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

Aug 18, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

The Question

After a week off of the old Twitter questions, let’s see what ya got for me:

Q: Grosser habit: nail chewing or spitting?

Spitting, by far. Nail chewing ain’t great, but it suggests inner turmoil for which I have some bit of empathy. Spitting just means you’re freaking rude and gross.

Q: Can you think of an crafty righties?

I can’t think of anyone being called that, but right-handers have to be crafty, right?  Guys with no velocity who get dudes out for reasons that are neither clear nor replicable by other, similarly talented righties? Freddy Garcia has to be a crafty righty, no?

Q: Will there be a new CBA by the World Series?

I can’t imagine that, if for no other reason than Selig and company don’t like news to interfere with the playoffs and the playoffs start in a little over a month. In reality, though, they’re just not there yet. If I had to guess, I’d say that they’ll have it sewn up by Christmas, though. Maybe even at the Winter Meetings in early December, so they can all have a big “ha-ha-ha, look at our labor harmony, other leagues” party.

Q: What have you been doing the past week?

This week? Working. Last week: I took the kids up to Traverse City, Michigan to play on beaches in front of crystal-clear waters and wonder why in the hell, when I can live anywhere on the planet with the job I have, I choose to live in suburban Columbus, Ohio.

Q: Please summarize the bourbon experience of your vacation?

Kind of lacking, actually. For reasons that are complicated but which involved the most inconsiderately-timed death from cancer imaginable (the nerve of some people), I ended up taking the vacation with just the kids and I, with the wife staying back home. Contrary to the persona I cultivate on the interwebs, I don’t typically sit and drink brown liquor by myself in quantity. Well, at least if I’m not watching a ballgame.  So while I did take a bottle of Johnny Drum with me to the vacation condo, I only had a tiny nip each night after the kids went to bed. And then I went to bed, usually by 10:30 or so.  Can’t stop Dad. You can only hope to contain him.

Q: Vin Scully excluded, who is your favorite TV and radio announcers?

I like Uecker on the radio. Krukow and Kuiper are great on TV, but I don’t watch enough Giants games to really get a full dose of them. Same goes for Scully for that matter. Len Kasper, doing Cubs games, is a guy I like a whole hell of a lot too, and I’m not just saying that because he’s an HBT reader. He should be doing national games for FOX or ESPN or whoever gets the rights to broadcast ballgames the next time they’re up for bid.

Q: How do you live with yourself?

With healthy amounts of self-loathing and self-medication.

Q: Best music video ever… Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer, or something else?

Sledgehammer may be the worst thing that happened to music videos ever.  Perhaps the single-biggest “distract-the-viewer-from-the-actual-song” video in history. I really wish I was able to listen to Sledgehammer without the video dominating my consciousness, because I’m genuinely curious to hear if Gabriel’s intention — to take off on some sort of Memphis soul thing — was as misguided in practice as it seems in theory. All I can do now when I listen to that song now is think of animated fruit.

Oh, best video ever: “Bastards of Young” by the Replacements. And if you disagree, well, you’re wrong.

Q: Now that draft picks are signed and all, who makes a WS first: Pirates, Rockies, Nats or D-Backs?

You’re asking the guy who thought the Cubs would win the Central this year and who, as late as August 2010, thought that the Giants were doomed? Eh, screw it: the Dbacks.

Q: I just filed my first SEC report – what’s the proper way to celebrate…head in the oven or toe to the shotgun?

Look, the Southeastern Conference is depressing, I realize that. All of those people with nothing else in their life except college football, using their achievement in that one area to compensate for so many other faults. But it’s no reason to think about taking your life, son.  Or did you mean securities law?  If the latter, I’d suggest a quick acting poison. You can never trust gas or bullets.

Q: If you could design an unlikely triple play, what form would it take?

I’d like to see a lazy fly ball to left turn into a triple play when two baserunners simultaneously believe that there were two outs in an inning when, in fact, there were none.

Q: What do you feel did the Articles of Confederation in?

Has to be the way it hamstrung foreign policy. Specifically the Jay-Gardoqui Treaty which onerous ratification requirements ultimately scuttled.  I mean, how much better off would we have been if we gave up rights to use the Mississippi River to the Spaniards for 30 years? Leagues better, I say. Leagues.

Q: While most people think Ryan Howard is overpaid, doesn’t the fact that they can afford it and that it raised price for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder justify it?

Pop quiz, hot shot: the store is going to raise the price of a can of soda to eight dollars. You can still swing that, I’m sure. And to make you feel better, your neighbors have to pay the same eight dollars for their juice, beer and coffee. That make it OK?

Q: Are you considering changing your name to Calcarerra?

This after my name was mangled on a Philly radio show the other day. On which I wasn’t appearing, or else they would have had a producer get it right beforehand, which they always do.  Doesn’t bother me at all. I have a pain in the butt last name, and I’m happy that it was simply being mentioned, even if it was mispronounced. Especially because it was mentioned in annoyance by people who think Ryan Howard is the best hitter in baseball.

Q: Say something bad about Jim Thome.

He’s a horrible break dancer.

Q: Should there be instant replay of instant replay?

I thought about it for a minute after that Billy Butler home run call last night, but I’m ultimately against it because I’m pretty sure that’s how SkyNet became self-aware.

Q: Hey Norm! If you were a hotdog… and you were starving… would you eat yourself?

I know I would. I’d smother myself in brown mustard and relish. I’d be so delicious.

Q: Why is it that you don’t want Philadelphia fans to be happy?

I actually don’t mind if they are. I hope they are, even. But someone did seriously accuse me of not wanting Philly fans to be happy recently. People actually think that I have real ire towards Philly fans, when it’s something like 95% amusement, 5% mild irritation.

Q: Has HBT changed formats, become a Phillies’ chat-room, and I just didn’t get the memo?

They certainly have taken over, haven’t they?  But that’s fine. The regulars who comment here are all reasonable people who I’ve come to like quite a bit and I’m glad they’re here.  I troll the crap out of Philly fans, but they’re passionate and I’m happy that they show up every day.  I will be curious, however, to see if they continue to do so in a few years when the Phillies are struggling to reach .500.

Q: How many teams have you been accused of hating during your illustrious writing career?

Not as many as Keith Law — who has been accused of hating every team ever — but many more than I actually hate. In fact, I hate zero teams.

Q: Godfather I vs Godfather II?

Kind of not fair. Two radically different movies that I like for different reasons. The first is obviously so classic with so many comfortably familiar things that it’s like a well broken-in piece of clothing you never want to part with. Part II is probably a better film from a 1970s film snob point of view (a point of view I will admit I am a total pushover for), and would be more akin to a sharp suit that you look absolutely fabulous in.  I refuse to choose. I want my nice suit and my worn out hoodie, and you’ll never get me to offer a preference.

Q: Do you miss our endless Craig Calcaterra’s wife jokes?

For those unaware, my wife became a moderately-sized meme on Baseball Think Factory, hell, almost nine or ten years ago I guess. That was fun. At least until she became aware of it.

Q: How much longer does Jose “hot hand” Constanza start over Heyward?

Probably until having him in the lineup every day has costs the Braves their tenth or eleventh loss at his regressing-to-the-mean hands.

Q: Is Ron Washington on the powder again for suggesting Young as MVP or does he have a case?

Wait, he’s really doing that?  If so, I have to believe that it’s to stroke Young’s ego, not because he believes it. In other news, can you think of an alleged “team player” who has had more ego issues and problems about his role than Michael Young?

Q: Do you miss being a practicing lawyer?

No, I do not. And if I ever get even a bit of an itch to be in that world again, I go have a beer with some of my former coworkers and I am reminded once again why I started my old blog in the first place.

Q: Hi Craig… world wants to know… coke or pepsi? Personally I will take a Dr. Pepper please.

I love me some Dr. Pepper, but I happen to be a Coke man. Diet Coke or Coke Zero, actually, though occasionally I’ll drink the hard stuff. I just don’t care much for Pepsi, especially Diet Pepsi, which has a sweetness that is a bit too cloying for me.  In all honestly, however, I realize that it’s all basically battery acid that is killing me from the inside. I am giving serious consideration to trying to kick it.  And yes, I just took a swig of Diet Coke as I was typing this.

Q: Who wins best-of-seven: 2011 Astros vs 2003 Tigers?

Whoever is scheduling programming opposite that series. The rest of us lose.

Q: You mentioned “rage comics” in a recent post. What’s your favorite?

Man, they’re reader-generated so there are hundreds and hundreds of them a day, so I’m sort of blanking on a particular favorite. I tend to like any of them that end in either this face or this face, however.

Q: Did you know that the little things at the ends of shoelaces are called aglets, and that their purpose is sinister?

I knew they were aglets, because I used to watch the Snigglets segments on the old “Not Necessarily the News” show on HBO back in the day. Rich Hall, yo.  I did not know they were evil, however. If they are, that may mean that flip flops have one redeeming quality.

Q: You’re on a desert island with your kids and one classic 80s cartoon – what do you take? Favorite episode ending lessons?

G.I. Joe. No question. And the best episode ending lesson was easily “Pork Chop Sandwiches.” (NSFW language).

That’s all I got this time, kiddies. We’ll do another Twitterbag next week. Which sounds dirty, but it isn’t.

  1. drunkenhooliganism - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    “I will be curious, however, to see if they continue to do so in a few years when the Phillies are stuggling to reach .500.”

    Comments about the Phillies will decrease by about 99%. It’s not a bad thing, it’s reality.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

      Muxh as I hate to give Phillies fans credit for having any redeeming q

      • natstowngreg - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:22 PM

        oops, wrong key at wrong time. Edit Function!!

        Anyhow. Much as I hate giving Phillies fans credit for any redeeming qualities, I’ll praise them for this. While I detest front-runners, their front-runners do a pretty good job. Some markets’ front-runners can’t be bothered to show up at the ballpark, but Philly’s show up in droves. [Unfortunately, they also show up at our ballpark in droves.]

      • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:43 PM

        I’ve always followed the Phillies since watching Michael Jack Schmidt at the vet. Mind you, I was not there for his glory years. I was watching since 85, a few years removed from greatness, and pretty much endured a microcosm of the franchise as a whole through the rest of the 80’s and 90’s. All I had to root for was 93. But I still kept hoping things would turn. They eventually did, but for a long time I would check the newspapers to see HOW they managed to goof yet another game, more often than not… You’ll see me around here if HBT is around to witness Philly stumble, older and probably sounding a lot like Gator…

      • natstowngreg - Aug 18, 2011 at 6:54 PM

        Tough crowd. Thumbs down for a typo.

        Having rooted for a losing team the past 7 seasons, and spending a lot of time and money on that losing team, I understand. (Except for the part about sounding like Old Gator.) There has to be some hope, based on a belief that the team is trying to get better. I’ve endured a lot of bad baseball because there was at least a little hope for improvement (and because Nats Park is a nice place to watch a game, and because the Nats aren’t the Orioles).

        BTW, I visited the Vet once, in 1988. Dreary park, dreary day, dreary game, booing fans. Mike Schmidt was booed for making an error (granted, it was near the end of his career).

      • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:10 PM

        The Nats will most assuredly get better (Werth albatross notwithstanding). Hopefully for you guys he’ll be motivated to do better next year and start approaching some semblance of value related to the overpaid contract of his. But you got Zimmerman(n), Strasburg and Harper, those are good foundations.

  2. yankeesfanlen - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Flip flops have NO redeeming qualities.

    • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      Unless you have a thing for feet…and I don’t. But guys wearing them should be a capital offense.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:28 PM

        100% agree.

        The only time I wear flip flops is when I’m around water…either poolside or the beach.

        Otherwise, men’s feet should never see the light of day.

      • timasahh - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:53 PM

        Sandals and socks baby.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:07 PM

      Efff you guys!!! I have overheating problems with my feet OK!!! Dang! How about sandals? Jesus wore sandals, Mohammed wore sandals, And Santa does while he’s on vacation (so I hear).

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        Sandals are slightly less offensive—but no socks…EVER…not even in the dead of January in a snowstorm.

      • b7p19 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        I don’t get the anti-flip flop theme here. They are absolutely acceptable for guys. I wear them whenever i’m at the beach or on my boat or drinking beer while playing lawn games (except croquet, not a good idea). You guys are so wrong on this one. And Jesus sandals are MUCH worse. They’re horrifying.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        LOL!! I wear flip flops and Jesus sandals as much as I can get away with. My feet just get too hot.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:32 PM

      As a former lifeguard I can tell you this: f@ck anyone that stands in the way of wearing flip flops where ever, when ever. The only thing that beats the flops that flip are bare feet. Put that in your observation pipe and take a nice observant drag…

  3. Kevin S. - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    The answer is Thundercats, and you’re dead to me until you acknowledge the error of your ways.

    • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      *sigh* The Centurions never get any love…

  4. jimbo1949 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    Since I moved to NC I am firmly convinced that Cheerwine is superior to Coke, Pepsi and Dr Pepper.

    • spudchukar - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:30 PM


    • RickyB - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM

      You have obviously been brainwashed by NASCAR to believe that. No contest, Coke straight up!

      • danandcasey - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:51 PM

        Straight up? Darn – all this time I have been having my Coke with Captain Morgan.

      • davidvz - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        The Juggalos would counter with Faygo

  5. shen1983 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:29 PM

    Q: Did you know that the little things at the ends of shoelaces are called aglets, and that their purpose is sinister?

    Justice League was the best. I can’t believe I remembered this random quote that The Question said.

    • snowbirdgothic - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:31 PM

      “Please…I go through everybody’s trash.”

      He was pretty damn quotable.

  6. thefalcon123 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM

    I empathize with your Cola problem. I quit smoking two years ago and essentially replaced smoking with Coke Zero. It’s absurd. I have to drink one when I get up, I drink when I get to work, I have some at lunch, I need some between lunch before I leave work, I have some as soon as I get home, with dinner, before I go do bed and that’s not an exaggeration. I’m sure I’ll have to go to the Dr. in the coming years because my bladder is blocked by a 10 pound lump of aspartame. I swear, that shit is just as addictive.

    My fear of giving it up is that I would then just replace it with something even unhealthier, like donuts or crystal meth. Or crystal meth sprinkled on donuts (can you sprinkle meth on things? I don’t know how it works).

  7. wlschneider09 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM

    Crafty Righty: Greg Maddux

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

      El Duque, may his junk RIP.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      Livan Hernandez in his current incarnation. Watching him throw that 60-mph change up off his changeup and making the batter looks ridiculous is a treat.

      • hasbeen5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Every knuckleballer ever?

      • dodger88 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:14 PM

        Has there ever been a lefty knuckleballer? For the life of me I can’t come up with one.

      • wlschneider09 - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:19 PM

        Kirt Ojala

  8. sdelmonte - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Real Ghostbusters, when JMS was showrunner. Smartest kids’ show of its time.

    • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:20 PM

      Agreed. Excellent plots. HOWEVER during the middle of its run the quality slipped some when the focus was shift toward Slimer, it started to be less creepy and more goofy. They did sort of correct that toward the end.

  9. Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:41 PM

    Voltron—the one with the lions, of course. Or Tranzor Z—with Aphrodite…yup…

    • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:26 PM

      In some circles the lions vs vehicles debates can be as heated as cake vs pie and Ryan Howards RBIs. I go with the Lions naturally. Robot Chicken did a great segment spoofing the vehicles that was right on the money.

      As for Tranzor Z…. ummm… the less the said about that Americanized and severely butchered version of Mazinger Z the better. I blame standards and practices and DiC. It’s just shameful how japanimation generally does not make successful leaps to mainstream US TV because of all the editing, coloring, and general animation malpractice visited upon quality series, for a more recent example look no further than Saint Seiya (a.k.a. Knights of the Zodiac).

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:32 PM

        Well, I was actually more focused on Aphrodite than I was on the show as a whole—I was at an impressionable age…and there were boob missiles…

      • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:37 PM

        Did you see the episode where main hero Koji has the scientists give Aphrodite a boob job? Yes you read that right. The female pilot was furious, but it was done for practical reasons: the large rockets fired at an angle allowed Mazinger to grasp them and become airborne to fight an aerial mechanical monster. At that time, Jet Scrander had not been invented.

      • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        BTW Back in the 80s I was an only child, not quite athletic living 2000 miles away from extended family and friends, I watched a LOT of Cartoons.

  10. scottj27 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:45 PM

    Shame, Craig. The ultimate crafty righty was Greg Maddux.

    • scottj27 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM

      Sorry… page wasn’t updated, I missed the above post

  11. acanniv - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:47 PM

    As much as I love me some ‘Mats, Radiohead’s “Just” video is the best music video of all time. A close second is “Frontier Psychiatrist” by the Avalanches.

  12. Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    No, no no no. The best video ever is clearly this.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      Yes, that’s Danny Carey on drums.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:26 PM

        Man, Danny Carey is such a badass.

        Can’t wait for Tool to end their usual six-year hiatus with some new music soon.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:43 PM

        Same here. I thought perfect circle was going to kill tool, thank goodness it didn’t.

      • spindervish - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        I suspect you’ll be waiting a while longer. Maynard’s pretty wrapped up in his vineyard…also Puscifer.

        10,000 Days wasn’t really that great anyway.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:25 PM

        “10,000 Days wasn’t really that great anyway.”

        But it was much, much, better than “a perfect circle” imo.

  13. bigxrob - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM

    Active crafty righty – Livan Hernandez

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:02 PM


  14. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Is Ian Kennedy old enough to be called a crafty righty? There does seem to be an age floor on these things, but the rep is similar.

    And Craig…Chive On!

  15. aceshigh11 - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:30 PM

    Ah, hell…for best video, I’m gonna go with Primus’ “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver”…

    • ThatGuy - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      I’m not really sure what to say about that video…

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        LOL, that’s a typical reaction.

        Les Claypool is a mad genius.

    • rewbschaft - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:56 PM

      I am partial to Mr. Krinkle myself

    • clydeserra - Aug 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

      I think you guys are missing the point about the Bastards of Young video.

      Its brilliant because up until the MTV revolution, recorded music was something you heard, not something you watched. The Replacements’ video is a single shot of a speaker playing the song in question mocking the whole MTV industrial complex that had emerged by then.

      It wasn’t the first time the ‘Mats had turned their nose at videos. Their last Twin Tone release “let it be” had a song on it called “Seen Your Video” which included a line “that’s phony rock and roll.”

      The story I heard was when Warner Brothers told them they had to do videos, they asked if they had to be in them, to which they were told “No.” So they had someone do that bastards of young thing. If I remember correctly, there are three songs off the “Tim” record that are the same, just a guy listening to a song in that living room.

  16. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 18, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Craig, how dare you leave for the day at noon? What gives?

  17. Senor Cardgage - Aug 18, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    There’s no period in Dr Pepper.

  18. roycethebaseballhack - Aug 18, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Re: Washington’s talk of Young being an MVP candidate.
    The Old School Brother might be alluding to Young being in 2nd place in AL batting, this season…behind Gonzales. I would agree he’d deserve consideration and some votes, but I’d be shocked if it came to pass. Adrian is likely clearing off a place on his mantle for it, already.

    • Kevin S. - Aug 19, 2011 at 8:10 AM

      I wouldn’t. He’s a DH with a shiny (but somewhat empty) batting average playing in preposterous hitters park. Pass.

  19. mornelithe - Aug 19, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    Hmmm, so virtually every baseball player is rude, since they all spit, continuously throughout a game?

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