May 27, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• In a tale as old as time, dating Kim Kardashian got Kris Humphries his own photo spread in GQ magazine, so he gave her a $2 million ring and they're getting married. (He's now No. 2 on the married-to-a-Kardashian sister depth chart at power forward.)

Oscar De La Hoya can apparently confirm what Rick James always said.

David Cone, stat-head.

Tom Brady appears to be enjoying the NFL lockout. Maybe a little too much, even.

• As someone who grabbed chocolate milk in the cafeteria every day from kindergarten to high school this news gives me mixed feelings. On a related note, I've been fat since junior high.

Estella Warren sounds like a fun hang.

• Before he spent $200 million to be the new Mets minority owner David Einhorn finished 18th in the World Series of Poker main event and donated the entire $660,000 prize to charity.

• As a big Bill Withers fan who wishes he'd have kept churning out albums, his interview with The Onion is fascinating.

• After weighing the joy of motherhood versus her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title chances, longtime candidate Jenna Fischer made what can only be described as a questionable call.

• Prior to adopting the "Macho Man" persona and becoming one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time, Randy Savage was Randy Poffo and he played minor-league baseball.

• My first thought after reading this story? "Hey, that happened right next to the Taco Bell and White Castle that I go to." Luckily danger only makes fast food taste even better.

• I've seen enough people mocking "jorts" to know that jean shorts are a no-no and lately I've seen similar goofing on cargo shorts, which has me wondering exactly what type of shorts are acceptable for, say, a 28-year-old man to wear in the summer? I don't buy into the "no shorts are acceptable on men" theory, because I'm not prepared to sweat to death any time the sun comes out. Some of us require ventilation to survive in the outdoors.

Zach Galifianakis' recent appearance on Conan was predictably odd and amusing:

Speaking of Conan O'Brien, the comedian warming up the audience for his show is also one of the original podcasters and the Los Angeles Times ran a nice feature on Jimmy Pardo.

• Four words: The Cosby Sweater Project.

• My boss resigning was a pretty big story. I heard about it in the New York Times.

• ESPN and FOX teamed up to keep NBC away from college football.

• Call me crazy, but it sure seems like Maria Menounos might work out.

• Two of my favorite podcasters, Jesse Thorn and Marc Maron, have teamed up to bring "WTF with Marc Maron" to public radio in a trend we'll likely see more of as the medium evolves.

• My latest podcast discovery: "How Was Your Week" with Julie Klausner, which can probably best be described as delightful even though a scan of the archives shows that I've used that word just twice in 10 years of blogging. For starters, listen to the episode with Jen Kirkman.

David Kahn is as good at telling jokes as he is at general managing.

• Baseball writers might be going a little overboard quoting anonymous scouts.

• I should have spent more time learning about IPO and less time learning about OPS as a kid.

• Speaking of which, I'm now on LinkedIn even if I'm not sure why exactly.

Christina Hendricks, if you read this (she often skips non-Twins entries): I'm not deterred.

• The fatal flaw with this study? What about the men who're moody because they can't attract any women? Not me, of course. I'm asking for a friend.

Worst couple ever?

• One of my favorite writers, Michael David Smith, recently added editor at SB Nation Chicago to his list of gigs along with ProFootballTalk and MMAFighting.com.

• Speaking of Chicago, the "Bear Jew" is a factual nickname for Gabe Carimi.

• On a related note, a couple months ago I mentioned a documentary about Jews in baseball that was playing at a local film festival and now the movie is available on Netflix streaming.

• New blog to check out: Twins Fan From Afar.

• As you may have noticed on the sidebar the "AG.com Sponsor of the Week" program is set to begin next week. I'm happy to report that the response has been positive and early spots are filling up fast, so if you're interested in promoting a product, service, website, or local business while also supporting all the free content on this blog please check it out.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the aforementioned Bill Withers singing a live version of "Use Me":

February 4, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• If you don't think this will soon be hanging on my wall, you clearly don't know me very well.

• NHL goalie fights are pretty funny to begin with, but NHL goalie fights ending after one punch are hilarious.

Henry Abbott of ESPN.com took a very interesting look at the difference between perception and reality when it comes to Kobe Bryant and "clutch."

• An army of Christina Hendricks look-a-likes sounds fine to me.

Rob Neyer is for me what Bill James was for many baseball fans in the 1980s, shaping the way I watch and write about the sport to the point that I've basically been attempting to do a semi-passable Rob Neyer impression for the past decade. He's the first online writer I read on a regular basis and I remain a huge fan, so much so that I've never really gotten over being starstruck when I see him each year at the Society for American Baseball Research convention.

When it comes to bringing sabermetrics to a mainstream audience Neyer has been the single most effective baseball writer of all time, and that includes James. This week, after 15 years of great work at ESPN.com, he decided to make a change and is now the national baseball editor at SB Nation. And not only didn't he take even one day off between jobs, Neyer is churning out more content than ever at his new home. Congratulations and good luck to one of my heroes.

Justin Kubatko of Basketball-Reference.com wrote a guest column for the New York Times on Kevin Love's unique brand of greatness this season. And somehow he's not an All-Star (yet).

• I'm willing to help Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer reach her goal.

• An unlikely radio partnership between friend of AG.com Phil Mackey and longtime Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Patrick Reusse has been so successful that 1500-ESPN has decided to expand their show by another hour each afternoon. In addition to more Mackey they smartly also lured Judd Zulgad away from KFAN, where the fantastic Star Tribune reporter had been an exclusive Vikings analyst. It almost makes up for the times they mistakenly put me on the air.

Least surprising news of the week: A.J. Pierzynski is friends with the guys from Creed.

• As a lifelong Minnesota it takes a lot to impress me regarding winter driving, but this did it:

If you look carefully, I think the other car has a "Geek Squad" logo on the door.

Eric Stonestreet is outstanding on Modern Family, but his greatest contribution to society will always be snapping a picture of Minka Kelly and Sofia Vergara posing together at the Golden Globes and posting it on Twitter.

• Twins president Dave St. Peter is now on Twitter, so you should probably follow him.

• Based on this lengthy article in New York magazine I clearly picked the wrong type of website to start nine years ago.

• I finally saw "The Social Network" this week. I liked it a lot, and the script and acting were so good that I would've happily watched it go on for another five hours, but for whatever reason it struck me as just short of being great. My primary takeaways from the film: 1) Rooney Mara is responsible for everything, ever. 2) Guys named Zuckerman should never interact with Aryan twins. 3) Don't throw beer. Grade: A-minus.

Apparently the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com liked "The Social Network" too.

• Now that he's dropped the price, I think we should pool our money together and buy Shawn Green's house.

Seth Stohs' annual "Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook" is now available for purchase and you should buy it. Seriously. I can't stress this enough: You should buy it. Not only is it a great read and an amazing value at $14.95 for 170 pages, Seth has spent thousands of hours and most of the past decade churning out good baseball writing that can be enjoyed for absolutely free. Paying him 15 bucks for a good product seems like an easy way to show support. Do it.

• My latest podcasting discovery is "Pop My Culture" with Cole Stratton and Vanessa Ragland, which is basically hour-long, mostly silly conversations with various comedians and actors. For instance, here's one with longtime Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Linda Cardellini.

• If you have Netflix streaming and are as into offbeat documentaries as me, check out "I Like Killing Flies" and "I Think We're Alone Now." Both are equal parts engrossing and weird.

• Last weekend I had dinner at Mix Fusion Bistro in Eden Prairie and the food was every bit as good as when I reviewed the restaurant after it opened in July, with an added bonus that lots of people were there this time. Chalk one up for customers eventually finding a good product.

• I've done a 180-degree turn on the Super Bowl, going from initially believing in the Steelers as small underdogs to now thinking the Packers will win and cover the 2.5-point spread. For a slightly more comprehensive analysis of Sunday's matchup, read this.

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

- Red Sox want David Ortiz to continue facing lefties even if he can't hit them
- White Sox GM after making 1984 trade for Ozzie Guillen: "I think we just signed a jockey"
- Andy Pettitte's retirement (and Jamie Moyer's injury) means no active pitcher has 200 wins
- Chris Carter is going to be disappointed when the A's send him to Triple-A
- Lance Berkman criticizes the Rangers in explaining why he chose St. Louis over Texas
- Royals' projected 2011 payroll is $33 million (or $2 million more than Alex Rodriguez's salary)
- If healthy, Jesus Flores could be trade bait for the Nationals
- LaTroy Hawkins expects to be ready for Opening Day after shoulder surgery

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally":

January 14, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• After years of campaigning on behalf of Bert Blyleven, blogger Rich Lederer and the Hall of Famer finally met in person at the Twins' fantasy camp in Fort Myers.

• Based on this picture, Dr. Dre will never be voted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

• If this ever reoccurs, my chances with the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com will skyrocket.

• Making an unsuccessful movie in 1998 sent Oprah Winfrey into what she called "a massive, depressive, macaroni-and-cheese-eating tail spin." Or as it's called in my life: "Tuesday."

• On a related note, I'm responsible for approximately $265 billion of this total.

• No matter how good your week has been, it can't possibly be complete without seeing this:

Not sure if that shows pure joy or pure insanity, but I'm certain I've never had that much fun.

Christina Hendricks was in Playboy way back in 1999. Sort of.

Next thing you know I'll admit to "trying" donuts.

• Some pretty big news in the world of online sportswriting. I'm a huge fan of quite a few AOL Fanhouse writers, including must-reads Clay Travis, Michael David Smith, Ariel Helwani, Jeff Fletcher, Mike Chiappetta, and Tom Krasovic, so hopefully everyone lands on their feet.

• In retrospect, the original casting wish list for Modern Family is pretty amusing.

Kim Kardashian is "having a lot of fun" with Kris Humphries.

• Breaking this habit was a tough one for me, but blogging has made me a one-spacer for life.

• Judging from his 67-yard touchdown run against the Saints last weekend, Marshawn Lynch is the third Super Mario brother:

That's called "Beast Mode."

Ryan Howard listens to The Cranberries. Of course he does.

• Earlier this week I suggested the Twins should sign reliever Chad Qualls for $2 million, but yesterday the Padres did it instead.

Bill Murray is, as always, the man.

• After hearing some intriguing word of mouth, I watched Catfish this week. While certainly not a great movie, as someone whose social interactions occur online about 99 percent of the time I found it extremely interesting/unsettling. Definitely worth checking out.

• If you haven't seen Men of a Certain Age on TNT, you're missing one of the most underrated shows on television.

• In fairness, A.C. Slater probably had it coming.

• If you're familiar with Twins outfield prospect Rene Tosoni or the concept of "icing" someone, odds are you'll enjoy this video from his wedding:

Just for that, I moved him up three spots on my upcoming ranking of Twins prospects.

• My latest podcasting discovery: "The Long Shot" with Sean Conroy, Eddie Pepitone, Jamie Flam, and Amber Kenny. Lots of funny, laid back conversations and lots of good guests from the stand-up comedy world.

• Rules are rules, but Trevor Mbakwe wrote the nicest note to ever get someone arrested.

Bobby Valentine is apparently the new king of Stamford, Connecticut, which is home to the NBCSports.com offices.

Blake Griffin is a bad, bad man, as Mario Chalmers can attest to.

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

- Twins are "optimistic" that Justin Morneau "will be ready for spring training"
- All-times saves leader Trevor Hoffman announces retirement
- Mariano Rivera could pass Trevor Hoffman for all-time saves lead this season
- Kevin Kouzmanoff thought "where do I fit?" while A's pursued other third basemen
- Armando Galarraga could be odd man out for Tigers' rotation
- Jose Tabata "worked out in the gym every day this winter"
- Can Mike Stanton hit 40 homers in his first full season?
- Cornering the market on scrappiness, Diamondbacks sign Willie Bloomquist

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Marvin Gaye doing an a capella version of "I Heard It Through The Grapevine":

September 24, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Hey look, the Twins have the best record in baseball.

• As a college dropout who's secretly hoping to be retired by age 33, this study confuses me.

• I can certainly understand not liking Dave Matthews, but this might be taking it a bit far.

• Stories like this one scare me away from a life of crime.

• This beats the hell out of that G.B. Leighton song FSN plays every damn night.

• I may be willing to pay extra for Derek Jeter's old apartment, but only if Minka Kelly stayed there after he moved out.

• I'll be on 1500-ESPN after tonight's Twins-Tigers game, co-hosting "Twins Wrap" with Darren Wolfson. Starting about 30 minutes after the final out we'll talk Twins and take phone calls for at least an hour. Stay up late and call in, or just listen online here.

UPDATE: We'll talk plenty about Ron Gardenhire all but ruling out Justin Morneau until 2011.

• My favorite Mad Men quote of the week, in picture form.

• Based on this interview with AMC's website, Kiernan Shipka (aka Sally Draper) is either the world's most brilliant 10-year-old or someone with a horrible sense of how 10-year-olds speak is answering the questions in her name. I'm honestly not sure which, but "fortunately the hair department is quite amazing"?!

• Apparently clothing from the 1960s is to Christina Hendricks what long hair was to Samson.

• Inspired by Felix Hernandez's latest tough-luck start yesterday afternoon, here's my rant on how silly it is to evaluate pitchers on "wins" and "losses."

• The first and last time I'll ever be compared to Carl Crawford. More like Carl's Jr.

• Do you think this comes in a XXXL?

• This commercial is hilarious, but I can't decide if it's intentional or unintentional:

Either way, genius.

• It never ceases to amaze me that the woman in these pictures is someone's mother.

• Journalism Barbie seems like sort of a misguided idea, although surely most guys in the Jets' locker room would approve.

• It takes a special kind of 53-year-old man to use the phrase "poopy pants" on the radio.

• So far I've only liked two (or maybe two-and-a-half) of this season's new television shows: Boardwalk Empire on HBO looks great (and has already been renewed for Season 2), Terriers on FX looks very good, and Running Wilde on FOX looks like it may be decent. Otherwise, meh.

• This isn't quite the sideways-world high school Lost spinoff I was hoping for, but it'll work.

Jose Bautista is the Kim Kardashian of 50-homer, 100-walk hitters.

Red Man is no Green Man, and Matt Diaz is no friend to the drunken doofus.

• In case you don't have time to watch Maury every day, you can get the highlights here.

Katy Perry was too hot for Sesame Street, which no doubt could have set an all-time ratings high in the "men ages 25-54" demographic.

• The team with the most strikeouts in MLB history has scored more runs than the two teams with the fewest strikeouts this season, because a strikeout is just an out.

• University of Minnesota law school student Joshua Fisher was profiled in the New York Times for his blog's coverage of the Dodgers' divorce-related drama.

Jason Whitlock also got the New York Times profile treatment and he always intrigues me.

GQ magazine's oral history of Goodfellas is a great read.

• KFAN morning show co-host Cory Cove signed a three-year contract extension.

• This year's The Hardball Times Baseball Annual is now available for pre-order, and as always I highly recommended it.

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

- David Wells calls Joe Torre a "coward" and "terrible manager"
- Cardinals released Felipe Lopez because they were sick of him showing up late for games
- Brewers hitting coach says Alcides Escobar "has to change his mechanics"
- Bobby Jenks "may have thrown his last inning for White Sox"
- Impending free agent A.J. Pierzynski has "no idea" if he'll be back with White Sox
- Alex Gordon: "I'm going to dominate next year"
- Russell Martin faces an uncertain future with the Dodgers
- Dan Uggla wants a five-year, $58 million contract extension
- Finally! Chris Carter gets first hit after starting career 0-for-33

• Finally, because between her name being Florence and her choice of footwear the degree of difficulty is insanely high, this week's AG.com-approved music video if Florence and the Machine doing a live version of "Dog Days Are Over":

August 27, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• The good side and bad side of working from home, accurately presented in cartoon form.

• All that money bloggers save by living in their parents' basements is now coming in handy.

• I'm proud to say that Time magazine named Rotoworld one of the 50 best websites of 2010.

Macaulay Culkin turned 30 years old yesterday. I'd normally make some sort of joke, except he's been dating Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis for nearly a decade.

Hawk Harrelson thinks umpire Joe West is conspiring against the White Sox, which sure is fortunate for the Twins.

• If you're not clear exactly what a "shit-eating grin" looks like, see the face Roy Oswalt made while playing left field in the 15th inning Tuesday night.

• Let's just say Jay Mariotti doesn't take the "practice what your preach" approach to life.

• My head exploded while trying to think of the best possible ball-related joke for this story.

Matt Capps feeding Adam Dunn with his hands on Top Chef was pretty hilarious, but Wilson Ramos will probably be better on a future show.

• AMC's upcoming new series The Walking Dead looks amazing.

• Speaking of amazing AMC shows, Christina Hendricks is still spectacular looking without the 1960s wardrobe.

• The greatest broadcaster in baseball history is coming back next year, and Ryan Longwell, Steve Hutchinson, and Jared Allen didn't even have to talk him into it.

• It took some digging, but I've uncovered a worse "specialist" than Randy Flores.

• Mighty Mighty Bosstones frontman Dicky Barrett is also the announcer on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Jimmy Kimmel recently joined the band by playing bass clarinet at a recent show:

At least he picked the one ska band that all wear suits and ties.

• Like father, like son (except for the whole being great at basketball thing).

• Not surprisingly, mainstream media members still treat one of their own a lot different than a blogger in a similar situation.

• The results of this study on baseball teams and access match what's going on locally.

Tom Tango launched his annual "scouting report by the fans for the fans," which is your shot to play a scout by entering in personal observations about the players you watch on a regular basis to become part of the huge collection of scouting reports compiled entirely by fans. Take a look at the instructions and details, and then go to the Twins page to mark down what you think of, say, Delmon Young's "instincts" in the outfield.

• Just in case you thought the stereotype about Polish people was in danger of dying off.

• Last week's Link-O-Rama featured a funny music video by the band Don't Stop or We'll Die. Their drummer, Harris Wittels, left a nice note in the comments section:

Thanks for linking my band's video, Aaron! I know nothing about baseball, but my boss Ken Tremendous seems to like ya!

Ken Tremendous is the pen name Michael Schur went by when he blogged about baseball at Fire Joe Morgan. He's also the co-creator of Parks and Recreation on NBC and Wittels writes for the show. I'm not sure if that qualifies more as "brush with greatness" or "worlds colliding" but either way I enjoyed it.

Jason Whitlock's exit from the Kansas City Star turned into an epic radio appearance that I'm sure makes him an even more polarizing figure than before.

Bert Blyleven is one of just three pitchers to reach 1,000 career strikeouts at a younger age than Felix Hernandez did earlier this week.

• Because my greatest skill in life is growing facial hair, I typically try to hit every data point on the spectrum in a given week.

Al Newman is the new head baseball coach at Apple Valley high school.

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

- White Sox reportedly planning waiver claim on Manny Ramirez
- Albert Pujols and Joey Votto must go through Omar Infante to win Triple Crown
- Behold: The most Jon Heyman tweet in the history of Jon Heyman tweets
- Bobby Jenks comes up big for worn out White Sox bullpen
- Dan Uggla reportedly seeking five-year extension worth at least $55 million
- With contract up season, would Joe Girardi want to replace Lou Piniella in Chicago?
- Billy Butler is closing in on the all-time record for double plays
- Johnny Damon turns down Red Sox, saying: "I'm not going"
- Dusty Baker taking his time deciding on Reds extension offer

• Finally, if you like soul music and don't care about curse words your mind should be blown by this week's AG.com-approved music video, which is Cee-Lo Green singing "F*** You":

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