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

May 10, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

The Question

I spent a lot of yesterday on Twitter talking about gay marriage. Short version: I’m pro-gay marriage. Exceedingly so, as I believe it a basic civil right to which I have yet to see any legitimate argument in opposition that comports with the civic culture and history of the United States. I got grouchy at Obama for being late to the party, but basically, I set off a whole big Twitter conversation in which I made clear my support of gay marriage.

So, obviously, when I asked for Twitter questions I got a million of them about gay marriage. And because the usual call for Twitter questions brings about two dozen Batman-related questions — and because I obsessed so much on Cole Hamels and Bryce Harper this week — I got a nice mashup of those.  Here’s but a sampling:

  • When will marriage equality come to Gotham?
  • If Batman got gay married, who would it be with? You can’t say Robin.
  • Does Batman getting gay married undermine the sanctity of Hamels throwing at Harper to uphold the rules of the game?
  • If Batman was gay could he hit four home runs in one game?
  • If Jeter and Arod got married, who would be Batman, relegating the other to the sidecar?

There were many, many more.  To save time, I will note that Batman is probably straight — too much Catwoman and Poison Ivy interaction there — but (a) he was interested in Katie Holmes in “Batman Begins,” and being associated with her romantically is somewhat complicated in that department; and (b) his relationship with the Joker long is long past the “Jeez, will you two make out already for crying out loud?” territory.  Seriously, you can cut the tension with a knife there.

Either way, Batman would likely support gay marriage because he is, above all else, a reasonable person, at least if you ignore the fact that he’s sort of psychotic. As for who he’d marry if he weren’t straight?  Northstar, obviously.  Anyway:

Q: Bigger threat to the institution of marriage: gay marriage or pitchers hitting?

Basically, everything in the world is a bigger threat to marriage than gay marriage. Think about it: is there any other pursuit or institution on the planet that is actually threatened by people eagerly wanting to be a part of it?  Interest and new adherents usually strengthens an institution, it doesn’t weaken it. The only exception I can think of are pathetic hipster hangounts, and who the hell wants to be like that?

Q: Any way Harper gets sent back down? What about before the Werth injury?

Never. He’s here to stay. Even before the Werth injury I would say so.  He may slump, but I suspect the Nats have decided that his character is such that he’ll learn better from the challenge of the bigs than being bored in the bushes. And, yeah, he’ll be a gate draw, I imagine.

Q: Seriously, How good are the Rangers?

Pretty fantastic. They have a +65 run differential right now, which trails only the Cardinals. Texas has been so good for the past couple of years that people are almost overlooking them.

Q: What’s the most classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act you’ve seen in your years in baseball?

In my baseball-watching lifetime: the owners illegally colluding against the players in free agency in the 1980s. They cost players millions and playing time and, for reasons that are still a mystery to me, no one holds that against them as far as legacy goes.  The poor character that led Bud Selig to help orchestrate that is way more than the poor character that is cited in keeping PED-associated players out of the Hall of Fame, yet Selig will get a standing ovation when he is one day inducted.

Q: Which underwhelming star has a better shot at 30 HR: Pujols or Adrian Gonzalez?

Well, considering that even in a really good season for him last year Gonzalez didn’t hit 30, I’ll say Pujols. When AG heats up expect more doubles off the wall. I think Pujols has a better shot to smack 30.

Q: Now that Brandon Inge has hit a walk-off grand slam for his new team how do you think he’ll do against his former teammates?

Not sure, but for chaos purposes I’m hoping he hits for the cycle in each game of the series. It would drive Tigers fans absolutely bonkers. Really, I can’t recall a fan base being so torn up and schizophrenic over a player than Tigers fans over Inge.

Q: What occurs first: active MLB player out of the closet or Chief Wahoo logo dropped by Cleveland management?

Hmm. Depends what “dropped” means. I doubt Cleveland will ever officially announce or eradicate Wahoo from their iconography.  I think we’re in a slow process of seeing his presence minimized, however. I predict we’ll have an out-of-the-closet major leaguer within, oh, 15 years or so.  As some commenters noted the last time this topic came up, it won’t be some surprise announcement. It will be a high school phenom with a can’t-miss baseball pedigree who is openly gay at age 17 or something because high school kids these days have way fewer hangups about this stuff than people may age do.  It’ll be a story around draft time and then, every year when he reaches the next level someone will write a rehash column about him. By the time he makes the bigs it will be old news.

Q: There is much talk of late about “small sample sizes”. How many ABs constitute a reasonable sample size, in your view?

Depends how badly I really want to make some point. If it’s REALLY badly, a reasonable sample size is exactly how many at bats the player has had the day I write the post about it.  Likewise, if a player’s performance does not fit in with my thinking, the reasonable number of at bats is exactly the number he gets when the performance finally conforms with my opinions.  They taught me that at baseball writer school, by the way.

Q: Andrew McCutchen scored from second on a groundball to short. Could Batman do that?

Yes. Routinely. Because even if the catcher has the ball 30 steps before Batman reaches home plate, you know there is no chance the catcher survives the collision without multiple fractures and the ball coming loose.

Q: How often do you thumbs up/down comments on HBT?

Never. Seriously, I don’t think I have ever used that function here. It’s a fun thing for you guys, but I ignore it.

Q: How many books have you read that substantially changed the way you live?

Hmm, probably a lot without me realizing it, but only a couple in terms of me consciously being aware of them directly affecting my thinking. One is “Mother Night” by Vonnegut, which provided me with my personal slogan:  “We are what we pretend to be so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”  I truly live by the idea that there is not a “real” you or me underneath it all. We are what we do. We are how we treat others. If you act like a jerk but believe, in your heart, you’re a good person, you’re still a jerk.

Another: “How we know what isn’t so” by Thomas Gilovich. Skepticism of received and conventional wisdom is extremely important. So much of the idiocy that goes on in our world is based on people believing things that are demonstrably false. That book covers only a limited territory — statistical and psychological experiments and the like — but the idea behind it is an extremely powerful one. Question absolutely everything. Don’t be a dick about it, but question absolutely everything.

Q: If you could write a book on any topic (excluding baseball and Mr. B-man) what do you think you’d choose?

I have about five started-but-unfinished novels. At this point I’d settle for anything with a plot I could actually resolve.  If I publish anything non-baseball-related in the near future it would probably be a memoir. Because (a) I’m really frickin’ self-centered so I can finish that; and (b) apparently anyone can get a memoir published these days no matter how boring a person they are.

Q: Will Wandy Rodriguez, Brett Myers, and Carlos Lee be traded?

Hard to see a market for Carlos Lee given that contract and his poor production. I could see him simply being released. Not sure the Astros will want to trade Wandy, because he’s still a solid-to-excellent starter and someone has to pitch. Brett Myers is doing well in his little closer showcase and it seems someone always falls for that.

Q: Just attended a wedding in Dayton, OH. How much fun did I just have?

Depends how long ago it was. If it was during Dayton Flyers basketball season and you partied like a native in the campus neighborhood referred to as “the ghetto,” you probably had a lot of fun even if the blackouts prevent you from remembering it.  Gosh, I hope the ghetto is still the same as it was 15 years ago. It would be a shame if they cleaned it up, even if it was absolutely appalling by every reasonable measure of sanitation and humanity.

Q: FMK: Wonder Woman, Bat girl, Catwoman

I reject “FMK” questions on principle because I think the K part is misogynistic, but I would likely marry Bat Girl and spend some brief quality time with Catwoman if given the opportunity.  Julie Newmar version if you have to ask.

Q: What is the fastest land animal on earth?

Billy Hamilton.

Q: Personal question, when do you sleep? Always see your tweets at 4am.

I usually go to bed by midnight and usually wake up by 5:45 AM. At least on days I have my kids here. Non-kid mornings I usually sleep until around 6:30 or 7, depending on how insistent the cat is that I get out of bed.  If “And That Happens” appears before, say, 6AM eastern, it’s because I finished it the night before and set it to go live at a certain time.  As far as tweets go: ones that come from my personal account, as opposed to the HBT account, are always live. I don’t set those in advance. HBT Twitter tweets are a bot and they go up when posts go live.

Q: Apparently, according to @Dave_Gershman 75% GMs have anonymous Twitter accounts. What do you think are their handles?

Not sure, but I’m gonna guess that Brian Sabean is really DadBoner.

Q: What happened to Shyam Das?

He was disappeared by Ryan Braun‘s lawyers in order to close the loop on things. Those guys are NOT to be messed with.

Q: Who is the next Atlanta Braves disappointment that Dayton Moore will acquire for the Royals?

Freddie Gonzalez

Q: Is Braun doing enough to sway any doubters?

People who think Ryan Braun — or any other player — is a ‘roider believe it with a religious fervor, immune to reason, facts or evidence and they always will.  He could have his bloodstream monitored for two years in real time via nanoradio technology, have it come out clean and people will still call him a cheater. That is the mentality the steroids hysteria has created.

Q: Actual thoughts on the Tigers. Your love for @norunsupport aside.

Two things: (1) @norunsupport is my girlfriend, and she is a Tigers blogger at Bless You Boys; and (2) that question did not come from her. That said: she has threatened to dump me based on my answer to the Brandon Inge answer I gave above, yet I’m still rooting for him to go crazy against the Tigers. Yes, it would suck to get dumped, but that’d be a great “why did you get dumped?” story, wouldn’t it?

Q: Personal Question: When do you bit the bullet and buy her a pretty sparkly thing?

Same person asked me that. My answer: I already bought her a pretty sparkly thing once. Jeez, I have to do it again?

Q: Personal Question: who is the better cook you or@norunsupport

Third question from the same person. Answer: Not even close. The first time I visited her she made me blondies and the first time she visited me she made me breakfast tacos. It’s easy to love someone for their beauty or their mind, but finding someone who can feed you is something special indeed.

Q: If Hamels is gonna claim he’s old school, shouldn’t he show up hung over, go on coke binges and wolf down greenies also?

Yep. And exclude minorities from the game whenever possible.

Q: Could a random collection of bums off the street outpitch the Phillies bullpen?

Hmm. I’d have to know which street. I could go either way on this.

That’s all folks. Next week: ask me about stuff other than gay marriage. I think we got that covered.

  1. Ben - May 10, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    All props in the world for President Obama coming out and saying he supported gay marriage.
    I wish like hell though that he had said it was a civil right, as you do Craig, instead of saying it’s a decision best left to states.

    • frankvzappa - May 10, 2012 at 3:52 PM

      Did you really just give “props” to the guy who abolished the Bill of Rights? I hope that was a poor attempt as sarcasm, because only a truly stupid person could possibly support the guy who is going around killing American citizens whenever he wants, and is authorizing drone strikes to kill regular people like you and me every day…oh but that’s okay, because those people aren’t the same color and live in other countries, right?

      Gay marriage is a NON-ISSUE that is being pushed by the media so the retarded American people keep their eyes diverted from the loss of freedom, destruction of their currency, and rapidly encroaching fascist state. Props to Obama, indeed, if you are an elite globalist hell bent on the destruction of America and the American constitution. Enjoy your race war, it is cool as long as two people can have their love sanctioned by the almighty State, because THAT is what really matters at this point in history.

      Note: Please see Craig’s above comment about questioning everything. Mostly he is right on, but he is wrong about one thing, because it is okay to be a dick when the mindlessness of morons is destroying us all.

      • Ben - May 10, 2012 at 4:10 PM

        Frank, I agree with everything you said in the first paragraph, and thumbs-upped you. But I’m going to give credit where credit’s due. He did the right thing, mostly. But agreed on the War on Terror, Bill of Rights and drone war.

        As for claiming that gay marriage is non-issue, I think that’s just wrong, and disrespectful to the history of the oppression of gays and lesbians in the country, and the ongoing oppression of gays and lesbians.

        “There’s something very deep about having your government declare you a stranger to its laws, defining your love as outside all respectable recognition. For my president to stand up and say that I should belong fully to my nation, that my wife and I should be considered as fully married as my brother and his wife—well, it reopens and washes out some very deeply incised sense of exclusion, a scar inflicted when, at age 15, I first panicked at the realization that I might be queer.”

      • Tim's Neighbor - May 11, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        He abolished the Bill of Rights?!?!? Thank God. I was beginning to get suspicious about this soldier fellow that had been staying in my house when I was away. My wife told me he was here on orders from Obama Hussein. Glad she wasn’t lying.

        Also, do you guys know where to get some cheap, lightly-used tinfoil hats? I don’t know if mine is working any more and since ObamNO took all of my money and gave it to poor minorities, I can’t afford a new one.

      • frankvzappa - May 11, 2012 at 8:39 AM

        Tin-foil hats…nice one. How long did it take you to come up with that one, donkey? Must have used most of your brain power thinking that genius reply up. I will try to use small words so you understand them. When Obama signed a law stating that American citizens could be detained indefinitely without cause or trial, yes that abolished the Bill of Rights. Or did they forget to tell you that on the news? It’s okay, just worry about taking white people’s guns away because a mexican killed a black guy. Hopefully those words were small enough, you warthog-faced buffoon.

      • Tim's Neighbor - May 11, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        Ahh, name calling. Well done. I’m sure that wins many arguments for you. At least I’m snarky and adults laugh at my jokes (or me) and my barbs have something to do with the person I’m talking about. (To note: wart-hogged faced doesn’t work as I’m quite handsome, buffoon also doesn’t work considering my education level, etc and donkey? meehhhh) The only people amused by name calling are 2nd graders. Now, if that is the level you’re working on, I’m not sure you’re the one qualified to analyze laws and The Constitution.

        There are a lot of problems with President that you can reasonably criticize him for. However, when you say crazy-ass things like this, you actually hurt your own side’s arguments. Kind of like how Pelosi makes Dems look like jackasses. You are a lesser successful version of Nancy Pelosi.

        And good God man, I’m not saying take all guns away from white people. Or people of any color. You swung and missed on that one, Less-Successful Pelosi. As convenient as stereotypes may be to you due to their simplistic and black-and-white nature, they just don’t hold water here.

  2. racksie - May 10, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Q: What’s the most classless, gutless chicken [bleep] act you’ve seen in your years in baseball? You forgot contraction. That’s a Twins fan perspective, though.

    • racksie - May 10, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      And I think I saw Bud circling target field the other night.

    • kopy - May 10, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      I think the Expos have the bigger scandal. I’m a Twins fan too, but when Bud said, “Who wants their franchise contracted? I’ll give you money!” Carl Pohlad is the asshat that said, “I do!”

      • racksie - May 10, 2012 at 2:28 PM

        Agreed. It was a “muscle move” by Carl, and it worked, but I was still very upset. I lived in Milwaukee for about 6 months, and was very determined to hit up Buds lunch spot to tell him how mad I was at the time, but had forgiven him. And Actually, I like Bud.

  3. charlutes - May 10, 2012 at 1:11 PM


  4. El Bravo - May 10, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    This board is so gay. Judge me please.

    • Hoss - May 10, 2012 at 2:51 PM

      It appears as though you’re the only one doing the judging. Ya pussy.

      • El Bravo - May 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

        “Well played, Hoss.” – El Bravo’s vagina

  5. allisonhagen - May 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Dude, worst cop-out ever.

  6. Drew Silva - May 10, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    Last I checked (in spring 2010) the UD “ghetto” was still very much appalling. They even brought back St. Patrick’s Day, which was outlawed for a bit. That place is a wonderland for 18-22 year-olds (who don’t mind slanted floors, swarms of fruit flies and couches that smell constantly of urine).

    • joshfrancis50 - May 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

      Dayton to Daytona this week, Drew. And, I have my 10 year reunion in a month. Time to start dieting and creating a plausible story of professional success.

      If any of you are of college age with friends at UD, you need to visit and experience the Ghetto for yourselves.

    • Tim's Neighbor - May 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM

      I don’t think I’ve been in a more depressing city. We stayed “downtown” this past weekend. There was no place to even grab coffee within walking distance aside from a chess club. Dayton is struggling so badly that a chess club is able to rent out a huge spot on a downtown street that would be a fortune in most cities.

  7. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    as I believe it a basic civil right to which I have yet to see any legitimate argument in opposition that comports with the civic culture and history of the United States

    I prefer the Greg Giraldo (RIP) approach: They say gays getting married would ruin the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity. Anyone in here married? Feel like a gift from God?

    • aceshigh11 - May 10, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      Man, do I ever miss Greg Giraldo.

      He was so underrated as a comedian. His work on the Comedy Central roasts is simply legendary. Even Jeff Ross couldn’t touch him…he was close, but Giraldo was superior.


  8. number42is1 - May 10, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    In case you want REAL reasons for why gay marriage is a bad idea.

  9. jwbiii - May 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Q: Could a random collection of bums off the street outpitch the Phillies bullpen?

    That was actually tried once, and no.

    • jwbiii - May 10, 2012 at 7:33 PM

      Ok, Allan Travers was a pitcher at St. Joseph’s, not a random bum off the Philadelphia streets. But he still got lit up like a Roman candle.

  10. philliesblow - May 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Craig – any chance you could get @norunsupport to change her twitter account name to @5runpergame? Tigers have 8 quality starts but only 4 wins in May. It could have a bigger impact than replacing Lloyd McLendon as batting coach.

  11. El Bravo - May 10, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Q: Could a random collection of bums off the street outpitch the Phillies bullpen?

    No, because the Cubs already are using them in their pen.

    • chumthumper - May 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Cubs baseball = fantasy baseball

  12. trevorb06 - May 10, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    I just have to say when it comes to gay marriage (even though I am for it) that they need to stop arguing that they don’t have equal rights or their rights are being infringed upon somehow. Really, everybody in this country has the same rights when it comes to marriage. I can’t go out and marry a man, either; I’m just not upset that I can’t marry a man because I’m not gay.

    So again, I support gay marriage but the argument of not having equal rights really just gets under my skin because it’s not true.

    To flip to the other side though, where the anti gay marriage people say that men marrying men will lead to people marrying their dogs is also complete crap. When women got the right to vote that didn’t lead to dogs or hamsters getting the right to vote, did it?

    • aceshigh11 - May 10, 2012 at 1:49 PM

      “Really, everybody in this country has the same rights when it comes to marriage.”


      So…you’re saying that gay people have always had equal rights because all they have to do is lie to themselves about who they are and simply marry someone of the opposite gender?

      That’s really circular logic.

      • trevorb06 - May 10, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        I’m a straight man. I cannot go out and marry another man just like a gay man cannot go out and marry another man. We have the SAME RIGHTS when it comes to marriage.

        I will say it again hombre, I am pro gay marriage. What I find silly is that argument that there are not equal rights. Just because the rights are equal doesn’t mean they’re a good thing. I think the rights should be extended to include same sex marriage (for everybody).

      • aceshigh11 - May 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

        Ehh, I see the distinction you’re making, but it doesn’t really mean much of anything in the long run.

        I’m not bagging on you or calling you a bigot, trust me.

        Perhaps using the term “equal rights” is imprecise, but think of it this way: straight people have the right to marry the person they love; gay people don’t. That’s unequal.

    • schrutebeetfarms - May 10, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      trevor, this is a great point and has long annoyed me too.

      Everyone has the same rights currently. You may not be able to marry who you want to, but you have the same choices as everyone else.

      • Hoss - May 10, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Yeah but you’re allowed to marry the person you love and if your preference doesn’t fall into the accepted orientations you can’t. That’s called discrimination and it is not treating everyone equally. Are you too afraid to actually think about what it means to be gay?

      • trevorb06 - May 10, 2012 at 5:12 PM

        Historically marriage has never truly been about love. In Western Society today we obviously have it very good where marriage is truly about love, but throughout the history of mankind ‘love’ was a looser term when associated with marriage. The rights are equal for all: gay, straight or bi. The rights only need to be extended to all can marry the one they love regardless of gender or orientation.

      • trevorb06 - May 10, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        I also love how people thumb down the truth even though I (and I’m assuming schrutebeetfarms) are both supportive of gay marriage.

      • wlschneider09 - May 10, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        It’s people’s funny subtle way of pointing out that you don’t get it.

  13. scapistron - May 10, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    The actual most gutless thing Craig has seen on a baseball field, but was too shy to admit.

  14. trevorb06 - May 10, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Craig, I also want to say that Batman may support gay marriage BUT Bruce Wayne is OBVIOUSLY a republican so there would be NO WAY he ever would.

    • hasbeen5 - May 10, 2012 at 1:57 PM

      I’m a Republican and I couldn’t care less who marries who(m?). The argument that it ruins the institution of marriage is a joke. I mean, if the divorce rate is 50%, is there even an institution of marriage anymore? And two guys getting married will not affect my marriage in the slightest, and if your marriage would be affected by that, maybe you have other issues to address.

      • hasbeen5 - May 10, 2012 at 1:58 PM

        I take that back, I consider myself a Conservative, which most Republicans are not.

      • trevorb06 - May 10, 2012 at 5:13 PM

        I didn’t mean to offend with this comment. Unlike the comments above, this was an extremely sarcastic remark. Obviously there are idiots on BOTH sides of the political spectrum and unfortunately those bad apples spoil it for everybody because believe it or not there are actually very intelligent democrats and republicans who actually do believe in working together.

  15. DJ MC - May 10, 2012 at 3:54 PM

    C’mon Craig, we all know you didn’t go to baseball-writer school. You aren’t a complete hack.

  16. foreverchipper10 - May 10, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Craig, I seem to always miss the opportunity to ask a question but then again I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter. Do you tweet that it is question time or is it just understood Wednesday is a Twitter question kind of day?

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 10, 2012 at 10:28 PM

      I usually don’t announce it in advance. Last year I did it on Thursday nights, but this year it’s going to mostly be Wednesdays due to the video shooting schedule (I usually do this in order to get questions for HBT Extra, which we now shoot on Thursdays).

      No set schedule, but I try to keep it near 9PM or so on Wednesdays. And not every wednesday. I know that’s not a great way to plan, but whatever.

      • foreverchipper10 - May 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        It is enough to give me some sort of idea. Thanks!

  17. leftywildcat - May 10, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    I never understood how it is that those who get all worked up about saving the baby whales are generally the same ones who condone or encourage killing the unborn baby humans. So I have little tolerance for their “wisdom” on the subject of gay marriage.

    Play ball.

    • Reflex - May 11, 2012 at 12:24 AM

      What about the ones who support gay marriage and oppose abortion? How does one issue relate to the other?

    • Tim's Neighbor - May 11, 2012 at 12:28 AM

      They don’t encourage abortion. They merely believe that it should be up to individuals to decide if they want an abortion. Your statement also assumes that embryos are widely agreed to be humans. That is not remotely agreed upon. There is the difference.

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