The Question

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

39 Comments

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.

The Orioles and Yovani Gallardo are “making progress”

Yovani+Gallardo+Division+Series+Texas+Rangers+Pb05fFoMvW3l
Leave a comment

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Orioles are “making progress” in talks with free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

Gallardo has been on the market so long because he has a first round pick tied to him due to his declining the Rangers’ qualifying offer. The Orioles would have to forfeit the 14th overall pick in order to sign him. That has been too steep a price to pay for them all winter, but as we’re mere days away from pitchers and catchers reporting, it’s likely that Gallardo’s price has dropped enough to make it worth their while.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons — and had a career-low 3.42 ERA in 2015 — but his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012, suggesting that trouble could be on the horizon.

If the O’s do burn their pick to get Gallardo, it might make sense for them to go all-in with another free agent like Dexter Fowler, given that they’d not have to give up anything else to do it.

Rangers avoid arbitration with Mitch Moreland

mitch moreland getty
Leave a comment

First baseman/outfielder Mitch Moreland and the Rangers have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $5.7 million deal.

Moreland requested $6 million and the Rangers countered at $4.675 million, so the two sides settled on the player-friendly side of the midpoint.

Moreland bounced back from an injury wrecked 2014 season to have a career-year in 2015, hitting .278 with 23 homers and an .812 OPS in 132 games. Arbitration eligible for the final time at age 30, he’s set to be a free agent next offseason.

Tiger Stadium redevelopment group loses $50K because of its preference for artificial turf

Navin Field
Craig Calcaterra
3 Comments

We’ve posted frequently on the topic of the old Tiger Stadium site. If you’ve kept up with it you know that the site, nearly overgrown with weeds and strewn with trash before being rescued by a group of volunteers called the Navin Field Grounds Crew, is now being slated for redevelopment by the Detroit Police Athletic League.

The PAL is committed to keeping a baseball field as part of the development, but they are also, quite unfortunately, committed to putting artificial turf down over the bit of Earth where baseball legends once walked and ran.

Backlash to the plan has begun, however. Not just from people like me or the Navin Field Grounds Crew, who are opposed to fake grass, but to an actual donor to the Detroit Police Athletic League:

With an annual contribution of $50,000 to Detroit PAL’s programs, the Lear Corporation has been a major benefactor of the nonprofit for years. But in light of PAL’s controversial plan to redevelop the Tiger Stadium site with artificial turf, Lear’s CEO is speaking out.

Matthew Simoncini says that Lear is withdrawing its financial support of PAL for its mishandling of this delicate issue.

“I believe the [PAL] plan is severely flawed [and] a terrible use of resources,” says Simoncini. “[It] does not preserve this site and provides [an] unsafe playing surface for the children,”

I’m guessing $50,000 is not the sort of money that will seriously hinder a real estate redevelopment plan, but it’s good to hear someone with a stake in all of this voting with their wallet. Here’s hoping more do and that, eventually, PAL understands that there are some things more important than saving some money at the front end of a project.

Evan Gattis undergoes surgery for hernia; recovery is 4-6 weeks

evan gattis
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images North America
3 Comments

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle shares the bad news

One of the Astros’ big bats won’t be taking hacks when the Astros hold their first full workout on Feb. 23.

Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis recently underwent surgery to repair a hernia, the Chronicle has learned, taking away most of his spring training at a minimum. The recovery is four to six weeks but fortunately for Gattis and the Astros, the injury is not considered severe.

Gattis was working hard on his overall conditioning this winter, even telling MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart in late January that he had already dropped 18 pounds. It sounds like the big slugger might have gone a bit overboard with those workouts, and now he is in real danger of missing the first couple weeks of the 2016 regular season.

Gattis batted .246/.285/.463 with 27 home runs and 88 RBI in 153 games last season for the Astros. The 29-year-old is arbitration-eligible for the first time in his career and has a hearing with the Astros scheduled for February 16 to determine his salary for 2016. He requested $3.8 million and was offered $3 million when figures were exchanged a little over three weeks ago.

Suddenly the Astros’ front office might have a new talking point for those arbitrators.