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Answering your Twitter Questions

May 16, 2013, 2:03 PM EDT

Don Draper

Q: What did you think of Hideki Matsui’s postseason performance? Would you like to have a player like Matsui on your team?

I love the oldies.

Q: Went to watch the M’s at Yankees stadium last night and tonight. National Anthem pre-recorded both nights, is this a thing?

I wish it were more of one. How many times can one stand some wannabe pop or country artist warbling their way through the Anthem like it’s a ballad instead of a march? Because it’s a march, dammit, and if I’m named next Commissioner, my first act will be signing an order mandating that teams only play pre-recorded versions of the anthem, preferably by a band whose conductor knows it’s a damn march. Or they can play Jose Feliciano’s version. Either way.

Q: How has your fandom changed since you became a professional blogger?

I guess it’s broadened. I still root for my Braves, but I’m way more aware of what other teams are doing now and, for professional reasons, try to watch games of other teams more often than I used to. This has allowed me to appreciate other teams too. I think it’s safe to say that there’s more promiscuity in my fandom now. While I always come home to my true love, I fan around depending on my mood and I don’t care who knows it.

Q: Did you ever root for a player because they were Italian?

Pfun Pfact: while my name is Italian, I am not. By blood I am 50% Irish, 25% English and 25% Romanian Jew. The Calcaterra name came when my grandmother remarried and the guy, Mr. Calcaterra, adopted my father. But for that I’d be Craig McIntyre. Which woulda been kinda boring.

Q: Why does tofu taste so bad?

Because you’re not eating it right. I wouldn’t go crazy with it, but if you go to the right places — like this fantastic place I went during spring training — you can have fabulous tofu.

Q: Is there any other pitching matchup you’d rather see than Verlander-Darvish, which is happening Thursday?

It’s a good one, but I would’ve liked to see some Koufax-Marichal action back in the day.

Q: What in the world do you have on Ruben Amaro that made him decide to sign Carlos Zambrano? I assume it was your suggestion.

I have secret pictures of him he doesn’t want the world to see. They depict him having a plan.

Q: Everyone on Mad Men is a complete dick, why am I still watching this show?

Not gonna argue with that. They are mostly dicks. Non-dicks are Joan, Trudy Campbell and … well, I’m sort of blanking. Bert Cooper is OK. Roger used to be a bigger dick but now he’s played so much for laughs that he’s lost that dickish mojo he used to have.

But who cares? I feel like Prestige Sunday Television of the past few years has made us expect too much of TV shows. Everything now has to be The Best Thing Ever or carry with it some Extremely Important Narrative Thrust in order for it to be worth everyone’s time. Which is a nice byproduct of so much good TV, but it’s kind of exhausting. “Mad Men” is basically a period soap opera. So is “Downton Abbey” for that matter. It’s OK if they don’t blow our minds with drama, pathos and craziness like “The Wire” or “Breaking Bad” or whatever. It’s TV. Let it be TV.

Q: If I could choose only one of a love of comic books or baseball for my sons which should I choose?

Well, I’d suggest you let them discover their own loves, but if we go with your premise, choose baseball. It’s more reliably entertaining and at least has the potential to be a social experience.

Q: How many games does a guy have to watch of his favorite team in a season to actually be a fan?

These days not as many as one used to. You can follow your team online, reading box scores and the local paper’s notes column and keep up just fine. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with missing a lot of games. Baseball teams are more than just the games. There’s a whole ecosystem about them which provides enjoyment and value.

Q: Which is less legit: calling Ortiz a PED user, or calling Aquaman a superhero?

I think more eyebrows would be raised if you went up to Aquaman and accused him of heroism.

Q: Is Manny Machado already the best 3rd basemen in baseball?
Q: Manny Machado, 20 YO all star?

Lots of Manny Machado questions this week. And yes, he’s got serious game. I refuse to peg him as the best 3rd baseman in baseball though, if for no other reason than I feel like there’s going to be a movement resisting his ultimate switch to his natural shortstop and I don’t want to fuel that stupid fire at all.

Q: Any chance MLB ever fixes asinine TV blackout rules? Why can’t MLB enforce a “use or lose it” rule for local TV rights?

Because that would defeat MLB’s apparent desire to keep as many people from consuming its product as possible. But seriously: there has never been one satisfactory explanation as to why the blackout rules have to be the way they are. Because they don’t have to be that way and baseball is stupid and stubborn for not changing them.

Q: Does Jerry Dipoto survive the season?

[Looks in crystal ball] No. He is killed in a SCUBA diving accident in August. Tragic, really.  He is not fired, however.

Q: Is Ironman as an outfielder cheating?
Q: What position would Batman be in baseball?
Q: Which superhero would be the best baseball player? Non-Super Man type. Also can we just regulate Aqua Man to the Marlins?

I get these every time I ask for questions. They have already been answered:


Q: Will you ever again wear the Tigers cap @norunsupport’s dad gave you?

If you follow me on Twitter you know that my girlfriend’s father, a tremendous Tigers fan, sent me a Tigers cap yesterday after seeing me wear Braves and Dodgers caps over the weekend while he visited, apparently thinking he’ll convert me. Joke’s on him, though: I wear caps for almost any team. At present I own Braves, Tigers, Dodgers, Giants and Indians [block C] caps. If I win the Powerball on Saturday my first purchase — and I’m not lying — will likely be an order of every New Era team cap. I’d probably wear every one except Chief Wahoo. I do the same thing with shirts too. I suppose this ties in with the promiscuity point above, but baseball is too cool to tie yourself to one team’s merch. Oh, and if you’re looking for gift ideas, I wear a size 7 3/4.

Q: Are former MLB reliever Ray King and Abdullah the Butcher the same person?

You be the judge:

source:  source:

No. But, like Abudllah, Ray King probably did keep a fork in his uniform pants. He just used it for its intended purpose, not to gouge his head for bloody effect.

Q: What age is ideal for reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man? I’m 21 and finishing it tonight.

I’ll classify this as a Humble Brag. Or maybe it’s just a brag. As for the book, I’m a relatively well-read man pushing 40 with an English minor and I’ve never read it. Didn’t read Ulysses either. I decided at some point, probably while trying to get through some Faulkner, that I like to read for pleasure, not because I want to say I accomplished something.

Q: Did events in MN this week invalidate the sanctity of batting avg, and thus reduce Mauer’s value to the Twins?

I don’t know, but I do know this much: there are a lot of Twins fans who can now take their man-crushes on various players to a whole new level if they want to, and I’m happy for that.

Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one book what kind of bourbon would you be drinking?

The book would either be The Great Gatsby — which is pleasurable to read, even if it’s taught in school — or a Lew Archer novel and the bourbon would probably be Garrison Brothers. It may not be from Kentucky, but that stuff is ON POINT.

Q: If Clark & Lois procreate do you want an all super child? If not, what human qualities are desired?

Wait, I thought he was with Wonder Woman now? They split up? That kid would definitely be super. If he’s back with Lois I hope he has some vices and some humility for cryin’ out loud. Superman is alright, but he’s boring. And that’s the case no matter how much pathos modern writers try to give him. You’ve heard of white people problems? Superman takes that to a whole new level. “Oh, the burden of being nearly omnipotent and immortal. Woe!” Get tied, Supes.

Q: Matt Harvey: Great pitcher or greatest pitcher? Debating to reserve rooms in cooperstown in 20 years.

I love Harvey, but I do feel like we’re at the point where people need to acknowledge that he still doesn’t have the Mets track record that Jason Isringhausen had in 1995.

Q: I’m about to graduate law school. Do you feel sorry for me yet?
Q: Current corporate attorney. Kill myself with a bat or a cleat?

These come in bunches too. I do feel kinda sorry for the first guy because some law school admissions person probably tricked him into thinking it was 1999 and well-paying law jobs are handed out like candy. The second guy has some sympathy because being a transactional attorney is just the worst, but dude, at least you have a job.

Q: Do we need a World Series to get blown before umps have actual accountability and or replay expanded?

No, baseball is cool with World Series being blown with bad calls. They even celebrate it with video on their website:

It could happen again and baseball wouldn’t bat an eye. They’re cute that way.

Q: Favorite New Albanian brew?

Sadly we have no craft breweries in New Albany, Ohio yet. But I’m going to check this one out this weekend in Lancaster. I’ll give you a report.

Q: Best/favorite ballpark food?

I’ve become partial to the offerings at the Machine Room Grille in Great American Ballpark. They have some kickass mac and cheese and have speciality hot dogs too. Prices are reasonable for an in-park restaurant. And it’s democratic: get there when the doors open and you can eat there. It’s not all reserved for people who have the annoying habit of planning far ahead.

Q: What are your 5 favorite albums ever? (limit one per artist).

Gosh. This is gonna be hard. This could change every time you ask me. But off the top of my head: “Blood on the Tracks” by Dylan; “Revolver” Beatles; “Doolitte” Pixies; “Exile on Main St.” Stones; and the soundtrack to the movie “Until the End of the World” for a lot of personal reasons that aren’t worth going into now. Apologies to Neil Young, Tribe Called Quest, and about a gabillion others.

Q: Best divorce in historical record?

Prompted, I presume, by my tweeting yesterday about a new Twitter follower of mine which seems to exist only to tweet out depressing divorce statistics. Really made my day. Especially the one about how people who have friends who are divorced are more likely to get divorced themselves. That cost me a bunch of friends, dudes.

Anyway, there aren’t many good divorces. Mine sucked. If you had one it sucked. Every divorce pretty much sucks. That’s true even if you’re better off for being divorced. The process is awful. And no matter what the circumstances it necessarily means the death of what was once great hope and optimism.

That said: Tiger Woods’ ex came out pretty damn good, didn’t she? I mean, the money alone was fantastic, but the best part is that she doesn’t have to be married to a sleazeoid like Tiger Woods anymore, and that’s just a total positive.

Q: You can attend any baseball game in history … which?

Probably the Sid Bream/Francisco Cabrera game in the 1992 NLCS. Watching it on TV was great, but I would have loved to go crazy wild when that happened.

Q: Was Barry Bonds blackballed by MLB?

I don’t know. All I know is that he hit .276/.480/.565 with 28 homers in 2007, offered to play for the league minimum in 2008 and had no takers. I suppose there is an explanation for that. But I know what the easiest one is.

Q: Worst MLB trade of all time?

Babe Ruth for cash? Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson? Underrated and rarely mentioned: Mark McGwire for Eric Ludwick, T.J. Mathews and Blake Stein.

Q: Which team has surprised you the most this season?

I have to say the Yankees. I know it’s weird to talk about them as underdogs or surprises, but I don’t think anyone expected them to play this well in the early going. Best case scenario was that they’d keep their heads above water until the stars came off the DL. They’ve done more than that.

Q: Would Bryce Harper‘s The Wall get ANY coverage if it happened to say, Ben Revere?

Nope. Not ever. And I’m really wanting to know at what point we acknowledge that, for all the talk of Harper playing hard and with reckless disregard, that slam into the wall wouldn’t have happened if he had a better set of instincts and knew where he was on the field.

Q: Who are your World Series picks?

It’s silly to make them now. I picked Detroit and Washington at the outset of the season. No reason to come off that yet.

Q: How many nine year olds could you beat up at once. Like in a wrestling ring. 50? 100?

I have a nine year-old daughter and a son who is almost eight. Nine year olds are way tougher and bigger than you think. I can fend off my two kids fairly easily when we have to throw down, but it’d take only a couple more for them to be able to overpower me or, at the very least, tire me out until they had their chance to strike. I’m thinking 5-7 nine-years olds, if they try to work together, could easily take down a nearly 40 year-old man in my state of conditioning.

Q: Is Pat Corbin a legitimate candidate for NL Cy Young?

Eh, not really feeling it yet. Would like to see him strike out more guys. But sure, he’s been good. And every couple of years a “wins” guy beats out a guy with better peripherals. He could be that guy.

Q: Thoughts on Iron Man 3?

Haven’t seen it yet. I have a backlog at the moment. Need to see that, Gatsby (I know it will suck, cut me some slack) and Star Trek opens today. Hopefully I’ll have seen all three by this time next week.

Q: Will BJ Upton have an OPS over .700 by the end of the year?

Yes [he desperately hopes but bets no money on whatsoever]

Q: Who collides with things with more grace: Bryce Harper or George of the Jungle?

Someone with video editing skills needs to put our bro’s head on George here:

Q: Home runs kill rallies, discuss.

If I’m ever in charge of a network that does baseball games and a broadcaster says this I will fire him so fast he wouldn’t know what hit him.

Q: Favorite old school wrestling territory, please.

Georgia + Mid Atlantic as they morphed into WCW in the early-to-mid 80s is the be-all, end-all and I will accept no argument to the contrary. And it’s not just because Evan Gattis used to wrestle there:



That’s all I got, folks. I’ll answer a few more of the baseball-related questions on HBT Daily tomorrow.

  1. Alex K - May 16, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    The New Albanian is in New Albany, IN. It’s wonderful. My New Albany is better than Craig’s (beerwise)!

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 16, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      I stand corrected. Never had it, though. Next time I’m down in Louisville I’ll check it out.

      • Alex K - May 16, 2013 at 9:20 PM

        Do the Pizzeria. And try the beer cheese. Heaven in a cup.

  2. historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Best historical divorce: gonna go w/ Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman because my eyes!

    • indaburg - May 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Great news! The Danny Devito-Rhea Perlman divorce is off. Reunited and it feels so good…
      I mean, if those two crazy kids couldn’t make it work, what hope was there for the rest of us mortals?

      • historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        That one seriously did bum me out. I was just sure their Thanksgivings had to be wild and crazy. The world is now a better place.


    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 16, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      Now wait. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor married scandalously, then divorced, then remarried, then divorced again. Between them they had, like, what, nearly a dozen divorces? That has to get them some points here.

      • historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 6:17 PM

        I think that makes them pro and ineligible for amateur competition.

    • birdman6824 - May 16, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Oh Luuuuuccccyyyyy !

  3. lingerie00yardsale - May 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    This was great, Craig. Thanks for the insights and answering my question!

  4. zzalapski - May 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man was the only assigned book out of all the English classes in my life that I did not finish and did not care, because the writing was just so dense and plodding.

  5. DJ MC - May 16, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    I recommend that you take on another poorly-used song for your first act as commissioner: “God Bless America”.

    At least “The Star-Spangled Banner” is the national anthem. “God Bless America” is just a mediocre-at-best composition that gets used as a way to stick additional overpatriotism into a baseball game. And it’s rarely performed correctly, also.

    “God Bless America” is the Delmon Young of patriotic songs. I mean, if the teams feel a need to play SOME song of that type beyond the anthem, at least use a good one like “America, the Beautiful”.

    I realize that, being the kind of person who likely would play “Born in the USA” in that spot just to screw with everyone, I might be in the minority. But I’ve just really come to be annoyed by that song.

    • historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 3:03 PM

      Woody Guthrie approves this message.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - May 16, 2013 at 6:19 PM

      Quintuple thumbs up!!!! Double dose of patriotism? At a ball game? Maybe at a Medal of Honor recipient’s funeral. Perhaps it’s for those who have gotten so drunk they have already forgotten what country they’re in. Stand and remove your hats for a second anthem that isn’t our anthem? Sorry, but Take Me Out to the Ball Game or I’m going to the bathroom.

  6. aceshigh11 - May 16, 2013 at 2:45 PM

    Hey, Don Draper is like the Bizarro Craig.

  7. pitperc - May 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    The Star Spangled Banner is actually a waltz (3/4 time). One could play it up tempo, if one chose – but there’s no way to make it a march.

    • kopy - May 16, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      You got theoretical. I was just going to say it’s a drinking song.

    • raysfan1 - May 16, 2013 at 4:17 PM

      The Star-Spangled Banner is to the tune of an 18th-19th century British beer drinking song.

  8. zakharovsa - May 16, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    For the guy who asked: the anthem at Yankee Stadium is almost always recorded, except for the playoffs when FOX trots out Glee and American Idol people.

    I prefer the organ version that they play live when the Jays come to town. Then again, O Canada is a better song in every way so maybe that’s it.

    • DJ MC - May 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      “O Canada” is a great song, but for songs that represent their country, can you really get better than “The Star-Spangled Banner”?

      It’s a hastily-written poem filled with overwrought imagery and language composed by a lawyer in the aftermath of a minor battle that had little outcome on the war in which it was fought, cobbled together with the tune of a popular drinking song in local pubs, and slowly gained notice and popularity over time until it was officially declared a national symbol. How much more American than that can you get?

  9. fearlessleader - May 16, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    Pitperc is mostly right. Marches are (by definition) in 2/4 meter, since humans have two feet, and the national anthem is in 3/4 (though it’s not a waltz). But Craig, we completely agree on the preferability of a brisk tempo, and I have a couple other pet peeves I’d like to air as long as I’m making myself unpopular already: 1) The word is “perilous,” not “per-uh-liss,” and 2) it makes no sense, textually, to breathe between “star-spangled” and “banner” in the second-to-last line (“oh, say, does that star-spangled [GASP] banner yet wave….”), and singers wouldn’t NEED to breathe there if they took a non-stodgy tempo to begin with. Thank you. I’ll go now.

    • aceshigh11 - May 16, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      You know what else really grinds my gears? [/griffin]

    • kopy - May 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Jim Cornelison? Is that you?

  10. randygnyc - May 16, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    Craig, I was at the Sid bream game in Pit. My brother was going to university there and a pirates fan. I drove out from NY. During the game, we went to the ticket office and bought World Series tickets. It was the lean years for the Yankees, pre-dynasty. I figured what the hell, root for the pirates. No need to mention I was terribly disappointed. At least I got to see a historical play.

    • yatchisin - May 16, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      The 7th game of that series was in Atlanta, not Pittsburgh. So you saw that historical play on TV. Not sure what tickets you bought.

      • randygnyc - May 16, 2013 at 8:32 PM

        After reading your comment, I had to call my brother. Gosh, my memory sucks. I had been to the last home game in Pit, where we bought WS tickets. We then watched the Bream game at his house. I returned to NY and he got the refund.. Too bad, I was so eager to Lord this over Craig.

  11. jarathen - May 16, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    What I wouldn’t give to live through the Angels-Giants Game 6 in Anaheim in 2002 without knowing the outcome.

  12. qacm - May 16, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    If I was commish, the only version of the national anthem any team could use would be Jimi Hendrix from Woodstock.

    • tpxdmd - May 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM

      If I was commish, the only version of the national anthem any team could use would be Enrico Palazzo’s.

  13. indaburg - May 16, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    The moment I discovered my relationship had issues: when my spouse argued with no sense of irony that home runs kill rallies. Dude, do you even understand the point of the game?

    • historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      You might have married beneath you. I’m assuming he’s had counseling since.

      • indaburg - May 16, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        I scoff. Lost case. This is the same man who argues that you can pitch to the score and that wins and losses are a reflection of pitcher quality. Football fans.

      • historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 5:05 PM

        Enough said. You’re a saint.

    • albertmn - May 16, 2013 at 4:52 PM

      Totally agree that it is a silly point to make in baseball.

      But, if you are talking slow pitch softball, it seems like a HR after a bunch of singles often did end the rally. Hitting is contagious and it seemed some players were more relaxed in a rally inning than when they had to all of a sudden bat with the bases empty.

      • indaburg - May 16, 2013 at 5:04 PM

        I’m talking baseball, Paul, BASEBALL. Quit changing the subject.

  14. beearl - May 16, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    The 4th question reminds me of a Jim Valvano anecdote. Back in the 80’s he was asked if he played Vinny Del Negro because he was Italian. Jimmy V replied “No, I play him because I’M Italian!”

    Jimmy V was the best.

  15. cardsfanandi - May 16, 2013 at 4:30 PM

    On the subject of ballpark food, I ended up with some tickets in the Redbird Club at Busch last Friday night. I discovered the greatest hotdog I’ve ever come across (my friend had it, so I have no idea what it’s actually called). It’s a hoagie bun with baked beans on it, with a bacon wrapped hotdog nestled in the middle, and topped with pico de gallo, slightly sweet pickles, a mountain of french fried onions, grilled onions, and some spicy mustard. It’s a giant mess, but oh man, it’s worth it.

    I’ve heard the funnel fries at Kaufman are pretty awesome too, although can you really go wrong with funnel cake?

  16. historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Also, can’t we make it a law that the only song you sing during the stretch is Take Me Out to the Ballgame?

    • indaburg - May 16, 2013 at 5:33 PM

      It should be a constitutional amendment.

      • historiophiliac - May 16, 2013 at 5:35 PM

        I’m pretty sure not doing that was what caused the decline of the Roman Empire.

      • indaburg - May 16, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        I believe it. You are the subject matter expert.

    • unclemosesgreen - May 16, 2013 at 6:55 PM

      I’m pretty sure there’s lead in your water if you think “Sweet Caroline” shouldn’t be sung at Fenway.

      • DJ MC - May 16, 2013 at 7:44 PM

        Well, what are you drinking to forget that the Red Sox play “Sweet Caroline” during the middle of the eighth inning?

      • unclemosesgreen - May 17, 2013 at 8:55 AM

        What are you smoking that you don’t know the Sox play that song during the seventh inning STRETCH.

    • DJ MC - May 16, 2013 at 7:43 PM

      I don’t have a problem with singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” along with another song (“Thank God I’m A Country Boy” in Baltimore, for example). But yes, it should come first, and if a choice is necessary should be the pick.

  17. moogro - May 16, 2013 at 8:21 PM

    Watch good anthems turn into great anthems, side-by-side. I’m not Canadian and that’s the most emotionally powerful one I ever saw. But maybe liking hockey helps.

  18. Kevin S. - May 16, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Pre-recorded national anthem? It’s Marvin Gaye from the 1983 NBA All Star Game, and if you have issues with it being slow, you can just get over them.

    • mazblast - May 17, 2013 at 2:18 AM

      A college buddy and I had season tickets to our alma mater’s basketball games for about 25 years. We always rated the Anthem singers, but never gave out anything over 9. One night, the guys behind us asked who could possibly get a 10. We turned around and set simultaneously, “Marvin.”

      RIP, Mr. Gaye. You were the ultimate in cool–and thanks for helping so many of us get laid so many times.

  19. kendallsalter - May 17, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Oh my God. Lew Archer novels are great. So hard to find unless you order online now, but just as good as Raymond Chandler/James M. Cain. Sometimes better.

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