August 17, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• I mentioned this briefly last week, but now that there's an actual page devoted to it on KFAN's website it's officially too late to back out:

I'm not sure why they used a picture of me from 100 pounds ago, but maybe that's just KFAN's way of keeping expectations incredibly low and/or bringing in the chubby chaser demographic. Whatever the case, Thursday at the Minnesota State Fair there will be a dating game-style show on KFAN featuring me as the bachelor and Paul Allen as the host. I'm expecting to either find a wife or die of embarrassment on air, with nothing in between. Good radio either way.

If you're single woman between the ages of, say, 20 and 40, go to the "Girls Gone Gleeman" page on KFAN's website for details and fill out an application.

• Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce meets The Bluth Company for an all-time great worlds colliding.

• While at the fair I'll probably not be eating any of this stuff unless I decide to start looking like that old picture again.

Tom Barnard is doing what's commonly known as "a reverse Gleeman and The Geek."

• 1500-ESPN is no longer the radio home of the Twins, who announced their move from AM to FM and the Pohlad family-owned KTWN-96.3. David Brauer of MinnPost analyzed what the move means for 1500-ESPN and looked at how the Twins fit on a music-only station.

• Happy birthday to Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis, who turned 29 this week. To celebrate, I watched this GIF and applied to have that silly restraining order dropped.

• "Mila, what's your reaction to that weird baseball blogger always talking about you?"

• I'm hoping everyone checked out the AG.com sponsor of the week, Emily Meier, a fiction author with a very compelling story. Here's part of a Minneapolis Star Tribune profile of her:

For years, there had been nibbles from publishers in New York, but no bites. Now, with breast cancer metastasizing through her bones, she decided she didn't have time to wait; she would publish them herself. But because she was Emily Meier--driven, focused, hardworking--she didn't do this halfway. Instead, she started her own publishing company.

Sky Spinner Press of St. Paul, incorporated as a for-profit business and co-owned by Meier's son and daughter, has published all six of her books in record time. ... The books are done, but Meier continues to write daily---her website (www.emilymeier.com) is an orderly maze of drop-down menus and essays and suggestions for book clubs and links to reviews and interviews. There's even a page of quotes from rejection letters she received over the years.

As someone whose entire writing career has been shaped and fueled by rejection I view Meier as a kindred spirit and it would make me incredibly happy if everyone who visited AG.com this week would take some time to visit her website as well. Poke around Meier's site, look at the rejection letters, get familiar with her collection of writing, and help fulfill someone's dream.

• If you won't listen to me about the stupidity of thinking no-hitters can be "jinxed" then at least listen to the greatest baseball announcer of all time.

• MLB.com has a video showing all 27 of Felix Hernandez's perfect game outs in six minutes:

And there are some impressive perks for making baseball history.

• Why did the Twins send Brian Dozier to Triple-A? I'm glad you asked.

• And when will the Twins recall Chris Parmelee from Triple-A? I'm glad you asked that too.

Johan Santana is making me sad.

I've never understood why Ashley Greene isn't way more famous than Kristen Stewart.

• Well, there goes my plan to take over the Minnesota Daily someday.

• Pretty good, especially Jerry Hairston: MLB players audition for The Expendables 3.

• I spent all week pouring over Rotoworld's online fantasy football draft guide to prepare for my keeper league draft and can't recommend it enough. Great content, constantly updated.

• Speaking of which, the Orioles had a unique idea to determine their league's draft order.

• Let's all pool our money together and buy this.

• I can't even imagine how long this masterpiece took to piece together, but "Baby Got Back" sung entirely from movie clips is definitely worth it:

Sir Mix-A-Lot would be proud.

• I'm thrilled to see Pulitzer winner, journalism professor, and all-around great guy Chris Ison looking good three months after a life-threatening propane accident.

Nick Nelson and his famous "mustard face" made an appearance on FSN.

• For anyone into documentaries, find out where Queen of Versailles is playing near you and go see it. Equal parts interesting, sad, funny, and infuriating, and showing at the Landmark Edina theater in Minnesota.

• Podcast recommendation: I've been going through the archives of Stop Podcasting Yourself with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka all week, listening to multiple episodes per day.

• In retrospect, I guess "warlock" would have been the proper choice.

• My beloved Hardball Dynasty league on WhatIfSports.com starts a new season next week. If you're interested in joining, click here for more details.

• I wrote an article for the Society for American Baseball Research convention program that was a condensed version of my still-unfinished-on-the-blog "Top 40 Minnesota Twins" series. My article, along with articles from familiar names like John Bonnes, is now available online.

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

- "Tsuyoshi Nishioka smoking"
- "Turkey hen weight after one year"
- "James Deen Hebrew school"
- "Michael Beasley publicist"
- "Dick Bremer salary"
- "Nick Blackburn awful"
- "Troy Aikman running"
- "Dana Wessel Chaska Redhawks"
- "Moira Kelly weight loss"
- "Delbert Young"
- "Will fried rice make you lose weight?"
- " Hawk Harrelson mental illness"

• Finally, in honor of "Girls Gone Gleeman" this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys' cover version of "Have Love, Will Travel":

This week's blog content is sponsored by Sky Spinner Press and EmilyMeier.com. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

October 28, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Don't worry: I'll continue working from bed.

Nick Punto got robbed of a hit and tried to break his bat, Bo Jackson-style. It didn't go well.

• After reading this story it's hard to believe I was the one expelled from Hebrew school.

• The kid from Jerry Maguire turned 21 years old and his name was spelled wrong on the cake.

Josh Hartnett is stealing my look again.

• Behold: Easily the worst column you'll read this week.

• MLB Network is launching a new sabermetrics show and I'm actually sort of optimistic about it because host Brian Kenny is always great.

Zooey Deschanel might be the only person I'll forgive for leaving a World Series game early.

• I'll be wearing this costume for Halloween. For the past 10 years I've gone as a fat blogger.

• Google's new television commercial features the story of a music teacher from Louisiana who won $1 million by tossing a perfect game with Roy Halladay on "MLB 2K11." My favorite part? Brian Kingrey knew little about baseball before buying the video game, so he studied stats on Baseball-Reference.com and got scouting reports on Rotoworld:

Presumably our check is in the mail.

• I was all set to star in this before the weight loss.

• My favorite couple is having another kid.

Johnny Depp seems weird, but at least he has a pretty good sense of humor about himself.

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook, looking all classy and everything.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" podcast went so long we broke it into two episodes. Part 1 has talk of Joe Nathan's future, Jim Thome's choices, the Twins' medical staff, and blog comments. Part 2 has talk of John Bonnes' offseason blueprint, Ron Gardenhire's stance on platooning hitters, and my "sexiness levels." Oh, and they closed down the bar around us.

• Her new show is kind of unwatchable, but thankfully Mrs. Coach is still very adorable.

• I'd love to see a similar picture of the Twins' general manager.

• Hopefully the upcoming Playboy issue featuring Lindsay Lohan will come with a time machine.

• I'm no longer involved with The Hardball Times after co-creating the site back in 2004, but their annual book is always a must-read and looks better than ever this year.

• If even a fraction of the allegations are true Chris Cook is an awful human being.

• Game 6 of the World Series was crazy and the Win Probability graph is hilarious.

• This commercial is almost as good as the NBA lockout is bad:

I liked it so much that I bought this shirt. And this kid is my new favorite person ever.

Michael Beasley's publicist annoyingly sent 20 e-mails promoting his charity game, but oddly enough there were no follow-ups after the event. And coincidentally nothing about this either.

• I'm apparently one of the few people who still loves Netflix.

• As someone who hates to talk to anyone on the phone I sympathize with Tony La Russa.

Albert Pujols prepared for Game 6 of the World Series by putting on a sleeveless shirt and hanging out at Best Buy.

Jerry Kill finally signed his seven-year contract and it has a $50,000 bonus for the Gophers winning a national championship, which will come in handy in the post-apocalyptic world.

• Next time you feel embarrassed about something, remember this: Thousands of people own a Donovan McNabb Vikings jersey.

• Hopefully comedian Patrice O'Neal recovers from his stroke as well as my mom did in 2002.

• My condolences to Roy Smalley, whose father passed away this week. Roy Smalley II was also a longtime shortstop in the majors and it's one helluva baseball family.

• I'll be tweeting lots of commentary, analysis, and snark during Game 7 tonight, so follow me.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys' new song "Lonely Boy":

April 22, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Every cop's fantasy, starring Sofia Vergara.

• Humble bragging is sweeping the nation and the Wall Street Journal talked to the man behind the phenomenon, Harris Wittels, who once upon a time left a comment here. #humblebrag

• I'm not sure what took them so damn long, but better late than never: NFL Network will be replacing Matt Millen and Joe Theisman with Mike Mayock for their Thursday night games.

• Quote of the week: Royals manager Ned Yost on Billy Butler wanting to play first base: "I'd like to be an astronaut."

• This was the same excuse I used for skipping class in college, with the only difference being that no one on the entire campus knew who I was.

Elisha Cuthbert is back on television. I'm unlikely to watch the former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com's new show, but I am fully committed to looking at any screen caps posted online.

• Friend of AG.com Phil Mackey has been named "best sports talk radio host" in Minnesota by City Pages, which is remarkable considering he didn't have a full-time on-air spot until leaving 1130-KFAN for 1500-ESPN about 18 months ago and might be even better covering the Twins as a beat reporter than he is as the co-host of an afternoon show. Not bad for a stat-head.

• Stat-head setup man? Red Sox reliever Daniel Bard reads Fan Graphs.

• As a white, point guard-playing kid I owned his Sacramento Kings jersey and proudly wore it while attempting ill-advised but fancy passes, so this news makes me feel both sad and old.

David Carr of the New York Times wrote an interesting profile of Michael Klingensmith, who has helped turn the Minneapolis Star Tribune around since taking over as publisher in mid-2008. He's a native Minnesotan and "a serious Twins fan" who utilizes "statistical data to help guide product improvements." And under his watch the newspaper is one of the few in the country on an upswing. Meanwhile, the St. Paul Pioneer Press' website sadly remains nearly unusable.

• As someone who greatly prefers using Tweetdeck to the actual Twitter interface I'm worried about what may happen now that Twitter is in talks to buy Tweetdeck for "around $50 million."

• Marlins left fielder Logan Morrison has become one of my favorite players thanks to his great tweeting.

• Not that you can tell a ton from a 92-second clip, but HBO's upcoming new series Lucky looks pretty good and it's definitely star-studded.

Bonus points for using the World Series of Poker intro jingle.

• Thanks to a government crackdown the online poker world has basically been ruined, leaving tons of people out of work, taking away recreational enjoyment from part-timers like me, and even impacting television programming on numerous channels.

• Now that online poker is banned I feel the same about playing poker as I do about hosting a podcast. I'd really like to do both, but ultimately it takes a backseat to my even stronger desire not to leave the house or invite relative strangers over to my house. Helluva catch-22.

Buster Posey's sister can out-hit your sister.

• My mom's all-time favorite athlete is much better at pistol-whipping than he was at dieting.

• After six weeks of dieting I'm down 40 pounds, which sounds misleadingly great because of how much weight fatsos like me have to shed in the first place. I'm still fat enough that telling someone how much weight I've lost only leads to them thinking: "And you still look this bad?!" I've been counting every calorie and working out an elliptical machine every day, but once my calorie intake loosens up a bit this alcohol-to-calorie chart will be very helpful.

• Up until six weeks ago I was one of the leading donut consumers in the country, yet I had no idea that many (and perhaps even most) people spell it "doughnut." I also had no idea that a "free year's supply of donuts" could cost you $237.

Bill Simmons continues to build an excellent writing staff for his upcoming ESPN-funded site, hiring Bill Barnwell away from Football Outsiders.

Evangeline Lilly is either pregnant or there will soon be a disheveled yet still incredibly great looking blond woman with an Australian accent looking for her son again. Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that the kid's name should be Aaron.

• Following the latest veteran media member to write a really dumb thing about sports, David Matthews of The Good Men Project wonders how long before more of the higher-quality online writers land full-time gigs and how many of them will be forced to quit in search of non-writing jobs that actually pay the bills. I've been fortunate in that respect, but many good writers are not as lucky and having to live on income from AG.com would have forced me to quit long ago.

• After reading this news I'm thinking about suing myself for being paid almost no money from 10 years of blogging here. We'd probably settle out of court.

• Speaking of real life getting in the way of good blogging, Stick and Ball Guy has hung up the keyboard. I enjoyed SBG's community of bloggers and readers so much that it remains the only other blog on which I've ever regularly posted comments and I also enjoyed attending several in-person get-togethers with SBG and friends. He'll be missed, but the community has decided to go on without SBG by starting up a spinoff site that is definitely worth checking out.

• I was surprised to learn that an average of just 22,000 television sets were tuned into each Timberwolves game this season and even more shocked to find out that didn't even rank them among the NBA's least-watched teams.

• I'm not sure $105 million in added risk makes much sense for the Brewers, but Ryan Braun is now signed through 2020.

• I'm excited that Friday Night Lights is back for a final season, although the scene in the first episode where the new guy dribbles and shoots free throws like he's never played the sport before despite supposedly being a basketball star has me re-thinking my love for the first four seasons. It might even keep me from bidding on more than a dozen items in this auction.

Vanessa Hudgens either needs to get much fatter or hire a new public relations person.

• Reds pitcher Mike Leake was arrested for allegedly stealing $60 in shirts from Macy's.

• When the Timberwolves fired Dwane Casey they were 20-20. They are 90-280 since then.

• I saw these guys do a presentation at last year's SABR convention. Very interesting stuff.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys doing "Heavy Soul" live:

December 23, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• In honor of Festivus, this week's Link-O-Rama is a day early and super-sized ...

And here's a little more about my favorite holiday:

On a related note: The Economics of Seinfeld.

• Be honest, you'd walk around all day with your hand there too if you could.

• I picked the right profession, apparently.

• On the other hand, suddenly "thief" is looking like a pretty easy gig for me.

• In fairness to Natalie Portman, it's tough to look that good next to the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com.

• And as the Notorious B.I.G. once said: If you don't know, now you know.

• On a related note I almost don't want to see Black Swan because it can't possibly be as good as it is in my mind.

• One-liner of the week, from SI.com media writer Richard Dietsch about NFL pregame shows: "Outside of Michael Irvin, most NFL pregame analysts will eventually provide some interesting insight and analysis."

• Hopefully his new career will provide a better platform for showing people how we do it.

• How to go from being a Baseball Think Factory and The Hardball Times writer to international scouting director for an MLB team.

• I sometimes can't help but wonder if there's a marketing department somewhere inventing food specifically for me to buy.

• Sure, it seems like a lot of money, but $12,000 is really only $3,000 per inch.

• Here are highlights from Kevin Love's recent 43-point, 17-rebound game versus the Nuggets set to "God is Love" by Marvin Gaye:

If you didn't like that, we probably can't be friends.

Jose Canseco wants to show you his bat speed.

David Simon, the Washington Post, and how one little word can change everything.

• Next time someone makes that old joke about the book of famous Jewish athletes being just a pamphlet, I'll send them here. And then wait patiently for them to make a different joke.

• My latest podcast discovery: "Comedy and Everything Else" with Jimmy Dore and Stefane Zamorano (and for the first 60 episodes Todd Glass). They mix silly and serious as well as any podcast I've heard (albeit with a bit more politics and a bit less comedy than I'd prefer), and often have on great guests too.

• Speaking of good podcasts, here's a worlds colliding moment: One of my favorite podcasters, Jesse Thorn, talked baseball with Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs. Not only is he a big baseball (and specifically Giants) fan, Thorn was nice enough to comment here after I wrote about liking his podcasts in a previous Link-O-Rama.

• And speaking of Fan Graphs interviews, Eno Sarris chatted with my main co-worker.

• IFC has rapidly become one of my favorite channels by resurrecting several of the best and most underrated shows of the 1990s and 2000s.

• I really, really wanted to like The Walking Dead on AMC, but throughout the first season I was bothered by the cheesy dialogue, over-acting, paper-thin characters, and silly decision-making needed to push certain plot lines along. Suffice it to say I wasn't surprised to read this.

Karl Pilkington is coming to the Science Channel, so hopefully they'll now study why he has "a head like a f***ing orange."

Miley Cyrus seems like fun.

• French bulldog puppy versus doorstop, who ya got?

Winner of that matchup takes on the winner of shadow versus light from flashlight in Round 2.

• They may not be quite as amazing as expected yet, but this photo is pretty badass. And the story behind it is interesting too.

• Speaking of LeBron James, this article about his longtime relationship with former Cavs and current Heat reporter Brian Windhorst is very interesting.

• I like to think of myself as the white, talentless version of Cee-Lo Green. Or in other words, just fat and weird.

• Hall of Fame or not, Ron Santo ranks among the all-time great third basemen.

• I'm probably a 5.5 on a 1-10 scale of Bruce Springsteen fandom, but I absolutely loved the recent HBO documentary on the making of his 1978 album "Darkness on the Edge of Town." If you like Springsteen even a little bit, try to catch a replay or rent it. Incredibly compelling.

• Speaking of documentaries, ESPN's film about Marcus Dupree was incredible. It was so good that I randomly spent 10 minutes recapping the whole story for my mom despite her having no interest. In fact, after I was finished her only response was to ask, "Is he married now?"

Joe Posnanski's latest bit of awesomeness was about Zack Greinke.

• The most underrated performer in radio history talks to my second-favorite radio personality of all time, largely about my favorite radio personality of all time. I liked it, shockingly.

According to the Pew Research Center eight percent of "online Americans" use Twitter, which makes me think I should have way more followers.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Tighten Up" by The Black Keys:

June 17, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• I defy anyone to find a better lead paragraph for a news story: "A German student created a major traffic jam in Bavaria when he mooned a group of Hell's Angels, hurled a puppy at them, and then escaped on a bulldozer."

• In one of the greatest "worlds colliding" moments in comedy history, Ricky Gervais will play himself in the upcoming season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. He once interviewed Larry David for a show on the BBC and the result was predictably fantastic.

• Speaking of David, his ex-wife has what I'd call diverse taste.

• You know you've fallen off the dieting and exercise wagon again when a list like this starts to sound appealing. No. 9 is obviously right up my alley.

• I'd follow the Jason Phillips approach to dating, but I'm not sure I can afford to give out that many baseballs.

• This baby from Brazil is by far the best dancer I've seen since Elaine Benes:

I fully expect table-top diaper dancing to really take off now.

• Sometimes you must turn to Adam Carolla for helping analyzing bad relief pitching.

• I'm not a Celtics fan, but these pictures alone could be enough to make Maria Menounos an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate. This picture doesn't hurt her cause either.

• During my appearance on 1500-ESPN radio earlier this week Tom Pelissero and Phil Mackey hinted at the Twins being legitimately interested in Cliff Lee, and Pelissero put his inside info in writing yesterday. I'm still very skeptical about the Twins' actual chances of landing Lee, but that they're even kicking the tires on him is plenty interesting.

• Believe it or not, this man dated Alyssa Milano.

• I'm addicted to WhatIfSports.com's Hardball Dynasty game and my league has one franchise open with a new season set to begin next week. Hardball Dynasty is not fantasy baseball, but rather an incredibly detailed simulation of running a fictional MLB organization from rookie-ball to the majors, so due to the steep learning curve and time commitment required we're looking for an owner with previous Hardball Dynasty experience. If you're interested, let me know.

Bert Blyleven would probably say that Kenshin Kawakami just doesn't know how to win.

Tom Powers' column about the Ubaldo Jimenez-Francisco Liriano matchup would've been a lot shorter if he'd just said, "Get off my lawn!" Gotta sell those newspapers, I suppose.

Pedro Cerrano thinks this minor leaguer went a little over the top with his home run trot:

My favorite part of the whole thing is the shoulder shrug at the end.

• One day Lou Piniella went crazy on Steve Stone for having the gall to criticize him and the next day the Cubs' manager followed Stone's advice.

• Two years after his initial arrest for drug possession, former KFAN radio host Jeff Dubay has violated his probation for a second time by using cocaine. Don't do (hard) drugs, kids.

• From the people who brought you Twinkie Town comes SB Nation Minnesota, about which my MinnPost colleague David Brauer wrote an interesting article earlier this week.

• Have love, Cameron Diaz will travel.

• I'm hoping that most of the people who read this blog also read my work on NBCSports.com, but for those of you who don't Hardball Talk underwent an extensive re-design this week. As with any kind of big change the re-design is getting mixed reviews, but if you like my writing or Craig Calcaterra's writing you should check out Hardball Talk because we essentially tag-team blog throughout the day, every day, pumping out dozens of entries.

• Speaking of which, here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- Alex Gordon is apparently too good for the Royals
- Before the injuries hit, Mark Mulder was having a great career
- Dustin Pedroia puts on a knee brace and his hitting shoes
- Diamondbacks trade Conor Jackson to A's
- Darin Erstad says "I'm done" after 14 seasons
- Ubaldo Jimenez beats Twins, improves to 13-1 with 1.15 ERA
- Dustin McGowan lasts just eight pitches before another setback

• Finally, in honor of the aforementioned Ms. Diaz, this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Black Keys doing a live cover version of "Have Love, Will Travel" by Richard Berry: