December 27, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I spent way too much time and energy putting together a list of my favorite songs of 2013.

Kanye West is totally wrong about Jews. We actually have both.

• Slow-motion video of NaVorro Bowman's game-clinching interception Monday night is great for countless reasons, but my favorite part is the sideline reactions as he passes each person.

• During the offseason Twins stud pitching prospect Alex Meyer makes $63 dollars per day as a substitute teacher in Indiana.

• My beloved Mase put out his first new song in a decade and I'm sad to say it's sort of terrible.

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus re-wrote "Forgot About Dre" with baseball player names.

• Facebook is just being a dick now.

• The Onion on the Vikings' quarterback situation.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded at Summit Brewing Company in St. Paul and we broke down the Mike Pelfrey, Ryan Doumit, and Kurt Suzuki moves in a lot of detail before talking about taking Danny Valencia on a first date.

• Speaking of which, podcast groupies are the worst.

Lizzy Caplan was as delightful as you'd expect chatting with Paul F. Tompkins:

What a woman.

• My favorite e-mail ever.

• I bought myself this shirt as a Christmas present and am honestly worried it might be too sexy.

• Why did the Twins get rid of Doumit and replace him with Suzuki? I'm glad you asked.

• Congrats to friend of AG.com Lindsay Guentzel for landing her own show on K-TWIN 96.3 and for joining me in the insomnia zone. The only downside is that Stella's may go out of business.

• I'm on Twitter mostly for conversations like this one.

• There's still some time to think of more, but for now my New Year's resolutions are a) move out of the suburbs and into the city, and b) ditch my BlackBerry for something that doesn't "indicate a gravitas and devotion to work."

• There's an app that turns a phone into a breathalyzer, but sadly it's not available on BlackBerry.

Ann Friedman is such a f***ing killer: "Douthat, despite having the morals and the facial hair of a much older man, is only 34."

• As part of this multi-year, multi-platform agreement my Honda Fit will be featured.

• How did I not think of this first?

• Congrats to Neil Paine for his new gig with Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. Not only is Paine one of the smartest basketball minds around, he was the only person in the car to recognize my John Mayer reference when we drove past Peachtree Street in Atlanta a few years ago.

• Old friend Denny Hocking was hired by the Dodgers as their new Single-A manager.

• For her latest video my future wife, Possum Plows, covered one of my favorite songs of 2013:

I ranked the original 11th on my list, but the blue hair alone moves this version into the top 10.

• My hero Tom Scharpling ended his 13-year run steamrolling chumps on "The Best Show on WFMU." Luckily there's always his billion-show archive to remember the comedic genius.

Randball's Stu's latest for Twinkie Town is particularly brilliant if you're a "Best Show" fan.

• Oh how I've missed you, Zoe Barnes.

• For anyone who listened to last week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode from HammerHeart Brewing in Lino Lakes, here's what I looked like after drinking all 12 of their beer varieties.

• One of the restaurants I ate (and drank) at in Philadelphia this summer, Farmers' Cabinet, was raided by police for serving booze without a liquor license.

• Friends of AG.com Michael Rand and Jon Marthaler made a Mike Pelfrey-related wager and naturally I officiated.

• This is just a good picture of Snoop Dogg drinking a mimosa with his pinkie finger out and a shower cap on his head. Nothing more, nothing less.

• I really enjoyed Todd Glass' appearance on "Crab Feast" with Jay Larson and Ryan Sickler.

• If you don't mind getting depressed, the documentary "Burn" about the Detroit fire department is one of the best movies I've seen on Netflix in a while.

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

- "Aaron Gleeman divorced"
- "How do you make money from a blog?"
- "Who is Connie Britton's porn star lookalike?"
- "The Human Fund"
- "I'm taking the day off"
- "Tom Brunanski batting stance"
- "Driving in winter in Minnesota"
- "Ron Coomer net worth"
- "Who is John Sharkman?"
- "John Bonnes arrest"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Can't Get Enough" by J. Cole:

November 1, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Christian Ponder sure seems miserable, reenacting great movie scenes with his great-looking wife for Halloween. Poor guy.

• Here's my follow-up question: What kind of maniac carpets over a giant, hand-painted Monopoly board in the first place?

Maggie LaMaack of L'étoile Magazine interviewed me about Twitter addiction, over-sharing on the internet, my favorite people to follow, and my idea for a new kind of online dating. I'm always looking for any opportunity to talk about something other than baseball, so it was a fun chat. Also, you should follow LaMaack on Twitter because she's great even though we're currently feuding.

• As a wise man once said: "Double-check the quotes you get off the internet."

• I'm officially part of The One Percent.

• I went to a Jason Isbell concert at the Varsity Theater last Friday night and it was amazing. Best show I've ever seen and I can't imagine someone being better. So much talent and energy and passion (plus his wife, Amanda Shires, is an awesome, spectacular-looking fiddle player). I'm already looking forward to Isbell's return to Minnesota at First Avenue in February.

UPDATE: Success!

• I'm crushed by news that Tom Scharpling is ending "The Best Show On WFMU" after 13 years. It's been such a brilliant, unique listening experience and Scharpling is one of my heroes.

• Congrats to Colin Wyers, who's leaving Baseball Prospectus for a gig with the Houston Astros. I was sitting next to Wyers in Anaheim for Mike Trout's first career hit and I remember thinking at the time that two of the three people involved in this story will go on to big things.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed Paul Molitor joining the Twins' coaching staff and Terry Ryan's maddening quotes before welcoming special guest Randball's Stu for the final 30 minutes of pre-Isbell excitement (and confusion, for John Bonnes).

• Halloween costume baseball at San Diego State is fun:

Maybe the Twins should try wearing costumes next season. Can't be much worse.

• Like everyone else in life, Robert De Niro really just wants to be understood.

• Would it be weird if I brought this on dates? Just want to get it right, you know?

• I'm not sure that any of these "reasons you should love guys with beards" actually make much sense, but we can use all the help we can get.

• I'd laugh, but this could easily be me with the Twins some day.

• The bad news for Nate Burleson is that he crashed his car and broke his arm while trying to keep a pizza from sliding off the seat. The good news is that he's been offered a free year's supply of pizza. The worst news is that the pizza is DiGiorno.

• My mom sent me this link and said: "Your room is still available!"

• TwinsFest is switching from the Metrodome to Target Field, so the Twins are capping attendance among lots of other changes. We're still planning to host a Twins Daily/AG.com get-together.

LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune is the new Baseball Writers Association of America president.

• Video rental stores were a massive part of my childhood, but that window has closed.

• Why would a 25-year-old quit baseball after making his MLB debut?

• This is what I'll be doing everywhere I go throughout Movember.

• I'm totally useless in the kitchen, but this can't possibly be real can it? Obviously the music adds a whole new dimension.

• Probably going to ask Allison Williams to recap my podcast like this too:

Also, hopefully "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners realize that I am sparing you some details.

• What exactly do the Twins have in Brian Dozier?

Ron Swanson fans will love this.

Johnny Knoxville's chat with Marc Maron was lots of fun and led to me discovering through research (Wikipedia) that his real name is Philip Clapp.

• I retweeted this Sam Miller masterpiece during the ninth inning of every Red Sox playoff game.

• "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is my favorite podcast and this week they had on their most consistently delightful guest in Alicia Tobin.

Amber Tamblyn and Todd Glass were an amazing guest combo on "Comedy Bang Bang" with Scott Aukerman.

• I listened to this whole thing just to hear them say my name.

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

- "Head size contest"
- "Cory Cove is a punk"
- "Who is Big Papi?"
- "Brett Favre shirtless"
- "Guide to sports podcasting"
- "Best shoes for men over 400 pounds"
- "How fat is he?"
- "Tom Scharpling vs. Howard Stern"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Link-O-Rama favorite Possum Plows doing an acoustic cover version of "Don't Kill My Vibe" by Kendrick Lamar:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Twins Daily's new "2014 Offseason Handbook" featuring everything you need to prepare for the Twins' winter moves for just $6.95. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

October 11, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• This week the New York Times' "fashion and style" section featured an article by Matt Haber about Minnesotans trying to date in Uptown. It was met mostly with derision, as locals felt it was cheesy and cliche-filled. And it definitely was, as the intro makes very clear:

As night-life emissaries go, one could do worse than Robert John Wayne, a 31-year-old artist here who happily told a recent visitor about everything from an indigenous delicacy called the Juicy Lucy (a burger with cheese baked into the patty) to what women want, something Mr. Wayne should know, seeing as how he's dating four of them.

"Nobody's exclusive," he said "That's what dating is." Mr. Wayne, who described his work as "graffiti realism," was at Mortimer's, a wood-paneled bar on Lyndale Avenue in the swath of Minneapolis known as Uptown.

However, as someone who started hanging out in Uptown recently I mostly found it amusing and made a joke about what a quote of mine would've looked like in the article. And then a few days later friend of AG.com Randball's Stu wrote a brilliant parody of the Times article starring local sports bloggers for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's site. I'd suggest reading the Times version first and then reading Stu's version, because it's a masterful spoof, but here's how it begins:

As night-life emissaries go, one could do better than Aaron Gleeman, a 30-year-old Minnetonka sports blogger who wearily told a recent visitor about everything from a baseball statistic called FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) to what women want, something Mr. Gleeman shouldn't know, seeing as how he recently asked one if he could live-tweet their date.

"It's an endless series of half-starts and missed opportunities," he said. "That's what dating is." Mr. Gleeman, who described his work as "sitting at my computer and writing about baseball as I wait for death's sweet embrace," was at Stella's, a multi-level bar in the swath of Minneapolis known as Uptown.

And then it just keeps building from there. As one of the main characters I'm biased, but it's one of the funniest things I've ever read and so perfectly matches the tone and structure of the New York Times version. My sincere hope is that for the rest of my life whenever anyone Googles me that article is the first result they see. Also, you should follow Stu on Twitter for more genius.

• Here's a non-parody response to the New York Times dating-in-Minnesota article that's also interesting. I'm definitely very guilty of No. 2 on her list and thought for a second she might be talking about me with the quote: "We had a really awesome date and then he bailed on the second date citing 'baseball' as the reason."

• So the Twins are hiring a "full-time data engineer" and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE COMMENTS.

• Going back to read the stuff about Christian Ponder from right after the Vikings drafted him is quite an experience.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked a ton about Ron Gardenhire, sung the praises of 612 Brew, and unknowingly had our picture taken from across the bar.

• I'm probably Hawk Harrelson's biggest/only fan in Minnesota, but Awful Announcing's lengthy compilation of the season's best "Sad Hawk" moments is undeniably magical:

Harrelson is the Vin Scully of freaking out on the air when things go against the White Sox.

• Speaking of which, Scully will record your outgoing voicemail message for $299 and the money goes to Autism charity. "Hello, this is Vin Scully. You’ve reached Aaron, but there’s zero chance he wants to talk to you, or anyone, on the phone. Seriously, just text him. But leave a message if you want to, I guess."

• Scully's radio call of Juan Uribe's series-winning homer was predictably lovable.

• No one ever listens to me about John Mayer, but maybe you'll listen to Molly Lambert and Tess Lynch.

• Seriously, are any of you even real?

• Twins Daily's annual "Offseason Handbook" is available for presale, so order now and you can get tons of great content featuring analysis of free agent and trade targets, payroll breakdowns, and organizational depth charts for just $4.95. Not only is it a worthwhile product for a very fair price, buying the "Offseason Handbook" also supports all the free content John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs churn out at Twins Daily all season.

• Hageman's year-end collection of Twins numbers has lots of interesting tidbits.

• I'm not on Tinder, in part because I have a Blackberry and in part because it sounds awful, but if I were on it I'd follow this guy's lead and exclusively talk to women in rap lyrics.

David Ortiz celebrating with Koji Uehara is not safe for work.

• America's highest-paid sportswriter.

• It might be time to re-think America's drug laws now that they're hurting our chubby comedians.

Aubrey Plaza behaved around Chris Bosh the same way I'd behave around Aubrey Plaza.

• In addition to being one half of my favorite podcast, Dave Shumka also writes funny stuff for CBC Music, like how WebMD would diagnose Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus based on their lyrics.

• Take two minutes and see why Jen Kirkman is great:

Related: My mom really liked that video.

Michael Rand is now shooting daily videos for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website and his latest captures the pure, unadulterated Dana Wessel Experience.

Gabe Vodicka of Flagpole wrote a really good article about Jason Isbell's success as a solo artist, struggles with substance abuse, and songwriting prowess. I'm going to see Isbell at the Varsity Theater in a couple weeks and couldn't be more excited about it.

• How much payroll space do the Twins have and will they actually spend it?

This exchange made me chuckle. Funny how fast it goes from strong opinion nationally to being nice locally.

• Also: Presented without comment, other than to say those all occurred within 24 hours.

Amy Poehler wrote about working at an ice cream parlor for The New Yorker.

Marc Maron's new stand-up comedy special "Thinky Pain" is now available on Netflix and I love that the first person you see and hear is Tom Scharpling giving a pep talk.

• I enjoyed Todd Barry's chat with Natasha Leggero.

• Does anyone in or around Green Bay have any leads on lodging for Packers-Vikings weekend next month? I'm thinking about driving there with a bunch of doofuses, but hotels are all booked up and we'd rather not make a trek from somewhere like Appleton. We're willing to get creative.

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

- "Professional baseball duos"
- "Aaron Gleeman hot wife"
- "What if I eat Green Giant steamers every night?"
- "Nick Punto head-first slide"
- "Influential conservative podcasts"
- "Aaron gettin fat"
- "0.25 pounds in one day is how many pounds in one year?"
- "Lori Loughlin socks"

• Finally, because I stumbled across this video and immediately fell in love with both the singer and her acoustic rendition of the Whitney Houston song this week's AG.com-approved music video is Possum Plow's cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody":


Interested in sponsoring a week of AG.com and advertising your product, service, local business, or website directly to thousands of readers each day? Click here for details.

November 2, 2012

A podcast-obsessed podcaster’s guide to podcasts

I've always loved talk radio. As a kid I stayed up late listening to nationally syndicated sports talk and as a teenager I was so obsessed with Howard Stern that I recorded his shows on cassette while at school, later paying a New Yorker to send me tapes when he went off the air locally. As an adult I've been lucky enough to do quite a bit of radio, including co-hosting a show on KFAN, but sitting in a studio with a mic in front of me never ceases being a thrill.

Podcasts have taken that to another level, as both a listener and a talker. I do a weekly podcast of my own with co-host John Bonnes called "Gleeman and The Geek" that's been an amazing experience for 65 episodes and averages 7,500-10,000 listeners per show. Podcasts also provide the daily soundtrack to my work life, as I subscribe to more than 40 of them and listen non-stop while writing about baseball for NBCSports.com.

All of which is a long way of saying that I listen to an absurd, perhaps even unhealthy number of podcasts on a regular basis and people who read this blog or follow me on Twitter know that I also talk about podcasts constantly, recommending good episodes and pointing out new shows I've discovered. With that in mind I thought it would be worthwhile to create a guide to my favorite podcasts, so I've highlighted 15 that are absolutely worth checking out.


"WTF With Marc Maron"

I'm not sure if "WTF" is the most downloaded podcast, but it's definitely among the leaders and can probably lay claim to being the most influential podcast. Marc Maron started the show in 2009 after being fired from radio and it has turned into a 300-plus episode collection of long-form, probing, occasionally confrontational interviews with the biggest names in comedy. And in the process Maron has found the following his emotional, honest stand-up comedy deserves.

In a relatively short time Maron has become so synonymous with interesting, revealing chats that he's constantly referenced on other podcasts and many comedians seem to view going on his show as a career achievement. If you have a favorite comedian and want to know their story or what they're like in real life, there's no better place than the "WTF" archives. And along the way Maron will probably become one of your favorite comedians too.


"The Best Show On WFMU"

Tom Scharpling predates podcasting by hosting his radio show on an independent New Jersey station since 2000, but like many listeners I know "The Best Show on WFMU" as a podcast. It's hard to explain Scharpling's brilliance because his weekly three-hour show is unlike any other. He interacts with callers, monologues about music and pop culture, has comedians and musicians as guests, and does lengthy sketches with an always in-character Jon Wurster.

Scharpling's tag line for the show is "three hours of mirth, music, and mayhem" and that's just about right. It took me a while to get into the show initially, because the world he's created is often so absurd and the lines separating people from characters isn't always so clear, but now it might be my favorite podcast. Wurster's characters are great, the callers are great, the guests are great, the music is great, and Scharpling is a spectacular puppet-master and comedic genius.


"Stop Podcasting Yourself"

Here's how good "Stop Podcasting Yourself" with Graham Clark and Dave Shumka is: I didn't discover it until March and yet have already plowed through their 240-episode archive. Friends and comedians from Vancouver who make for a perfect odd couple, Clark and Shumka come across as effortlessly hilarious and endearingly silly. And they do it largely without big-name guests, relying on friends from the Canadian comedy scene who're inevitably great.


"My Brother, My Brother, And Me"

My latest "consume their entire archive like a crazy person" discovery, "My Brother, My Brother, And Me" is an advice show hosted by brothers Travis McElroy, Griffin McElroy, and Justin McElroy. They field questions from listeners, some serious and some not, and dispense mostly ridiculous and silly advice as a conduit for comedy. As you'd expect from three brothers their rapport is pretty amazing and few podcasts get me actually laughing out loud like MBMBAM.


"Doug Loves Movies"

One of the first podcasts I stumbled upon and still a weekly listen, Doug Benson brings on three guests each episode to chat (ostensibly about movies) and then play a name-that-movie contest called "The Leonard Maltin Game" in front of a live audience. I often enjoy the pre-game chatter more than the game itself, but Benson is always great and books tons of well known comedians, actors, and directors on what's basically the world's most laid back game show.


"Throwing Shade"

Erin Gibson was consistently one of my favorite guests on other people's podcasts, so I was thrilled when she started a podcast of her own called "Throwing Shade" about a year ago. Along with co-host Bryan Safi they discuss pop culture, politics, and their personal lives, going from farcical to serious and back again without missing a beat. My crush on Gibson has reached epic proportions at this point--she's a must-follow on Twitter--and Safi is a fantastic foil.


"Fan Graphs Audio"

Along with Bill Simmons' show "Fan Graphs Audio" is one of two sports podcasts to which I'm subscribed, although I listen solely for Carson Cistulli's weekly chat with Dayn Perry that has nothing to do with sports. I was once a guest on Cistulli's show and loved it, but my mom listened and offered this review: "I don't understand what's funny about it." That's probably the perfect tag line for the Cistulli-Perry chats and I find them to be more or less perfection.


"Jordan, Jesse, Go!"

"Stop Podcasting Yourself," "Throwing Shade," and "My Brother, My Brother, And Me" are all part of the Maximum Fun network run by Jesse Thorn, who hosts an interview show called "Bullseye" that can be heard on public radio. I discovered Thorn by way of "Jordan, Jesse, Go!," his other, far less formal podcast with co-host Jordan Morris. Thorn's radio polish and podcast goofiness is a wonderful mix, Morris is an excellent running mate, and their guests are top notch.


"Bill Burr's Monday Morning Podcast"

Bill Burr is an incredible, well-respected stand-up comedian and in addition to being really funny his podcast is also unique in that it's just him. He occasionally has guests, including his hilarious girlfriend, but 95 percent of the episodes are simply Burr talking/ranting for an hour. I realize that doesn't sound particularly appealing and in most cases it wouldn't be, but Burr makes it work and the more podcasts I listen to the more impressed I am by his ability to entertain solo.


"How Was Your Week"

I could not possibly be more charmed by a woman than I am by Julie Klausner. Her book was a great read, her tweets are 140-character gold, and "How Was Your Week" is a must-listen. She opens each episode with a monologue that somehow manages to seem off the cuff while being way too amusing to actually be improvised, and then welcomes one or two guests, often from totally different walks of life, for half-hour chats that would best be described as delightful.


"The Long Shot"

Sean Conroy is the capable, sarcastically funny host, Eddie Pepitone is the grizzled comedy veteran who's equal parts lovable and bitter, Amber Kenny is the fresh-faced, sharp-witted optimist, and Jamie Flam is the awkwardly amusing punching bag. Together they form an unlikely but incredibly likeable quartet, sharing tales of complaints and triumphs in the Los Angeles comedy world before welcoming a guest to what is, if nothing else, the most crowded podcast.


"Who Charted?"

"Who Charted?" is a rare podcast with a truly unique format, as co-hosts Howard Kremer and Kulap Vilaysack use charts as a jumping off point for hour-long chats with guests. They often stray from the format, sometimes hilariously so, but the ability to come back to a discussion about the No. 1 song in the country or the week's highest-grossing movie keeps things rolling smoothly along with their great chemistry and playful humor. Oh, and Vilaysack is a Minnesotan.


"Totally Laime"

Hosted by Elizabeth Laime and her husband/sidekick "psychic" Andy Rosen, the mix of silliness, sweetness, and occasionally raunchy humor found in "Totally Laime" is hard to resist. Each show features a guest, usually a comedian or actor, but the hour-long episodes definitely seem more like chats among friends than traditional interviews. Laime is consistently funny and charming while encouraging the guests to go as far down the silliness path as they want.


"The Joe Rogan Experience"

Joe Rogan is a stand-up comedian, actor, reality television host, and UFC analyst, but his best work might be as a podcaster. Multiple times per week he and sidekick/podcast network kingpin Brian Redban welcome a guest for the longest of long-form conversation, often lasting 2-3 hours. Rogan is never short on interesting stories or weird theories and seems to genuinely love digging deep with people, which makes for consistently entertaining episodes.


"Comedy Bang Bang"

Scott Aukerman is runs Earwolf, which is home to "Who Charted?" and "Totally Laime," among other podcasts. Before all that he hosted his own show, which features interviews with comedians, actors, and musicians mixed with crazy, improvised sketches in which characters interact with those same (real) guests. It's so good and so weird that it became a television show on IFC, but the "Comedy Bang Bang" podcast remains as fun as when I started listening a few years ago.


Just missed the cut: "Your Mom's House" - "Fitzdog Radio" - "The J.V. Club" - "The B.S. Report" - "You Had To Be There" - "The Todd Glass Show" - "Professor Blastoff" - "The Champs" - "Weird Adults" - "Nerdist" - "This Feels Terrible" - "You Made It Weird" - "Bullseye" - "Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend" - "The Adam Carolla Show" - "Dave Hill's Podcasting Incident" - "Making It With Riki Lindhome" - "Call Chelsea Peretti" - "Pop My Culture" - "Fixing Joe" - "You Know What Dude" - "Mental Illness Happy Hour" - "Sklarbro Country"

And if you haven't already, please check out my podcast: "Gleeman and The Geek"


September 21, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• If they ever discover something like this in Chinese food I'm going to be a billionaire.

Headline of the week/weak: "Man killed by truck after allegedly running from Waffle House without paying."

• On second thought, maybe this is actually the headline of the week/weak: "Woman finds out late husband was also her father."

• I'm pretty sure they're just taunting me now.

• Forget the fact that this happened in a Yankee Stadium bathroom, the bigger story is that it happened despite the guy wearing a CC Sabathia shirsey.

• I hadn't watched Survivor since the first season back in 2000, but Jeff Kent being on the show got me tune in for the new season premiere and I recapped the former MVP's debut.

• As part of this season's hazing Twins rookies dressed up like they were in a chain gang:

All things (and potential outfits) considered, the rookies got off pretty easy this year.

• Some things are too far-fetched even for science fiction.

Vince Young really knew how to party.

• If you're wondering how the Twins can fix their starting rotation this offseason, we broke down all the free agent pitching options for 45 minutes on this week's Gleeman and The Geek.

• And if you're wondering what a Gleeman and The Geek recording looks like, here's a picture of us in "action."

• One of the original baseball bloggers, Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts, called it quits after 10 years of great work. He was willing to keep going, but couldn't justify taking so much time away from his family and day job without getting paid to write about the Dodgers. Hmm.

• I love Google and I love DMX, so DMX's reaction to learning about Google was great:

Reminds me of my grandparents' reaction when we bought them a computer a few years ago.

• Not only did the great Tom Scharpling direct Aimee Mann's new video, he got Jon Hamm to play him in the video.

Ted Williams writes pretty well for a 95-year-old who's been dead since 2002.

• I sometimes write posts on HardballTalk just for the accompanying picture choice.

• Kansas City police went undercover to stop underage binge drinking at Royals games and then made some jokes at the Royals' expense.

• Who is Chris Herrmann? I'm glad you asked.

• One of my favorite basketball writers, Sebastian Pruiti, has left Grantland to take a job as the Oklahoma City Thunder's video analyst. I'll miss his Twitter ramblings most.

• I'm starting to like the White Sox more and more.

• This week in Chelsea Peretti being awesome involves Bobby Lee and lots of weirdness:

I suppose at this point I should just make her an Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate.

• Good on former MLB Network host and current CSN New England reporter Trenni Kusnierek for publicly sharing her struggles with depression.

• My modest contribution to sabermetrics is still (sort of) breathing despite me.

Spoiler alert!

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

- "How to make chicken wings like Pizza Hut"
- "320 pounds and want to conceive a baby"
- "Bryce Harper fan fiction"
- "Ron Mahay wife"
- "Yuengling in Minneapolis"
- "Picture of old man asleep in a meeting"
- "Kevin Slowey engaged"
- "Boof Bonser tramp stamp"
- "Ricky Rubio my husband"

• 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.

• Finally, in honor of the Twins' rookie hazing outfits this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Chain Gang" by Sam Cooke from 1960:

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