The Question

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:

source:

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.

Chicago woman pledges money to a domestic violence charity for each Aroldis Chapman save

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 28:  Aroldis Chapman #54 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the 9th inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 28, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the White Sox 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Though never charged with a crime, Aroldis Chapman was involved in a domestic violence incident that involved the intimidation of his girlfriend. He allegedly smashed a window of a car in his garage and then fired a gun, sending his girlfriend cowering into the bushes. He admitted to that much anyway, saying he used bad judgment, particularly with the gun, and apologized as he accepted his suspension from Major League Baseball.

But though he apologized, Chapman has declined to make any efforts to combat or to raise awareness of domestic violence. He is not required to do so, of course, but his peculiar dismissal of the topic in the press conference introducing him as a Chicago Cub the other day continues to make many uneasy with rooting for a team which employs him, even if he makes them better and even if his talent is undeniable.

One such person is Cubs fan Caitlin Swieca. She decided to do something about it, however, and has found a way to at least begin to make Chapman’s presence on her favorite team at least a little less uncomfortable:

Swieca selected the Domestic Violence Legal Council of Chicago, which provides free legal services to victims of domestic violence. Chapman got his first save last night and her first pledge was made. Many others have taken her example as her pledge has been publicized. If you’re interested in getting involved, she has provided some additional domestic violence charities in the Chicago area:

If a young woman who is, presumably, not making $11.325 million this year can make such an effort, I wonder if Aroldis Chapman might see clear to do so too.

The names and teams to watch between now and Monday’s trade deadline

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 3: Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks to the dugout during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on July 3, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Getty Images
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We already saw a big deal go down today, with the Padres trading Andrew Cashner to the Marlins. Between now and Monday afternoon, however, there will be many, many more. Keeping track of them is not always easy, but we can contain the chaos a little bit by ticking off the big names with the most heat around them.

Here, as of this morning, are the most significant players with rumors attached:

Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers

Linked to: Mets, Red Sox, Indians and Rangers
Likelihood of being traded: Seems highly likely. We’ve seen no reports saying the Brewers truly plan on keeping him.
Most likely destination: Beats us, though the Red Sox have the most to trade from and the GM with the history of the boldest moves. The Indians may be the most desperate for catching, however.

Chris Sale, White Sox

Linked to: Dodgers, Yankees and Braves. Rangers could certainly use him. Obviously, tons of teams would love to have him.
Likelihood of being traded: Less than 50-50, but certainly not zero. Sale’s recent uniform shredding antics and his clashes with the front office are frequently cited, but the real calculus here is whether the White Sox honestly think they can contend while Sale is still under team control (he has club options which keep in Chicago through 2019). Even if he was a model citizen, there are just as many good arguments for dealing him as there are for keeping him, mostly surrounding his undeniable status as one of the game’s top starters and his team-friendly deal for that ace performance. That combination equals a heavy package of prospects in return. If we ran the Sox we’d probably deal him, with the recent controversies as a cover for what is really an admission that, nope, we’re just not a good enough team to compete and, yep, we could get a king’s ransom for him.
Most likely destination: The Dodgers make all kinds of sense. They have young pitching which can help the White Sox win later and can deal it to get Sale who can help them win now.

Andrew Miller, Yankees

Linked to: Rangers, Nationals and Indians, all of whom need bullpen help.
Likelihood of being traded: Low to moderate. He’s under team control through next year and The Yankees like to talk about they don’t rebuild, they just reload. After seeing the haul they got for a rental of Arolids Chapman, however, it may be hard to say no to the sort of package a club may offer for Miller.
Most likely destination: The Nationals have had several scares late in games lately. If they can get over their tendency to hoard prospects rather than truly go for it, they could probably get a deal done.

Jay Bruce, Reds

Linked to: Mariners more than anyone. Indians and Rangers have been mentioned.
Likelihood of being traded:  Almost certain. The Reds are gonna be bad for a while and the often uneven Bruce is enjoying his best year. Time to strike while the iron is hot.
Most likely destination: The rumors about Bruce fall into two categories: legitimate stuff about the Mariners’ interest and general noise which sounds a lot like the Reds trying to pretend there are more teams interested in Bruce than there really are in order to get the Mariners to raise their price. Anything can happen, of course, and one should not bluff unless one is willing to carry through with what one is threatening, but I still think Bruce is a Mariner by Monday evening.

Chris Archer, Rays

Linked to: Dodgers, but no one else super seriously.
Likelihood of being traded:  Seems low. The Rays will certainly entertain offers, but Archer’s value is lower than expected during this subpar year for him and he’s under team control for a really long time. If you overwhelm the Rays they’ll deal him, but it will take a big, big offer.
Most likely destination: We think it’s more likely that he’s still a Ray next week, but if he goes anyplace it’ll likely be Los Angeles if they cannot pry Sale loose from the White Sox.

Wade Davis, Royals

Linked to: Dodgers
Likelihood of being traded:  Less than 50% in our view. The Royals may have been intrigued by the Chapman deal with the Cubs, but they are rumored to want to package Davis with teammate Ian Kennedy in a salary dump situation, suggesting that they’re less interested in maximizing the return for Davis than they are in dumping Kennedy’s salary. It’s hard to see why someone like the Dodgers, who are apparently enamored with Davis, would want to do that. It suggests that the Royals are just sort of messin’ around.
Most likely destination: He’ll probably still be a Royal unless the Dodgers make a strong take-it-or-leave-it offer for a standalone Davis deal.

Jeremy Hellickson, Phillies

Linked to: No one specifically yet, but obviously tons of teams want starting pitching. The Rangers, Orioles and maybe the Giants are all teams which have been mentioned in passing.
Likelihood of being traded:  50/50, driven by the Phillies allegedly high asking price — Jayson Stark has reported that they want a top, top prospect for a Hellickson rental — and driven by the fact that the Phillies could just wait until November, give him a qualifying offer and take a pick for him.
Most likely destination: Hard to say, but he’s going to look a lot more attractive to teams like the Rangers the harder it is for them to get one of the top line guys.

Rich Hill, Athletics

Linked to: Same suspects as Hellicskson and the other starters.
Likelihood of being traded: High. It’s the A’s, they make deals.
Most likely destination: No clue. He’s no one’s top choice, but everyone is going to get more desperate between now and Monday afternoon.

OTHERS:

  • Edinson Volquez of the Royals, Matt Shoemaker of the Angels and Julio Teheran of the Braves are mentioned as pitching targets, though it’s not at all certain those clubs are inclined to make a deal. This is especially true of the Braves who did quite well trading starting pitching last winter and may wish to wait until the offseason once again;
  • Carlos Gonzalez, Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran are the top non-Lucroy/Bruce bats which have been mentioned. The Cubs and Orioles have been mentioned as possible suitors for Reddick. Gonzalez hasn’t been linked to any specific teams strongly, though he has reportedly asked to be traded. The Rockies winning more lately may make them hesitant to deal him, however. The Yankees still haven’t signaled that they’re waving the white flag. Trading Beltran means they’re waving the white flag.
  • Any reliever not pitching for a contending team is fair game. More relievers will likely change teams than anyone. So many that we’ll lose track of ’em.

We’d love to be more specific than that, but this is our eighth year of tracking the trade deadline at HardballTalk. That experience has taught us to expect the unexpected.