For some reason I went through Pitchfork's top 100 songs of 2013 and predictably found myself either disliking or never even hearing all but around a dozen songs, so I decided to put together my own top 30 37. It turns out that most of the songs I thought came out in 2013 actually came out in 2012 or maybe 2005, so this is hardly a definitive ranking. But whatever. Here are a bunch of songs I liked this year:
• Johan Santana is 16 months removed from left shoulder surgery and still not sure when he'll rejoin the Mets' rotation. He's owed $55 million for the next two seasons.
• Earlier this week the "F" key on my laptop stopped working and it's still giving me problems, but rather than getting it fixed I'm thinking about adopting this approach to writing.
• Very few one-person podcasts are any good--which is why I partnered up with John Bonnes for "Gleeman and the Geek"--but Bill Burr's solo show "Monday Morning Podcast" is hilarious.
• Two of my favorite comedians, Tom Segura and Todd Glass, will be at Acme Comedy Club on back-to-back weeks. Instead of talking someone into driving me or figuring out how not to be so clueless getting places and buying a new car I'm thinking of just moving next to the club.
• Evan Drellich of MLB.com penned a fitting tribute to Society for American Baseball Research member and all-around nice guy Greg Spira, who died last month at age 44.
• This year's SABR convention is coming to Minnesota from June 27 to July 3 and I've gotten a lot of questions from locals curious about joining, so click here for details about what it entails.
• Finally, in honor of me binging on Blue Valentine this week's AG.com-approved music video is "You and Me" by Penny and The Quarters:
• Two weekends ago a phone call woke me Saturday morning and I was confused to hear a woman claiming to be "a reporter from the New York Post." Intrigued but still groggy, I checked my e-mail and found several messages from the same person offering $200 for "a freelancer to go out to a house in Eden Prairie and interview someone today." I'm not a reporter and barely leave my own house, so I replied with a simple "no thanks."
It turns out, as David Brauer of MinnPost found by doing a bit more digging, the New York Post was looking for someone to basically go ring the doorbell at Brett Favre's house while he was in New York to play the Jets. Apparently their goal was to get his wife involved and turn that into a story, which is just about the grossest possible thing someone could pay you $200 to do on a Saturday morning. Perhaps that was covered in journalism school after I dropped out.
• Jon Heyman of SI.com blocked my Hardball Talk colleague Craig Calcaterra from following him on Twitter a while back, so I'm endlessly amused that a TBD.com post on social networking "tearing friends apart" included this excerpt:
The snub came months after Heyman called Calcaterra at home to discuss criticism Calcaterra had made of Heyman. Calcaterra says the call "ended civilly enough" but then came the Twitter block, a move that "far more offended" him than the phone call. "It's just so passive aggressive," he says.
Heyman confirms the block, saying that Calcaterra wrote numerous negative posts about him and he didn't want his tweets to provide further fodder. "I guess it's flattering, but I wasn't flattered," he says. Calcaterra says he's "moved on," but the incident made him question "odd interpersonal relationships" social networking sites encourage.
• I may be willing to pay extra for Derek Jeter's old apartment, but only if Minka Kelly stayed there after he moved out.
• I'll be on 1500-ESPN after tonight's Twins-Tigers game, co-hosting "Twins Wrap" with Darren Wolfson. Starting about 30 minutes after the final out we'll talk Twins and take phone calls for at least an hour. Stay up late and call in, or just listen online here.
• Based on this interview with AMC's website, Kiernan Shipka (aka Sally Draper) is either the world's most brilliant 10-year-old or someone with a horrible sense of how 10-year-olds speak is answering the questions in her name. I'm honestly not sure which, but "fortunately the hair department is quite amazing"?!
• So far I've only liked two (or maybe two-and-a-half) of this season's new television shows: Boardwalk Empire on HBO looks great (and has already been renewed for Season 2), Terriers on FX looks very good, and Running Wilde on FOX looks like it may be decent. Otherwise, meh.
• This isn't quite the sideways-world high school Lost spinoff I was hoping for, but it'll work.
• Finally, because between her name being Florence and her choice of footwear the degree of difficulty is insanely high, this week's AG.com-approved music video if Florence and the Machine doing a live version of "Dog Days Are Over":