April 29, 2013

Gleeman and The Geek #91: Radio Return and It’s April

For this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we returned to the radio at KFAN and topics included the Twins' surprisingly decent April, how wrong we've been about Kevin Correia, Aaron Hicks heating up offensively and making mistakes defensively, leash lengths for Trevor Plouffe and Chris Parmelee, shifting positions helping Brian Dozier, Mike Pelfrey's rough comeback from Tommy John surgery, dropping weight and licking palms, and shot-gunning beers.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 91

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

Here was my view just before the show started:

bonnes at kfan


This week's blog content is sponsored by "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren's upcoming appearance at the Minneapolis Sabes JCC on May 5. Please support him for supporting AG.com.

April 26, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• Sunday afternoon "Gleeman and The Geek" is back on the radio for our second season on KFAN. Beginning at 4:00 you can tune into 100.3-FM or steam the show on KFAN.com to hear us live, or you can wait for the podcast like always.

• Photographs of what death row inmates choose as their final meals are predictably fascinating.

• I've often wondered how much pot could fit inside a Pac-Man arcade game.

Yu Darvish is a helluva drug.

• What does it say about me that I grew up dreaming about getting, tried to get, and failed to get what is now deemed the worst job in America?

• One second before Oswaldo Arcia launched his first career home run approximately 1,000 feet Bert Blyleven wondered if he would be asked to bunt. So perfect.

• I would gladly have participated in Nathan Fielder's little freak-out-your-parents experiment, except my mom a) wouldn't care and b) doesn't text.

• I'm pretty obsessed with Twitter and like gaining followers, both for my ego and because it helps me get people to read my writing, but this whole thing seems pathetically shady.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we had two special guests on and at one point I tried to convince everyone that Doug Mientkiewicz is one of the best-looking Twins of this era.

• One of my favorite musicians, Richie Havens, passed away at age 72. My annual Opening Day tradition here involves ending my Twins season preview with a video of his great live version of "Here Comes The Sun" from 1971:

RIP, one of the best.

• It turns out that Tom Cruise does most of his acting standing on an apple crate.

• Try to find another MLB closer who engages idiots on Twitter between doubleheader games.

• Last week I ranked my top 10 baseball movies of all time at HardballTalk and tried to convince everyone that "The Sandlot" is underrated, so naturally Wendy Peffercorn showed up on "Mad Men" a few days later.

• Even better, the Twins and FOX Sports North announced that they'll be showing "The Sandlot" on the Target Field jumbotron after the Twins-Red Sox game on May 19.

• Stand-up comedian Rob Delaney is singing the National Anthem at the Dodgers-Brewers game tonight, and the recap of how that came to be is pretty funny.

• Netflix now has more American subscribers than HBO.

• It has nothing to do with anything, but this is my favorite GIF from "Mad Men" this week.

Nate Sandell of 1500ESPN.com wrote a very good article about new Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino getting into statistical analysis.

• In which Paul Allen suggests we go on a double-date at a Twins game.

• Of course A.J. Pierzynski was involved in this somehow.

• After years of playing through injuries and taking painkillers former Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson is struggling just to live life at age 44.

• Earlier this week I named Hannibal Buress as one of my five favorite stand-up comedians and he also does a nice job acting in this short film.

Fortunately that did not happen when I saw him at Acme Comedy Company a few months ago.

• Anyone who likes Elisabeth Moss on "Mad Men" (or liked her on "The West Wing") should check out the mini-series "Top Of The Lake" on Netflix for a really well done, slow burn mystery/drama co-starring Peter Mullan and Holly Hunter.

• IFC put the pilot episode of Marc Maron's new television show on YouTube.

• Wanna buy all of Bret Saberhagen's old baseball stuff?

• My favorite part of this week's Carson Cistulli-Dayn Perry podcast was 36 minutes in, when Perry tells Cistulli that he thinks podcasts are terrible and Cistulli tries to convince Perry otherwise by saying: "Aaron Gleeman listens to podcasts all day." (Spoiler alert: It did not work.)

• I enjoyed this video from the Sloan Conference panel about basketball analytics featuring Stan Van Gundy, R.C. Buford, and Zach Lowe. SVG in particular was really impressive/funny.

Kelly Dwyer of Yahoo! Sports examined whether Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are the best-shooting backcourt in NBA history.

• I answered a bunch of mailbag questions from Twitter. I'd like to figure out a way to make the mailbag posts a regular thing here without having to specifically ask for questions each time, so let me know any suggestions.

• We made some changes to the comments section and might have a few wrinkles to iron out, so check it out, be patient, and let me know any issues.

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

- "Is Aaron Gleeman a mensch?"
- "What to do if you're a 30-year-old kid"
- "T-ball lineup card"
- "Gordon Ramsay and George Michael"
- "Denzel Washington baseball"
- "How long should you fry wing sections?"
- "Sabermetics approach to dating"
- "Does Aaron Gleeman blog with his pants off?"
- "What synagogue does Jeselnik go to?"
- "Luis Rivas baseball"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Havens singing "Freedom" at Woodstock:


This week's blog content is sponsored by "Hank Greenberg: The Hero of Heroes" author John Rosengren's upcoming appearance at the Minneapolis Sabes JCC on May 5. Please support him for supporting AG.com.

April 24, 2013

Twitter Mailbag: Answers

Over the weekend I asked "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners to submit questions for this week's show via Twitter, but then we had a busier than expected episode with multiple guests and didn't have time to actually answer them. I always appreciate the questions and don't want them to go ignored, so here are my answers in written form:

@MattAnderson_WI: Was Aaron Hicks rushed to the big league team too soon? To what do you attribute his early season hitting woes?

Not sure if I'd call it "rushing" in a pejorative sense, but a 23-year-old skipping Triple-A to jump from Double-A to the majors is definitely an aggressive promotion and Aaron Hicks was good rather than great at Double-A last season. I think he'll be fine long term, but a high strikeout rate and questions about his passiveness at the plate have always been part of the equation with Hicks and I'd have started him at Triple-A.

@PatAarons: Who'll spend more time in the bigs this year: Hicks or Oswaldo Arcia?

That's tough to say, because in both cases the next couple weeks could determine what happens, but I'll say Hicks. Oswaldo Arcia's odds of sticking are hurt by the Twins' depth in the outfield corners and first base/designated hitter, whereas the opposite is true with Hicks and center field.

@ErikAmundson: When is Samuel Deduno going to get his chance at a starting job and how could he excel?

There's a decent chance Samuel Deduno would have begun the season in the Twins' rotation if not for the groin injury he suffered during the World Baseball Classic. He's still sidelined by that injury, so he needs to get healthy and start pitching again at Triple-A. As for how he could excel, not walking 4-5 batters per nine innings would be a good place to start. He shows more flashes of potential than your standard mediocre pitcher, but the end result is still mediocre.

@JonTerbush: Thoughts about Vance Worley's rough start given his regression from 2011-2012?

This question was submitted before Vance Worley threw seven innings of one-run ball against the White Sox on Saturday and my answer is that small sample sizes lead to overreactions, good and bad.

@skittermiax: Top five comedians?

I listen to a ton of stand-up comedy, so I'm going to be leaving out lots of favorites, but in terms of current, in-their-prime stand-ups I'll go with:

1. Louis C.K.
2. Hannibal Buress
3. John Mulaney
4. Gary Gulman
5. Tom Segura

@MNfanfromafar: Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer. If they perform well, where do they each finish the season?

It's been pretty tough to predict the Twins' promotion schedules lately, but assuming that they all continue to thrive at their current levels I'd guess high Single-A for Byron Buxton, Double-A for Miguel Sano, and Triple-A for Alex Meyer, with some chance of Meyer reaching the majors.

@twolvesfan: How soon do you see Miguel Sano reaching the majors?

Cliche as it may sound, this depends on Sano. If he continues to absolutely destroy high Single-A and keeps putting up huge numbers following what would presumably be a midseason promotion to Double-A then reaching the majors in mid-2014 might be possible. If instead he's merely good, or maybe even struggles at some point, then 2015 is more likely. Right now he's 19 years old and has fewer than 100 plate appearances at high Single-A, so the path isn't exactly set in stone.

@MattTrueblood: This week SI.com pegs the Twins to contend again in 2016. What's your timetable?

At this point I'd like to see the Twins be "not terrible" this season, move solidly into "respectable" territory in 2014, and get into "contending" range in 2015. If it takes until 2016 for them to put together a team capable of winning the AL Central that means they'll have gone five years with bad teams and that would be an awfully long rebuild in a perpetually weak division.

@vidbikecurlguy: Do the Twins take a pitcher this year in the draft? If Mark Appel is available do they take him?

I'm of the opinion that you should always draft the best player available in baseball, regardless of current needs, and the Twins appear to feel the same way. With that said, most of the consensus top-five draft prospects this year are college pitchers, including Mark Appel. Trying to predict the draft six weeks out is mostly pointless, but right now I'd bet on the Twins taking a college pitcher.

@OverTheBaggy: How many episodes deep are you into "Dawson's Creek" and have you felt your estrogen levels increase in that time?

After suggesting via Twitter that Michelle Williams might be the best actress currently and at Dana Wessel's urging I watched the 1998 pilot episode of "Dawson's Creek" last week on Netflix. I'd never seen the show before and won't be watching it again, but it did bring back some weird 1990s nostalgia and 15-year-old me might not have hated it. Based on the pilot alone, I'd likely have been on Team Joey.

@johnsoth: Regarding front office talk not matching their actions, is this normal across MLB? Is there less accountability in the Minnesota media market?

Certainly teams being less than forthright about their plans is common, but in the Twins' case it has increased significantly of late. My guess is that all the losing after a decade of mostly winning plays a big factor in both how the Twins speak publicly and how the media covers them.

@skittermiax: How much responsibility does the organization hold for the injury problems the Twins have?

This is an impossible question to answer with any sort of certainty, but I do think it's reached the point where the Twins stand out from other teams in a negative way. And that has nothing to do with the actual injuries, but rather the mismatched diagnoses and recovery timetables, hesitance to use the disabled list, and dispensing of information publicly.

@josephwgoodman: You've never called for the firing of Ron Gardenhire or the front office. Is that because of their performance or just not your style?

I've certainly never shied away from criticizing Ron Gardenhire or the Twins' front office, but I'm definitely not the "call for someone to get fired" type and in fact I think the proliferation of that is one of the worst aspects of modern sportswriting.

@johnmoz: How good does it feel not to have to watch Twins games?

I've watched at least 90 percent of the Twins' games every season for the past decade and this year won't be any different.

@RandBallsStu: Does John Bonnes have a go-to aftershave?

It's not clear to me that John Bonnes needs to shave. He tried to grow a beard for the entire month of November as part of "Movember" and the result looked like if someone had glued 10 random hairs to his face. He does always smell lovely, though.

@tony_basch: What's up with Jamey Carroll? If the Twins think they can be competitive this season should they use him more?

We talked quite a bit about Jamey Carroll's lack of playing time on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode. Short version: I understand wanting to use younger players over a 39-year-old, but those younger players don't necessarily have much upside and Carroll might still be the Twins' best middle infielder. I hope they can find a trade for him, because Carroll can still have value. He hit .315/.378/.371 in the second half last season.

@tonyrossi22: Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey surgery recovery. Compare and contrast the Twins' approach with them. Is it age, investment, or other driving plan?

First, all that stuff about Mike Pelfrey returning from Tommy John surgery sooner than everyone isn't so impressive when it comes with a 7.94 ERA. Beyond that, their recovery timetables weren't much different. Kyle Gibson was back pitching in games about 11 months after surgery, it's just that those games were in the minors.

@MattAnderson_WI: Will the Twins have a starting pitcher win 13 games this season?

I'm not going to answer this, because I want to discourage people from caring about pitcher wins.

@Dwade: If walks and strikeouts weren't part of baseball and you just stood up there until you put a ball in play, what would Joe Mauer's pitches per plate appearance be?

I'm endlessly fascinated by game theory in baseball and poker and whatever else, so I'm putting this question last in case people want to discuss it in the comments section. My initial instinct is that with the elimination of walks taking away all motivation for pitchers to throw strikes the sport would basically be ruined and plate appearances would essentially last until everyone fell asleep.


This week's blog content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's new GAME SIX shirt, commemorating one of the best moments in Minnesota sports history. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 22, 2013

Gleeman and The Geek #90: Star-Studded Brewing

For this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we were joined by Parker Hageman of Twins Daily and Adam Schill of 612 Brew, and topics included what Oswaldo Arcia means for Chris Parmelee, Miguel Sano's timetable, more injury hijinks with Darin Mastroianni, David Ortiz's speech to Boston, Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven on "cyber"metrics, the youngest players in Twins history, the Minnesota Business subscription drive, and where Jamey Carroll is hiding.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 90

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

Here's what our pre-show prep looks like:

gleeman and the geek episode 90 2

And here's what we look like mid-show, naturally with me talking and Bonnes drinking:

gleeman and the geek episode 90


This week's blog content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's new GAME SIX shirt, commemorating one of the best moments in Minnesota sports history. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

April 19, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I'd have pegged Jose Mijares as the perpetrator, not the victim, in a "someone farted in the bullpen" situation.

• I was trying to keep this a secret, but I guess the news is out: I live in Michigan now and have a 6-year-old son.

• I took issue with IMDB's ranking of the top 10 baseball movies of all time, so I put together my own list over at HardballTalk. Despite blogging since 2002 it was my first real foray into making lists for people to argue about on the internet. And boy did they!

Kyle Buchanan of Vulture did some interesting research (with graphs!) about how male movie stars get old and their female love interests stay mostly the same age.

• As a freshman in college I had three roommates I'd never met before and within the first week two of them uttered the same phrase as Oklahoma politician Bill Johnson.

• I have a few openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• One of my favorite writers, Joe Posnanski, did a lengthy feature on one of my favorite coaches, Gregg Popovich, and not surprisingly it's great.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode a woman named Delilah interrupted the show, decided she liked us, and stayed to chat for a while.

• I didn't think it was possible to be any more into Alison Brie, but then I watched her 22-minute chat with Paul F. Tompkins.

And there's more where that came from.

• On a related note, my favorite moment from the most recent "Mad Men" episode? Please do!

• Of the several million "Mad Men" recaps I read each week Molly Lambert's for Grantland always rate at or near the top.

Justin Bieber on Anne Frank, obviously.

Ben Revere is not off to a good start in Philadelphia and the complaints sound familiar, but his catch Monday night was incredible. Of course, not every attempted great catch works so well.

• I'm getting pretty sick of Glen Perkins trying to ride my coattails to fame.

• Between the weather and the score last Friday night's Twins-Mets game was depressing, but the highlight was what happened when a bat flew into the stands. My new best friend is the guy in the Johan Santana jersey holding an ice cream cone.

• My favorite baseball player is selling his house and it's cheap enough that I think we should all pool our money together and buy the place.

Rasheed Wallace announced his retirement again and I'll choose to remember him like this.

Adam Scott is sick of Adam Scott.

• I joked on Twitter that Carlos Quentin's punishment for charging the mound on Zack Greinke should be having to do the same on Kyle Farnsworth, and Dayn Perry of CBSSports.com looked into Farnsworth's "weapons-grade soup-bones."

Faith Hill is stepping down as the "Sunday Night Football" theme singer, so I've put in a request with the NBC higher-ups to do the right thing and replace her with Mase.

• Oh, no big deal, just Dolph Lundgren singing (and drumming) Elvis on Eurovision:

Amazing.

• I enjoyed this chat between official pitcher of the internet Brandon McCarthy and living legend Carson Cistulli, who also had a good chat with Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic about life as a baseball beat reporter.

Nate Sandell of 1500ESPN.com wrote a good piece about new Gophers basketball coach Richard Pinto being a stat-head.

• My fellow "Chopped" fans will love frequent judge Scott Conant's appearance on "WTF" with Marc Maron. He was great and hopefully it convinces Maron to interview more chefs.

Norm MacDonald's weekly video podcast has quickly become a must-watch and Russell Brand was an especially entertaining guest.

• Link-O-Rama regular Dana Wessel was a guest on this week's "The Sportive" podcast, if you're into that type of thing.

• I watched "The Campaign" on HBO and it was decent, but far more interesting was discovering that the actress who played Will Ferrell's wife was married to both Dennis Hopper and French Stewart in real life. How do you think she describes her "type"?

• My love for Mets right-hander Matt Harvey knows no bounds, unlike my photoshop skills.

Joe Mauer turns 30 years old today and I choose to celebrate by looking at this picture again.

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

- "Corey Koskie net worth"
- "Is Miguel Sano that good?"
- "FSN naked girl"
- "Sid Hartman drinking hot chocolate"
- "Is Jon Taffer Jewish?"
- "Jon Taffer in Minnesota"
- "How did Kevin Goldstein get famous?"
- "Men line up Target Field restroom"
- "Twins pitching still sucks"
- "Mila Kunis tired"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Vivrant Thing" by Q-Tip:


This week's blog content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's new GAME SIX shirt, commemorating one of the best moments in Minnesota sports history. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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