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:

November 22, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• It never disappoints when a local Minnesota media member makes it on Deadspin.

• Let's pool our money and hire Frank Stallone to play a New Year's Eve blogger meet-up.

• This makes me want to find my doppelganger and just be like "sorry man, I know it's rough."

• Me and this baby from Indonesia have officially swapped bad habits.

• I set my alarm each night, yet wake up a few minutes before it goes off 99 out of 100 mornings, which makes a lot more sense after reading about the science of it on Mental Floss.

• Gophers football coach Jerry Kill on Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan: "Kiss my ass. I'm going to show you. I'm a Division I coach, OK? I've got epilepsy. I've been doing this shit and winning for a long time. I'll show you."

• Don't pay attention to this troubling report. Cuddling season has officially started in Minnesota. Lower those standards, send out some desperate texts, and get cuddling!

• I've always said that relationships and baseball don't mix.

Ricky Rubio got super dressed up to meet Selena Gomez.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode features the first f-bomb in the podcast's history, along with lots of talk about Joe Mauer changing positions and me getting married. It's also the first brunch episode we've done, so you can hear what I sound like hungover and on zero sleep.

• On a related note, here's an important message about the future of "Gleeman and The Geek."

• Before he became a great big-league catcher Mauer was a great high school quarterback and this KARE-11 feature on him from 2000 is worth watching just for his glasses:

And no sideburns!

Dave Chappelle capped his epic week in Minnesota with a midnight basketball game/pancake breakfast at Target Center. Prince even sent a $25,000 donation for charity.

• During the show I was at Monday night Chappelle talked to an audience member about a local rapper named Tall Paul. They met later in the week and now Tall Paul is getting some press.

• Lorde's song "Royals" was inspired by ... George Brett?

• And here's an interesting cover version of "Royals."

• Even the people who sell boner pills aren't making their employees use BlackBerry any more.

• Living legend Carson Cistulli of Fan Graphs chatted with my former Hardball Times partner Dave Studeman and approximately six minutes in they discussed my social habits, with Cistulli concluding: "Aaron actually is very sweet despite what I've said about him."

• Proud to say that Randball's Stu used the best bathroom in America on our date last month.

• In fairness, television is great and men are gross.

• For those of you with massive crushes on baseball bloggers, Jamie Shupak of How About We explains how to transition an online relationship offline, including: "The first time my fiance ever contacted me was through a direct message on Twitter."

• Meanwhile, hooking up via direct messages just got a little more difficult.

Facebook data shows that people are weirdly racist when it comes to online dating and also that Minneapolis is one of the pickiest cities "based on the lowest number of responses from women."

• Honestly, without this some of us bring nothing to the table (literally and figuratively).

• As if burritos weren't sexy enough already on their own, toss in some D'Angelo and boom:

Just a good all-around use of the internet, really.

• Shoutout to all the Jewish boys who suddenly have big dreams after seeing the Adam Levine news this week. Now go do some situps.

• Can the Twins get anything out of Jason Bartlett and why did they send Duke Welker back to the Pirates two months after acquiring him in the Justin Morneau trade? I'm glad you asked.

• MLB teams hired away two more Baseball Prospectus writers.

• My future wife is getting more obscure with her cover song choices, but her hair remains great.

• I found this "how did we end up married" video equal parts sappy and delightful.

• "The American" just got added to Netflix instant. One of my dozen or so favorite movies, with a great slow burn and George Clooney being George Clooney.

• Beards have now reached Minneapolis Star Tribune trend piece status.

• You could say the Marlins want Juan Uribe to prove it all night, prove it all night.

• This is how I make new fans on Twitter.

• This is the website of the man who coached me through my Bar Mitzvah. No further comment.

• Never forget: Life is amazing.

• As part of a Saturday bachelor party I'm tailgating at the Gophers-Badgers football game to kick off an all-day party bus bender, so my Twitter account should be pretty annoying/amusing.

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

- "Aaron Gleeman married"
- "Aaron Glee"
- "How can an unhealthy teen boy lose 100 pounds?"
- "Boys face stuffing"
- "Top travesties"
- "Doing the truffle shuffle"
- "Twins nerd on KFAN"
- "Effects of the drug known as Kubel"
- "Cory Cove pornstar"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Unbroken Promise" by Erick Baker:


Interested in sponsoring a week of AG.com and advertising your product, service, local business, or website directly to thousands of readers each day? Click here for details.

April 20, 2012

Link-O-Rama

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek will be live on KFAN again Sunday at 4:00, shortly after the Twins-Rays game. If you missed last week's show, which was our radio debut, give it a listen.

• One of my favorites writes about one of my ... well, not-so-favorites. And credit to the Minneapolis Star Tribune for printing an equally damning follow-up.

• Internet list perfection: The 21 Absolute Worst Things In The World.

• No doubt worried about her Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status, Mila Kunis was quick to deny this very troubling report.

Kelly Shoppach's first career stolen base was spectacular.

• While sitting out the end of the Timberwolves' season Kevin Love has really stepped up his mustache-growing game.

Delmon Young hilariously doing a 360-degree spin in pursuit of a fly ball and then dropping it was inexplicably ruled a "triple" by the official scorer in Chicago, but MLB has since stepped in to overrule the decision.

• This is very close to being online dating sabermetrics and is also very creepy.

• Sorry everyone, this is what happens when I make an effort to leave the house more.

• Ram Jam plus Mad Men equals amazing:

Helluva advertisement for Bugles, too.

Ben Lindbergh of Baseball Prospectus wrote a great article about what happens when you get a press pass and have to actually use it, which is ... well, more on that a later date.

• And speaking of press passes and access, what Bill James wrote about the value of being a baseball outsider remains fantastic 30 years later.

Yangtze in St. Louis Park is my favorite restaurant even though I've never had their dim sum, which was just named the Twin Cities' best by City Pages. I'm partial to the hunan chicken, but everything there is good.

• This sketch is way funnier than it probably should be.

Alison Brie is great on Mad Men and great on Community and looks like this.

• I can't imagine standing while I work, so instead I emulate Mark Twain's approach.

• Based solely on the fact that my mom drives with one foot on the gas and one foot on the break this study makes a lot of sense.

• Tuesday night 49-year-old Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher in baseball history to record a win and amazingly did so without cracking 80 miles per hour on any his 84 pitches, which got me wondering what percentage of adult males can throw that hard.

• And then the whole Moyer/velocity question turned into a movie idea.

• I'm a sucker for blooper reels and this one from Parks and Recreation is great:

"What kind of boys?"

• Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook is really good at Tumblr.

• If his t-shirts are any indication Amare Stoudemire is pretty serious about this whole member of the tribe thing.

Doug Miller of MLB.com wrote a lengthy story about Fan Graphs analyst Dave Cameron and his battle with leukemia.

Trevor Mbakwe using a medical redshirt for a second senior year has inspired me to go back to college, so I'm sending my updated resume to the Minnesota Daily. Fingers crossed!

• Not surprisingly, Showtime's new season of The Franchise starring Ozzie Guillen and the Marlins looks pretty good aside from way too much Jeffrey Loria.

• Considering the crush I had on Anna Chlumsky after seeing My Girl in the early 1990s not immediately recognizing her in the previews for Veep on HBO brings me great shame.

• If you like funny people talking about not-so-funny topics and/or have struggled with depression, Morgan Murphy's appearance on The Mental Illness Happy Hour with Paul Gilmartin is a must-listen. And she's also great to follow on Twitter.

• For anyone with Netflix who enjoys documentaries, I highly recommend Knuckle, Into The Abyss, and Cocaine Cowboys.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Vintage Trouble with a very acoustic version of "Nobody Told Me":

This week's blog content is sponsored by PickPointz, where you can make predictions, pick games, and win prizes for free. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

December 9, 2011

Twins Notes: Slowey, Turpen, Doyle, Hunt, Popham, Florimon, and Cuddyer

Kevin Slowey and the Twins have been headed for divorce since they demoted him from the rotation in favor of Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn during spring training and he reacted poorly to the idea of becoming a reliever. He lasted much longer than I ever expected, making it through the season with a team that grew to despise him, but the two sides finally parted ways as the Twins traded him to the Rockies for a marginal reliever prospect in Daniel Turpen.

Slowey absolutely deserves plenty of criticism, both for his attitude and performance, but the Twins also created the ugly situation by dumping a 27-year-old career-long starter with a 4.41 ERA from the rotation and trying to force him into a role he was unwilling or unable to accept. Duensing and Blackburn combined for a 4.87 ERA in 54 starts while Slowey's stock plummeted so far that the Twins dumped him for a reliever who won't crack my top 40 prospects list.

No one should come off looking good, yet the local media focused on portraying Slowey in the worst possible light while freeing the Twins of any responsibility. He was ripped for refusing to accept an understandably upsetting demotion and for supposedly faking arm issues, and once it became clear the Twins no longer wanted anything to do with Slowey the criticism became absurdly personal. Following the trade, Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan wrote:

Slowey, we hardly knew ye. Oh, wait, yes we did. That's why Twins traded the jerk for a boiled hot dog and a used spit cup.

Terry Ryan made the deal of winter meetings. Traded Slowey for a human.

That's just the culmination of his season-long bashing and while Souhan is the most extreme example he was hardly alone. I'm not defending Slowey's pitching or behavior, but the media coverage was laughably one-sided and the personal attacks were both pathetic and plentiful. Slowey showed how not to handle a demotion, the Twins showed how to squander an asset, and the local media showed how willing they are to rip a guy to shreds if given the go-ahead.

• In trading Slowey to the Rockies the Twins sent him to the worst possible place for a fly-ball pitcher and calling Coors Field home makes it far less likely he'll come back to haunt them. In a neutral environment Slowey remains capable of throwing 150-175 innings with a 4.50 ERA and great strikeout-to-walk ratios, but the odds are heavily stacked against a control pitcher with a high-80s fastball and one of the highest fly-ball rates in baseball thriving at altitude.

Colorado targeting Slowey is weird, but the Rockies probably just saw a 27-year-old formerly decent mid-rotation starter under team control at reasonable salaries for two more years and figured why not pick him up for pennies on the dollar. Turpen was revealed as the player to be named later immediately after the Rule 5 draft was completed and the brief delay was due to the Twins not wanting to protect him from being selected by placing him on the 40-man roster.

Turpen was actually picked by the Yankees in the Rule 5 draft last winter, but didn't stick and is now with his fifth organization in five seasons. He spent this year at Double-A, where the side-arming righty threw 60 innings with a 4.82 ERA and more walks (35) than strikeouts (33). Turpen's previous track record was somewhat better and he's a ground-ball pitcher with good velocity, but as a 25-year-old reliever yet to reach Triple-A he's a long shot to be useful.

• With the No. 2 pick in the Rule 5 draft the Twins selected right-hander Terry Doyle from the White Sox. Doyle's strong performance in the Arizona Fall League got the Twins' attention, but that involved just eight starts and he split the regular season between Single-A and Double-A despite being a 25-year-old drafted out of college in 2007. He fits the Twins' mold with good control and a low-90s fastball, throwing 173 innings with a 3.07 ERA and 122/33 K/BB ratio.

Rule 5 picks must remain in the majors all season or be offered back to the original team. Last year the Twins took Scott Diamond from the Braves and rather than keep him on the roster traded former second-round pick Billy Bullock for the ability to stash him in the minors. I hated the move, as Bullock had far more upside as a hard-throwing reliever with big strikeout totals, and the Twins ended up promoting Diamond to the majors in July anyway.

Presumably by passing on various higher-upside arms to take Doyle with the No. 2 pick they're willing to simply keep him in the majors as a long reliever and mop-up man. Vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff told John Manuel of Baseball America that the Twins think Doyle "has got the ability to be a fourth or fifth starter" with velocity that ranges from "marginal" to "average." Not exactly what I'd target atop the Rule 5 draft, but he's not without potential.

• Despite leaving some decent prospects unprotected the Twins lost no one in the big-league phase of the Rule 5 draft. Shooter Hunt was taken by St. Louis in the minor-league phase, but the 2008 first-round pick's complete inability to throw strikes took him off the prospect radar long ago. Hunt once projected as a potential top-of-the-rotation starter, but he's yet to move beyond Single-A and has a 6.85 ERA with 236 walks in 193 career innings.

They also selected right-hander Marty Popham from the Indians in the minor-league phase and unlike Doyle he can remain in the minors. Popham is another strike-thrower with low-90s velocity and the former 20th-round pick tossed 112 innings with a 4.58 ERA and 106/25 K/BB ratio between high Single-A and Double-A as a 23-year-old. Major-league Rule 5 picks rarely pan out and minor-league Rule 5 picks almost never pan out, so he's likely just Triple-A depth.

• Baltimore trimmed Pedro Florimon from the 40-man roster after an abbreviated September call-up and the Twins claimed the 24-year-old shortstop off waivers. Prior to making his debut Florimon spent the year hitting .267/.344/.396 in 133 games at Double-A. Those numbers are mediocre enough for any 24-year-old at Double-A, but also include a poor 114-to-51 strikeout-to-walk ratio and actually represent the best performance of Florimon's six-season career.

In other words he can't hit, but Florimon has a reputation as a good defensive shortstop and the other middle infielders on the 40-man roster were Jamey Carroll, Alexi Casilla, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Trevor Plouffe, and Luke Hughes. There isn't a standout defensive shortstop in the bunch and even "middle infielder" is a stretch in some cases, so for now at least a good-glove, no-hit guy is worth adding to stash in the minors even if Florimon's upside is utility man.

• It sounds like the Twins' primary competition for Michael Cuddyer is the Rockies, so he might be reunited with Slowey if they top the Twins' reported three-year, $25 million offer.

• Old friend Jose Morales signed a minor-league contract with the Pirates. Morales was traded to the Rockies last offseason when the Twins opted for Drew Butera as their backup catcher and ended up missing most of the season with a broken thumb.

• I'm assuming ESPN.com chose this picture to accompany Jerry Crasnick's article about Terry Ryan because it features a Phil Mackey cameo.

• Speaking of which, Twins baseball communications manager Dustin Morse shared a photo of Mackey, John Shipley, and Rhett Bollinger grilling Ron Gardenhire at the winter meetings.

Dan Szymborski released his annual ZiPS projections over at Baseball Think Factory and the Twins' numbers ... well, they aren't pretty.

• This week's podcast features lots of talk about Cuddyer, Slowey, Matt Capps, Jason Kubel, and the winter meetings, plus various other beer-fueled randomness, so give it a listen.