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

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I was bored last night, so I asked for Twitter questions. As usual, you obliged. A pretty healthy Batman content too, so it’s almost like we’re in midseason form already. And I mentioned New Jack Swing when I sent out my call for questions, so there’s obviously some Bell Biv Devoe content. Which is how it should be.

Very little baseball, though. You all must be as sick of spring training as I am and just want real games to start. Oh well.

Let’s do this:

Q: Odds on Tim Tebow becoming a 2-sport star for the Jets and Yankees? What position would he play?

Hahaha, don’t be silly. The Yankees aren’t in the business of signing people who are demonstrably unable to help their team. Only the Jets do that.

Q: Kate Upton or Blake Lively?

I presume this is being asked because my divorce became final on Tuesday and you all want the best for me. But look dudes: while I can appreciate the charms of these young ladies, I’m gonna be 39 this year. Upton was born while I was on break between my freshman and sophomore years in college. Lively is a bit older, but she doesn’t even pass that “half your age plus seven” test for whether the person is age-appropriate for you.  I may be newly single, but that doesn’t mean I have any desire to look foolish. Besides: I’d probably have a heart attack or something.

Q: Tie Alli gave you: Best tie ever, or Best. Tie. Ever. Or BEST. TIE. EVER. I’ll hang up so you can answer.

Oh, another reason I couldn’t do anything with Upton or Lively. The “Alli” referred to here is my girlfriend, and the person asking this question knows her. And yes, she bought me a tie. I wore it on SportsTalk the other night. It’s a pretty sweet tie. I presume that she’d use it to strangle me in the event I was found with Kate Upton or Blake Lively.

Q: Did the Braves do anything this winter?

They had a spectacular winter of filling out line 136(b) of Liberty Media’s budget projections. Feel the excitement!

Q: Which players from other sports (ignore those with actual baseball pasts) would be the best baseball players?

Gosh. No idea, mostly because I don’t watch most other sports. Let’s throw this one out to you all. Maybe we’ll make a post out of it.

Q: The most surprising team to finish over .500 in 2012 will be ___.

Um, the Royals? Maybe that’s not too surprising. They’re a fashionable pick. Maybe the surprising part is that it won’t be a ton over .500. I think they’re improving, but I also think they’re a year away from challenging. And that was the case even before their injuries.

Q: Do you look like Andrelton Simmons in a uniform? Should we start referring to Simmons as the Brock Landers of shortstops?

For those unfamiliar, this is Andrelton Simmons — currently battling for the Braves’ starting shortstop job —  in a uniform:

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And for as much as it pains me to say so, no, I don’t look like that in a uniform. because I don’t own a Danville Braves cap.  In other news, if this baseball thing doesn’t work out for Simmons, he probably has a future in other fields.

Q: Bell Biv Devoe: New Jack Swing pioneers or “New Look” era Batman B-plot character?

Don’t hate on BBD. Oh wait, you can hate a little. But screw you, I loved ’em back in the day.

Q: Which is the better song by Bel Biv Devoe, “Poison” or “Do Me”?

I’m sorry, the answer is “She’s Dope!”

Q: Even though season starts first full weekend in April, it feels like it starts late. Know what I mean?

I do know what you mean. This has been a long spring. I get excited for the first week of games and then after that, blah, just don’t get hurt anyone and please make the regular season come faster.

Q: Choose 1 of each: Mo Vaughn or Greg Vaughn; Chili Davis or Eric Davis; Albert Belle or Jay Bell; Derrek Lee or Carlos Lee.

Hmm: Mo, Eric, Albert and Derrek. But really, you’re limited me here. How about Arky, Mike, Buddy and Travis?

Q: Who is the best Robin?

Dick Grayson, obvs. But he’s way better as Nightwing. And if I’m in the right mood, I might say the best Robin was Jason Todd. He sucked, but he’s the Robin that died, and that led to a lot of big-time Batman guilt and angst. I kind of like my Batman angsty.

Q:  Is your last name pronounced cal-sa-terra or cal-ka-terra? I feel like this is something I need to know.

It’s the latter. But I’ll know who you’re talking to if you use the former.

Q: Do you think we’ll see a female major league umpire in the next 30 years?

Sure. Why not? And I can’t wait. Partially because the march of equality is always great to see. Partially because I know some dumb columnist won’t be able to help themselves and will write something totally dumb about it. I kind of live for that stuff.

Q: What bourbon would you recommend to someone who likes an Islay Scotch?

Eh, there’s really nothing quite like that. But if you want something bolder and stronger and spicier than your normal vanilla-caramel bourbon, I’ve been getting into some Texas bourbons recently, and they’re a different kettle of fish altogether.  Ranger Creek is a good one. Garrison Brothers is another. Not easy to find outside of Texas, but great stuff.

Q: How was Parkersburg, you know, as you remember it?

That’s Parkersburg, West Virginia. I lived there from 1985-1988.  It was pretty neat for a kid my age. I lived in two parts of it, actually. For two years I lived just out of town on the south side, which was more like suburbia in a lot of ways. I lived one year in-town, however, and that was neat. City blocks, city buses, walking to school, walking to the library and the movies and stores and stuff, baseball games in vacant lots and all of that. For a small river city, it was probably the most “urban” experience I had growing up. Strange, but cool.

Q: “‘Didja’ever take and try to give an iron clad leave to yourself from a three-rail billiard shot?”  Are certain words creeping into your conversation? … words like ‘swell’…’and so’s yer old man!’?”

Speaking or river cities, we got trouble … right here!

Q: Couples that sit on the same side of the booth: annoying, right?

Maybe the worst thing in the world. I am really, really irrational about this. I hate it like cancer.

Q: Who will be worse in 2015: Houston or Baltimore?

Baltimore. I want to give Dan Duquette a chance, but he’s got an unreasonable owner who I fear won’t let him make the kind of changes that organization needs right now. Houston is worse now, but at least they have an ownership and management team in place that seems to know what it’s doing.

Q: What is your take on Aquaman?

source:

Q: Who do you expect to finish 2nd to Fredi in the 2012 NL Manager of the Year vote?

I was gonna mock this question, but given this morning’s news about Chipper Jones, I have decided that Jones will win the triple crown in his final year and the Braves will win 103 games, with Fredi actually winning the damn thing. He’ll still suck, but he’ll get the hardware.

Q: When you were a business traveler were you a go out and see the sights guy or stay by the hotel guy?

I always wanted to be a see-the-sights guy, but my business trips were almost always terrible. I had a week-long trial in Great Falls, Montana. In January. I spent three days in Peoria once. I was constantly going to places like Birmingham, Alabama, Indianapolis, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. So no, I didn’t see the sights much. Or I saw them all. Little difference.

Q: Can I have some money?

Sure. Can you throw left-handed?

Q: If you could be any superhero other than Batman, who would you be?

The second Night Owl. He had all of the Batman toys, minus the angst, but with the added bonus of hooking up regular with Silk Spectre. Not a bad tradeoff.

Q: What’s your favorite esoteric fact?

I have lots of them, but Abraham Lincoln creating the Secret Service on the day he was shot is fun.

Q: Iron Shiek vs. Jose Canseco. Who ya got?

Depends: for Twitter entertainment or in a fight? Because you can’t beat the camel clutch in a fight. Well, you probably could. It’s one of the lamest finishing moves ever, even if it did give the Shiek the WWF title over Bob Backlund back in the day.

Q: Which happens first for Ron Gardenhire: heart attack arguing with an Umpire or Retirement?

Neither. I’m going with  “murdered by Aaron Gleeman.”

Q: What TV series is next for treadmill time?

I’m just about done with the first five seasons of “30 Rock,” so I will need something new soon. I’m thinking “Parks and Rec.”  No, I never watched it. I come to everything late. Though if “Dexter” is still on Netflix, I’ve heard good things.  Anyone who actually knows crap about TV can feel free to give me better recommendations. Must be on Netflix Instant, though.

Q: Would Bruce Wayne ever represent himself pro se?

Only a fool would represent themselves pro se.  In other news, I handled my divorce pro se.  I don’t see any connection here at all.

That’s it, folks. Thanks as always for the questions.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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I’m taking the day off to go down to Kentucky to watch horses do horsey things (watch for me photobombing equestrian types on NBC Sports Network). Bill will be along later today and Ashley will be here this evening, but I can’t leave you without the recaps because that’s what I do.

Don’t do anything dumb while your mother and I are out. We’ve marked all the bottles. We’ll know if you’re lying to us.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 5, Giants 1: It was 1-1 until the 11th inning thanks to Julio Urias, making his 2017 big league debut, and the Dodgers’ bullpen and Matt Moore and the Giants’ bullpen takin’ care of business. The Dodgers got tired of it being close in the top of the 11th, however, beating up on Corey Gearrin, Steven Okert and Hunter Strickland for four runs. Andrew Toles knocked in the go-ahead run with a single. A sac fly, single and a bases-loaded walk finished the scoring. The Giants wouldn’t have even scored the one run if it wasn’t for the Dodgers throwing the ball around.

Nationals 16, Rockies 5: The Nats came into Colorado and scored 46 runs in four games. Which, damn. They put up 11 runs in the seventh inning here, with Bryce Harper hitting a three-run shot. Trea Turner hit for the cycle on Tuesday, finished a triple shy of another cycle Wednesday and hit a double and two singles and driving in two here. Harper is hitting .418/.535/.823 with eight homers and 25 RBI. That’s a 59 homer, 184 RBI pace. I know Harper has a habit of putting up big Aprils and that injuries have derailed him in the past, but this is shaping up to be a really special year for this guy.

Cardinals 8, Blue Jays 4; Cardinals 6, Blue Jays 4: The first game of the twin-bill ended in spectacular fashion with Matt Carpenter hitting a walkoff grand slam in the 11th inning. They wouldn’t have even gotten to extras, however, if it wasn’t for Randal Grichuk‘s two-run homer with two outs in the ninth which tied it up. So much drama in game 1 it’s a shame they had to suit up for fame 2 rather than just go out for drinks. But they did play game 2 and it went swell for St. Louis. Dexter Fowler, Greg Garcia and Matt Adams each had three hits. Fowler hit a dinger. The Blue Jays are a total mess. But they’re not the only mess in the bigs right now because . . .

Braves 7, Mets 5: M-E-S-S Mess! Mess! Mess! Six losses in a row and 10 of 11. They’re not scoring. Everyone is getting hurt. Just a disaster. The last time the Mets were this screwed up was just after the All-Star break in 2015 and you know what happened then. Oh, wait, they won the pennant. Eh, let’s let the New York press and Mets fans freak out. Maybe it’s actually warranted this time. Who knows. All I know is that Kurt Suzuki hit a big three-run homer here and when the Braves make you look bad, you’re not living your best life.

Mariners 2, Tigers 1: Justin Verlander and Hisashi Iwakuma battled. Verlander battled a tad better — allowing only an unearned run in seven innings while striking out eight while Iwakuma allowed only one unearned run in five and two-thirds — but the Mariners got the win anyway. The go-ahead run came thanks to a Ben Gamel RBI single off of Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth. Can’t trust the Tigers bullpen in a close game. Ever.

Phillies 3, Marlins 2Jeremy Hellickson allowed one run over six innings as the Phillies win their sixth straight. Hellickson is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA on the year. Philly is doing OK right now, but if they aren’t in contention come July, he’s going to be a pretty attractive trade target.

Indians 4, Astros 3: Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, Francisco Lindor hit a two-run bomb. And I mean bomb. The thing was estimated to be over 450 feet. Corey Kluber struck out ten over seven innings. In addition to being one of the best shortstops around, Lindor is hitting .301/.368/.614 on the year and he’s on a 40-homer pace. That $100 million deal he reportedly turned down is gonna look positively quaint.

Yankees 3, Red Sox 0: Masahiro Tanaka tosses a Maddux. You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Here it was a three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base. Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. They’ve only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored  only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven.

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 2: Taijuan Walker struck out 11 and Chris Ownings hit a pair of solo homers. Yasmany Tomas had a two-run homer.

Angels 2, Athletics 1: I had a dream last night that I owed the Oakland A’s $30,000 in medical bills. Something in the dream made it make sense — baseball teams ran hospitals or something — and for whatever reason, my family had used theirs and I was responsible for the bills. My family, by the way, included Ronald Reagan, who was treated at A’s hospital. Insurance wouldn’t cover a lot of his bills because a man had come out of the woodwork claiming to have been his lover, and the insurance company had a right to discriminate based on sexual orientation. What I’m sayin’ is that a lot was going on in this dream and I’m a little upset with the A’s over it right now.

Oh, by the way, Ricky Nolasco allowed one runs in five and two-thirds and four relievers combined to shut the A’s out the rest of the way. The Angels scored both of their runs in the first.

I probably do need that day off, eh? See you Monday.

Masahiro Tanaka throws a Maddux

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You do know what a Maddux is, right? In case you forgot, it’s a complete game shutout in which the starter throws fewer than 100 pitches. Friend of HBT Jason Lukehart invented that little metric and, because Greg Maddux is my favorite player ever, it’s pretty much my favorite stat ever.

In the Yankees-Red Sox game tonight it was Masahiro Tanaka doing the honors, tossing 97-pitch three-hitter in which he only allowed one runner to reach second base to beat Boston 3-0. He only struck out three but he didn’t walk anyone. He retired the last 14 batters he faced.

Chris Sale was no slouch himself, striking out ten in eight innings. He’s pitched great this year but he’s not getting any help. The Sox have only scored four runs in his five starts. Boston has scored only 13 runs in their last seven games. They’ve been shut out three times in the past seven. They scored more runs than anyone last year, by the way.

The game only took two hours and twenty-one minutes. Or, like, half the time of a Yankees-Red Sox game in the early 2000s. Progress, people. We’re making progress.