March 15, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Nick Punto took a 3-2 pitch during the ninth inning of Italy's final World Baseball Classic game. He thought it was ball four. The umpire called it strike three. GIF magic ensued.

• "The Professor, the Bikini Model, and the Suitcase Full of Trouble" is a pretty great article title, but it doesn't even begin to convey how insane and fascinating this story is.

• It turns out not even hate groups can hate Jennifer Lawrence.

• I feel sorry for Mariners fans because Jeff Sullivan is one of the best, most original bloggers around, but a lot of what he wrote hit home with me and echoes my thoughts about turning 30.

• I'll bet even the Jerky Boys would be proud of this one.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we spent a whole bunch of time talking about Aaron Hicks and also tried to figure exactly how stupid it would be to buy a bar together.

• Speaking of which, my grandpa owned a bar in Duluth for a long time before I was born and I stumbled across this Duluth News Tribune article about him from 1972.

• If nothing else, Glen Perkins committed to drinking at my bar if we call it "Mom's Basement."

• Perkins and Joe Mauer look more or less the same a dozen years later.

• What happens when a boxer tries to confront his Twitter troll? About what you'd expect.

• I haven't done a mailbag in months, so I'm fielding questions on Twitter to answer next week.

• In case anyone forgot for a second who's the best, Louis C.K. provides a nice reminder.

This wasn't bad either.

• My annual series ranking the Twins' top prospects concluded this week with an overview of the farm system as a whole.

Vin Scully has a story he hadn't told in 50 years that's better than most people's best story.

• "Duck Dynasty" had 8.2 million viewers last week. To put that in context, consider that no "Mad Men" episode has ever topped 3.5 million and "Parks and Recreation" averages 3.1 million.

• I'm not sure if this makes me feel better or worse about getting old, but I'm the same age as, among other things, McNuggets, the moonwalk, the Disney Channel, and Microsoft Word.

• I know almost nothing else about him, but based on this Cory Booker is my favorite politician.

• Twins Daily is hosting a get-together to watch the Twins-Rays spring training game on Saturday afternoon, March 23. I'll be there, drinking and watching and whatevering. Details here.

• Sometimes you can't help but ask yourself "how did I get so damn lucky?"

• As a Gilbert Gottfried fan I'm a little bummed out to learn that he's, like, a real person.

• Old friend Carlos Gomez got a $24 million contract extension from the Brewers and based on the reaction I saw on Twitter many Twins fans refuse to believe he's not terrible.

• With the new Pope and all, I wonder if this is still true or not.

• As someone whose job requires him to keep constant tabs on hundreds of sites at once, Google Reader shutting down makes me incredibly sad. There are some alternatives, though.

Pete Rose and his fiancee are the worst actors ever:

It almost seems like a "Tim and Eric" sketch.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra got himself on MLB Network during the World Baseball Classic and really did everyone at HardballTalk proud.

Julie Klausner, whose "How Was Your Week" podcast and overall crush-worthiness I've touted in the past, is coming here in August to host a "cat video festival" at the State Fair. Which means my new goal for 2013 is to appear together on one of KFAN's live-from-the-fair shows.

• I watched a great French movie this week called "Amelie" and you can get an English-subtitled version on Amazon for just 99 cents. Highly recommended.

• My nomination for the saddest GIF on the internet.

• I miss the old days when a chubby guy with glasses could be in a boy band and not necessarily even be the ugly one.

• My analysis of the Vikings trading Percy Harvin.

• Baseball-Reference.com has made its "Play Index" free through April 15, if you've ever wanted to try the world's most indispensable tool for baseball research.

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

- "Max Kepler fantasy"
- "Dick Bremer final season"
- "Aaron Gleeman chicken rice recipe"
- "Will Joel Zumaya play baseball again?"
- "Why did Chelsea Peretti quit drinking and pot?"
- "Indian women bathroom SABR"
- "Is Joe Mauer a switch-hitter?"
- "First time Anna Kendrick had sex"
- "Jimmer has weird jaws"
- "SABR analytics child"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is John Newman and Rudimental doing a live version of "Feel The Love":


This week's blog content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's newest shirt honoring the "Legends" of Minnesota baseball. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

January 18, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• When we started "Gleeman and The Geek" the basic idea was simply two guys having a long, unedited conversation over some beers. Conan O'Brien and Jack White had the same concept while adding in smoking and being far more interesting, and the result is absolutely fantastic.

• Big deal, I've been making up fake girlfriends for years.

• On a related note, Amy Webb developed a sort of sabermetric approach to online dating.

• I thought of a new pickup line on Twitter and Jon Shields was kind enough to give it life.

• My favorite lead sentence of the week, from Marino Eccher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "An Eagan lawyer is suspended indefinitely after having an affair with a client whom he represented in a divorce, then billing her for time they spent having sex."

Pete Rose's new reality television show is exactly what you'd expect.

• Who mocks stat-heads and who hires stat-heads?

• Longtime readers and/or Twitter followers probably know that I'm obsessed with the "Hardball Dynasty" game on WhatIfSports, running two leagues and frequently recruiting new owners. One of those new owners is Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs, who had WhatIfSports president Tom Zentmeyer on his podcast to discuss the game and the website and the role of sabermetrics in everything. And they even talked about me and my "dominance" for a little bit.

• Old friend Denny Hocking has been named the Angels' new rookie-ball manager.

• I'm way more upset about this week's "Top Chef" elimination than I was about Miguel Cabrera beating Mike Trout for MVP, and Keith Law's recap explains why.

• After a month-long break John Bonnes reunited with me for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode and naturally we talked mostly about drugs and Bar Mitzvahs.

• Not only is Rob Delaney a good stand-up comedian and must-follow on Twitter, he brilliantly analyzes baseball's sexy scouting lingo:

His mustache really puts it over the top.

Worst e-mail ever?

More reason to wish the Twins had signed Brandon McCarthy.

• I'm going to TwinsFest this year for the first time since 1995 or so. We have some interesting podcast-related plans that may or may not actually happen, but I'll definitely be at the Twins Daily get-together Saturday night at Hubert's and I'll also definitely try to re-enact this picture.

Milton Bradley is no longer a baseball player, but he's still a scumbag.

Anna Kendrick's tweet about Ryan Gosling was especially funny/bold considering she might actually run into and/or star in a move with him at some point.

• Friend of AG.com and fellow Twins blogger Seth Stohs' fifth annual "Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook" is now available as a paperback and ebook. with 191 pages of unique, in-depth content covering every key prospect, draft pick, and minor leaguer in the organization.

Pop quiz, hotshot: Delmon Young or Delwyn Young?

Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com covers mixed martial arts as well as any journalist covers any sport and I've become a huge fan of his over the past few years, so I really enjoyed Vice's video profile of him. His story is very interesting and a lot of it hit home with me.

Old Time Family Baseball is doing its annual charity blogathon this weekend to raise money for Doctors Without Borders, with non-stop blogging by Michael Clair and lots of good guest posts.

• Some recent Netflix instant recommendations: "God Grew Tired Of Us," "The Company Men," "You Can Count On Me," "Jeff, Who Lives At Home," "The English Patient," "Gosford Park," "The Wave," "Biutiful," "Sleepwalk With Me," "Take This Waltz."

• This week in Chelsea Peretti being the best.

Jessi Klein was a great guest on Dave Hill's always laid back podcast.

• Three months ago Adam Meier sponsored a week of AG.com for his mother, Emily Meier, promoting her self-published fiction writing as she battled cancer. I'm sad to report that she passed away last week, but I would encourage everyone to please check out her website and continue to give her the audience that she struggled to find.

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

- "Patrick Reusse weight loss"
- "Van Morrison divorce"
- "Chris Pratt Norwegian"
- "Jessica Alba porno"
- "Mitch Hedberg talks about baseball"
- "Plan to lose 150 pounds"
- "Why my body craves a cheeseburger"
- "Geek with turtleneck"
- "How much does Amy Grant weigh in pounds"

• Finally, in honor of that great O'Brien/White chat this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Raconteurs' live version of "Old Enough" with Ricky Skaggs and Ashley Monroe:

July 20, 2012

Link-O-Rama

(Our whole crew, including me in the middle and Bill Parker talking to Robby Incmikoski.)

I spent yesterday afternoon at Target Field watching the Twins-Orioles game in FOX Sports North's suite. Along with a few other bloggers I was invited there to try the "Game Connect" platform that incorporates play-by-play, statistics, scores, social media, and a bunch of other stuff for an online supplement to the game-watching experience. It's definitely worth trying, especially if you're like me and typically watch Twins games on FSN with your computer nearby.

(After seeing John Bonnes' tweet they actually asked to do this and who was I to say no?)

FSN treated us too well. Becky Ross and Laura Beshire were great hosts, plying us with beer and food. Angie Avestruz and Kaylin Cockriel--also known as "The FSN Girls"--couldn't have been nicer, even when John Bonnes creepily used Twitter to peer-pressure them into running their fingers through my hair. And sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski hung out, interviewed me on television, and was incredibly nice despite me often being critical of him and FSN.

 (Nick Nelson was more focused on his beer and sunglasses than my FSN television debut.)

And then after the game we put the finishing touches on a fun day at the Fulton Tap Room. You can find some more pictures and details about the whole experience on my Twitter page. Thanks to FOX Sports North for reaching out to the bloggers and thanks to everyone involved for being so damn nice. And last but not least check out "Game Connect" the next time you're watching the Twins on FSN, if only so they don't regret inviting me. OK, now on to the links ...


• As always, Louis C.K. is the best.

Pete Rose is getting his own reality television show and it sounds as bad as you'd expect.

• Yesterday morning during my KFAN appearance with Paul Allen the inevitable happened, as PA and my mom joined forces in the name of ... well, listen for yourself.

Heidi Klum was the first Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com way back in 2002 and suffice it to say she's aged a whole helluva lot better than I have.

• Friend of AG.com and former Gleeman and The Geek guest Lindsay Guentzel made it to the MLB Fan Cave's final seven, but after four months in New York she was voted out this week.

• Speaking of which, this week's Gleeman and The Geek show was our 50th episode, which means only 450 more until my mom is allowed to come on as a guest.

• Having reached the point where losing more weight isn't really possible--I'm down under 170 pounds after being 355 pounds on March 7, 2011--for the past two weeks or so I've been on a Chinese food and gum diet mostly just to see what happens. And despite getting takeout from Yangtze in St. Louis Park literally every day I somehow haven't gained any weight. Order the "hunan chicken with just carrots and baby corn." It'll change your life.

• Jets coach Rex Ryan went from 348 pounds in late 2009 to 242 pounds now, although he underwent lap-band surgery rather than relying strictly on diet and exercise.

Pete Caldera is officially the coolest beat reporter in baseball. And best-dressed, too.

• Nationals first-round pick Lucas Giolito has $2.9 million and a signed lightsaber from Samuel L. Jackson hanging in his room.

• If you're into statistical analysis for basketball, Court Vision's graphics showing exactly where rebounds wind up based on where shots are taken are pretty great.

Bert Blyleven had a perfect response to Reggie Jackson: "God gives us many holes in our body and he just spoke out of the wrong one."

• As someone forced to use a Blackberry for work, the company's situation is depressing.

• This will probably make it even more confusing when I try to explain where I work to people.

• Congrats to my HardballTalk blog-mate Craig Calcaterra for being named "internet writer of the year" by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

• Looking at Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook is just like riding a bike.

Darren Wolfson's ongoing coverage of the Timberwolves' offseason has been a must-read at 1500-ESPN and his lengthy article breaking down the Nicolas Batum drama was excellent.

• Except for the parts about leaving the house and hanging out with strangers for three hours this sounds like a great way to watch a Twins game at Target Field.

Paul F. Tomkins filmed a series of short video interviews with interesting actors, comedians, and musicians over drinks and they're all worth watching.

• Netflix instant recommendation: Rampart, which stars Woody Harrelson and convinced me even further that he's one of the best, most versatile, and most underrated actors around.

• On a related note, one screenshot can tell the story of a crazy evening.

John Legend was a great guest on The Champs with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Legend singing the hook to "Do You Wanna Ride" by Jay-Z:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Ballplayer: Pelotero, a controversial new documentary about baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic starring Miguel Sano as a 16-year-old.