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

Jun 16, 2011, 11:32 AM EDT

The Question

It’s Thursday, so it’s Twitter mailbag day. These are the ones that did not make the cut for today’s edition of HBT Daily (stay tuned for those) The reason a lot of them didn’t make that cut: they were way, way, way too geeky for Tiffany to get through without incredible amounts of self-loathing, because she did got get into this business to talk about Star Trek and stuff with a bald guy in his basement. Anyway:

Q: What is this “NHL” and why is my twitter feed full of it?

Good question. I’ve been trying to figure that out for a few weeks now.

Q: Why does Boston have to win? AGAIN?

Because there is no God.

Q: How old do you think Livan Hernandez actually is?

He’s supposedly 36. Maybe he’s 36 in Euros, but in good old American years, no way.

Q: At this rate, does Edwin Rodriguez make it through the season?

The idea that the Marlins will continue to lose at this rate is shocking, but no, I would not be at all surprised to see him gone before the season is out. I think Loria wants a clean slate heading into the new ballpark.

Q: Will I be able to watch the Moneyball movie without rolling my eyes the whole time?

I can’t say I was enthralled by the trailer. My guess: people who are total baseball freaks like us will feel like our intelligence is being insulted, people who are not won’t find the kind of personal story that they made out of “The Blind Side,” which was the last Michael Lewis sports book adaptation.

Q: Should slump-busters be considered “performance enhancers”?

Note: that question came courtesy of the inimitable Old Hoss Radbourn. Well, I suppose that, since it is an account pretending to be Old Hoss Radbourn that the real deal is totally imitable. But the fake one is inimitable, that I can tell you.

As for the question: First, I’d like to see the testing regimen if they are.  More broadly, as was the case with steroids, I think the real injustice in this sort of performance enhancer is when those who would not otherwise partake feel forced to. So, if there are poor, poor players hooking up with slump busters against their will, then yes, it is a scourge upon the game.

Q: If Hegel’s dialectic holds true, what will result from Mauer (thesis) joining the Twins (antithesis) this weekend?

I object to the premise of the question, because most of the time the antithesis in any dialectic is selected to suit the user’s subjective purpose. Plus, I faked my way through Hegel back in college because he was the absolute worst writer of all of the major philosophers. At least if you’re the sort of person who does not enjoy 18-part sentences with 22 dependent clauses in each. I read just enough so I could understand Marx, who is way more fun. At least now that the “killing and enslaving millions while falsely invoking his theories” part of history is almost over.

Q:  Is addition through subtraction a part of sabremetrics?

I would have said no, but ever since I heard about “OPSBI’s” this morning my brain has been melting and I don’t know what to think.

Q:  If the Braves grounds crew were screwing with players hurting them should they go after Jose Reyes or Dan Uggla?

The fact that they didn’t stake a hungry tiger next to where Uggla sets up on defense is proof positive that their primary motive was not to give the Braves a competitive advantage.

Q: When the Astros move to the AL, 1 or 2 yrs before Berkman is their DH?

I don’t think there is anything more inevitable in the entire galaxy than this happening.

And speaking of the galaxy, let’s do some sci-fi, OK?

Q: Compare major league managers to Star Trek characters. 

I’ll let someone else make a list because that’s what comments sections are made for, but I know for certain that Tony La Russa is Captain Edward Jellico, who briefly took over the Enterprise when Picard was on a secret mission on Cardassia. Stern, difficult, and insists on his unorthodox manner to such a degree that he alienates even the most useful members of his crew (Riker, who is roughly equivalent to Scott Rolen for these purposes). But in the end? Effective, and we just have to reconcile that.

Q: Well, how many lights are there?

There are … four … lights [stalks off naked, eschewing assistance from the guards]

Q: Why did [character redacted] have to die?

That question was about the movie “Serenity,” and I redacted the character in the interest of not spoiling anything. But for those who know who I’m talking about: no, I can’t think of any dramatic reason for that character’s death and it was one of my problems with the movie.

Q: What’s a more devestating loss: Anderson to the A’s or Spock to Kirk?

If only Anderson could be recovered as easily as Spock was after his death.

Q: Did you cry at the end of “The Inner Light?”

No. [maybe].

Q:  Most accurate film involving law/lawyers? Most inaccurate? 

There aren’t many accurate ones, which is why watching legal movies when you’re a lawyer is difficult (and why baseball geeks watching Moneyball will be difficult). But I ain’t lying when I say that “My Cousin Vinnie” gets more right than the vast majority of courtroom movies.  The most inaccurate: there are a ton of possibilities, but “Primal Fear” was godawful from a legal perspective.

Q:  If bourbon was never invented would you choose suicide or euthanasia?

My darling, don’t be silly. I’d choose scotch.

Q: Better miracle worker: Dave Duncan or Geordi LaForge?

Duncan, because he doesn’t have Data bailing his butt out all the time. LaForge: biggest glory hound in history. Yeah, I said it.

Q: Matt Smith, David Tennant or Christopher Ecclesto?

I’ll admit it: I’ve never ever watched Dr. Who in any of its incarnations. Just never came up. I’m a geek, but more of a narrow one than a renaissance geek.

Q: Are Fox Mulder and Dana Scully perfect together or completely wrong for each other?

Completely wrong. Or, at least that’s what I thought the last time I considered the matter, which happened to be, oh, 1996 or so, when I was under the strong conviction that Dana Scully should have married me.

Q:  Who’d be the best MLB’er? Data, Worf or Geordi?

Data, but all the MSM writers would disparage him because of his analytic approach to the game. They’d love Worf because of his passion.

Q: Which is worse: Fox cancels Firefly after 14 episodes or has Joe Buck and Tim McCarver doing the World Series?

See above answer about there being no God.

Thanks for the questions, folks. There were a ton more of the sci-fi ones I didn’t get to, but at some point I have to stop or I’m not going to be able to be productive for the rest of the day. Which, ain’t a bad thing, but you know how it is.

  1. kinggeorge96 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM

    Tom Baker as Dr. Who… he was my fav from when I was a kid.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:02 PM

      Yes, Tom Baker. The definitive Doctor, IMHO.

      Of the current crop, Matt Smith.

  2. skipperxc - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    You know why [character] had to die? Because Joss Whedon hates his fans. Makes me angry every time I watch, and I love that series.

    • ralphdibny - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:05 PM

      Joss Whedon kills what he loves, and then calls it drama. He’s done it in everything he’s ever written.

    • hughhansen - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:31 PM


      I thought the movie did a good job of making it seem like all the characters might not make it out of there alive, and [character’s] death effectively contributed to that.

      • Senor Cardgage - Jun 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM


        When [the first character who died] died, I thought, okay, Joss has gotten it out of his system. But then [the second character] died. At this point we knew a couple of things: (1) The movie, which almost didn’t even happen, was a coda to the series, and so there was no reason anyone had to survive (because there were no future episodes planned). (2) The crew could have [done the thing they were trying to do] and, as long as they finished the task, they would have been considered successful even if they’d all been killed afterward. It would have been an especially downer ending, but their deaths would all have been noble and thus acceptable on some level. Therefore, I was prepared for everyone to die, or at least more of them, especially [you know who].

        So, for me, [the second character’s] death greatly enhanced the story because I spent the entire climax of the film truly believing none of them would survive and felt that much better when they did.

    • acheron2112 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:43 PM

      Pretty much. I think Joss even said once that [character] didn’t die originally, but after going back over the script, Joss decided “Hey, I should kill someone else, too.”

  3. cur68 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    FYI: Tennant was the best Dr. Who. He’s named after a beer for God’s sake.
    Worf would be the best. He’d KILL the opposition. Literally.
    Bones McCoy = Charlie Manuel
    Mr. Scott = Terry Fancona
    Lt. Uhura = Dusty Baker

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      Actually, to all the “Sit’n’Spit” FranCOMA naysayers up here in New England, he’s actually most like the wheelchair bound, catatonic Captain Pike:

      I don’t agree, but Francona has a lot of detractors, mostly the “sky-is-falling-if-we-lose-one-game” types who call into Boston sports radio.

      • cur68 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        With the telescope I use to keep an eye on Planet BoSox I can tell you from here it looks like Francona is in the engine bay, working a miracle. It holds up when you look at how this season started and where they are now. I can just hear him;

        “Cap’n, me players cannae tek more a this. Can we no git a break?” Then he tweaks the bolt in Beckett’s neck and hey presto a 1 hitter. I swear he tops up Ortiz with dilithium crystals every night and changes the flux capacitors in Youkalis weekly all the while looking hopelessly overmatched by circumstance. The man is a wizard I tell you.

      • aceshigh11 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        I totally agree…I love Francona. He’s not a particularly good in-game, over-strategizing type of manager, but he’s good with the players and always keep things on an even keel.

        But you’d be surprised how many people up here call for his head every year if the Sox don’t have an 81-0 record by the All-Star game.

    • raysfan1 - Jun 17, 2011 at 12:15 AM

      So who’s the poor unfortunate red-shirted (and thus doomed) guest star?

  4. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    If you were real nerds like myself, you’d have watched, and be up-to-date with, ‘Game of Thrones’ by now. Get up to speed nerds.

    • benyamen - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:12 PM

      True nerds would have already read the books like myself and scoff at the series and those who watch it for its many plotholes and inaccuracies.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:20 PM

        Such is the way of all adapted material put onto television and film. One should expect such things and watch the show for the highlights that the books can’t possibly show (sexy ladies, battle scenes, golden crowns, real-life dwarfs, etc.)….especially the “Imp”…I love that character.

    • Ace - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM

      Yay, I pass the real nerd test! Absolutely amazing show; that foul-mouthed little imp may be the best character on TV right now. But can you believe they killed off [character redacted]? Having never read the books, that completely blew my mind.

      • benyamen - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        My friend … if you are troubled by the death of [character redacted] just wait until they kill off [character redacted] and then [character redacted] [action redacted] [character redacted] then [action redacted]! That’s going to be awesome on TV!

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 16, 2011 at 1:56 PM

        That’s the thing w/ this show…I can’t truly love any characters too much, like I do other shows, b/c all characters are on the hot-seat every episode (if you haven’t read the books of course). The imp can’t die though can he? That’d hurt me soul a bit.

      • acheron2112 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        Yeah, what benyamen said. Killing off [character redacted] is just the tip of the iceberg. You have no idea what you’re getting into.

  5. halladaysbicepts - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    Captain Kirk could whip that French punk Picard, hands down.

    However, Commander Data could whip them both at the same time because he’s an android.

    Chuck Norris could defeat Commander Data with ease because, well, he’s Chuck Norris.

  6. deathmonkey41 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    They got Brad Pitt to play Billy Beane? If they do a movie about Suzyn Waldman- are they going to cast Megan Fox to play her?

    • aceshigh11 - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      I just watched the trailer…looks like a fun little film that has very little relation to what actually happened.

      The weirdest part is the great Philip Seymour Hoffman plays Art Howe, and doesn’t speak one word of dialogue during the trailer.

  7. kingkillerstudios - Jun 16, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    That’s NOT the real Old Hoss Radbourn?!

  8. acheron2112 - Jun 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    Oh, so while we’re on this. Craig, I believe you said before that you never got into DS9 — did you at least see any of the baseball references in the show? There was a whole baseball episode. It’s pretty terrible, granted, but Worf trying to do chatter and coming up with “Death to the opposition!” is worthwhile.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      Though Worf may have meant it literally.

    • Senor Cardgage - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:14 PM

      That episode had such wasted potential. I could pick it apart bit by bit, but that’s probably not worthwhile. Instead, I’ll just mention two: (1) Odo’s umpire mechanics were awful (and why was there just one ump?). (2) Max Grodenchik (the actor who played Rom) was an actual semipro player at one time, and they really should have done more with him.

      Worf had another priceless line. When Nog asks what he should do about the runner who missed home, Worf replies, “Find him and kill him!”

  9. goldstar4robotboy - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    THIS, not the other post, is where I should thank you for the answer to my law question.

    So, thank you for the answer to my law question!

  10. natstowngreg - Jun 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Scotty was the true miracle worker.

    As a performance-enhanced being (PEB), Data wouldn’t be allowed to play. He’d become a GM and in his spare time, make important advances in sabermetrics.

    Allowing Geordi to play would probably end MLB up in the Supreme Court. Is his visor a performance enhancement, or a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act?

    Worf would take “bench-clearing brawls” seriously, and do much damage to catchers and second basemen. Meanwhile, the media would twist his sense of honor to make him look like Milton Bradley.

  11. sportsdrenched - Jun 16, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Ok, I didn’t get this one in last night.
    Does Dr James Andrews have to give Tommy John a cut (as in a royalty, not flesh) of every Tommy John Surgery he performs? Kind of like the guy who invented the barcode gets a cut of everything?

  12. benyamen - Jun 16, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    I am so happy to know this forum exists. To finally have a place where my nerd-dom and sports interests happily coalesce is nigh unto finding Shangri-La. Darmok and Jalad at Tenagra folks. Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra.

    • acheron2112 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:31 PM

      You’ve given me an idea: We should come up with Darmok-style baseball references.

      Instead of saying that I’m excited about something, I say “Jeter, his fist pumping.” Threatening to hit somebody? “Ryan and Ventura at Arlington”. Disappointment would be “Eckersley, when Gibson hit.” Relief could be “Byung-Hyun Kim, in game 7.”

      • cur68 - Jun 16, 2011 at 11:53 PM

        And a strike out would be “Adam & Dunn” as in “Strike 3 and he’s Adam & Dunn!”

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