iTunes scrubs Gleeman and The Geek podcast after MLB complains about use of "Twins"

Simpler times: Aaron Gleeman (left) and John Bonnes record a podcast in the Metrodome in January 2013.

Simpler times: Aaron Gleeman (left) and John Bonnes record a podcast in the Metrodome in January 2013.

The City Pages Best Sports Podcast 2014 has been booted off iTunes, for now at least.

That's because Aaron Gleeman and John Bonnes had the audacity to use the words "Minnesota Twins" in the iTunes description of their Gleeman and the Geek podcast. That prompted a copyright complaint from the MLB, which in turn prompted iTunes to remove it.

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Gleeman and the Geek was one of a number of MLB-related podcasts booted from iTunes as a part of last night's crackdown.

Today, the MLB released a statement basically throwing iTunes under the bus for the bad PR the move generated:

As we have done in the past, yesterday we notified Apple about certain podcasts on the iTunes Store whose titles and/or thumbnails include infringing uses of trademarks of Major League Baseball and certain Clubs. And, as we have done in the past, we asked Apple to have these trademarks removed from the podcast titles and thumbnails. Although we did not ask for or seek to have any podcast removed from the Store, it has come to our attention that Apple removed them. Given our many years of experience in notifying Apple about trademark issues on the Store, we trust that removing the podcasts was an oversight, and ask that you please look into this matter as soon as possible.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Asked about that statement this afternoon, Gleeman says, "I don't necessarily buy that, but I honestly just want the silly show back on iTunes so people can hear it."

He says the old iTunes description simply characterized Gleeman and the Geek as "a Minnesota Twins podcast." That means the MLB must've taken offense to the use of the word "Twins," as the podcast's iTunes logo featured a generic baseball.

"We intentionally avoided using any logos or anything," Gleeman says. "It's part of why our logo was so low-tech."

Though he still hasn't been able to get in touch with iTunes, Gleeman says he's "optimistic that it's going to be fixed." He worries, however, about whether the purge means the show will lose the 5,000 or more iTunes subscribers it's acquired over the past three years.

That "would be a big blow to the show," Gleeman says. (He couldn't recall exactly how many iTunes subscribers the podcast had, but says "we usually get 12,000-15,000 downloads per week [and] I'm guessing at least half are iTunes.")

Once it's back on iTunes, Gleeman says he and Bonnes will simply scrub any mention of the Twins from Gleeman and the Geek's description. Our suggestion for a new one: "A podcast about the professional baseball team in Minneapolis playing in a fun-hating league that, for no good reason, wants to make life miserable for folks providing free publicity for its product."

h/t -- Hardball Talk

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]