March 8, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Trent Reznor and Carly Rae Jepsen don't know it, but they made a catchy song together.

• I can finally put all those pointless years of Hebrew school to some use and read it (from right to left) for the articles.

• Last week Nikola Pekovic met Zach Galifianakis, so this week he dressed up as him.

• I'm loving David Brauer's "returning to college as a 53-year-old" updates.

Louis C.K. and Hank Aaron were on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" together in 1993.

• This is the quickest I've ever deleted an e-mail.

• I'm guessing we'll probably never see Terry Ryan do this.

Aaron Hicks had a decent Thursday afternoon, if you're into that type of thing.

• And to think, a day earlier some idiot claimed the Twins have three prospects better than Hicks.

• This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode features lengthy discussions on Ron Gardenhire's future with the Twins and why Liam Hendriks could be the top Australian pitcher ever.

• Last week in this space I wondered if it was finally time to replace Mila Kunis as Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com and then she went and did this:

To be clear: I'm not the interviewer in that video, but I certainly could have been.

• Speaking of which: Back off, LeBron.

• News story lead sentence of the week: "A quick-thinking worker at Dunkin' Donuts threw hot coffee at a man who tried to climb through the drive-through window to rob the store, telling him 'go run on Dunkin'' as he fled."

Blake Griffin and Jamal Crawford teamed up for an in-game dunk better than anything in the dunk contest, and Griffin's reaction afterward is pretty good too.

• Sad, disturbing details about the death of a Nationals prospect in the Dominican Republic.

Torii Hunter may disagree, but Justin Verlander says the Tigers' clubhouse would be a good atmosphere for a gay teammate.

• I almost like the 1995 opening of "Breaking Bad" better, if only for the Foreigner.

• This is what happens when a blogger leaves the house.

• I used to think Barry Bonds posting a .480 on-base percentage at age 42 was amazing, but then I learned Nigella Lawson is 53. On a related note, I've been watching "The Taste" on ABC despite the fact that it's not a very compelling show.

• An eating contest involving seafood seems to be asking for trouble. And it definitely got it.

• As a fan of comedy, women, Jews, and working from bed this is basically the perfect video:

Joan Rivers and Sarah Silverman are so great together that I sent the link to my grandma.

• Fank you to whoever put together this Adele video.

Delmon Young is making fast friends with another group of media members.

• I watched "Chelsea Lately" for the first (and probably last) time and this GIF explains why.

• My mom, who apparently watches "Chelsea Lately" regularly, offered this unsolicited review.

Agents are agents in fake baseball too.

Carson Cistulli's weekly chat with Dayn Perry was spectacular, as usual.

• Congrats to my former The Hardball Times partner, Dave Studeman, for winning this year's "Analytics Research Award" from SABR.

• Podcast recommendation: "The Crab Feast" with Jay Larson and Ryan Sickler. Get started with a Jen Kirkman episode, because she's always a can't-miss podcast guest.

• Mark your calendars: Twins Daily is having a get-together/viewing party on March 23 to watch the Saturday afternoon Twins-Rays spring training game on television. Starting at noon we'll be hanging out at 612 Brew in Northeast Minneapolis, drinking beer and talking baseball.

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

- "Marney Gellner age"
- "Will Chinese buffet kill my Atkins diet?"
- "I'm 29 years old and lost"
- "Corey Koskie net worth"
- "Chuck Berry and Sammy Sosa"
- "Brian Dinkelman girlfriend"
- "Is Terry Gross a baseball fan?"
- "How much does Louis C.K. weigh?"
- "Anthony Slama's mom"
- "Gleeman fashion"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Sweet Wanomi" by Bill Withers:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

February 22, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• This is just a fantastic picture of Ron Gardenhire.

Ricky Rubio and Kenneth Faried are the cutest.

The Onion, being perfect on the subject of television show binging.

• My fellow "Pulp Fiction"-obsessed Quentin Tarantino fans will absolutely love this lengthy Vanity Fair article by Mark Seal.

Joe Posnanski made his NBCSports.com debut today, with lots more to come, and I'm pretty damn excited to call him a co-worker.

Vance Worley started dating his fiancee when she asked him out via Twitter.

Baseball America's annual top 100 prospects list includes six Twins: Miguel Sano (9), Byron Buxton (10), Oswaldo Arcia (41), Alex Meyer (59), Kyle Gibson (68), Aaron Hicks (72).

• This innovation is so up my alley that I pulled some strings to make sure Anthony Jeselnik actually sees mad scientist Carson Cistulli's creation.

• Not only will the Tigers probably win the AL Central again, Detroit finished first in this too.

• Friend of AG.com and Fan Graphs writer David Temple hosts an NPR-style baseball podcast called "Stealing Home" and I was a guest this week, along with Jonah Keri of Grantland.

• My mom e-mailed me this link and wrote "Link-O-Rama idea!"

• I'm starting to feel a real kinship with Delmon Young.

• My iTunes has been playing non-stop Frank Ocean all week, so this is good news.

• One way to tell that we drank beer during this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode is that I discussed Ocean writing "Swim Good" about Liam Hendriks.

• I'm fairly convinced that the woman in this video is my soul mate:

And the outtakes are even better. Addy, seriously, I'll move to Seattle.

• Vikings punter Chris Kluwe was a guest on "The Nerdist" podcast with Chris Hardwick.

• Vikings owner Zygi Wilf invaded my Netflix.

• This is great news about Justin Timberlake, because Craig Calcaterra is covering spring training in Arizona and we could use the extra help on HardballTalk that week.

• I had an amusing interaction this week with a FedEx delivery guy after I answered the door:

Him: "You must work from home."

Me: "Yep."

Him: "Doing what?"

Me: "Writer."

Him: "Thought maybe meth or something cool."

Not quite, although I've always considered myself the Jesse Pinkman of baseball bloggers.

• Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa shaves his beard exactly like I do, which is to say infrequently, lazily, and with something meant to give haircuts.

• I'm currently going through "House of Cards" withdrawal, but this is basically what my inner-monologue looks like at all times.

• I'm sort of hoping that "leading Kate Mara enthusiast Aaron Gleeman" sticks as my nickname.

• Just in case you weren't already convinced of Rickey Henderson's awesomeness.

• You'll never believe this, but no one wanted to watch Pete Rose's horrible reality show.

• Revenge, frog-style.

I was on #TeamFrog from the beginning.

• My favorite NBA writer interviewed one of my favorite NBA players and it was great.

• Two of the greats, AG.com favorite Chelsea Peretti and "Parks and Recreation" actor Adam Scott, teamed up for podcasting gold.

• Thanks to the recent return of my insomnia I had time to catch up on well-regarded movies that I should have seen in the theater. I liked "Argo" a lot and maybe this is just the result of raised expectations, but it fell well short of great. Definitely worth watching just to see Ben Affleck pull off the beard look that I'm always striving for and a supporting cast that includes Walter White, Coach Taylor, Floyd Gondolli, The Smoke Monster, and Lucas from "Empire Records."

• I'm not much of a James Bond fan in general and haven't seen Daniel Craig's first two cracks at the role, but I enjoyed "Skyfall" well enough. Craig plays slick-but-weathered very well and I'm always a huge Javier Bardem fan, but the car chases and shootouts just do nothing for me. I'd watch a movie that was just close-ups of Craig and Zooey Deschanel staring at each other for 96 minutes, though.

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" was underwhelming, especially considering how many people I tend to trust about such things loved it. Mae Whitman is always great and Emma Watson might be the heir to Halle Berry's "looks spectacular with short hair" throne, but I thought it was a little too cute for its own good overall.

• Between the hotel room scene and the airplane scene "Flight" started amazing well, but after that not even Denzel Washington could carry it beyond mediocre when Kelly Reilly or John Goodman weren't involved.

• Actually, the best (or at least most compelling) movies I watched this week were documentaries. "Like Water" about Anderson Silva is a must-watch for any mixed martial arts fans despite his questionable taste in restaurants. "The Bitter Buddha" about Eddie Pepitone was hilarious and touching with lots of fun cameos from stand-up comedians. Oscar winner "Undefeated" is so good that it had me pretty close to tearing up over a football team.

Paul F. Tompkins joining Graham Clark and Dave Shumka on this week's "Stop Podcasting Yourself" episode is a perfect example of why it's probably my favorite podcast.

• New blog to check out: The Kid's Take.

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

- "Pictures of 153-pound kids"
- "Marney Gellner age"
- "Does Delmon Young look like Jay-Z?"
- "What to buy with 150 pounds"
- "Anna Kendrick baseball"
- "Gary Gaetti religion"
- "Why did my scale go up after eating turkey?"
- "Troy Aikman hands"
- "Hunan chicken bad for stomach"
- "Danny Valencia naked"
- "Pornstar looks like Zooey Deschanel"
- "Nick Punto speaks Italian"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved song is the aforementioned "Swim Good" by Frank Ocean:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide," which is available in both magazine and online versions. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

February 1, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Aaron Rupar of City Pages was at a coffee shop when he witnessed the start of a blind date, so naturally he stuck around for the whole thing and live-tweeted it.

• I'm thrilled that one of my favorite writers, Joe Posnanski, will be joining NBCSports.com as a columnist, blogger, and all-around "digital voice." And now that he's a co-worker I'm going to use Posnanski to become friends with Ken Tremendous/Michael Schur and then use him to meet Aubrey Plaza. Any writing Posnanski does is just a bonus.

• Speaking of Posnanski, it almost seems like he didn't enjoy watching "Trouble With The Curve."

• And speaking of NBCSports.com, my blog-mate Craig Calcaterra put together an extensive oral history of HardballTalk.

Tony Soprano's daughter is marrying Lenny Dykstra's son.

• As a kid I owned a Nick Van Exel jersey, so this news makes me feel both old and sad.

• I made my triumphant return to Paul Allen's show on KFAN yesterday and we talked Twins, but the highlight was when he sang to me and asked how my mom is doing.

• I'm asking my family to do the same thing, but with Chinese food carryout.

Eddie Guardado was elected to the Twins' team Hall of Fame. I ranked him as the 26th-best player in Twins history.

• My first concert was Boyz II Men (with opening acts Babyface and Tevin Campbell) at Target Center in 1994. They're coming back to Target Center in July ... with New Kids On The Block and 98 Degrees, which is probably more nostalgia than I can stomach at this point.

• Twins president Dave St. Peter was our guest on this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode and we asked him all about payroll, revenue, television money, attendance, and a lot more.

• Also on this week's podcast: If you listen closely John Bonnes mentions magnets at one point and I start to say this before realizing he won't get it.

• This would be a bargain at double the price, but as always the University of Minnesota could have saved $3,406 and just watched "Seinfeld":

"Fake, fake, fake, fake" is one of my top-five lines in "Seinfeld" history.

• And people think I never leave the house.

Phil Miller has officially started covering the Twins for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, so you should definitely be following him on Twitter.

Carl Pavano had his spleen removed after suffering a laceration when he fell shoveling snow.

Chuck Klosterman wrote a very interesting, nuanced article about mental illness and Royce White, who's yet to play an NBA game.

• As someone who relies on a GPS to get him everywhere, I now have something new to fear.

• Saturday night's attempt to #GetSethDrunk at the Twins Daily get-together was unsuccessful, but this receipt shows that I tried my best. Sadly, he gave up after one.

• I posted a few other pictures from Twins Fest and the star-studded post-Twins Fest get-together.

• Based on this study Nick Punto should have been murdered years ago.

• I consider these men American heroes and hope their story is the plot of "Ocean's Fourteen."

• Phillies manager Charlie Manuel summed up Delmon Young's entire career in one depressing but true quote.

• On a related note, reading what Phillies blogs wrote about signing Young is quite an experience.

• I don't know enough about the non-baseball part of Boston sports media to say if Alan Siegel's article in Boston Magazine is particularly accurate, but it definitely raises some interesting topics that can be applied to Minnesota and every other major market.

• And to think, people make fun of me for only wanting to go to bars around Hopkins.

David Fincher is my favorite director and I'm obsessed with Netflix instant, so I'll probably watch "House of Cards" in one sitting.

• "End of Watch" was a mediocre movie overall, but it's worth renting just for Anna Kendrick singing "Hey Ma" by Cam'ron:

Seriously.

• As if that video didn't make world-renowned Kendrick fan and 1500-ESPN producer/writer Dana Wessel happy enough, his wardrobe is about to expand significantly.

• On a related note, Wikipedia says the following about Cam'ron's pre-music days:

Cameron Giles was born and raised in Harlem, New York. He went to school at Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics, where he would meet his long time friends Mase and Jim Jones. He was a promising basketball player alongside Mase, however, he was unable to take advantage of various scholarship offers due to a poor academic record.

I'm the biggest Mase fan in the world, but not living in the alternate universe where Cam'ron and Mase became the next Stockton and Malone makes me very sad. If nothing else, based on this video we can say conclusively that Cam'ron was a better basketball player than David Arquette.

• Friend of AG.com and Twins Daily blogger Nick Nelson profiled fantasy sports payment service LeagueSafe and its creator Paul Charchian.

• As a nation we're not talking enough about Michael Beasley's hair.

Terry Ryan's explanation for signing Kevin Correia makes it difficult to buy into the Twins' supposed embracing of statistical analysis or trust their scouts.

• Friend of AG.com and longtime prominent stat-head Tom Tango now works exclusively for the Cubs after consulting for multiple teams and they're also looking to hire a Director of Research and Development in Baseball Operations.

• After his 10-year NFL career former Vikings running back Leroy Hoard struggles with memory loss and emotional problems at age 44.

Carson Cistulli's first act of journalism since joining the Baseball Writers Association of America involved asking Brewers reliever John Axford about his mustache and Ryan Gosling.

• New podcast discovery: "Put Your Hands Together" with Cameron Esposito, who records the weekly stand-up comedy show she hosts at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles and mixes in some interviews. Through three episodes the list of comics featured includes Aziz Ansari, Anthony Jeselnik, Bob Odenkirk, Kyle Kinane, Steve Agee, Bobcat Goldthwait, James Adomian, and Jerrod Carmichael. Stand-up comedy nerds will absolutely love it.

• I guess A's left-hander Brett Anderson is my new favorite player now.

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

- "Can you get skinny by going swimming?"
- "What team did Denard Span go to?"
- "Quick ways to lose 150 pounds"
- "Jason Kubel tattoos"
- "Twins pitcher sucks"
- "Aubrey Plaza tied up"
- "29th birthday"
- "Rob McElhenney bench press"
- "Dan Gladden daughter"
- "Is winter statistically harder to lose weight?"
- "Girlfriend obsessed with podcast"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Hey Ma" by Cam'ron:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Peter David Benson's book "All Babies Suck," which is available on Amazon.com as a free Kindle download. Please support him for supporting AG.com.

January 25, 2013

Link-O-Rama

John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs from Twins Daily are hosting a get-together Saturday night at Hubert's across from the Metrodome. It starts at 6:00, which is when TwinsFest ends for the day, and I'm told there will be several rounds of free beer and prize giveaways. I'll be there, probably hanging out until they kick me out, and would love to see some AG.com readers and "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners there too.

Delmon Young's one-year contract with the Phillies includes a be-less-fat clause that basically would pay the 238-pound "outfielder" $600,000 for losing eight pounds. I've asked to renegotiate my contract with NBC to include the same clause, at which point they'd owe me $11.25 million.

• Another week, another missed connection for me.

• Seriously, how did I not make this list?

• As someone who never knows how to get anywhere and often previews the route via Google street view this was pretty great.

• This is definitely the first time in my life I've ever been referred to as "hot." Well, sort of.

• Rotoworld's annual "Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide" is now available online and in magazine form, featuring about 10,000 of my words.

Sammy Sosa talked to HardballTalk's automated Twitter feed.

• Like me, David Brauer of MinnPost dropped out of the University of Minnesota to become a full-time writer. Unlike me, the prospect of returning to school--three decades later in Brauer's case--apparently doesn't make him physically ill. This is how I imagined Brauer's first class:

And then presumably he'll join the diving team.

• My blog-mate and lifelong Cardinals fan Drew Silva wrote a touching tribute to Stan Musial.

• I've often talked here about the potential downsides to having "access" and Jeff Sonderman of Poynter put together some interesting notes on how that applied to the Manti Te'o story.

• I watched "Breaking Bad" when it first aired on AMC in 2008 and gave up after a few episodes because it seemed cheesy to me and none of the secondary characters were compelling. Since then basically everyone I know has fallen in love with the show, so I gave it a second chance and re-watched it from the beginning on Netflix instant. And it's amazing. I watched all 54 episodes in nine days and can't wait for the final eight episodes to air on AMC this summer.

I still think the first handful of episodes are mediocre at best, but I've never seen a show improve more dramatically and once it gets cooking "Breaking Bad" never lets up. From the second season forward nearly every new character introduced is compelling, including a few of the best regulars in recent television history, and the show's narrative and visual styles are fantastic. If you haven't yet, definitely check out "Breaking Bad" on Netflix or Amazon.

• And for everyone who's watched "Breaking Bad" already, you'll enjoy re-watching my favorite scene from the fourth season. Such a great quote/delivery.

• Speaking of great AMC shows, Pete Campbell apparently has sideburns now.

This beauty arrived in the mail yesterday as a late birthday present, which gives me an idea for a new weekly podcast segment and should come in handy tomorrow night at Hubert's.

• Speaking of the best characters in recent television history Robert Chew, who was excellent on "The Wire" as Proposition Joe, died at age 52. My favorite Prop Joe moment:

Compelling arguments from both sides, really.

• Friend of AG.com and Fan Graphs writer David Temple, with whom I've consumed many beers, started a new baseball podcast that's so professional sounding he's calling it a radio show.

• In addition to being a Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver was into sabermetrics before such a thing actually existed and the author of a must-read book.

• A couple weeks ago I noted that Bill Burr, Nick Offerman, and Tom Segura are all performing in Minnesota within the next two months and now John Mulaney can be added to the list of good stand-up comedians doing shows here soon. I'm thinking of going to all four.

Terry Gross' interview with Jimmy Kimmel was funny and touching and just great.

• Two of my longtime favorite writers/online buddies got new gigs, as Kevin Pelton goes from Basketball Prospectus to ESPN.com and Chris Wesseling goes from Rotoworld to NFL.com.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we discussed whether the Twins can truly be done pursuing starting pitching and what happens when the person cutting your hair wants to talk about nothing but prostitutes killing their customers.

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

- "What if I forget what flavor my Lean Cuisine was for rewards?"
- "What does an 11 x 16 bedroom look like?"
- "Drew Butera girlfriend"
- "How long for pounds to show up?"
- "Older women who have lost 50 pounds"
- "Jon Rauch father"
- "Solomon Burke underrated"
- "Nicholas Batum languages spoken"
- "Gus Johnson millionaire"
- "Baseball sex blog"

Finally, in honor of Brauer going back to school this week's AG.com-approved music video is Chuck Berry with "School Days" from 1958:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Fresh Brewed Trivia at Granite City in Rosedale Center on Tuesday nights, where you can drink $3 tap beers and win prizes. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

January 23, 2013

Twins Notes: Butera, Duensing, Correia, Blackburn, and farm rankings

• This year the Twins' only arbitration-eligible players were Brian Duensing and Drew Butera, both of whom were in their first season of eligibility and both of whom avoided a potential hearing by agreeing to one-year contracts. Duensing gets $1.3 million and Butera gets $700,000. Alexi Casilla would have been arbitration eligible for the third and final time, but the Twins dropped him in November rather than pay him around $1.75 million.

I devoted a whole post to Duensing two weeks ago, so I won't rehash everything, but the short version is that this could be a make-or-break year as he tries to establish himself as a valuable reliever after flopping as a starter. If he fares well in a full-time bullpen role he'd certainly be worth keeping around in 2014 for the $2 million or so he'd likely get via the arbitration process, but if Duensing struggles he could be a Casilla-like non-tender candidate next offseason.

Butera getting a raise from the $450,000 minimum salary to $700,000 is meaningless in terms of the Twins' payroll, but whether he warrants a place on the roster for a fourth consecutive season remains in question. There's a place for good-glove, bad-hit catchers on a lot of teams, but Butera is quite possibly the worst hitter in baseball and it's awfully tough to make up for that defensively. With that said, if he gets fewer than 150 plate appearances again it will barely matter.

• I've talked a lot about how it made little sense for the Twins to give Kevin Correia a two-year, $10 million deal because plenty of equal or better starting pitchers are almost always available for one-year contracts. Correia signed in early December and six weeks later some of those starters still haven't signed, suggesting the Twins were impatient in addition to simply overrating him. And here are 11 examples of free agent starters who accepted one-year deals:

Brett Myers         Indians       $7.0 million
Scott Feldman       Cubs          $6.0 million
Scott Baker         Cubs          $5.5 million
Mike Pelfrey        Twins         $4.0 million
Roberto Hernandez   Rays          $3.3 million
Bartolo Colon       Athletics     $3.0 million
Jason Marquis       Padres        $3.0 million
John Lannan         Phillies      $2.5 million
Jeff Karstens       Pirates       $2.5 million
Jeff Francis        Rockies       $1.5 million
Erik Bedard         Astros        Minor league

I'm not counting Dan Haren, whose one-year deal was in a higher price range. If you're being kind to Correia he might be better than 2-3 of those 11 starters, but if so it isn't by much. Yet all of them were had for one-year deals--including Mike Pelfrey by the Twins--and that list will grow with names from a group of still-unsigned starters that includes Shaun Marcum, Joe Saunders, Roy Oswalt, Jair Jurrjens, Kevin Millwood, Freddy Garcia, and Chris Young.

So why was a two-year, $10 million commitment to Correia needed when a dozen similar or better starters were available for inexpensive one-year deals? And that's anything but hindsight, as it was clear all along that this free agent class was deep in third, fourth, and fifth starters. Despite that somehow the Twins managed to target one of the weaker options in a well-stocked bargain bin and overpay him. It didn't make much sense then and it makes even less sense now.

• With the Twins' pursuit of rotation help proving to be less fruitful than fans were led to believe early in the offseason Nick Blackburn re-entering their plans as a fifth starter seemingly wasn't out of the question. He's under contract for $5.5 million and despite being a horrible pitcher for most of the past three years it's not hard to imagine a decent spring from Blackburn leading to Ron Gardenhire wanting to give him another chance instead of, say, Liam Hendriks.

Now it's a moot point, because Blackburn underwent wrist surgery that will keep him in a cast for six weeks. Blackburn previously had surgery in October to remove a bone chip from his elbow, so his odds of a comeback are slimmer than ever. Still, by not simply releasing Blackburn like many teams do in dropping highly paid players from the 40-man roster the Twins left the door open for his return and, if healthy, no one should be surprised if he finds his way back to Minnesota.

John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs from Twins Daily are hosting a get-together Saturday night at Hubert's across from the Metrodome. It starts at 6:00, which is when TwinsFest ends for the day, and I'm told there will be several rounds of free beer and prize giveaways. I'll be there, probably hanging out until they kick me out, and would love to see some AG.com readers and "Gleeman and The Geek" listeners there too.

• Last offseason the Twins non-tendered Jose Mijares rather than pay him around $750,000, which struck me as an odd decision at the time. Mijares, who had a 3.16 ERA for the Twins, went on to throw 56 innings with a 2.56 ERA for the Royals and Giants while being paid more than he would have via arbitration anyway. And now the Giants avoided arbitration with Mijares by signing him to a one-year, $1.8 million deal for 2013. He'll be under team control again in 2014.

Jim Callis of Baseball America was asked to rank the 10 best farm systems and put the Twins seventh, noting that they have "the best collection of bats in the minors, led by Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano."

• On a related note, my annual series ranking and profiling the Twins' top 40 prospects will start tomorrow. I'll be counting down from 40 to 1, five prospects at a time, and then I'll have a system overview post putting the whole group in some context.

• How little interest was there in Delmon Young? As a 27-year-old free agent he signed for just $50,000 more than Butera got in his first year of arbitration. Young in Philadelphia is an amusing match for several reasons, not the least of which is that Bonnes' wife is a Phillies fan.

Francisco Liriano's two-year, $12.75 million deal with the Pirates was in jeopardy because of an offseason injury to his non-throwing arm, but the two sides have worked out a new deal.

• For a lot more about Butera and Duensing, plus the merits of pursuing Saunders and the secret world of haircut prostitution, check out this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode.

This week's blog content is sponsored by Fresh Brewed Trivia at Granite City in Rosedale Center on Tuesday nights, where you can drink $3 tap beers and win prizes. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

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