May 31, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• For most of my life I dreamed of being a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I gave up on that ever happening a while back, but this might be the next-best thing: Star Tribune metro reporter Ben Johnson wrote a lengthy article about me and my weird career path and AG.com reaching 10 million visitors. I haven't seen a copy of the physical newspaper yet, but the article got top billing in the "West Metro" section of the website:

Star Tribune story

Thanks to Johnson for being such a pleasure to deal with and to various people for saying nice things about me. My mom and grandma are very happy. Give it a read.

• I'm mostly just happy that the photographer didn't ask me to pose like this.

Matt Harvey never even gave me a chance.

Glen Perkins' highly effective "make every Twins fan fall in love with him" tour continues with an amusing collection of quotes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

• I've been using Twitter wrong this whole time. Also, who won Miss Minnesota this year?

• Rays prospect Joshua Sale provides more evidence of the strong correlation linking being an asshole and not knowing the difference between "your" and "you're."

• 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.

• As someone who really got hooked on poker from watching ESPN's coverage of the World Series of Poker in 2003, Grantland's oral history of Chris Moneymaker and company was a great read.

• If you're curious about who the Twins will select with the No. 4 overall pick in next week's draft, I profiled all the potential targets from Mark Appel to Reese McGuire.

• And on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we went even more in depth talking with special guest Jeremy Nygaard about the upcoming draft and also tried to figure out the Twins' reasoning behind all the recent roster moves.

• Who wore it better? Zubaz edition, starring me and another St. Paul boy born in 1983:

mauer and gleeman zubaz

My limo was bigger than Joe Mauer's trophy, if nothing else.

Nick Swarsdon on "Norm MacDonald Live" has to be one of the five funniest interviews ever by someone wearing a Timberwolves hat.

• It took a while, but Carlos Gomez has become one of the best players in baseball at age 27.

• My weekly appearance on Paul Allen's show was derailed by talk of what exactly goes on in my bedroom and then things went downhill from there.

• Speaking of PA, he randomly sat behind Parker Hageman at Wednesday night's Twins-Brewers game and they both got on television reacting to Chris Parmelee's great catch. Of course, if you look at the video from another angle Hageman tried to pull a Steve Bartman and failed.

• Once upon a time reading "some college, no degree is not going to cut it" would've scared me.

Curtis Granderson is donating $5 million to his alma mater, which is about 10 percent of his lifetime earnings. In related news, every six months someone from the University of Minnesota calls me looking for money, I offer to donate in exchange for a diploma, and they hang up.

• I like that my HardballTalk blogmate Craig Calcaterra is now a leading source for pictures of dudes in their underwear.

• This week's Carson Cistulli-Dayn Perry chat/business meeting included Cistulli revealing that he's "both a talented and enthusiastic dancer" with "legitimate moves" and Perry explaining that he "would out-dead lift the shit out of Rob Neyer."

Yu Darvish has nearly as many strikeouts as the Twins' entire starting rotation.

• I'm sure there's an official video for "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk, but I'll choose to believe this is it:

That's co-produced by Minnesota native, stand-up comedian, and Twitter rascal Joe Mande.

• MinnPost is a non-profit organization and as part of their fundraising efforts you can hang out with me (and John Bonnes) in a Target Field suite and watch the Twins-Tigers game on June 15.

Chris Colabello wore the wrong uniform Tuesday night and no one noticed until after the game.

• SABR posted details of all the research presentations scheduled for this year's convention, which is July 31 to August 4 in Philadelphia. I've gone to every convention since 2004.

• Why did the Twins send down Oswaldo Arcia and when are they going to call up Kyle Gibson?

• Comedian/writer Morgan Murphy was a really enjoyable guest on Jay Mohr's podcast because she talked about my three favorite things: Sports, comedy, and depression.

• "Sound City" is one of the best music documentaries I've ever seen and it's available on Amazon for just 99 cents this week. Do yourself a favor and watch it.

• If you're interested in becoming an AG.com sponsor, next week's spot hasn't been reserved yet and you can read all the details here.

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

- "Is Kevin Slowey for real?"
- "Elisabeth Moss feet obsession"
- "Robby Incmikoski is how old?"
- "Caleb Thielbar's mom"
- "Jon Bones KFAN"
- "Ryan Doumit shirtless"
- "Was Gary Gaetti any good for the Twins?"
- "Craig Calcaterra fan fiction"
- "Who are the FSN Girls dating?"
- "Meatsauce work KFAN pizza"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Dreams" by The Game:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 30, 2013

Getting to know the Twins’ draft options with the No. 4 overall pick

2013 draft appel gray bryant

Next week the Twins will add the No. 4 pick to their stacked farm system, making a top-10 pick in back-to-back drafts for the first time since taking Adam Johnson second in 2000 and Joe Mauer first in 2001. Johnson was a bust and Mauer is on a Hall of Fame path, which is the draft in a nutshell even when picking so high. Their other top-10 picks since 1990 are B.J. Garbe, Ryan Mills, Michael Cuddyer, Travis Lee, Todd Walker, and David McCarty. You get the idea.

Last year having the No. 2 pick worked out perfectly for the Twins when the Astros passed on the consensus top high school player and the consensus top college player with the No. 1 pick, leading to the Twins choosing Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton over various high-end college arms. They could use a similar break this year because most draft analysts agree on three players standing out above the class, possibly leaving the Twins to choose among the best of the rest.

Let's get to know the players who could potentially be the Twins' choice with the fourth pick ...


Mark Appel, Stanford University right-hander

Last year at this time Mark Appel was widely projected as the No. 1 pick, but when his hometown Astros passed on him in favor of high school shortstop Carlos Correa the Stanford right-hander fell all the way to the Pirates at No. 8. Appel and agent Scott Boras then played hardball with the Pirates, ultimately turning down a $3.8 million offer. He returned to Stanford for his senior season and was fantastic with a 2.12 ERA and 130-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 106 innings.

Appel is once again projected as the potential No. 1 pick, although if Houston passed on him there once it seems likely to happen this year too. That probably won't be enough for Appel to fall to the Twins at No. 4, although with Boras in the mix anything is possible. It's also unclear if the Twins would actually take Appel at No. 4 even if he's there, because just like the Astros they've already passed on him once in favor of Buxton.

Keith Law of ESPN writes that Appel has improved his off-speed pitches, which were often cited as a relative weakness last year, and calls him "clearly the draft's top talent" thanks to "top-of-the-rotation stuff and great command." Baseball America rates him as the draft's No. 2 prospect and calls Appel "everything scouts look for in a frontline pitcher" with a 6-foot-5 frame, mid-90s fastball, and plus slider "that generates swings and misses."


Jonathan Gray, University of Oklahoma right-hander

At the beginning of the season Jonathan Gray wasn't even rated among Baseball America's top 50 draft prospects, but the University of Oklahoma right-hander has vaulted all the way to their top spot by throwing 110 innings with a 1.55 ERA and 127-to-21 strikeout-to-walk ratio. According to BA he was "a live-armed but chubby high schooler" whose raw stuff now compares to Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall pick out of UCLA in 2011.

Law rates Gray second behind Appel, but says he "might have better pure stuff ... touching 100 miles per hour regularly, with a plus slider." Last year Gray was good but not great for Oklahoma and he came into this year as his own team's No. 2 starter, which is why he's generally viewed as less of a sure thing than Appel. However, his odds of actually falling to the Twins at No. 4 seem even lower than Appel's and right now Gray looks like the favorite to go No. 1.


Kris Bryant, University of San Diego third baseman/outfielder

Considered the best college bat in the draft, Kris Bryant is a 6-foot-5 right-handed slugger with huge power and an excellent eye at the plate. He's hit .340/.500/.860 with an NCAA-leading 31 homers and more walks (62) than strikeouts (40) in 58 games for the University of San Diego as a junior. As a sophomore last year Bryant hit .366/.483/.671 with 14 homers and more walks (39) than strikeouts (38) in 57 games.

In addition to topping a 1.000 OPS in each of his three college seasons Bryant was also projected as a potential first-round pick out of high school, so there are no holes to poke in his track record offensively. Defensively is another issue. His arm strength draws positive reviews and it's possible he could stick at third base, but both BA and Law expect him to wind up as a right fielder or first baseman. If he falls would the Twins pass on pitching help for another high-upside bat?


Kohl Stewart, Texas high school right-hander

Considered the top high school pitcher in the draft, Houston right-hander Kohl Stewart is also a star football player signed to play quarterback at Texas A&M. Like most high school aces Stewart throws in the mid-90s, but he's unique in that Law says he "has four legitimate pitches" including a hard slider that's considered his best offering. Even in citing his inconsistent control Law calls Stewart "by far the best prep arm in the class."

Baseball America quotes one MLB scouting director who says Stewart has better raw stuff than Appel or Gray, but also notes that "some clubs could shy away from Stewart because he's a Type 1 diabetic." BA has published two mock drafts and both have the Twins taking Stewart, but it's worth noting that J.O. Berrios last year is the only high school pitcher they've selected in the top 50 picks since 2005. Even more so than the draft in general high school pitching is boom or bust.


Colin Moran, University of North Carolina third baseman

Colin Moran can't compete with Bryant's raw power, but the University of North Carolina junior is a helluva college hitter and may have better odds of remaining at third base long term. Moran has hit .352 in three college seasons, including .357/.485/.579 with 55 walks versus just 20 strikeouts in 60 games this year. And the left-handed hitter is certainly not without power, smacking 13 homers this season and 25 total homers in 650 college at-bats.

In ranking Moran seventh in the class BA says "he covers the plate, lays off pitcher's pitches, has excellent hand-eye coordination, and drives the ball to all parts of the ballpark." That's evident in his great production and strikeout-to-walk ratios, but Law raises questions about an "unorthodox" and "not pretty" swing, which includes "a long stride forward in the box." And if Moran is forced to move down the defensive spectrum any lack of power development would hurt a lot.


Braden Shipley, University of Nevada right-hander

Assuming that Appel and Gray are both off the board Braden Shipley would be the best available college pitcher and the Twins have targeted a ton of college right-handers in recent years. They've chosen the following college righties within the first 50 picks since 2000: Adam Johnson, Aaron Heilman, Matt Fox, Matt Garza, Shooter Hunt, Carlos Gutierrez, Kyle Gibson, Alex Wimmers, Luke Bard. However, choosing Shipley this year might be a stretch.

He ranks among the top 10 according to BA, ESPN, and MLB.com, but none have Shipley in the top five and everyone seems to agree he's a clear step below Appel and Gray. Shipley starred for a bad Nevada team as a junior, posting a 2.77 ERA and 102/34 K/BB ratio in 107 innings, which is impressive for a guy who moved from shortstop to the mound as a sophomore. Shipley reaches the mid-90s with his fastball and BA praises his changeup as "one of the draft's best."


Austin Meadows, Georgia high school center fielder

Last year the Twins selected Buxton out of a rural Georgia high school and the consensus two best high school position players in this year's class are also Georgia outfielders. Austin Meadows was considered the best of the bunch coming into the season, although his stock has seemingly dipped a bit since then. Meadows is 6-foot-3 and already pretty big at 210 pounds, so sticking in center field long term may be an issue despite good speed and athleticism.

Baseball America praises Meadows' "mature" approach at the plate and calls his left-handed swing "smooth and easy" while questioning how much power he'll develop. Law reports that some scouts are put off by Meadows' lack of energy and notes that his "fringy" arm would likely limit him to left field if he outgrows center field. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com cites Meadows' "five-tool potential," which is the most common trait attached to high school center fielders.


Clint Frazier, Georgia high school center fielder

Clint Frazier is the other stud high schooler from Georgia and rates slightly higher than Meadows according to both Baseball America and MLB.com. He's much smaller than Meadows and Mayo cites Frazier's "lack of physicality" in wondering how much room he has to develop. He does have plenty of power potential as a right-handed hitter and Law says Frazier "has the best bat speed in this draft ... maybe the best I've seen on an amateur prospect."

He's a center fielder now, but Law is convinced he'll wind up in right field and that puts Frazier's long-term upside in some question. No team drafts more toolsy high school outfielders than the Twins and they've stressed a "best player available" approach of which I'm definitely in favor, but given their outfield-heavy prospect crop it's hard to see Meadows or Frazier being a top target. According to BA scouts don't consider Meadows or Frazier to be on the same level as Buxton.


Reese McGuire, Washington high school catcher

It never would've occurred to me to have a high school catcher in the mix, but Jim Callis reported in the aforementioned mock draft that "rumors persist that Minnesota could cut a deal with Reese McGuire and spend heavily further down in the draft." He'd be an overdraft at No. 4, but perhaps not by a ton. BA, ESPN.com, and MLB.com all have McGuire in their top 20 and all rave about his defense behind the plate. And all question his offensive potential.

The track record of high school catchers drafted in the top 10 isn't encouraging to say the least, although Mauer being one of the biggest success stories probably makes the Twins less wary of that than most teams. McGuire, like Mauer, is a left-handed hitter with a good glove, but unless the Twins have something big up their sleeve with the money they'd save it would seem awfully risky to use a top-five pick on a catcher who may not hit a ton.


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 28, 2013

Twins Notes: Arcia, Gibson, Benson, Butera, Morneau, Mauer, and Gomez

oswaldo arcia twins

• When the Twins called up Oswaldo Arcia from Triple-A in mid-April they gave him consistent playing time, but as soon as the 22-year-old slumped for the first time those starts dried up. Last week Ron Gardenhire benched Arcia in four straight games, choosing instead to go with Ryan Doumit twice and Chris Parmelee and Chris Colabello once apiece in right field. And then after finally starting Arcia again Friday the Twins demoted him back to Rochester.

Even after his recent slump Arcia was hitting .255/.318/.449 in 30 games overall, which is damn good for a 22-year-old rookie who was rushed to the majors and ranks third on the Twins in OPS behind Joe Mauer and Josh Willingham. In talking about the demotion Gardenhire acted upset, suggesting he may not have agreed with the front office's decision, but the manager choosing to start Doumit, Parmelee, and Colabello over Arcia wasn't helping.

For a 22-year-old's development playing regularly in Rochester is better than playing sparingly in Minnesota, but if they wanted to find room in the lineup for Arcia it's not as if benching Parmelee or sending him back to Triple-A would have been a tough call. For all the focus on Arcia slumping for 30 at-bats, Parmelee is 25 years old and has hit .222/.290/.351 with nine homers and an ugly 88-to-26 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 106 games since last season.

Arcia was Darin Mastroianni's injury replacement and arrived after just 10 games at Triple-A and 79 total games above Single-A, so his heading back down is hardly a tragedy. His plate discipline still needs work, which isn't surprising given his age, hastened timetable, and poor K/BB ratios in the minors. Sending him down now doesn't really jibe with rushing Arcia to the majors in the first place, but it does ensure that he won't burn through a full season of service time in 2013.

• Speaking of service time, bypassing Kyle Gibson twice in favor of Samuel Deduno and P.J. Walters should save the Twins money down the road. Whether that was a factor in keeping him at Triple-A is tough to say, but Gibson is 25 years old and thriving in his first full season back from elbow surgery. In his last four starts he has two complete-game shutouts and another game of eight shutout innings on the way to a 2.82 ERA and 53/17 K/BB ratio in 61 innings overall.

Deduno and Walters are nothing more than replacement-level filler who made a lot more sense last year as emergency options for an injury wrecked rotation. It doesn't speak well for the front office that they're both already back in the rotation following an offseason spent talking about improving the dreadful starting pitching, which has somehow been even worse. Last year they turned to Deduno and Walters because injuries forced them. This year it's their own doing.

• By calling up non-roster players in Deduno, Walters, and Colabello the Twins needed to open three spots on the 40-man roster. Two of those were created by transferring Mastroianni and Tim Wood to the 60-day disabled list and the third was accomplished by waiving someone. There's no shortage of fungible talent on the 40-man roster, which is why it was surprising when they chose Joe Benson and the Rangers claimed him.

Benson has been equal parts injured and awful since the beginning of last season and his stock has plummeted to the point that the 25-year-old former second-round pick is clearly no longer a top prospect. Just a few weeks ago on a "Gleeman and The Geek" episode I actually wondered if Benson was in danger of being trimmed from the 40-man roster, but I was speculating about an offseason move if he continued to struggle all year.

To cut bait now seems short-sighted, especially when the 40-man roster still holds Drew Butera, Cole De Vries, Wilkin Ramirez, Chris Herrmann, Tyler Robertson, and the aforementioned trio of Colabello, Deduno, and Walters. Butera in particular isn't someone to worry about losing. He hit .183 for the Twins after hitting .216 in the minors, and if some team wants to claim his $700,000 contract another bad-hitting, good-fielding catcher isn't difficult to find.

For some organizations losing a struggling former top prospect like Benson is simply the cost of needing to juggle roster spots to provide big-league reinforcements, but in the Twins' case the 40-man roster is full of spare parts and choosing Deduno and Walters as reinforcements when Gibson was already on the 40-man roster essentially cost them Benson. Benson's upside has rapidly deteriorated, but guys like Butera and De Vries have never had any upside.

• Friday night Mauer singled to end Anibal Sanchez's no-hitter with one out in the ninth inning. Mauer previously broke up ninth-inning no-hitters by Gavin Floyd in 2008 and Neftali Feliz in 2010, and doing it three times ties him with former Yankees second baseman Horace Clarke for the most since 1961. I'm not sure if that says more about the Twins' offense or Mauer's hitting.

• Lost in the near no-hitter Friday night is that Parmelee randomly played an inning in center field after Gardenhire pinch-hit Doumit for Aaron Hicks and apparently didn't want to use Ramirez. All of which got me thinking about the least-qualified center fielders in recent Twins history. They've used 23 different center fielders since Gardenhire became manager in 2002, led by Torii Hunter for 814 games and Denard Span for 448 games. Here's the full list:

Torii Hunter     814     Nick Punto         9
Denard Span      448     Wilkin Ramirez     8
Carlos Gomez     283     Craig Monroe       7
Lew Ford         149     Darin Mastroianni  6
Ben Revere       134     Michael Cuddyer    6
Aaron Hicks       41     Michael Ryan       5          
Jason Tyner       37     Denny Hocking      3
Bobby Kielty      36     Erik Komatsu       2
Dustan Mohr       12     Joe Benson         2
Jacque Jones      12     Clete Thomas       1
Jason Repko       11     Alexi Casilla      1
                         Chris Parmelee     1

Quite a few guys on that list had no business in center field, but it's tough to beat Parmelee. Prior to Friday he'd played eight seasons and 838 games as a pro without spending an inning anywhere but first base or an outfield corner.

• On a related note, after homering twice off Kevin Correia yesterday Carlos Gomez is hitting .331/.376/.611 this season and .300/.343/.540 with 24 homers and 35 steals in 123 games since last year's All-Star break. Toss in what has always been strong defense in center field and Gomez has seemingly developed into one of the best all-around players in baseball at age 27.

• Gardenhire's ejection Saturday afternoon was the 64th of his career, which averages out to one ejection per 28.6 games as manager. Bobby Cox has the all-time record with 158 ejections, so at his current pace Gardenhire would have to manage 17 more seasons to top him.

Justin Morneau has just two homers in 47 games this season and a total of four homers in his last 79 games dating back to last year, with half of them coming in one game. Morneau is hitting .300 and Willingham is hitting .212, but Willingham has a higher OPS by 50 points.

• Mauer has a .433 batting average on balls in play. No other AL hitter is above .400 and Mauer's career mark is .349. Mauer is hitting .339 and the rest of the Twins are hitting a combined .229.

• Since joining the Twins organization Deduno has 88 walks in 143 innings between Triple-A and the majors. In his final three seasons Brad Radke had a total of 81 walks in 583 innings.

Rafael Perez, who was released by the Twins from Triple-A, signed a minor-league deal with the Red Sox.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was jam-packed with good Twins topics. We broke down all the recent roster moves, tried to figure out their plan for Gibson, weighed the pros and cons for demoting Arcia, and got in depth looking at the Twins' draft options with the No. 4 pick.


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 27, 2013

Gleeman and The Geek #95: Free Fallin’

Topics for this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode included the Twins' free fall amid tons of roster changes, sending down Oswaldo Arcia, not calling up Kyle Gibson, losing Joe Benson on waivers, options for the No. 4 pick in the draft with special guest Jeremy Nygaard of Twins Daily, what happened to Justin Morneau's power, how the rotation got even worse, the size of Seth Stohs' head, Chris Parmelee in center field, and meeting listeners at the Apple Store.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 95

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

Obligatory picture of us in the studio:

kfan studio shot


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 24, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• News story lead sentence of the week: "In one instance, a bar in New Jersey mixed rubbing alcohol with caramel food coloring and served it as scotch."

• Behold, the dumbest PR pitch I've ever gotten. And that's saying something.

• If you've always wanted to hear a compilation of Alonzo Mourning being mentioned in rap songs this is your lucky day. Also, almost every lyric was "Mourning like Alonzo."

According to the guy who invented the GIF it's pronounced "jif" rather than "gif." I will, however, continue saying "jif or gif, whichever way you say it" every time I speak the word.

• One thing I know for certain about GIFs? They were made for Delmon Young.

Never forget: "Brian Dozier is going to be the next big thing for the Twins."

• I take a similar approach to dating, but thankfully a Honda Fit doesn't cause much damage.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked a lot about Kyle Gibson and Chris Colabello, and then John Bonnes got creeped out by my choice of romantic music.

• On a related note, I've been spending way too much time thinking of intro/outro songs for the radio show. They need to have a strong opening riff and first 30-45 seconds and be free of curse words, which rules out a ton of good ones. Here's my preliminary list, in alphabetical order.

• I've been wondering what my old pal and former FSN sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski is up to in his new gig with the Pirates and based on this video he's doing a lot of dry cleaning:

They were nice enough to provide him with a shower too, at least.

• I'm in search of a new role model after this devastating news, but we'll always have Super Stan.

• White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is a great pitcher, but as a lifelong fatso reading about how he eats like a pig and can't put on any weight makes me instinctively want to hate him forever.

Paul Allen warned that he had "a big surprise" planned for my weekly Thursday appearance on his show and it turned out to be my mom, three grade school friends, and a former "date" telling stories for a "This Is Your Life"-style segment. Here's photographic evidence of the story my mom told.

• And to think, I used to be considered the young baseball blogger as a 19-year-old.

• Hard as it is to believe, the Twins' rotation has actually been worse than last year's mess.

• I got a similar welcome to the NBC Sports office, except with cartons of Chinese food.

• Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara feels strongly about getting a high-five from Shane Victorino.

• Try to imagine one of the Minnesota newspapers running a story like this about a Twins player.

• Sabermetrics in urban planning? Sure, why not.

• Old friend Francisco Liriano is off to a great start with the Pirates.

• As someone forever nostalgic about 1990s music Target Field's just-announced July concert is intriguing, but I'm boycotting until Mase gets involved.

• This is easily the angriest I've ever been about anything.

Nick Offerman playing Alison Brie's father in a movie is going to break the internet and "The Kings Of Summer" looks pretty good too:

Lots of other funny people in the cast too.

Jen Kirkman, who's always a great podcast guest, has started her own podcast.

Question of the Week over at HardballTalk: If you could have a lengthy but mediocre MLB career would you choose to be a fifth starter (like Kevin Correia or Bruce Chen), a middle reliever (like Brandon Lyon or Chad Qualls), or a platoon hitter (like Reed Johnson or Jonny Gomes)? I gave my answer in the comments section.

Pamela Adlon, who voiced Bobby Hill on "King Of The Hill" and was in both of Louis C.K.'s television shows, was predictably a great/crazy guest on "WTF" with Marc Maron.

• Congratulations to Link-O-Rama regular Dana Wessel for his new gig with KTWIN-96.3, which adds a great producer and the best hair in Minnesota radio.

• In terms of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidates, can this count as a first date?

• Positive customer service experiences are so rare that I feel like sharing one. Some keys on my year-old Macbook stopped working, so I took it to the Apple Store in Ridgedale Mall. It's my first non-PC and so naturally I was expecting the worst, but everyone there was incredibly helpful and friendly. And despite a 3-5 day repair timetable I got the Macbook back within 48 hours after the parts arrived and had a nice chat about the Twins with a Mac Genius who reads AG.com.

(If you're curious: He wants Aaron Hicks sent down, thinks the payroll is too low, and was sad to learn that I don't get to hang out with Dan Cole over at KFAN.)

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

- "Can glass carry 150 pounds?"
- "Crush on Moira Kelly"
- "Kyle Kinane weight"
- "Have been lazy for 29 years"
- "Hardcore porn on Netflix"
- "Ryan Doumit shirtless"
- "Haralabos Voulgaris shirtless"
- "Al Newman clarinet"
- "What's the real news on Glen Perkins?"
- "How old is LaVelle E. Neal?"
- "How long on an elliptical to burn a beer?"
- "Similarities between Lindsay Lohan and Mila Kunis"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is a live version of "No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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