The Question

People asked me questions on Twitter. So I shall answer them.

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As you may have seen on HBT Daily, I asked people on Twitter for questions they’d like to have answered. I got way more than the handful I answered on the video, however, and I hate to have them go to waste, so let’s clean out the inbox, shall we?  And remember, these are actual questions from actual readers. If they weren’t, David Letterman couldn’t wiggle those blue cards of his:

Q: Would you rather sit on the Supreme Court or run the Braves?

The Supreme Court. Because I’m too afraid to negotiate with Jason Heyward. He can’t be bargained with. Can’t be reasoned with …

Q: Who is you favorite Met?

Mookie Wilson.

Q: If you were commish for day and were tasked with creating competitive balance, what would you change?

I’d impose a more equitable share of local TV money, realign into two leagues with no divisions, impose a perfectly balanced schedule and have the top four (or six or whatever people agree on) make the playoffs. I don’t know if that would work, but it would please me.

Q: Macaroni or spaghetti? Burgers or hotdogs? Sex or baseball? Vanilla or chocolate? Marijuana or heroin? Superman or Batman?

Spaghetti, burgers, sex, chocolate, I’m a clean cut American man who gets high on life, and Batman.  Like there was any question about Batman.

Q: Jersey Shore, America? Really?

I know.

Q: Is this the worst thing written on Manny yet? It must be close.

It’s bad, but I’m waiting for Manny’s Hall of Fame eligibility to come up. I think we’ll be into “Manny committed war crimes” territory then.

Q: If you could have dinner with one famous cartoon character, who would it be?

Bugs Bunny when he was dressed up like the girl bunny. Wait. I said that in my out loud voice, didn’t I.

Q: Year the cubs win the WS? against who?

2015. Starlin Castro wins the MVP.  They beat the Royals. The networks vow to fix things going forward so no Midwest team ever reaches the World Series again.

Q: Can you tell me why an error can’t be charged on a sure double play that is missed?

As the old saying goes, “to ASSUME the double play makes an ASS out of U and the second baseman who got weak in the knees when the runner from first was barreling down on him when he made the throw.”

Q: Team the mets will get their first no-no against?

The Mars Marauders, following the expansion.

Q: More likely to be remembered forever: Buckner or Dent?

Buckner, because the F-word will be outlawed in the year 2124, thereby eliminating the device by which most people remember Dent’s name.

Q: Do you like your grits regular, creamy or al dente?

Regular. And I prefer home fries.

Q: Why would he kill the sheriff but leave the deputy unharmed?

Hey, the deputy never hated him. Actually helped him out in his garden.  Besides, it wasn’t totally planned. Reflexes got the best of him.

Q: What if god was one of us? Just a stranger on the bus…

You sayin’ God is just a stranger on the bus? A slob like one of us?  Them’s fightin’ words! And speaking of blasphemy:

Q: Is Sam Fuld the new Jesus?

No.  But I will say this much: Like Jesus, by the age of 33, Fuld will have moved on to a different career.

Q: What blogger can you totally dominate in the octagon?

Neyer.  I consider him my primary mentor in this business, and everyone knows that one day the student must rise up and do battle with his own sensei. But even as I stand over his lifeless form, I will proclaim that I am not his equal and demand that you bury him with honor. Then I shall walk into the distance to the sound of a lonely pan flute.

And … scene.

Indians sign Brandon Guyer to a two-year extension

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Brandon Guyer #6 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates Rajai Davis #20 two-run home run during the eighth inning to tie the game 6-6 against the Chicago Cubs in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Brandon Guyer avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year contract with a club option for 2019.

The Indians acquired Guyer from the Rays at last year’s trade deadline. After coming to Cleveland he posted a line of .333/.438/.469 in 38 games. He’s a .262/.349/.402 hitter over 344 games in five seasons in the bigs. He has led the league in being hit by pitches for the past two seasons, getting plunked 24 times in 2015 and 31 times in 2016. He went 6-for-18 with four walks and two HBPs in the playoffs for Cleveland. The man will work to get on base, my friends. And he can play all three outfield positions.

Nice signing.

Sarasota County to build the Braves a new spring training facility

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The Braves have trained at Walt Disney World for several years. The lease is up, however, and they’ve been on the hunt for a new facility for some time. Disney is just too geographically remote from most of the Grapefruit League facilities so they’ve looked on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts for some time.

Their search appears to be over, however, as they have reached an agreement to move to Sarasota:

The Atlanta Braves formally plan to move the team’s spring training home to North Port in 2019, the team and Sarasota County announced Tuesday afternoon.

The announcement set the stage for final negotiations this spring on a contract to bring the Major League Baseball team to a new complex in the West Villages district just south of West Villages Parkway and U.S. 41, near the State College of Florida campus in North Port.

It’ll be a $75-$80 million complex on 70 acres. The story says it’s envisioned to anchor a “town center” commercial and residential district. If anyone has ever been to a spring training facility, however, one knows how ridiculous such an idea is. There is nothing more geographically un-centered and dispersed than a spring training facility. It’s a sea of open fields which private citizens generally cannot access and large parking lots. These facilities typically require major arteries, not quaint town streets, for reasonable access. The best any facilities do to integrate with surrounding communities can be seen in Fort Myers with the Twins and in Surprise, Arizona with the Rangers and Royals, where the facilities are part of larger community parks and recreation centers. That’s OK, and certainly better than nothing, but they’re not the anchors of the vibrant live/work/shop developments like the Braves and Sarasota are describing here.

But of course everyone involved has to say that, because selling such facilities as the engine of pie-in-the-sky development is a key part of making the large expenditure of public funds seem more palatable. And yes, there will be a big expenditure of public funds here: the Braves will be getting $56 million in taxpayer subsidies for the new place, some from the state, some from the county. The amount from the county, by the way, is calculated to fall just below the threshold required for a public vote on the expenditure. The Braves have always been blessed with the ability to avoid public votes for their corporate welfare, of course.

One wonders how many other wealthy private businesses owned by multinational corporations get tens of millions in tax dollars to build employee training centers. Not many, I’m sure. The Braves always seem to luck out in this regard, however.