October 22, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• You know what's even more "baller" than a Division II football player? A taser.

• Remember the "boom goes the dynamite!" kid from a few years ago? Well, his name is Brian Collins and now he's a news reporter for the local ABC affiliate in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Esquire magazine named former Friday Night Lights star, current Parenthood guest star, and longtime Derek Jeter girlfriend Minka Kelly the "sexiest woman alive" for 2010.

• Based on this study, I should be a billionaire.

Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry are like a before-and-after comparison, but I'm not exactly sure for what.

• My favorite headline of the week: "Why did Kanye West replace his bottom row of teeth with diamonds?" Even better, his answer: "I just thought that diamonds were cooler." Obviously.

• One of the greatest and most underrated soul singers of all time, Solomon Burke, died last week at age 70.

• This story is why the Target Field crowd is better off if I watch most Twins games from home.

• Is this guy doesn't become a superstar, something is wrong with the world:

He looks eerily like a miniature Patton Oswalt.

Ozzie Guillen's impression of David Ortiz trying to bunt for a hit is pretty great.

• When it comes to White Sox fans, sometimes the jokes write themselves.

• There's no shortage of great Randy Moss pictures, but none can top this beauty.

• Two weekends ago a phone call woke me Saturday morning and I was confused to hear a woman claiming to be "a reporter from the New York Post." Intrigued but still groggy, I checked my e-mail and found several messages from the same person offering $200 for "a freelancer to go out to a house in Eden Prairie and interview someone today." I'm not a reporter and barely leave my own house, so I replied with a simple "no thanks."

It turns out, as David Brauer of MinnPost found by doing a bit more digging, the New York Post was looking for someone to basically go ring the doorbell at Brett Favre's house while he was in New York to play the Jets. Apparently their goal was to get his wife involved and turn that into a story, which is just about the grossest possible thing someone could pay you $200 to do on a Saturday morning. Perhaps that was covered in journalism school after I dropped out.

• I'd be thrilled if marijuana saved the newspaper industry.

• On a related note, that's a whole lot of pot.

• Despite using exclusively laptops for a decade I've somehow managed to avoid "toasted leg syndrome." Clearly, like Robert Neville in a great book turned disappointing film, I am immune.

• I just hope they had an open bar at the reception.

Jessica Alba is back on the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com radar.

• Speaking of Alba, this is a slippery slope that ends with a lot of disappointed perverts.

• This video of Hakeem Olajuwon tutoring Dwight Howard is a must-watch for NBA fans:

After watching it I'm convinced Olajuwon a) would be an amazing coach, and b) could probably still give some team 10 solid minutes off the bench at age 47.

Roy Oswalt might be even better at photo-bombing than he is at pitching.

Mariano Rivera's unique greatness, as shown by heat maps.

Jon Heyman of SI.com blocked my Hardball Talk colleague Craig Calcaterra from following him on Twitter a while back, so I'm endlessly amused that a TBD.com post on social networking "tearing friends apart" included this excerpt:

The snub came months after Heyman called Calcaterra at home to discuss criticism Calcaterra had made of Heyman. Calcaterra says the call "ended civilly enough" but then came the Twitter block, a move that "far more offended" him than the phone call. "It's just so passive aggressive," he says.

Heyman confirms the block, saying that Calcaterra wrote numerous negative posts about him and he didn't want his tweets to provide further fodder. "I guess it's flattering, but I wasn't flattered," he says. Calcaterra says he's "moved on," but the incident made him question "odd interpersonal relationships" social networking sites encourage.

Heh.

• This is what many non-New Yorkers picture when they think of Yankees fans.

• Now that I've got a floor plan, it's probably time to remodel the AG.com home office.

• Professional poker player Nick Schulman was recently the subject on MTV's day-in-the-life style documentary show World of Jenks and my fellow degenerates will enjoy the episode.

Baseball America's scouting report on a 21-year-old Roy Halladay was right on the money.

• Here's an interesting interview with one of my favorite podcasters, Marc Maron.

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

- Zack Greinke can block a trade to 15 teams in 2011
- And a rookie shall lead them: Buster Posey carries Giants to brink of World Series
- Giants embracing the power of Aubrey Huff's "rally thong"
- Tigers sign Brandon Inge to two-year, $11.5 million deal with option for 2013
- Mariners’ new manager has an ugly history with Milton Bradley
- Rangers acquired Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus by trading Mark Teixeira in 2007
- Red Sox owner John Henry buys Liverpool soccer team for $476 million
- Ted Lilly’s three-year deal with Dodgers worth $33 million
- Tony La Russa will return as Cardinals manager in 2011

• Finally, in honor of his passing away this week's AG.com-approved music video is Burke and The Blind Boys of Alabama singing "None Of Us Are Free":

April 9, 2010

Link-O-Rama

  • I've been blogging about the Twins since 2002 and never really thought to apply for a press pass, but at the urging of my NBCSports.com bosses they submitted a request on my behalf for Monday's home opener and surprisingly (to me, at least) it was accepted. I'm excited to be at Target Field and curious about how the whole process works, but also pretty damn nervous about being so far out of my element. Which is to say not writing from bed.


    Hopefully the couple local media members about whom I haven't said horrible things in this space will take pity on me and show me the ropes, or at least not encourage Jim Souhan and Dick Bremer to take swings at me. Either way, it should make for an interesting blog entry and NBCSports.com article come Tuesday. Or it could all just be a Candid Camera-style prank that ends with me standing outside Target Field. I haven't ruled that out.
  • In what's the most compelling evidence yet that people are tapping directly into my dreams, there's a Grilled Cheese Academy website featuring Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer narrating descriptions of 30 grilled cheese sandwich variations. Seriously.
  • Analyzing the Springfield Power Plant softball team is definitely the best use of Wins Above Replacement that I've ever seen.
  • I'm thinking about doing this to my office. You know, if I had an office.
  • MinnPost media writer David Brauer did some investigating following reports that someone christened Target Field at one of last week's exhibition games by smoking pot out of a bong fashioned from a red pepper and found ... well, it might actually be true. And in an unrelated note that sounds related, Target Field has been named the "greenest" ballpark in baseball.
  • NBC's new show Parenthood is uneven at times, but mostly pretty good. And that was before adding Minka Kelly to the cast this week.
  • Congratulations to former St. Paul Pioneer Press beat reporter Phil Miller for landing another gig covering the Twins for FSN's website. At the moment finding Miller's articles is kind of a hassle because the website isn't fully functional yet, but you can follow him on Twitter. He's a very good writer and a super nice guy too.
  • The Situation took a break from GTL long enough to shoot this funny commercial with Mets third baseman David Wright:


    Fun fact: In lieu of a lump sum payment for his endorsement of Vitamin Water several years ago Wright took a 0.5 percent stake in the company and then pocketed a cool $20 million when it was sold to Coca Cola in 2007.
  • HBO canceled his horrendous talk show after just three episodes, but as part of Joe Buck's new four-year contract with FOX he'll develop another talk show along with serving as their lead MLB and NFL play-by-play announcer. I believe the phrase is "failing upward."
  • Now that John Wall and Evan Turner have officially declared for the NBA draft, I'm sure the Timberwolves will end up picking No. 3 just like they did in 1992 with Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning available. If they can actually avoid another Christian Laettner situation, I'm rooting for Turner over Wall. He reminds me of Brandon Roy, which of course brings up another bad draft-day memory for the Wolves.
  • Katy Perry: Terrible at making music, fantastic at wearing bikinis.
  • For my fellow degenerates, here are the gambling odds for each team winning the World Series. Yankees lead the way at 3-to-1. Nationals, Pirates, and Blue Jays bring up the rear at 150-to-1. And the Twins are tied for seventh at 18-to-1.
  • Bill Simmons and David Duchovny seems like an odd podcast recipe, but it was very good.
  • And speaking of Simmons, he's now embracing sabermetrics. As long as writing one positive column about something following years of mocking or dismissing it counts as "embracing." Either way, he's spreading the good word.
  • If you're interested in my running commentary during Twins games, follow me on Twitter.
  • Also on Twitter, this morning Peter Gammons called me "my friend Aaron Gleeman" and it made my decade.
  • New blog to check out: Just A Bit Outside.
  • Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:


    - Brewers agree to long-term contract with Gallardo
    - Blocked by Votto, Reds prospect Alonso moves to left field
    - Kazmir on track to return next week, but will his raw stuff come back?
    - Blalock changes mind, accepts assignment to Triple-A
    - 27.7 percent of players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born
    - Why are the Reds rushing prospect Leake?
    - Berkman now aiming to return from knee surgery next week
    - After hiding injury, Saltalamacchia is back on the disabled list
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ronnie Lane singing "Ooh La La":