October 5, 2011

“Gleeman and The Geek” #8: Pohlad, Payroll, and Power Arms

This week's episode of "Gleeman and The Geek" was recorded at Bunny's Bar and Grill in St. Louis Park and my beer of choice was Surly Bender, while John Bonnes continued to make a mockery of the whole concept by drinking water. And for the second time in five episodes a random woman at the bar interrupted the podcast and sat down with us, although sadly this week's unexpected guest was significantly less interesting than our first groupie.

Topics included preparing for a payroll drop, hoping for Denard Span, dueling diets, betting on Joe Nathan, looking back at the terrible bullpen, parsing Jim Pohlad's quotes, Pulitzer Prize winners, acquiring power arms, missing Ozzie Guillen, improving the injury situation, trusting prospects, the level at which a sample size is no longer too small, how much to fear the Tigers, and revisiting Delmon Young.

Gleeman and The Geek: Episode 8

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


  1. Oofda. Lots of piss and vinegar in this episode.

    Comment by ben v — October 5, 2011 @ 11:30 am

  2. Aaron: You miss the point regarding Benson vs. Parmelee. It is not about the at bats, it is about their mental ability to handle the big leagues. If you can’t see that Benson was overmatched during his time this season in mlb, then you are not watching the games and you are letting numbers get in the way of common sense! Anyone can see that Joe needs some more work. Compare that to Parmelee and his demeanor and you have complete opposites. This does not mean that Benson is not going to be a big-time player. He has the tools and I think he will be an impact player for the Twins soon. But not now. He is going to the AFL and Twins asked him to work on plate discipline. Let’s hope he has success and can make the team out of spring training, but in terms of readiness for the big leagues, Parmellee is way ahead of Benson mentally and John Bonnes was right and you are wrong!

    Comment by Wayne Meyers — October 5, 2011 @ 11:40 am

  3. As usual I enjoyed the podcast. I do think you are both partly right concerning Benson/Parmelee. You are no doubt correct that if someone showed you Benson’s numbers and said project his performance, you’d have really very little to stand on other than to say the guy is better than a non-ballplayer plucked off the street. But in reality we weren’t given only the numbers, we also have a good idea of the types of pitches he saw, where he nailed them, where he didn’t, etc. I think it’s reasonable to say a stat savvy scout could give you an estimate of what Parmelee can be that’s better than nothing. I think this is the article you mentioned. http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=14215

    Comment by Ian — October 5, 2011 @ 1:57 pm

  4. Unfortunately, I did not catch the podcast. Honestly, I lack a pod receiver and am still stuck in the last century’s broadcasts and tele-casts.

    I am a tad annoyed by comments from Bill Smith recently which appeared in Christensen’s Star-Tribune piece. He says he would like to figure out the shortstop situation for 2012. No kidding. He had a fine shortstop in Hardy. And he mentions a back-up catcher as a priority in the off-season. Aside from Butera’s inability to hit well, Butera is a damned good receiver. I would stick with him and perhaps investigate acquiring a back-up GM.

    Comment by joe — October 5, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  5. Aside from Butera’s inability to hit well, Butera is a damned good receiver. I would stick with him…

    I think you mean his inability to hit at all.

    He hits like my grandmother. And she died several years ago. Seriously.

    The problem is the with Mauer’s situation – whatever that is – the backup catcher is forced into a more prominent role. Butera is a fine catcher if he only catches once a month, but that’s not going to happen.

    I mean this guy makes Tim Laudner look like Honus Wagner or Ted Williams. Pathetic. The Mendoza line is his best case scenario.

    Only the Twins would even have this guy higher than AA in the organization. Defense is fine, but you have to be able to hit more than .150 or at least hit the ball over the fence when he does connect. He’s got the power of Ben Revere and the hitting skill of … well … just Butera. I don’t think there’s anyone else as bad as him with a bat. Even National league pitcher outhit this guy.

    I don’t hate the guy, it just drives me insane that the Twins think that he’s a Major League player. It says so much about their complete inability accurately judge a player’s value.

    You’re completely right about Hardy – by the way. Another example of that inability.

    Comment by Son of Shane Mack — October 6, 2011 @ 12:48 am

  6. liking the podcast overall, but . . .

    please please please please please don’t eat on the air, Mr. Geek. So, so annoying to hear that.

    Comment by daddy — October 6, 2011 @ 1:08 am

  7. First, Generally love the podcast and am just ripping you to make it better.
    Time your arguments and let them die so you don’t bore and annoy us. Benson stunk and Parmelee looked good. What does that mean long term? Nothing. What does it mean in 2012? Benson has an 85 at bat shorter leash than Parmelee when and if either are needed. NEXT!
    And I second the no eating on the air comment.
    Suggestion: You’re gaining an audience, many who have a knowledge of MLB stats that stops at ERA and AVG. Spend some time educating the fan base instead of on endless annoying arguments. When Twins fans know WAR, xFIP and UZR as well as they know how to get to Kramarczuk’s, even Gardy will have to figure it out.

    Comment by RigelKent — October 6, 2011 @ 7:14 am

  8. There is no evidence Butera is all that good defensively either. Sorry, there just isn’t.

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 6, 2011 @ 9:53 am

  9. I’d love your take on who is the poorer gm between Bill Smith and David Kahn. I think that most would immediately say Kahn. At least some of that thought process must be attributed to (what I can say having had a one on one conversation with the man) a uniquely off putting personality. Honestly though, Kahn inherited a disaster which is now a mess with no real direction, while Smith inherited a flawed organization with looming troubles, which is now a mess with direction. That direction of course being the cellar door.

    disclaimer: I’d have a hard time arguing that either is better than any of their contentoraries in either’s respective sport 😉

    Comment by useless debate guy — October 6, 2011 @ 11:06 am

  10. To nitpick, extreme performance can be quite telling. Statistics are based on principles of significance, eg., 95% certainty that something would not happen based on chance alone. So, if Kyle Gibson throws a perfect game in 2013, that DOES mean Kyle is something special, probably better than Buehrle. As further evidence, everyone with an official perfect game was a good pitcher and many are HOF caliber– Buehrle being below average and Halladay above average. Likewise, if Parmelee or Benson or Player C were to hit ten HR out of their first 20 PA in 2012, he is statistically indicated to be better than replacement level, though not proven to be Jose Bautista or Barry Bonds. (Statistics indicate 95% or similar odds, not certainty.) Aaron is certainly correct that nothing statistically significant has happened with Parmelee or Benson to date to indicate they are anything more than replacement level. If Jon, like a scout, is basing his conclusion on process, not batting average, then his conclusions may be valid as well. So, I agree with both Aaron and Jon, except I nitpick with the idea that 85 PA can NEVER can be enough data to make a statistical conclusion. (If the FDA trial shows that the first 20 patients are killed by the drug or that the first twenty patients are cured by the drug, there is precedent to end the trial early.)

    Comment by David — October 6, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  11. Hooray, the heavyweights are still talking Twins! I agree with you about Delmon, by the way. I wanted him to be the next Ortiz. I had to root for him until the end. But I don’t miss him terribly, even while I’m watching him hit third in the playoffs.


    Comment by Craig H — October 6, 2011 @ 11:35 am

  12. Bill Smith said that a starter will need to be acquired so that some starters could move to the Bullpen. I know everybody assumes that is Brian Duensing

    However, I think Liriano should be considered for the closer. He has a history of being effective out of the bullpen, he has a great out pitch.

    As a starter, he is much better the fist time through the order, however he melts down as the game goes on. He also has broke down as a starter often.

    I am no great expert on arbitration, but I am guessing he would come cheaper than Joe Nathan as well.

    Comment by Game — October 6, 2011 @ 12:59 pm

  13. You have changed something. Episode 8 of gleeman and the geek not playable on my computer. My Vipre Anti-Virus/Spyware/Firewall gives me the following message:

    VIPRE has determined that the site

    you are trying to visit contains potentially harmful or objectionable content.

    Comment by jim cowling — October 6, 2011 @ 1:50 pm

  14. Problem refers to the web address http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/ep_8_bunnys.mp3.

    Comment by jim cowling — October 6, 2011 @ 1:58 pm

  15. Dumping Butera is not enough. All evidence that he actually ever played in the majors for the Twins needs to be destroyed.

    Comment by Pedro Munoz — October 6, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

  16. Delmon Young, terrible player, with another key HR (3rd in the series) in a big game.

    Comment by Elvus — October 6, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

  17. I knew Elvus would post that.

    Comment by mike wants wins — October 7, 2011 @ 8:35 am

  18. I noticed a typo in MN Post article. Moneyball is about the 2002 season.

    Comment by David — October 8, 2011 @ 11:07 am

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