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

May 5, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

The Question

And remember, these are real questions from real Twitter followers. Because really, if I was gonna make ‘em up they’d probably all be about Batman or something.

Q: What kind of peanut butter do cats prefer?

Squirrel Peanut Butter. It’s hard to find and cats are really annoying like that.

Q: Where do you put the odds on Liriano having a quality start the next time out? Being remotely effective?

Really, really low. In addition to the fact that — no-hitter aside — he has looked awful this year, the fact that he had never before thrown a complete game and that he threw 123 pitches and admitted after the game that he was gassed makes me believe that, absent a skipped start, he’s gonna have nothing next time around.  Speaking of that no-hitter:

Q: Liriano’s no-no,using DIPS theory to pick it apart: good or bad? Do we lose something by not taking a no no at face value?

If you really want to analyze it, sure, you should use whatever is at your disposal to do so. But for my own purposes I’m content to simply say “nice job, man.”  He did something most guys never do. I don’t feel obligated to tear it down.  In ten years if someone brings up Liriano — or Edwin Jackson or even Jose Jimenez — I’m gonna say “dude threw a no-hitter once.”

Q: The Indians: even if they aren’t this good, is any team in that division 8 games better?

Hard to see one. If the Indians play .500 ball the rest of the way, they’re an 86-87 win team. That could easily take this division.  Not saying the Indians definitely will take it.  They could tank.  Just saying that it’s hard to feature either the Tigers, Sox or Twins putting their foot on the gas like they’d have to.

Q: Chanting U-S-A! U-S-A! in Philly after Bin Laden killed: undignified, or appropriately cathartic?

Appropriately cathartic. If it had resulted in a lot of staged stuff going forward — which it doesn’t appear to be doing — it would have been cheapened, however. See, “God Bless America” circa 2001.

Q: If baseball didn’t exist, is there another sport you’d be watching?

I still watch a lot of college football, so that would be there.  There was a time — mid-80s through the late-90s — when I watched a ton of NBA basketball.  I got away from that mostly because I couldn’t devote myself to multiple sports and family and work and everything and just lost touch.  I could see myself being into the NBA again, even with all of its flaws. I’d be a casual fan, though, not some freak like I am with baseball. I just like the game.

Q: Which franchise is more troubled financially the Mets or Dodgers?

Depends on the time frame. The Dodgers have more immediate trouble, of course, in that they can’t even make payroll and are about to be taken over.  That may prove to be a taking-the-bandage-off-quickly thing, however, because once Frank McCourt is kicked aside some L.A. billionaire is going to move in and exploit the sheer market power of the Dodgers, which they have in spades.  The problems in New York are less acute and more chronic. They aren’t in the kind of crush the Dodgers are in, but they will likely have this lawsuit hanging over their heads for a while, making life uncertain for them.

Q: Does not being able to get one in Ohio make the In-N-Out burger taste better?

I think that’s true of everything. If they opened In-N-Outs everywhere, they’d be jam-packed for a while and then — while they’d still be tasty and popular — the luster and hype that has grown around the brand would wear off.  We saw this in the 1970s back when Coors beer wasn’t available east of the Mississippi. Heck, the seeming desirability of that beer to easterners served as the McGuffin in a really popular movie. I’m not equating the taste of Double-Double Animal Style burgers to the taste of Coors, but the model would hold: once everyone could get it whenever they wanted, it would cease to be special.

Q: Who’s your favorite obscure Braves reliever from the ’90s or ’00s, and why?

A guy no one — and I mean no one — remembers pitched for the Braves: Dan Petry.  Yep, the Tigers mainstay of the 1980s pitched in relief for the Braves from late June until mid-August 1991 following a trade with Detroit. He was terrible, and after 13 more games with the Red Sox that season he retired. I loved Peaches when I was a kid in Michigan, and seeing him in a Braves uniform in their most magical season was very cool for me.

Q: What is the greatest baseball name of all time?

This didn’t make the cut for video because there was no way I could answer it without saying names that would have, at the very least, caused Tiffany to get angry with me or, at the worst, get me sued, fired or both.  If we steered away from that stuff, however, I’d say former Reds pitcher Ted Power.  It’s a very Ron Swanson “Pyramid of Greatness” kind of name.  And he had a great mustache for a while too.

Q: What is your favorite all time Steve McKenna’d moment you can share?

This refers to the Zane Lamprey show “Three Sheets” — since revived and renamed “Drinking Made Easy” — that most recently appeared on HD Net. I discovered it while I was in New York last weekend and found it fascinating that someone actually made a show out of the idea that every single college kid has ever had: a travel documentary show in which the principals basically sample beers, wines and whiskeys all over the country while being carted around in a big bus.

Steve McKenna is the host’s friend, who would show up in gags and stuff.  I assume this question refers to a funny alcohol-related story.  I’m a mature man now who imbibes responsibly, so there aren’t a ton of stories like that in my life anymore.  But I will say this much: in the fall of 1991 I got in a serious argument with a grocery store clerk that involved (a) the 2AM cutoff for beer sales in Ohio; (b) the fact that it was the night daylight savings ended and clocks were set back; and (c) semantics.  I did not win the argument. Nor should I have. And God bless the woman working the register at the Olentangy River Road Kroger that late Saturday night/early Sunday morning because she totally didn’t need to put up with my nonsense.

Q: Do you believe in Nate McLouth?

Look, anyone can just print up a center fielder. I think we should examine the issue more closely and not take the Braves’ word for it.

Q: When are you coming down to cover a Braves game?

When someone can conclusively prove the existence of Nate McLouth to me.

Q: Why is bourbon your drink of choice? 

It’s complicated. It has to do with growing older, my increased appreciation of complexity and challenges, my belief in moderation in all things and the currency exchange rate a few years ago that made scotch seem like less of a good value.

Q: Is there a height requirement for players?

Yes. All players must have height.  For more information on this matter, ask Freddie Patek.

Thanks for the questions, all.  We’ll do it again next week.

  1. xnumberoneson - May 5, 2011 at 11:13 AM

    Don’t forget about this name I could never utter in front of my girlfriend.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 5, 2011 at 11:34 AM

      Ladies and gents, xnumberoneson has just one today’s internet. Congrats.

    • cur68 - May 5, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      Hoooheeehhheehahahahahheee….he said http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kuntzru01.shtml ….Hoooheeehhheehahahahahheee

      that guy is 6 foot 3! That is one big….

      >I gotta go run the cold water tap on my head. I shouldn’t be laughing like this at work!<

    • crpls - May 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM

      Sadly, it’s pronounced Koontz, rather than how you’d think/hope. So you MIGHT get away with it in front of the gf/wife.

      • cur68 - May 5, 2011 at 2:30 PM

        There is now way of knowing how that’s said just looking at how its written there. I recall an SNL skit featuring Nicholas Cage. He played a character named “Asswipe” which was apparently pronounced “As-weep-eh”. Of course when Rob Schnieder came to the door with a package to deliver and had to read that name…you get the picture.

  2. largebill - May 5, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    Your In and Out burger answer sounds a little like a much wordier version of the old Yogi Berra quote – “No one goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

  3. heyblueyoustink - May 5, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Came across this one a few years ago on names while sitting in a bar..

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/coutljo01.shtml

    As you can imagine, we had some fun with that…..

    And Craig, I could never, *ever*, give up a good single malt for bourbon……that’s borderline heresy chico.

  4. banksatdixie - May 5, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Pete LaCock. Epic.

    • jimbo1949 - May 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM

      Son of Peter Marshall, Hollywood Squares host.

      • professor59 - May 5, 2011 at 4:54 PM

        Surprised it wasn’t mentioned in his bio/link. I mean, it’s not as if he’d be known as an awesome player…

  5. Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    For BC,

    http://image.spreadshirt.com/image-server/image/composition/17859040/view/1/producttypecolor/1/type/png/width/280/height/280/m-ts-men-s-aa_design.png

    • nps6724 - May 5, 2011 at 12:01 PM

      “That’s my style; I like to kick them when they’re down!”

      -Nixon’s head

      • Jonny 5 - May 5, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        Maybe I’m sick? Okay, I’m more than likely sick, but i’d wear that to games if i were a Mutts fan.

  6. nkappel - May 5, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    I think you mean Ubaldo Jimenez, not Jose.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 5, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      Nope. I mean former Cardinals pitcher Jose Jimenez.

      • nkappel - May 5, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Oops, my bad. I always thought Jose was a fictional TV character.

      • jimbo1949 - May 5, 2011 at 3:13 PM

        aka Bill Dana, Steve Allen Tonight Show regular.

  7. birdman6824 - May 6, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    1971- a party at Indiana University the fridge was stocked with legendary (to Indiana) Coors – one guy had brought 24 cases from (Kansas City?) My first thought.. kind of watery, way too mellow for my taste. Then someone said that 12 cases were purchased at a (grocery store?), and thus were 3.2% After scoring a “real” one, my opinion didn’t change. Haven’t had one since.

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