March 9, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Before getting to the good stuff, I want to thank everyone who read my post about losing 150 pounds in one year. Not only is it already the most-read post in this blog's decade-long history, the number of e-mails and tweets and links and comments that I received were overwhelming. Losing the weight felt amazing, writing about the experience made it feel even better, and the response might be the most rewarding part of the whole thing. Thank you.

• I'll have a full write-up Monday, but the Twins gave Glen Perkins a three-year, $10.3 million extension that buys out his first two and possibly first three seasons of free agency.

• Behold, the greatest restaurant review in newspaper history. Grand Forks must be amazing.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis is on the cover of Harper's Bazaar this month, with an interview and accompanying photo shoot.

Kris Humphries' sister, Kaela Humphries, recently signed a contract with Ford Models' plus-size division.

• Speaking of athletes' sisters, Holley Mangold is a 5-foot-8, 374-pound weight-lifter who made the Olympic team.

Bunk Moreland is "just a humble motherf***er with a big-ass d***" and a grocery store.

• My blog-mate Craig Calcaterra is covering spring training and wrote an interesting piece about the downside of writers gaining access to the people they write about.

Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love on the cover of Slam magazine hits a little too close to home for someone who used to have the old version taped to his bedroom wall.

• My lifelong dream of working with Beyonce is finally a reality.

Lenny Dykstra, who's three months younger than the still-pitching Jamie Moyer, was sentenced to three years in prison.

• Imagine paying someone to write this. And then imagine him being your doctor.

• Honestly, this lasted much longer than I expected.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded in front of an audience and includes John Bonnes singing (or at least "singing") and Nick Nelson reciting poetry.

• At this point Louis C.K. is everyone's favorite comedian and Todd Barry is also one of my favorite comedians, and for some reason this video cracked me up:

"You're not good at it."

• Congratulations to friend of AG.com and "Gleeman and The Geek" guest Lindsay Guentzel for beating out 22,000 other applicants for a spot in the MLB Fan Cave.

• Scientific evidence that we should all be afraid of gingers.

• This is interesting, but don't go getting any bright ideas.

Jon Hamm didn't play baseball with Roger Clemens at the University of Texas, but he did used to post comments on Deadspin.

• Speaking of Deadspin, they grabbed the "Best Shape Of His Life" baton from HardballTalk and ran with it.

Next thing you know Ice Cube will try to tell us that Santa Claus doesn't exist.

• The only thing minor-league baseball players love more than eating Chipotle is tweeting about eating Chipotle.

• More importantly: Did he set the record or not?

CC Sabathia must eat a ton of food at home, because otherwise if this is true he'd be shedding weight like crazy.

• Somehow this new sport still seems slightly less dangerous than football.

Elisabeth Moss on ex-husband Fred Armison: "He's so great doing impersonations, but the greatest impersonation he does is that of a normal person." Ouch.

• And to think, I was genuinely excited that my new car had a CD player.

Jose Canseco can't even do a proper Kenny Powers impression.

• SABR's website posted a bunch of information about the annual convention coming to Minnesota this summer, including the logo.

• Someone paid $8,100 for a Chicken McNugget that doesn't look like George Washington.

Don Mincher, who played a big part in Twins history, died at age 73.

Dan Duquette is not buying what Jon Heyman is selling.

UPDATE: Sometime between yesterday and this morning Heyman blocked me on Twitter.

• My favorite part of Grantland is NBA analyst Sebastian Pruiti breaking down plays.

• My latest podcast discovery, "You Had To Be There" with Nikki Glaser and Sara Schaefer, got a nice write-up in New York Times Magazine.

• Netflix streaming recommendation: Elevate, which is a documentary about teenage basketball players in Senegal trying to secure college scholarships in the United States.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Jay-Z sampling Bobby Bland's classic "Ain't No Love in the Heart of the City" for his own "Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)":

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:

February 17, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I'll be hanging out at Smalley's 87 Club in downtown Minneapolis tonight, raising money for charity and supporting Lindsay Guentzel's bid for the "MLB Fan Cave" contest. My podcast co-host John Bonnes will also be there, along with Nick Nelson and Parker Hageman. And depending on how things go, we might even record a "Gleeman and The Geek" episode in front of an actual audience for the first time. Here are the details:

Who: Gleeman, Bonnes, Guentzel, Nelson, Hageman, and more

What: Blogger get-together, MLB Fan Cave voting party, charity fundraiser

Where: Smalley's 87 Club at 100 Sixth Street downtown

When: 7:00 p.m. Friday night, February 17

Why: Drink beer, talk Twins, win prizes

It'll be fun, trust me.

• I've spent 29 years thinking I was pretty weird, but then I read about this guy.

Jeff Sullivan at SB Nation collected footage of the 10 worst swings of the 2011 season.

• I can't imagine why Ricky Rubio wouldn't spend $500,000 on this.

• If you've ever wondered what famous literary characters would look like if drawn by police sketch artists, this is your lucky day.

• When does getting cut from a basketball team qualify as the good news? When the reason you were cut involves "male enhancement pills."

• I normally mock people who bring signs to sporting events, but this is an obvious exception.

• 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.

Louis C.K. is nearly everyone's favorite comedian at this point, but only because he evolved:

On a related note: George Carlin was pretty great.

• After being on life support for years my 1994 Grand Am finally died. I'm having a difficult time deciding on a replacement, in part because it would be nearly impossible to pick a car that wasn't a huge upgrade and in part because I know absolutely nothing about cars. I drive so infrequently that spending more than, say, $5,000-$7,500 seems sort of silly, which has me wondering if leasing might be my best option.

An argument against leasing is that you don't own the car, but if you're only spending $7,500 to begin with owning that car a few years later barely has value anyway. For similar money in a cheap lease you can get a significantly newer, better car for three years. My dream scenario is that a nice reader with a car dealership wants to trade an inexpensive lease for Official Car Dealership of AG.com status and various other ads/plugs, but I'd settle for some advice.

• What did Royals fans do to deserve this?

• Quote of the week, from television writer Alan Sepinwall about Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke playing himself on Luck: "The sabermetric side of me can't stand the guy."

Jon Heyman can't stop being Jon Heyman.

Tony Gwynn had a facial nerve transplant during a 14-hour surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his cheek, which is yet another reminder that using smokeless tobacco is stupid.

Matthew Leach is almost as good at photo-bombing as he is at writing for MLB.com.

• Also good at photo-bombing? Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan.

Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover model Kate Upton is helping Justin Verlander, David Price, C.J. Wilson, and Jay Bruce sell video games:

There are so many possibilities for a joystick-related joke that I'm not even going to make one.

• Texas Christian University is apparently a lot more fun than the name would suggest.

• How did Allen Iverson burn through $150 million by age 35? Practice.

• If you've ever seen me reference the "defensive spectrum" and wondered what it meant, read this article by friend of AG.com Jay Jaffe.

• As an 18-year-old wannabe writer I attended a sports journalism event at the University of Minnesota during the Final Four in 2001. Lots of big-name media members were there, but none impressed me more than Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe. This week he announced his upcoming retirement on Bill Simmons' podcast.

• In light of his Grammy performance earlier this week, it's important to remember certain things about Chris Brown.

• Netflix recommendation: I put off watching Buck despite hearing it was great because a documentary about a horse trainer didn't sound all that interesting, but ... it's great.

• Baseball Prospectus should definitely give Kevin Goldstein's girlfriend her own column.

Carl Pavano got married, apparently.

• It's now the law that the Twins and White Sox are "arch rivals."

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Whitney Houston singing a live version of "How Will I Know" from 1986:

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:

June 24, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by the Minnesota salsa company Curt's Salsa, whose stuff I've enjoyed on several occasions and personally recommend ...

UPDATE: I'll have more later/Monday, but for now ... Justin Morneau is having neck surgery.

• Needless to say I've been doing it for comedic purposes too. Just not intentionally.

• My mom's favorite news of the week/month/year/decade/century.

Mary-Louise Parker in a uniform, playing baseball. That's all.

• The local media has been rough on Kevin Slowey, but at least he doesn't play in Atlanta.

• I've become a Bruce Springsteen fan relatively recently, but even before learning to really appreciate all the great music Clarence Clemons made I was always a fan of The Big Man for his heroic attempts to woo Robin Quivers. She missed out on the chance to be the sixth wife at his funeral.

Ryan Dunn also passed away this week, which made me really sad because I'd just watched (and enjoyed) the third Jackass movie and then made me really mad when I read the details of his death. Epic beard, funny guy, unfortunate end.

• Supermodel mom shows up to her kid's school looking like a supermodel, causing a blogger's head to explode.

• For the journalism school graduates out there: 1500-ESPN is looking to hire a beat reporter to cover Gophers sports for their website, which is a great opportunity.

• Last week I wondered why Idris Elba "isn't in everything, ever." This week he replaced Tom Cruise in a Guillermo del Toro-directed movie. Never doubt the power of Link-O-Rama.

• In the span of one year Harris Wittels has gone from leaving Link-O-Rama comments here to writing articles for Grantland. #humblebrag

• This ranks as Megan Fox's worst decision since getting all those tattoos.

• Speaking of bad decisions: Jamey Toney versus Ken Shamrock.

Sebastian Pruiti from NBA Playbook wrote an incredibly detailed Ricky Rubio scouting report that includes charts, video, and hardcore numbers. Must-read stuff, although I'm still skeptical and the incredible amount of hype is setting him up to disappoint early on.

• By far the highlight of Rubio's introductory press conference was Dana Wessel of 1500-ESPN reacting to Sid Hartman asking a question:

Someone really needs to start a blog devoted exclusively to pictures of other media members reacting to Hartman doing things. If nothing else I'd link to it every week.

• Does anyone know if David Kahn truly made Kurt Rambis write a report before firing him? If so, Rambis ought to add one final chapter and post that sucker online. Kahn isn't much of a general manager, but it takes some special talent to make people feel sorry for a coach who went 32-132. He made the right call picking Derrick Williams, at least.

Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press displays the "Kahn is talking again" face.

Dwane Casey, who never should have been let go by the Timberwolves in the first place, is now the Raptors' new coach. Casey was 20-20 when the Timberwolves fired him--in the middle of a season, no less--and they've gone 90-280 since then.

Joe Morgan is getting his own radio show just in time to comment on the Moneyball movie.

Rashida Jones is making a strong push for Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com contender status.

• My latest podcast discovery is "Walking The Room" with Dave Anthony and Greg Behrendt, which is as funny as two guys sitting in a room talking to each other while eating Tim Tams can possibly be and has quickly become a must-listen for me.

Good news for Mad Men fans, but that seems like an awful lot of money for the 1960s.

• In my mind, this whole mess started with Jim Riggleman asking Mike Rizzo: "Where do you see this relationship going?"

UPDATE: It looks like Riggleman rebounded well enough.

• It seems sort of crazy to me that there are rankings for the best 15-year-old baseball teams in Minnesota, but my uncle is excited because he's coached Hopkins to No. 6 on the same list that has the Scott Leuis-coached Plymouth/Wayzata team at No. 4 and the Anthony LaPanta-coached Totino Grace team at No. 10. If they crack the top five maybe I'll calculate everyone's Wins Above Replacement.

• I ate here twice this week with a total of 15 people and without exception they liked it.

• As someone who recently became slightly less fat, I enjoyed the "Put This On" episode about finding clothes that fit better.

• I'd quit my diet just to eat this ice cream.

• Will manager Ned Yost's friendship with Jeff Foxworthy offset the Royals' young talent?

• I talked Michael Cuddyer, pennant races, and All-Star picks with not one, but two Seidmans.

• I'm addicted to WhatIfSports.com's great Hardball Dynasty game and my league has a pair of franchises open with the new season set to begin next week. Hardball Dynasty is not fantasy baseball and in fact has nothing to do with fantasy baseball. It's much better. From rookie-ball to the majors it's an incredibly detailed simulation of running a fictional MLB organization, with fictional players and everything from the Rule 5 draft to international signings.

Due to the steep learning curve involved in the game and extensive time commitment required to master it we're looking first and foremost for owners with some previous Hardball Dynasty experience. Mostly, though, we're just looking for good owners and despite the sales pitch-like tone of this note I get absolutely nothing in return for someone signing up (except for a better league to enjoy, of course). If you're interested, let me know.

• Finally, in honor of Dunn this week's AG.com-approved music video is the theme song to the Jackass movies, "If You're Gonna Be Dumb" by Roger Alan Wade:

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