The Question

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

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It’s Thursday, so it’s Twitter mailbag day. These are the ones that did not make the cut for today’s edition of HBT Daily (stay tuned for those) The reason a lot of them didn’t make that cut: they were way, way, way too geeky for Tiffany to get through without incredible amounts of self-loathing, because she did got get into this business to talk about Star Trek and stuff with a bald guy in his basement. Anyway:

Q: What is this “NHL” and why is my twitter feed full of it?

Good question. I’ve been trying to figure that out for a few weeks now.

Q: Why does Boston have to win? AGAIN?

Because there is no God.

Q: How old do you think Livan Hernandez actually is?

He’s supposedly 36. Maybe he’s 36 in Euros, but in good old American years, no way.

Q: At this rate, does Edwin Rodriguez make it through the season?

The idea that the Marlins will continue to lose at this rate is shocking, but no, I would not be at all surprised to see him gone before the season is out. I think Loria wants a clean slate heading into the new ballpark.

Q: Will I be able to watch the Moneyball movie without rolling my eyes the whole time?

I can’t say I was enthralled by the trailer. My guess: people who are total baseball freaks like us will feel like our intelligence is being insulted, people who are not won’t find the kind of personal story that they made out of “The Blind Side,” which was the last Michael Lewis sports book adaptation.

Q: Should slump-busters be considered “performance enhancers”?

Note: that question came courtesy of the inimitable Old Hoss Radbourn. Well, I suppose that, since it is an account pretending to be Old Hoss Radbourn that the real deal is totally imitable. But the fake one is inimitable, that I can tell you.

As for the question: First, I’d like to see the testing regimen if they are.  More broadly, as was the case with steroids, I think the real injustice in this sort of performance enhancer is when those who would not otherwise partake feel forced to. So, if there are poor, poor players hooking up with slump busters against their will, then yes, it is a scourge upon the game.

Q: If Hegel’s dialectic holds true, what will result from Mauer (thesis) joining the Twins (antithesis) this weekend?

I object to the premise of the question, because most of the time the antithesis in any dialectic is selected to suit the user’s subjective purpose. Plus, I faked my way through Hegel back in college because he was the absolute worst writer of all of the major philosophers. At least if you’re the sort of person who does not enjoy 18-part sentences with 22 dependent clauses in each. I read just enough so I could understand Marx, who is way more fun. At least now that the “killing and enslaving millions while falsely invoking his theories” part of history is almost over.

Q:  Is addition through subtraction a part of sabremetrics?

I would have said no, but ever since I heard about “OPSBI’s” this morning my brain has been melting and I don’t know what to think.

Q:  If the Braves grounds crew were screwing with players hurting them should they go after Jose Reyes or Dan Uggla?

The fact that they didn’t stake a hungry tiger next to where Uggla sets up on defense is proof positive that their primary motive was not to give the Braves a competitive advantage.

Q: When the Astros move to the AL, 1 or 2 yrs before Berkman is their DH?

I don’t think there is anything more inevitable in the entire galaxy than this happening.

And speaking of the galaxy, let’s do some sci-fi, OK?

Q: Compare major league managers to Star Trek characters. 

I’ll let someone else make a list because that’s what comments sections are made for, but I know for certain that Tony La Russa is Captain Edward Jellico, who briefly took over the Enterprise when Picard was on a secret mission on Cardassia. Stern, difficult, and insists on his unorthodox manner to such a degree that he alienates even the most useful members of his crew (Riker, who is roughly equivalent to Scott Rolen for these purposes). But in the end? Effective, and we just have to reconcile that.

Q: Well, how many lights are there?

There are … four … lights [stalks off naked, eschewing assistance from the guards]

Q: Why did [character redacted] have to die?

That question was about the movie “Serenity,” and I redacted the character in the interest of not spoiling anything. But for those who know who I’m talking about: no, I can’t think of any dramatic reason for that character’s death and it was one of my problems with the movie.

Q: What’s a more devestating loss: Anderson to the A’s or Spock to Kirk?

If only Anderson could be recovered as easily as Spock was after his death.

Q: Did you cry at the end of “The Inner Light?”

No. [maybe].

Q:  Most accurate film involving law/lawyers? Most inaccurate? 

There aren’t many accurate ones, which is why watching legal movies when you’re a lawyer is difficult (and why baseball geeks watching Moneyball will be difficult). But I ain’t lying when I say that “My Cousin Vinnie” gets more right than the vast majority of courtroom movies.  The most inaccurate: there are a ton of possibilities, but “Primal Fear” was godawful from a legal perspective.

Q:  If bourbon was never invented would you choose suicide or euthanasia?

My darling, don’t be silly. I’d choose scotch.

Q: Better miracle worker: Dave Duncan or Geordi LaForge?

Duncan, because he doesn’t have Data bailing his butt out all the time. LaForge: biggest glory hound in history. Yeah, I said it.

Q: Matt Smith, David Tennant or Christopher Ecclesto?

I’ll admit it: I’ve never ever watched Dr. Who in any of its incarnations. Just never came up. I’m a geek, but more of a narrow one than a renaissance geek.

Q: Are Fox Mulder and Dana Scully perfect together or completely wrong for each other?

Completely wrong. Or, at least that’s what I thought the last time I considered the matter, which happened to be, oh, 1996 or so, when I was under the strong conviction that Dana Scully should have married me.

Q:  Who’d be the best MLB’er? Data, Worf or Geordi?

Data, but all the MSM writers would disparage him because of his analytic approach to the game. They’d love Worf because of his passion.

Q: Which is worse: Fox cancels Firefly after 14 episodes or has Joe Buck and Tim McCarver doing the World Series?

See above answer about there being no God.

Thanks for the questions, folks. There were a ton more of the sci-fi ones I didn’t get to, but at some point I have to stop or I’m not going to be able to be productive for the rest of the day. Which, ain’t a bad thing, but you know how it is.

Yordano Ventura exits game with back tightness

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Royals’ right-hander Yordano Ventura was pulled in the fifth inning of Saturday’s matinee against the Tigers with an apparent injury. After throwing four pitches to start the fifth and serving up a Justin Upton double, Ventura was visited on the mound by head trainer Nick Kenney. Per Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star, he’s day-to-day with back spasms and lower back tightness.

It’s just another bump in the road for the defending champions, who currently sit 6.5 games back of a postseason spot with seven left to play. Through 176 innings in 2016, Ventura posted a 4.35 ERA and 1.2 fWAR, a considerable downgrade from the 4.08 ERA and 2.7 fWAR he contributed during last season’s championship year despite a moderate bounce-back in the second half.

Prior to his early exit from Saturday’s game, Ventura went four innings for the Royals, giving up three runs on 10 hits and two walks and striking out six of 24 batters faced.

Cubs are seeking a court order against unlicensed vendors

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If you’re looking to rep the red and royal blue this October, you best get your gear inside the ballpark. According to Lauren Zumbach of the Chicago Tribune, the Cubs have sought a court order that would allow them to seize unauthorized merchandise being hawked outside of Wrigley Field. That includes shirts with taglines like “Just One Before I Die” and apparel depicting a blue flag with a white “W.”

[The Cubs] received a trademark for “W” flags, but a trademark for use on apparel is pending. Deeming a letter of the alphabet worthy of a trademark might seem like a stretch, but around Wrigley, everyone knows what that particular W in that particular color combination means, [intellectual property attorney Douglas Masters] said.

While seven vendors have been named in the suit, the Cubs have a list of 30 more whom they suspect of trademark infringement, including retailers who primarily operate online.

Back in 2013, the Cubs ran into a similar issue when a fan dressed as alternative mascot Billy the Cub and made multiple appearances on game days outside the park. After six years in the role, Billy the Cub was ordered to cease and desist his ballpark activities by the team.

This time, however, Billy’s tip jar pales in comparison to the revenue unauthorized sellers stand to reap over the next two months. With the playoffs just around the corner and playoff merchandise sales in full swing, quashing the competition (both on the field and off) will be top priority in weeks to come.

The club’s full complaint can be found here.