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Top of the Pots: The Year’s Best Eats

The Nation's Spin-sters seem always to get top billing around here, what with their weekly lists and annual "best of" extravaganzas. But what really matters is not what's on the spindle. It's what's on your platter. I'm going to lay out some contenders, but bring your best, people. Surely, you learned a few kitchen essentials during the 'rona lockdowns.

No pics in this post, Because Reasons. You are welcome to bring some food pr0n to the table (hint, hint: Bootsy Signal)

The Categories:


I'll lead off after the jump:
Continue reading Top of the Pots: The Year’s Best Eats


The Minnesota Twins have now completed 60 years of baseball. It is year 9 of putting my pet project on the WGOM site, and this year I've partnered with Seth Stohs of Twinsdaily.com to create an e-book to go along with the rankings (see details below).

2020 obviously has been a strange year and dealing with the short season has made it difficult to determine how the top300 list should be affected. Not a lot of plate appearances and innings pitched as normal, but it still was a division championship team that saw a few jumps to the list and 3 newcomers. This year's newcomers are Kenta Maeda, Randy Dobnak, and Caleb Thielbar.

In the top 100, Eddie Rosario moved up into the top50 in what could have been his final season as a Twin. He lands at #47, up 13 spots. Miguel Sano moves up 1 spot to #60 and Jorge Polanco moves up 3 spots to #62. Right on their heels are Max Kepler (up 13 spots) at #64 and Nelson Cruz (up 22 spots) at #69. Also moving up within the top100 is Byron Buxton (up 15 spots) at #78 and Jose Berrios (up 1 spot) at #82.

Zero movement in the 101-150 range as Taylor Rogers (115), Mitch Garver (130), and Jake Odorizzi (134) all stay in the same spot with disappointing seasons.

Luis Arraes jumps up 21 spots to #171 and Jake Cave moves up 2 spots to #194. Michael Pineda moves up 15 spots to #203, while Ehire Adrianza drops one spot to #206. Marwin Gonzalez moves up one spot to #219, while Trevor May and Tyler Duffey move up several spots to #253 nad #256 respectively.

Kenta Maeda is the highest ranked newcomer coming in at #223. At 66 innings pitched, he has the least amount of innings of any pitcher in the top300, but with so many accolades and top10 statistical appearances in the short season he jumped up the list pretty high for only 11 starts. Randy Dobnak (#293) and Caleb Thielbar (#296) just sneak into the top300.

Falling out of the top300 this year are Terry Muholland, Larry Casian, and Martin Perez.

I stole the idea from when Aaron Gleeman started his top40 list over a decade ago, but just decided to expand to a nice big round 300. The below quote is his, and the rest is an excerpt from a book I put together at the 50 year mark. I’ve updated the list and stats through 2020.

“The rankings only include time spent playing for the Minnesota Twins. In other words, David Ortiz doesn’t get credit for turning into one of the best players in baseball after joining the Red Sox and Paul Molitor doesn’t get credit for being one of the best players in baseball for the Brewers and Blue Jays. The Twins began playing on April 11, 1961, and that’s when these rankings start as well.”

I used a variety of factors, including longevity and peak value. Longevity included how many years the player was a Twin as well as how many plate appearances or innings pitched that player had in those years. For peak value, I looked at their stats, honors, and awards in their best seasons, as well as how they compared to their teammates. Did they lead their team in OPS or home runs or ERA for starters or WPA? If so, that got some bonus points. I factored in postseason heroics, awards (gold gloves, silver sluggers, MVPs, Cy Youngs), statistical achievements (batting titles, home run leaders, ERA champs, etc), and honors (all star appearances), and I looked at team success as well. If you were the #1 starter on a division winning champ, that gave you more points than the #1 starter on a cellar dweller. I looked at some of the advanced stats like WPA, WAR (as calculated by fan graphs and baseball-reference.com), WARP (as calculated by Baseball Prospectus), and Win Shares (as calculated by Bill James). For hitters, I also looked at OPS and the old school triple crown statistics like batting average, home runs, stolen bases, and RBI (and not only where you finished within the AL in any given year, but where you appear on the top25 lists amongst all Twins in the last 60 years). For pitchers I looked at strikeouts, innings pitched, win/loss percentage, ERA as well as ERA+). If there was a metric that was used for all 60 years of Twins history, I tried to incorporate it. I tended to give more credit to guys who were starters instead of part time/platoon players, more credit to position players over pitchers (just slightly, but probably unfairly) and starters over relievers (and closers over middle relievers). There’s no formula to my magic, just looking at a lot of factors and in the end going with the gut in all tie-breakers. Up in the top10 I’m looking at All star appearances, Cy Young and MVP votes, batting average or ERA titles or top10 finishes, etc, and placement in the top25 hitting and pitching lists in Twins history as well. In the middle 100s, it’s more about who started a few more years or had 2 good seasons rather than 1 with possibly an occasional all-star berth or top10 finish in SB or strikeouts. Once you’re in the latter half of the 200s there are none of those on anyone’s resume, so its basically just looking at peak season in OPS+ or ERA+, WAR, Win Shares, and who started the most years, had the most at bats, or pitched the most innings. What the player did as a coach, manager, or broadcaster is not taken into consideration for this list, so Billy Martin, Tom Kelly or Billy Gardner weren’t able to make the top 300 since they were poor players and Frank Quilici and Paul Molitor didn’t improve his status due to his managing career.

Feel free to pick it apart and decide in your opinion, who was slighted, and who's overrated.

Also, if you are interested in the e-book that expands on the list in great detail, please visit the below link at Twinsdaily to purchase. Go Twins!



The World’s Greatest Online Magazine Podcast: 04. One Two Three…

We did the thing again. This was recorded on Monday night. Topics include:

  • Is a chili bread bowl a sandwich (featuring hungry joe misusing the word "posit")?
  • A rundown of this years Hall of Fame ballot.
  • A random movie review to fill a little time (SPOILERS)
  • A look at the Twins 40-man roster before the deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft (not featuring the part of our discussion where we fumbled around trying to figure out the lower rounds of the Rule 5 draft).
  • The St. Paul Saint Wings.
  • The gang highlights recent videos.

Here is the Seth Stohs article we discussed.


This [time period]'s featured videos:
(feel free to add some stars)

The War on Drugs - Under the Pressure

Harakiri for the Sky - Heroin Waltz / Funeral Dreams

The Rance Allen Group - Lying On The Truth


Cajun Pot Roast

So this isn't authentic by any means and, for being Cajun, it isn't particularly spicy. However, I incorporated the holy trinity to give this much more flavor than any Midwestern pot roast I grew up with in the Midwest.

Start with a rub. I used salt, white pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, and allspice. (More of the first half of list, less of the second half of the list.) Apply to a chuck roast. (I didn't remove the fattiest parts of the roast, but probably should have in hindsight.) Put roast in the crock pot.

Next, chop up two onions, a green bell pepper, and three ribs of celery. Spread across the top of the roast. Mince two cloves of garlic and also place on top. Drop in a bay leaf or two. Then, dump in a can of diced tomatoes. Finally, pour in some red wine and beef stock (lift the roast to let some liquid get underneath). Then, let the crock pot work its magic. I had mine on high for 4 hours and then switched to warm for another hour. It was very tender and fell apart pretty easily, but I think I let it cook just a smidge too long (my timing got off a little waiting for the potatoes.

The end product was really good (I ate mine after covering it with copious amounts of the au jus and chopped veggies left behind in the slow cooker), and it shall be made again.

At The Movies: Spooky

I'd heard several people talking about Hereditary recently. I'm not really much of a horror guy, but I decided to give it a shot for some reason. I didn't know anything about it except that was more psychological than slasher, which would be my strong preference between the two.

Spoiler SelectShow

As we're in the seasons, how do you like your horror movies, if at all? Favorite subgenres or movies in general?

World’s Greatest Online… Podcasf?

We're going to have a to think of a better name...

Anyway, so DK, Nibbish, and myself made this thing. I assure you, it's appropriately half-baked. We recorded on Monday but I'm just getting it out now for several reasons which include trying to figure out how to make a podcast.

I'm going to attempt to get this on the usual podcast platforms, but I wanted to get this out here as such an amazing discussion with scorching hot takes needs to get out to the masses as soon as possible.

The videos DK and I discuss are Tree In Orange:

And Styx's Renegade:

And we had a special guest pop in and discuss STAMPED: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds.

At The Movies: At The Movies

So gang, when and under what circumstances would you ever see yourself going to a theater again? I never went much to begin with, so I'm definitely not in any rush. I'm also curious how long studios will go with holding all their movies back in this climate. Doesn't seem like things will get much better going into the winter...

What else have you been watching? Who was most robbed of an Emmy?

Parentgood: Soup’s On!

Well, I'm no Bootsy...

The wife and I eat a wide variety of foods and enjoying trying new things. The kids... do not. While the young one is amiable enough to at least try sticking something in his mouth for awhile, they older one has a deadly fear of anything palate expanding.

We've heard the parts about slowly introducing new foods and the "it takes fifteen times" or whatever the number is, but we've blown past that number awhile ago. We don't force plate cleaning, but at least to try everything. Minds have been made up though, and every sample is immediately panned. For vegetables, corn is the one acceptable one. He's finally resigned to the fact that any tacos he have will have a nominal amount of lettuce. That's really about it.

It's funny because there are a couple things he happily shoves in his mouth that I absolutely loathe. For example, natto. He freaking loves it and I can barely even stand the sight of the stuff. Nor the smell. Nor the texture. It's the one thing he can lord over me. "Come oooooon, dad, try it!" he teases as he waives those foul smelling slime nuggets in my face...

I've finally mostly hit the point where what we make for dinner is what we've having. Eat it or don't. I still try to be somewhat accommodating. As you can so from my finely crafted cuisine, I don't think anything there is too crazy. Gotta find a middle ground somewhere I guess.

Are there any strategies that you've found that have been helpful? Do you try to sneak in as many vegetables into things as I do? I'm still working on ways to expand the palate. I'm sure we're doing something wrong here, but maybe it's not too late to correct the course (well, that probably applies to this whole parenting enterprise).