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:

November 4, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• It turns out "replacement level" means something totally different in the non-baseball world.

• I'm not much for petitions, but this is certainly a worthwhile cause. They've suffered enough.

• An important reminder from my mom's favorite player: Being fat isn't the same as being jolly.

Kris Humphries stayed with the Gophers longer than this.

Scarlett Johansson quote of the week: "There's nothing wrong with that. It's not like I was shooting a porno. Although there's nothing wrong with that either. I know my best angles."

Cory Provus will replace John Gordon as the Twins' radio play-by-play announcer. Provus previously worked with Bob Uecker in Milwaukee and Brewers fans on Twitter gave him lots of very positive reviews yesterday.

This news is responsible for more nerd fantasies than all six Star Wars movies combined.

• Of course, it's not all good news on the fantasy girl marketplace.

• As promised, I now have both of these in my closet.

Nick Diaz shouting "train by day, Joe Rogan podcast all night" after defeating B.J. Penn was my favorite post-fight moment in UFC history.

Except for the whole training part, I'm the same way.

Mark Brunell has earned $50 million during an 18-season NFL career that's still going at age 41, but once he retires he'll be working as a medical sales representative to make ends meet.

• Remember how Michael Beasley's publicist annoyingly sent me 20 e-mails in the span of two days last week? Despite being perfect for each other they've parted ways already.

• My favorite journalism school teacher, Paul McEnroe, wrote a really interesting article for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• More than three million people still pay to subscribe to AOL's dial-up service. Seriously.

• My musical taste is often mocked, and rightfully so most of the time, but two of my favorites are struggling with eerily similar throat problems that seemingly could threaten their careers.

• Once upon a time, before he managed 5,000 games and wore jeans on late-night television talk shows, Tony La Russa was just a Triple-A infielder with a weak bat and strong sideburns.

John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman apparently did a group photo shoot for their TwinsCentric blog on the Star Tribune's website and it reminded me of this:

"Straight Outta Warroad."

• Speaking of the Star Tribune's website, they moved to a metered paywall for content, which is a bold move to say the least. StarTribune.com sports coordinator and Twins blogger Howard Sinker is scheduled to be our guest on next week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode, so we'll definitely get into the newspaper talk along with the usual baseball stuff.

• And if you haven't checked out this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" show yet, it's probably worth listening to just to hear us compare Aaron Hicks to a bad Adrian Brody movie.

• SB Nation hired one of my favorite baseball writers, Amy K. Nelson, away from ESPN.

• My latest podcast discovery: "The Champs" with Moshe Kasher and Neal Brennan, which is the perfect mix of funny, serious, interesting, and silly. Listening to their two-part episode with Blake Griffin immediately made him my favorite NBA player.

• Kasher and Brennan also recommended watching Eddie Murphy's first guest appearance on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, which mostly made me sad that he's spent the past 15 years making kids movies.

• Listening to Sarah Silverman chat with Julie Klausner was a highlight of this Hebrew school expellee's week.

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are among 10 candidates on the special "golden era" Hall of Fame ballot. To me they both narrowly miss the cut, but I'm sure many Twins fans feel differently.

This guy is the Twins' new Triple-A hitting coach.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "How You Like Me Now?" by The Heavy:

September 16, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by the Minnesota law firm Snyder Gislason Frasier LLC, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your legal needs ...

• I'd like to have seen the FBI agent's face when this case landed on his desk.

• Three words: Amish beard mugshots. And the reason for their arrests is funny too.

• It looks like Pablo Sandoval found all the weight I lost. And last night he hit for the cycle.

• Congrats to Tina Fey and Sarah Silverman for being exactly as cool as my mother.

• More importantly: How does Rob Pelinka fit into all of this?

• Hardball Talk "fan fiction" is kind of freaking me out, although at least Craig Calcaterra and Tiffany Simons appear to be the focus.

• I attended an advance screening of Moneyball and wrote a review of the movie, which comes out on September 23 and stars Brad Pitt as Billy Beane. We also spent the first 20 minutes of this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" podcast discussing the film immediately after seeing it.

• On a related note: It seems like there's a pretty decent chance Pitt and Angelina Jolie have had a conversation about Wins Above Replacement. Talk about fan fiction.

• Breaking news: Male sex symbol from 2010s sort of resembles male sex symbol from 1990s.

• What does a 19-year-old guy ask for from Make-A-Wish? Christina Hendricks, of course.

• Former big leaguer Curtis Leskanic got really, really, really drunk and drove around with his 5-year-old daughter before passing out at the wheel.

• Sadly, this weird story didn't get the "woman dies of hot beef injection" headline it deserved.

• I think we should all pool our money together and buy Ted Williams' MVP award.

• This cinematic history of "shut up" is pretty great:

In the interest of accuracy, many of them have two other words between the "shut" and "up."

Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon, together again.

• It turns out Mariano Rivera doesn't even like Metallica or "Enter Sandman" and the Yankees only picked it for him because they wanted to copy Trevor Hoffman's entrance in San Diego.

Robb Quinlan's eight-year career in the big leagues ended last season, so he's headed back to the University of Minnesota as a volunteer hitting instructor for the Gophers. If nothing else, Quinlan should be able to teach the hitters how to mash lefties.

• It sounds as though Rick Adelman thinks about as much of general manager David Kahn as Timberwolves fans do. My prediction: Adelman outlasts Kahn in Minnesota.

• It wasn't the most uplifting movie, but I recommend Down to the Bone on Netflix instant. Vera Farmiga plays an excellent drug addict and is still less depressing than the Twins' season.

• Congrats to Tom Pelissero for taking over the 6-8 pm show on 1500-ESPN. Competition has turned this into a great era for local sports radio.

• Next year's Society for American Baseball Research convention is in Minnesota and yesterday SABR announced the dates: June 27 to July 1. I'll definitely be there, because I haven't missed a convention since going to my first one way back in 2004, and I'm hoping a bunch of AG.com readers and my fellow Twins bloggers will check it out. If you like baseball, drinking, poker, and shooting the shit it isn't to be missed. More later, obviously, but for now save the date.

• Speaking of which: "He was one of the most laid back characters I've ever met" is maybe the nicest thing anyone has ever said about me. And the part about beer is right too.

Anthony Bourdain was a guest on Joe Rogan's podcast earlier this week and was every bit as great as expected, talking food and fame and drugs and tons of other interesting stuff.

• Marlins prospect Matt Dominguez's father is a Los Angeles Times copy editor and wrote a fun article about attending his son's big-league debut last week.

John Bonnes, Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman have planned a TwinsCentric get-together for September 24 (which is next Saturday) at Manitou Station in White Bear Lake. Not the most convenient location, but there's a Twins-Indians doubleheader that day and their meetups are always a good time, so I'll be making the trek and we'll likely record an episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" there while everyone hangs out. For more details, click here.

• Finally, in honor of the 15th anniversary of his death in 1996 this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Changes" by Tupac Shakur:

May 6, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis has a fool-proof plan to meet Barack Obama that should delight the president's body man, former Duke basketball player Reggie Love.

• He'll obviously land on his feet and maybe even get a more prominent overall gig elsewhere, but CBS letting Gus Johnson go after 16 years because of a monetary disagreement is terrible news for everyone who loved him calling NCAA tournament games. There's never been a more perfect match between announcer and event, so hopefully both sides reconsider.

Randy Moss' daughter, Sydney Moss, is a 5-foot-11 high school basketball star in Kentucky and recently committed to the University of Florida after averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior.

• Lindsay Lohan's version of community service seems fun.

Dick Kaegel of MLB.com describes how the Royals have all but ditched in-person "advanced scouting" in favor of video analysis. As manager Ned Yost put it: "You don't need an advance scout anymore. You've got everything at your fingertips. Everything I need or we need to see is on the video."

Kris Humphries has his hands full with Kim Kardashian, literally and figuratively.

Trey Kirby interviewing Amar'e Stoudemire's personal stylist is spectacular enough, but the photo of Stoudemire sitting next to Anna Wintour really takes things to the next level.

Ozzie Guillen was suspended two games for tweeting, which merely adds to his legend.

• At around 2:00 am Wednesday night the few hundred fans left at Fenway Park for the Red Sox's marathon game with the Angels serenaded Kevin Youkilis with a personalized version of "Just A Friend" by Biz Markie:

My childhood smiled.

• Judging by his scores John Smoltz is closer to coming out of retirement to pitch again than he is to making the PGA tour.

• My favorite part about 26-year-old Scarlett Johansson continuing to date 50-year-old Sean Penn is this report that "she's at his house most nights and has been accepted by his teenage sons." Not mentioned is their confusion about winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

• Journalism tops The Daily Beast's list of the "most useless degrees." Even more useless than a journalism degree? Spending four years in college without getting a journalism degree.

• According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report the Minneapolis Star Tribune owns the 17th-largest daily newspaper circulation in the country at 296,605.

• I watched every episode of America's Next Great Restaurant on NBC, but a combination of diet and laziness precludes me from going to the Mall of America to give Soul Daddy a try. I'm fairly certain most people don't want their soul food healthy, so what are the odds it'll still be open by the time my diet inevitably fails?

• Sad story, but this never would have happened if she was actually 50 feet tall.

• My old cantor got arrested for a DWI going to my old high school when his wife "called police to report that he'd be showing up at the school and that he was driving under the influence" at 5:45 pm. I could write another 500 sentences about that one sentence, but I won't.

• On a related note, Derek Lowe's life is like The Fast And The Furious films, except sweatier, drunker, and with a higher ground-ball percentage.

• If you enjoyed 500 Days of Summer and watch Community you'll love 500 Days of Britta:

I'm definitely in favor of Zooey Deschanel and Gillian Jacobs teaming up for the sequel.

• One of the best side effects of NBC Universal combining with Comcast is the Versus channel's website and excellent MMA writer Ariel Helwani folding into NBCSports.com.

• From the shoplifting arrest and plea agreement to his side of the story, nothing about Mike Leake's situation makes sense to me.

• I'm not really sure what took me so long aside from being the world's oldest 28-year-old, but I finally tried Skype this week and was basically amazed by the entire thing. I lost my Skype virginity taping an episode of HBT Daily with Craig Calcaterra in which we discussed Francisco Liriano's no-hitter. He was gentle and wearing the headset made me feel sexy.

• My second Skype experience was even better, as I recorded a late-night podcast with Marc Normandin and Matt Kory from Red Sox Beacon in which we talked about the Twins-Red Sox series and re-wrote the script to the upcoming Moneyball movie. As someone who listens to no fewer than 25 podcasts per week it was a lot of fun to appear on a podcast that can actually be found on iTunes and we chatted for about 45 minutes, so please give it a listen.

• If you're more into radio than podcasts, you can listen to my appearance on Minnesota Public Radio talking Twins with Cathy Wurzer.

• Marrying a former Miss Michigan isn't as great as it sounds, as Charlie Bell has learned.

Sammy Sosa likes to laugh at NBA playoff games.

• Congratulations to friend of AG.com Chris Jaffe, who won the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award for his incredibly detailed book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers, from which the Tom Kelly section was excerpted here last year.

• Due to the strong response to my note about wanting to partner with AG.com readers who have interesting and worthwhile stuff to advertise I'm going to start a "Sponsor of the Week" program soon that will keep the site's overall advertising to a minimum while highlighting one advertiser per week for supporting the blog. I've begun reserving weeks, so to promote your thing to the thousands of people who visit this space every day drop me an e-mail for details.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the original version of "Just A Friend":