April 30, 2012

“Gleeman and The Geek” #39: Ragged Rotation

Topics for this week's episode of Gleeman and The Geek included the Twins' terrible starting pitching, why Delmon Young won't be invited to any Hanukkah parties, booing Joe Mauer, putting previous division titles in perspective, Ben Revere's brief return, skipping Francisco Liriano and dipping him in chocolate, what happened to the farm system, our PickPointz selections, Ron Gardenhire's odd bullpen usage, and jinxing anything and everything.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 39

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

This week's blog content is sponsored by One Stop Insurance, which helps Minnesotans find the best value and protection in an insurance company. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 27, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek will be live on KFAN again Sunday at 4:00, shortly after the Twins-Royals game. Taking calls from listeners went well last week, so we'll probably do that again if you feel like listening live on 100.3-FM or KFAN.com instead of waiting for the podcast.

Josh Willingham welcoming his son into the world is pretty damn cute.

According to the New York Post a "highly intoxicated" Delmon Young was arrested and charged with assault late Thursday night. And not only did the incident occur on the six-year anniversary of his 50-game suspension for throwing a bat at an umpire, Young is being charged with a hate crime for "anti-Semitic remarks" during the assault.

Bobby Valentine had to redo the Red Sox's lineup Wednesday because he had no idea Liam Hendriks was right-handed and not left-handed. And then they clobbered him anyway.

• In addition to the "Mr. Irrelevant" title and a celebration at Disneyland the last pick in the NFL draft now also gets ... well, let's call it a date.

Picture of the week: Louis C.K. meets Hillary Clinton, with photo-bomb by Amy Poehler.

Mila Kunis has made headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, but thankfully the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com still looks like this at a photo shoot and like this at the airport.

Chuck Klosterman bravely attended Creed and Nickelback concerts on the same night so he could write about the experience for Grantland.

• I'm pretty much obsessed with weight loss after being fat for most of my life and losing 150 pounds in one year, so Tara Parker-Pope's lengthy New York Times article was fascinating.

• Speaking of which, it's been a while since the last Fat-O-Meter update: My new goal is to have lost more pounds than my current weight. I started at 355 pounds on March 7, 2011 and now I'm 188 pounds, so the goal is to weigh 177 pounds compared to 178 pounds lost.

Brad Miller closed out his 13-year career in style with a three-pointer and some tears:

And most of Miller's teammates, including the injured, in-street-clothes Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love, wore headbands to honor him.

• It turns out not speaking Spanish really hurt Kyrie Irving's case for Rookie of the Year.

• Court Vision is a great website for "examining the NBA through spatial and visual analytics."

• On last week's Gleeman and The Geek episode I talked about playing basketball for the first time in five years and how depressing it was. One of my former teammates chimed in with a glowing scouting report on my old skills: "Undersized 4, no left hand, ugly jump shot."

Kerry Ligtenberg, the former Gophers pitcher who went from the independent league Minneapolis Loons to closing for the Atlanta Braves, is the St. Paul Saints' new pitching coach.

• Watching live as this bit of baseball history unfolded was surreal.

• Remember last week when I wondered what percentage of adult males could throw as hard as Jamie Moyer? I apparently wasn't the only person curious.

Chris Parmelee's life passing before his eyes, in picture form.

Kathleen Robertson is so good (and so good-looking) on the Starz show Boss that I'm willing to forgive her for bouncing the first pitch at a White Sox game.

Hanley Ramirez always wear a Nirvana shirt and a white belt when he hangs with Jay-Z.

Chelsea Peretti writes for one of my favorite shows, Parks and Recreation, and is one of my favorite follows on Twitter. And as this video shows, she's also a hilarious stand-up comic:

For a woman so thin to accurately describe life as a fat man is impressive.

Torii Hunter is up to his old tricks, throwing people under the bus in the media.

• For years now friend of AG.com Ted Berg has been an expert at eating and writing about sandwiches, so making sandwiches on YouTube was the natural progression.

• HBO sadly has canceled one of my favorite shows, The Life And Times Of Tim, after three underrated seasons.

• My fellow Community fans will enjoy Gillian Jacobs' appearance on Janet Varney's podcast.

• I'm hooked on HBO's new show, Veep, and it's reassuring to know that 29-year-old me likes 31-year-old Anna Chlumsky as much as 9-year-old me liked 11-year-old Anna Chlumsky.

• If you don't like Astros second baseman Jose Altuve we can't be friends.

• My cousin Josh Gallop had a 0.90 ERA and 13-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the Hopkins sophomore team, so they moved him up to the junior varsity squad. I've already put in a request with Baseball America editor John Manuel for a cover story.

• Netflix recommendation: The Messenger, starring Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster.

• Finally, in honor of the Twins' terrible start this week's AG.com-approved music video is "The World (Is Going Up In Flames)" by Charles Bradley:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Snap Fitness in Uptown, which offers convenient and affordable workouts with industry best equipment. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 25, 2012

Twins Notes: Hughes, Liriano, Revere, Ortiz, Kelly, Capps, and Sano

• Last year after 18 games the Twins were 6-12 and had been outscored 88-54. This year they're 5-13 and have been outscored 102-65 for MLB's worst run differential. And dating back to the final 10 games of the 2010 regular season the Twins are now 70-123 (.363).

Designated for assignment by the Twins last week, Luke Hughes was claimed off waivers by the A's and is getting an opportunity for regular playing time at third base. Hughes manned third base in just 14 of his 74 total starts for the Twins, but actually played there more than any other position in the minors. That didn't stop him from committing three errors in his first 10 innings at third base for the A's and his bat remains iffy for the position.

• On this week's Gleeman and The Geek episode we wondered what the Twins would do with Francisco Liriano following his latest ugly outing and their answer, for now at least, is to use an off day on the schedule to skip his turn in the rotation. Liriano will basically take a week off from game action, with bullpen sessions scheduled for Thursday and Saturday, and then will start May 1 versus the Angels. And if that goes poorly, things could get interesting in a hurry.

• Since the beginning of last year the Twins are 12-16 (.429) when Liriano starts and 56-96 (.368) when anyone else starts. He's clearly a problem, but he's not exactly the problem. In fact, Twins starters not named Liriano have a 5.83 ERA and just 4.9 strikeouts per nine innings while allowing 17 homers and a .307 opponents' batting average in 78.2 innings. Is it against the rules for a team to skip every member of the rotation for the entire season?

Josh Willingham is taking a paternity leave for a few days and to fill his roster spot the Twins have recalled Ben Revere from Triple-A, where he went 6-for-27 (.222) with zero extra-base hits and zero walks in six games. His initial replacement, Clete Thomas, is 4-for-21 (.182) with 13 strikeouts while oddly seeing far more playing time than Revere was getting before the demotion.

David Ortiz launching a massive homer off a Twins pitcher last night while Tom Kelly looked on from the broadcast booth brought back memories of this 2006 article by Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

David Ortiz has his own theories about the Twins' struggle for home run power. Mostly, he blames Tom Kelly. And when Ortiz speaks, he packs the punch of a one-time Twins discard who blossomed into a home run-hitting star with the Boston Red Sox. So, why haven't the Twins had a player hit 30 home runs since 1987?

"Because they're stupid," Ortiz said. "You take a hard swing, and the manager [Kelly] was screaming at you from the dugout, 'Hey! Hey!' Then you finish the season with 10 homers. They ask you what happened, why you don't hit for power?"

There's a lot more to it than that, of course, but six years later Ortiz is hitting .444/.486/.714 and "the Twins' struggle for home run power" is still a thing.

• Friend of AG.com and former Gleeman and The Geek guest Lindsay Guentzel won a spot in the MLB Fan Cave and recently wrote an MLB.com article about her experience there, including a visit from Joe Mauer, Matt Capps, Brian Duensing, and Liam Hendriks when the Twins were in New York last week.

Ben Goessling of the St. Paul Pioneer Press used to cover the Nationals when Capps was their closer and wrote a good article about how things have changed for the worse. Capps has now served up 12 homers in his last 66 innings dating back to last season.

• Liriano, Hughes, Nick Blackburn, Matt Maloney, Chris Parmelee, and Danny Valencia had the Twins' most impressive spring training performances. Something to remember next March.

Justin Morneau is 0-for-16 against lefties and 13-for-42 (.310) with four homers and a 1.100 OPS against righties.

• Mauer started the season 1-for-10. Since then he's hitting .351 with a .440 on-base percentage and has yet to sit out a game.

Jared Burton has been one of the few bright spots for the Twins' pitching staff and Mike Axisa of Fan Graphs took an interesting look at his changeup-splitter hybrid pitch.

No. 9 prospect Alex Wimmers battled back from extreme control problems to finish last season on a high note, but now he's on the disabled list at Double-A with a strained elbow.

No. 1 prospect Miguel Sano, two weeks shy of his 19th birthday, has hit .292/.432/.662 with six homers, four doubles, and 15 walks through 19 games at low Single-A, where he's the sixth-youngest player in the entire Midwest League.

This week's blog content is sponsored by Snap Fitness in Uptown, which offers convenient and affordable workouts with industry best equipment. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 23, 2012

“Gleeman and The Geek” #38: F-Bomb

This week's episode of Gleeman and The Geek was recorded at KFAN's studio and for the first time featured phone calls from listeners. Topics included what to do with Francisco Liriano, Luke Hughes leaving via the waiver wire, why the only thing worse than my basketball skills is getting old, the clock ticking on Alexi Casilla and Danny Valencia, evaluating the surprisingly decent bullpen, our PickPointz selections, and the Single-A monster known as Miguel Sano.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 38

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

This week's blog content is sponsored by Snap Fitness in Uptown, which offers convenient and affordable workouts with industry best equipment. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 20, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek will be live on KFAN again Sunday at 4:00, shortly after the Twins-Rays game. If you missed last week's show, which was our radio debut, give it a listen.

• One of my favorites writes about one of my ... well, not-so-favorites. And credit to the Minneapolis Star Tribune for printing an equally damning follow-up.

• Internet list perfection: The 21 Absolute Worst Things In The World.

• No doubt worried about her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status, Mila Kunis was quick to deny this very troubling report.

Kelly Shoppach's first career stolen base was spectacular.

• While sitting out the end of the Timberwolves' season Kevin Love has really stepped up his mustache-growing game.

Delmon Young hilariously doing a 360-degree spin in pursuit of a fly ball and then dropping it was inexplicably ruled a "triple" by the official scorer in Chicago, but MLB has since stepped in to overrule the decision.

• This is very close to being online dating sabermetrics and is also very creepy.

• Sorry everyone, this is what happens when I make an effort to leave the house more.

• Ram Jam plus Mad Men equals amazing:

Helluva advertisement for Bugles, too.

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus wrote a great article about what happens when you get a press pass and have to actually use it, which is ... well, more on that a later date.

• And speaking of press passes and access, what Bill James wrote about the value of being a baseball outsider remains fantastic 30 years later.

Yangtze in St. Louis Park is my favorite restaurant even though I've never had their dim sum, which was just named the Twin Cities' best by City Pages. I'm partial to the hunan chicken, but everything there is good.

• This sketch is way funnier than it probably should be.

Alison Brie is great on Mad Men and great on Community and looks like this.

• I can't imagine standing while I work, so instead I emulate Mark Twain's approach.

• Based solely on the fact that my mom drives with one foot on the gas and one foot on the break this study makes a lot of sense.

• Tuesday night 49-year-old Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher in baseball history to record a win and amazingly did so without cracking 80 miles per hour on any his 84 pitches, which got me wondering what percentage of adult males can throw that hard.

• And then the whole Moyer/velocity question turned into a movie idea.

• I'm a sucker for blooper reels and this one from Parks and Recreation is great:

"What kind of boys?"

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook is really good at Tumblr.

• If his t-shirts are any indication Amare Stoudemire is pretty serious about this whole member of the tribe thing.

Doug Miller of MLB.com wrote a lengthy story about Fan Graphs analyst Dave Cameron and his battle with leukemia.

Trevor Mbakwe using a medical redshirt for a second senior year has inspired me to go back to college, so I'm sending my updated resume to the Minnesota Daily. Fingers crossed!

• Not surprisingly, Showtime's new season of The Franchise starring Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins looks pretty good aside from way too much Jeffrey Loria.

• Considering the crush I had on Anna Chlumsky after seeing My Girl in the early 1990s not immediately recognizing her in the previews for Veep on HBO brings me great shame.

• If you like funny people talking about not-so-funny topics and/or have struggled with depression, Morgan Murphy's appearance on The Mental Illness Happy Hour with Paul Gilmartin is a must-listen. And she's also great to follow on Twitter.

• For anyone with Netflix who enjoys documentaries, I highly recommend Knuckle, Into The Abyss, and Cocaine Cowboys.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Vintage Trouble with a very acoustic version of "Nobody Told Me":

This week's blog content is sponsored by PickPointz, where you can make predictions, pick games, and win prizes for free. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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