January 31, 2014

Link-O-Rama

• I was chosen as/rigged the voting to be a finalist for Vita.mn's "crush contest" and got invited to a photo shoot/party Wednesday night, so now there are more pictures of me on the internet. This one is my favorite because it perfectly shows the effect I have on women:

crush party

There's a lot more where that came from.

Jon Bois' season-ending edition of "Breaking Madden" is pure genius.

• Someone mapped out the location of every place mentioned in Tom Waits songs.

• I was an in-studio guest on KFAN for the first time in a couple months and Paul Allen basically staged an intervention. Depending on your point of view, it was radio gold or a train wreck.

The Onion is giving me some good ideas: "New Dating Website Helps Plus-Size Jewish Plane Crash Survivors Find Love."

• I thought about moving into one of the new "luxury apartments" in Uptown, but for better or worse various friends talked me out of becoming that type of person.

• I have a couple openings in my "Hardball Dynasty" league on WhatIfSports and the new season begins next week. If you're interested in joining, please read this first.

• This is just a great picture of Sid Hartman and Glen Perkins.

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded live in front of a 300-person crowd at Twins Daily's inaugural "Winter Meltdown" event, with special guests Twins president Dave St. Peter, my mom's favorite handsome athlete Scott Erickson, and Miguel Sano documentary filmmaker Jon Paley. I love the look on St. Peter's face as I ask him some dumb question:

st. peter meltdown panel

Me posing with Erickson is pretty good too.

• As a huge DMX fan and a frequent party bus passenger, this was amazing.

• Good collection of the Twin Cities' best late-night breakfast spots, including some of my favorites like Rye Deli and Hell's Kitchen.

Anna Kendrick is the best.

Elijah Aaron's cover of "No Scrubs" is as entertaining as the song could be without Chilli.

• Whole lotta Minnesotans flying to Colorado to get their legal pot on, but the true pros drive.

• As the world's biggest J. Cole fan his birthday gift from Jay Z made me smile.

Chipper Jones is a superhero.

• My idol Rob Neyer is leaving SB Nation for FOXSports.com.

Craig Calcaterra let his 10-year-old daughter write a guest post for HardballTalk.

• For the same money, would the Twins have been better off with Matt Garza or Ricky Nolasco?

• My favorite scene in television history:

Susie Greene is a saint.

• I wrote the Twins essay in this year's "Baseball Prospectus" book, which is now available.

• I'm glad the Twins finally put Chuck Knoblauch in the team Hall of Fame. He's one of the 10 best players in Twins history.

"Metrodome Lashes Out at Twins in Final Interview."

• Old friend Scott Baker signed with the Mariners.

Tina Fey was delightful on "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee" with Jerry Seinfeld.

• I don't even like this song, but Kendrick Lamar screaming "tater tots!" is my new ringtone.

John Mulaney's stand-up special "New In Town" is one of the best hours of comedy I've ever seen and now it's on Netflix.

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

- "Dick Bremer net worth"
- "How much does Louis C.K. weigh?"
- "St. Louis fried rice"
- "How long can you survive without food?"
- "Aaron Gleeman height"
- "Geraldo Rivera vs. Frank Stallone"
- "Robin Thicke socks"
- "Sid Hartman old"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Bad Self Portraits" by Lake Street Dive:

January 27, 2014

Gleeman and The Geek #130: Winter Meltdown with Dave St. Peter and Scott Erickson

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded live in front of a 300-person audience at Twins Daily's inaugural "Winter Meltdown" event, featuring special guests Twins president Dave St. Peter, former Cy Young runner-up Scott Erickson, and Miguel Sano documentary filmmaker Jon Paley, along with appearances by Parker Hageman and Seth Stohs. Listen as St. Peter gets laughs at my expense and Erickson wows the crowd with his handsomeness.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 130

In addition to the direct download link above you can also subscribe to the podcast via iTunes.

Mid-interview with St. Peter:

st. peter interview

Posing with my mom's all-time favorite baseball player:

aaron and scott erickson

January 24, 2014

Link-O-Rama

• Saturday night's Twins Daily event is almost sold out again even after jamming in some more tickets, but we're hoping to record the panel discussions for a podcast that everyone can listen to later and you can submit questions for Twins president Dave St. Peter and my mom's all-time favorite player Scott Erickson.

• Grantland's oral history of "Swingers" is really good and nicely presented too.

• I never knew goats fainting was an actual thing, but now it's all I can think about.

• If you're like me and think the law banning the sale of alcohol on Sundays is outdated, absurd, and annoying you'll want to sign this petition. It's the only political cause I've ever cared about.

• Having an essay in the new "Baseball Prospectus" book is one of the great thrills of my life and 18-year-old me would be giddy. It's ready for pre-order, with February 11 as the shipping date.

Mike Axisa of CBSSports.com put together an all-time single-season Twins team, although including the Senators kind of ruins it for me.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode John Bonnes couldn't stop laughing at me for being a human man who may or may not have attended a kite festival.

• I watched all 14 minutes of "pissed off goalies" and would have gladly watched another 14:

Patrick Roy seems like a maniac.

• This is my personal brand now.

• Three months ago police killed a guy in my neighborhood and now there was a SWAT team standoff, which is why I'm moving to Uptown for some peace and quiet.

• It wasn't really my style, but if you're looking for an apartment in Uptown that's spacious and charming with a really nice landlord go check out this place.

• If the Uptown move doesn't work out I'm thinking of just buying the house from "Roseanne."

• President Carter, Young Money Democrat.

• I'd kind of like to make a mockery of the Star Tribune's "crush contest," so go vote for me.

UPDATE: Mission accomplished, I guess.

Ricky Rubio was the cutest, again.

• Friend of AG.com Maggie LaMaack's unstoppable, take-no-prisoners media blitz continues, including this gem: "LaMaack, meanwhile, has shattered her iPhone again."

• If you don't know a woman who would wear these you're doing something wrong with your life.

• Sunday night I watched a grown man I consider a friend do this and I'll forever be thankful that we caught it on video:

If you're curious, he called that "super-manning" the beer pong table.

• This is what it looks like when I dress up and pretend to like soccer in the name of friendship and morning drinking. And I apparently saw something incredible happen.

Possum Plows' latest is a Frank Ocean duet cover, which as you might expect is directly in my wheelhouse.

Phil Mackey is Judd Zulgad's new co-host on 1500-ESPN, replacing Jeff Dubay and leaving Patrick Reusse on his own in the afternoons.

• I loved Morgan Murphy's new stand-up comedy special on Netflix.

Hannibal Buress is coming to the Varsity Theater next month. I saw him at Acme Comedy Company last year and he was fantastic.

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

- "Consistently good podcasts"
- "Was Denard Span once called the next Kirby Puckett?"
- "Former friends catching up"
- "Are people nicer now that you've lost weight?"
- "Marc Maron hair transplant"
- "Lizzy Caplan facial hair"
- "Did Joe Mauer switch teams?"
- "Why do men have beards?"
- "Aaron Gleeman at Stella's in Uptown"
- "Traveling to New Zealand"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Born Sinner" by J. Cole:

October 26, 2010

Top 40 Minnesota Twins: #39 Scott Erickson

Scott Gavin Erickson | SP | 1990-1995 | Career Stats

Scott Erickson's career got off to one of the fastest starts in Twins history. A fourth-round pick out of the University of Arizona in 1989, he posted a 2.97 ERA in 78.2 innings at Single-A after signing, went 8-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 101 innings at Double-A to begin the 1990 season, and found himself in the big leagues at age 22. Erickson's debut came against the Rangers on June 25, 1990 and he got a win with six innings of four-hit, one-run ball at the Metrodome.

Erickson allowed his first hit to Rafael Palmeiro, a 31-year-old Julio Franco started at second base for Texas that day, and Kirby Puckett and Shane Mack each homered to provide the run support in a 9-1 victory. Despite finishing 8-4 with a 2.87 ERA in 113 innings, including 5-0 with a 1.35 ERA in September, Erickson failed to get a single vote in the Rookie of the Year balloting that saw rotation-mate Kevin Tapani rate fifth with a 12-8 record and 4.07 ERA in 159 innings.

For his sophomore campaign Erickson helped lead the Twins to the playoffs by going 20-8 with a 3.18 ERA in 204 innings, including a 12-game winning streak that lasted from April 21 to June 24 and a 30-inning scoreless streak that tied Frank Viola's team record. He led the AL in wins and finished second to Roger Clemens in the Cy Young balloting, but battled arm problems in the second half before struggling in the ALCS and World Series as Jack Morris stole the show.

At just 23 he was a 20-game winner with a championship and had a 28-12 record with a 3.07 ERA, but it was all downhill from there. He had a strong 1992, going 13-12 with a 3.40 ERA in 212 innings as the Twins narrowly missed the postseason, but as was the case with the entire franchise things started to fall apart in 1993. While the Twins dropped to 71-91, he won just eight games and led the league in losses (19), hits allowed (266), and runs allowed (138).

Improbably, in his fifth start the next season Erickson became the third pitcher in Twins history to toss a no-hitter, blanking the Brewers at the Metrodome as Puckett and Chuck Knoblauch combined for seven hits and Kent Hrbek homered. Sadly, that was just about the lone bright spot that year. He finished 8-11 with a 5.44 ERA in 144 innings for a fourth-place team and the season ended more than two months early when the players went on strike.

The strike dragged into 1995 and when Erickson finally got back on the mound in late April he was a mess. After going 4-6 with a 5.95 ERA in his first 15 starts, the last-place Twins traded the 27-year-old righty to the Orioles for prospects Scott Klingenbeck and Kimera Bartee. He never rediscovered the success from his first few years, but Erickson became a workhorse in Baltimore, throwing 220-plus innings in four straight seasons before arm injuries did him in.

He was Baltimore's starter and threw a complete-game shutout when Cal Ripken Jr. tied Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played on September 5, 1995 and Erickson was also on the mound the next year when Roberto Alomar spit on umpire John Hirschbeck. Oh, and he had a cameo on Baltimore-based Homicide: Life on the Street with teammate Armando Benitez when the storyline involved a Yankees fan being murdered at Camden Yards.

Erickson's last effective season was 1999, yet he managed to stick around until 2006 despite going 7-20 with a 5.87 ERA during his final 254.1 innings while spending far more time on the disabled list than the field and marrying former Monday Night Football reporter Lisa Guerrero. Meanwhile, like most of the prospects acquired by the Twins in the mid-90s, Klingenbeck and Bartee were complete flops who combined for one win and zero hits in Minnesota.

In many ways Erickson's career in Minnesota mirrored the whole team's story in the 1990s. He peaked in 1991 as the most effective pitcher on a championship team at 22, but that success was short-lived with poor strikeout rates and K/BB ratios perhaps foreshadowing the decline. Even the players received in return for Erickson were among the many prospects who turned out to be busts as the Twins failed to return to respectability in the last half of the decade.

Like the Twins, when Erickson was good he was very good. An extreme ground-ball guy with black shoes, black socks, a black glove, and an intimidating stare, he was a lot of fun to watch and remains my mom's favorite player. And like the Twins, when Erickson was bad he was very bad. When the sinker wasn't sinking, the right elbow was barking after heavy workloads, and those grounders were finding holes and skipping through the infield turf, things got ugly.

Had you told someone in 1991 that Erickson would win just 61 games in a Twins uniform they never would've believed it, but he ended up staying in Minnesota for just six years and split them evenly between three very good seasons and three very bad ones. The end result is a Twins career that could have been a lot better, yet for a brief time shined brighter than just about anyone and still makes him one of the dozen most successful starters in team history.

TOP 25 ALL-TIME MINNESOTA TWINS RANKS
Shutouts                7    10th
Wins                   61    11th
Starts                153    11th
Batters Faced        4244    11th
Innings               979    12th
Quality Starts         73    12th
Home Run Rate        0.76    13th
Complete Games         24    15th
Strikeouts            527    20th