June 28, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Richard Matheson, whose brilliant novel "I Am Legend" was made into a mediocre Will Smith movie that completely missed the entire point, died this week at age 87. Read the book.

Big deal. My office has never not served beer. On weekends too.

• There were tons of GIF-able moments in the "Mad Men" season finale, but this was my favorite.

• I didn't have any plans last Friday night, so I was just thrilled to be part of this guy's tweeting.

• There are lots of amazing Byron Buxton stats, but I'll put this one up against any of them.

• Congrats to Tom Pelissero for his new gig at USA Today. Vikings fans were lucky to have his in-depth coverage at 1500ESPN.com.

Glen Perkins was distraught after being left out of last week's Link-O-Rama, so now I'm just mentioning his name to keep the Twins' closer happy. Look how cute he is!

Kirby Puckett, Harmon Killebrew, Jim Thome, Paul Molitor, and the best old hitters in Twins history.

• I'm very pleased to have inspired someone to be inspired by Mase.

• Speaking of Mase, once the Blackhawks fans in Wrigleyville celebrating their Stanley Cup win started playing "Mo Money Mo Problems" the barriers had no chance:

Almost makes me wish I cared about hockey.

Bobby Bland, a great and underrated soul singer from the 1960s and 1970s, died this week at age 83. Jay-Z heavily sampled his song "Ain't No Love In the Heart of the City" back in 2001.

• I'll be reading this for the articles.

• This week's reminder that I went to journalism school.

Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com put together a lengthy, well-done oral history of the 2003 NBA draft, which produced one of the most valuable classes of all time. And also Darko Milicic.

• During my weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen we stopped talking Twins when Flip Saunders called in. I even asked him a question (sort of), but he didn't hint at last night's madness.

• As a devoted "Chopped" fan this news made me smile.

• Gotta be a top five couple of all time in terms of most combined talent in the same field.

Manny Machado is 20 years old and on pace for the most doubles of all time.

• "The Sopranos" creator David Chase gave an incredible eulogy for James Gandolfini.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed Kyle Gibson's call-up and lots of Twins stuff, but then spent way too long analyzing our respective plans for a zombie apocalypse.

Jerry Seinfeld was on Howard Stern's show for a 90-minute interview and it was great:

I grew up obsessively listening to Stern back when Seinfeld first got his television show and then angrily stopped coming on Stern, so the ease with which they reconnected made me happy.

• Oh nothing, just a picture of young Paulie Walnuts from "The Sopranos."

John Mulaney on dating a Jewish woman is pretty great.

Julie Klausner's latest podcast episode was basically perfect. She covered two of my favorite topics, Tony Soprano and hating to talk on the phone, and then had on two excellent guests in Chiara Atik and Kat Dennings.

• AG.com reader Liz Rudolph is doing her master's thesis on sports fans and Twitter, so she's looking for people to help her by filling out this survey.

• Not gonna lie, this was one of my most painful breakups.

• Multiple-time AG.com sponsor of the week Curt's Salsa was recently featured in Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

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

- "Baseball blogs"
- "Cuddyer groupies"
- "How long to lose tenths of a pound?"
- "Terry Francona girlfriend"
- "Stan Rizzo shirtless"
- "Troy Aikman has an ugly personality"
- "Alison Brie wearing glasses"
- "Joe Mauer switch-hitter"
- "Obsessed with podcasts"
- "Kevin Love boxers or briefs?"
- "Fat guy asleep"

• Finally, in honor of Wednesday's news this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Let's Get Married" by Al Green:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Curt's Salsa, a locally owned salsa company that believes in fresh ingredients and rooting for the little guy. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

June 21, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Three weeks ago I started re-watching "The Sopranos" and became obsessed with the show all over again a decade later, posting screen shots and comments on Twitter. It's amazing how well the show holds up and in particular James Gandolfini's performance is even more powerful and captivating now, which is why his death at age 51 seems so damn unfair. Rarely has there been such a perfect marriage between a great part and a great actor.

• As a struggling 26-year-old actor Gandolfini was featured in a New York Times story from May 20, 1988 about "the apartment gypsies of Manhattan."

• I'd probably be just as guilty of this as everyone else if not for the fact that I have a Blackberry instead of an iPhone, but "Pictures Of Hipsters Taking Pictures Of Food" is great.

Gillian Jacobs from "Community" is a big NBCSports.com fan, obviously.

• Tuesday the bus carrying the Twins' rookie-ball Elizabethton team was involved in a fatal crash when it was struck by a car going the wrong way at 4:25 in the morning.

• Where does Oswaldo Arcia rank among the best young hitters in Twins history?

Jay-Z would be so proud.

• For any Minnesotans who use the Amazon Associates program, this really sucks.

Justin Morneau finally snapped his career-long homerless streak Wednesday night and then high-fived some invisible teammates:

Good quote, too: "You can stand there and look like an idiot or high-five the air like an idiot. I chose to high-five the air like an idiot."

• Sure it's a long commute, but my new office is really nice.

• Speaking of my office, you can go behind the scenes of Hardball Talk.

• I almost want to go back to high school just to steal this yearbook quote.

Manny Ramirez hit .352/.422/.555 in 49 games in Taiwan and increased his team's attendance by 412 percent.

• I've never really been into superhero movies, but I'm in favor of the new Superman reboot if Henry Cavill can get chest hair to make a comeback.

Jon Rauch might be 6-foot-10 with neck tattoos, but Matt Harvey is Matt Harvey.

LeBron James was great and all, but Mike Miller made a three-pointer with one shoe on.

Joe Torre's daughter caught a falling baby.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode includes a weird story about me being followed by the cops, plus lots on Samuel Deduno, Byron Buxton, Anthony Slama, and Arcia.

• Oh, and John Bonnes was a guest on "The Sportive" podcast. He even said naughty words.

• Fans of "The Shining" will really enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at life on the set with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, and Stanley Kubrick in 1980:

Vivian Kubrick shot the footage.

• It's not so much that Mase is able to speak to god as it is god is able to speak to Mase.

• Here's an example of the type of newspaper sports column that makes people read bloggers.

Kiernan Shipka on playing Sally Draper: "My eyes, by the end of this season, were so rolled out. I couldn't move them!"

• My favorite GIF from this week's "Mad Men" was a no-brainer.

Jon Hamm and Cardinals third baseman David Freese are "text pals."

• You can have Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. I'll take this couple.

City Pages is looking for a full-time staff writer, which sounds like a pretty good opportunity.

• Last month I accidentally left "The American" off my top 10 movies of all-time list, but watched it again this week for probably the 20th time and have yet to stop loving the slow burn.

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

- "Aaron Glee"
- "Aaron Gleem"
- "Aaron Gleemna"
- "Arron Gleeman"
- "Aaron Glemman"
- "Sid Hartman ridiculous"
- "Pizza Luce security guards"
- "Trevor Plouffe shirtless"
- "Carlos Gomez shirtless"
- "John Bonus Twins"
- "Where is Shane Mack?"
- "Greg Gagne net worth"
- "Who pays Dick Bremer's salary?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3, which is better known as "The Sopranos" opening theme:


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May 24, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• News story lead sentence of the week: "In one instance, a bar in New Jersey mixed rubbing alcohol with caramel food coloring and served it as scotch."

• Behold, the dumbest PR pitch I've ever gotten. And that's saying something.

• If you've always wanted to hear a compilation of Alonzo Mourning being mentioned in rap songs this is your lucky day. Also, almost every lyric was "Mourning like Alonzo."

According to the guy who invented the GIF it's pronounced "jif" rather than "gif." I will, however, continue saying "jif or gif, whichever way you say it" every time I speak the word.

• One thing I know for certain about GIFs? They were made for Delmon Young.

Never forget: "Brian Dozier is going to be the next big thing for the Twins."

• I take a similar approach to dating, but thankfully a Honda Fit doesn't cause much damage.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked a lot about Kyle Gibson and Chris Colabello, and then John Bonnes got creeped out by my choice of romantic music.

• On a related note, I've been spending way too much time thinking of intro/outro songs for the radio show. They need to have a strong opening riff and first 30-45 seconds and be free of curse words, which rules out a ton of good ones. Here's my preliminary list, in alphabetical order.

• I've been wondering what my old pal and former FSN sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski is up to in his new gig with the Pirates and based on this video he's doing a lot of dry cleaning:

They were nice enough to provide him with a shower too, at least.

• I'm in search of a new role model after this devastating news, but we'll always have Super Stan.

• White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is a great pitcher, but as a lifelong fatso reading about how he eats like a pig and can't put on any weight makes me instinctively want to hate him forever.

Paul Allen warned that he had "a big surprise" planned for my weekly Thursday appearance on his show and it turned out to be my mom, three grade school friends, and a former "date" telling stories for a "This Is Your Life"-style segment. Here's photographic evidence of the story my mom told.

• And to think, I used to be considered the young baseball blogger as a 19-year-old.

• Hard as it is to believe, the Twins' rotation has actually been worse than last year's mess.

• I got a similar welcome to the NBC Sports office, except with cartons of Chinese food.

• Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara feels strongly about getting a high-five from Shane Victorino.

• Try to imagine one of the Minnesota newspapers running a story like this about a Twins player.

• Sabermetrics in urban planning? Sure, why not.

• Old friend Francisco Liriano is off to a great start with the Pirates.

• As someone forever nostalgic about 1990s music Target Field's just-announced July concert is intriguing, but I'm boycotting until Mase gets involved.

• This is easily the angriest I've ever been about anything.

Nick Offerman playing Alison Brie's father in a movie is going to break the internet and "The Kings Of Summer" looks pretty good too:

Lots of other funny people in the cast too.

Jen Kirkman, who's always a great podcast guest, has started her own podcast.

Question of the Week over at HardballTalk: If you could have a lengthy but mediocre MLB career would you choose to be a fifth starter (like Kevin Correia or Bruce Chen), a middle reliever (like Brandon Lyon or Chad Qualls), or a platoon hitter (like Reed Johnson or Jonny Gomes)? I gave my answer in the comments section.

Pamela Adlon, who voiced Bobby Hill on "King Of The Hill" and was in both of Louis C.K.'s television shows, was predictably a great/crazy guest on "WTF" with Marc Maron.

• Congratulations to Link-O-Rama regular Dana Wessel for his new gig with KTWIN-96.3, which adds a great producer and the best hair in Minnesota radio.

• In terms of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidates, can this count as a first date?

• Positive customer service experiences are so rare that I feel like sharing one. Some keys on my year-old Macbook stopped working, so I took it to the Apple Store in Ridgedale Mall. It's my first non-PC and so naturally I was expecting the worst, but everyone there was incredibly helpful and friendly. And despite a 3-5 day repair timetable I got the Macbook back within 48 hours after the parts arrived and had a nice chat about the Twins with a Mac Genius who reads AG.com.

(If you're curious: He wants Aaron Hicks sent down, thinks the payroll is too low, and was sad to learn that I don't get to hang out with Dan Cole over at KFAN.)

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

- "Can glass carry 150 pounds?"
- "Crush on Moira Kelly"
- "Kyle Kinane weight"
- "Have been lazy for 29 years"
- "Hardcore porn on Netflix"
- "Ryan Doumit shirtless"
- "Haralabos Voulgaris shirtless"
- "Al Newman clarinet"
- "What's the real news on Glen Perkins?"
- "How old is LaVelle E. Neal?"
- "How long on an elliptical to burn a beer?"
- "Similarities between Lindsay Lohan and Mila Kunis"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is a live version of "No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 19, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I'd have pegged Jose Mijares as the perpetrator, not the victim, in a "someone farted in the bullpen" situation.

• I was trying to keep this a secret, but I guess the news is out: I live in Michigan now and have a 6-year-old son.

• I took issue with IMDB's ranking of the top 10 baseball movies of all time, so I put together my own list over at HardballTalk. Despite blogging since 2002 it was my first real foray into making lists for people to argue about on the internet. And boy did they!

Kyle Buchanan of Vulture did some interesting research (with graphs!) about how male movie stars get old and their female love interests stay mostly the same age.

• As a freshman in college I had three roommates I'd never met before and within the first week two of them uttered the same phrase as Oklahoma politician Bill Johnson.

• I have a few openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• One of my favorite writers, Joe Posnanski, did a lengthy feature on one of my favorite coaches, Gregg Popovich, and not surprisingly it's great.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode a woman named Delilah interrupted the show, decided she liked us, and stayed to chat for a while.

• I didn't think it was possible to be any more into Alison Brie, but then I watched her 22-minute chat with Paul F. Tompkins.

And there's more where that came from.

• On a related note, my favorite moment from the most recent "Mad Men" episode? Please do!

• Of the several million "Mad Men" recaps I read each week Molly Lambert's for Grantland always rate at or near the top.

Justin Bieber on Anne Frank, obviously.

Ben Revere is not off to a good start in Philadelphia and the complaints sound familiar, but his catch Monday night was incredible. Of course, not every attempted great catch works so well.

• I'm getting pretty sick of Glen Perkins trying to ride my coattails to fame.

• Between the weather and the score last Friday night's Twins-Mets game was depressing, but the highlight was what happened when a bat flew into the stands. My new best friend is the guy in the Johan Santana jersey holding an ice cream cone.

• My favorite baseball player is selling his house and it's cheap enough that I think we should all pool our money together and buy the place.

Rasheed Wallace announced his retirement again and I'll choose to remember him like this.

Adam Scott is sick of Adam Scott.

• I joked on Twitter that Carlos Quentin's punishment for charging the mound on Zack Greinke should be having to do the same on Kyle Farnsworth, and Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com looked into Farnsworth's "weapons-grade soup-bones."

Faith Hill is stepping down as the "Sunday Night Football" theme singer, so I've put in a request with the NBC higher-ups to do the right thing and replace her with Mase.

• Oh, no big deal, just Dolph Lundgren singing (and drumming) Elvis on Eurovision:

Amazing.

• I enjoyed this chat between official pitcher of the internet Brandon McCarthy and living legend Carson Cistulli, who also had a good chat with Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic about life as a baseball beat reporter.

Nate Sandell of 1500ESPN.com wrote a good piece about new Gophers basketball coach Richard Pinto being a stat-head.

• My fellow "Chopped" fans will love frequent judge Scott Conant's appearance on "WTF" with Marc Maron. He was great and hopefully it convinces Maron to interview more chefs.

Norm MacDonald's weekly video podcast has quickly become a must-watch and Russell Brand was an especially entertaining guest.

• Link-O-Rama regular Dana Wessel was a guest on this week's "The Sportive" podcast, if you're into that type of thing.

• I watched "The Campaign" on HBO and it was decent, but far more interesting was discovering that the actress who played Will Ferrell's wife was married to both Dennis Hopper and French Stewart in real life. How do you think she describes her "type"?

• My love for Mets right-hander Matt Harvey knows no bounds, unlike my photoshop skills.

Joe Mauer turns 30 years old today and I choose to celebrate by looking at this picture again.

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

- "Corey Koskie net worth"
- "Is Miguel Sano that good?"
- "FSN naked girl"
- "Sid Hartman drinking hot chocolate"
- "Is Jon Taffer Jewish?"
- "Jon Taffer in Minnesota"
- "How did Kevin Goldstein get famous?"
- "Men line up Target Field restroom"
- "Twins pitching still sucks"
- "Mila Kunis tired"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Vivrant Thing" by Q-Tip:


This week's blog content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's new GAME SIX shirt, commemorating one of the best moments in Minnesota sports history. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

February 1, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Aaron Rupar of City Pages was at a coffee shop when he witnessed the start of a blind date, so naturally he stuck around for the whole thing and live-tweeted it.

• I'm thrilled that one of my favorite writers, Joe Posnanski, will be joining NBCSports.com as a columnist, blogger, and all-around "digital voice." And now that he's a co-worker I'm going to use Posnanski to become friends with Ken Tremendous/Michael Schur and then use him to meet Aubrey Plaza. Any writing Posnanski does is just a bonus.

• Speaking of Posnanski, it almost seems like he didn't enjoy watching "Trouble With The Curve."

• And speaking of NBCSports.com, my blog-mate Craig Calcaterra put together an extensive oral history of HardballTalk.

Tony Soprano's daughter is marrying Lenny Dykstra's son.

• As a kid I owned a Nick Van Exel jersey, so this news makes me feel both old and sad.

• I made my triumphant return to Paul Allen's show on KFAN yesterday and we talked Twins, but the highlight was when he sang to me and asked how my mom is doing.

• I'm asking my family to do the same thing, but with Chinese food carryout.

Eddie Guardado was elected to the Twins' team Hall of Fame. I ranked him as the 26th-best player in Twins history.

• My first concert was Boyz II Men (with opening acts Babyface and Tevin Campbell) at Target Center in 1994. They're coming back to Target Center in July ... with New Kids On The Block and 98 Degrees, which is probably more nostalgia than I can stomach at this point.

• Twins president Dave St. Peter was our guest on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode and we asked him all about payroll, revenue, television money, attendance, and a lot more.

• Also on this week's podcast: If you listen closely John Bonnes mentions magnets at one point and I start to say this before realizing he won't get it.

• This would be a bargain at double the price, but as always the University of Minnesota could have saved $3,406 and just watched "Seinfeld":

"Fake, fake, fake, fake" is one of my top-five lines in "Seinfeld" history.

• And people think I never leave the house.

Phil Miller has officially started covering the Twins for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, so you should definitely be following him on Twitter.

Carl Pavano had his spleen removed after suffering a laceration when he fell shoveling snow.

Chuck Klosterman wrote a very interesting, nuanced article about mental illness and Royce White, who's yet to play an NBA game.

• As someone who relies on a GPS to get him everywhere, I now have something new to fear.

• Saturday night's attempt to #GetSethDrunk at the Twins Daily get-together was unsuccessful, but this receipt shows that I tried my best. Sadly, he gave up after one.

• I posted a few other pictures from Twins Fest and the star-studded post-Twins Fest get-together.

• Based on this study Nick Punto should have been murdered years ago.

• I consider these men American heroes and hope their story is the plot of "Ocean's Fourteen."

• Phillies manager Charlie Manuel summed up Delmon Young's entire career in one depressing but true quote.

• On a related note, reading what Phillies blogs wrote about signing Young is quite an experience.

• I don't know enough about the non-baseball part of Boston sports media to say if Alan Siegel's article in Boston Magazine is particularly accurate, but it definitely raises some interesting topics that can be applied to Minnesota and every other major market.

• And to think, people make fun of me for only wanting to go to bars around Hopkins.

David Fincher is my favorite director and I'm obsessed with Netflix instant, so I'll probably watch "House of Cards" in one sitting.

• "End of Watch" was a mediocre movie overall, but it's worth renting just for Anna Kendrick singing "Hey Ma" by Cam'ron:

Seriously.

• As if that video didn't make world-renowned Kendrick fan and 1500-ESPN producer/writer Dana Wessel happy enough, his wardrobe is about to expand significantly.

• On a related note, Wikipedia says the following about Cam'ron's pre-music days:

Cameron Giles was born and raised in Harlem, New York. He went to school at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, where he would meet his long time friends Mase and Jim Jones. He was a promising basketball player alongside Mase, however, he was unable to take advantage of various scholarship offers due to a poor academic record.

I'm the biggest Mase fan in the world, but not living in the alternate universe where Cam'ron and Mase became the next Stockton and Malone makes me very sad. If nothing else, based on this video we can say conclusively that Cam'ron was a better basketball player than David Arquette.

• Friend of AG.com and Twins Daily blogger Nick Nelson profiled fantasy sports payment service LeagueSafe and its creator Paul Charchian.

• As a nation we're not talking enough about Michael Beasley's hair.

Terry Ryan's explanation for signing Kevin Correia makes it difficult to buy into the Twins' supposed embracing of statistical analysis or trust their scouts.

• Friend of AG.com and longtime prominent stat-head Tom Tango now works exclusively for the Cubs after consulting for multiple teams and they're also looking to hire a Director of Research and Development in Baseball Operations.

• After his 10-year NFL career former Vikings running back Leroy Hoard struggles with memory loss and emotional problems at age 44.

Carson Cistulli's first act of journalism since joining the Baseball Writers Association of America involved asking Brewers reliever John Axford about his mustache and Ryan Gosling.

• New podcast discovery: "Put Your Hands Together" with Cameron Esposito, who records the weekly stand-up comedy show she hosts at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles and mixes in some interviews. Through three episodes the list of comics featured includes Aziz Ansari, Anthony Jeselnik, Bob Odenkirk, Kyle Kinane, Steve Agee, Bobcat Goldthwait, James Adomian, and Jerrod Carmichael. Stand-up comedy nerds will absolutely love it.

• I guess A's left-hander Brett Anderson is my new favorite player now.

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

- "Can you get skinny by going swimming?"
- "What team did Denard Span go to?"
- "Quick ways to lose 150 pounds"
- "Jason Kubel tattoos"
- "Twins pitcher sucks"
- "Aubrey Plaza tied up"
- "29th birthday"
- "Rob McElhenney bench press"
- "Dan Gladden daughter"
- "Is winter statistically harder to lose weight?"
- "Girlfriend obsessed with podcast"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Hey Ma" by Cam'ron:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Peter David Benson's book "All Babies Suck," which is available on Amazon.com as a free Kindle download. Please support him for supporting AG.com.

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