October 11, 2013


• 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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September 3, 2010


• I'm not going to write anything about last night's game, because it was gross to watch and Fridays are for linking, but feel free to read my real-time commentary on Twitter to re-live the magic in reverse-chronological order. It works best if you take a shot between each tweet.

UPDATE: OK, so I lied about not writing something on the game. Read it at your own risk.

• The only thing worse than a 48-year-old 354-game winner with frosted tips is the mugshot of a 48-year-old 354-game winner with frosted tips.

• In equally likely news, I want to marry Diora Baird after I divorce Mila Kunis.

• My mom has a new favorite Twins player.

• This seems about right, at least before last night's disaster.

• I obviously could never play for Bruce Bochy.

• As a fellow fatso I empathize with James Toney, but I bet against him and it was the easiest money I've ever made. He never even threw a punch.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com wrote an outstanding article about concussions in baseball, with Justin Morneau and Corey Koskie both prominently featured.

• As a devoted Gmail user who's absolutely awful about promptly replying to e-mails, I'm really hoping this will help.

• I wrote quite a bit about Rob Dibble this week, first suggesting that bone-headed comments about Stephen Strasburg are hardly his biggest fault and then explaining why he ain't exactly Howard Stern. And then ... he got fired.

• Photo-shopping the stars of Mad Men is sort of like giving me a coupon to a buffet. They don't need the help.

• Aside from seeing Christina Hendricks on the red carpet Ricky Gervais' appearance was my favorite part of the Emmys. Of course, I'm such a huge Gervais fan that I'd enjoy just watching him laugh for five straight minutes. Seriously:

• I'm in a fantasy football league with the Rotoworld and NBCSports.com baseball writers, and Adam Levitan wrote a column analyzing our picks without knowing the identity of each team. See if you can guess mine just by the players selected.

John Ourand of Sports Business Journal made five predictions for the impending Comcast and NBC merger, and I'm just happy none of them involve me being out of a gig.

• I posed a couple of interesting (to me, at least) questions on Hardball Talk this week. First, is Albert Pujols the greatest right-handed hitter of all time? And second, was Wednesday night's Rays outfield the fastest in baseball history?

• For some reason Mike Wise attempted to catch bloggers in a "gotcha" moment, but instead got himself suspended for a month by the Washington Post.

Jessica Alba, making a comeback six years after losing Official Fantasy Girl of AG.com status?

• Twins fans and mainstream columnists would like to believe otherwise, but Manny Ramirez is hardly washed up.

Rex Ryan and the Jets read Pro Football Talk. Something tells me HBO will never catch Ron Gardenhire on Hardball Talk.

• When he was pitching for the Twins, would anyone have bet on Livan Hernandez getting a guaranteed contract for 2011?

• His brother, on the other hand, will not be joining him in Washington.

• New podcast to check out: The Lavender Hour with Natasha Leggero and Duncan Trussell.

• I'm not really much of a Cameron Diaz fan, but some of you will surely appreciate this picture of her posing next to a bust of Harry Caray (and after having lunch with Alex Rodriguez).

David Brauer of MinnPost has the latest on local radio ratings, which somehow fascinate me despite the fact that I'll often go weeks without listening to any radio whatsoever.

• Just a reminder: I'm still taking questions via Twitter for a mailbag entry here next week.

• Happy birthday to my uncle Jon Gallop, who's without question the person most responsible for my love of baseball. So, blame him for all of this.

• Here are some highlights from my NBCSports.com blogging this week:

- After hitting 102.7 mph in debut, Aroldis Chapman throws 103.9 mph in second appearance
- Cliff Lee avoids another loss, but struggles again for Rangers
- Royals top prospect Mike Moustakas has 3-homer, 11-RBI game at Triple-A
- Brandon Wood to play in the Arizona Fall League at age 25
- C.J. Wilson's transition from bullpen to rotation has been huge for the Rangers
- Angels rookie Jordan Walden throws really, really hard
- Cole Hamels' win-loss record doesn't show it, but he's having a great season
- Something strange is going on between Tony La Russa and Colby Rasmus
- Jim Edmonds says "I'm leaning toward shutting it down and being a family man again"

• Finally, this week's AG.com-approved music video is Bruno Mars and Travie McCoy singing a live, acoustic version of "Billionaire":