December 5, 2014

Link-O-Rama

• At the press conference announcing his $10.5 million contract Torii Hunter used the "those nerds never played the game" cliche when asked about his terrible defensive numbers and then called Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press "a prick" four different times in response to questions about Hunter's very public and repeated stance against gay rights. As if there weren't already enough reasons to question to wisdom of signing him for purely on-field reasons.

Parker Hageman of Twins Daily went inside the numbers to show why Hunter's defense rates so poorly, including video of specific plays. Hageman played the game in high school, so not sure if that counts or what.

Aaron Purmort died at age 35, leaving behind a great wife, a great son, and a community who loved him online and in person. He also went out with the best obituary I've ever seen.

• Wanna buy Jonathan Papelbon's condo? It costs $7 million and includes zero colors.

• This is probably one of the top 10 signs someone has posted in the elevator of my building during the 10 months I've lived here.

Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post raised a lot of good points in arguing against the need for online comment sections attached to articles.

Jerry Kill was named Big Ten coach of the year just 15 months after Minneapolis Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan wrote that he shouldn't be allowed to coach the Gophers.

• This review of the new "America" restaurant at Donald Trump's hotel in Toronto is pure gold.

• Out of shape amateur MMA fighter tries the "Showtime" kick made famous by Anthony Pettis:

Some might say he failed, but failure is subjective anyway.

Josh Willingham announced his retirement, two months after his wife got mad at Berardino for reporting he planned to retire.

Dave Brown made his Fan Graphs debut writing about Willingham being the losing-est player.

• As someone who prefers staying home over just about anything movie theaters trying to be more like your living room is intriguing. But it'll never compete with not leaving the house.

Chris Rock gave a lot of interesting answers in a long, wide-ranging interview with Frank Rich.

Fran Tarkenton is never going to make the baseball Hall of Fame after admitting this stuff.

• It turns out the Twins' new coaching staff looks awfully familiar.

• If given the chance, how many MLB teams would wipe the slate clean and rid themselves of all contracts on the books? I think the Twins would likely be one of the them, despite Phil Hughes.

• Two of my favorites, Todd Barry and Tom Scharpling, sat down for a good chat.

• Scharpling is bringing "The Best Show On WFMU" back, minus WFMU, as a podcast.

• For the second time in three months the Minneapolis Star Tribune published an anti-transgender ad that never would have been accepted if it depicted any other minority group.

Gerald Green had one of the best in-game dunks you'll ever see:

And he's playing well for the Suns after looking like a bust early in his career.

• As expected, I crushed Michael Rand in the Minneapolis Star Tribune fantasy football challenge.

• Coup d'etat has good fries, gnocchi, fish and chips, and whiskey. Joy Summers wrote a good article about their one-year anniversary in Uptown, including guys like me asking for more TVs.

• My pick for Minneapolis' most underrated restaurant, Louie's Wine Dive, got a nice write-up centered around their chef, Patrick Matthews.

• "Gilmore Girls" watching update: Jon Hamm was on an episode in Season 3.

• Heyday is a fantastic restaurant and I'm sure that will remain true, but seeing Lorin Zinter's smiling face was a big part of the experience.

• Nye's Polonaise is closing after 65 years as a Northeast Minneapolis staple.

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

- "Aaron Gleeman in a bear suit"
- "Naked parties"
- "Paul Molitor's wife"
- "Snoop Dogg and Eddie Guardado"
- "Fred Durst baseball"
- "Angelina Jolie in Minnesota"
- "Where is Scott Ullger now?"
- "Lizzie Caplan smokes Marlboro lights"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Best That I Can" by Vance Joy:


This week's blog content is sponsored by Uber, which is offering a free ride to first-time users who sign up with the promo code "UberGleeman."

May 9, 2014

Link-O-Rama

• "Gleeman and The Geek" was removed from iTunes on Wednesday because MLB contacted Apple to inform them about several team-related podcasts whose titles and logos "include infringing uses of trademarks of Major League Baseball and certain clubs." For our podcast that apparently boiled down to the inclusion of the words "Minnesota Twins" in the description, because our title and logo certainly weren't infringing on anything.

MLB and iTunes were both incredibly difficult to deal with, but eventually after almost an entire day of nagging them via phone calls, e-mails, and Twitter messages we received word that the whole thing was a big misunderstanding. I'm not sure I buy that, but ultimately I just wanted the silly podcast back on iTunes so people can listen to it and after 24 hours or so of being removed "Gleeman and The Geek" was finally restored.

And then, because my day wasn't surreal enough, Keith Olbermann devoted a segment of his ESPN show to "Gleeman and The Geek" being removed from iTunes. Seriously. Here's the video:

Thanks to Olbermann for sticking up for the little guy and also for making me laugh by questioning my sanity for "voluntarily talking about the Twins."

This week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode was recorded at my favorite bar, Stella's, and features me interviewing my favorite bartender, repeatedly revealing things I immediately regret revealing, and singing "Me and Mrs. Jones."

Shea Serrano of Grantland attempted to quantify which rappers you should and shouldn't get into a fight with and two of my favorites are on the extreme opposite sides of the spectrum.

• After studying Matt Daniels' brilliant analysis of the largest vocabularies in hip-hop I've come to the conclusion that the fewer words a rapper uses the more I like their music.

• Breaking news: Rihanna is more fun than Avril Lavigne.

• On a related note, Carmelo Anthony is only human.

• I'm way too excited about the news that the gross Rainbow Foods in Uptown will soon become a slightly less gross Cub Foods.

• One of my earliest crushes appears to be not doing so well, although maybe this is my chance.

• This video of two teenage girls fighting was fascinating and disturbing even before one of them got hit in the head with a shovel.

• Marlins minor leaguers are breaking their teammate's jaws in bar fights and I'm very proud of the photo I chose to use for the HardballTalk post.

• Who should be the Twins' starting shortstop? I'm glad you asked.

• As someone deathly afraid of talking to people on the phone I'm not sure if this chair would make things better or worse.

Glen Perkins agreed to play match-maker for me.

• It turns out at least one NBA player is a big fan of "Gleeman and The Geek."

• This is probably the best picture I've ever taken.

• I went to Todd Barry's crowd work-only show at The Cedar last month and loved it, so it was fun to hear him talk about that on "Fresh Air" with Terry Gross.

Hilarious person on Twitter and big-time baseball fan Alison Agosti was a guest on "Alison Rosen Is Your New Best Friend" with, coincidentally, Alison Rosen.

• Friend of AG.com Lindsay Guentzel is hosting a bowling-and-beer party Saturday night at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

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

- "What language does Eddie Rosario speak?"
- "What are Eddie Rosario's accomplishments?"
- "Pizza diet to lose 60 pounds"
- "Brian Dozier trade contract"
- "Stella's blog"
- "Outstanding Minnesota Twins ball players"
- "Joe Nathan's hobbies"
- "Built like a fire hydrant"
- "People staring at phones together"

• Finally, in honor of our MLB/iTunes experience this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Fight The Power" by Public Enemy:


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April 4, 2014

Link-O-Rama

• "Gleeman and The Geek" returns to KFAN this Sunday at 4:00 pm for our third season on the radio. You can listen to us live on 100.3-FM, stream us online at KFAN.com, or simply continue listening to the show via podcast like nothing has changed.

"This American Bro: A Portrait Of The Worst Guy Ever."

Mase is on TMZ because he's a pastor now and people at his church are revolting against him.

• Tried to keep this under wraps, but Randball's Stu revealed details about my new FSN show.

Ginuwine can still (mostly) get the job done when he sings "Pony" in front of a female crowd.

• Here's the final installment of my annual Twins prospect rankings, featuring the best prospect in the world and the best top-five prospect group in baseball.

• I finally ditched my BlackBerry for an iPhone, which means I'm now occasionally posting pictures to Instagram (and also on Tinder, but that's more of a warning than anything).

• Next month the St. Paul Saints are hosting "Tinder Night" at Midway Stadium and they've invited me to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

• There are a whole bunch of people getting married after meeting on Tinder.

Jason Isbell's music career must not be going as well as I thought.

• Really enjoying my old school blogging buddy Tony Pierce telling stories about Uber driving.

• We recorded this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode at Freehouse in North Loop and they refused to stop bringing us food and alcohol.

• I always address people with "hey yo" on Twitter and this is the inspiration behind it:

Sadly it's not always effective.

Richard Pitino's best friend is the brother of Kate Mara and Rooney Mara, and he says "we used to torment them at a younger age."

• While the Twins television broadcast sticks to batting average, homers, and RBIs, the Astros are showing stuff like batting average on balls in play and Wins Above Replacement.

Chelsea Fagan wrote an interesting article about not wanting to hang out at a bar alone. I feel the exact same way and, hard as it may be to believe, I've never done it.

• I want to host a speed-dating night for the next Twins Daily event, so Amanda Bullock's article full of speed-dating observations was fascinating.

• I wrote the Twins preview for NBCSports.com and tried to be as optimistic as possible.

Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune called me "in general, highly entertaining" in an interview with friend of AG.com Maggie LaMaack, so I printed it out and framed it.

Lauryn Hill is one of my 10 favorite musicians of all time, but what are the odds that she'll put on a show at First Avenue in 2014 worth $65? I'd gladly pay $500 to see her in 1998.

• Rye Deli in Lowry Hill hosted several "Gleeman and The Geek" episodes and quite a few more of my first dates, so I was very sad to see it close suddenly this week.

• Sounds like a James Beard Award-winning chef is opening a restaurant three blocks from me.

• I tried Hammer and Sickle in Uptown and liked it. Good vibe, weird vodka shoes, and tasty food.

• I paid $5 for Todd Barry's crowd-work special on Louis C.K.'s website and loved it.

• Netflix recommendation: "Blue Is The Warmest Color" is one of the best foreign movies I've ever seen and reminded me of all the stuff I love about one of my top 10 movies, "Blue Valentine."

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

- "David Kahn baseball scout"
- "OKCupid Minnesota geek nerd"
- "Otis Redding tattoo"
- "Fat left-handed hitters with high socks"
- "Talk show socks"
- "Brunch ideas in Minneapolis"
- "Steven Van Zandt shirtless"
- "Scott Erickson and Inga Hammond"
- "Aaron Gleeman right swipe"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video of "Oh Boy" by Cam'ron and Juelz Santana:

October 11, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• This week the New York Times' "fashion and style" section featured an article by Matt Haber about Minnesotans trying to date in Uptown. It was met mostly with derision, as locals felt it was cheesy and cliche-filled. And it definitely was, as the intro makes very clear:

As night-life emissaries go, one could do worse than Robert John Wayne, a 31-year-old artist here who happily told a recent visitor about everything from an indigenous delicacy called the Juicy Lucy (a burger with cheese baked into the patty) to what women want, something Mr. Wayne should know, seeing as how he's dating four of them.

"Nobody's exclusive," he said "That's what dating is." Mr. Wayne, who described his work as "graffiti realism," was at Mortimer's, a wood-paneled bar on Lyndale Avenue in the swath of Minneapolis known as Uptown.

However, as someone who started hanging out in Uptown recently I mostly found it amusing and made a joke about what a quote of mine would've looked like in the article. And then a few days later friend of AG.com Randball's Stu wrote a brilliant parody of the Times article starring local sports bloggers for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's site. I'd suggest reading the Times version first and then reading Stu's version, because it's a masterful spoof, but here's how it begins:

As night-life emissaries go, one could do better than Aaron Gleeman, a 30-year-old Minnetonka sports blogger who wearily told a recent visitor about everything from a baseball statistic called FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) to what women want, something Mr. Gleeman shouldn't know, seeing as how he recently asked one if he could live-tweet their date.

"It's an endless series of half-starts and missed opportunities," he said. "That's what dating is." Mr. Gleeman, who described his work as "sitting at my computer and writing about baseball as I wait for death's sweet embrace," was at Stella's, a multi-level bar in the swath of Minneapolis known as Uptown.

And then it just keeps building from there. As one of the main characters I'm biased, but it's one of the funniest things I've ever read and so perfectly matches the tone and structure of the New York Times version. My sincere hope is that for the rest of my life whenever anyone Googles me that article is the first result they see. Also, you should follow Stu on Twitter for more genius.

• Here's a non-parody response to the New York Times dating-in-Minnesota article that's also interesting. I'm definitely very guilty of No. 2 on her list and thought for a second she might be talking about me with the quote: "We had a really awesome date and then he bailed on the second date citing 'baseball' as the reason."

• So the Twins are hiring a "full-time data engineer" and OH MY GOD LOOK AT THE COMMENTS.

• Going back to read the stuff about Christian Ponder from right after the Vikings drafted him is quite an experience.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we talked a ton about Ron Gardenhire, sung the praises of 612 Brew, and unknowingly had our picture taken from across the bar.

• I'm probably Hawk Harrelson's biggest/only fan in Minnesota, but Awful Announcing's lengthy compilation of the season's best "Sad Hawk" moments is undeniably magical:

Harrelson is the Vin Scully of freaking out on the air when things go against the White Sox.

• Speaking of which, Scully will record your outgoing voicemail message for $299 and the money goes to Autism charity. "Hello, this is Vin Scully. You’ve reached Aaron, but there’s zero chance he wants to talk to you, or anyone, on the phone. Seriously, just text him. But leave a message if you want to, I guess."

• Scully's radio call of Juan Uribe's series-winning homer was predictably lovable.

• No one ever listens to me about John Mayer, but maybe you'll listen to Molly Lambert and Tess Lynch.

• Seriously, are any of you even real?

• Twins Daily's annual "Offseason Handbook" is available for presale, so order now and you can get tons of great content featuring analysis of free agent and trade targets, payroll breakdowns, and organizational depth charts for just $4.95. Not only is it a worthwhile product for a very fair price, buying the "Offseason Handbook" also supports all the free content John Bonnes, Parker Hageman, Nick Nelson, and Seth Stohs churn out at Twins Daily all season.

• Hageman's year-end collection of Twins numbers has lots of interesting tidbits.

• I'm not on Tinder, in part because I have a Blackberry and in part because it sounds awful, but if I were on it I'd follow this guy's lead and exclusively talk to women in rap lyrics.

David Ortiz celebrating with Koji Uehara is not safe for work.

• America's highest-paid sportswriter.

• It might be time to re-think America's drug laws now that they're hurting our chubby comedians.

Aubrey Plaza behaved around Chris Bosh the same way I'd behave around Aubrey Plaza.

• In addition to being one half of my favorite podcast, Dave Shumka also writes funny stuff for CBC Music, like how WebMD would diagnose Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus based on their lyrics.

• Take two minutes and see why Jen Kirkman is great:

Related: My mom really liked that video.

Michael Rand is now shooting daily videos for the Minneapolis Star Tribune's website and his latest captures the pure, unadulterated Dana Wessel Experience.

Gabe Vodicka of Flagpole wrote a really good article about Jason Isbell's success as a solo artist, struggles with substance abuse, and songwriting prowess. I'm going to see Isbell at the Varsity Theater in a couple weeks and couldn't be more excited about it.

• How much payroll space do the Twins have and will they actually spend it?

This exchange made me chuckle. Funny how fast it goes from strong opinion nationally to being nice locally.

• Also: Presented without comment, other than to say those all occurred within 24 hours.

Amy Poehler wrote about working at an ice cream parlor for The New Yorker.

Marc Maron's new stand-up comedy special "Thinky Pain" is now available on Netflix and I love that the first person you see and hear is Tom Scharpling giving a pep talk.

• I enjoyed Todd Barry's chat with Natasha Leggero.

• Does anyone in or around Green Bay have any leads on lodging for Packers-Vikings weekend next month? I'm thinking about driving there with a bunch of doofuses, but hotels are all booked up and we'd rather not make a trek from somewhere like Appleton. We're willing to get creative.

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

- "Professional baseball duos"
- "Aaron Gleeman hot wife"
- "What if I eat Green Giant steamers every night?"
- "Nick Punto head-first slide"
- "Influential conservative podcasts"
- "Aaron gettin fat"
- "0.25 pounds in one day is how many pounds in one year?"
- "Lori Loughlin socks"

• Finally, because I stumbled across this video and immediately fell in love with both the singer and her acoustic rendition of the Whitney Houston song this week's AG.com-approved music video is Possum Plow's cover of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody":


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May 10, 2013

Link-O-Rama

• I'd say Otis Nixon's mugshot is a pretty compelling argument against using crack cocaine, but even in his baseball-playing prime he always looked 60 years old.

Glen Perkins' sabermetric legend continues to grow. Not only did he go through his advanced stats one-by-one and explain them all, he's trying to convert other Twins pitchers into stat-heads.

• Like that old saying goes, be careful whose urine you borrow.

• See, now this is why I'm scared to sign up for J-Date.

Science is cool and all, but I've got about 15 years of personal evidence to the contrary.

• Who were the best Twins prospects of the 2000s and how did they turn out?

• Growing up my friends and I probably watched/rented "Kids" a dozen times, so 18 years after the controversial movie was made it's fascinating and also sad to read about the actors' lives.

• Speaking of movies I loved as a kid, "Hoop Dreams" co-star William Gates' son is going to play Division I college basketball.

• On a related note, I was talking with people on Twitter about my favorite movies and came up with this preliminary list:

1. "Seven"
2. "The Godfather"
3. "No Country For Old Men"
4. "Pulp Fiction"
5. "Boogie Nights"
6. "Blue Valentine"
7. "The Shawshank Redemption"
8. "Memento"
9. "Dog Day Afternoon"
10. "Hoop Dreams"

I'm probably forgetting one or two because I didn't put a whole lot of thought into the initial list, but I might spend a little more time on it and come up with a top 50. Also, looking at those 10 movies apparently I only like comedy on television.

• On this week's "Gleeman and The Geek" episode we got kicked off the radio.

• If you like "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifianakis you'll really like "Between Two Ferns" with Zach Galifianakis when his James Franco interview turns into a Lonely Island video:

"Of all the art projects that you've done, what has made people roll their eyes the hardest?"

• In addition to being a former Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com, Elisha Cuthbert is a world-class eye-roller at hockey games.

• I'm one of those Blackberry-using weirdos, but this may finally convince me to get an iPhone.

• Setting aside the fact that he didn't actually tag the runner, this is a pretty amazing play by a 6-foot-5 catcher.

• As someone who recently lost 150 pounds strictly through diet/exercise and is now struggling to keep the weight off I'm fascinated by Chris Christie opting for surgery. I don't blame him, since I considered doing the same at times when obesity felt impossible to conquer, but the relapse rate for surgery is frighteningly high and trying to keep the surgery secret suggests he's not thrilled with what the choice says about him. Beating obesity sadly isn't as simple as losing weight.

• How did nachos and cheese become a ballpark staple?

• Wearing glasses is increasingly popular among people who don't actually need glasses, but as someone who's been wearing them since ninth grade I nodded along to almost every item here.

• Did you know that Twins Daily blogger Parker Hageman was in "Tiger Beat" magazine?

• During my weekly appearance on KFAN with Paul Allen we discussed the Twins, but also the etiquette of following and unfollowing people on Twitter. And also how my mom is stalking him.

• As far as Ron Gardenhire quotes go, I think I like "we're heroes on the internet" even more than "fire it through the internet." Also, he's officially too self-aware now. Not as much fun.

• I'll watch any video in which comedians make jokes while drinking too much, especially if they star Kyle Kinane:

"Just a case of the spits."

Todd Barry's podcast is only three episodes old, but it's already become one of my favorites. Good, laid-back conversations with funny, interesting people who aren't regulars in the comedy podcasting world. This week's chat with Julieanne Smolinski was particularly enjoyable.

• "Community" fans should definitely check out "WTF" with Marc Maron this week, because he talked to Gillian Jacobs one day and Alison Brie a couple days later. They were both great.

• If you've never listened to "Comedy Bang Bang" before this week's fourth-anniversary episode is a perfect representation of the show.

• Netflix documentary recommendation: "The Restauranteur" about businessman and restaurant mogul Danny Meyer, featuring "Top Chef" judge Tom Colicchio with hair.

• "Parks and Recreation" creator Michael Schur, who's also known as Ken Tremendous from his "Fire Joe Morgan" blogging days, has created a new FOX show co-starring Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com candidate Chelsea Peretti and the always great Andre Braugher.

• Oh, and NBC renewed "Parks and Recreation" for another season.

• My favorite cheesy reality show, "Bar Rescue" on Spike, is back for another 20 episodes.

• "The Sportive" was good this week because Holly Manthei was such a great guest that she carried everyone else.

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

- "Jay R. Ferguson shirtless"
- "I love Bob Einstein"
- "Scott Diamond Jew"
- "Casey Fien Jewish"
- "Ryan Doumit Jewish"
- "Jon Taffer hair transplants"
- "Where is Drew Butera playing baseball?"
- "Where can I find naked picture of Scott Conant?"
- "Matt Capps dating"
- "Matt Harvey's sister"
- "Mae Whitman monologues"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is "Still Not a Player" by Big Punisher:


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