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

Jul 28, 2011, 11:35 AM EDT

The Question

My video setup downstairs has been borked all week thanks to a basement flood. I think we’re all fixed now, but there are some little problems with it, so HBT Daily continues to be on hiatus.

But never fear! Even though I started the Twitter questions thing for the HBT Daily segments, I have way more fun with them in written form, so we continue to go with Charles Victor Szasz on the right hand side and your questions down below.  Ready …. Break!

Q: How did you feel about the “Lets Go Pirates” girl? … Are you training Mookie to be the next Pirates Girl?

That was from two different questioners. For those who don’t know, this is her.  I’ll just say that there’s nothing wrong with a little exuberance among the young.  But just a little, please. I do like that she was doing that in hostile territory, however. Lotta moxie in that girl.  As for Mookie, so far her exuberance at baseball games has been limited to taunting Shelley Duncan and eating hot dogs. Not that either of those are bad things.

Q: Is there a class in law school more boring than professional responsibility? Boy I hope not…

I loved professional responsibility. Probably helped that my professor was a retired navy JAG who liked to drop F-bombs all the time.  Taxation was way worse.  My tax prof. actually thought the tax law was dynamic and spent his days in sorrow that no one agreed with his assessment.

Q: If you come to Kansas City for the All-Star Game, how likely is a fan to be able to exchange a beer for a handshake?

Hell, I’ll give you a handshake for free. But if you want to buy me a beer I’m not gonna break my arm trying to stop you.  And please, let us not overstate the magnitude of my celebrity.  Since I began this gig I have been approached in public exactly twice with “are you Craig Calcaterra?” Once was at a White Sox spring training game back in March, which made me feel kind of cool.  The other time was in my local supermarket, with the approacher being the mother of one of the kids in my son’s kindergarten class who only knew me through the celebrity of my son, such as it is.

Q: Who would you rather have a drink with, Satan or Francoeur?

Just to be clear: I don’t hate Francoeur and don’t think he’s evil. I loathe the Francoeur industrial complex that surrounds him wherever he goes, facts be damned, but I don’t think he’s evil.  That said, you have to figure that Satan tells WAY better stories after having a nip or two than Jeffy does, and you figure that he knows all the best bars. So Satan it is.

Q: I’ve never seen someone call for more bunts than Fredi Gonzalez. Truly the King of Bunts.

This was not a question. But it was a statement of truth.

Q: Wife and I are planning a trip to Pittsburgh and Cleveland the last weekend of the season. Chances we see two pennant races? 

I think the chances that you see two are almost zero and the chances you see one is pretty dim.  I said it before, but I think Pittsburgh is going to fade.  I suspect Cleveland will too, but the AL Central is possessed of a far more profound mediocrity than the NL Central, so they may still have a puncher’s chance.

Q: If you were Mayday Malone (and for the love of all things bourbon, not a recovering alcoholic), Diane or Rebecca?

Good question. Maybe a great one.  On the one hand, the 1980s version of Kirstie Alley was pretty smokin’ hot.  On the other hand, the Diane Chambers character was pretty much crazy, and part of me suspects that it would be good-crazy in the bedroom.  I fear if I say anymore I’m going to enter Bill Simmons territory, though, so let’s just leave it there.

Q:  What are your thoughts on Continental Drift?

It’s a liberal conspiracy.

Q: What are the chances The Giants sign Beltran to a longer term deal?

Probably better than anyone else’s.  They have money and can give him a position to play and are historically not afraid of giving deals to older players.  Word on the street was that Boras wanted Beltran traded to San Francisco for precisely that reason.

Q: Bourbon and baseball on television have helped me through microfracture surgery.

Again, this wasn’t a question, but a tweet sent in my direction by a reader.  The way I see it, if Tommy John gets a surgery named after him after it helped him with his health, life and career, I should get the bourbon and baseball treatment named after me.

Q: Do you have a favorite American League team?

The 1984 Tigers?  Nah, I don’t. My Tigers love is purely historical. The post-1987 versions of the team mean nothing to me.  There are some AL teams I like more than others for no real good reason, but nothing approaching a favorite status.

Q: It’s ok that we all absolutely despise the Yankees, right?

Absolutely. And I’m sure that they and their fans don’t care a lick if we do.

Q: Would your rather be a beer snob or a bourbon snob?

Snobs of any variety — throw in wine too — are awful, but I see no reason why one can’t enjoy all of the divine spirits God has seen fit to give us.  But really, if you go on about how awesome your Olde ObscuraBrau IPA is and how it has ruined you from ever drinking a run-of-the-mill lager, I’m probably going to get annoyed at you fairly quickly.

Q: Is it time to get rid of the saves stat?

Well, we’ll never get rid of it. But it is certainly long past the time when we should be ignoring it.

Q: What was your favorite level on Sonic 2?

My roommates from my sophomore year in college got this and played it incessantly. I chose to drink beer, carouse with women and get excellent grades.  Strangely enough, my post-college life has been pretty awesome.

Q: What do you think of Rob Neyer’s point that there’s no replay definitively showing Meals blew the call?

We’re all entitled to our opinion.  I happen to disagree with Rob’s definition of “definitively” here.

Q: Which happens first: expanded replay, or the Athletics moving to San Jose?

Given that they’re both in a Bud Selig-created committee right now, I expect that the Sun will go supernova before either of those things happen.

Q: This is being given away next Friday. Where will you display yours?

Next to that picture I have of the questioner with a big X through his face, on the table by my copy of “Catcher in the Rye” and love letters to Jodie Foster.

Q: Why Willie Bloomquist?

Because Yuniesky Betancourt already has a job in Milwaukee?

Q: Instead of instant replay, how about do-overs?

As long as we don’t call them Mulligans.

Q: Bacon. Greatest man made invention ever: Fact, or Scientific Fact?

I love bacon as much as the next guy, but I think people routinely overstate its awesomeness.  If you measured by VORBM (Value Over Replacement Breakfast Meat) you’ll find that it’s nowhere nearly as far ahead of sausage as, say, pie is over cake in VOBD (Value Over Baked Dessert).  It’s great, but it has some serious competition.

Q: Where do you think B.J. Upton will end up?

Long term: dead, as will we all.  Oh, grim mortality. Why dost thou insist upon thyself so forcefully!

Q: Thoughts on the new Aquaman?

This questioner happens to co-author a blog with the joker who asked me about the Hrbek-Gant bobblehead.  Sorry readers, but going forward you shall no longer be presented with links to stories written by The Platoon Advantage as a result of their insolence.

As for Aquaman: I think it’s funny that the whole excerpt of that comic is designed to combat the ridicule of Aquaman prevalent in the general discourse.  Batman may be rebooted from time to time, but no one has ever had to apologize for Batman.

Q: Favorite WKRP episode? I mean, can you beat the Turkey Drop?

WKRP — perhaps the best show ever — is most commonly praised for the Turkey Drop episode, but I think that, like bacon, people overdo it.  There were other fantasitc episodes besides the Turkey Drop.  How about the one where Johnny and Venus drank with the state trooper in the booth in order to show the effects of alcohol? And of course, the Scum of the Earth episode was most righteous. And yes, I know that people under 35 or 40 have no idea what I’m talking about.

Q: What is the best way to eat Cincinnati chili? 3-way, coneys, or Skyline dip?

I’ve been in Ohio for nearly 20 years and I have to say that I still don’t really understand or appreciate Cincinnati-style chili, be it Skyline, Gold Star or the stuff people make at home.  I don’t begrudge the people who like it, but chili should be chunkier and sassier than that. It’s very much like my take on Chicago-style pizza.  It’s a fine product for what it is, but it’s not what I’m looking for when I’m wanting pizza.  Same with the Cincy chili.

Q: How do magnets work?

Miracles. Magic everywhere in this bitch.  Are you a believer in miracles? Do you have time for the miracles?

Q: If you could go back in time and have Jerry Meals screw up one call, what would it be?

I’d have him take Jim Leyritz’s homer in the 1996 World Series off the board. Maybe he calls it foul. Maybe he says that Leyrtiz had called time first.  Maybe it’s a pine tar thing. But if that hadn’t happened, I’d probably be a better man for it right now.

Q: Do idiot Braves fans hate Jason Heyward as much as idiot Phils fans hate Domonic Brown?

I know a number of idiot Braves fans, but their m.o. is completely opposite that of idiot Phillies fans. Rather than irrational hate, they’re pretty big on irrational love.  I mean, I love Heyward too, but the guy certainly has some sort of problems going on right now.  Maybe you just play him and hope it works itself out, but don’t sit there and tell me that something isn’t amiss with the dude, ya know?

Q: On a scale of 1-10 how excited are you for the Dark Knight Rises?

My excitement meter for all things Batman-related goes to 11.  It’s one more excited, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be all excited at ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on ten on your Batman excitement. Where can you go from there? Where? Nowhere. What I do is, if I need that extra push over the cliff, you know what I do? Put it up to eleven.

That’s all we got this week.  Be on the Twitter next Wednesday evening for the next round of questions.

  1. gammagammahey - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    Your classification of bacon as only a Breakfast Meat is really ignoring its ability to play multiple positions in the daily meal lineup.

  2. ThatGuy - Jul 28, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    I’ve also never understood Cincy Chili. Its like chili soup. Needs to be much thicker.

  3. sdelmonte - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    I just got a preview for a new comic from a baseball blog. And yet Comic Book Resources never has any analysis of the Mets. That doesn’t seem right. (If you ask me what my biggest hobbies are, it’s DC Comics and the Mets.)

    Generations are truly deprived of WKRP, but we must deprive them until the DVDs of the show have the right music. Assuming you just don’t watch the show on YouTube. My favorite episodes are any with Johnny Fever as featured player.

  4. lawnovel - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    I’ll confess: the bourbon and baseball treatment for microfracture therapy was intended to be a question, but it was a long day, I haven’t set my right foot on the ground for three weeks, and, well, if the Maker’s Mark were my bullpen, I was Joe Torre last night.

  5. danandcasey - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    True, “Hoodlum Rock” rocks and Johnny’s reflexes getting faster the more he drinks is as epic as Felix Hernandez’s arm or Brian Wilson’s beard — but, I laugh out loud just knowing that “Turkeys Away” will be shown sometime during the week.

  6. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    “[Bacon is] great, but it has some serious competition.”

    Seriously? When was the last time you wrapped a sausage link around a filet? Or put it on a burger with cheddar? Or crumbled a ham steak on a baked potato? Or wrapped it around a scallop and grilled it?

    Granted, the other breakfast meats are very good, but this is like comparing Babe Ruth to Jim Rice. Sure Rice is good, but he isn’t bacon by any means. The fact that pie so thoroughly outpaces cake has as much to do with the inadequacies of cake as it does the deliciousness of pie. Throw strudels and tarts into the equation and pie’s lead certainly shrinks considerably.

    G-d d@mn I am hungry!

    • kinggeorge96 - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      I had my mouse cursor over the thumbs-up button till I read the section on pie over cake… I just can’t do it now… tsk, tsk

      • paperlions - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        If you don’t understand how thoroughly pie DOMINATES cake, you must not have grown up in the south or mid-west, where you get to experience all of the various wonders that are pie.

      • kinggeorge96 - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:14 PM

        No Sir.. NYC born and breed.. eating CAKE! Not much of a fruit guy, so I cannot be swayed either, although I will admit to loving a good pumpkin pie, but that’s as far as I go! Don’t know if that counts, but maybe we can call it common ground and meet in the middle?

    • RickyB - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      When I’m eating a filet, the last thing I want to taste is the overpowering stench that is bacon. Granted, I hate bacon, but still, I’m eating filet, let me taste the filet.

      • nocryinginbaseball07 - Jul 30, 2011 at 7:56 AM

        If Marie Antoinette had said “let them eat pie”, she might have kept her head. How sad history’s decisions can be!

  7. The Common Man - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Why not just make 10 higher?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM

      [stares blankly]

      This one goes to eleven.

  8. halladaysbiceps - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:23 PM


    Q: Do idiot Braves fans hate Jason Heyward as much as idiot Phils fans hate Domonic Brown?
    “I know a number of idiot Braves fans, but their m.o. is completely opposite that of idiot Phillies fans. Rather than irrational hate, they’re pretty big on irrational love.

    Irrational hate? Have you seen Dom Brown in the outfield this year and his inability to catch a baseball or make proper throws to the cutoff man? It’s not irrational hate. It’s logical criticism. We know what a major league outfielder looks like and he’s not one at this point. Not even close.

    Heyward may be struggling at the plate this year, but has a pretty decent glove in the Braves games this season that I’ve seen. You can live with some offensive growing pains with a young player, but cannot also have the young man play atrocious defense in the field.

    That’s the difference between Heyward and Brown. Heyward MUCH better with the glove.

  9. shanemcdowell - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    I’m only 32, but my parents watched a lot of WKRP on Nick at Night. Anyway, I seem to remember one where they put masking tape on the floor to simulate offices/cubes. I always enjoyed that one.

  10. joshftw - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    Follow up on the Batman question:
    Was your enthusiasm at 11 for “Batman and Robin?”
    And if so, do you also rank Joel Schumaker as one of history’s greatest monsters?

  11. Bill - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    Only one copy of Catcher in the Rye? I feel like I’m probably pretty safe then.

  12. h2otown66 - Jul 28, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Craig, you had an opportunity to link to a 80-era photo or Kirstie Alley, and you *didn’t* choose a photo of Saavik? What’s the matter with you?

  13. The Common Man - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    I am sad to have been banned from HBT by his lordship, Ser Craig. Never knew he was as big a pushover as Ron Gant.

    • kopy - Jul 28, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      Push? Everybody knows Ron Gant fell on his own!

    • Kevin S. - Jul 28, 2011 at 9:04 PM

      Ser? You may love George R.R. Martin now, but you’re going to hate the fact that you can’t quit him soon enough.

  14. nolanwiffle - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    Vacationing in Pittsburgh and Cleveland? You need a new travel agent.

  15. aaronmoreno - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    The best part of ethics class is that under California rules, lawyers can’t exchange sex for legal services. We have to be TOLD that in this state.

  16. hebrahhammer - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:18 PM

    How does one reconcile the following statements:

    “Strangely enough, my post-college life has been pretty awesome.”

    “I’ve been in Ohio for nearly 20 years…”

    • roadwearyaaron - Jul 28, 2011 at 5:37 PM

      Columbus: I like to think we’re surrounded by Ohio but not actually in it.

  17. cur68 - Jul 28, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    A line I use to this very day “Cop got a hat. I wanna hat.” Use it every time I go golfing, put on my hat, and we walk on the course. This is because my long time golf partner, my brother in law, of whom I am keeping custody after the divorce, is a cop. He never fails to laugh.

    As to bacon’s lack of supremacy, you are wrong. Cake can be made with bacon fat. Thus cake & bacon are linked in their co-joint of awesome.

  18. RickyB - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    WKRP episode with Vicki von Vicki is a classic, and I certainly agree about the on-air drinking with the state trooper.

    And give me Chicago stuffed pizza every day of the week. That New York “pizza” is simply a cracker with some sauce and cheese on it. And plenty of grease. Yuck. And yes, I’m a pizza snob.

    • Alex K - Jul 28, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Done correctly both styles of pizza (New York and Chicago) are delicious. I can never understand why some can’t accept both.

      If I had a choice between the two I go Chicago deep dish 7 out of 10 times, however.

  19. foreverchipper10 - Jul 28, 2011 at 3:12 PM

    The dwarves are taller than stonehenge.

  20. feartherallythong - Jul 28, 2011 at 4:57 PM

    Some people come to HBT for the baseball – I come in hopes of the occasional WKRP and Spinal Tap drops.
    Today was a good day…

  21. cktai - Jul 29, 2011 at 5:39 AM

    On a pedantic note, the sun will most likely not end in a supernova. It will became a red giant and then relatively slowly excrete matter and fade out to a white dwarf.

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