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 5, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• News story lead sentence of the week: "A bizarre incident at a McDonald's drive-thru involving a bare-breasted woman and caramel led to the woman being arraigned."

Baseball America is publishing Byron Buxton porn now.

• In response to my post about the Twins signing 16-year-old Lewin Diaz for $1.4 million, swing mechanics expert Bobby Tewksbary broke down the video and compared him to David Ortiz.

Gilbert Gottfried as Walter White is just dumb enough to be funny.

• As a longtime Google Reader power user who relies on constantly updated RSS feeds to do his job I was crushed when it went away this week, but I'm slowly rebounding with Feedly.

• Not mentioned on this "Most Popular Date Ideas By City" list is Minnetonka: Chinese takeout and "Blue Valentine" on Netflix.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we unfortunately predicted exactly how the Josh Willingham injury situation would play out and examined the Kyle Gibson hype meter.

• I generally think Conan O'Brien on television is hit or miss, but his internet videos are more often than not really funny:

And my favorite O'Brien thing is the "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" documentary, which is on Netflix.

Joe Mauer, on moving to a new house with his pregnant wife: "I've been told I'm a hoarder."

Glen Perkins thinks the Twins should be using him more often in non-save situations, which is exactly what I wrote here not so long ago. He probably has a better chance of convincing them.

• Here's an example of the type of e-mails that get sent to the HardballTalk contact address. We write about baseball, by the way.

Jim Thome was unable to land another major-league job at age 42, so he joined the White Sox front office as a special assistant to the general manager.

• There's something funny about the Twins' television announcer implying that people who watch games on television don't know as much as people who watch games at Target Field.

• On a related note, I've gone to a bunch of Twins games recently and luckily spotted this.

• Holding up signs at baseball games always seems silly to me, but I'm making an exception.

• I really liked Britt Robson's lengthy, reasoned analysis of the Timberwolves beefing up their offense and ignoring their defense.

• My weekly half-hour appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen was pushed back to Friday because of the holiday and we were joined by Paul Charchian. I explained Mase to them.

• I'm almost finished re-watching all six seasons and 86 episodes of "The Sopranos" and this is by far the saddest moment.

• One of the best "The Sopranos" moments that I'd forgotten about was Christopher Moltisanti quoting "Born To Run" in a scene with Bruce Springsteen's bandmate Steven Van Zandt:

With all that New Jersey and all that Van Zandt, how did Springsteen avoid making a cameo?

• So you wanna work in baseball, huh?

• On a recent "Gleeman and The Geek" episode I talked about being nostalgic for typewriters and according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel "typewriters are surprisingly hip again."

• Just a super chill Twitter bro offering up his thoughts about baseball and life to me.

• Two-and-a-half years after leaving the Twins for the Dodgers and a three-year, $12 million deal Matt Guerrier was traded for Carlos Marmol in a swap of unwanted contracts.

Tami Taylor was amazing, but it turns out that Connie Britton is pretty great in real life too.

• One of the better Twitter conversations of all time. Just happy to be a small part of it.

• Never forget that Karl Pilkington is the best.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" is my favorite podcast and it's especially good when hosts Graham Clark and Dave Shumka are joined by a guest with as much silliness as Caitlin Howden.

Jon Dore was a fun guest on "Who Charted?" with Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack.

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

- "Darin Mastroianni girlfriend"
- "Ways to approach a 39-year-old daughter to lose weight"
- "Bret Saberhagen net worth"
- "Are Aaron Gleeman and Dana Wessel the same person?"
- "Fox Sports North Girls last name"
- "Drinking alcohol while on the elliptical"
- "Is Kyle Gibson right-handed or left-handed?"
- "Ron Coomer strip club"
- "Jim Thome shirtless"
- "Sid Hartman still alive"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Leaving California" by Shawn Smith:


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June 21, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Three weeks ago I started re-watching "The Sopranos" and became obsessed with the show all over again a decade later, posting screen shots and comments on Twitter. It's amazing how well the show holds up and in particular James Gandolfini's performance is even more powerful and captivating now, which is why his death at age 51 seems so damn unfair. Rarely has there been such a perfect marriage between a great part and a great actor.

• As a struggling 26-year-old actor Gandolfini was featured in a New York Times story from May 20, 1988 about "the apartment gypsies of Manhattan."

• I'd probably be just as guilty of this as everyone else if not for the fact that I have a Blackberry instead of an iPhone, but "Pictures Of Hipsters Taking Pictures Of Food" is great.

Gillian Jacobs from "Community" is a big NBCSports.com fan, obviously.

• Tuesday the bus carrying the Twins' rookie-ball Elizabethton team was involved in a fatal crash when it was struck by a car going the wrong way at 4:25 in the morning.

• Where does Oswaldo Arcia rank among the best young hitters in Twins history?

Jay-Z would be so proud.

• For any Minnesotans who use the Amazon Associates program, this really sucks.

Justin Morneau finally snapped his career-long homerless streak Wednesday night and then high-fived some invisible teammates:

Good quote, too: "You can stand there and look like an idiot or high-five the air like an idiot. I chose to high-five the air like an idiot."

• Sure it's a long commute, but my new office is really nice.

• Speaking of my office, you can go behind the scenes of Hardball Talk.

• I almost want to go back to high school just to steal this yearbook quote.

Manny Ramirez hit .352/.422/.555 in 49 games in Taiwan and increased his team's attendance by 412 percent.

• I've never really been into superhero movies, but I'm in favor of the new Superman reboot if Henry Cavill can get chest hair to make a comeback.

Jon Rauch might be 6-foot-10 with neck tattoos, but Matt Harvey is Matt Harvey.

LeBron James was great and all, but Mike Miller made a three-pointer with one shoe on.

Joe Torre's daughter caught a falling baby.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode includes a weird story about me being followed by the cops, plus lots on Samuel Deduno, Byron Buxton, Anthony Slama, and Arcia.

• Oh, and John Bonnes was a guest on "The Sportive" podcast. He even said naughty words.

• Fans of "The Shining" will really enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at life on the set with Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, and Stanley Kubrick in 1980:

Vivian Kubrick shot the footage.

• It's not so much that Mase is able to speak to god as it is god is able to speak to Mase.

• Here's an example of the type of newspaper sports column that makes people read bloggers.

Kiernan Shipka on playing Sally Draper: "My eyes, by the end of this season, were so rolled out. I couldn't move them!"

• My favorite GIF from this week's "Mad Men" was a no-brainer.

Jon Hamm and Cardinals third baseman David Freese are "text pals."

• You can have Kanye West and Kim Kardashian. I'll take this couple.

City Pages is looking for a full-time staff writer, which sounds like a pretty good opportunity.

• Last month I accidentally left "The American" off my top 10 movies of all-time list, but watched it again this week for probably the 20th time and have yet to stop loving the slow burn.

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

- "Aaron Glee"
- "Aaron Gleem"
- "Aaron Gleemna"
- "Arron Gleeman"
- "Aaron Glemman"
- "Sid Hartman ridiculous"
- "Pizza Luce security guards"
- "Trevor Plouffe shirtless"
- "Carlos Gomez shirtless"
- "John Bonus Twins"
- "Where is Shane Mack?"
- "Greg Gagne net worth"
- "Who pays Dick Bremer's salary?"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Woke Up This Morning" by Alabama 3, which is better known as "The Sopranos" opening theme:


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June 14, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• My favorite The Onion headline in a while: "250 Million Americans Still Need Guests On Their Podcasts This Week."

• "Minnetonka Man" is back in the news!

• Last weekend's party bus outing to St. Cloud for a Northwoods League game was a big success. Platinum Transportation Services provided 20 adults with the perfect venue to act like idiots, the St. Cloud Rox welcomed us in style, and the only major incident was John Bonnes dancing.

Parker Hageman recapped the #StearnsCountyPartyBus on "The Sportive" podcast, offering up an extremely flattering portrayal of my role.

• It's tough to blame Glen Perkins for being upset that he couldn't go on the party bus.

• Indians closer Chris Perez and his wife got arrested for having marijuana delivered to their house in their dog's name.

• Anyone interested in regional linguistic differences like "pop" versus "soda" will love these heat maps representing the entire country.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode featured lots of talk about Miguel Sano's move up to Double-A, the Twins' draft picks, and the debauchery in St. Cloud.

• In addition to being one half of my favorite podcast Dave Shumka also makes amusing video compilations of David Letterman's running inside joke with drummers:

Seriously though, "Stop Podcasting Yourself" is something you should be listening to.

• I think we should all go to the Twins' open tryout at the Metrodome next week.

Eddie Guardado, whom the Twins are inducting into their Hall of Fame this weekend, ranked 26th on my countdown of the best Twins of all time.

• I wore JNCO jeans throughout junior high school despite having zero skateboarding ability, so this BuzzFeed list was a painful way to relive being a poser with terrible fashion sense.

Jerry Seinfeld's web series "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" is back for a second season and the first episode provides the latest evidence that Sarah Silverman is the best.

• "Man shot inside Pizza Luce in downtown Minneapolis" isn't a surprising headline if you read my recap of last year's SABR convention and remember my late-night adventures there.

• This is probably the most important news story in the history of the internet.

• There's never been a better advertisement for Checkerboard Pizza's chicken wings, but even washing your hands afterward is pretty amazing.

Three of the greats: Norm MacDonald, Gilbert Gottfried, and Gilbert Gottfried's laugh.

• Stuff learned re-watching "The Sopranos" a decade later: Buster Bluth was Junior Soprano's chemotherapy nurse, Meadow Soprano was a big Jonny Lang fan, and Omar Little may not have been the best host.

• "Mr. Show" and "Breaking Bad" fans will enjoy Bob Odenkirk's chat with Paul F. Tompkins:

"Let's start the horseshit!"

• After experiencing his first draft as the Astros' pro scouting director former Baseball Prospectus writer Kevin Goldstein talked to Ben Lindbergh and Sam Miller about life behind the scenes.

Jon Hamm's second cousin was drafted by the Nationals in the 14th round.

• My favorite part of Esquire's interview with Christina Hendricks: "They asked me what a man should drink and I said Scotch."

• As a Hebrew school expellee I loved hearing Seth Rogan and Marc Maron commiserate about how they both made Hebrew school teachers cry as kids.

• On a related note, Maron was a guest on Joan Rivers' in-bed talk show and her first words to him were: "All right, you're Jewish."

• Dodgers fans are buying a whole bunch of Yasiel Puig stuff.

• Twitter has a great sense of humor.

• New podcast discovery: "Lady To Lady" with Tess Barker, Barbara Gray, and Brandie Posey, which I discovered via the Alison Agosti episode because she's always a great guest.

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

- "Miguel Sano huge"
- "Roy Smalley plastic surgery"
- "How long before cake turns to pounds?"
- "Carson Cistulli's wife"
- "Where is Bill Smith now?"
- "Is Ryan Braun a jerk?"
- "Larry David with beard"
- "Is Drew Butera still playing?"
- "Twins in House of Cards"
- "Joe Mauer pulled balls"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Downtown Train" by Tom Waits:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.