November 8, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Mase is releasing a new album for the first time in nearly a decade, which means I might have to update my Twitter profile. This is a big deal for me, guys.

• I've been thinking about moving away from the suburbs and getting a new place in uptown or maybe downtown, but something tells me I wouldn't fit in at this apartment bro-plex (although obviously $2,800 per month for the penthouse is a steal).

• There's a "Ladies Night Out" promotion for Timberwolves games in which $18 gets you a game ticket, a glass of wine, and Season 1 of "Girls" on DVD. Seriously.

• Texans coach Gary Kubiak suffering a stroke on the field Sunday night got me thinking about the worst day of my life, which I wrote about in 2003 for a non-fiction literature class in college.

• I'm saving myself for divorce, personally.

Sarah Silverman and Todd Glass goofing around with Doug Benson on "Getting Doug With High" is one of my favorite things ever.

Zach Galifianakis got real skinny all of a sudden. Must be on that baseball blogger diet.

Usain Bolt revealed that he ate exclusively McDonald's while in Beijing for the Olympics and consumed approximately 1,000 chicken nuggets in 10 days. He won three gold medals.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode I told an incredibly embarrassing story about my weekend and then the show had the worst ending in the history of podcasts.

• I'm sure Ricky Rubio is perfectly capable of singing some fantastic Bill Withers covers, but until then Victor Oladipo is my new favorite basketball player:

Having talent must be really fun.

Mike Napoli celebrated the Red Sox's title in style, and that style was shirtless and drunk.

• Not ashamed to admit that I read this entire history of the Trapper Keeper.

• As far as mash-ups go, Lorde and The Spin Doctors are a surprisingly enjoyable combination.

• I'm not delusional enough to think the Twins might actually sign any of these guys, but I wrote about them anyway.

• Old friend Matthew LeCroy was named the Nationals' new bullpen coach at age 37.

Ben Revere's honeymoon in Philadelphia was a short one.

Jon Marthaler filed his final post for Twinkie Town, which kindly put together a comprehensive best-of collection that highlights just how much fun he's been to read over there since 2007. You can still listen to Marthaler every week in his role as ringmaster on "The Sportive" podcast.

• Speaking of Twinkie Town, they're looking to add some new writers to the staff.

• I'm sad about Rusty Quarters closing because it was a great place to re-live childhoods, but I'm especially worried what it will do to the psyche of Minnesota's favorite manchild, Dana Wessel.

• Blockbuster is closing 300 stores, putting an end to what was basically the center of my universe in Highland Park for a few years in the mid-90s. I want to rent "Kids" on VHS one last time.

• At long last, a useful PR e-mail pitch: "I look forward to us starting a long and exciting wine journey together."

• My future wife is so good that she can even make me like Elvis Presley:

 Possum Plows is dominating Link-O-Rama like few others in AG.com history.

• Tuesday afternoon First Avenue announced that Dave Chappelle is coming to town to do two shows Monday night and I felt so proud of myself for snagging tickets before they both sold out within an hour. I felt slightly less proud when First Avenue later added two shows Tuesday, two shows Wednesday, and two shows Thursday because of the tremendous demand. Either way, it should be great. Shows that start at 10:30 on Monday nights are where insomniacs shine.

• Speaking of stand-up comedy, in the first step toward my goal of creating a comedy club club I'm taking a big group of people to see Tom Segura tape his new television special Saturday at the Cowles Center. If that goes well, we might have some traction on the club idea.

• This is just a really cool thing to be known for.

• Obviously this kid read my interview about Twitter dating last week and took my advice to heart.

• My texting experience is very similar to Aziz Ansari's texting experience, sadly.

• On a related note, Ansari's new stand-up special "Buried Alive" was just released on Netlix and I liked it a lot after previously being ambivalent about him. Much more personal, interesting stuff.

Jen Kirkman's quarterly appearance on "The Crab Feast" with Jay Larson and Ryan Sickler is always a must-listen.

• I've long said that Chelsea Peretti is the best and here's compelling evidence to back that up.

• I just discovered the "Hip Hop BBQ" station on Pandora and it has changed my entire life.

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

- "Aaron Gleeman recipe"
- "Aaron Gleeman over-sharing"
- "Aaron Gleeman plaid shirts"
- "Aaron Gleeman dead"
- "How to prepare yourself to starve"
- "Is 36 pounds bad if you're a 2-year-old?"
- "Bed snacks for 11-year-olds"
- "Gang dressed in orange"
- "Great player cut by Twins"

• Finally, in honor of my recent interest in changing zip codes this week's AG.com-approved music video is Susan Tedeschi doing a live cover version of "Gonna Move" by Paul Pena:


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August 23, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Thursday morning I was a guest on Paul Allen's show live from the KFAN booth at the State Fair. I had zero idea what they had planned, but much like last year it turned into an excuse to find me a date on the radio and in front of fair-goers sitting on bleachers watching us. Things got awkward and (hopefully) funny enough that I stayed on for three segments. You can listen to the first part here and the second part here. And then let's agree to never speak of this again.

• Ain't no party like a Corey Feldman party because a Corey Feldman party ... looks really sad.

Joe Mauer is the latest on a long list of catchers suffering concussions at an alarming rate.

• Alcoholism-enabling news of the week: "Australian researches have found a way to improve the hydrating qualities of beer without compromising on taste and ... may even have found a way to avoid a post-drink hangover."

• My favorite moment from this week's "Breaking Bad" episode was an easy choice. And the guy on the left, Bill Burr, is a great stand-up comedian who also hosts a very good podcast.

• Not only is "Community" creator Dan Harmon returning to the show next season, Jonathan Banks is joining the cast after brilliantly playing Mike Ehrmantraut on "Breaking Bad."

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we tried to figure out how the Twins' rotation can avoid being terrible again next season and examined the two major types of Twins fandom.

St. Paul Pioneer Press photographer Ben Garvin made a stop-motion video of his magic beard:

Us beardos have to stick together.

Delmon Young has been reunited with the Rays six years after they traded him to the Twins.

• Every six months or so Peter Gammons takes a seemingly random shot at me on Twitter for some reason. I try not to get worked up about it, because he's one of the best baseball writers of all time, he's been nice to me personally, and he turned me on to Susan Tedeschi years ago.

Will Leitch, formerly of Deadspin and currently of Sports On Earth and New York magazine, invited me on his podcast to chat about old-school blogging, staying away from steroids, and why Gammons likes to jab at me. I've been online acquaintances with Leitch for a decade or so and we were even featured together in a Sports Illustrated article alongside Bill Simmons, but I'm not sure I'd ever actually spoken to him before. It was fun and I think you'll enjoy listening.

• I can only assume that my working from home as an internet baseball writer played a big part in Google naming Minnetonka this year's "eCity of Minnesota." Whatever that means.

• Exactly how discouraging was Kyle Gibson's first taste of the big leagues?

• Grantland followed Hannibal Buress around with a camera as he worked on jokes.

• As a longtime John Mayer fan a lot of this stuff makes sense to me, but it's probably not a winnable battle at this point. His new album is good, though.

• If only for nostalgia I wouldn't mind the Twins signing Johan Santana to a cheap deal.

Morgan Murphy is hilarious on Twitter and pretty damn funny on stage too. Woo!

• MLB formed a seven-person committee of SABR members to incorporate as 25 percent of their Gold Glove award selection process. And my favorite part is that the man wearing these socks is one of the seven chosen. You probably didn't realize I was hanging out with defensive experts.

• Angels manager Mike Scioscia claims the A's never taught Grant Green how to bunt, but his story doesn't quite check out.

• My fellow Howard Stern fans will enjoy this: Within the span of around 72 hours this week "Baba Booey" was mentioned during a Padres broadcast and on "The Newsroom":

That made me feel slightly better about still watching "The Newsroom."

• I had an in-depth discussion with Glen Perkins about what it takes to be a closer.

• Honestly, sometimes I wish my fans would dial back the praise just a little bit.

Clayton Kershaw is a bad, bad man.

• I finished re-watching "The Sopranos" via HBO GO, devouring all 86 episodes in 84 days. I'd like to write something substantial about the experience at some point, but the short version is that I loved the show even more the second time around and certainly appreciated many of the themes more as a 30-year-old than as a 20-year-old. Here's a collection of my tweets about re-watching the show, in reverse order.

• Any movie co-starring Adam Scott and Robin Tunney can't help but be good and "See Girl Run" is definitely worth checking out on Netflix. Scott did steal my tuxedo t-shirt look, though.

• I was home from the State Fair by 11:30 a.m. on opening day and left without eating anything. And that might be my only State Fair appearance of the year, although I'm reconsidering because Julie Klausner is hosting the Walker Arts Center's "internet cat video festival" there Wednesday. I'm not sure what that is, exactly, but I do know she's great.

• I'm tempted to go check out "Wits" at the Fitzgerald Theater because they have a bunch of good comedians scheduled as guests and must-follow tweeter Alison Agosti writes for the show.

Tom Segura might be my pick for the most underrated stand-up comedian and he also co-hosts a good podcast, so not surprisingly he was a great guest on Marc Maron's show.

• This week I re-upped my yearly subscription to Baseball-Reference.com's Play Index, which is the most indispensable research tool in sports and probably my favorite thing ever.

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

- "Inga Hammond and Scott Erickson"
- "Girls Gone Gleeman"
- "Lindsay Lohan baseball"
- "Lean Cuisine keeps me in shape"
- "Paulie Gualtieri tattoo"
- "What size shirt should a 265-pound man wear?"
- "St. Paul chubby chasers"
- "Something so ugly that it's beautiful"
- "David Fincher babyface"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Cover Me Up" by Jason Isbell:


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July 22, 2011

Link-O-Rama

This week's Link-O-Rama is sponsored by Wholesale Gold and Diamond Distributors in Minneapolis, so please help support AG.com by considering them for your jewelry needs ...

• Not that it was ever tough to sell me bacon in the first place, but this is especially effective.

Bruce Willis has never looked so good.

• Earlier this week the Twins sold $391,000 worth of bobblehead dolls in one day.

Jay-Z and Kanye West teaming up for the sample-filled song "Otis" is interesting, but mostly just reminds me how awesome Otis Redding was.

• Sure, but at least it's a really great face.

• Congratulations to Jonah Hill for losing a ton of weight, although unfortunately for his career this means Hollywood will have to find a new fat guy to co-star in every comedy movie.

David Brauer of MinnPost reports that Chip Scoggins will soon become the Minneapolis Star Tribune's newest sports columnist after years of covering the Vikings alongside Judd Zulgad.

• Someone tell Adrian Peterson to get in line.

• I'm still grieving the end of Friday Night Lights, but Connie Britton has already moved on.

Friday Night Lights was able to squeak out five great seasons despite poor ratings, but sadly the similarly underrated and underwatched TNT show Men of a Certain Age isn't so lucky.

• Cleveland starter Justin Masterson shut out the Twins for 7.2 innings Tuesday night despite throwing a fastball on 103 of his 104 pitches.

• If you turned off last night's Twins game early, you missed Wilson Betemit make one of the worst throws in baseball history.

• I've never seen an episode of iCarly and presumably never will, but there's a big The Wire fan on their writing staff who deserves credit for this scene:

For anyone not smart enough to have watched The Wire already, here's the original scene.

• I'm not sure if Ron Gardenhire really loves Japan women's soccer, but we definitely know he pays off his bets.

• Rochester lost 18-3 yesterday and Toby Gardenhire threw a scoreless ninth inning.

• I'm hoping Rihanna has started a new fashion trend for exceptionally good-looking women.

• His bat no longer works like it once did, but Torii Hunter celebrated his 36th birthday earlier this week by announcing that he doesn't have erectile dysfunction.

• Grantland inducted my favorite book of all time, Ball Four, into their sports book Hall of Fame.

• It's been more than a decade and this still makes me sad and furious at the same time.

• As usual, things are going really well for the Canseco brothers. Jose has had a tough week.

Paz de la Huerta gives good interview, particularly for an insane person.

• Tuesday night's Conan had Marc Maron and Susan Tedeschi, which means they were just a Mila Kunis short of creating a show specifically for me.

Wonderful news for Jenna Fischer is slightly less wonderful news for her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidacy and The Office.

Danny Valencia and Chris Perez had a sleepover.

Michael Rand posted a picture of what his Minneapolis Star Tribune colleague Patrick Reusse looked like in the 1970s and it's way too good not to share:

Mind. Blown.

Howard Stern won't take him back, so Artie Lange is doing a new sports radio show.

• Listening to Jonah Keri's podcast as Jon Weisman brought up my name and said nice things about me pretty much made my week. Us original baseball bloggers have to stick together.

• I actually thought about flying to Philadelphia just to steal all the tea.

• Congratulations to Sam Miller for his new gig at Baseball Prospectus and congratulations to Baseball Prospectus for hiring one of the best baseball writers around.

Ozzie is getting upset.

• One of my favorite writers, Clay Travis, launched a new site called Outkick The Coverage.

• Podcast recommendation: Nick Adams was great as a guest co-host on "Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

• I've extended the AG.com "sponsor of the week" program into September and October, so if you're interested in reserving a spot check out the details and current openings.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Tedeschi and her husband Derek Trucks doing a live cover version of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" by Bob Dylan:

April 29, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• I'm not a fan of the Vikings picking him 12th, but Christian Ponder's girlfriend seems nice.

• My mom sent me this link, for some reason.

• Rays outfielder Sam Fuld can be the leadoff hitter on the all-stathead team.

• Lots of people make fun of TSA agents, but based on this photo they're pretty smart.

• ESPN issued a press release with details about Bill Simmons' new website, GrantLand.com. Naming the site after early 1900s sportswriter Grantland Rice seems like an odd decision, but there's no doubt that Simmons has built an incredible staff of writers and editors that includes personal favorites Chuck Klosterman, Bill Barnwell, and Katie Baker. Big names like Malcolm Gladwell and Dave Eggers will also be on board when the site launches in June.

• GrantLand.com may or may not also add another personal favorite, Tommy Craggs.

• Among the candidates interviewing for the Houston Rockets' coaching gig are Kevin McHale, Dwane Casey, and Sam Cassell. Marlon Maxey, Gundars Vetra, Felton Spencer, and Gerald Glass were apparently unavailable.

• Once upon a time Tom (Anderson) was everyone's friend on MySpace. Now he's flipping real estate in Las Vegas. Let's see Aaron Sorkin write a great movie about that.

Tony La Russa's daughter, Bianca La Russa, is the newest Oakland Raiders cheerleader.

• Best wishes to my MinnPost colleague David Brauer as he takes a health-related break from covering the local media scene better than anyone else.

Matthew Leach of MLB.com did an excellent job blending reporting and analysis for his article about how the save statistic unfortunately controls managers' decision-making.

Charles Barkley is the new Andy Sipowicz:

Inside the NBA on TNT is good when they talk about basketball and great when they don't.

• Actors, doing actor-type stuff.

• I'm unclear if these are new pictures of former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Elisha Cuthbert or Maxim is just trotting out old shots because she has a new ABC show, but it doesn't matter.

• In case you were wondering, Charlie Manuel is not Ric Flair.

• SABR is drawing some big names for this year's convention in Los Angeles. I mostly just drink and shoot the shit with my old friends from Baseball Primer, but so many of my favorite writers will be in attendance this year that I may have to actually make some attempt at schmoozing.

Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press wrote a column about the Twins' many injuries that was so filled with cliched, rabble-rousing drivel it initially read like a parody. Sadly, he's for real.

• If you're a fan of stand-up comedy make sure to find a replay of Talking Funny on HBO, which featured Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Chris Rock, and Jerry Seinfeld basically just discussing comedy and breaking each others' balls for an hour. I would have watched it for five hours.

• Podcast of the week: Adam Carolla spending 90 minutes with Joe Rogan and Brian Redban.

• According to a recent British movie rental company poll 30 percent of people lie about seeing The Godfather "to impress people." Of all the things to lie about, why pick something enjoyable that takes three hours? It's not like only a select group of people get to watch each movie.

• Netflix instant recommendations: Bronson, which is a C-plus film with an A-plus performance by Tom Hardy. Marwencol, which is an oddly fascinating documentary that defies description.

• I've kept advertising on AG.com to a minimum for 10 years and that won't change, but rather than always selling my limited ad space to ticket-brokers and the like I'm looking to partner up with someone advertising stuff that would be of interest to AG.com readers. I'm open to ideas beyond that, so to promote your product, service, local business, website, or whatever else to the thousands of people who visit this space every day please drop me an e-mail.

(To anyone vehemently against the notion of bloggers making a little money, my apologies.)

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

- Mat Latos has lost nine straight starts dating back to last year
- Derek Jeter leads MLB in ground-ball percentage, ranks 188th in slugging percentage
- Everyone else is injured, so Ryan Madson finally gets a shot to be Phillies' closer
- Rays bounce back from 1-8 start to climb above .500
- Astros announcer criticizes Lance Berkman in Houston return
- What fluke? Jose Bautista hitting .364 with AL-high eight homers
- Pittsburgh media already turning on first-year Pirates manager Clint Hurdle?
- Yankees sticking with Rafael Soriano in eighth-inning setup role despite 7.84 ERA
- Mariners plan to limit 22-year-old Michael Pineda's workload

• Finally, in honor of how the Twins are playing right now this week's AG.com-approved music video is Susan Tedeschi singing a live version of "Looking For Answers":

July 16, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Much like me, Chris Webber has had just about enough of David Kahn.

• Aw, cute. Nick Punto is trying to grow a Carl Pavano-like mustache.

John Sickels projected the career stats of Rick Vaughn from Major League, which is the type of thing I find endlessly amusing. Given that there's basically a website for everything at this point, someone really needs to create a Baseball-Reference.com-style setup dedicated to the careers of players from baseball movies. I'd sponsor Roger Dorn's page.

• I plugged my most recent blog entries into this website that promises to "analyze who you write like" and it spit out Stephen King. Naturally.

• I've always believed pretty girls in baseball hats was basically the perfect combination, until I saw supermodels in baseball uniforms. The game was nice and all, but this picture was clearly the highlight of the entire All-Star break.

• As if Louis C.K.'s new show on FX wasn't amazing enough already, in this week's episode he name-dropped Jamie Moyer in the middle of a sex scene.

Seth Stohs, John Bonnes, Nick Nelson, and Parker Hageman have partnered with bloggers from other teams to produce a massive, 160-page "Trade Deadline Primer" with player profiles, essays, prospect reports, trade scenarios, and all kinds of other good stuff. I got a look at the product at the latest TwinsCentric gathering and was impressed by the content and layout. They put tons of work into the project and made something very worthwhile, all for under $10.

• Which former Twin is among the best players never to make an All-Star team?

• I tried to sound extra smart for my appearance on Minnesota Public Radio earlier this week. Also, more people have contacted me after hearing my MPR interview than ever contacted me following an appearance on KFAN or KSTP or any other stations. I'm not sure how to explain it, other than maybe just the novelty factor? Anyway, give it a listen.

• My first (and probably last) restaurant review.

• I'm shocked that something like this has never happened involving A.J. Pierzynski.

• If you only watch one video of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh turning heel as the nWo, make it this one:

If you didn't laugh at that, you either didn't watch wrestling as a kid or you don't have a soul.

• Anyone still think the Heat will struggle to fill out the rest of the roster with solid players? I'll be shocked if they don't win 60-plus games in Year 1.

• This is what it looks like when Will Ferrell invades the workspace of an MLB.com writer.

• I'll assume Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven finished sixth.

• Just in case her stellar acting work on Modern Family wasn't enough to make you a big Sofia Vergara fan, there are also these pictures.

Dennis Green's son Jeremy Green lost his ESPN.com job following his recent arrest on drug and child pornography charges. Would it be in bad taste to make a "he is who we thought he was" joke?

Scott Boras comparing Prince Fielder to Mark Teixeira is more reasonable than you might think, but Fielder still looking an awful lot like he did in this picture is why many people have a hard time buying it.

• Poker player Ted Forrest was already in good shape at 188 pounds. Then someone bet him $2 million that he couldn't lose 50 pounds in two months. Now he weighs 138 pounds and has $2 million. The morale of the story is that all my repeatedly unsuccessful weight-loss attempts have lacked is someone willing to bet me a whole bunch of money. Well, that and willpower.

• Naming the five center fielders with 400 or more homers is a pretty good trivia question even if you get Willie Mays, Ken Griffey Jr., Mickey Mantle, and Duke Snider as "hints."

Joe Rogan talks mixed martial arts backstage at one of his comedy shows. Good stuff.

• Clearly my problem is that I don't tell enough lies. Or leave the house.

• Just in case you thought the people involved in the actual process put any kind of thought into anything All-Star related, they don't.

• I'm intrigued by this, mostly because Sports Illustrated and Turner Sports already produce so much quality content on their own, but "challenge ESPN.com" is often planned for and, aside from perhaps Yahoo! Sports, never accomplished.

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

- Justin Morneau likely bound for disabled list with concussion
- He's alive! Carlos Beltran finally returns from knee surgery
- Yunel Escobar may have "attitude problems" but he also has a good track record
- Angels stick with Scott Kazmir despite MLB-worst 6.92 ERA
- Edinson Volquez on the verge of return from elbow surgery
- Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce, together again at ESPYs
- Mariners promote last year's No. 2 overall pick Dustin Ackley to Triple-A
- Pedro Martinez won't be re-signing with the Phillies and may not pitch at all
- Royals promote 21-year-old stud prospect Mike Moustakas to Triple-A

• Finally, in honor of the Twins' current state this week's AG.com-approved music video is a live version of "Looking For Answers" by Susan Tedeschi: