June 15, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• It turns out that Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis apparently doesn't own a mirror.

Pete Campbell has established himself as the Chuck Wepner of Mad Men.

• It got my hopes up, but "Cougars move to reclaim Midwest" was just a misleading headline.

• My weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen included the usual Twins talk but was mostly about my never-ending supply of beautiful female groupies. And for anyone who listens to the appearance, know that I played this in the car while driving home from the studio (alone).

Aubrey Huff was on the bench for Matt Cain's perfect game and then injured his knee tripping over the dugout railing in an attempt to celebrate.

• Sad news about one of the best pitchers in Twins history, as Dave Boswell passed away this week at age 67. Boswell, who debuted with the Twins as a teenager in 1964 and spent seven seasons in Minnesota, ranked 36th on my list of the best players in team history.

• Was last night's season-worst outing against the Phillies the start of Scott Diamond coming crashing back down to earth? I'm glad you asked.

• So far at least Bryce Harper looks like the best 19-year-old hitter in baseball history. He's also the leader in the clubhouse for best quote of the year: "That's a clown question, bro."

• In less than two weeks the annual Society for American Baseball Research convention will be in downtown Minneapolis at the Marriott City Center from June 27-July 1. I've attended every SABR convention since 2004 and obviously won't miss this one. Some parts of the convention require registering, but as my annual convention recaps show I go mostly to talk baseball, hang out, and drink beer. And you certainly don't need to be a SABR member for that.

• This week Tom Scharpling did his 500th episode of The Best Show On WFMU, which gets my vote for the most underrated consistently hilarious thing ever. It'll change your life.

• If you're interested in being an AG.com "sponsor of the week" click here for details.

Minka Kelly seems nice.

• I finally convinced my brain it was safe to empty my closet of clothes I wore at 355 pounds and buy new clothes to wear at 175 pounds. I'm still trying to decide what to do with dozens of XXXL shirts, but for now this is what a fatboy's entire wardrobe looks like piled on a couch:

Donating to charity is a good idea, except my brain remains convinced I'll need it all again.

• People: Still the worst.

• Deadspin gave Jay Mariotti the attention he deserves.

Stephen Strasburg made his 30th career start this week--with a 12-month break for Tommy John surgery included--and his overall numbers are pretty crazy.

• It took long enough, but Mark Wahlberg can finally make something of his life now.

• I wish I could get as excited about anything in life as my mom and aunt were to watch TNT's reboot of Dallas on Wednesday night. And apparently they weren't alone.

Henry Hill, who was portrayed by Ray Liotta in Goodfellas and often called Howard Stern's radio show to promote public appearances while in witness protection, died of natural causes.

• Suffice it to say that mixed martial arts and Anderson Silva are a bigger deal in Brazil.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan starring in a new Showtime series called Masters of Sex is probably the greatest idea in the history of television.

In which Nick Blackburn is Jodie Foster and Kyle Kendrick is Matthew McConaughey.

Preach, brother Patrick!

• I realize year-old movie reviews are sort of pointless, but they're also kind of my specialty here and I finally saw 21 Jump Street. It exceeded expectations more than any movie I can remember, with tons of big laughs. And not only that, on the way to the movie theater I saw a car pull over and a woman get out to puke on the sidewalk. One of the highlights of my life.

• I also saw a rare new release in Bernie, which was more weird and interesting than actually good but did feature Jack Black doing a nice job stepping way outside of his comfort zone.

• One of my favorite podcasts, You Had To Be There with Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer, is coming to MTV as a late-night talk show.

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek is live on KFAN this Sunday at 4:00, right after the Twins-Brewers game. My co-host John Bonnes is on vacation, so we'll have a couple special guests.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the longest song in my iTunes library, David Gray's cover version of "Say Hello Wave Goodbye" by Soft Cell:

This week's blog content is sponsored by PickPointz, where you can make predictions, pick games, and win prizes for free. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

March 2, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Monday night John Bonnes and I are hosting a get-together/meet-up/viewing party.

• Who among us hasn't tried to steal hash browns by putting them in our pants?

Jonathan Abrams' "oral history of the scariest moment in NBA history" at Grantland is one of the best things I've read so far this year.

• I'd pay big money for a set of these wind-up action figures of The Wire characters, but sadly they're apparently not for sale.

• Of course, if a certain The Wire fan took up the cause he could probably change that.

• A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy got hardcore into sabermetrics because he "didn't want to suck at baseball anymore" and turned into one of the best pitchers in the league.

Billy Beane wasn't the only MLB general manager at the Oscars, as Ned Colletti snagged a seat right behind Michelle Williams despite the fact that Brad Pitt has never portrayed him.

• I suppose Fez from That '70s Show is basically a lateral move from Derek Jeter.

Ozzie Guillen has one rule: Don't be late for the f***ing National Anthem.

• After months of waiting and way too much online research I finally bought a new car.

Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley passes along this old video about Steve Carlton's sick slider:

"I hold it like this and I throw the s*** out of it."

• Congrats to Jim Souhan for becoming the one millionth mainstream media member to make a parents' basement joke about bloggers.

Mike Pomeranz is leaving his news anchor job at KARE-11 to become the Padres' new pregame show host on FOX Sports San Diego.

Jessica Alba lost her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title in 2004 and has since had two kids, but she's still getting the job done.

• After years of tireless research I finally found the perfect podcast and it's Jen Kirkman's recent appearance on Todd Glass' show.

Luke Scott brought seven-foot-long, pig-killing spears into the Rays' clubhouse and then the next day he called Red Sox fans "ruthless and vulgar." Should be a fun season in Tampa Bay.

• In fairness, the straw man was really asking for it. Oof.

• The story of how a little-read 16-year-old blogger broke the Ryan Braun news weeks ahead of everyone else is pretty amazing.

• Being known as the world's most famous urine sample collector must be weird.

• Not only is Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch one of baseball's best beat reporters, he's a hell of an artist too.

• According to Chris Broussard of ESPN the Lakers turned down a trade for Michael Beasley.

Barely anyone is watching Luck on HBO, but I'm there every week for the slow burn.

• I watched the premiere episode of Awake on NBC and it hooked me, although I agree with Alan Sepinwall that there's reason to be skeptical long term.

Delmon Young remains as graceful as ever.

• Even the scariest baseball team of my childhood couldn't defeat time.

• My fellow Howard Stern fans will enjoy Artie Lange's appearance on Adam Carolla's show.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Mayer's new song "Shadow Days":

December 23, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• You'll have to wait until Monday morning for my analysis of the Twins signing Jason Marquis, but in honor of today being Festivus this week's Link-O-Rama is super-sized ...

And here's a little more about my favorite holiday:

Coincidentally, today is also the 100,000th time Seinfeld has been referenced on this blog.

• I'm only into Minka Kelly for her memorabilia collection anyway.

• "Survey finds most people go online for no particular reason" explains my entire career/life.

• If you've seen Pulp Fiction as many times as me you'll love watching it in chronological order.

Albert Pujols made headlines, but this was by far the best moment of the winter meetings.

• I've been getting into Johnnie Walker black label lately, and that was before seeing their new advertising campaign.

• Whomever suggested White Castle should sell beer and wine is a genius. An evil genius.

Headline of the week: "Man eats cocaine from brother's butt, dies."

Louis CK skipped the middle man and sold his new comedy special on his website for $5. Not only was it great and easy to buy, the numbers should encourage others to follow suit and he donated $280,000 to charity.

• CK also called himself the Orlando Hernandez of stand-up comedy and was a great guest on Bill Simmons' podcast, although ESPN had trouble deciding which bad words to bleep out.

Terry Ryan's taste in sweaters is similar to his taste in proven closers.

• As this intense video clearly shows, taekwondo is no joke:

My favorite was the spinning back kick.

Chris Ison is a Pulitzer Prize winner and was one of my favorite teachers at the University of Minnesota, so his writing about my career path for the journalism school magazine is surreal.

• I used to dislike Bill Conlin as a columnist, but now that couldn't matter less. Yuck.

David Brauer of MinnPost notes that Judd Zulgad and Joe Anderson quadrupled the ratings on 1500-ESPN after replacing Colin Cowherd.

• Hopefully throat surgery will at least allow Adele enough time to get into a relationship and have an angry breakup she can use for material. And if not I'll just try to break this record.

• If a judge sentenced me to 30 days of house arrest I'd laugh maniacally like Roberto DeNiro in Cape Fear and then take a nap.

• Probably the best (or least bad) thing Nickelback has ever done.

• Reminder: Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kate Beckinsale is a 38-year-old mother.

• As an NBC employee and longtime Howard Stern fan this shouldn't make me so sad.

Tony Levine, who used to referee my JCC basketball games, has replaced Kevin Sumlin as the University of Houston's new football coach.

Amare Stoudemire was on Sesame Street teaching Hebrew. Obviously:

He probably would have been pretty decent in that JCC basketball league.

Al Jefferson has a 38-year-old girlfriend and she got arrested for allegedly biting him.

• My online love affair with Chantel Kendall from Baseball Wives was fun while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end.

• Not to be outdone by Jacque Jones becoming the Padres' new Single-A hitting coach, Doug Mientkiewicz is the Dodgers' new rookie-ball hitting coach. Luis Rivas is still out of work.

• My favorite quote from Anthony Bourdain's predictably terrific appearance on Marc Maron's podcast: "I was regularly vomiting publicly and happy about it."

Paz de la Huerta should be at the top of most lists, but this one in particular makes sense.

• Anyone wanna back me for this poker tournament?

• My childhood gets super confused looking at a 44-year-old Pamela Anderson.

• Local reporter Jon Krawcynski and the Associated Press reached a settlement with the NBA.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" podcast we discussed what the Twins' lineup looks like with Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit replacing Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, the difference between Christmas and Hanukkah, and first impressions of Ricky Rubio after seeing him in person. We also recapped one of my rare party-going experiences, as shown here:

From left to right that's me, Lindsay Guentzel, John Bonnes, and Parker Hageman.

• There's also photographic evidence of Bonnes dominating at quarters. Made a co-host proud.

Sports Business Journal named my boss as the most influential person in sports business.

• So far so good with the Minneapolis Star Tribune's switch to a metered paywall.

• It turns out no one wants to read about actual baseball on a baseball blog.

• From now on I'll be referring to Kelly Oxford as a co-worker.

• Hey girl, how about some drunk history?

Brandon Roy's too-short basketball career got the eulogy it deserved from Jason Quick.

Melanie Laurent in Beginners might be the most attractive person ever. Good movie, too.

• On a related note, I carry around this list in my pocket, just in case.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video--as quoted in Monday's post--is "Yesterday Was Hard On All Of Us" by Fink:

September 23, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Nunchucks would probably be pretty close to the top of my list of things not to give inmates.

• Life lesson: If you work on the new Charlie's Angels remake and "slap Minka Kelly across the rear end while holding a $100 bill" the producers will fire you. Presumably he reacted like this.

Glen Rice is pretty smooth: "It was all done in a respectful way, nothing hurried."

Rob Ryan and I apparently have similar taste, as the Cowboys defensive coordinator had a photo of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Diora Baird on his play chart last week.

• Thanks to Judd Zulgad and Joe Anderson for having me on their new 1500-ESPN radio show to talk baseball yesterday. You can listen to my half-hour appearance by clicking here.

Ozzie Guillen on marriage: "What attracted me to my wife is she's hot. She's also nice, she's a great mom, but that comes after she's hot."

Adele hopefully at least has some recording time set aside for when they break up again.

• Reminder: TwinsCentric is hosting a get-together tomorrow afternoon for the Twins-Indians game. I'll be there, along with John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman, and we'll be recording an episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" too. For details, click here.

• As a huge fan of The Wire it pains me to see Bodie Broadus doing lame commercials:

In fairness to Fedex, he was always pretty good at delivering packages.

• Not only is former Gophers wide receiver Eric Decker starting to put up some good numbers for the Broncos, he's apparently dating country music singer Jessie James.

• It turns out if you request a new meme people on the internet will actually make one for you.

• Between being played by Brad Pitt and getting kissed too many times by Angelina Jolie this Moneyball movie has really been rough on Billy Beane.

Moneyball, Pitt, and the equation for FIP are on the cover of Sports Illustrated. xFIP is jealous.

Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote a lengthy "where are they now?" feature about Chuck Knoblauch and his reclusive retirement.

• According to Esquire magazine 90 percent of great-looking women cook without pants on.

• My nomination for worst person ever goes to whomever stole the glasses off Ernie Harwell.

• This might be the lamest arrest in NBA history.

• I'm a sucker for outtakes, especially from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:

Charlie Day's genius has never been more apparent.

Howard Lederer and Chris Ferguson reportedly earned $72 million from their involvement with Full Tilt Poker, which is now accused of being "a global Ponzi scheme."

• Rookie hazing now extends to the bullpen bathroom.

• Based on this Portland Oregonian column David Kahn penned in 1989 about the Trailblazers' "poor, deluded men" I wonder what he'd write about the Timberwolves' current situation.

• It sounds like Patrick Reusse's son is a stat-head, which amuses me. Good column, too.

• Netflix streaming recommendation: Conan O'Brien is significantly funnier and more likeable in "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" than he's ever been on his talk show.

• Reading the glowing reviews of "Drive" makes me think I'm insane. I disliked it despite being a Ryan Gosling fan and the audience I saw it with laughed at most of the dramatic moments.

Christina Hendricks had a minor role in "Drive," but she was much better in this.

Eric Freeman of The A.V. Club wrote a guide to choosing the right entrance song for closers.

Gregg Rosenthal's kid is only one day old and already has her own post on ProFootballTalk.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Samson" by Regina Spektor:

September 2, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by ... no one. Please help support AG.com's free content and advertise your product, service, local business, or website by becoming a "Sponsor of the Week."

Free Toby!

• I'm fortunate in that no one really liked me much as a fat guy, but Jonah Hill isn't so lucky.

Halle Berry celebrated her 45th birthday by making it very difficult to believe she celebrated her 45th birthday.

Ryan Braun had his sights on an inside-the-park homer, but instead he wiped out. And then his teammates recreated the crime scene.

• I can't wait to hang out with Sarah Silverman at the NBC company Christmas party.

• Texting with Shaquille O'Neal seems like fun.

• TMZ reports that Lenny Dykstra "pulled a bait and switch" with his penis "at least six times."

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has a great story about fellow St. Paul native (and JCC basketball league alum) Jack Hannahan and the generosity of his Indians teammates.

• This chart showing the evolution of every NBA team's logo is oddly fascinating.

• I respect Minka Kelly for not calling me immediately. She obviously doesn't want to come off as desperate.

• It turns out no one really wants to watch Conan O'Brien on TBS either.

• Two great tastes that taste great together: Judd Zulgad and Joe Anderson are teaming up for 1500-ESPN's new show.

• My favorite part of Twitter this week was Gilbert Arenas feuding with comedian Joe Mande.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Aubrey Plaza was fantastic on Late Show With David Letterman, progressing from nervous to charming to funny to serious in a 10-minute interview:

And there's even a Minnesota reference thrown in.

Kelly Brook on a bicycle. That's all.

• As a veteran of many conference calls and planning sessions, I can relate.

• One of my favorite baseball reporters, Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger, gave a lengthy, interesting interview about the beat writing world.

• Based on these photos Sammy Sosa seems really bothered by the constant steroid talk.

• If she's in, then I'm out.

• As someone who co-created a similarly ambitious independent sportswriting site I'm rooting extremely hard for Tom Scharpling, Bethlehem Shoals, Eric Freeman, and The Classical.

• My favorite review of "Gleeman and The Geek" was posted after the podcast's first episode:

This is a good medium for Gleeman. He writes like an arrogant spiteful jerk, but he seems like a good guy talking to you.

Aw, shucks.

• My second favorite review of the podcast was sent to the show's Twitter account:

Listening to "Gleeman and The Geek" it hit me: If you close your eyes, Aaron Gleeman sounds like Christopher Walken.

I'd never really heard myself talk for an extended period of time before, but I now realize how ridiculous and inexplicable my accent is for someone who's lived in Minnesota for his entire life. Based on the early feedback I sound like a mix of Christopher Walken, Michael Rapaport, and the "Da Bears" guys from Saturday Night Live. You can, of course, judge for yourself.

Harris Wittels, Chelsea Peretti, and Adam Scott on "Comedy Bang Bang" might have been the hardest I've ever laughed at a podcast.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Diora Baird was a recent guest on Riki Lindhome's new "Making It" podcast.

Alex Rodriguez cares more about gambling than what MLB thinks about his gambling and as a fellow degenerate I approve.

• Mixed martial arts was already rapidly ascending into the mainstream, but the UFC signing a long-term deal with FOX and FX should move things along even more quickly. And they're not messing around with the first event.

Bruce Feldman leaving ESPN for CBS is a very interesting story.

• Renowned never-nude enthusiast and 47-year-old comedian/actor David Cross got engaged to 28-year-old actress Amber Tamblyn.

Bill Simmons and my dad hang out in the same places, apparently.

• Last week was my five-year anniversary at NBC, so if you haven't already maybe think about checking out HardballTalk.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is James Taylor and Joe Walsh teaming up for a live cover of "Goodnight Irene" on Howard Stern's show:

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