April 9, 2010

Link-O-Rama

  • I've been blogging about the Twins since 2002 and never really thought to apply for a press pass, but at the urging of my NBCSports.com bosses they submitted a request on my behalf for Monday's home opener and surprisingly (to me, at least) it was accepted. I'm excited to be at Target Field and curious about how the whole process works, but also pretty damn nervous about being so far out of my element. Which is to say not writing from bed.


    Hopefully the couple local media members about whom I haven't said horrible things in this space will take pity on me and show me the ropes, or at least not encourage Jim Souhan and Dick Bremer to take swings at me. Either way, it should make for an interesting blog entry and NBCSports.com article come Tuesday. Or it could all just be a Candid Camera-style prank that ends with me standing outside Target Field. I haven't ruled that out.
  • In what's the most compelling evidence yet that people are tapping directly into my dreams, there's a Grilled Cheese Academy website featuring Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Jenna Fischer narrating descriptions of 30 grilled cheese sandwich variations. Seriously.
  • Analyzing the Springfield Power Plant softball team is definitely the best use of Wins Above Replacement that I've ever seen.
  • I'm thinking about doing this to my office. You know, if I had an office.
  • MinnPost media writer David Brauer did some investigating following reports that someone christened Target Field at one of last week's exhibition games by smoking pot out of a bong fashioned from a red pepper and found ... well, it might actually be true. And in an unrelated note that sounds related, Target Field has been named the "greenest" ballpark in baseball.
  • NBC's new show Parenthood is uneven at times, but mostly pretty good. And that was before adding Minka Kelly to the cast this week.
  • Congratulations to former St. Paul Pioneer Press beat reporter Phil Miller for landing another gig covering the Twins for FSN's website. At the moment finding Miller's articles is kind of a hassle because the website isn't fully functional yet, but you can follow him on Twitter. He's a very good writer and a super nice guy too.
  • The Situation took a break from GTL long enough to shoot this funny commercial with Mets third baseman David Wright:


    Fun fact: In lieu of a lump sum payment for his endorsement of Vitamin Water several years ago Wright took a 0.5 percent stake in the company and then pocketed a cool $20 million when it was sold to Coca Cola in 2007.
  • HBO canceled his horrendous talk show after just three episodes, but as part of Joe Buck's new four-year contract with FOX he'll develop another talk show along with serving as their lead MLB and NFL play-by-play announcer. I believe the phrase is "failing upward."
  • Now that John Wall and Evan Turner have officially declared for the NBA draft, I'm sure the Timberwolves will end up picking No. 3 just like they did in 1992 with Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning available. If they can actually avoid another Christian Laettner situation, I'm rooting for Turner over Wall. He reminds me of Brandon Roy, which of course brings up another bad draft-day memory for the Wolves.
  • Katy Perry: Terrible at making music, fantastic at wearing bikinis.
  • For my fellow degenerates, here are the gambling odds for each team winning the World Series. Yankees lead the way at 3-to-1. Nationals, Pirates, and Blue Jays bring up the rear at 150-to-1. And the Twins are tied for seventh at 18-to-1.
  • Bill Simmons and David Duchovny seems like an odd podcast recipe, but it was very good.
  • And speaking of Simmons, he's now embracing sabermetrics. As long as writing one positive column about something following years of mocking or dismissing it counts as "embracing." Either way, he's spreading the good word.
  • If you're interested in my running commentary during Twins games, follow me on Twitter.
  • Also on Twitter, this morning Peter Gammons called me "my friend Aaron Gleeman" and it made my decade.
  • New blog to check out: Just A Bit Outside.
  • Some of the highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:


    - Brewers agree to long-term contract with Gallardo
    - Blocked by Votto, Reds prospect Alonso moves to left field
    - Kazmir on track to return next week, but will his raw stuff come back?
    - Blalock changes mind, accepts assignment to Triple-A
    - 27.7 percent of players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born
    - Why are the Reds rushing prospect Leake?
    - Berkman now aiming to return from knee surgery next week
    - After hiding injury, Saltalamacchia is back on the disabled list
  • Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Ronnie Lane singing "Ooh La La":

    • Ted

      So these home runs are nice.

    • Travis

      I was in Vegas a couple weeks ago and nearly every sportsbook have the Twins at 6-1. They opened 18-1 though. I managed to find them at 10-1 at Planet Hollywood for anybody headin out there

    • Dazzle

      Any word on why the Twins are so bearish on Slama? Why not give him a shot in the majors? Was his spring training not good enough? If that was the case, why is Condrey on the team?

    • Ryan

      They have Pepsi products (including Diet Mountain Dew!!) on tap in the new Target Field press box — doesn’t get much better than that, far as I’m concerned.

      It’s not a bad view either, congrats!

    • chris

      Don’t trip Sid.

    • Dave T

      Aaron — congrats on the mention by Peter Gammons!

      I’ve been staying up too late watching the Twins-Angels series. The Twins should get better odds in Vegas as the season progresses — they are a really good team. Did anyone else catch last night’s game? Delmon Young came in for Kubel in the late innings as a – get this – defensive replacement. He then proceeded to hit a 3-run HR in the 9th. You go, Delmon. My pick to click.

    • http://www.twinscards.com Joel T.

      I was wondering if the press box area is actually bigger. In the past, the Twins ahd to place the “overflow” press into the seats in front, charging them for their butt placement.

      Hopefully you’ll report on the food, the cleanliness of the private bathrooms, and the sitelines.

      And give us the percentage of women press to men (hey, check to see if they have internet plug-ins in the stalls).

      Do you also get to go backstage and interview players?

    • Jason

      check out cheeseandburger.com. same thing as the grilled cheese page except that its (obviously) burgers and its narrated by patrick warburton

    • Ted

      Anyone see why Hardy was held at 3B on Morneau’s double? With two outs I would have expected him to be beating a path for home, but the Fox broadcast had Hardy off camera so I could not see what happened. And of course Bremer and Blyleven chose to ignore the situation so I got no replay or explanation from them. Did Hardy hold up at second, maybe thinking there was only one out? Or am I wrong and there really was only one out?

      Seems strange. And with no discussion from the booth I was sitting there pulling my hair out trying to understand why MN didn’t have a one-run lead.

      In all, good game, sort of. Kind of ugly but they clawed out a win. And it was tense like a late-season game. Love watching the Twins play in Chicago, always seems interesting.

    • Ted

      Nevermind, I see that Hardy started from first. I had it in my mind that he was on second.

    • duane

      Aaron- it used to be that the large daily papers reimbursed the team for the press passes, wonder if that’s still the case now. Also, it’s interesting that after the first week, the Am. central as a whole is three games ahead of the east. It’s just a week, but still…

    • http://jasonwinter.blogspot.com Jason W

      Sorta related to the David Wright/Vitamin Water issue:

      I heard a little while back that when EA was a tiny company putting out the first edition of Madden NFL, John Madden insisted on his usual $50,000 endorsement fee rather than a stake in the company. Oops.