December 31, 2015

Power Rankings: Top 30 Twin Cities Tweeters Of 2015

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Two years ago, in a half-joking response to City Pages publishing a "Top Twin Cities Twitterers" article, I came up with my own rankings. Despite stirring up incredible controversy and ruining many friendships I did it again last year. And now "third annual" makes it sounds like an actual thing, so here we are. Below you'll find my updated rankings for 2015 in which I continue to say "Tweeters" instead of "Twitterers." To anyone not on the list, you were No. 31 and just missed.

(Note: @BJFait was ruled ineligible for this list by virtue of her eyes being too pretty and her hair smelling too good, but following her on Twitter is one of the best decisions I've ever made.)


Neuman Twitter1. @RandBallsStu (Steve Neuman)

The Sportive co-host. Twinkie Town blogger. Good date for Jason Isbell shows. Tried to burn my house down with a Heggies pizza. Unparalleled commitment to bits.


Berry Twitter2. @_omgigi_ (Gigi Berry)

On loan to Georgia temporarily. Baesgiving hostess. Beard whisperer. Knows every local team's win total based on Papa John's discounts. Elite-level emojis and rants.


Wessel Twitter3. @DanaWessel (Dana Wessel)

GO-96.3 morning show co-host. Responsible for nearly every Donkey Kong high score in Minnesota. Has given me multiple pictures of himself as presents.


Petersen Twitter4. @JimPeteHoops (Jim Petersen)

Wolves television analyst. Lynx assistant coach. Brilliantly mixes old-school scouting and new-school stats. Responds to tweets mid-broadcast. Was nice to my mom once.


Krawczynski Twitter5. @APkrawczynski (Jon Krawczynski)

Minnesota's best all-around sportswriter. Smart, funny, plugged-in, even-handed, open-minded, and interacts with readers in a meaningful way. Underrated as hell.


Swamptown Twitter6. @CSwamptown (Clarence Swamptown)

The Sportive co-host. Spectacular forearms. Hates everything and everyone except Kelly Clarkson and Teddy Bridgewater. Straddles the line between insane and genius.


Floyd Twitter7. @mfloyd21 (Melissa Floyd)

World's nicest mean person or meanest nice person. Angelina Jolie of Mom Twitter. Known to make it rain with oatmeal packets. Emett and Olive wrangler. Fixit master.


Floyd Twitter8. @floyding (Zach Floyd)

Last year's No. 1. Hasn't slipped, but his wife threatened me with bodily harm over a repeat because his head got too big. Brad Pitt of Dad Twitter. Shadow recruit.


Hageman Twitter9. @ParkerHageman (Parker Hageman)

My favorite Twins writer when not busy fathering children. Constantly building dreams together and standing strong forever. No Juice co-host. GIF machine.


Manthei Twitter10. @HollyManthei (Holly Manthei)

Notre Dame and World Cup soccer legend. Surly beer hype woman. Hug distributor. Once brought a sleeping bag to a party at my house. Chilaquiles photographer.


Zanatta Twitter11. @Mike_Zanatta (Mike Zanatta)

Minnesota's most underrated tweeter. No one offers a superior combination of sports snark, pop culture humor, and glorious hair. Looks like Ginsberg, tweets like Draper.


Nora Purmort Twitter12. @noraborealis (Nora Purmort)

Still Kickin with incredible strength, grace, and humor in the face of personal tragedy. Mom to the world's cutest toddler. Writer of a new memoir you should pre-order.


Robson Twitter13. @brittrobson (Britt Robson)

Minnesota's best basketball writer. Timberwolves historian. Right about most things and more willing than most to admit when he's wrong. Great accent.


Rand Twitter14. @RandBall (Michael Rand)

Star Tribune digital sports editor, blogger, and silliness ringleader. I've met most of my friends in his backyard. Never played the game. New hair style is out of control.


Niver Twitter15. @tniver (Tim Niver)

St. Paul restaurant mogul. Twitter host with the most. Owner of Strip Club, Saint Dinette, and soon Mucci's. Thrives in the murky waters of late-night Twitter.


Ampersandria Twitter16. @ampersandria (Ampersandria Cochran)

Impossibly quirky and likable. Modern-day Jackie Kennedy, but with more Cheeto dust.


Lambert Twitter17. @MeatSauce1 (Paul Lambert)

KFAN morning show co-host. Never not trolling. Andy Kaufman/Yoenis Cespedes combo.


Brown Twitter18. @ItsTheBrandi (Brandi Brown)

Stand-up comedian. Coder. Tracker of people discovering the origin of Flo Rida's name.


Halter Twitter19. @mspbjHalter (Nick Halter)

Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal reporter covering the sports and restaurant beats.


Shortal Twitter20. @janashortal (Jana Shortal)

KARE-11 reporter. Once defeated me in a "crush contest." Justin Bieber stole her look.


Albus Twitter21. @jalbus (Jason Albus)

Photographer to the Twitter stars. Melissa Floyd wrangler. Lived up to the hype.


Jones Twitter22. @bianca101 (Bianca Jones)

Powerful name, huge smile, tiny human. Constantly amazed at things I've never done.


Brauer Twitter23. @dbrauer (David Brauer)

Minnesota's top caller of media-related bullshit. My go-to sounding board for grievances.


Guentzel Twitter24. @LindsayGuentzel (Lindsay Guentzel)

WCCO radio. One of only five humans my cat isn't afraid of. Cheats at staring contests.


Rupar Twitter25. @atrupar (Aaron Rupar)

Ex-journalist now in politics. Drummer. Fellow cat guy/beardo/Timberwolves masochist.


Welle Twitter26. @LizWelle (Liz Welle)

Paul Allen's favorite tweeter. Wore a beard of coffee grounds to be Drake for Halloween.


Matteson Twitter27. @solace (Kyle Matteson)

Just ceased being a frog. Lives, breathes music. Has an answer to almost any question.


White Twitter28. @amanduhwhite (Amanda White)

Real life is her live album. Twitter is her studio album. Randall Cobb fan club president.


Hummel Twitter29. @TweetsByCollin (Collin Hummel)

Way too good-looking to be this weird and into cats, but Twitter is (mostly) better for it.


Bonnes Twitter30. @TwinsGeek (John Bonnes)

Has wasted more than 500 hours of my life recording our arguments about the Twins.


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

December 21, 2015

Gleeman and The Geek #228: Not Such Abad Episode

Topics for this week's "Gleeman and the Geek" episode included Trevor May being bullpen bound, Fernando Abad possibly joining him, all the AL Central teams going for it in 2016, projecting Byung Ho Park from numbers and scouting, when to swear on a podcast, Johnny Cueto's big but reasonable contract with the Giants, eating way too much food at Iron Door Pub, and preparing for New Year's Eve.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 228

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 Harry's Razors, where you can get discounted razors and shaving supplies delivered to your door by entering in the code "gleeman" at harrys.com.

December 14, 2015

Gleeman and The Geek #227: Much Ado About Nothing

Topics for this week's "Gleeman and the Geek" episode included the Twins' slow week at the winter meetings, the escalating cost of good relief pitching, new signs that Trevor Plouffe will remain in Minnesota, mattress updates, Danny Santana's future, Michael Cuddyer's retirement, beer and jewelry at LynLake Brewery, losing Rule 5 flamethrower Zack Jones, and mailbag questions from listeners.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 227

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 Casper mattresses, which offers a 100-day free trial with free shipping and returns. And you can get an extra $50 off by going to Casper.com/Gleeman and entering in the promo code GLEEMAN.

December 7, 2015

Gleeman and The Geek #226: Park-Sano-Plouffe Love Triangle

Topics for this week's "Gleeman and the Geek" episode included Byung Ho Park's affordable contract, Miguel Sano's move to the outfield, the wisdom of hanging onto Trevor Plouffe, the Twins' arbitration offers to Casey Fien and Eduardo Nunez, our big Saturday together, the latest catching addition John Hicks, a former man-crush on Joe Benson, and the escalating MLB free agent market.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 226

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 Harry's Razors, where you can get discounted razors and shaving supplies delivered to your door by entering in the code "gleeman" at harrys.com.

December 1, 2015

Twins spend $25 million to add Korean slugger Byung Ho Park

Three weeks after placing the high bid of $12.85 million to secure an exclusive, 30-day negotiating window with Korean slugger Byung Ho Park the Twins signed the 29-year-old first baseman to a four-year, $12 million contract that includes a $6.5 million team option for a fifth year. It's a very team-friendly deal and reports from Korea suggest that Park felt the Twins low-balled him during negotiations but basically just accepted anyway because he wants to play in MLB.

Certainly a total commitment of $24.85 million is not insignificant and there's still plenty of risk associated with Park because he's untested in America, but $6 million per season for a starting designated hitter/first baseman is well below the market rate. Last offseason Billy Butler signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the A's, Adam LaRoche signed a two-year, $25 million deal with the White Sox, and Kendrys Morales signed a two-year, $17 million deal with the Royals.

LaRoche was 35 years old and coming off a good but not great season, while Butler and Morales were both coming off career-worst years at ages 29 and 32 respectively. None of the three free agents were hot commodities and yet their their average annual salaries are $12.5 million, $10 million, and $8.5 million. You get the idea. Park could have turned down the Twins' offer and remained in Korea, but chose to start his MLB career without waiting another year.

Last offseason Jung Ho Kang became the first prominent hitter to go from the Korean Baseball Organization to MLB when the Pirates bid $5 million for his rights and signed him to a four-year, $11 million contract. Kang had a fantastic rookie year, hitting .287/.355/.461 in 126 games split between shortstop and third base, and the assumption was that his success would give American teams more confidence investing in Korean hitters and raise Park's price tag.

And it did, raising the posting fee from $5 million to $12.85 million, but Park's actual contract is for the same length and just $1 million more than Kang's deal while also including a fifth year of team control at a modest salary. If the Twins believe Park has star potential than this signing has a chance to be an incredible bargain and even if he turns into merely an average player they will still have dramatically underpaid.

Park is a two-time MVP winner in Korea and finished runner-up for the award this year, hitting .343/.436/.714 with 53 homers in 140 games. His high strikeout rate and the lack of previous KBO-to-MLB data points beyond Kang make any statistical projections even more of a guessing game than usual, but Park's raw power is universally regarded as outstanding and at $6 million per season for four years the risk taken by the Twins barely makes a dent in their payroll plans.

This year all MLB first basemen and designated hitters combined to bat .260 with a .335 on-base percentage and .445 slugging percentage, so Park need not duplicate his crazy KBO numbers to provide major value to team that has struggled to develop power hitters for decades. Ultimately the bar for evaluating Park's performance should be judged on that first base/DH baseline as well as who the Twins move to make room for him in the lineup.

There are two clear options. One is trading third baseman Trevor Plouffe and shifting Miguel Sano to third base to open DH for Park. In that scenario the Twins would downgrade defensively, but could upgrade offensively if Park tops Plouffe's modest .244/.307/.435 production and would get value back in the trade. Another option is keeping Plouffe, at least for now, and giving Sano regular action in the outfield following the trade of Aaron Hicks to the Yankees.

Other options exist and surely there will be unrealistic but vocal calls for the Twins make room for Park by parting ways with Joe Mauer despite $69 million remaining on his contract, but trading Plouffe or turning Sano into an outfielder are the realistic solutions. For any of those scenarios to work out well the Twins and their international scouts need to right about Park and that's a risk, but given his power potential and the surprisingly reasonable price tag it's one worth taking.


This week's blog content is sponsored by Uber, which is offering a free ride to first-time users who sign up with the promo code "UberGleeman."