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

Sep 8, 2011, 11:33 AM EST

The Question

Q: Why won’t Doctor Manhattan wear pants?

Either (a) because his character was used by Alan Moore in “Watchmen” as a vehicle to explore the real world implications of a super-powered being and how his near-omnipotence would naturally cause him to detach himself from the ugly, flawed reality of humanity, in terms of his personal interactions, his duties to protect mankind and even, in the case of his ever-shrinking costume, his adherence to its social conventions and mores; or (b) he’s a blogger.

Q: Who’s your AL ROTY?

I haven’t really thought too hard about this yet. Hellickson, maybe? Pineda? I’ve kind of ignored this to be honest. I should probably think about it at some point.

Q: Why does Fredi Gonzalez hate me? Did I kill a relative of his in battle perhaps?

Mr. Kimbrel, I’ve told you, please keep your complaints in the clubhouse. I’m sure there’s a good reason why Fredi won’t use you in the ninth inning of a tie game on the road against the best team in baseball, and I’m guessing it’s more his problem than yours.

Q: What are your opinions on Rod Allen and Mario Impemba?

I don’t really watch a ton of Tigers games to be honest. When I do, I don’t take special notice of those two one way or the other. Like most broadcasters, they fall in that vast middle range of not so bad and not spectacular. Which is fine, thanks, because they don’t distract me from the game, which is basically the most important part of the deal for me.

Q: Why does a baker’s dozen contain 13 items? Was this invented because someone was bad at math?

It’s a very complicated story having to do with the Assize of Bread and Ale and  hexagonal close packing, each of which inspired bakers to make 13 of whatever tasty morsel they were baking, rather than 12. But really, should we be in the business of questioning it when someone gives us an extra donut?

Q: I pray you didn’t see Bachmann talk about energy.

This refers, of course, to the GOP presidential debate last night. Which, no, I did not watch.  I caught some highlights this morning however and, setting aside my personal politics, I will note that the crowd’s spontaneous applause of the mere mention of the fact that Texas has executed 234 people was absolutely sickening. Even if you’re a death penalty supporter, how is that cheer-worthy? And that’s before you get into the fact that Texas has almost certainly executed innocent men. I personally oppose the death penalty, but I would hope that even those who differ from me in that regard would view it as a regrettable and difficult act that, even when properly applied, is a sad thing.  At least pretend that taking a life is something worth serious and solemn consideration, OK? Let’s not treat the bodies of both the innocent and the guilty as political red meat.  And speaking of the death penalty:

Q: Should making bad movies or records be punishable by death?

That would be sad, but for different reasons. Sure, I appreciate good movies and good records, but I have gotten an awful lot of enjoyment in life — more than I care to admit — from bad pop culture and art. And not just from an ironic “so bad it’s good” point of view, though there has been a lot of that.  There are a lot of fun movies and albums that are, from an objective, critical point of view, bad. But they’re still fun!  I think the movie version of “Clue” starring Tim Curry was savaged by the critics, but I always watch it if it’s on. There are approximately 100 early 80s synth-pop songs on my iPod that, critically speaking, are best described as “a really, really, really poor-man’s Roxy Music,” but I love it anyway. Eat it up like candy.  In contrast, there are a lot of albums and movies [cough] Radiohead [cough] and [cough] Lars von Trier [cough] that are absolute ordeals to endure, even if one can appreciate their artistic merit. I certainly hope that there’s room for art and schlock in everyone’s life.  Each one helps you appreciate the charms of the other.

Q: Favorite & least-favorite episodes of ST:TOS.

Worth noting: today is the 45th anniversary of the premiere of “Star Trek.” I do hope you celebrate responsibly.

Anyway, I never obsessed over the original series. I came to Star Trek through the movies in the early 80s and then via Next Generation, so going back and watching TOS was always more of an academic exercise for me than something I just ate up. So you won’t be surprised, then, that my selections here are pretty obvious: Best: “City on the Edge of Forever.” Worst: “Spock’s Brain.”  I’m sure there’s nuance to the whole series that would make hard core people quibble with my choices here, but it’s just on a level on which I’ve never operated.

Q: Strasburg – Greatest pitcher ever? Or greatest pitcher there will ever be?

Not yet the best ever. In order it goes: Walter Johnson, Ditka, Maddux, Vance Worley, Ditka and then Strasburg.

Q: My girlfriend just started law school and yells at me when I make jokes while she’s studying. When do I run?

Hmm. Hard for me to say. I have little experience with this as I never really studied all that much in law school. Which explains a lot of the past 16 years of my life. I dunno, a couple of weeks before her student loans come due?

Q: Matt Cain or Herman Cain?

Based on the one interview I did of Matt Cain, I will give Herman points in the “engaging conversationalist” department. And anyone who runs a chain of pizza joints has to have even better stories waiting to be told.

Q:  If Chipper Jones was a tree which kind of tree would he be?

That mighty oak from the front yard of your childhood home that got a touch of some blight a few years ago and slowly started to split, decay, crumble and die. But we’ll always remember the oak.

Q: If Prince Fielder leaves in free agency, is Milwaukee still a good team?

Of course it is. Ryan Braun is still there, and as this year has shown, there is more to the team than just Fielder and Braun.  In the NL Central, you can win with one offensive superstar and a serviceable supporting cast.

Q: In your time in Foggy Bottom ever have a Burl Ives from Lindy’s?

Three years at George Washington University and I never went there. Ever. My wife worked up at DuPont Circle at the time, so any post-class eating and drinking was usually done up that way. I’m having a hard time picturing ingesting something called “a Burl Ives,” though. Would it taste like a blue tail fly?

Q: Seriously, how much longer can yanks keep trotting out Burnett? Wouldn’t you rather see a Killer B or Bababooey or my cat?

Given that the playoffs are a lock and none of the Yankees’ “Killer B” pitching prospects would be expected to contribute anything of substance in the playoffs, there’s no sense in it. Either A.J. or Hughes will go to the pen soon enough. It’s not like the Yankees have lost much ground to anyone for having Burnett out there, no matter how frustrating he is.

Q: What’s your stupidest baseball memorabilia purchase? Mine = Canseco rookie card in “40/40 Club” plaque for $50 (back in 89).

Probably that Carl Yastrzemski card. With the big sideburns. My buddies wanted me to go in with them and get a copy of “Radioactive Man #1″ but I went with the card. Not sure I made the right choice. I mean, what possibly could have gone wrong with owning 1/3 of a classic comic book?

Q: One item from Schmidts for the rest of your life: Cream Puff or Bahama Mama?

This refers to Schmidt’s Sausage Haus here in beautiful Columbus, Ohio. If you like beer, sausage and cream puffs — and if you don’t, I really don’t want to know you — you need to go to Schmidt’s if you’re ever in the 614. Yeah, I said “the 614.” Wanna fight about it?  As for your question, I’ve had good beer many places and I’ve had good sausage many places as well. The cream puffs, though, oh mommy, those are good.

Q: What do you think of Oasis (the band)?

Two great albums out of the gate and then all of their inspiration seemed to disappear in a haze of cocaine, ego, pretentiousness and celebrity bloat. Now, at least two of those things helped make those first two albums great and are fabulous for the purposes of rock and roll on general principles, but you can’t have all four or you’ll sink like a stone.

Q: So, have you seen any good movies lately?

I watched “Casablanca” last week. Does that count? If not, the late summer/early fall movie season is not made for 38-year-old people. I think the last movie I saw in the theater that I really liked was “Super 8.”  I don’t go to a ton of movies, though.

Q: What’s your favorite Batman graphic novel?

Can you count “Year One?”  I read it in one sitting, but I know it was originally released post-Crisis as a serial reboot.  If you can’t count that, I’m going obvious with “Dark Knight Returns.”

Q: Have you ever been to Cooperstown?

Once, when I was about nine-years-old. I remember it fairly well, though obviously that was a long damn time ago and a return visit is overdue. It’s like nine or ten hours in the car from me, so for road trip purposes I’d need to take three whole days, and that’s if I just wanted to do one day in the museum. So, really, I need to plan.

Q: Saints +4 at Packers. Who ya got?

The sheer number of craps I don’t give about that sort of thing could fill up a large convention center.

Q: Who is more badass … Mike from Breaking Bad, or Vic Mackey?

I never watched “The Shield.” I’m told I missed out. Mike’s pretty damn bad, but really: 90% of his badassness comes while dealing with Mr. White and Jesse, and those two aren’t exactly the most formidable foes on the planet. I did like Mike’s work in the back of the chicken truck a couple of weeks ago, though.

Q: Your life is on the line. Five innings. Wakefield or A.J.?

If I’m going to die, I’d rather have it be because I trusted a knuckleballer. Which, while insane, is what I’d be compelled to do.

Q: What American League contending team would you choose to play your Atlanta Braves in the World Series?

Right now I don’t like the Braves against anybody, so that’s tough. The Angels maybe? Do they count?

Q: Choosing between full back tattoos: Giant robotic dragon or evil wizard riding a unicorn? But not some pansy unicorn!

I really don’t see how you could go wrong with either of those choices, Senator.

Q: Does the light ever hit Mookie just right and you think maybe, just maybe, she is the milkman’s kid?

Nah. She looks way, way too much like me once you go feature-by-feature and control for the hair and the glasses. Sometimes I wonder about the boy, though. Not that I truly doubt he’s my son. I just wonder about him. Kid’s not right. At all. He’s lately taken to writing all of his school work in backwards “Yoda speak.”  Like, on the first day he had to draw a picture and write a sentence about how he felt about school starting and he wrote “nervous, I was.” Speaking of the boy …

Q: What are you doing to make sure Carlo doesn’t become a Phillies fan during their current run of success?

I guess I’m just going to hope that he stops being a screwup.

Q: What’s your opinion on Newsradio? Was it really that funny? Or was it the fact that I was in my 7th year of college?

I should go back and watch it. I have a feeling it would hold up because, at heart, it was all about witty banter with occasional gonzo plot elements, and those tend to do better than relationship shows or family shows. I wonder if it’s any accident that the first three of these that popped into my head were all set in media: Mary Tyler Moore, WKRP and Newsradio.  There’s got to be something to that.

Q: Better Dylan backing band: The Hawks/The Band or Rolling Thunder?

Between those two I’ll take The Hawks, circa the British tour that gave us the Royal Albert Hall bootleg. Overall, though, he has never played with a tighter band than the Tony Garnier-led outfit who he’s toured and recorded with for the past 10-12 years.

Q: How worried are you about the Braves without Jurrjens and Hanson at 100%?

We’re way past worried. I may have actually shot past panicked and went straight into “acceptance” mode. Really, I expect very little from these guys at the moment. They have really one gameplan with which they can make some playoff noise, and without those two at 100%, that gameplan is inoperative.

Q: What is your stance on the use of “we” when talking about your favorite team?

I try to avoid it as much as possible. The single biggest problem of sports fandom is when people start identifying too closely with their rooting interests. If they affect your mood and disposition — if you take criticism of them as personal slights that you feel obligated to defend — you have a problem. I occasionally let a “we” slip though, but not if i can help it.

Q: Would you rather Mookie ask you to buy “Watch the Throne” or Eminem’s latest?

I’m still having trouble getting my mind around the fact that she likes the “Kidz Bop” albums.  In some ways I’ll be relieved when she gets into that kind of stuff because I can at least relate to it on some level.

Q: Favorite Graeter’s flavor? And how is Graeter’s ice cream not better than pie?

For those unaware, Graeter’s is the Cincinnati-based but Columbus-ubiquitous ice cream joint that makes the most FANTASTIC ice cream around. At least as far as traditional stuff goes. There are crazy joints around here like Jeni’s Splendid which is just as awesome, but for other reasons such as Thai Chili ice cream and that sort of thing. Really, we are totally spoiled from an ice cream perspective here in Central Ohio.  As for Graeter’s, I like any of the chocolate chip flavors. Mostly because Graeter’s definition of “chocolate chip” is “a three inch long, one inch thick slab of awesome dark chocolate just stuck in the middle of the ice cream.”  Eat around that and then eat the “chip” and you’re in some upper echelon of Heaven.

Q: For my newborn son I am going to buy him a case of Sierra Nevada Bigfoot to age for his 21st birthday. Bourbon suggestion?

I don’t recommend laying down a bourbon for 21 years. Wait until he turns 21 and then buy him a fresh bottle of Blanton’s. Or, if you insist on some connection between his birth and his 21st birthday, get a fresh bottle of Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve when he turns 20. They age that stuff for 20 years before releasing it, which is basically unprecedented. If you get it when he’ s 20 and drink it when he’s 21, you have yourself a bottle of something that was made when he was born.

Q: What is your favorite Pixies song and why? Number 13 Baby?

That’s a great choice. So dramatic, and I loves it when Black Francis gets all dramatic. That one is in the conversation. It’s being considered. Others: “Gouge Away,” “Where is my Mind,” and just to throw a Kim song in there, “Gigantic.”

Q:  Are you stocked up on bourbon, Craig, for the hell that your Braves are stumbling into? These birds are ready to soar. How ’bout Skip Shoemaker? He’s got like 20-something singles and a bucket of runs since the start of August. But it’s not not the baseball side of things that El Bravos have to worry about. TLR mind control is in full effect. He leaves a trail of rage everywhere he stares – a kind of scorched earth deal. It’s those sunglasses. The Cowards (opposite of Braves, right?) enter St. Louis a happy, pleasant little bunch. Young and excited. Getting healthier. And Go Chipper’s knee! But they leave with infighting. Uggla starts flexing. Kimbrel gets swirlied. The whole thing collapses. I guess this really isn’t a question. I hope you’re abusing NyQuil.

That came from HBT’s own Drew Silva, in a series of tweets, who took advantage of me checking out sick early yesterday to go and find himself a pair of big boy pants. And I suppose he looks OK in them. I wish I had a response to any of this, but unfortunately I have some NBC meetings to attend. You know, personnel, compensation, cost-cutting measures. That sort of thing. Perhaps I’ll be able to respond to him in substance on that personal blog of his he’ll likely feel compelled to start in about two weeks (pending his decision on how he wants to cash out his vacation time).

That’s it for this week, folks. Next week we’ll see who else thinks they’re so smart.

  1. Drew Silva - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    My Twitter account got hacked. I swears it.

    • Big Ed Robles - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:57 PM

      Anthony Weiner said the same thing…

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:43 AM

    In the Twitterverse “hacked” is a synonym for “drunk.” As in “I got totally hacked last night.”

    I’ll let it slide this time. But consider yourself to be on double secret probation.

    • Drew Silva - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      No Tony Rasmus posts for a whole two months!?

    • cur68 - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      You guys need to hug this out.

      • Drew Silva - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        I’ll just run a few laps.

  3. dodger88 - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    “I think the movie version of “Clue” starring Tim Curry was savaged by the critics, but I always watch it if it’s on.”

    Great example of good (or bad) pop culture. Love the ending where everyone other than Michael McKean did it.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      Agreed.

      Look, if there isn’t bad content, how could you tell good content? And how could you assemble a Guilty Pleasures List?

    • leighbrarian - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:51 PM

      Spoiler alert!

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:53 AM

    I assume the Oasis question was in response to the article over at Grantland. Now, generally Grantland is kinda sucky but this was pretty well written, so here is the link for any interested parties.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/6937414/noel-gallagher-oasis

    The first two albums, “Definitely Maybe” and “What’s the Story Morning Glory” are two of the top 10 albums over the past 20 years in my opinion. After that it was somewhat of a massive fail. “Be Here Now” is awful. You really can’t listen to it. I think they rebounded somewhat after that, but it was simply impossible to live up to the expectations after the first two albums…simply because they weren’t talented enough. That being said, I am not ashamed to say that I own every CD they ever made including singles and have every song on my music device.

  5. Jonny 5 - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    I really should send Craig’s children a couple of stuffed Phillie Phanatics. I bet they’d really like that. Maybe a cool shirt too?

    “ask me about our pitching staff.” for Mookie. Carlos could go for the “phour aces” or “So cuttered”

    That sure would be swell.

    • phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      im sure it would get “lost” in the mail

  6. cur68 - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Yoda speak isn’t a bad thing. I do it all the time. Hell I even slip some into my thesis work just to see if the supe is paying attention. Always is. Never laughs. I have a mutant robot for a supervisor. You needn’t worry for the boy Craig. He’ll be great. Providing he doesn’t offend Aquaman or any other super being with the power to make an entire Eastern fan base miserable like his old man did. You don’t get on with making things up with The Big Wet, you’ll see lots of posts like the following:

    Say, whatever happened to Carlo’s old man, anyways? Used to write this baseball blog, Was a gooder, too. Alas, all went soggy after the whole “Aqua” thing. Pity. Hubirs, eh? Well you know what they say, “Dolor ad tempus manet, superbia autem ad aeternitatem.

    No one wants that.

  7. mplsjoe - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    I’ve heard it said that Gigantic is the perfect rock song. Leaving aside the fact that nothing can be perfect (except Sliver by Nirvana), I’d be hard pressed to argue otherwise.

  8. phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:30 PM

    “Probably that Carl Yastrzemski card. With the big sideburns. My buddies wanted me to go in with them and get a copy of “Radioactive Man #1″ but I went with the card. Not sure I made the right choice. I mean, what possibly could have gone wrong with owning 1/3 of a classic comic book?”

    THIS!

  9. phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    “Who’s your AL ROTY?”

    and you thought what? lets just ignore the Fact that Nova has almost Identical numbers compared to them, except for wins which don’t count anyway, with spending 4 weeks down in the minors?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      I’m still taking Hellickson. Nova’s on a team that can afford to throw AJ out there every fifth day and still win…I’m not as impressed.

      • phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:03 PM

        that makes no sense whatsoever. you would penalize Nova for being on a better team?

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:12 PM

        No, I’d penalize Nova for being on the Yankees, my least favorite AL team. Good think I don’t get a vote I suppose…

      • phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:13 PM

        oh.. well doesnt make it any more right… but i can now understand your flawed logic… carry on

    • phillyphreak - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      Why is the 4 weeks in the minors thing an issue? Had he been up in the majors maybe he gets hit around a lot in those starts and his overall numbers don’t look impressive.

      Pineda has a higher K/9, lower BB/9 (but not by anything significant so), a lower ERA, FIP and xFIP. He’s pitched better than Nova this year. So I’m not so sure the numbers are as identical to Pineda as you think…..

      • phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:06 PM

        or… based on the last 2 months Nova’s numbers would actually be better than they are right now. the ERA, K’s BB’s are so close that they cannot be used against each other. and i stand firm that the fact the he has to pitch against the Jays, Sox, Rays more often than Pineda should be taken into account. so yea… it pretty much would come down to record at that point and lets be honest.. 15-4 for a rookie ON THE YANKEES is pretty damn impressive. if you want to make an argument for anyone its heckelson not pineda…

      • phillyphreak - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:15 PM

        Yep way to set up arbitrary endpoints as if the early season doesn’t matter. Besides, there’s no possible way that Nova’s numbers wouldn’t look like his April/March (5.82 ERA) right? Besides, wins aren’t even a good way to evaluate a pitcher. So that point I won’t even rebut.

        For the season:
        Pineda K/9 = 9.23 (163 total)
        Nova K/9 = 5.52 (85 total)

        I’m not saying Nova hasn’t pitched well lately, just that RoY shouldn’t be based off of an arbitrary 2 months when Pineda had a better season overall

      • phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:21 PM

        I understand where you are coming from but i was simply rebutting the fact that you said he may have gotten his harderhad he not gone down. he was up for 2 months and did not pitch great, up for 2 more months and he pitched great. that not withstanding i won’t get into the whole wins/loss fight cause it will go nowhere. my point was simply that Nova HAS to be considered even if he doesn’t win ROY. and then there is always the argument that ROY is simply MVP for Rookies ( where as Cy Young is more of what you have accomplished over the year regardless of where your team ends up) and i am of the opinion that a last place team should NEVER be given any “MVP” type awards becuase lets be honest.. they finished in last place with him and they could have finished in last place without him.

      • phillyphreak - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        Well we’ll disagree about the last place MVP/award thing. You shouldn’t penalize a player because of the quality of his teammates.

      • phukyouk - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:38 PM

        we will… but after posting i reread it. let me clarify…MVP by definition is based on VALUE. how can the Value of a particular player be worth anything if the team finished in last place? or even 3 or 4th place? IN FACT if they finished 3rd or 4th due to that player they actually get a worse draft pick so his “value” should go down. Arod NEVER should have won his MVP with the Rangers cause lets be honest he provided no value to them that year.

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 8, 2011 at 5:07 PM

        Funny, I thought it was a team of nine players. One guy fails to pick up 8 bums and he’s not worthy?

      • phillyphreak - Sep 8, 2011 at 8:02 PM

        Agreed with above. Also the “same” argument can be provided to say, someone on the Red Sox or Yankees…how valuable is that person to the team if the team is already so good….

  10. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:48 PM

    I’m a huge fan of Breaking Bad (best show on right now IMO). That said, Vic is waaaaay more dangerous though. Not even a chance in hell that anyone can mess with Vic except himself (see series finale).

    Craig, you need to get into The Shield if you know what’s good for you. I know you dig The Wire and this is different but it’s down the same dark, winding, f’d up alley… that’s for sure. No two shows have such a connection from first to last episode like these do, in my opinion. The story lines from season to season are tied so well together that when watching on DVD you won’t know where they start or end (except when Forrest Whitaker and Glen Close show up all of a sudden). No two shows really end much better than these two either. Well, except Six Feet Under which had an ending to die for (tee hee).

    • Alex K - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      I’ve never watched Breaking Bad, but it would have to be pretty special to be better than Mad Men. Don Draper might be the best T.V. character ever written.

      And why would someone who loves The Wire (best show ever made) watch it’s inferior cousin The Shield? Seems like a waste of time. There is a zero percent chance it is even 75% as good.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:36 PM

        Whoa, step back Alex K. Number one, I drew some comparisons as to why Craig would like The Shield, but they are unrelated most other ways. The Shield is a distant cousin at best and by no means inferior. Apples and oranges. In fact, that might be the hardest question ever posed for me, which is better The Shield or The Wire. I refuse to answer and I will watch them both over again soon.

        Number two, I just finished all of the Mad Men seasons (thanks Netflix!) last week. It is good, but I really am not THAT impressed. Maybe I started with my expectation too high, but I really don’t think it comes close to even 50% as good as Breaking Bad. The latter has better twists, better acting, and a better story (for my tastes). We’ll have to agree to disagree.

      • Alex K - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        Step back taken.

        I think The Wire is by far the best show ever made. So when I thought you were saying that The Shield was the same and just as good I could not let that stand. I’ve taken some deep breaths, and now we’re good.

        Like I said, I’ve never watched any of Breaking Bad so I can’t comment on it. I just said it would have to be pretty special to be better than Mad Men. The acting in Mad Men is awesome and the story is compelling without a lot of twists. Plus, Don Draper might be the best character ever written (If you said Stringer Bell I wouldn’t argue).

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        It’s weird, I don’t look back on The Wire like any other show b/c I felt like I was watching the best documentary ever written. Stringer Bell is like a real person to me, which is crazy I know. But that person definitely exists out there, just like Omar was a trumped up version of a real person(s) that robbed dealers. What can I say? It was brilliant.

        The Shield is a show, and it has it’s flaws in story and realism, but the way things link together is as well done as it is in The Wire. It also was gut-wrenching at times b/c you really, really fall for a specific character and then…bad things happen. There’s one part of the series that is more powerful to me than any moment in The Wire even.

        I guess I’m jealous of Draper more than anything. He does whatever he wants and is fawned over just the same. What a jerk! He is the show, just like he is the company Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price (or whatever it is now). The characters all know he’s the man and so do the people watching. I found the show can be exceptionally funny, that is probably what I like the most about it (not taking itself too seriously).

        You clearly have good taste in shows, so knowing that, I know you will enjoy Breaking Bad. Watch the first five minutes of the pilot and you’ll likely never turn back.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 8, 2011 at 2:17 PM

        Uh, even if The Shield was HALF as good as The Wire, that would STILL make it one of the best shows in history.

        They are quite different…no need to ignore one in favor of the other. Fans of great TV should watch and celebrate both.

      • Alex K - Sep 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

        aces- You’re right. I guess I should try and check it out. The Wire is THAT good. I have previously heard good things about The Shield and my response above was really more defending The Wire than hating on The Shield.

        Heyward- I don’t know how anything on any show could be more powerful that “You’re gonna look out for ME, Sgt. Carter?” Or, “Where the fuck is Wallace, String?”

    • protectthishouse54 - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:40 PM

      Can’t comment on The Shield, but I can say that Mike isn’t even the most badass character on his own show. That distinction belongs to Gustavo Fring.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Gus be crazy.

    • aceshigh11 - Sep 8, 2011 at 2:15 PM

      The Shield was an incredible show. Michael Chiklis created one of the most darkly compelling characters in TV history.

      He was a grotesquely repellent sociopath, and yet I ended up rooting for him and thinking was a total badass for quite a bit of the show’s run.

      The ending was INDEED very satisfying…far more satisfying than The Sopranos (ugh).

      And Six Feet Under…don’t get me started on the finale. I literally wept like a baby for the entirety of the last two episodes. It was the most emotionally draining TV experience ever.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 2:28 PM

        “He was a grotesquely repellent sociopath, and yet I ended up rooting for him and thinking [he] was a total badass for quite a bit of the show’s run.” that sums up the entire series better than anything I can write.

        Sopranos = worst ending ever (I got the point later on, but it was done in a way I literally thought my cable went out…not cool)

        Six Feet Under’s finale is why I know the artist Sia and the song “Breathe Me”. It is also why I gave “Dexter” a chance (and I’m glad I did). It is why I loved Dwight before he was Dwight. I do miss that show. Fade to white.

      • aceshigh11 - Sep 8, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Ah, damn…you’re right! Rainn Wilson was basically playing Dwight on SFU before The Office even started.

        Dexter is my favorite currently-running show. It’s pretty amazing to see Michael C. Hall in such a different role. He was great as David in SFU, but Dexter is his role of a lifetime.

        I think The Sopranos’ ending can be put down to the fact that the head writer and creator, David Chase, is a misanthrope who literally HATED his own fans and their obsession over his creation by the end of it.

        It was his final “eff you” to everyone who dissected the show and criticized it when it started lagging in Season 4.

  11. toosoxy - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Yes. Wakefield. Even after yesterday. Wakefield.

  12. hackerjay - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    You say “Year One” doesn’t count because it was released as a serial, but then you go and say that “Dark Knight Returns” was your favorite, even though it was released as a serial as well!

    If you want to be really pedantic and only count true graphic novels, then I’d have to say “Son of the Demon” was the best Batman graphic novel, but it is pretty far behind Year One and DKR in quality, but hey, at least it wasn’t a serial!

  13. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    As the official “person to point out whenever Craig doesn’t rip the Phillies, their fans, or the city of Philadelphia” it’s been a while since Craig has ripped the Phillies, their fans, or the city of Philadelphia. And I, for one, like the kinder, gentler Craig. He makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      Just for that, he’s going to post something obnoxious immediately. Probably one good reason he hasn’t lately was that after posting the Chipper “We’re not scared of them” post they were promptly swept. The Baseball Gods are watching you….

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      I don’t think I can be in the same room as this “kinder, gentler Craig”. He bashes the Braves more than the Phillies and he also has created Aquaman’s Curse. Just not cool, man.

  14. nolanwiffle - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    Pixies? Oasis? Craig, if you’re looking for some music to throw on your Pod…….go see The Wood Brothers in Ann Arbor on October 4th or in Pittsburgh on October 5th. Or don’t……what do I care?

  15. thefalcon123 - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Props for bringing up Cameron Todd Willingham. That cloud should hang over Perry the entire election, as well as his decision to remove several members from the special panel investigating the fire days before they were going to come out with their report.

  16. aceshigh11 - Sep 8, 2011 at 2:22 PM

    Totally agree about your capital punishment commentary.

    To gleefully cheer on state execution like that shows that one of our two major political parties has been hijacked by sadists and psychopaths.

    We’re living in the new Dark Ages. There’s a real good chance Rick Perry will be our next President, given the abysmal economy.

    The ’12 election will be a referendum on Obama, hands-down, and he blew it by caving in and being bullied by the extreme and unhinged right-wing on issue after issue.

    We needed a ballsy, take-no-shit firebrand like FDR, Truman or LBJ, and we got a total pushover. We’re screwed.

    • antlerclaws - Sep 8, 2011 at 3:29 PM

      Amen. Sadly, I think that person may no longer exist, either that or they would be unelectable in today’s world. P.S. I’m as Texan as they come, born and raised, and I cannot stand Rick Perry. He makes me look longingly at Michelle Bachmann and think she’s somewhat sane.

    • thefalcon123 - Sep 8, 2011 at 3:59 PM

      Did I catch a Bad Religion reference in there?

  17. largebill - Sep 8, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Craig,

    Believe you misspelled the word “opinion” as “f-a-c-t” in this posting. Some New York magazine claiming an executed guy was innocent does not actually mean the guy was not guilty. I’ve learned never to take what I read at face value. I’m especially cautious about articles from journalists with an agenda (in other words all journalists). Reality is neither of us have any clue whether he committed the murders. A jury heard the evidence and found him guilty. He had lots of appeals and lost.

    Morally I’m opposed to the death penalty and wish no one would commit the offenses for which it is applied. However, I understand the need for society to use harsh punishment as a deterrent for others contemplating similar behavior. Unfortunately, over the past hundred years stink’n lawyers and complicit judges have abused the appeals process to the point where there is little or no deterrent effect. Someone getting ready to commit a crime is not deterred by the thought of a death penalty that takes 20 years or more to administer. In fact it could be argued that a murderer is better off being sentenced to death than to be given life without parole. If sentenced to LWOP you don’t get a sea of lawyers appealing your case or trying for a retrial to make a name for themselves. As it is currently set up the death penalty in most states is nothing but a full employment program for lawyers. If we can’t figure out how to administer the death penalty within a year of the offense we should just sentence all to LWOP.

    • mplsjoe - Sep 8, 2011 at 8:56 PM

      Wow. The stupidity in this post is so, well, stupid, that it’s hard to respond. I guess I’ll do so by linking to the article by “Some New York magazine” (a rag called The New Yorker; you may remember it for, say, exposing the My Lai massacre) which, in exhaustive fashion based upon dozens of interviews, research, and smart reporting, “claim[s] an executed guy was innocent.” Claims; proves/potato; potato.

      http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/09/07/090907fa_fact_grann

      The death penalty is a terrible thing for too many reasons to list here. In some ways, however, they all boil down to this: people are fallible; they make mistakes. No amount of appeals or safeguards can fix that. And once the government kills someone, that person stays dead. A mistake that results in a death cannot be fixed. And a system in which mistakes cannot be fixed is indefensible.

      • mplsjoe - Sep 8, 2011 at 9:20 PM

        Oops – Craig already linked to the Willingham case. Here’s another: http://www.medillinnocenceproject.org/skinner

      • raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:02 PM

        Regardless of whether the death penalty is justifiable, and there are logical arguments in both directions, it’s still crass to cheer the topic. For myself, there have been people whose passing I have not mourned, but I can’t say I’ve ever taken the sort of pleasure where I’d cheer about it.
        .
        Here’s another argument in the death penalty debate-it actually costs more to execute someone than it does to incarcerate for life. Here’s an article to peruse:

        http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/03/27/just-cost-death-penalty-killer-state-budgets/

        Do note that this one’s from Fox News, often bashed for being right-wing.

  18. Glenn - Sep 8, 2011 at 8:06 PM

    Pixies – always liked “Bone Machine” and “Monkey Gone to Heaven”

  19. raysfan1 - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:06 PM

    Craig–As someone who grew up on the original Star Trek, I applaud your choices. Other than those, best would be “Trouble with Tribbles” and worst (actually worse than “Spock’s Brain” in my opinion) was the last episode–“Turnabout Intruder.”

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