July 12, 2013

Link-O-Rama

Robby Incmikoski is back in our lives! Missing you, buddy.

• It's been a rough week for Oswaldo Arcia, who struck out a bunch of times, got featured on Deadspin, and then proved that he isn't Bo Jackson.

Forbes' list of the 10 highest-paid comedians makes me feel sad about our country's collective sense of humor, although at least Louis C.K. is getting rich.

• I'd have lost so much money buying Lauryn Hill stock in 1998. One of the best-looking people ever, two of the best albums of the 1990s by age 23, and then ... nothing. I'm putting together a team to break her out of jail.

• One of the odder examples of Torii Hunter, media darling.

• Last month's party bus went so well that we're opening things up to the blog-reading, podcast-listening public with a light rail bar crawl and Twins game. Sign-ups start next week.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode John Bonnes realized he did something very stupid in the middle of the podcast and then I took a picture of it.

• "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke loses a little something when not attached to the uncensored music video, but this version might be even better:

Actually, maybe every music video should just be remade with that same footage.

• FSN is taking applications for a new Fox Sports North Girl and I'm told that my idea to start an internet campaign to get me the job is a no-go, so actual qualified candidates can apply here.

• "Minnetonka Man" is back in the news.

• How secure can Ron Gardenhire's job be if the Twins have a third straight 90-loss season?

Dave Shumka, whose show "Stop Podcasting Yourself" is my favorite podcast among the 40 or so I listen to regularly, was nearly shot in the head by someone who later shot themselves. It's a harrowing story, the details of which Shumka went into further on this week's episode.

• My mom's favorite news of the week.

• In one of the most spectacular plays you'll ever see, Carlos Gomez robbed Joey Votto of a two-run, go-ahead homer with two outs in the ninth inning. My favorite part is Votto repeatedly screaming at the umpire to "check his glove!" because he can't believe it.

• My weight loss has made an impact internationally.

• There's no doubt that chubby Chris Pratt is funnier, but this is still damn impressive.

• One of the better e-mails from a PR person I've ever gotten.

• It depressed me how many of these "30 Signs You're Almost 30" hit home with me and then I got even sadder after remembering that I'm already 30.

• Twins Daily blogger Seth Stohs threw out the first pitch at a Cedar Rapids Kernels game:

He's now the Twins' third starter.

Baseball America's midseason top 50 prospects list had Byron Buxton at No. 1 and Miguel Sano at No. 3. How rare is it for one team to have multiple prospects in the top five?

Elisha Cuthbert, who held the Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com title from 2004-2006, got married to NHL player Dion Phaneuf.

Brandon Belt joined some rare company by going 0-for-8 with a platinum sombrero.

• Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond shaved his goatee between innings of a game.

Anna Benson was arrested for putting on a bullet-proof vest and raiding ex-husband Kris Benson's house with a gun and a metal baton.

Alison Agosti's dating advice has me considering a new sport: "My roommate is on a kickball team and everybody has sex with everybody."

• I finally figured out a way to become a television superstar.

• I laughed: "Ron Wehking, 68, the last known optimistic Twins fan, finally gave up on the 2013 Twins on Thursday afternoon."

• My weekly half-hour chat with Paul Allen on KFAN included the usual silliness, some gambling talk, and a shoutout to Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

• You don't see many comedians go on talk shows and tell one five-minute joke, but Jay Larson did exactly that on "Conan" and killed:

Larson also co-hosts a good podcast with Ryan Sickler called "The Crab Feast."

Terry Ryan answered about 500 questions from Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com.

• I saw the trailer for Spike Lee's upcoming movie "Oldboy" and it's so up my alley that I watched the Korean version on Netflix just to prepare myself.

• "Jordan, Jesse, Go!" is one of my favorite podcasts and Jen Kirkman is always an excellent guest on any podcast, so this week's episode was great.

Ben Schwartz, who plays Jean-Ralphio Saperstein on "Parks and Recreation" and is also in a bunch of movies, was a very funny chat partner for Paul F. Tompkins.

• Some guy registered on MinnPost just to make this comment.

• People in Milwaukee should go see Carson Cistulli and Dayn Perry read poetry on July 20.

• This has nothing to do with anything, but remember that time Kim Kardashian met Drew Butera and Matt Capps?

• If you're interested in sponsoring AG.com the next two weeks are open. Details here.

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

- "Robby Incmikoski real name"
- "Minnesota Twins donuts"
- "Aaron Gleeman e-mail"
- "Anderson Silva baseball"
- "Matt Harvey boxers or briefs?"
- "How big of a pizza can I eat to lose pounds?"
- "Roy Smalley hair"
- "John Sharkman"
- "Bert Blyleven can't get into Canada"
- "Glen Perkins dating Aaron Gleeman"

• This week's AG.com-approved music video is "Doo Wop (That Thing)" by Lauryn Hill:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Curt's Salsa, a locally owned salsa company that believes in fresh ingredients and rooting for the little guy. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

May 24, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• News story lead sentence of the week: "In one instance, a bar in New Jersey mixed rubbing alcohol with caramel food coloring and served it as scotch."

• Behold, the dumbest PR pitch I've ever gotten. And that's saying something.

• If you've always wanted to hear a compilation of Alonzo Mourning being mentioned in rap songs this is your lucky day. Also, almost every lyric was "Mourning like Alonzo."

According to the guy who invented the GIF it's pronounced "jif" rather than "gif." I will, however, continue saying "jif or gif, whichever way you say it" every time I speak the word.

• One thing I know for certain about GIFs? They were made for Delmon Young.

Never forget: "Brian Dozier is going to be the next big thing for the Twins."

• I take a similar approach to dating, but thankfully a Honda Fit doesn't cause much damage.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked a lot about Kyle Gibson and Chris Colabello, and then John Bonnes got creeped out by my choice of romantic music.

• On a related note, I've been spending way too much time thinking of intro/outro songs for the radio show. They need to have a strong opening riff and first 30-45 seconds and be free of curse words, which rules out a ton of good ones. Here's my preliminary list, in alphabetical order.

• I've been wondering what my old pal and former FSN sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski is up to in his new gig with the Pirates and based on this video he's doing a lot of dry cleaning:

They were nice enough to provide him with a shower too, at least.

• I'm in search of a new role model after this devastating news, but we'll always have Super Stan.

• White Sox left-hander Chris Sale is a great pitcher, but as a lifelong fatso reading about how he eats like a pig and can't put on any weight makes me instinctively want to hate him forever.

Paul Allen warned that he had "a big surprise" planned for my weekly Thursday appearance on his show and it turned out to be my mom, three grade school friends, and a former "date" telling stories for a "This Is Your Life"-style segment. Here's photographic evidence of the story my mom told.

• And to think, I used to be considered the young baseball blogger as a 19-year-old.

• Hard as it is to believe, the Twins' rotation has actually been worse than last year's mess.

• I got a similar welcome to the NBC Sports office, except with cartons of Chinese food.

• Red Sox reliever Koji Uehara feels strongly about getting a high-five from Shane Victorino.

• Try to imagine one of the Minnesota newspapers running a story like this about a Twins player.

• Sabermetrics in urban planning? Sure, why not.

• Old friend Francisco Liriano is off to a great start with the Pirates.

• As someone forever nostalgic about 1990s music Target Field's just-announced July concert is intriguing, but I'm boycotting until Mase gets involved.

• This is easily the angriest I've ever been about anything.

Nick Offerman playing Alison Brie's father in a movie is going to break the internet and "The Kings Of Summer" looks pretty good too:

Lots of other funny people in the cast too.

Jen Kirkman, who's always a great podcast guest, has started her own podcast.

Question of the Week over at HardballTalk: If you could have a lengthy but mediocre MLB career would you choose to be a fifth starter (like Kevin Correia or Bruce Chen), a middle reliever (like Brandon Lyon or Chad Qualls), or a platoon hitter (like Reed Johnson or Jonny Gomes)? I gave my answer in the comments section.

Pamela Adlon, who voiced Bobby Hill on "King Of The Hill" and was in both of Louis C.K.'s television shows, was predictably a great/crazy guest on "WTF" with Marc Maron.

• Congratulations to Link-O-Rama regular Dana Wessel for his new gig with KTWIN-96.3, which adds a great producer and the best hair in Minnesota radio.

• In terms of Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidates, can this count as a first date?

• Positive customer service experiences are so rare that I feel like sharing one. Some keys on my year-old Macbook stopped working, so I took it to the Apple Store in Ridgedale Mall. It's my first non-PC and so naturally I was expecting the worst, but everyone there was incredibly helpful and friendly. And despite a 3-5 day repair timetable I got the Macbook back within 48 hours after the parts arrived and had a nice chat about the Twins with a Mac Genius who reads AG.com.

(If you're curious: He wants Aaron Hicks sent down, thinks the payroll is too low, and was sad to learn that I don't get to hang out with Dan Cole over at KFAN.)

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

- "Can glass carry 150 pounds?"
- "Crush on Moira Kelly"
- "Kyle Kinane weight"
- "Have been lazy for 29 years"
- "Hardcore porn on Netflix"
- "Ryan Doumit shirtless"
- "Haralabos Voulgaris shirtless"
- "Al Newman clarinet"
- "What's the real news on Glen Perkins?"
- "How old is LaVelle E. Neal?"
- "How long on an elliptical to burn a beer?"
- "Similarities between Lindsay Lohan and Mila Kunis"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is a live version of "No Surrender" by Bruce Springsteen:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Ticket King, a local ticket broker that doesn't charge check-out fees, offers in-store pickup, and specializes in Twins tickets. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

August 10, 2012

Link-O-Rama

Eric Chavez throwing the ball back to an unsuspecting Cody Eppley is GIF magic.

Nicolas Batum's nut-punching above replacement level is off the charts, which is no doubt why the Timberwolves made such a strong run at him this offseason.

• See, now they're just taunting me. Might be time to evaluate some other candidates.

• In honor of Usain Bolt's latest gold medal the New York Times created a fascinating video showing the evolution of the 100-meter dash at the Olympics. Humans are pretty amazing.

• I'm pretty sure Google has been listening to Gleeman and The Geek and is now inventing things specifically for me.

Sid Hartman's recent Minneapolis Star Tribune column includes a note saying that "it's unlikely 1500-AM will carry Twins broadcasts beyond this season."

• For anyone interested in local radio ratings, my MinnPost colleague David Brauer has the latest numbers and analysis. Short version: KFAN continues to dominate.

• Update on my all-Chinese food diet: I ate hunan chicken from Yangtze almost literally every day for an entire month and gained 10 pounds. I'm not sure what was accomplished, other than learning I'm still capable of being a fastso, but now I'm back on the low-calorie wagon.

• Behold, the worst play of the season:

On a related note, for as awful as the Twins have been since the beginning of 2011 they've got 20 more wins than the Astros during that time. Seriously: 112-162 compared to 92-182.

Ricky Gervais is the latest comedian to ride in Jerry Seinfeld's car and go for coffee.

Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote an excellent article about Corey Koskie's life after a concussion ruined his baseball career.

Tim Allen, who blogged excellently and creatively about the Timberwolves at Canis Hoopis since 2009, committed suicide at age 29.

• Turner Broadcasting bought Bleacher Report for $175 million.

Frank Viola's daughter, Brittany Viola, finished 15th in the Olympic diving semi-finals.

Carson Cistulli put together some good advice for how to become an internet baseball writer, although he oddly left out "be incredibly handsome."

• As always my favorite podcast guest, Chelsea Peretti, was great on Doug Loves Movies with Doug Benson, Sarah Silverman and Anthony Jeselnik. And my friend and former Rotoworld colleague Gregg Rosenthal was actually in the audience.

• Speaking of Peretti, she makes a cameo appearance in this amusing compilation video of all the times Louis C.K. has said "I'm sorry" on Louie:

Also: Joan Rivers.

• Freakonomics Radio explains why getting a college degree isn't always so valuable.

• On the other hand, things are looking up for journalism school graduates these days.

• Old school Orioles catcher Gus Triandos had a very memorable place in The Wire world, but the show had plenty of other sports-related story lines too.

• It turns out the Minneapolis Star Tribune headline about "weed dating" was a false alarm.

• Tuesday morning I was getting tweets saying stuff like "do you really wear tuxedo t-shirts?" and "what's with a polka dot fanny pack?" and "uh, you may want to turn on KFAN." I listened to the podcast later and heard Paul Allen and Marney Gellner discuss "Girls Gone Gleeman" without me even being present, including Gellner replying "I follow him on Twitter and his mom is a sweetheart" when asked if she knew me. Which, really, should be on my tombstone.

• I was in-studio to defend my honor yesterday and PA threw a curveball by actually wanting to talk Twins for a while. We eventually got to the "Girls Gone Gleeman" situation, which now includes at least one legitimate applicant. And if you listen to the podcast you can hear PA's reaction when I strip down to reveal an actual tuxedo t-shirt that was shipped overnight via Amazon.com just for the occasion. In other words, things are getting very serious.

• And because KFAN clearly hadn't devoted enough airtime to my love life this week, two hours later PA cold-called me at home live on the air to deliver some breaking "Girls Gone Gleeman" news. FSN sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski was in-studio at the time, so we became pals again and at some point I agreed to let him serve as a special guest judge for the dating game-style show we're planning at the state fair. He seems excited about it, at least.

• I've been on Twitter for three years and this is by far my most successful use of the medium:

It turns out running your fingers through my hair can be very addicting.

• On a related note, looks like we'll be doing a live Gleeman and The Geek show from the KFAN booth at the state fair on August 26. My guess is we'll take lots of audience questions, so if you've ever wanted to see John Bonnes arguing with me in person this is your big chance.

• Your weekly reminder that Vin Scully is the best.

Jon Weisman is right: This picture made me smile.

• For some reason my rush-delivered tuxedo t-shirt did not come with any huge guns.

What music would you listen to if you'd been deaf for your entire life and could finally hear?

In which I sing a Beyonce song to Danny Valencia.

• If you look up "hero" in the dictionary ... well, you'll see a definition. Also, this Julie Klausner story is pretty great.

• If you're into basketball, sports betting, poker, or (like me) all of the above Jay Caspian Kang's podcast interview with longtime AG.com favorite Haralabos Voulgaris is a must-listen.

• Back by popular demand, this week's most amusing, weird, and random search engine queries that brought people here:

- "Bert Blyleven fart"
- "Boof Bonser salary"
- "Brian Dinkelman salary"
- "J.J. Hardy wife"
- "Can a catcher also play outfield"
- "Ben Revere throwing arm"
- "Michelle Beadle twinkie"
- "Chelsea Peretti drugs"
- "Parker Posey weight"
- "Dirty slide slow pitch softball"
- "Joe Thurston ex-girlfriend"
- "Tsuyoshi Nishioka error"
- "Christopher Nolan baseball"
- "Fat man stuffing his face"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is the album version of "Where We Gonna Go From Here" by Mat Kearney:

This week's blog content is sponsored by DiamondCentric's new "Walks Will Haunt" t-shirt, which looks good on any Twins fan. Please support them for supporting AG.com.

July 20, 2012

Link-O-Rama

(Our whole crew, including me in the middle and Bill Parker talking to Robby Incmikoski.)

I spent yesterday afternoon at Target Field watching the Twins-Orioles game in FOX Sports North's suite. Along with a few other bloggers I was invited there to try the "Game Connect" platform that incorporates play-by-play, statistics, scores, social media, and a bunch of other stuff for an online supplement to the game-watching experience. It's definitely worth trying, especially if you're like me and typically watch Twins games on FSN with your computer nearby.

(After seeing John Bonnes' tweet they actually asked to do this and who was I to say no?)

FSN treated us too well. Becky Ross and Laura Beshire were great hosts, plying us with beer and food. Angie Avestruz and Kaylin Cockriel--also known as "The FSN Girls"--couldn't have been nicer, even when John Bonnes creepily used Twitter to peer-pressure them into running their fingers through my hair. And sideline reporter Robby Incmikoski hung out, interviewed me on television, and was incredibly nice despite me often being critical of him and FSN.

 (Nick Nelson was more focused on his beer and sunglasses than my FSN television debut.)

And then after the game we put the finishing touches on a fun day at the Fulton Tap Room. You can find some more pictures and details about the whole experience on my Twitter page. Thanks to FOX Sports North for reaching out to the bloggers and thanks to everyone involved for being so damn nice. And last but not least check out "Game Connect" the next time you're watching the Twins on FSN, if only so they don't regret inviting me. OK, now on to the links ...


• As always, Louis C.K. is the best.

Pete Rose is getting his own reality television show and it sounds as bad as you'd expect.

• Yesterday morning during my KFAN appearance with Paul Allen the inevitable happened, as PA and my mom joined forces in the name of ... well, listen for yourself.

Heidi Klum was the first Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com way back in 2002 and suffice it to say she's aged a whole helluva lot better than I have.

• Friend of AG.com and former Gleeman and The Geek guest Lindsay Guentzel made it to the MLB Fan Cave's final seven, but after four months in New York she was voted out this week.

• Speaking of which, this week's Gleeman and The Geek show was our 50th episode, which means only 450 more until my mom is allowed to come on as a guest.

• Having reached the point where losing more weight isn't really possible--I'm down under 170 pounds after being 355 pounds on March 7, 2011--for the past two weeks or so I've been on a Chinese food and gum diet mostly just to see what happens. And despite getting takeout from Yangtze in St. Louis Park literally every day I somehow haven't gained any weight. Order the "hunan chicken with just carrots and baby corn." It'll change your life.

• Jets coach Rex Ryan went from 348 pounds in late 2009 to 242 pounds now, although he underwent lap-band surgery rather than relying strictly on diet and exercise.

Pete Caldera is officially the coolest beat reporter in baseball. And best-dressed, too.

• Nationals first-round pick Lucas Giolito has $2.9 million and a signed lightsaber from Samuel L. Jackson hanging in his room.

• If you're into statistical analysis for basketball, Court Vision's graphics showing exactly where rebounds wind up based on where shots are taken are pretty great.

Bert Blyleven had a perfect response to Reggie Jackson: "God gives us many holes in our body and he just spoke out of the wrong one."

• As someone forced to use a Blackberry for work, the company's situation is depressing.

• This will probably make it even more confusing when I try to explain where I work to people.

• Congrats to my HardballTalk blog-mate Craig Calcaterra for being named "internet writer of the year" by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance.

• Looking at Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Kelly Brook is just like riding a bike.

Darren Wolfson's ongoing coverage of the Timberwolves' offseason has been a must-read at 1500-ESPN and his lengthy article breaking down the Nicolas Batum drama was excellent.

• Except for the parts about leaving the house and hanging out with strangers for three hours this sounds like a great way to watch a Twins game at Target Field.

Paul F. Tomkins filmed a series of short video interviews with interesting actors, comedians, and musicians over drinks and they're all worth watching.

• Netflix instant recommendation: Rampart, which stars Woody Harrelson and convinced me even further that he's one of the best, most versatile, and most underrated actors around.

• On a related note, one screenshot can tell the story of a crazy evening.

John Legend was a great guest on The Champs with Neal Brennan and Moshe Kasher.

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Legend singing the hook to "Do You Wanna Ride" by Jay-Z:

This week's blog content is sponsored by Ballplayer: Pelotero, a controversial new documentary about baseball prospects in the Dominican Republic starring Miguel Sano as a 16-year-old.

May 11, 2012

Twins Notes: Birthday boys, pimping, demoting, neglecting, and mocking

• Reminder: Gleeman and The Geek airs live on KFAN at 4:00 on Sunday. I can neither confirm nor deny that this week's show will just be me sighing into the microphone for an hour.

• Happy birthday to No. 1 prospect Miguel Sano, who turned 19 years old today and is hitting .303/.417/.655 with 10 homers and 20 walks in 33 games at low Single-A. Last week Sano hit a game-winning homer against the Angels' affiliate and the benches cleared because, as Cedar Rapids manager Jamie Burke put it: "I think he kind of pimped that home run a little bit." Here's more from Jeff Johnson of the Cedar Rapids Gazette:

Sano stood in the batter's box awhile to watch his homer against relief pitcher Carmine Giardiana. He trotted the bases, but virtually stopped a few feet before touching the plate, taking off his batting helmet as Kernels catcher Abel Baker barked at him.

Sano glared at the Kernels dugout after finally touching the plate, with Kernels players continuing to give him significant grief. He took a step toward Baker, and the dugouts began to empty, with umpires Fernando Rodriguez and Paul Clemons, as well as both teams' coaching staffs, doing a good job of squelching what could have been an ugly scene.

Also worth noting is that being annoyed by Sano's actions following the homer didn't stop Burke from effusively praising him as a player:

He's young, but he's one heck of a player, man. He's unbelievable. That's the best player I've seen here, by far.

Twins fans may remember Burke as the White Sox catcher who got destroyed by Torii Hunter in a home plate collision back in 2004.

Anthony Slama has never gotten an extended shot with the Twins despite dominating every level of the minors and was dropped from the 40-man roster after injuring his elbow late last season. He's healthy again, posting a 0.57 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 16 innings as Rochester's closer, which gives him a 2.35 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 133 career innings at Triple-A. Slama is 28 years old and has shaky control, but there's no excuse for ignoring him at this point.

Remember when the Twins signed Jason Marquis and Terry Ryan said "he throws the ball over the plate" despite the fact that his career walk rate of 3.5 per nine innings was the exact same as Francisco Liriano's? Through five starts Marquis has more walks (11) than strikeouts (10) in 27 innings and has thrown the same percentage of his pitches for strikes as Liriano, who's been banished to the bullpen.

Sean Burroughs and Clete Thomas cleared waivers after being designated for assignment by the Twins, meaning they'll both remain in the organization at Triple-A but no longer reside on the 40-man roster. Stockpiling that type of depth is a good thing, but in making room for Thomas in Rochester's outfield the Twins demoted No. 2 prospect Joe Benson from Triple-A to Double-A despite the fact that he'd already spent two seasons there.

Benson was off to a rough start, hitting .179 with 27 strikeouts in 28 games, but was hitting for power and drawing walks. At the time of the demotion Benson had a .584 OPS and Ben Revere had a .592 OPS. Demoting a 24-year-old back to Double-A for a third straight season because he struggled in 28 games seems odd, particularly when Chris Parmelee is struggling in the majors after skipping Triple-A following far worse Double-A production than Benson.

• Parmelee sticking in the majors because the Twins trusted September and March instead of a mediocre track record was misguided enough, but now he's not even playing consistently. Parmelee is a left-handed hitter, yet he's been on the bench for three straight games against right-handed pitchers. It'll be buried beneath the mountain of problems, but the handling of prospects Parmelee, Benson, Revere, and Liam Hendriks leaves a lot to be desired.

Dan Osterbrock was the Twins' seventh-round pick out of the University of Cincinnati in 2008 and spent four seasons in the farm system before injuring his shoulder and getting released this spring. Since then he's been extremely outspoken about the Twins' handling of his injury and other pitcher injuries. For instance, when it was announced that Scott Baker needed Tommy John surgery after the Twins initially said he could pitch Osterbrock tweeted:

Wait, the Twins allowed an injury to linger longer than a year without taking care of it?! Shocker.

Then in responding to various questions about his own health status, Osterbrock wrote:

Twins released me. My shoulder was hurting so instead of helping me out, they got rid of me.

I really enjoyed my time with the Twins, but I'm none too pleased with the way it ended and how it was handled.

Shoulder surgery Round 2 tomorrow morning. Looking forward to finally getting this fixed properly.

Surgery went well. Should be throwing soon. Special thanks to the Twins for completely neglecting the obvious injury I had.

Osterbrock also said in an interview with the University of Cincinnati's website that "they kept telling me that I was going to be all right and that I should try to play through it and I did for as long as I could." Because of the increasing number of questions about the competency of the team's medical staff Osterbrock's comments got some attention and the Twins were forced to respond. Not surprisingly they denied any wrongdoing.

• Tommy John surgery has already derailed the career of 2009 first-round pick Kyle Gibson and now 2010 first-round pick Alex Wimmers may be facing the same fate. Wimmers came back from extreme control problems last season to re-establish himself as one of the Twins' better prospects, but he's been shut down with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Predictably the Twins are saying he can avoid surgery and will try rest and rehab. Good luck.

• Twins owner Jim Pohlad gave votes of confidence to Ryan and Ron Gardenhire, dismissing the notion that either man's job could be in jeopardy. That's certainly not surprising, but it's also worth noting that Pohlad gave Bill Smith a public vote of confidence in October ... and then fired him five weeks later.

Jared Burton served up two homers in his Twins debut and gave up a run two appearances later, but he's been unhittable since then. Literally. Burton has thrown 10.2 consecutive no-hit innings dating back to April 13. During that time batters are 0-for-32 with 11 strikeouts off him, getting on base only via two walks and two plunkings.

• Minnesota native Michael Wuertz held an open tryout for teams in mid-March and the Twins were in attendance, but six weeks later the once-dominant and oft-injured reliever signed a minor-league deal with the Reds.

• Since the Twins traded him to the Orioles last offseason J.J. Hardy has 38 homers in 709 plate appearances. During that same time the Twins' entire infield has combined for 52 homers in 3,828 plate appearances. This season Hardy is out-homering the Twins' infield 8-to-3.

• In starting the season with an MLB-worst 8-23 record the Twins have been outscored by 67 runs in 31 games while no other team has been outscored by more than 32 runs.

• How did Dan Haren lose to the Twins? He was hurt. At this point I'll assume that every Twins victory will be followed by the opposing pitcher revealing an injury within 48 hours.

Jim Callis of Baseball America published his first mock draft and it has the Twins selecting Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton with the No. 2 pick.

• Last and least, I guess now we know that Robby Incmikoski checks Twitter while he's working the game for FSN.

This week's blog content is sponsored by Coordinated Business Systems, which offers innovative technology solutions for Minnesota businesses. Please support them for supporting AG.com.