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:

March 30, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I'll be on 1500-ESPN radio tonight from 7-8 talking Twins and other stuff with Darren Wolfson, so tune in or listen online.

Carl Pavano was targeted in an extortion attempt by a high school classmate who claims to have had a relationship with the Twins pitcher and it gets even crazier from there.

• Who are the Twins' top five prospects? I'm glad you asked.

This conversation, in my mind: "Oh my god, you're so good looking!"

• I decided to buy The Hunger Games book before seeing the movie and it was so good that I read all 374 pages in one sitting. Being labeled a "young adult novel" obscures the fact that it's darker and has more violence than 99 percent of "adult novels."

• On a related note: People, still the worst.

Sarah Hyland seems like fun.

• For anyone interested in advertising on AG.com and supporting the site's free content, click here for the details of my new "sponsor of the week" program.

Stephon Marbury is a huge Sinead O'Connor fan, obviously.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode unwittingly started an odd Twitter feud between two groups of people, so you'll probably want to hear it.

• Never forget, Geraldo Rivera boxed Frank Stallone on Howard Stern's show in 1992:

Rivera got pummeled, which might explain a lot these days.

Michael K. Williams as Ol' Dirty Bastard? Oh, indeed.

• Minnesota native, former Gophers star, and JCC basketball legend Jack Hannahan is the Indians' new starting third baseman.

Joba Chamberlain's gruesome injury made me think back to fifth grade when a classmate got a trampoline and I went to her house about 15 times in a month ... and then never again. Fifth grade was weird, but at least my ankle stayed inside my skin.

Marion Barber was a rookie at 22, a Pro Bowler at 24, and is finished at 28. Being an NFL running back is scary, but I'll never forget that amazing Barber-Laurence Maroney backfield.

• There's actually one profession that ages someone more rapidly than NFL running back.

• I can't believe I never thought of this for my prom.

Joe Morgan liked Adidas before he disliked Moneyball.

• Not only did I lose 150 pounds in one year my cousin-in-law (which might not actually be a thing, but you know what I mean) has lost 110 pounds.

Carnie Wilson, on the other hand, tried to cheat the system and failed. So she did it again.

• Hall of Fame soul singer Bobby Womack has been diagnosed with colon cancer.

• Which one word best describes how Tim Tebow feels about being traded to the Jets?

Tebow and The Pointer Sisters have something in common.

• I was sad to see him go, but congrats to my longtime Rotoworld teammate Gregg Rosenthal for his new gig at NFL.com. Great writer, great guy, and hugely responsible for my career.

• As part of replacing Rosenthal one of my favorite writers from way back, Michael David Smith, is the new managing editor at ProFootballTalk.

Royce White declared for the NBA draft, so the Gophers only missed one really good season.

• I finally saw The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Another great David Fincher movie and, unlike most foreign remakes, an equal or perhaps even better version than the original. It also gave The Social Network opening breakup scene new meaning.

Josie Long was an exceptionally charming guest on "Stop Podcasting Yourself."

• One of my favorite podcasters, Marc Maron, will soon have his own television show.

• I've always had a phobia of talking on the phone, which is rough because it's needed to set up therapy for the phobia and also because it's really dumb. But after hearing from people on Twitter and reading this I'm surprised to learn it's relatively common. Brains are weird.

• If you watched the season premiere of Mad Men you should read this and then read this.

• Happy birthday to my grandpa, Mel Gallop, who recently turned 89 years old and celebrated by complaining about Drew Butera over lunch with me.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Womack's classic "Across 110th Street":

January 27, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Rihanna seems like fun.

• In retrospect, Kevin Garnett had the right idea in this picture.

• If she wasn't already an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate this quote would put Lizzy Caplan in the mix: "What I like to do every single night is fall asleep watching Larry Sanders."

Joe Mauer is engaged now, so perhaps there's a similar explanation for last year's injuries.

• One of my favorite comedians, Todd Glass, came out of the closet on Marc Maron's podcast and it was incredibly compelling stuff.

• Speaking of Maron, this article about podcasting quotes me right alongside him, which was a big thrill. And coincidentally the writer, Gaby Dunn, conducted the interview with Jewish porn star James Deen that appeared in Link-O-Rama last month. As always, life is weird.

• We had a first on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, as a random drunk woman interrupted the podcast to show us her bra for no apparent reason.

• Imagine a world in which Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera, and Delmon Young are all on the same American League team and someone else is the designated hitter.

Jimmer Fredette's transition to the NBA is proving to be a difficult one and Sebastian Pruiti of Grantland has a very detailed, interesting analysis of his early struggles.

• Speaking of NBA rookies, I bought one of these.

Katy Perry unfollowed Russell Brand on Twitter after their divorce, which is no doubt where this is headed too some day.

• I was talking about wrestling on Twitter, so my mom dug up this picture of me with Sergeant Slaughter in 1985:

I apparently inherited his jaw line from that one brief meeting.

• Fat-O-Meter update: This is day 330 of my diet and I'm down 140 pounds.

• This is absurd, of course, but he almost deserves it for not getting a prenup.

• I wonder what Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie think about this.

• Two great tastes that go great together: Kate Beckinsale and Maria Menounos.

• Stuff like this fascinates me: Back in 1995 the Mariners turned down a deal with the Yankees for a 23-year-old catching prospect named Jorge Posada.

Moneyball was nominated for six Oscars, including "best actor" for Brad Pitt, "best supporting actor" for Jonah Hill, and "best picture." I liked these outtakes better than the actual movie.

• Not only is new Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow sabermetrically inclined, he announced via Twitter that Baseball Prospectus analyst Mike Fast is joining the front office.

Bill James used to write the occasional guest piece for The Hardball Times when I was there and it was a big honor, so Grantland talking him into being a regular is quite a get.

• As a Sarah Hyland fan, I might have actually tuned into the Golden Globes for this.

• I have some mixed feelings about this, but it's an interesting story and an important lesson when it comes to baseball rumors and reporting.

Zooey Deschanel, describing her college experience that sounds an awful lot like mine: "My specialness is not appreciated in this place." With the main difference being that mine still isn't.

• I've always said there's a little Gilbert Gottfried inside all of us:

 If you don't think that's funny we probably can't be friends.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Aubrey Plaza on meeting Ryan Gosling: "I think he has a girlfriend, but maybe I'll murder her someday and we'll be together forever."

Flip Saunders got fired by the Wizards, who hilariously replaced him with Randy Wittman.

JaVale McGee's mom seems a lot like my mom.

Harris Wittels, who once left a comment here, was cast in Sarah Silverman's new show.

• I watched all 10 episodes of Bar Rescue despite not really enjoying it and thinking the star is like Gordon Ramsay without the charm, charisma, and hair. Is that a recommendation?

• Showtime is following the Marlins for Season 2 of The Franchise, which leaves the door open for Ozzie Guillen to appear on Shameless. I'll bet he has great chemistry with Emmy Rossum.

• For anyone with HBO: Make sure to watch the documentary series about Freddie Roach.

• Speaking of great sports documentaries, the final episode of the series following MMA fighter Allistair Overeem is spectacular and features his recent win over Brock Lesnar. Great stuff.

• As always I'm proud to be a very, very small part of MinnPost, which saw its readership grow 21 percent in 2011.

• If you haven't already, go buy Seth Stohs' annual Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook for 190 pages of hardcore prospect profiles, analysis, interviews, and rankings.

Nick Nelson's old blog-mate, Nick Mosvick, has a new blog all his own.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Work" by Gang Starr:

August 5, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by Minnesota's top variable frequency drive company, IDEAL Service, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your industrial electronic needs ...

• I didn't realize it until afterward, but Monday marked the ninth anniversary of this blog, which started on August 1, 2002 with a post about A.J. Burnett being overworked by the Marlins. That night the Twins beat the White Sox behind Eric Milton's three-hit, 11-strikeout shutout and Michael Cuddyer's grand slam. Two months later the Twins made the playoffs for the first time since 1991, shortly after that Burnett blew out his elbow, and now here I am.

I started as a 19-year-old in search of a writing outlet while home from college for the summer and now I'm a 28-year-old lucky enough to write about baseball for a living. In between seems like kind of a blur, but I know that without this blog and the people who read it I may never have gotten the opportunity to make a career out of something I love and for that I'm forever grateful. Whether you've been here for nine years or this is your first visit, thanks for reading.

There but for the grace of blogging go I.

• This is one service that the YoYo Donuts near my house does not provide.

Joel Lovell's lengthy profile of Louis C.K. in GQ magazine is well worth the read.

• In one of the most disappointing revelations in cinematic history, Mila Kunis has admitted to using a "butt double" in Friends With Benefits. As the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com explained:

I showed side boob and I figured I can't just give away everything all at once. I gotta let it all out in little pieces here and there.

Legally, does that count as a binding contract?

• Kunis defending Justin Timberlake by yelling at reporters in Russian was fun to watch.

• In one of the craziest plays you'll ever see Brendan Ryan caught Oakland's defense napping for an "infield triple."

• Picture of the Week: Jimi Hendrix gets his hair done while reading Mad magazine.

Kate Upton saying she "prayed every day" to look like Kate Upton has made me reconsider everything I've ever thought about religion.

• In honor of Randy Moss' retirement, here's a commercial he and Jason Williams did for Nike that I thought was pretty badass as a kid:

Still is, actually.

Bethlehem Shoals was an awesome basketball blogger, but he might be even better writing about Otis Redding, Jay-Z, Kanye West, and the history of "Try A Little Tenderness."

Latrell Sprewell is still just trying to feed his family in Wisconsin.

• Of course, Sprewell is a piker compared to Stephon Marbury.

Marko Jaric is faring slightly better after leaving the Timberwolves.

Kevin Durant scored 66 points in a Rucker Park game and the video is excellent.

• For a 51-year-old fat guy Stan Van Gundy can still handle the rock pretty well.

• After seeing Half Nelson and Blue Valentine during the past week I've officially become a Ryan Gosling fanboy, which is something I never expected to write. Blue Valentine is definitely worth renting, while Half Nelson is a must-watch for anyone with Netflix instant.

• To anyone who made the mistake of not watching already: Netflix instant just added the first four seasons of Mad Men. Pour yourself an old fashioned and watch all 52 episodes. Trust me.

• In odd marriage news, Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari broke up before their wedding while Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed are now engaged after 28 years and two grown kids.

• Cavallari has rebounded with ... the kid from Boy Meets World? Sure, why not.

• Even my mom would begrudgingly admit that George Clooney made a solid rebound choice.

Alex Rodriguez being investigated for "playing in an underground, illegal poker game where cocaine was openly used" makes him significantly more likable. Even if he isn't very good.

• Oh great, now my hopes are up for a Friday Night Lights movie.

• Now that everything has been settled, the worst part of the NFL lockout is without question HBO skipping Hard Knocks this season.

Community was already one of my favorite shows, and now they're adding Omar Little and Bill Haverchuck to the cast for next season. Omar comin':

It sounds like Michael K. Williams had a good first day on the set, too.

• People who insist on saying happy birthday to every "friend" on Facebook deserve this.

• Maybe it's not too late for me to become a newspaper reporter after all.

Sarah Hyland provides a compelling sneak preview of next season's Modern Family.

• Versus is becoming NBC Sports Network, which means I'm a step closer to that cooking show I've always wanted. "Aaron Makes Stuff With Rice And Oyster Sauce" is the working title.

David Cameron, whom I got a chance to meet and play poker with at the SABR convention, has been diagnosed with leukemia. Whether you like his work as Fan Graphs managing editor or just hate when bad things happen to good people, root for him.

• I'm on board the Rick Adelman bandwagon, which guarantees David Kahn won't hire him.

• I'm thrilled that 1500-ESPN decided to dump Colin Cowherd's syndicated show and replace it with a local host. My nomination: Darren Wolfson.

• In related news, Sporting News Radio just became Yahoo! Sports Radio, with lots of Yahoo! writers getting their own shows. KFAN-1130 will air some locally, I believe.

UPDATE: And now more intrigue in the local sports radio scene, as David Brauer of MinnPost reports that KFAN is switching from AM to FM.

• Want to feel old? Raul Mondesi's son just signed with the Royals for $2 million.

• For any DIPS and/or FIP doubters out there: When position players pitch they have the same batting average on balls in play as actual pitchers pitching.

Fedor Emelianenko went from the top of the MMA food chain to washed up in three fights.

• I was feeling good about our recent traffic at HardballTalk, but then I saw that my colleagues at ProFootballTalk had 3.9 million page views in one day. To put that in some context, AG.com has had a total of around 13 million page views ... in nine years.

Curb Your Enthusiasm fans will like Jeff Garlin's appearance on The Sound of Young America.

• I've now been on Twitter for two years and 7,000 tweets later can't imagine life without it.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The King of Soul singing what will always be my favorite version of "Try A Little Tenderness":