May 6, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com Mila Kunis has a fool-proof plan to meet Barack Obama that should delight the president's body man, former Duke basketball player Reggie Love.

• He'll obviously land on his feet and maybe even get a more prominent overall gig elsewhere, but CBS letting Gus Johnson go after 16 years because of a monetary disagreement is terrible news for everyone who loved him calling NCAA tournament games. There's never been a more perfect match between announcer and event, so hopefully both sides reconsider.

Randy Moss' daughter, Sydney Moss, is a 5-foot-11 high school basketball star in Kentucky and recently committed to the University of Florida after averaging 23 points and 11 rebounds per game as a junior.

• Lindsay Lohan's version of community service seems fun.

Dick Kaegel of MLB.com describes how the Royals have all but ditched in-person "advanced scouting" in favor of video analysis. As manager Ned Yost put it: "You don't need an advance scout anymore. You've got everything at your fingertips. Everything I need or we need to see is on the video."

Kris Humphries has his hands full with Kim Kardashian, literally and figuratively.

Trey Kirby interviewing Amar'e Stoudemire's personal stylist is spectacular enough, but the photo of Stoudemire sitting next to Anna Wintour really takes things to the next level.

Ozzie Guillen was suspended two games for tweeting, which merely adds to his legend.

• At around 2:00 am Wednesday night the few hundred fans left at Fenway Park for the Red Sox's marathon game with the Angels serenaded Kevin Youkilis with a personalized version of "Just A Friend" by Biz Markie:

My childhood smiled.

• Judging by his scores John Smoltz is closer to coming out of retirement to pitch again than he is to making the PGA tour.

• My favorite part about 26-year-old Scarlett Johansson continuing to date 50-year-old Sean Penn is this report that "she's at his house most nights and has been accepted by his teenage sons." Not mentioned is their confusion about winning the lottery without buying a ticket.

• Journalism tops The Daily Beast's list of the "most useless degrees." Even more useless than a journalism degree? Spending four years in college without getting a journalism degree.

• According to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations report the Minneapolis Star Tribune owns the 17th-largest daily newspaper circulation in the country at 296,605.

• I watched every episode of America's Next Great Restaurant on NBC, but a combination of diet and laziness precludes me from going to the Mall of America to give Soul Daddy a try. I'm fairly certain most people don't want their soul food healthy, so what are the odds it'll still be open by the time my diet inevitably fails?

• Sad story, but this never would have happened if she was actually 50 feet tall.

• My old cantor got arrested for a DWI going to my old high school when his wife "called police to report that he'd be showing up at the school and that he was driving under the influence" at 5:45 pm. I could write another 500 sentences about that one sentence, but I won't.

• On a related note, Derek Lowe's life is like The Fast And The Furious films, except sweatier, drunker, and with a higher ground-ball percentage.

• If you enjoyed 500 Days of Summer and watch Community you'll love 500 Days of Britta:

I'm definitely in favor of Zooey Deschanel and Gillian Jacobs teaming up for the sequel.

• One of the best side effects of NBC Universal combining with Comcast is the Versus channel's website and excellent MMA writer Ariel Helwani folding into NBCSports.com.

• From the shoplifting arrest and plea agreement to his side of the story, nothing about Mike Leake's situation makes sense to me.

• I'm not really sure what took me so long aside from being the world's oldest 28-year-old, but I finally tried Skype this week and was basically amazed by the entire thing. I lost my Skype virginity taping an episode of HBT Daily with Craig Calcaterra in which we discussed Francisco Liriano's no-hitter. He was gentle and wearing the headset made me feel sexy.

• My second Skype experience was even better, as I recorded a late-night podcast with Marc Normandin and Matt Kory from Red Sox Beacon in which we talked about the Twins-Red Sox series and re-wrote the script to the upcoming Moneyball movie. As someone who listens to no fewer than 25 podcasts per week it was a lot of fun to appear on a podcast that can actually be found on iTunes and we chatted for about 45 minutes, so please give it a listen.

• If you're more into radio than podcasts, you can listen to my appearance on Minnesota Public Radio talking Twins with Cathy Wurzer.

• Marrying a former Miss Michigan isn't as great as it sounds, as Charlie Bell has learned.

Sammy Sosa likes to laugh at NBA playoff games.

• Congratulations to friend of AG.com Chris Jaffe, who won the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award for his incredibly detailed book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers, from which the Tom Kelly section was excerpted here last year.

• Due to the strong response to my note about wanting to partner with AG.com readers who have interesting and worthwhile stuff to advertise I'm going to start a "Sponsor of the Week" program soon that will keep the site's overall advertising to a minimum while highlighting one advertiser per week for supporting the blog. I've begun reserving weeks, so to promote your thing to the thousands of people who visit this space every day drop me an e-mail for details.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the original version of "Just A Friend":

February 11, 2011

Link-O-Rama

• Leave it to The Black Eyed Peas to get the entire country to agree on something.

• This seems sort of unfair. I mean, the poor guy "said thank you and hung up."

• I've never actually appeared in court, whereas Lindsay Lohan is a veteran defendant at this point, but this seems like a bit much.

Little Jerry Seinfeld finally got his revenge.

• I remain highly skeptical, but Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star Tribune attempted to solve the mystery of Anthony LaPanta's hair.

• I used to have a similar system for finding inserts in certain baseball card packs.

• Rotoworld's annual fantasy baseball draft guide is now available online. I'm "editor-in-chief" and it's a big part of my job, so I'd be grateful if AG.com readers checked it out. You get 1,000 player profiles and projections, a couple dozen strategy articles, customizable cheat sheets, and a whole bunch of other good stuff that adds up to 150,000-plus words of content updated all spring. Buy it, so I don't have to move back to the proverbial parents' basement.

• Speaking of Rotoworld, the entire site underwent a dramatic re-design this week.

• It turns out I know exactly what it feels like to be an award-winning movie star.

• On a related note, being a non-movie star actor doesn't sound like much fun.

Ozzie Guillen watched the Super Bowl while eating a massive bowl of Jell-O. Obviously.

• AG.com reader Andy Ulseth is a local musician who just released his first album and I'm very confident in saying it's legitimately good (as opposed to just "good for someone who reads my blog"). Acoustic singer-songwriter stuff is always right up my alley and Ulseth fits somewhere in the indie-folk or folk-pop realm with a bunch of really enjoyable songs. Check it out.

• I live this cartoon every day on Twitter.

• Along with being a stand-up comedian, podcaster, occasional actor, and the UFC's television analyst Joe Rogan is also enough of a mixed martial artist himself to teach Georges St. Pierre a turning side kick:

That would be sort of like if Bert Blyleven taught Roy Halladay a curveball, except if Blyleven was a really good announcer and had double sleeves of tattoos.

• Speaking of actors teaching kicks to UFC champions, Vitor Belfort can blame Steven Seagal for being on the wrong end of one of the most memorable knockouts in MMA history. Seriously.

Howard Stern's recent appearance on Late Show with David Letterman was fantastic and it produced this picture, which is currently the background on my laptop.

• "Never Not Funny" with Jimmy Pardo and Matt Belknap is such an outstanding podcast that I happily pay for it, but their latest episode featuring Conan O'Brien is available for free.

• Few men could get mocked relentlessly for attending the Super Bowl while sitting in a luxury box and being hand-fed popcorn by their movie star girlfriend, but Alex Rodriguez managed.

• Remember that one-punch goalie fight from last week's Link-O-Rama? I'm not sure whether it increases or decreases the hilarity, but the one punch broke the losing goalie's face.

• This is not a great look for Tim Lincecum. Or anyone, really.

• Without knowing it Ken Rosenthal and Kelly Oxford had an amusing Twitter conversation in my TweetDeck feed.

Peter Gammons quoting me in one of his MLB.com columns made my day/week/month/year.

• I'm a big Norm MacDonald fan and a big High Stakes Poker fan, but I'm skeptical about how good they'll be together. Of course, the biggest issue with the upcoming HSP season probably isn't MacDonald replacing Gabe Kaplan, but rather that all the big-name players sponsored by Full Tilt Poker are no longer allowed on the show.

Jerry Sloan stepped down as Jazz coach after 23 seasons and his replacement is one of the original Timberwolves.

Ricky Rubio continues to struggle in Europe.

• My fellow Party Down fans will love this.

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

- Dirty little secret: Michael Young simply isn’t all that great
- Phillies' right field job is "a three-man race" that Domonic Brown should win
- Phil Hughes blames inconsistent changeup for second-half fade, but do numbers agree?
- Giants top prospect Brandon Belt likely headed for Triple-A
- Mike Lowell is definitely retired and "hip replacement is most likely inevitable"
- Josh Hamilton and Rangers agree to two-year, $24 million deal
- Mariners sign Vladimir Guerrero's nephew for $400,000
- Yankees sign reliever Luis Ayala to a minor league deal
- Diamondbacks decide against using a humidor at Chase Field

• I've started re-watching The Wire, so in honor of becoming totally obsessed with the show all over again this week's AG.com-approved music video is The Blind Boys of Alabama doing their cover version of "Way Down in the Hole" by Tom Waits:

July 9, 2010

Link-O-Rama

• Internet declares: "The feeling is mutual, Prince."

• I'd like to believe a large number of these were purchased ironically.

• I've once again missed my chance with Jenna Fischer.

Basketball-playing brothers Scientific Mapp and Majestic Mapp think this guy's name is silly.

• Whatever rare condition this woman has, I have the exact opposite.

Lori Loughlin is the Jamie Moyer of good-looking women, still getting it done at age 46.

• It seems like Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert took the LeBron James news kind of hard.

• My take on James: I have absolutely no problem with him choosing Miami, but he went out of his way to make the entire experience as painful as possible for Cleveland. In hindsight a guy from Akron, Ohio being a Yankees and Cowboys fan probably should have been a pretty huge tipoff, but it takes a special kind of man to go from the most beloved to the most hated athlete in the history of his home state by his own doing (and with Stuart Scott/Jim Gray involved).

Delmon Young is having a much better year than his older brother.

Johan Santana bounced back pretty nicely from losing to the Twins.

• My favorite headline of this week: "Lindsay Lohan punched by waitress on 24th birthday." Hey, it's the thought that counts, right?

• Speaking of Lohan, she apparently only dates Jewish girls now, which means my mom would be thrilled to have her as a son.

• New team. New plate discipline. Same old Torii Hunter throwing teammates under the bus.

• Sadly the Arrested Development movie likely will never be made, although perhaps Hollywood will reconsider after seeing Buster Bluth, action star:

That show getting canceled still upsets me.

• One of the craziest Win Probability Added graphs you'll ever see.

• As if the first two episodes of Louis C.K.'s new FX series Louie weren't spectacular enough, Ricky Gervais guest-starred on this week's show. And here's another hilarious scene from the previous episode.

Jake Peavy is likely out for the year with a gross-sounding "detached" shoulder muscle and Gordon Beckham has been terrible, but the White Sox have won 22 of 27 games and are now reportedly looking to trade for Adam Dunn.

• I've thankfully never watched the show, but my new goal in life is to be able to this.

• It'll be tough to blame Jim Joyce for this one.

• I actually know someone who was in the Duluth prison with Jerry Koosman and he was sad to see him leave because the former Twins pitcher was such a nice guy and good story-teller.

• As a big Sara Bareilles fan I enjoyed her live, streaming interview with the Associated Press.

Ozzie Guillen may be sick of Twitter, but I'm more addicted than ever.

• As always, the easiest way to ensure a link here is to say something nice about me.

• Now that I'm no longer writing the "Daily Dose" column at Rotoworld each day I've expanded my duties at Hardball Talk on NBCSports.com, pumping out an average of a dozen blog entries per day this week alongside Craig Calcaterra's usual 500. Some of the highlights:

- Don't look now, but the Royals are winning with Ned Yost
- Josh Johnson quietly moves past Ubaldo Jimenez as first half's top pitcher
- Brandon Webb still hoping to make 6-8 starts this season
- Cubs closer Carlos Marmol piling up strikeouts at historic rate
- Matt Stairs ties MLB record with 20th career pinch-hit homer
- Does a three-homer game mean Drew Stubbs is destined for stardom?
- Jonathan Sanchez is first pitcher since 1999 to win with 6+ walks and 3+ wild pitches
- Jordan Zimmermann takes first step on long road back from Tommy John surgery
- Marlins demote struggling starter Chris Volstad to Triple-A

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the aforementioned Bareilles doing a live version of "Many the Miles":

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