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.

January 11, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Now that I know Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis can cook I'm strongly considering being attracted to her.

Joe Christensen and Phil Miller have officially switched Minneapolis Star Tribune beats, with Christensen moving to Gophers football and Miller taking over the Twins.

Lindsay Lohan hasn't started making porn movies (yet), but she has started making movies with pornstars.

Life imitates an Alanis Morissette song.

• Going behind the scenes of HardballTalk reveals an important discussion between co-workers.

• I probably listen to more podcasts than anyone in the world, so I don't say this lightly: Jeff Garlin talking to Larry David for an hour might be my favorite podcast ever.

Last week's missed connection was a false alarm, but this one has to be me, right?

• On this week's episode we asked listeners to submit some designs for a potential "Gleeman and The Geek" t-shirt and so far I've received three of them. You can see one here and one here, and here's the third one just because I think it's the most amusing:

In a lot of ways that might be the most accurate portrayal of two people ever, but for now at least we'll keep looking. I'm offering $50 and a free t-shirt to the creator of any design we use, so if you want to put your skills to work please e-mail me.

• There's a lot of really good comedy coming to Minnesota soon. Nick Offerman will be at Mill City Nights on February 18, Tom Segura will be at Acme Comedy Company on February 23, and Bill Burr will be at the State Theatre on March 23. My dad has had a "poker club" for around 50 years and I'm thinking about starting a "going to comedy shows" club.

• Speaking of Offerman, even as a big "West Wing" fan I didn't remember his time on the show.

• Mystic Lake is also opening up a new comedy club in addition to the big showroom where I saw Artie Lange, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, and Amy Schumer a couple months ago. I'm sensing an oncoming battle between my love of stand-up comedy and my love of not leaving the house.

• In terms of this week's best oral histories, it was a tie between Nick Punto sliding into first base and the history of "Good Will Hunting." Punto would have won if he ran through the bag.

• I watched the fascinating, well done, and weird documentary/mystery "The Imposter," which tells the incredible story of a 13-year-old from Texas who went missing in 1994 and was found four years later in Spain, reuniting with his family. Or so it seemed. An artfully layered narrative of interviews, news accounts, and dramatic recreations shows nothing was as it appeared, from the disappearance to the return to the family's reaction. Highly recommended.

• And in a story with some eery similarities to "The Imposter" a 5-year-old abducted from Indiana in 1994 was found this week living (and married) in Minnesota.

Jonathan Abrams of Grantland has quickly become one of my favorite long-form writers and his latest gem is about the intertwined careers of Rasheed Wallace and Jerry Stackhouse.

• Save the date: Twins Daily is planning a post-Twins Fest get-together on January 26 at Hubert's across from the Metrodome. I might be there doing some podcasting and I'll definitely be there doing some drinking.

• For some reason Louis Amundson botching the layup in the middle of a blowout loss makes this Ricky Rubio pass even more ridiculous.

Through his first seven games back Rubio has 25 points and 35 assists.

Jon Heyman being Jon Heyman. And again. And again. And again.

• Numerous incidents of drunk driving, spousal abuse, and various other crimes go unpunished by MLB every season, but they continue to suspend minor leaguers for smoking pot.

• What should the Twins do with Brian Duensing?

• "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners who enjoy when we're interrupted by a drunk person will be delighted by this week's episode, which also included Parker Hageman of Twins Daily joining me for a lengthy discussion of the Twins' involvement in sabermetrics.

• On a related note, I highly recommend the buffalo chicken panino at Panino Brothers in Eden Prairie. It was so good that I barely regretted going off my strict calorie limit and only forced myself to go twice as long as usual on the elliptical machine afterward.

This tweet is more or less Twitter in a nutshell, complete with the inevitable your/you're error and so much more.

• Thinking someone is great looking is a powerful thing. For instance, I paid to watch Emily Blunt in "Salmon Fishing In The Yemen." And it wasn't bad!

Michael Keaton on "WTF" with Marc Maron was so damn good.

Couper Moorhead of NBA.com wrote an interesting article showing how teams are adapting defensively to the increased focus on corner three-pointers.

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

- "Craig Calcaterra's skinny Jewish friend"
- "Van Morrison divorce"
- "Lazy 19-year-old living at home"
- "Troy Aikman's kids"
- "Aubrey Plaza ties up guy"
- "Jim Thome sex life"
- "What does one pound feel like?"
- "Chuck Knoblauch fat"
- "Mixed wrestling Alison Brie"
- "Terry Kunze college stats"
- "Jason Kubel's sister"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Grace Potter (sans The Nocturnals) singing an acoustic version of "Stars":

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December 14, 2012

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is super-sized and some of the stuff is a little dated because the Twins selfishly bumped the links in back-to-back weeks by making Thursday trades ...

Last month Joe Christensen and Phil Miller swapped Minneapolis Star Tribune beats, with Christensen moving to Gophers football and Miller taking over the Twins. And now the St. Paul Pioneer Press is changing their Twins coverage too, with John Shipley shifting to an unnamed beat and former "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Ben Goessling moving to the Vikings. It's a shame we never got to see Goessling cover the Twins full time, because he's great.

• NBC Sports and Yahoo Sports are partnering up, which has the potential to be huge in the online sports content world and means I'm no longer allowed to search for things via Google.

David Brauer of MinnPost put together a very cool project and I'm probably not just saying that because I rank 16th.

Chris Ballard of Sports Illustrated wrote a lengthy, well-done profile of the NBA's leading stat-head, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey.

• On a related note, stat-head/writer John Hollinger has been hired away from ESPN.com by the Memphis Grizzlies.

• This actually seems sort of brilliant to me, but then again ... nevermind.

• Thanks to everyone who listened to this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode. We set a record for most downloads in one day and may set a record for most overall downloads.

Hannibal Buress was incredibly funny three Saturday nights ago at Acme Comedy Company in downtown Minneapolis, doing an hour of great material that was totally different than his recent album. His opening act, Drew Michael, was very good too. I'd never been to Acme before, but it's a really nice club and we had a good time hanging out in the bar afterward. I'll definitely be back. And if you've never seen Buress, here's an example of his current stuff:

Despite being a huge stand-up comedy fan I hadn't seen much live, but last month I saw Buress, Amy Schumer, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, and Artie Lange. And now it's all I wanna do.

• Last month KFAN had the fourth-highest ratings of any sports radio station in the country.

• Wednesday night I talked Twins and various other topics for two hours over at TwinsDaily.com. If you missed it, you can read the lengthy transcript.

• It took me 19 days to read the extended, 1,152-page version of "The Stand" by Stephen King. I'm a sucker for anything post-apocalyptic and King has an amazing ability to bring that world to life while developing compelling characters across numerous storylines. Some of the supernatural stuff frustrated me because I was so into the people and places portrayed as relatively realistic, but "The Stand" definitely ranks as one of my all-time favorite books.

The time Louis C.K. met Luis Tiant.

• Not surprisingly, Rasheed Wallace is responsible for my favorite moment of the NBA season.

• It's been years since I left The Hardball Times, but the website I co-created back in 2004 is stronger than ever and they've partnered with Fan Graphs to publish this year's "The Hardball Times Baseball Annual." So many good writers, so much good analysis, so worth it.

• As someone who recently lost 150 pounds and will probably always struggle to keep the weight off I love reading other stories like this in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• It took 10 years, but I finally discovered the secret to generating blog traffic.

• I've played 40 seasons of "Hardball Dynasty" on WhatIfSports without ever really thinking to write about the experience, but Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs has been in my league for two weeks and he's already churning out some interesting articles about the game.

• Speaking of Cistulli, congratulations to him for being voted into the Baseball Writers Association of America. And congratulations to the authors of his inexplicably immense Wikipedia page for finally having some decent material.

• "Aaron" ranked just 65th on the list of most popular male baby names for 2012 and some of the top-ranked names make me preemptively sad about our future as a nation.

• My fellow longtime Howard Stern fans will be interested to discover what Dominic Barbara is up to these days.

• In preparation for John Bonnes' month-long Australian vacation he finally showed me how to actually record, edit, and upload the podcast and we also created a video demonstration:

A few weeks ago we also shot a "Cribs"-style tour of my house that I'd avoided linking.

• Just imagine Ron Gardenhire's reaction to this news.

Torii Hunter could use a hug.

• Plan your work, work your plan.

• After seeing this I feel like a piece of meat.

• I sent this link to my mom and she thanked me for it.

• Great moments in winter meetings baseball reporting.

• More great moments in winter meetings baseball reporting.

• Two weeks ago we recorded "Gleeman and The Geek" at New Bohemia Wurst and Bier Haus in downtown Minneapolis. I liked it a lot--great beer selection, good food, nice place--and the manager turned out to be a podcast listener, so check it out next time you're downtown.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" is always great, but their recent episode with guest Katie-Ellen Humphries was especially fantastic and a lot of what they talked about hit close to home.

• One of the few movies I saw in a theater this year, "The Queen of Versailles," is available on Netflix instant. Despite not being about the Twins' former MVP it's really, really good.

• Two-time "Gleeman and The Geek" guest and one half of the podcast's "official couple" Kate Agnew got some nice pub for her new gig with Girls In Tech Minneapolis-St. Paul.

• New blog to check out: A Bit Of Randomness by AG.com reader Casey Knollmaier.

Jerry Rodes is the band behind one of the two "Gleeman and The Geek" theme songs that we use each week and just released a new album that's available on iTunes. They're nice guys, good musicians, and podcast fans, so I'd love it if everyone checked the album out.

• Finally, in honor of their new album coming out this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Be Excellent" by Jerry Rodes:

This week's content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's new "Game Six" shirt, commemorating one of the most exciting moments in Minnesota sports history.

November 9, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Changes at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, as Joe Christensen and Phil Miller are swapping roles in 2013, with Christensen covering Gophers football and Miller covering the Twins. I'm sad to see Christensen leave the Twins beat he did so well while increasingly blending stats into his work and being nice/understanding to bloggers. With that said, Miller is an excellent writer, an even better guy, and was stellar on the Twins beat in his St. Paul Pioneer Press days.

• "Saturday Night Live" really ought to just have Louis C.K. host every week.

• I'm thinking about getting a similar tattoo that reads "You've Made A Terrible Mistake."

• I saw Artie Lange, Dave Attell, Jim Norton, and Amy Schumer perform a great stand-up comedy show Saturday night at Mystic Lake Casino. One of the running jokes of the night was how no one--comedians or audience members--could drink, but apparently that's all changing.

• Now the real insanity test will be if I keep watching "Survivor" after Jeff Kent's crazy exit.

• If we pretend for a moment that the Twins might actually sign a top-of-the-rotation starter, who are their options?

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded Sunday at Stella's Fish Cafe and featured me getting so annoyed with John Bonnes that I threatened to punch him in the face. After the podcast mercifully ended we headed upstairs to hang out with a few dozen people who got together in the name of charity to watch the Vikings game, at which point Bonnes thought it would be a great idea to shoot this four-minute (four-minute!) video of me:

My co-stars are Dana Wessel of 1500-ESPN, Chris Long of KSTP, and Heather Balgaard of being completely ashamed to appear in the above video.

• And speaking of Bonnes' anti-semitism discussed in the video, congrats to Delmon Young!

Charles Barkley leaving "Inside The NBA" would make me incredibly sad, but in the meantime at least this was funny.

• Sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski is leaving FOX Sports North to take a job in Pittsburgh, where hopefully the bloggers aren't such big jerks and he can live in peace.

• Say what you will about Tim Tebow, but the man has good taste.

• Remember all those "best shape of his life" stories from spring training? How did those players actually fare this season?

• Once upon a time Brien Taylor was a No. 1 overall pick and baseball's best pitching prospect. Now he's going to prison for selling crack.

Melky Cabrera is a finalist for the "Heart and Hustle" award despite his suspension.

• This is definitely my favorite form of child abuse.

• I have no doubt this show would be terrible and no doubt I would watch it.

• One of the most amusing knockouts you'll ever see.

• Baseball Think Factory is where all the good international scouting directors got their start.

• If you liked the Pepsi commercial in which Kyrie Irving was made up to look like an old man and played basketball you'll really love the new version with Irving and Kevin Love:

Love does a pretty convincing job stumbling around the court initially, although the whole being 6-foot-10 thing is tough to hide.

Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic made Alexey Shved cut his hair.

Gregg Popovich's contempt for in-game television interviews is already in midseason form.

• Any fellow Maximum Fun podcast fans want to go with me to this convention next year? I'm mostly serious, I think.

• Speaking of which, for anyone into podcasts I wrote a lengthy article reviewing my favorites.

• In at least one key area Bryant McKinnie hasn't lost a step since leaving the Vikings.

• Old friend Mike Redmond has replaced Ozzie Guillen as Marlins manager and weather-wise Miami is a pretty good locale for naked batting practice.

• Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is good story and his wife is a great story.

• Popeyes is trying to move into KFC's turf in Minnesota.

Carson Cistulli's chat with Matt Klaassen was very enjoyable if you're interested in two baseball writers talking about anything but baseball.

• AG.com reader Mike Fuchs compared Target Field to six other ballparks he visited recently.

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

- "Dana Wessel hair"
- "Gleeman and Christopher Walken"
- "Jose Mijares girlfriend"
- "Jacqueline Bisset podcast"
- "Snoop Dogg bobblehead"
- "Statistical analysis for hire"
- "Nude party notes"
- "Marijuana and Chinese food"
- "How many donuts would equal 40 pounds"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Don't Sweat The Technique" by Eric B. and Rakim:

February 24, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• There was some big news in the Twins blogosphere this week, as John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman launched a new site called TwinsDaily.com that combines their four blogs into one mega-blog and offers a platform for other writers to find an audience. I'm not involved with the site, but it's a great project and I'd encourage everyone to go hang out there (after you're done reading everything here, of course). Check out TwinsDaily.com.

• In which Craig Calcaterra reveals our private conversations and says Ronald Belisario bought drugs from my mother.

Raquel Welch has to be the best-looking 71-year-old person ever, right?

• Seems like Elijah Dukes misunderstood the whole concept of edibles.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis is beautiful and talented.

• Two great tastes that taste great together: Tom Scharpling and Marc Maron teamed up for a fantastic podcast that was about five hours too short.

• Twins beat writers aren't afraid to show plenty of leg at spring training.

• Sometimes perception and reality are a perfect match.

Nobody puts Niese-y in a corner.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was taped at Smalley's 87 Club in downtown Minneapolis, which closed up shop literally a day later. And if you've listened to the episode, that probably seems fitting.

Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, and the Wolves sing (sort of) "Tearin Up My Heart" by NSYNC:

If you can make it to the end Nikola Pekovic steals the show, as usual.

Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland broke down some video for a very detailed, interesting analysis of Love's low-post game.

"Googly oogly oogly baby!"

David Price taped a commercial with Kate Upton, but his Rays teammate Evan Longoria is dating an actual Playboy playmate, Jaime Edmondson.

• Speaking of the Rays, this is the first ballpark giveaway guaranteed to cause nightmares.

• Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Novak in the same photo.

Bob Wickman's sexiness did not come naturally.

• Hell hath no fury like a baseball writer scorned.

• Friend of AG.com and Minneapolis Star Tribune writer Phil Miller was named one of the top 10 beat reporters in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors.

Daniel Von Bargen, the actor who brilliantly played George Costanza's boss on Seinfeld and was also good in the highly underrated movie Super Troopers, attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head.

• As if Louis C.K. writing and producing a sitcom for CBS wasn't confusing enough, apparently Ashley Tisdale has been cast as the star.

• One of my favorite shows, Community, is coming back on the air next month after a long layoff and threat of cancellation.

• Fear not: Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kate Beckinsale is still great looking.

• I hope Greg Oden can find some happiness after basketball, because otherwise life isn't fair.

• And speaking of Oden's latest setback, Joel Przybilla is back in the NBA.

• Congrats to former "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Lindsay Guentzel for making the MLB Fan Cave's final 30 candidates. She's now headed to Arizona for spring training.

• Bonnes and I are planning a get-together for March 5 to watch the Twins-Red Sox spring training game on television. We'll have all the details next week on the podcast and our blogs, but in the meantime mark your calendar and start preparing your liver.

• Finally, in honor of Dukes' latest brush with the law this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Young, Wild, and Free" by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa:

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