December 31, 2013

Power Rankings: Top 30 Twin Cities Tweeters Of 2013

twitter follow me

City Pages ran an article by Maggie LaMaack ranking the "Top 20 Twin Cities Twitterers" among non-mainstream media and non-celebrities. She did a very nice job on the piece, which included artsy caricatures of each person and lots of fun quotes, but my Twitter obsession won't let me go on living without posting my own ranking. Mine is slightly different in that I refuse to use the word "Twitterers" and anyone is eligible, but it's the same basic idea. Oh, and I chose 30 instead of 20.


wessel twitter1. @DanaWessel (Dana Wessel from 96.3 K-TWIN)

So funny that it's worth putting up with his soccer fandom. Great taste in roommates.


randball's stu twitter2. @RandBallsStu (Randball's Stu from Twinkie Town)

Writer of the brilliant Uptown dating/Twins bloggers parody. Possibly our best doofus.


hageman twitter3. @ParkerHageman (Parker Hageman from Twins Daily)

Terrible taste in beer. Questionable taste in friends. Excellent baseball analysis.


lamaack twitter4. @MaggieLaMaack (Maggie LaMaack from L'étoile and City Pages)

Writer of the list I'm ripping off. Got a real good Aubrey Plaza vibe going. Too huggy.


rand twitter5. @RandBall (Michael Rand from the Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Weird internet enabler. Editor of Modern Jumpsuit Enthusiast Quarterly. Pug owner.


weisenberger twitter6. @foyobli (Megan Weisenberger from Minneapolis Beards)

Strip club aficionado. Beard curator. Mimosa consumer. Former volleyball superstar.


perkins twitter7. @glen_perkins (Glen Perkins from the Minnesota Twins)

One of the best relievers in baseball. The only Twin Cities athlete I follow on Twitter.


welle twitter8. @LizWelle (Liz Welle from Legends)

Burrito and whiskey lover. Essentially perfect except for being a KFAN/podcast groupie.


ampersandria twitter9. @ampersandria (Alexandria from Airplanes)

One of the funniest people on Twitter. Can really rock a poncho. Mediocre bingo player.


nelson twitter10. @nnelson9 (Nick Nelson from Twins Daily)

Single and looking to mingle. White rapper. Has been kicked out of VFW karaoke.


ugh twitter11. @heidi_ugh (Heidi from Helping Old People)

By far the funniest member of her family. Fell asleep within two minutes of meeting me.


krawczynski twitter12. @APkrawczynski (Jon Krawczynski from the Associated Press)

Hardest-working man in Twin Cities sports media. Really good. Not on "The Office."


white twitter13. @amanduhwhite (Amanda White from City Pages)

"Parenthood" analyst. Blonde-dating snob. Online bully of Aaron Rupar.


guentzel twitter14. @LindsayGuentzel (Lindsay Guentzel from 96.3 K-TWIN)

Stella's regular. Outstanding mid-90s acoustic sing-along partner. Pizza roll bringer.


bonnes twitter

15. @TwinsGeek (John Bonnes from Twins Daily and "Gleeman and The Geek")

I dunno. Whatever.


sauce twitter16. @MeatSauce1 (Paul Lambert from 100.3 KFAN)

Taste worth acquiring. Parking monitor. Troll baiter. Hanukkah cookie eater. Hadouken.


brauer twitter17. @dbrauer (David Brauer from MinnPost)

Knower of all things local media. Multi-time podcast guest. Oldest college student ever.


butler twitter18. @kateMbutler (Kate Butler from 100.3 KFAN)

Wild and Gophers reporter. Producer. Morning show regular. Dook-shoer. Sleepy baby.


miller twitter19. @MillerStrib (Phil Miller from the Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Twins beat reporter. Probably the best Twin Cities baseball writer. Jerry Sloan survivor.


mandy twitter20. @mandyapolis (Mandy Lee from Terrible OK Cupid Messages)

[Borat voice] My wife. [/Borat voice].


wolfson twitter21. @DarrenWolfson (Darren Wolfson from KSTP-TV and 1500-ESPN)

Other hardest-working man in Twin Cities sports media candidate. My former babysitter.


rupar twitter22. @atrupar (Aaron Rupar from City Pages)

Amanda White's online punching bag. Timberwolves sadomasochist. Beardo.


marthaler twitter23. @jmarthaler (Jon Marthaler from "The Sportive")

Ring-leader of the Twin Cities' filthiest podcast. Unrelenting sports fan. Soccer weirdo.


gigi twitter24. @_omgigi_ (Gigi Berry from Wherever Unicorns Are From)

Lover of nugs and beards. Frequently turnt. Goes back and forth regarding my worth.


than twitter25. @thanland (Than Tibbetts from Public Insight Network)

Keeps this blog running. The only person I met in journalism school and didn't hate.


mitich twitter26. @JohnnaMitich (Johnna Mitich from The Best Advice I Ever Got)

Filled in as "Gleeman and The Geek" producer once before I realized she was so funny.


gibson twitter27. @actuallyerin (Erin Gibson from Hip Hop BBQ Radio)

Mid-90s rap connoisseur. Claims to like brunch. Irish whiskey drinker. Soccer weirdo.


matteson twitter28. @solace (Kyle Matteson from Every Concert Ever)

Fastest favorite draw in the Upper Midwest. Music fiend. Brunch paparazzi. Beardo.


bollinger twitter29. @RhettBollinger (Rhett Bollinger from MLB.com)

Twins beat writer. Lane Kiffin superfan. Mediocre bowling alley trivia player.


gellner twitter30. @MarneyGellner (Marney Gellner from FOX Sports North)

My mom's favorite person. Upon meeting me, said: "You're not as weird as I expected."


If you read this whole thing and still won't follow @AaronGleeman on Twitter you're a monster.

December 30, 2013

Gleeman and The Geek #126: Party Boys

On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode Parker Hageman of Twins Daily subbed for a vacationing John Bonnes and topics included partying at The House That Blog Built, Alex Meyer the substitute teacher, dropping Darin Mastroianni from the 40-man roster, throwing televisions off balconies, hypothesizing about Masahiro Tanaka, the Hall of Fame and Jack Morris, Kurt Suzuki threatening Josmil Pinto, mailbag questions from listeners, and drinking at 612 Brew.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 126

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

One little corner of the post-party war zone:

my morning

Proof that televisions can fly, but only briefly:

snow tv

December 27, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I spent way too much time and energy putting together a list of my favorite songs of 2013.

Kanye West is totally wrong about Jews. We actually have both.

• Slow-motion video of NaVorro Bowman's game-clinching interception Monday night is great for countless reasons, but my favorite part is the sideline reactions as he passes each person.

• During the offseason Twins stud pitching prospect Alex Meyer makes $63 dollars per day as a substitute teacher in Indiana.

• My beloved Mase put out his first new song in a decade and I'm sad to say it's sort of terrible.

Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus re-wrote "Forgot About Dre" with baseball player names.

• Facebook is just being a dick now.

• The Onion on the Vikings' quarterback situation.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded at Summit Brewing Company in St. Paul and we broke down the Mike Pelfrey, Ryan Doumit, and Kurt Suzuki moves in a lot of detail before talking about taking Danny Valencia on a first date.

• Speaking of which, podcast groupies are the worst.

Lizzy Caplan was as delightful as you'd expect chatting with Paul F. Tompkins:

What a woman.

• My favorite e-mail ever.

• I bought myself this shirt as a Christmas present and am honestly worried it might be too sexy.

• Why did the Twins get rid of Doumit and replace him with Suzuki? I'm glad you asked.

• Congrats to friend of AG.com Lindsay Guentzel for landing her own show on K-TWIN 96.3 and for joining me in the insomnia zone. The only downside is that Stella's may go out of business.

• I'm on Twitter mostly for conversations like this one.

• There's still some time to think of more, but for now my New Year's resolutions are a) move out of the suburbs and into the city, and b) ditch my BlackBerry for something that doesn't "indicate a gravitas and devotion to work."

• There's an app that turns a phone into a breathalyzer, but sadly it's not available on BlackBerry.

Ann Friedman is such a f***ing killer: "Douthat, despite having the morals and the facial hair of a much older man, is only 34."

• As part of this multi-year, multi-platform agreement my Honda Fit will be featured.

• How did I not think of this first?

• Congrats to Neil Paine for his new gig with Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight. Not only is Paine one of the smartest basketball minds around, he was the only person in the car to recognize my John Mayer reference when we drove past Peachtree Street in Atlanta a few years ago.

• Old friend Denny Hocking was hired by the Dodgers as their new Single-A manager.

• For her latest video my future wife, Possum Plows, covered one of my favorite songs of 2013:

I ranked the original 11th on my list, but the blue hair alone moves this version into the top 10.

• My hero Tom Scharpling ended his 13-year run steamrolling chumps on "The Best Show on WFMU." Luckily there's always his billion-show archive to remember the comedic genius.

Randball's Stu's latest for Twinkie Town is particularly brilliant if you're a "Best Show" fan.

• Oh how I've missed you, Zoe Barnes.

• For anyone who listened to last week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode from HammerHeart Brewing in Lino Lakes, here's what I looked like after drinking all 12 of their beer varieties.

• One of the restaurants I ate (and drank) at in Philadelphia this summer, Farmers' Cabinet, was raided by police for serving booze without a liquor license.

• Friends of AG.com Michael Rand and Jon Marthaler made a Mike Pelfrey-related wager and naturally I officiated.

• This is just a good picture of Snoop Dogg drinking a mimosa with his pinkie finger out and a shower cap on his head. Nothing more, nothing less.

• I really enjoyed Todd Glass' appearance on "Crab Feast" with Jay Larson and Ryan Sickler.

• If you don't mind getting depressed, the documentary "Burn" about the Detroit fire department is one of the best movies I've seen on Netflix in a while.

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

- "Aaron Gleeman divorced"
- "How do you make money from a blog?"
- "Who is Connie Britton's porn star lookalike?"
- "The Human Fund"
- "I'm taking the day off"
- "Tom Brunanski batting stance"
- "Driving in winter in Minnesota"
- "Ron Coomer net worth"
- "Who is John Sharkman?"
- "John Bonnes arrest"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Can't Get Enough" by J. Cole:

December 25, 2013

Twins trade Ryan Doumit to Braves for Sean Gilmartin, sign Kurt Suzuki

ryan doumit and kurt suzuki

By signing Jason Kubel last week the Twins added to what was already a logjam at designated hitter and the outfield corners. Ryan Doumit's role seemed particularly tenuous with his ability to remain an option at catcher in question, possibly leaving him as merely a bad defensive outfielder with a mediocre bat. Apparently the Twins assessed the situation exactly that way, because less than 48 hours after adding Kubel they subtracted Doumit (and then added Kurt Suzuki).

Doumit is under contract for $3.5 million in 2014 as part of a two-year extension handed out by the Twins midway through his first season in Minnesota, but he wasn't worth that money in 2013 and ceased being a good fit for the current roster. Simply clearing his entire salary off the books and removing him from the bad-fielder logjam is an accomplishment for the Twins and getting a recent first-round draft pick from the Braves in exchange for Doumit is an added bonus.

Heading into the 2011 draft there was some talk of the Twins targeting Sean Gilmartin and as a soft-tossing college left-hander he certainly fit their longstanding drafting approach, but they picked 30th that year and the Braves took him two spots earlier. Three years later the Twins essentially acquired Gilmartin for nothing, but that mostly speaks to how far his prospect stock has dropped and how modest his upside was to begin with.

As you'd expect from an experienced college pitcher Gilmartin dominated in the low minors, but he managed just 6.5 strikeouts per nine innings in 20 starts at Double-A and then fell apart at Triple-A this year with a 5.74 ERA, .304 opponents' batting average, and 6.4 strikeouts per nine innings. Plenty of former first-round picks bounce back from struggles in the minors to thrive in the majors, but with a high-80s fastball Gilmartin doesn't seem like a good bet to be one of them.

On the other hand he's still just 23 years old and with only three pro seasons Gilmartin doesn't even require a 40-man roster spot yet, which no doubt played a part in the Twins asking for him in the deal. Gilmartin has had extreme splits in the minors--including an .859 OPS versus righties and a .635 OPS versus lefties this year--and could find a bullpen niche as a southpaw specialist. He's more "minor leaguer" than "prospect" at this point, but the deal is about shedding Doumit.

It's been clear all offseason that the Twins prioritized adding a veteran catcher and after missing out on both Jarrod Saltalamacchia and A.J. Pierzynski they were linked to second-tier options like Suzuki and John Buck. They ended up settling on Suzuki, who'll get $2.75 million to compete for playing time with and hopefully mentor Josmil Pinto. Suzuki was once a young building block for the A's, but huge workloads early in his career seem to have caught up to him.

Suzuki was a college superstar at Cal-State Fullerton, hitting .413/.511/.702 in 2004 before being drafted 67th overall. He debuted with the A's as a 23-year-old rookie in 2007, led the league in games caught in both 2008 and 2009, and then ranked third in games caught in 2010 and 2011. Through his first four full seasons in the majors Suzuki averaged 132 games and 1,145 innings behind the plate, which is a great path to being washed up before age 30.

Suzuki hasn't topped a .250 batting average or .700 OPS since 2009 and combined over the past two seasons he hit .234/.282/.332 in 212 games. That's backup-caliber offense at best and while Suzuki has a strong reputation behind the plate his actual defensive numbers have also been ugly recently. His caught-stealing numbers were consistently mediocre until this year, when 57 of 65 stolen base attempts were successful against Suzuki for an abysmal 12 percent throw-out rate.

Perhaps more importantly, Parker Hageman of Twins Daily notes that Suzuki fares very poorly in his ability to coax strikes out of borderline pitches. Dating back to 2008 he ranked 52nd out of 66 regular catchers in getting called strikes on pitches deemed to be within the strike zone, a metric which rated Doumit dead last during that same span. Breaking that down further into actual runs, Suzuki's pitch-framing graded out to 24.2 runs below average from 2010-2013.

So why do the Twins want Suzuki if he can't hit, his work framing pitches grades out poorly, and this year at least he couldn't throw? First and foremost because the veteran catcher market isn't exactly overflowing with capable options, so it's basically about holding your nose and deciding which huge flaws are palatable. Beyond that the Twins clearly believe more in their scouting and Suzuki's reputation than any defensive numbers.

He's a better option than Eric Fryer or Chris Herrmann, although the risk with Suzuki is that it's easy to envision Ron Gardenhire falling in love with his veteran-ness. As spring competition and eventually a backup and mentor for Pinto he's a perfectly reasonable, inexpensive fit, but if Suzuki finds his way into the lineup 4-5 times per week or perhaps even convinces the Twins to send Pinto back to the minors the signing will look a whole lot different.

For a lot more on the Doumit trade and Suzuki signing--plus the Mike Pelfrey re-signing--check out this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode.

December 22, 2013

Gleeman and The Geek #125: Mike Pelfrey, Ryan Doumit, and Kurt Suzuki

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded at Summit Brewing Company and topics included re-signing Mike Pelfrey for two years, trading Ryan Doumit to the Braves, Kurt Suzuki's chances of starting over Josmil Pinto, taking Danny Valencia on a first date, real life colliding with the podcast, Christmas with the Bonnes family, wondering about the Twins' payroll, the pros and cons of double-dipping, people being way too nice to trust, and moving to Uptown.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 125

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

Taking a break from the podcast to enjoy a hot dog with our beer:

summit brewing

Summit Brewing Company on a Friday afternoon, before the place got packed:

summitbrewing4

And more Summit Brewing Company on a Friday afternoon, before the place got packed:

summitbrewing5

My view during the podcast:

summit brewing2

I don't get credentialed at Target Field, but I'll gladly take one here:

summitbrewing3


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