The Question

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


After a week off of the old Twitter questions, let’s see what ya got for me:

Q: Grosser habit: nail chewing or spitting?

Spitting, by far. Nail chewing ain’t great, but it suggests inner turmoil for which I have some bit of empathy. Spitting just means you’re freaking rude and gross.

Q: Can you think of an crafty righties?

I can’t think of anyone being called that, but right-handers have to be crafty, right?  Guys with no velocity who get dudes out for reasons that are neither clear nor replicable by other, similarly talented righties? Freddy Garcia has to be a crafty righty, no?

Q: Will there be a new CBA by the World Series?

I can’t imagine that, if for no other reason than Selig and company don’t like news to interfere with the playoffs and the playoffs start in a little over a month. In reality, though, they’re just not there yet. If I had to guess, I’d say that they’ll have it sewn up by Christmas, though. Maybe even at the Winter Meetings in early December, so they can all have a big “ha-ha-ha, look at our labor harmony, other leagues” party.

Q: What have you been doing the past week?

This week? Working. Last week: I took the kids up to Traverse City, Michigan to play on beaches in front of crystal-clear waters and wonder why in the hell, when I can live anywhere on the planet with the job I have, I choose to live in suburban Columbus, Ohio.

Q: Please summarize the bourbon experience of your vacation?

Kind of lacking, actually. For reasons that are complicated but which involved the most inconsiderately-timed death from cancer imaginable (the nerve of some people), I ended up taking the vacation with just the kids and I, with the wife staying back home. Contrary to the persona I cultivate on the interwebs, I don’t typically sit and drink brown liquor by myself in quantity. Well, at least if I’m not watching a ballgame.  So while I did take a bottle of Johnny Drum with me to the vacation condo, I only had a tiny nip each night after the kids went to bed. And then I went to bed, usually by 10:30 or so.  Can’t stop Dad. You can only hope to contain him.

Q: Vin Scully excluded, who is your favorite TV and radio announcers?

I like Uecker on the radio. Krukow and Kuiper are great on TV, but I don’t watch enough Giants games to really get a full dose of them. Same goes for Scully for that matter. Len Kasper, doing Cubs games, is a guy I like a whole hell of a lot too, and I’m not just saying that because he’s an HBT reader. He should be doing national games for FOX or ESPN or whoever gets the rights to broadcast ballgames the next time they’re up for bid.

Q: How do you live with yourself?

With healthy amounts of self-loathing and self-medication.

Q: Best music video ever… Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, or something else?

Sledgehammer may be the worst thing that happened to music videos ever.  Perhaps the single-biggest “distract-the-viewer-from-the-actual-song” video in history. I really wish I was able to listen to Sledgehammer without the video dominating my consciousness, because I’m genuinely curious to hear if Gabriel’s intention — to take off on some sort of Memphis soul thing — was as misguided in practice as it seems in theory. All I can do now when I listen to that song now is think of animated fruit.

Oh, best video ever: “Bastards of Young” by the Replacements. And if you disagree, well, you’re wrong.

Q: Now that draft picks are signed and all, who makes a WS first: Pirates, Rockies, Nats or D-Backs?

You’re asking the guy who thought the Cubs would win the Central this year and who, as late as August 2010, thought that the Giants were doomed? Eh, screw it: the Dbacks.

Q: I just filed my first SEC report – what’s the proper way to celebrate…head in the oven or toe to the shotgun?

Look, the Southeastern Conference is depressing, I realize that. All of those people with nothing else in their life except college football, using their achievement in that one area to compensate for so many other faults. But it’s no reason to think about taking your life, son.  Or did you mean securities law?  If the latter, I’d suggest a quick acting poison. You can never trust gas or bullets.

Q: If you could design an unlikely triple play, what form would it take?

I’d like to see a lazy fly ball to left turn into a triple play when two baserunners simultaneously believe that there were two outs in an inning when, in fact, there were none.

Q: What do you feel did the Articles of Confederation in?

Has to be the way it hamstrung foreign policy. Specifically the Jay-Gardoqui Treaty which onerous ratification requirements ultimately scuttled.  I mean, how much better off would we have been if we gave up rights to use the Mississippi River to the Spaniards for 30 years? Leagues better, I say. Leagues.

Q: While most people think Ryan Howard is overpaid, doesn’t the fact that they can afford it and that it raised price for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder justify it?

Pop quiz, hot shot: the store is going to raise the price of a can of soda to eight dollars. You can still swing that, I’m sure. And to make you feel better, your neighbors have to pay the same eight dollars for their juice, beer and coffee. That make it OK?

Q: Are you considering changing your name to Calcarerra?

This after my name was mangled on a Philly radio show the other day. On which I wasn’t appearing, or else they would have had a producer get it right beforehand, which they always do.  Doesn’t bother me at all. I have a pain in the butt last name, and I’m happy that it was simply being mentioned, even if it was mispronounced. Especially because it was mentioned in annoyance by people who think Ryan Howard is the best hitter in baseball.

Q: Say something bad about Jim Thome.

He’s a horrible break dancer.

Q: Should there be instant replay of instant replay?

I thought about it for a minute after that Billy Butler home run call last night, but I’m ultimately against it because I’m pretty sure that’s how SkyNet became self-aware.

Q: Hey Norm! If you were a hotdog… and you were starving… would you eat yourself?

I know I would. I’d smother myself in brown mustard and relish. I’d be so delicious.

Q: Why is it that you don’t want Philadelphia fans to be happy?

I actually don’t mind if they are. I hope they are, even. But someone did seriously accuse me of not wanting Philly fans to be happy recently. People actually think that I have real ire towards Philly fans, when it’s something like 95% amusement, 5% mild irritation.

Q: Has HBT changed formats, become a Phillies’ chat-room, and I just didn’t get the memo?

They certainly have taken over, haven’t they?  But that’s fine. The regulars who comment here are all reasonable people who I’ve come to like quite a bit and I’m glad they’re here.  I troll the crap out of Philly fans, but they’re passionate and I’m happy that they show up every day.  I will be curious, however, to see if they continue to do so in a few years when the Phillies are struggling to reach .500.

Q: How many teams have you been accused of hating during your illustrious writing career?

Not as many as Keith Law — who has been accused of hating every team ever — but many more than I actually hate. In fact, I hate zero teams.

Q: Godfather I vs Godfather II?

Kind of not fair. Two radically different movies that I like for different reasons. The first is obviously so classic with so many comfortably familiar things that it’s like a well broken-in piece of clothing you never want to part with. Part II is probably a better film from a 1970s film snob point of view (a point of view I will admit I am a total pushover for), and would be more akin to a sharp suit that you look absolutely fabulous in.  I refuse to choose. I want my nice suit and my worn out hoodie, and you’ll never get me to offer a preference.

Q: Do you miss our endless Craig Calcaterra’s wife jokes?

For those unaware, my wife became a moderately-sized meme on Baseball Think Factory, hell, almost nine or ten years ago I guess. That was fun. At least until she became aware of it.

Q: How much longer does Jose “hot hand” Constanza start over Heyward?

Probably until having him in the lineup every day has costs the Braves their tenth or eleventh loss at his regressing-to-the-mean hands.

Q: Is Ron Washington on the powder again for suggesting Young as MVP or does he have a case?

Wait, he’s really doing that?  If so, I have to believe that it’s to stroke Young’s ego, not because he believes it. In other news, can you think of an alleged “team player” who has had more ego issues and problems about his role than Michael Young?

Q: Do you miss being a practicing lawyer?

No, I do not. And if I ever get even a bit of an itch to be in that world again, I go have a beer with some of my former coworkers and I am reminded once again why I started my old blog in the first place.

Q: Hi Craig… world wants to know… coke or pepsi? Personally I will take a Dr. Pepper please.

I love me some Dr. Pepper, but I happen to be a Coke man. Diet Coke or Coke Zero, actually, though occasionally I’ll drink the hard stuff. I just don’t care much for Pepsi, especially Diet Pepsi, which has a sweetness that is a bit too cloying for me.  In all honestly, however, I realize that it’s all basically battery acid that is killing me from the inside. I am giving serious consideration to trying to kick it.  And yes, I just took a swig of Diet Coke as I was typing this.

Q: Who wins best-of-seven: 2011 Astros vs 2003 Tigers?

Whoever is scheduling programming opposite that series. The rest of us lose.

Q: You mentioned “rage comics” in a recent post. What’s your favorite?

Man, they’re reader-generated so there are hundreds and hundreds of them a day, so I’m sort of blanking on a particular favorite. I tend to like any of them that end in either this face or this face, however.

Q: Did you know that the little things at the ends of shoelaces are called aglets, and that their purpose is sinister?

I knew they were aglets, because I used to watch the Snigglets segments on the old “Not Necessarily the News” show on HBO back in the day. Rich Hall, yo.  I did not know they were evil, however. If they are, that may mean that flip flops have one redeeming quality.

Q: You’re on a desert island with your kids and one classic 80s cartoon – what do you take? Favorite episode ending lessons?

G.I. Joe. No question. And the best episode ending lesson was easily “Pork Chop Sandwiches.” (NSFW language).

That’s all I got this time, kiddies. We’ll do another Twitterbag next week. Which sounds dirty, but it isn’t.

Jose Reyes pleads not guilty to spousal abuse in Hawaii

Colorado Rockies' Jose Reyes follows through on a base hit against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
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Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes pleaded not guilty yesterday to abusing his wife in Hawaii on October 31.

Reyes was arrested at the time and was released after posting $1,000 bail. He was not in Hawaii for the arraignment and his not guilty plea was entered on his behalf by his attorney.

Which means that he’s probably in his usual offseason home on Long Island. Which, I am told, is a short drive from Major League Baseball headquarters. Which makes one wonder if Reyes has yet to be interviewed by Rob Manfred in anticipation of the punishment he will no doubt receive under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. A policy which specifically says that the Commissioner need not wait for the justice system to play out before assessing his own discipline.

So, Rob. How you doin’ man?


Giants interested in John Lackey

John Lackey
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Ben Cafardo of the Boston Globe speculated on Sunday that there might be a connection between the Giants and veteran free agent right-hander John Lackey, and now FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that San Francisco is indeed in pursuit.

Rosenthal says the Giants, “like most clubs seeking pitching, [are] examining [a] wide range of options” in this starter-heavy free agent market. Lackey would make a ton of sense for any contender on something like a two-year deal. His free agency is tied to draft pick compensation, but that shouldn’t be much of a deterrent.

The 37-year-old right-hander registered a career-best 2.77 ERA across 218 innings (33 starts) this past season for the National League Central-champion Cardinals and he was St. Louis’ most reliable starter during the playoffs.

It’s well known that he wants to remain in the National League.

Angels sign catcher Geovany Soto to one-year contract

Geovany Soto
AP Photo/Alex Gallardo
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As first reported by beat writer Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels have signed free agent catcher Geovany Soto to a one-year major league contract.’s Alden Gonzalez says the deal is worth $2.8 million guaranteed.

Soto will offer some veteran presence at catcher for the Halos alongside 25-year-old Carlos Perez, who hit .250/.299/.346 as a rookie in 2015.

Soto slashed .219/.301/.406 with nine homers in 78 games this summer for the White Sox.

The 32-year-old backstop is a .246/.331/.434 career hitter at the major league level.

White Sox acquire right-hander Tommy Kahnle from Rockies

Tommy Kahnle
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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According to the official Twitter account of the Chicago White Sox, the club acquired right-hander Tommy Kahnle from the Rockies on Tuesday evening in exchange for minor league pitcher Yency Almonte.

Kahnle was designated for assignment by the Rockies last week in a flurry of moves made in preparation of next month’s Rule 5 Draft. The 26-year-old former fifth-round pick posted an ugly 4.86 ERA, 1.77 WHIP, and 39/28 K/BB ratio in 33 1/3 innings this past season for Colorado and he wasn’t much better at Triple-A Albuquerque.

Almonte, 21, had a 3.41 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 110/38 K/BB ratio in 137 1/3 innings this past season between Low-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston-Salem.

It’s a straight one-for-one deal of two non-prospects, and the timing of it — in the evening, with Thanksgiving approaching — has our Craig Calcaterra wondering whether an executive was just trying to get out of some family responsibilities …