer.

I still think the first handful of episodes are mediocre at best, but I've never seen a show improve more dramatically and once it gets cooking "Breaking Bad" never lets up. From the second season forward nearly every new character introduced is compelling, including a few of the best regulars in recent television history, and the show's narrative and visual styles are fantastic. If you haven't yet, definitely check out "Breaking Bad" on Netflix or Amazon.

• And for everyone who's watched "Breaking Bad" already, you'll enjoy re-watching my favorite scene from the fourth season. Such a great quote/delivery.

• Speaking of great AMC shows, Pete Campbell apparently has sideburns now.

This beauty arrived in the mail yesterday as a late birthday present, which gives me an idea for a new weekly podcast segment and should come in handy tomorrow night at Hubert's.

• Speaking of the best characters in recent television history Robert Chew, who was excellent on "The Wire" as Proposition Joe, died at age 52. My favorite Prop Joe moment:

Compelling arguments from both sides, really.

• Friend of AG.com and Fan Graphs writer David Temple, with whom I've consumed many beers, started a new baseball podcast that's so professional sounding he's calling it a radio show.

• In addition to being a Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver was into sabermetrics before such a thing actually existed and the author of a must-read book.

• A couple weeks ago I noted that Bill Burr, Nick Offerman, and Tom Segura are all performing in Minnesota within the next two months and now John Mulaney can be added to the list of good stand-up comedians doing shows here soon. I'm thinking of going to all four.

Terry Gross' interview with Jimmy Kimmel was funny and touching and just great.

• Two of my longtime favorite writers/online buddies got new gigs, as Kevin Pelton goes from Basketball Prospectus to ESPN.com and Chris Wesseling goes from Rotoworld to NFL.com.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed whether the Twins can truly be done pursuing starting pitching and what happens when the person cutting your hair wants to talk about nothing but prostitutes killing their customers.

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

- "What if I forget what flavor my Lean Cuisine was for rewards?"
- "What does an 11 x 16 bedroom look like?"
- "Drew Butera girlfriend"
- "How long for pounds to show up?"
- "Older women who have lost 50 pounds"
- "Jon Rauch father"
- "Solomon Burke underrated"
- "Nicholas Batum languages spoken"
- "Gus Johnson millionaire"
- "Baseball sex blog"

Finally, in honor of Brauer going back to school this week's AG.com-approved music video is Chuck Berry with "School Days" from 1958:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Fresh Brewed Trivia at Granite City in Rosedale Center on Tuesday nights, where you can drink $3 tap beers and win prizes. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

January 18, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• When we started "Gleeman and The Geek" the basic idea was simply two guys having a long, unedited conversation over some beers. Conan O'Brien and Jack White had the same concept while adding in smoking and being far more interesting, and the result is absolutely fantastic.

• Big deal, I've been making up fake girlfriends for years.

• On a related note, Amy Webb developed a sort of sabermetric approach to online dating.

• I thought of a new pickup line on Twitter and Jon Shields was kind enough to give it life.

• My favorite lead sentence of the week, from Marino Eccher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "An Eagan lawyer is suspended indefinitely after having an affair with a client whom he represented in a divorce, then billing her for time they spent having sex."

Pete Rose's new reality television show is exactly what you'd expect.

• Who mocks stat-heads and who hires stat-heads?

• Longtime readers and/or Twitter followers probably know that I'm obsessed with the "Hardball Dynasty" game on WhatIfSports, running two leagues and frequently recruiting new owners. One of those new owners is Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs, who had WhatIfSports president Tom Zentmeyer on his podcast to discuss the game and the website and the role of sabermetrics in everything. And they even talked about me and my "dominance" for a little bit.

• Old friend Denny Hocking has been named the Angels' new rookie-ball manager.

• I'm way more upset about this week's "Top Chef" elimination than I was about Miguel Cabrera beating Mike Trout for MVP, and Keith Law's recap explains why.

• After a month-long break John Bonnes reunited with me for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode and naturally we talked mostly about drugs and Bar Mitzvahs.

• Not only is Rob Delaney a good stand-up comedian and must-follow on Twitter, he brilliantly analyzes baseball's sexy scouting lingo:

His mustache really puts it over the top.

Worst e-mail ever?

More reason to wish the Twins had signed Brandon McCarthy.

• I'm going to TwinsFest this year for the first time since 1995 or so. We have some interesting podcast-related plans that may or may not actually happen, but I'll definitely be at the Twins Daily get-together Saturday night at Hubert's and I'll also definitely try to re-enact this picture.

Milton Bradley is no longer a baseball player, but he's still a scumbag.

Anna Kendrick's tweet about Ryan Gosling was especially funny/bold considering she might actually run into and/or star in a move with him at some point.

• Friend of AG.com and fellow Twins blogger Seth Stohs' fifth annual "Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook" is now available as a paperback and ebook. with 191 pages of unique, in-depth content covering every key prospect, draft pick, and minor leaguer in the organization.

Pop quiz, hotshot: Delmon Young or Delwyn Young?

Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com covers mixed martial arts as well as any journalist covers any sport and I've become a huge fan of his over the past few years, so I really enjoyed Vice's video profile of him. His story is very interesting and a lot of it hit home with me.

Old Time Family Baseball is doing its annual charity blogathon this weekend to raise money for Doctors Without Borders, with non-stop blogging by Michael Clair and lots of good guest posts.

• Some recent Netflix instant recommendations: "God Grew Tired Of Us," "The Company Men," "You Can Count On Me," "Jeff, Who Lives At Home," "The English Patient," "Gosford Park," "The Wave," "Biutiful," "Sleepwalk With Me," "Take This Waltz."

• This week in Chelsea Peretti being the best.

Jessi Klein was a great guest on Dave Hill's always laid back podcast.

• Three months ago Adam Meier sponsored a week of AG.com for his mother, Emily Meier, promoting her self-published fiction writing as she battled cancer. I'm sad to report that she passed away last week, but I would encourage everyone to please check out her website and continue to give her the audience that she struggled to find.

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

- "Patrick Reusse weight loss"
- "Van Morrison divorce"
- "Chris Pratt Norwegian"
- "Jessica Alba porno"
- "Mitch Hedberg talks about baseball"
- "Plan to lose 150 pounds"
- "Why my body craves a cheeseburger"
- "Geek with turtleneck"
- "How much does Amy Grant weigh in pounds"

• Finally, in honor of that great O'Brien/White chat this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Raconteurs' live version of "Old Enough" with Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe: