The Question

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

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Another round of Twitter questions, some of which I held back for the next edition of HBT Extra. These, however, did not make the video cut. Which is cool, because as we all know, the non-video ones are usually more fun. Anyway:

Q: So…what would you say, ya do here?

Well look, I already told you! I deal with the goddamn customers so the engineers don’t have to! I have people skills!

Q: Who’s your favorite?

I assume this was a question about The Women of “G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero,” so I’ll go with the Baroness because, wowza. I liked her way more than Scarlet or Lady Jaye. In other news, according to G.I. Joe canon, Lady Jaye is a Bryn Mawr graduate who did graduate work in Trinity College in Dublin, before going on to intelligence school. Yet she’s only a staff sergeant. Scarlett, meanwhile, graduated college summa cum laude and went to law school and she’s only a master sergeant. What’s up with that? Women can’t be officers in G.I. Joe? What a crock.

Q: Why is there no love for Batgirl? Who wouldn’t want a hot chick that could bar brawl with you?

Ask me after I answer this next question …

Q: Tigers and Braves in playoffs, not playing each other, but at the same time. Do you give up the good TV to me? Think about it.

That question came from my girlfriend, who is a Tigers blogger. When she finds out that I’d make her watch Detroit up in the back room on the old TV that’s hooked up to the kids’ Wii, I may very well find out what it’s like to have a hot chick bar brawling with me. Been nice knowin’ you guys.

Q: Commissioner of the day: you are allowed to pardon one for entry to HoF, Shoeless Joe Jackson or Pete Rose? And why.

Jackson. Because even if they dug up his dry, dead bones, propped them up on stage and had famous ventriloquist Jeff Dunham shove his hand up his backside and speak for him, his induction speech would be more dignified than Rose’s.

Q: When will the Chicago Cubs win the World Series?

2018. Prove me wrong.

Q: How do you really feel about football bloggers writing about baseball? It was tough to tell from your post today.

In case you missed it. But I found something even better than football writers taking on baseball. Football fans coming into baseball blog threads and accusing people who like baseball of being “butthurt,” which is a word that they apparently hand out like free candy at football fan school. What we’re supposed to be “butthurt” over I’m not sure, though based on context I assume it’s baseball’s relative unpopularity compared to football. Which is an interesting insight given that these comments always come in response to arguments that football’s greater popularity is actually a drawback rather than a benefit or is, at the very least, irrelevant. But maybe I’m wrong to think that’s interesting. Perhaps my butthurtedness is just blinding me.

Q: What question would you most like asked?

Something that would give me an excuse to troll Phillies fans, preferably about Ryan Howard.

Q: Ryan Howard hasn’t struck out once this season, or made a single error at 1B. Still think his $125M extension was a mistake?

Wow, someone did the trolling for me in the question! You guys are awesome!

Q: What troubled MLB franchise would Dennis Rodman save?

The New York Yankees. They’ve been around forever. They haven’t really changed. They have no excitement about them at all. This, I’m told by football partisans, is a horrible thing, so clearly they need Rodman to drag them into the late 20th century.

Q: Why do Baby Boomers hate me and my fellow millenials?

That’s totally unfair. We Gen-Xers hate you and your fellow millenials too. It’s a jealousy thing, though. You guys text way faster than we can.

Q: Do you like candy?

It’s dandy, but …

Q: Do you have to work at being a D-bag, or does it come natural?

Come now, if I was really a D-bag I’d note that your use of the word “natural” is improper and that you should have gone with an adverb there. But I won’t do that, because I’m not a D-bag.

Q: Why does Dusty Baker hate me? And Aroldis Chapman? And Devin Mesoraco? And Chris Heisey?

You know what you did.

Q: Should Dusty Baker Insert himself in the cleanup spot in the Reds batting order?

Only if he can’t find Kal Daniels’ number.

Q: Should Cadet Kirk really have been awarded a commendation for original thinking?

Referring to this, of course. And you’re right, maybe he should have been punished for cheating. But given that he slept his way through an entire female cadet class and was never disciplined for harassment or moral turpitude, we all know that they were never gonna do anything to him. If he had killed another cadet while trying to execute a Kolvoord Starburst like Wesley Crusher did, Kirk probably would have gotten a commendation too.

Q: Best pizza in Columbus?

Pizza in Columbus is pretty dire. There is a local type of pizza — not good enough to make it a neat regional thing, but prevalent enough to squeeze out actually good pizza — that I’ll call “Columbus Style Pizza” as a shorthand. Columbus Style Pizza is a thin crust thing, pushed mostly by local chain Donato’s. It’s always cut in little squares, not proper slices. It can be done well by some local places (think crispier crust) but it’s often found on soft stale cracker crust and doesn’t hold up to anything approaching a decent topping load.

Worst of all, it doesn’t scratch the itch for good, triangle-cut pie. I mean, I realize this is Columbus and we’re not going to get New York quality here, but it’s almost impossible to find decent, traditional pizza that doesn’t come from a chain. Even Sbarro’s is an improvement compared to what we normally get.

If I must get something besides my local Columbus Style (which at least my kids like), I’ll go to a place down on Ohio State’s campus called Flying Pizza, which is at least in the neighborhood of New York style pizza. Though I’m guessing New Yorkers wouldn’t have the highest opinion of it.

Q: How are you celebrating Chipper’s 40th birthday next Tuesday?

Not getting pizza, that’s for damn sure.

Q: Odds the Cardinals repeat?

Q: Why can’t baseball be more like the NFL?

I guess we’re just stuck in the past, man. We can’t get beyond our 126 square-inch prison!

Q: Tim & Eric: Great Job or Greatest Job?

Great job! (it’s an awesome show)

Q: Why was the DH created and why only AL?

Social experiment created by the auto industry to see if Americans would accept a big, bloated, slow-moving product with superficial performance advantages that, in reality, no one really needed in the first place. This led directly to the SUV explosion in the 1990s.  The NL was used as a control group.

Q: Why was Kris Medlen pitching 2 innings in a 8-2 game? Is Fredi saving Livan’s arm?

Fredi knows that none of us have a memory and that later in the season when Medlen is gassed he can say “hey, I had to use him in close games early” and no one will call him on it.

Q: What do you think is the difference between this year’s J-Hey compared to last year?

Injuries, really. I know that’s often used as an excuse, but he was hurt more than most people realized. Wrist troubles kill a guy who depends on whiplike bat speed like him.

Q: Ratio of serious questions to sarcastic?

Better this week than usual, but that’s not saying much.

Q: What would be your at bat music?

This little ditty.  I’d make Mike Hargrove look like a rank amateur.

Q: You have to demolish one of these stadiums -Fenway or Wrigley? And why?

Fenway. I like it when people say things like “that’s a wicked pissah!” They’re so cute.

Q: Henry Rollins Era, or First Four Years. Your answer to this is of the utmost importance.

I have this feeling based on the questioner and the way it was put that the correct answer should be First Four Years. But I ain’t gonna lie: I wasn’t that damn cool back in the day and I had never heard of Black Flag prior to Henry Rollins being in it. Likewise, I was never so into Black Flag that I felt it necessary to go back and find the older, pre-Hank stuff. I owned “Damaged” on cassette and loved it and I’m not gonna pretend I didn’t, even if Rollins became something of a clown later on.

Q: On a scale of 1-10 how worried are you about Tim Lincecum?

4:20.

Q: Favorite Muppet?

That mad bomber guy. Mostly out of pity. Thanks to a bunch of idiot terrorists he was marginalized for years. I was really happy to see that he made it back for that new Muppet movie.

Q: Would you rather have Liberty Media spring for outfield lighting banks at Turner or on fielders that can catch popups?

The lights. Because  given how much Dan Uggla cost them already, I can’t imagine the price for a second baseman who can actually field his position. It’s likely prohibitive. And since going over budget gives Liberty Media the vapors — and since there is no room in the budget for anti-vapors medication, at least not this quarter — we simply can’t have that.

Q: Why is Fredi still manager of the Braves? 

No room in the budget for cardboard boxes designated for desk-clearing purposes. And Staples is really wanting too much for the paper on which the pink slips are printed. If there’s a sale sometime this summer, however, Fredi had best watch out.

Q: Over/under 1.5 seasons for Bobby V as Sox manager.

Under. Just a feeling.

Q: Why eat pie when ice cream exists?

Because of à la mode? Because you can either subject yourself to false choices or you must die a fiery and awful death?

Q: If you had one recurring event in your life that would activate something like the Marlins HR feature, what would it be?

When I write a tweet that is exactly 140 characters the first time I write it, with no awkward abbreviations and whatnot. That’s a solid, solid feeling in need of overly-demonstrative celebration.

Q: My brother, @TimsNeighbor , was accepted to Emory Law School today. Bourbon of choice for celebration? Can’t say Makers.

Congrats, TimsNeighbor. Who was literally a tool once upon a time and now will be a lawyer. Oh well, we can’t all progress in life. Bourbon: treat yourself to some Ranger Creek. It’s not from Kentucky, but it’s good bourbon. And very different than Makers if that’s not your thing.

Q: Is Aaron Gleeman more Aquaman or more Robin? Or am I completely off the mark?

He’s Steve Arlo to my Daryl Zero. Except I don’t do as much meth and would never have been able to call that bluff about the Corrodium 3 deduction.

Q: Who would you choose to start a game 7 of the WS that was active anytime between 1976-1982 and why?

Hmm. Tough one. Gonna go with Phil Niekro. Not because he’s necessarily the most effective. Rather, because Game 7’s make me nervous, and at least with Niekro we’d know early if the knuckleball was working. If it wasn’t I could turn off the game early and save myself the heartache.

Q: Beatles or Stones?

See the above question about false choices.  When I feel like a badass I listen to Beggar’s Banquet-Exile Stones, and there may be nothing better in the world.  When I want beauty and wonderfulness in my life I listen to any number of Beatles records.  We can all get along, people. We can all get along.

Thanks, all.  More next week.

Dodgers trade A.J. Ellis to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz

Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers
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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that the Dodgers have acquired catcher Carlos Ruiz and cash from the Phillies in exchange for catcher A.J. Ellis, minor league pitcher Tommy Bergjans, and a player to be named later. It was reported on Wednesday that Ruiz and first baseman Ryan Howard both cleared waivers and that Ruiz was drawing interest from a couple of teams.

Ruiz, 37, has served as the backup catcher behind Cameron Rupp. Over 193 plate appearances, he hit .261/.368/.352. He continued to play solid defense and has always had a reputation for handling his pitchers very well. In fact, in a commercial for the video game MLB 2k11, former Phillie Roy Halladay essentially professed his love for Ruiz:

Ellis, 35, is a free agent after the season while Ruiz has a club option for the 2017 season worth $4.5 million. It seems likely that the Dodgers pick up that option and make Ruiz Grandal’s backup next year. Ellis hit a lousy .194/.285/.252 in 161 plate appearances, but the Phillies aren’t particularly concerned with his production since they’re still facilitating their rebuilding process.

Bergjans, 23, has spent the season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga. He’s posted a 4.98 ERA with a 133/29 K/BB ratio in 130 innings spanning 21 starts and three relief appearances. He went to school in Haverford, PA so the Phillies are bringing in a local guy.

Jose Bautista returns from the disabled list

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jayshits a two-run home run in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has been activated from the 15-day disabled list ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Angels, the club announced. Utilityman Ryan Goins has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to create room on the roster.

Bautista missed the minimum 15 days due to a sprained left knee. He’s battled injuries throughout the season, limiting him to just 355 plate appearances over 80 games. He’ll resume play with a .222/.349/.444 triple-slash line, 15 home runs, and 48 RBI.

Bautista is in Thursday night’s starting lineup, batting first and serving as the DH.