December 30, 2011

Link-O-Rama

Boof Bonser is back with San Francisco on a minor-league contract, so Giants fans are surely just fine with that trade now.

• As always, corrections are a very important part of journalism.

John Biggs of the New York Times did an interesting article about who owns Twitter accounts and their followers, which is something Judd Zulgad had to deal with locally when he switched from the Minneapolis Star Tribune to 1500-ESPN.

Glen Perkins is one of the few professional athletes worth following on Twitter, and not just because he shares my desire for Ricky Rubio to make neck beards acceptable in Minnesota.

• On a related note Britt Robson has a nice article at SI.com analyzing Rubio's first two games.

• As part of an ongoing series of posts about transitioning from lawyer to baseball writer Craig Calcaterra explained how I ruined his life.

Scott Raab of Esquire has a pretty accurate take on why writers write.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook's annual calendar is out.

• If you stick around until (or fast forward to) the end of this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode you can hear my dieting advice, which is a lot like Drew Butera sharing his hitting tips.

• Even if the lockout soured you on the NBA this welcome back video from TNT was amazing:

Kevin Love makes an appearance fighting for a rebound with Jerry Lucas.

April Ludgate highlights are the best highlights.

Keith Law, who left Baseball Prospectus to take a job in the Blue Jays' front office a decade ago, may soon be leaving ESPN.com to take a job in the Astros' front office. That could put an end to his Twitter account, but hopefully they'd at least let him keep reviewing Top Chef.

• My favorite football announcer, Mike Mayock, got some much-deserved national praise from Sports Illustrated media critic Richard Deitsch.

• Maria Menounos' football career continues.

• Sadly, this is a fitting end to a spectacularly awful year in Minnesota sports.

• Earlier this week I fell asleep with my laptop on and woke up to find this page on the screen, which is extra weird/nerdy when you consider I haven't played the game in at least 10 years.

• I'll still be working from bed in Minnesota, but Elizabeth Kim of the Stamford Advocate penned a lengthy article about the new 300,000-square foot NBC Sports offices in Connecticut.

• It's painful for me to see Michael Jordan with his new wife after eating "Juanita's macaroni and cheese" at his restaurant in Chicago about 20 years ago. It was good, too.

John Legend's taste is apparently even better than his voice.

Don Cherry's hockey analysis and flamboyant suits are well known, but he has another skill:

Imagine how much more work would get done around the world if everyone had a piano desk.

Courtland Milloy of the Washington Post wrote an intriguing column examining the prominent role marijuana plays in professional sports.

• Congrats to one of my favorite baseball writers, Matthew Leach, for his MLB.com promotion from Cardinals beat reporter to national columnist.

• Podcast recommendation: "Your Mom's House" with Tom Segura and Christina Pazsitsky.

• I didn't know Greg Spira well, but got a chance to see him each year at the SABR convention and he was a great guy despite getting a raw deal health-wise. He'll definitely be missed.

• For anyone curious about what Hanukkah cookie-making looks like, here's a blurry picture.

• My beloved Hardball Dynasty league on WhatIfSports.com starts a new season next week. If you're interested in joining, click here for more details.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Billy Bragg singing a live, solo version of "A New England" from 1985:

April 22, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Every cop's fantasy, starring Sofia Vergara.

• Humble bragging is sweeping the nation and the Wall Street Journal talked to the man behind the phenomenon, Harris Wittels, who once upon a time left a comment here. #humblebrag

• I'm not sure what took them so damn long, but better late than never: NFL Network will be replacing Matt Millen and Joe Theisman with Mike Mayock for their Thursday night games.

• Quote of the week: Royals manager Ned Yost on Billy Butler wanting to play first base: "I'd like to be an astronaut."

• This was the same excuse I used for skipping class in college, with the only difference being that no one on the entire campus knew who I was.

Elisha Cuthbert is back on television. I'm unlikely to watch the former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com's new show, but I am fully committed to looking at any screen caps posted online.

• Friend of AG.com Phil Mackey has been named "best sports talk radio host" in Minnesota by City Pages, which is remarkable considering he didn't have a full-time on-air spot until leaving 1130-KFAN for 1500-ESPN about 18 months ago and might be even better covering the Twins as a beat reporter than he is as the co-host of an afternoon show. Not bad for a stat-head.

• Stat-head setup man? Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard reads Fan Graphs.

• As a white, point guard-playing kid I owned his Sacramento Kings jersey and proudly wore it while attempting ill-advised but fancy passes, so this news makes me feel both sad and old.

David Carr of the New York Times wrote an interesting profile of Michael Klingensmith, who has helped turn the Minneapolis Star Tribune around since taking over as publisher in mid-2008. He's a native Minnesotan and "a serious Twins fan" who utilizes "statistical data to help guide product improvements." And under his watch the newspaper is one of the few in the country on an upswing. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Pioneer Press' website sadly remains nearly unusable.

• As someone who greatly prefers using Tweetdeck to the actual Twitter interface I'm worried about what may happen now that Twitter is in talks to buy Tweetdeck for "around $50 million."

• Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison has become one of my favorite players thanks to his great tweeting.

• Not that you can tell a ton from a 92-second clip, but HBO's upcoming new series Lucky looks pretty good and it's definitely star-studded.

Bonus points for using the World Series of Poker intro jingle.

• Thanks to a government crackdown the online poker world has basically been ruined, leaving tons of people out of work, taking away recreational enjoyment from part-timers like me, and even impacting television programming on numerous channels.

• Now that online poker is banned I feel the same about playing poker as I do about hosting a podcast. I'd really like to do both, but ultimately it takes a backseat to my even stronger desire not to leave the house or invite relative strangers over to my house. Helluva catch-22.

Buster Posey's sister can out-hit your sister.

• My mom's all-time favorite athlete is much better at pistol-whipping than he was at dieting.

• After six weeks of dieting I'm down 40 pounds, which sounds misleadingly great because of how much weight fatsos like me have to shed in the first place. I'm still fat enough that telling someone how much weight I've lost only leads to them thinking: "And you still look this bad?!" I've been counting every calorie and working out an elliptical machine every day, but once my calorie intake loosens up a bit this alcohol-to-calorie chart will be very helpful.

• Up until six weeks ago I was one of the leading donut consumers in the country, yet I had no idea that many (and perhaps even most) people spell it "doughnut." I also had no idea that a "free year's supply of donuts" could cost you $237.

Bill Simmons continues to build an excellent writing staff for his upcoming ESPN-funded site, hiring Bill Barnwell away from Football Outsiders.

Evangeline Lilly is either pregnant or there will soon be a disheveled yet still incredibly great looking blond woman with an Australian accent looking for her son again. Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that the kid's name should be Aaron.

• Following the latest veteran media member to write a really dumb thing about sports, David Matthews of The Good Men Project wonders how long before more of the higher-quality online writers land full-time gigs and how many of them will be forced to quit in search of non-writing jobs that actually pay the bills. I've been fortunate in that respect, but many good writers are not as lucky and having to live on income from AG.com would have forced me to quit long ago.

• After reading this news I'm thinking about suing myself for being paid almost no money from 10 years of blogging here. We'd probably settle out of court.

• Speaking of real life getting in the way of good blogging, Stick and Ball Guy has hung up the keyboard. I enjoyed SBG's community of bloggers and readers so much that it remains the only other blog on which I've ever regularly posted comments and I also enjoyed attending several in-person get-togethers with SBG and friends. He'll be missed, but the community has decided to go on without SBG by starting up a spinoff site that is definitely worth checking out.

• I was surprised to learn that an average of just 22,000 television sets were tuned into each Timberwolves game this season and even more shocked to find out that didn't even rank them among the NBA's least-watched teams.

• I'm not sure $105 million in added risk makes much sense for the Brewers, but Ryan Braun is now signed through 2020.

• I'm excited that Friday Night Lights is back for a final season, although the scene in the first episode where the new guy dribbles and shoots free throws like he's never played the sport before despite supposedly being a basketball star has me re-thinking my love for the first four seasons. It might even keep me from bidding on more than a dozen items in this auction.

Vanessa Hudgens either needs to get much fatter or hire a new public relations person.

• Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for allegedly stealing $60 in shirts from Macy's.

• When the Timberwolves fired Dwane Casey they were 20-20. They are 90-280 since then.

• I saw these guys do a presentation at last year's SABR convention. Very interesting stuff.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys doing "Heavy Soul" live: