November 4, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• It turns out "replacement level" means something totally different in the non-baseball world.

• I'm not much for petitions, but this is certainly a worthwhile cause. They've suffered enough.

• An important reminder from my mom's favorite player: Being fat isn't the same as being jolly.

Kris Humphries stayed with the Gophers longer than this.

Scarlett Johansson quote of the week: "There's nothing wrong with that. It's not like I was shooting a porno. Although there's nothing wrong with that either. I know my best angles."

Cory Provus will replace John Gordon as the Twins' radio play-by-play announcer. Provus previously worked with Bob Uecker in Milwaukee and Brewers fans on Twitter gave him lots of very positive reviews yesterday.

This news is responsible for more nerd fantasies than all six Star Wars movies combined.

• Of course, it's not all good news on the fantasy girl marketplace.

• As promised, I now have both of these in my closet.

Nick Diaz shouting "train by day, Joe Rogan podcast all night" after defeating B.J. Penn was my favorite post-fight moment in UFC history.

Except for the whole training part, I'm the same way.

Mark Brunell has earned $50 million during an 18-season NFL career that's still going at age 41, but once he retires he'll be working as a medical sales representative to make ends meet.

• Remember how Michael Beasley's publicist annoyingly sent me 20 e-mails in the span of two days last week? Despite being perfect for each other they've parted ways already.

• My favorite journalism school teacher, Paul McEnroe, wrote a really interesting article for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• More than three million people still pay to subscribe to AOL's dial-up service. Seriously.

• My musical taste is often mocked, and rightfully so most of the time, but two of my favorites are struggling with eerily similar throat problems that seemingly could threaten their careers.

• Once upon a time, before he managed 5,000 games and wore jeans on late-night television talk shows, Tony La Russa was just a Triple-A infielder with a weak bat and strong sideburns.

John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman apparently did a group photo shoot for their TwinsCentric blog on the Star Tribune's website and it reminded me of this:

"Straight Outta Warroad."

• Speaking of the Star Tribune's website, they moved to a metered paywall for content, which is a bold move to say the least. StarTribune.com sports coordinator and Twins blogger Howard Sinker is scheduled to be our guest on next week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, so we'll definitely get into the newspaper talk along with the usual baseball stuff.

• And if you haven't checked out this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" show yet, it's probably worth listening to just to hear us compare Aaron Hicks to a bad Adrian Brody movie.

• SB Nation hired one of my favorite baseball writers, Amy K. Nelson, away from ESPN.

• My latest podcast discovery: "The Champs" with Moshe Kasher and Neal Brennan, which is the perfect mix of funny, serious, interesting, and silly. Listening to their two-part episode with Blake Griffin immediately made him my favorite NBA player.

• Kasher and Brennan also recommended watching Eddie Murphy's first guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which mostly made me sad that he's spent the past 15 years making kids movies.

• Listening to Sarah Silverman chat with Julie Klausner was a highlight of this Hebrew school expellee's week.

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are among 10 candidates on the special "golden era" Hall of Fame ballot. To me they both narrowly miss the cut, but I'm sure many Twins fans feel differently.

This guy is the Twins' new Triple-A hitting coach.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "How You Like Me Now?" by The Heavy:

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: