June 17, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by the Minneapolis computer repair shop TCPC Services, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your computer problems ...

• The only good thing to come out of the riots in Vancouver was this photo.

• If an 85-year-old pornography kingpin and his 25-year-old model girlfriend can't make it work what chance do the rest of us have?

• Journalistically the GQ profile of actor Chris Evans was messy, but it sure was a fun read and makes me reconsider all my ideas about the name Edith.

• Based on this story, my advice for anyone vacationing in Mexico is to bring your own hammer and avoid riding the bus, although in fairness that's basically my advice about going anywhere.

• Ozzie Guillen has a new nickname for the Twins.

• Confession time: I'm actually a lesbian, so ultimately it all evens out in the blogging world.

• Speaking of which, it turns out there's actually something that Target Field diminishes even more than home runs: Grab ass.

• First he groped the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com on television and now this. Bastard.

• I'm a sucker for movie lists and the 50 best final lines is no exception.

• I'm not sure what the final line of the Moneyball movie will be, but the extended trailer is out:

It looks like a cross between Major League and Friday Night Lights, with Brad Pitt doing all sorts of Brad Pitt-like things playing Billy Beane and lots of details that will probably annoy anyone who read the book (or simply knows anything about baseball). If nothing else Chris Pratt from Parks and Recreation playing Scott Hatteberg should be amusing.

• As a frequent Perkins take-out customer and all-around breakfast food enthusiast I'll assume my going on a diet led directly to this. Sorry.

• Speaking of breakfast food enthusiasts, behold: The many faces of Ron Swanson.

• This news comes as no surprise after America's Next Great Restaurant chose the wrong idea and then ruined the concept they did pick by forcing it to be "healthy." Plus, reviews of the Mall of America location were very negative. When in doubt, go with grilled cheese.

Cecil Fielder has been able to fool new writers every season, but Prince Fielder still wants nothing to do with him.

Pippa Middleton is newly single. Does anyone have her number? I've heard she's super into arguments about Francisco Liriano.

• I'm guessing the kids might have a slightly different take some day.

Jon Bois of SB Nation brilliantly breaks down the world of pickup basketball.

• I've started watching the BBC series Luther on Netflix, which is very well done and makes me wonder (again) why the hell Idris Elba isn't in everything, ever.

• Not only is stand-up comic Anthony Jeselnik friends with my Rotoworld and NBC colleague Gregg Rosenthal, he also did a great set on Conan:

His impression of Dane Cook is pretty great too.

• As someone who just booked a $450 flight to California for the upcoming SABR convention, this seems a little excessive. Incidentally, if any AG.com readers are going to be in Long Beach for the festivities next month please let me know.

Anthony Weiner is out of a job, but not before he made Ginger Lee one of the world's most famous porn stars.

A.J. Pierzynski explained that Gavin Floyd can't hold runners, but forgot to mention that he can't throw anyone out no matter who's pitching.

• Congratulations to Mark Cuban, who's probably even happier now than that time he out-bid those other rich guys on Shark Tank.

Dirk Nowitzki wearing hipster glasses plus Brian Cardinal in all his glory equals my favorite non-Cuban picture from the Mavericks' post-title celebration.

Marc Maron might be taking his must-listen podcast to television. Sort of.

• Podcast recommendation of the week: Brian Posehn talking to Joe Rogan, with video.

• Old friend J.C. Romero was designated for assignment by the Phillies.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Buttons" by The Weeks:

February 4, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• If you don't think this will soon be hanging on my wall, you clearly don't know me very well.

• NHL goalie fights are pretty funny to begin with, but NHL goalie fights ending after one punch are hilarious.

Henry Abbott of ESPN.com took a very interesting look at the difference between perception and reality when it comes to Kobe Bryant and "clutch."

• An army of Christina Hendricks look-a-likes sounds fine to me.

Rob Neyer is for me what Bill James was for many baseball fans in the 1980s, shaping the way I watch and write about the sport to the point that I've basically been attempting to do a semi-passable Rob Neyer impression for the past decade. He's the first online writer I read on a regular basis and I remain a huge fan, so much so that I've never really gotten over being starstruck when I see him each year at the Society for American Baseball Research convention.

When it comes to bringing sabermetrics to a mainstream audience Neyer has been the single most effective baseball writer of all time, and that includes James. This week, after 15 years of great work at ESPN.com, he decided to make a change and is now the national baseball editor at SB Nation. And not only didn't he take even one day off between jobs, Neyer is churning out more content than ever at his new home. Congratulations and good luck to one of my heroes.

Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference.com wrote a guest column for the New York Times on Kevin Love's unique brand of greatness this season. And somehow he's not an All-Star (yet).

• I'm willing to help Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer reach her goal.

• An unlikely radio partnership between friend of AG.com Phil Mackey and longtime Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse has been so successful that 1500-ESPN has decided to expand their show by another hour each afternoon. In addition to more Mackey they smartly also lured Judd Zulgad away from KFAN, where the fantastic Star Tribune reporter had been an exclusive Vikings analyst. It almost makes up for the times they mistakenly put me on the air.

Least surprising news of the week: A.J. Pierzynski is friends with the guys from Creed.

• As a lifelong Minnesota it takes a lot to impress me regarding winter driving, but this did it:

If you look carefully, I think the other car has a "Geek Squad" logo on the door.

Eric Stonestreet is outstanding on Modern Family, but his greatest contribution to society will always be snapping a picture of Minka Kelly and Sofia Vergara posing together at the Golden Globes and posting it on Twitter.

• Twins president Dave St. Peter is now on Twitter, so you should probably follow him.

• Based on this lengthy article in New York magazine I clearly picked the wrong type of website to start nine years ago.

• I finally saw "The Social Network" this week. I liked it a lot, and the script and acting were so good that I would've happily watched it go on for another five hours, but for whatever reason it struck me as just short of being great. My primary takeaways from the film: 1) Rooney Mara is responsible for everything, ever. 2) Guys named Zuckerman should never interact with Aryan twins. 3) Don't throw beer. Grade: A-minus.

Apparently the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com liked "The Social Network" too.

• Now that he's dropped the price, I think we should pool our money together and buy Shawn Green's house.

Seth Stohs' annual "Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook" is now available for purchase and you should buy it. Seriously. I can't stress this enough: You should buy it. Not only is it a great read and an amazing value at $14.95 for 170 pages, Seth has spent thousands of hours and most of the past decade churning out good baseball writing that can be enjoyed for absolutely free. Paying him 15 bucks for a good product seems like an easy way to show support. Do it.

• My latest podcasting discovery is "Pop My Culture" with Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland, which is basically hour-long, mostly silly conversations with various comedians and actors. For instance, here's one with longtime Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Linda Cardellini.

• If you have Netflix streaming and are as into offbeat documentaries as me, check out "I Like Killing Flies" and "I Think We're Alone Now." Both are equal parts engrossing and weird.

• Last weekend I had dinner at Mix Fusion Bistro in Eden Prairie and the food was every bit as good as when I reviewed the restaurant after it opened in July, with an added bonus that lots of people were there this time. Chalk one up for customers eventually finding a good product.

• I've done a 180-degree turn on the Super Bowl, going from initially believing in the Steelers as small underdogs to now thinking the Packers will win and cover the 2.5-point spread. For a slightly more comprehensive analysis of Sunday's matchup, read this.

• Here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Red Sox want David Ortiz to continue facing lefties even if he can't hit them
- White Sox GM after making 1984 trade for Ozzie Guillen: "I think we just signed a jockey"
- Andy Pettitte's retirement (and Jamie Moyer's injury) means no active pitcher has 200 wins
- Chris Carter is going to be disappointed when the A's send him to Triple-A
- Lance Berkman criticizes the Rangers in explaining why he chose St. Louis over Texas
- Royals' projected 2011 payroll is $33 million (or $2 million more than Alex Rodriguez's salary)
- If healthy, Jesus Flores could be trade bait for the Nationals
- LaTroy Hawkins expects to be ready for Opening Day after shoulder surgery

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally":

May 28, 2010

Link-O-Rama

Zach Randolph makes just $17 million a year playing basketball, so naturally he supplements his income with a second job as a "a major marijuana supplier in Indianapolis."

• My take on Roy Oswalt is that he'd probably be too costly for the Twins. Steve Phillips' take on Oswalt is that the Nationals should trade Stephen Strasburg for him. Seriously.

• After reading this story, I'd advise Joe Mauer to avoid any suspicious-looking twins.

Daunte Culpepper will be reunited with Denny Green in something called the United Football League. Sounds about right.

50 Cent looks scary after going from 214 pounds to 160 pounds for a movie role, but I'm still jealous. And it annoys me when someone who's in fantastic shape to begin with can so easily shed weight.

Bob Davidson furthered his reputation as one of baseball's worst, most combative umpires this week. And yes, I know he's from Minnesota. He's still a terrible umpire.

• Speaking of umpires going out of their way to find confrontation, Joe West was on a mission to mess with the White Sox on Wednesday. Mission accomplished, I guess. Ozzie Guillen then earned himself a big fine by speaking the truth afterward. Obviously no one likes it when umps blow calls, but for whatever reason that doesn't bother me nearly as much as when they seek out confrontation (although usually that's in conjunction with a blown call).

As you might expect, Hawk Harrelson's reaction on WGN was priceless:

It sounds like West will be disciplined by MLB, at least.

• An interesting contrast of managerial personalities was Guillen calling West "a f-ing a-hole" while Brewers skipper Ken Macha complained about "negativism" and "poppycock."

• This picture says a thousand words and all of them are "Ron Swanson is awesome."

• On a related note, this news is the opposite of awesome.

• I've linked to him before, but Joe Posnanski's brother Tony Posnanski has lost 221 pounds. If you're like me and are always looking for weight-loss motivation, check out his blog for the amazing progress in picture form. As for me, I'm holding steady at around 70 pounds lost due to a few dieting slip-ups this month. For me the two biggest struggles are avoiding boredom while exercising and avoiding the seemingly random urge to eat a whole bunch of bad stuff.

• In related news, Pizza Hut's honey BBQ "bone-out wings" are really good even if they aren't really "wings."

Drew Magary also has some helpful (and very funny) dieting tips.

• I'm probably just bitter because I've been doing this for eight years and have made almost enough to buy a Luis Rivas rookie card, but the notion that someone might pay $20 million for Perez Hilton's blog makes me want to shut down the internet. Or maybe start blogging about Lindsay Lohan rather than Delmon Young.

• Do you think Amar'e Stoudemire ever confuses Robin Lopez for his mother?

David Brown of Yahoo! Sports was in town this week and wrote an amusing review of his first trip to Target Field.

• I'm looking forward to the inevitable moment when the Target Field hawk attacks the Target Field squirrel, if only for Brendan Harris' reaction.

• Not surprisingly, 89-year-old Mickey Rooney seems to have a pretty good handle on the ins and outs of Twitter:

"Do you find this fun and interesting?"

• Maybe the Twins could do something like this, but with Anthony LaPanta instead of Elvis?

• I'm a huge Lost fan, but because I didn't start watching the show until last year and blitzed through the old episodes in the span of about a month my time devoted to the series is lower than most. With that said, I thought the finale was good without being satisfying, although in fairness people seem to overestimate the number of truly excellent series finales in television history. I'll definitely remember the characters and acting more than the mythology.

Actually, the thing I'll probably remember most about Lost is the pilot episode that ranks as my all-time favorite (and not just because of the "Kate bathing in the ocean" scene). No show has ever hooked me so thoroughly with a single episode, although re-watching the pilot on ABC the day before the finale was a totally different experience and it actually struck me as sort of quaint. My favorite quote from the finale: "It's a helluva long con, Doc."

• Oh, and as an MMA fan I also enjoyed Jack's odd attempt at a "Superman punch."

• At this point I'll be shocked if the Moneyball film is even decent, with Jonah Hill playing Paul DePodesta, Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Art Howe, and Robin Wright playing someone who didn't actually exist in the book.

Gus Johnson taking over as the voice of the Madden video game franchise may convince me to finally buy a Playstation 3 after years of letting my Playstation 2 simply collect dust.

R.A. Dickey wasn't much good for the Twins last season, but the 35-year-old knuckleballer tossed six shutout innings for the Mets this week after being hit on the elbow by a line drive.

• Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Are the Phillies overworking Roy Halladay?
- Angels may be giving up on Brandon Wood
- Rockies bringing Chris Iannetta back to majors
- Kyle Lohse needs forearm surgery or a move to the bullpen
- Carlos Zambrano rejoining rotation next week
- Tim Lincecum's rare struggles bring up questions about cracked nails
- Jake Peavy has a 6.05 ERA and a "tired arm"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ray Charles performing a live version of "What'd I Say" from 1963: