The Question

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

26 Comments

If it’s Thursday, it’s Twitter question day. Here are the ones that didn’t make the video, which will be posted in a few minutes:

Q: Was Billy Beane smart enough to put in some kind of escape clause with Bob Geren?

Yep. Geren turns 50 this September. Few people know this, but his contract requires that he be taken from the great domed city and killed on that date. Unless, of course, he can be reborn in the fiery ritual of carrousel.  If you look closely, his LifeLock is blinking red right now, and will soon be black.

Q: When you become commissioner of MLB this month, can you please put Adam Dunn in the HR Derby even though he’s sucking?

Yes. But only if I have time after I take over the Dodgers, institute instant replay, and abolish the blackout rules.

Q: Which has a larger negative influence on MLB: bad Fox broadcasters or crazy blackout rules?

See the response to the previous question.

Q: Do you have any lefthanded friends who would like to be a member of the Yankees bullpen?

My friend Jonny. Jonny Venters. You can have him for Robinson Cano, but you have to take Uggla and his entire contract in the deal as well.

Q:  Why did you return for the last few episodes of Smallville after disappearing for several seasons?

I always wanted to be back earlier, but I was busy working on my plan to send nukes into the San Andreas Fault. The idea, see, is that the explosion and subsequent earthquakes would sink California and leave all of that barren desert land I bought as the new West Coast of the United States, greatly increasing its value. Its capital would be Otisville.

Q: Bryce Harper blah blah blah Big Papi blah blah blah double standard blah blah blah … nobody cares if Harper sucks, right?

Probably not, actually. Buster Posey and Bryce Harper taught us these past few weeks that there are different rules for superstars.

Q:  Can we talk about how you can possibly not love tennis?

This is in response to my ignoring/mocking a bunch of tweets about the French Open last weekend.  And it’s not that I don’t like tennis. Indeed, there was a time in my life when I loved it. Really, for several years in the late 80s and early 90s the race for my second favorite sport was fairly close between tennis and the NBA. I can’t really explain it. I just loved it. But like so many things, I let them drop when I got into my 20s.  And it will always be that way, I suspect. Really, I have no idea how people find the time to obsess on more than one sport after the age of 22 or so.

Q: Any reason for Washington to not start Ogando in the All-Star Game?

Not too many good ones. It’s amazing how low he has flown under the radar screen this season. 7-0, 2.10 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 60 K and 18 BB in 81 innings. Just as good if not better than anyone in the AL at the moment.

Q: If a tree falls in the forest and no one sees it, will Joe West still pick a fight with it?

Yes. After which the tree will be suspended for three games and nothin’ happens to Joe West.

Q: Oh and can we talk about what kind of moron goes thru such public humiliation without even meeting anyone???

I’m going to guess that that’s about Anthony Weiner. Which is a controversy I don’t really have a personal stake in so I’ll tread lightly. But I will say this: no woman I have ever met in my life would actually find a emailed crotch shot to be an essential brushstroke in the fine art of seduction, and I’m not sure I want to meet the woman who would.

Q: What’s more frightening in MLB: going to see Dr. Andrews or being drafted by the Royals?

As time goes on and their respective systems become more and more refined, each is less scary than it used to be.

Q: Pick one: Bud, Roger, Stern, Gary B for the value they have added to your fandom experience?

Since I’m not a fan of football, basketball or hockey, I should say Bud.  But let’s think about this: both the NFL and NHL help keep NBC Sports in business. Because NBC Sports is in business, they can afford to pay me. Because I have a job that requires me to watch baseball all the time, my baseball fan experience is way better. So, indirectly, Roger and Gary B. have done way more to enhance my baseball fandom than Bud Selig has.

Q: Does One Night in Bangkok make a hard man humble?

Get tied, you’re talkin’ to a tourist whose every move’s among the purist. I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine.

Q: What’s the one question you wish reporters would ask more often at post-game press conferences that they currently don’t?

What did Rawls mean in Political Liberalism when he used the phrase “a fully adequate scheme of equal basic liberties”? Was he suggesting a rationing of liberty? Should truly free moral agents be satisfied with mere “adequacy?”  Personally, I’d like to hear A.J. Burnett answer that one.

Q: If Jessica Alba married Joe Torre, would she be Jessica Torrealba?

No. She would be JoBa.  Which probably kills your mental image of Jessica Alba way more than the Torrealba thing did.

Q: When is it acceptable to start drinking before noon?

Opening Day, the first day of March Madness, Labor Day, Christmas, New Year’s Day if you had a bad New Year’s Eve and need some hair of the dog, most Fridays, other days as needed and/or which end in the letter “y.”

Q: The New York Daily News is still calling for Yankees revenge vs.the Red Sox. Can we put their writers in front of a batting machine throwing 95 instead?

Let us not doubt the opinions of those who write for the Daily News. They gained great experience and insight into what is and is not proper on a baseball field during their studies of the subject baseball ethics in journalism school and during their own playing days. Each of which totally happened, I’m sure.

Q: Am I insane for thinking “Where Are You Tonight” is one of Dylan’s better songs and Street Legal is a damn fine album?

I don’t think I’d say “better songs.” It’s good. It’s overlooked, certainly. I would say more or less the same about Street Legal. Not my favorite, but a “meh” Bob Dylan album is better than listening to Foghat or something.

Q: How exactly is it you make a living blogging? Also, are you the perv that designed the glass staircase in that courthouse?

First question: Jedi mind trick. Second question: no, but that’s the courthouse in my home county and in which I would be practicing law today were I not making a living blogging. As for that staircase: bad move, I suppose, but given that the courthouse that it’s replacing was filled with asbestos, drinking fountains that spewed rusty, stinky water and round — yes round — courtrooms with no windows and bad lighting, I think I’d prefer people peeping under my kilt as I alight the staircase to anything I had to endure in that old wretched building.

Thanks all! Let’s do it again next week!

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
26 Comments

You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
15 Comments

In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.