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.

November 16, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I recently wrote a lengthy article touting my 15 must-listen podcasts and yesterday I had the honor of being a guest on one of them. I talked to one of my favorite people for 93 minutes and baseball was barely mentioned, which is another way of saying it was a fantastic time. If you like me even the slightest bit, check it out (and leave some comments there too).

• Next time someone says Twitter is pointless, show them this brilliant chronicling of life as a drunken, Dwayne Rudd jersey-wearing Vikings fan.

• Someone broke down every episode from all 20 seasons of "Law and Order" to analyze the trial results, sabermetrics-style. Hopefully the Pulitzer Prize committee has been alerted.

• OK, but did he like the restaurant or not?

• Now that the election is over Nate Silver went back to his baseball-writing roots to explain why Mike Trout deserved the AL MVP over Miguel Cabrera.

• I'm having trouble deciding whether Trout or Ryan Gosling was robbed more this week.

LaVelle E. Neal III has made the big time now. Or again, I guess.

Scott Baker signed a one-year deal with the Cubs after seven seasons with the Twins.

• Who can the Twins (realistically) sign to replace Baker? I'm glad you asked.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we mostly talked Claire Forlani and facial hair, but also found time for an argument that made me want to punch John Bonnes again.

Manny Ramirez made quite a debut in the Dominican Winter League:

Seems like kind of a fun place to watch a baseball game, huh?

• Knowing what I know about both parties involved, this exchange made my week.

• This interview with longtime AG.com favorites Lizzy Caplan and Alison Brie was so good I had to take a break halfway through to compose myself.

• Old friend Torii Hunter signed a two-year, $26 million deal with Detroit, where he more or less replaces old friend Delmon Young in the lineup.

• After seeing Dave Attell perform live at Mystic Lake Casino last week I really enjoyed watching his two-hour chat with Joe Rogan and Brian Redban.

• Speaking of really good stand-up comedy, I'm going to see Hannibal Buress at Acme Comedy Company in Minneapolis next weekend. I invited him on the podcast, too.

Royce White's rookie season isn't off to such a great start.

• My favorite part of Jon Hamm drunkenly strolling around Los Angeles is the hat.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer bought Casey Stengel's old house.

• Everyone getting hurt is bad news for the Timberwolves and good news for local pot dealers.

• I asked Twitter for post-apocalyptic book recommendations and then immediately spent $100 ordering them all on Amazon, leading to this exciting Wednesday evening.

• This look lasted less than 72 hours, for fear it was too sexy even during Movember.

Chelsea Peretti's greatness is a frequent Link-O-Rama topic and her script-flipping appearance on "You Made It Weird" with Pete Holmes is her at the peak of her powers.

• We didn't know it at the time, but Twins fans were watching history being made in 1999.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is my pick for the most underrated podcast around and this week's episode is an excellent example of why.

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

- "Toddler found in cage"
- "Mila Kunis or Aubrey Plaza"
- "Anthony Slama deception"
- "Gleeman Cistulli enemies"
- "Robby Incmikoski real name"
- "Jerome Felton girlfriend"
- "Kevin Slowey engaged"
- "Minnesota chubby chasers"

• Seriously, go listen to me as a guest on one of my favorite podcasts. Money-back guarantee!

• Finally, in honor of the song turning 20 years old and me still knowing all the words this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Nothin' But A G Thang" by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg:

September 7, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Kevin Goldstein left Baseball Prospectus to become the Astros' pro scouting coordinator, which is all kinds of great even if it means he'll no longer be a power tweeter.

• For anyone curious, my blog-mate Craig Calcaterra described the inner workings of Hardball Talk and how our virtual office operates.

• It took nearly six years, but it's good to see that Elisha Cuthbert has finally gotten over being stripped of her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title in late 2006.

Ozzie Guillen returned to Twitter after saying "Twitter is stupid" and "everybody following me can [expletive] his pants" when he angrily quit in May. That's easily one of my favorite quotes ever and in thinking it over I'm not even certain which "expletive" he used.

• Apparently the Red Sox are counting on Bill James to help turn things around.

• Good times on KFAN with Paul Allen yesterday morning, as we talked Twins, football, dating, Stephen Strasburg, Bobby Valentine, and other random stuff. Click here to listen.

• As someone who deals with anxiety and various other weirdness, Grantland's documentary about Royce White gave me a totally different view of his personality and issues:

I'm now officially a Royce White fan.

Sarah Hyland seems nice.

Artie Lange, Dave Attell, Amy Schumer, and Jim Norton are coming together to Mystic Lake in November, which is basically a must-attend for any stand-up comedy fans.

Shane Spencer is still taking advantage of that big September for the Yankees in 1998.

Sad news about one of the original baseball bloggers. We lost a good one.

• I saw Lawless and it was about as good as a Shia LaBeouf movie can possibly be, which is to say C-plus. Also, it turns out Tom Hardy's actual voice when he's doing an American accent sounds not totally unlike his Bain voice. Oh, and Jessica Chastain seems nice.

• I also saw the classic movie Bullitt and liked it a lot, but don't quite get the fuss about Steve McQueen. On the other hand, Jacqueline Bisset circa 1968 ain't no joke. Mercy.

• It remains to be seen if Tony Levine can coach, but his saxophone skills aren't in doubt:

I'll be rooting for my old JCC basketball referee in his first full season at the University of Houston.

• Speaking of St. Paul and members of the tribe, oh the stories I could tell regarding this bit of news from my days growing up in Highland Park.

Nicole Richie's appearance on The Champs with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher totally changed my opinion of her and made me realize she's not just another Paris Hilton.

• Obviously this is what happens when I do live radio there twice in the same week.

• Netflix instant recommendation: I don't eat sushi or speak Japanese, but Jiro Dreams of Sushi was a very compelling documentary about work ethic, greatness, and routine.

• For some reason this makes me sadder than most divorces.

• On a related note, I love Parks and Recreation blooper reels even more than the actual show:

As usual Chris Pratt steals every scene even when he's screwing everything up.

• Speaking of which, if this kid isn't funny then genetics are useless.

• I ate at the original, downtown location during the SABR convention this summer and liked it a lot, so I'm glad to hear Ike's Food & Cocktails is opening a second place near me.

• After five months on the radio Gleeman and The Geek returned to its podcast-only roots, which meant no more commercial breaks and way more beer. And also Jacqueline Bisset.

• Back by popular demand, this week's most amusing, weird, and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Delmon Young fat"
- "Jon Taffer salary"
- "Terry Francona new girlfriend"
- "Aaron Gleeman elliptical"
- "Why isn't Michael Cuddyer playing?"
- "Joe Frazier sings to Robin Quivers"
- "Low angle shot Kim Kardashian"
- "Anthony Slama stuff"
- "How old is Roy Smalley?"
- "How does Fat-O-Meter work?"

• Finally, in honor of his daughter changing my perception of her through the magic of podcasting this week's AG.com-approved music video is "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie:

February 3, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• These would be the latest fashion trend for bloggers, except we don't wear pants.

• I was a guest on "Fan Graphs Audio" with Carson Cistulli and had a great time chatting about non-baseball stuff for around 45 of the 50 minutes. We discussed the Twins briefly at the end, but not before talking about Louis C.K.'s greatness, how getting rejected made me start blogging, the downside of having to wear pants at work, being propositioned for sex, the advantage of having a name that starts with back-to-back A's, and high-brow versus uni-brow. I think you'll like it a lot.

• Congrats might be the wrong word, but Darren Wolfson and Joe Schmit made Deadspin.

Jon Heyman made Deadspin too and as Hardball Talk readers know it was a long time coming.

• Grown men getting angry at teenagers for changing their minds about which college to attend is one of the weirdest things about sports, especially when the decision-making is based on food.

• I'm worried that my soulmate might die before we even have a chance to share a meal.

• Bad news for Matt Garza, but it only seems fair given how the Rays stole him from the Twins.

• I'll bet even Jim Marshall is confused about how this happened.

John Bonnes called in sick for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, so I poured myself a scotch and babbled for an hour.

Blake Griffin's dunk on Kendrick Perkins earlier this week was one of the best you'll ever see:

"Oh me oh my!"

• This deserves a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting.

Royce White was the lead story/photo on ESPN.com, with an article about his on-court success and off-court difficulties written by former Minneapolis Star Tribune beat reporter Myron Medcalf.

• Twenty years from now I'm sure his therapist will say this was really healthy.

• In that case, I'll take World to cover the spread.

• If you like soul music as much as me, D'Angelo simply getting back on stage is good news.

Jimmy Kimmel was an excellent guest on Marc Maron's podcast and I especially enjoyed their discussion about two of my favorite things, holding grudges and napping.

• Focusing on NBCSports.com stuff meant ending a five-year run as editor-in-chief of Rotoworld's fantasy baseball magazine, but I still wrote several articles and the online version is available now.

Charley Walters of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a nice article on Terry Kunze, with whom I've been fortunate enough to watch a bunch of basketball games over the years.

• Proving that I'd make an excellent television executive, Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Lizzy Caplan has been cast as the lead in a new Showtime series with "sex" in the title.

Kevin Love celebrated his $62 million by taking a Luis Scola fastball to the ... well, you'll see:

Houston's announcer also coined a new phrase in describing the play: "The Love Stomach."

Scott Aukerman and Harris Wittels doing a lot of drugs, recording their experience at a Phish concert, and then later commenting on the recordings made for a pretty great podcast.

• Netflix recommendation: Jens Pulver: Driven, a very gritty, compelling documentary about MMA fighter Jens Pulver, from his difficult upbringing and early UFC success to his comeback attempt.

• It's reassuring that one of my favorite comedians, Chelsea Peretti, was funny seven years ago.

Evan Silva's "matchups" column has been a weekly must-read throughout the NFL season and his Super Bowl breakdown is no different even if I disagree with the ending.

• One of the best and longest-running baseball blogs went back to its roots after leaving ESPN.

• There might finally be a good reason to attend White Sox games at U.S. Cellular Field.

• Both my IBM Thinkpad and backup IBM Thinkpad died more or less of natural causes on Sunday, so I decided to take the plunge and get my first Macintosh computer. I got plenty of warnings that it takes some getting used to and even then the number of subtle differences are more frustrating than expected, but after five days with a Macbook Pro it's easy to see why the cult of Apple has so many members. And the Apple Store employees in Ridgedale Mall were incredibly nice and helpful.

• Person you should follow on Twitter: Than Tibbetts, who keeps AG.com running behind the scenes, answers my annoying tech questions, and consistently passes along good Link-O-Rama material.

• Finally, in honor of Etta James passing away recently this week's AG.com-approved music video is her 1968 classic "I'd Rather Go Blind":