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

Mar 1, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

The Question

It was a long offseason, my friends. A light winter in these parts but a harsh one all the same. The usual offseason non-stories seemed even less-satisfying than normal. On a personal level, I spent many long, dark hours searching for meaning and happiness in a world that seemed uncompromising, unforgiving and indifferent to humanity.

So what better to fix all of that than to ask questions about Aquaman and stuff?  The Twitter questions are back.  And the world is somewhat warmer because of it:

Q: Why has it been so long since you answered any damn questions? Afraid?

Maybe. But remember: Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. So I’m back, yo.

Q: What is your favorite show on NPR?

That one aimed at the white professional people who live in big cities and like to talk about the latest books they’ve read. I’m blanking on the name.

Q: Ryan Howard contract: lol, or LOL?

More of a ROTFLMAO

Q: Finish this sentence….”Bobby V’s time in Boston will be ____________________”


Q: Would Aquaman be able to bat over the Mendoza line? Would his pitching line look worse than Bronson Arroyo‘s?

I have to make a confession about Aquaman.  After years of bashing Aquaman mercilessly, The Common Man — writer of The Platoon Advantage, Baseball Prospectus contributor and frequent HBT commenter — mailed me the first four issues of the new series.  I read them. And I’ll admit it: it’s pretty good stuff.  Now, to be clear, the writer, Geoff Johns, had to spend a great deal of time in those first few issues making a very clear point about how Aquaman is no longer lame like everyone thinks he is. There’s even a blogger character that tries to interview him about that kind of thing.  If he wasn’t pretty clearly lame in past incarnations, Johns wouldn’t have had to do this.

But superheros are frequently reinvented. Batman had a lame period too. Maybe not as long as Aquaman’s, but it was pretty lame. And he got reinvented in an astoundingly successful manner, so there is hope for Aquaman.

Not that I’m not going to continue to bash him. It’s funny and I’m old and I just don’t care. So: Aquaman — the version of him I like to think of — would hit like Brandon Inge. Except he’d be less useful defensively at every position unless there was a lot of rain and the drainage system malfunctioned.  I’m guessing he could pick it at third better than anyone as long as there was a giant mud puddle just to the right of the bag.

Q: Is Son Of The Collector not the best band name ever?

It’s pretty good. Can’t be considered the best until we sort through all the Milwaukee bands named after Ryan Braun‘s pee, however.

Q: How quick will the 10 team playoff end when the Yankees get knocked out every year ?

I’m guessing this helps the Yankees. I’m more interested in hearing what Blue Jays and Orioles fans complain about now that they have another chance to make the playoffs even if Boston and New York do too.

Q: Candidates for this year’s Vogelsong? Also Avengers or JLA?

I think Jamie Moyer coming in and getting people out at age 49 and a year off for Tommy John surgery — in Coors Field no less — would blow Vogelsong’s little Cinderella story out of the water. And, merits of the comics aside, I’ve always been a DC guy for some reason. Just like how I prefer the National Legaue even though I know that it’s not as good as the American League, objectively speaking.

Q: Why do we drive on a “Parkway” and park on a “Driveway”?

Because if we didn’t, bad comics like Gallagher wouldn’t have anything to talk about.

Q:  What on-the-cusp team wins the one-off and wreaks havoc on the playoffs with the expanded system? Jays? Nats? Other?

When Stephen Strasburg and the 85-win Nats win the one-game playoff against the defending World Series champ Cardinals, there will likely be a lot of people moaning.

Q: Rank the TOS Star Trek movies in order, with a letter grade if possible.

1. Wrath of Khan (A); 2. Undiscovered Country (A-); 3. Voyage Home (B+); 4. Search for Spock (B-); 5. The Motion Picture (C-); 6, The Final Frontier (D-).  That last one may deserve an F, but I reserve an F for something that I would just never, ever watch ever, and I can at least watch The Final Frontier for unintentional laughs and mockability, even if it is horrible.

Q: In the wake of the Mike/Giancarlo Stanton news, how Many MLB players do you think are secretly Italian?

I don’t know. And we won’t know until there’s a safe, reliable test for gesticulation and emoting in normal, day-to-day conversation. Until then, everyone is suspect, and that’s the real tragedy.

Q: If the only way to see The Dark Knight Rises, ever, was to pay $100, would you? What would your limit be?

I’m not gonna lie — and I’m not proud of myself — but I probably would pay the $100 if there was no other chance to see it, including on DVD or whatever.  I’m so in the bag for Batman it’s not even funny, but you knew that already.

Q: A genie grants you three chances to get in the best shape of someone else’s life (with no work). Whom do you choose?

I would like to be in The Best Shape of George Clooney’s Life.  Not that he was ever so perfect physically — indeed, note that he doesn’t do a lot of shirt-off stuff in his movies — but because shape is not just about how a dude looks with his shirt off.  Who wouldn’t want one-tenth of his mojo?

Q: With all of your tv spots these days, how long is it until you’re on Celebrity Apprentice Dancing with the Stars or Maury?

True Fact: Both the studios for Maury and the studios for the NBC Sports Network are in Stamford, Connecticut.  Just sayin’.

Q: What do you think the Twins chances to contend are?

Somewhere south of “snowflake’s chance in Hell” and somewhere north of “New York Mets.”

Q: If you had to bet your life on one team finishing 3rd in its division in 2012, who would you pick?

Hmm. Good question. harder this year than in most years.  How about the Kansas City Royals?  I think the White Sox crater, the Twins still stink, and the Tigers still cruise. That leaves Cleveland and Kansas City to battle for second place. Gun to my head right now, I say Cleveland edges out the Royals. But note: I’m almost always wrong about this kind of crap.

Q: Which field has the most blades of grass?

Coors Field. This is just a simple fact. Prove me wrong.

Q: Cards fan, I don’t think they’ll fall off a cliff. Beltran is good. Berkman is good. Division is not ace. Am i nuts?

Nope. I think the Cards will be in it all year and I may even pick them to win the division.

Q: What would you have renamed the Houston franchise, if they had gone through with that process?

The Houston Humid Depressing Sprawling Hellscapes. Because I think a team should reflect the nature and character of the city in which it plays.

Q: Would you like to create a shot for shot remake of the “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys music video?

Hard to top the execution on that.  I’d rather remake Greg Khin’s “Jeopardy” video. Though I’m guessing that rising commodity prices have made the cost of tin foil prohibitively expensive.

Q: What did you think of the end of the new BSG?

Readers from last year will recall that I spent the last part of the summer/early fall watching “Battlestar Galactica” while on the treadmill.  I love, love, loved it. Frakking brilliant series.  The ending? I can’t say it was terribly disappointing. I have some nitpicks, of course, like what the hell was the deal with Starbuck and stuff.  But let’s not make perfect the enemy of the good here.  After seeing finales for so many good shows just utterly fail — can we all talk about how crappy “Lost” was near the end despite the feel-good final scene? — I think BSG did a pretty darn fine job of it.

Q: When taking a deuce, do you drop trousers to your knees or ankles? I’m a knees guy, but I feel I’m the minorty.

I’m a blogger. I don’t wear pants.

Q: Why wear pants, ever?

See what I mean?

Q: To be or not to be?

That is the question, ain’t it? In other news, Hamlet was so emo that I’m surprised he died of the poisoned blade before he died of mono or something.

Q: Isn’t it ironic, dontcha think?

Literally, it is.

Q: Say you’re a Nats fan – riding the wave of excitement for all it’s worth, or steeling yourself for disappointment? 

Ride the wave, man. They’re gonna be pretty good this year.  And starting in a couple of years, they’re gonna be in the playoffs a lot.

Q: What comes first – radical realignment or expansion?

I’d guess they happen at the same time, but not for a looong time.  And not until the territory system breaks down somehow, because if there is to be expansion — or even relocation — it’s going to have to happen in cities that already have teams. Because that’s where the population growth is.  Our nation’s growth is about big cities getting bigger, not old small cities suddenly getting big like it was post-WWII America or something.

Q: Why does some innocent urine collector in Milwaukee request future questions be forwarded to a NY lawyer? & who’s paying?

I would read nothing into this at all. The lawyer was probably furnished by his employer or the league who, naturally, has connections and existing relationships with New York lawyers.  For as far out there in defending the arbitrator’s decision as I have been, even I am not willing to get into conspiracy theories about the collection process in the Braun case.

Q: After Jose Reyes, which NL East shortstop will have the best all-around season in 2012?

Jimmy Rollins. Because he’s probably still the best all-around shortstop in the NL East after Reyes.

Q: To what degree have you controlled the course your life has taken? That is all.

I was a victim of a series of accidents, as are we all.

Q: Biggest disappointment you’ve ever seen? Baseball related or not.

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.  We all mock now and act like the prequels were doomed from the start, but if one thinks back to 1998-99 and just how highly anticipated the Star Wars prequels were — and thinks about how George Lucas could have done almost anything he wanted with the story — one can only weep.

Q: 5 people from history to eat dinner with, with caveat that you must consider how they would get along.

Jeffrey Dahmer, someone from the Donner Party and The Fat Boys.  Sorry … too soon?

Q: Who has the better year – Ellsbury or Granderson?

Umm … Granderson. I have no idea why. I just like him better.

Q: Most underrated player in baseball history?

There’s a whole lot of them.  Indeed, I will be part of a project writing a whole book about them soon. I’m going to be writing about Alan Trammell, but he certainly doesn’t qualify as the most underrated because a lot of people know he was awesome.  If I had to guess right now I’d say either Bobby Grich or Darrell Evans, but there are a ton of dudes like that.

Q: How much do you think your background as a lawyer has influenced your thoughts on the Braun scenario?

An outrageous amount.  It’s all about due process for me.  Practicing law for 11 years really brought home how vitally important procedures are to ensure the integrity of a system. You don’t always get the results you want, but if you follow the rules, you can be assured of the best possible outcomes in the aggregate.

Q: Who is Snooki’s baby-daddy?

Ryan Braun.  It’s all been a big cover up.

Q: Does an aversion to the Padres’ camouflage jerseys make Jim Caple a Taliban sympathizer? He says no.

Just what a terrorist would say to throw you off his trail!  Actually, though, it just means that he has good taste. Those things, however well-intentioned, are fugly.

Q: I was told to follow you for a spring training “I’m in the best shape of my life” quote count. Whatcha got?

Pursuant to our scientific system, we have found 40 players and one manager who have declared themselves to be in the best shape of their lives. A full roster!

Bryan LaHair – CHC
Mat Gamel – MIL
Joe Saunders – ARI
Danny Valencia – MIN
Chris Davis – BAL
Brandon McCarthy – OAK
Anthony Swarzak – MIN
Billy Butler – KC
Mike Moustakas – KC
Russell Martin – NYY
Jason Grilli – PIT
Jed Lowrie – HOU
Logan Schafer – MIL
Lance Lynn – STL
Phil Hughes – NYY
Bill Hall – NYY
Yadier Molina – STL
Evan Longoria – TB
Brett Cecil – TOR
Freddie Freeman – ATL
Brian Wilson – SFO
Jason Heyward – ATL
Casey McGehee – PIT
Chris Tillman – BAL
Franklin Gutierrez – SEA
Miguel Olivo – SEA
Miguel Cabrera – DET
Justin Smoak – SEA
Dexter Fowler – COL
Jaime Garcia – STL
Miguel Tejada – FA
Aubrey Huff – SFO
Vicente Padilla – BOS
Carlos Zambrano – MIA
Yonder Alonso – SD
Mark Teixeira – NYY
Dmitri Young – FA
Yoenis Cespedes – OAK
Matt Diaz – ATL
Shin-Soo Choo – CLE
Mike Scioscia – LAA

Not bad.

There were a bunch more questions, but this was all I had time for this morning.  Tune in next week for more of this silly kind of thing.

  1. El Bravo - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I’m still reading this, but wanted to stop to profess my undying love for these posts and feel a divine blessing that I’m able to read this fresh post right now. It truly is a good day. Thanks, Craig, because I fucking care. BAM! Yeah, I’m using that CC quote from now on. Deal with it.

    • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

      Yeah, pretty much this. Notice how he slammed the Twins and the Mets in one answer? Gold baby. Still irritatin’ Aquaman, though. This is foolish. All it got him was rained out, swamped out, and soaked to the skin last season. AND he finished up with the flu. Poor man don’t learn: never irritate a god-like being, even if he sucks at baseball.

  2. Robert H. - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    People: please do not park on the driveway. When you do, you block me in.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:20 PM

    Beep-beep is Snooki’s baby-daddy. I read it in a magazine…..

    • phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      was there a gift basket?

      • chadjones27 - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:13 PM

        He left a gift in her basket.

  4. - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    Now that you’ve mentioned the Donner Party. I know where there is a collection of Donner Party Snowglobes. Would you like one?

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    “Q: Most underrated player in baseball history?”

    Ryan Howard’s first 4 seasons.

    • spudchukar - Mar 1, 2012 at 9:57 PM

      Most overrated…ever since.

  6. Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    I had to comment on the Wrath of Khan getting a grade A.

    HOW??? HOW do you watch that movie without expecting Tattoo to pop out and announce “De plane, De plane boss, De plane?

    I’d have to give it a grade B for that.

    • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      And I see it the exact opposite, J5. The anticipation of Tatu doing anything (except singing: can’t stand their singing) is worth the “A” grade…wait, wrong Tatu?

      • Jonny 5 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Yes Cur, wrong one. The two hotties you are thinking of weren’t born when The Wrath of Khan came out. I was only in second or third grade myself come to think of it….

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        Oh. Sorry for the misunderstanding, then J5. It seems if given the chance to consider Hervé Jean-Pierre Villechaize and Two Hot Chicks Gettin’ All Friendly Like, my mind automatically jumps for the latter rather than Hervé Jean-Pierre Villechaize. Something must be wrong with me. I’m going to go run in the cold with my dog till I’m working properly.

  7. stex52 - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:42 PM

    My grandson and I saw “The Dark Knight” together (he was 12). We agreed on four things:

    1. Good movie.
    2. Absolutely no sequel needed. The movie stood on its own, with a great (and final) ending.
    3. There would be a sequel, anyway.
    4. We would be there for the sequel.

    What can I say. It’s a Batman thing.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      But The Dark Knight was a sequel itself. If you had seen Batman Begins and felt that way, then OK. But seeing part two and saying it didn’t need a sequel is kinda silly methinks. 99 times out of 100, the sequel isn’t as good as the original. The Dark Knight was one of those times where the sequel was better. I’d also propose that Aliens was better than Alien and Godfather 2 was better than Godfather. That may be the list.

      • stex52 - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        Chris, I will concede your point that #2 was a sequel, and that it stood much taller than #1. (I thought #1 was ingenious, but maybe just a bit too much of a stretch of the Batman origin story). But in #2, Christopher Nolan showed a deep insight into the character of an obsessive misanthrope who becomes a crazy (if high tech) vigilante. Think of real life and ask yourself how such a story could ever end happily. And that was why I felt that there not should be a #3. Batman would always destroy himself in real life, and the only question left was whether it could be done with some grace or reference to a higher goal. And he pulled it off with that movie.

        As heartbreaking as it was, it had a symmetry for me. And it should have been left that way.

        But my grandson and I will still be there for #3.

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:55 PM

        Chris, you and Sue Ellen are forgetting the Terminator movies. T1 was awesome. T2 was awesomer (the others did not happen). However, the rest of your logic is impeccable.

      • stex52 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        CUR, you are absolutely right about T2. Now as to the SE thing, you may need to cool it. My wife picked it up and she is using it. :-)

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:25 PM

        @stex: proving the old saw that every married man knows “its all fun & games til the wife finds out”…*sigh*.

  8. phukyouk - Mar 1, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    we are one ATH away from baseball being real in 2012!!!!!

  9. alang3131982 - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    In fairness, us Orioles fans complain more about our team than how unlucky our lot in baseball is. We know the O’s arent hurt by the Yanks/Sox/Rays/Jays as much as the squad is decimated by upper management.

  10. jwbiii - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    I spent many long, dark hours searching for meaning and happiness in a world that seemed uncompromising, unforgiving and indifferent to humanity.

    We have missed Tiffany, too.

  11. nategearhart - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    If the Nats knock the Cards out in a one-game playoff this year, it will be poetic justice for last year and ’06.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Mar 1, 2012 at 1:42 PM

      I don’t see where either team in the one game playoff will have any type of complaint if they lose that game. Maybe if the Braves win like 98 games and come in second to the Phillies this year…then lose to an 84-86 win team…maybe. But for the most part, there isn’t more than a 5 or 6 game difference between 4th and 5th…and last year was only one game for both leagues.

      ps I love the Nats this year. Took them big on the over in Vegas and I got in at 80.5…now I have seen it as high as 83. I just hope they keep SS around all year.

  12. Ben - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Someone with too much time on their hands and ZIPS projections–how much better is the BSOHL team than the Twins?

  13. roycethebaseballhack - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    The greatest band name of all time?
    “The Drop-Kick Chihuahuas”

    • nategearhart - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:36 PM

      I always liked Jon Cougar Concentration Camp

      • cur68 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        Any love for “The Swollen Members”? I golfed a round with those guys once. Yep. 18 holes with a Swollen Member.

      • Gamera the Brave - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:47 PM

        I once saw an ad for a club concert for two bands – Slug Dick Nick, and Fuck You Spaceman.

        Now that’s a kick-ass twin bill…

  14. ikedavisnose - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    WOW I just relized that none of my Mets are in the best shape of their life……………….Except for Dickey of course, he is always in the best shape of his life (he is the new Chuck Norris)

  15. jimbo1949 - Mar 1, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Why do we drive on a “Parkway” and park on a “Driveway”?

    How did you get Gallagher out of a fabulous George Carlin riff?

    • chadjones27 - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:35 PM

      I thought it was a Gallagher skit. Either way, Gallagher’s big schtick was weird observations like that. What if you lived at the end of a one-way dead end street? I bought dehydrated water, and didn’t know what to put it in. Where does your lap go when you stand up? If a ducks eats before going in the water, does he get cramps? That sort of thing.

      • jimbo1949 - Mar 1, 2012 at 7:52 PM

        Nah, Gallagher’s “big schtick” was smashing large fruit with a giant mallet.
        That was one front row Uecker didn’t want to be in.

      • chadjones27 - Mar 1, 2012 at 8:37 PM

        OK, you’re right, he’s most known for his Sledge-O-Matic. But, that’s the last 10 minutes of his routine. The other time is attempts to poke fun at the silliness that is language.

      • Gamera the Brave - Mar 1, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        And most of it was done better by Steven Wright.

  16. lewp - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    And I thought Josh Hamilton was in the best shape of his life..uhhh nevermind.

  17. tribescribe - Mar 1, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    The best shape of Franklin Gutierrez’s life apparently includes a torn pec muscle. At least he’s over the irritable bowel syndrome.

  18. jasonburg - Mar 1, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    As long as we’re being detail-oriented, it’s Greg Kihn, not “Khin.” He’s a DJ in San Jose these days, and has also published several novels.

  19. foreverchipper10 - Mar 1, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    All winter I waited and now it is finally here!!!…..But….oh, I see. I missed it. Maybe next time.

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