Tiffany Simons on “Star Wars”

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As I’ve mentioned before, the best part of HBT Extra is when Tiffany Simons and I chat prior to taping. And, from time to time — and with Tiffany’s permission — I like to share some of the gems from those conversations. Today’s concerns “Star Wars.” And we got two gems, actually.

First, Tiffany recently interviewed R.A. Dickey and, later in the day, was to interview knuckleball legend Charlie Hough.  In preparation for the Hough interview, she asked Dickey to describe the nature of his relationship with Hough:

Tiffany: “He said ‘Charlie is like the Jedi to my … something.'”

Me: “Padawan?”

Tiffany: “Yes, that’s it. I have no idea what that meant.”

I don’t think this reflects poorly on Tiffany at all, by the way. Because even if you’ve seen “Star Wars,” “padawan” is a word that could elude you if you’re not obsessive about it, if for no other reason than I think it doesn’t appear until the prequels, and those stunk.

No, I’m more amazed by Dickey here.  In his recent memoir her painfully recounted the mistake he made several years ago when he had an extramarital affair.  The amazing part is that a guy who casually throws out Jedi-Padawan analogies like this was able to woo two women at various points in his life. Hope for nerds everywhere, right?

The second gem speaks more directly to Tiffany:

“My friends and I saw “Spaceballs” before we saw “Star Wars.” And we didn’t even know “Star Wars” existed when we saw “Spaceballs.”  So when we saw “Star Wars,” we were all like ‘this sucks, “Spaceballs” was way better.'”

Do with that information what you will.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.