Monday, July 2, 2012

Funmail/Ask Z-Bo/whatever we decide on
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the first installment of our weekly mail-answering segment. Thank you for your letters. As a reminder, send letters here or leave them in the comments, and we will respond to them as best we can. Steve is up this week, and next week it'll be Jon. Sean will answer them the week after that. And we'll rotate from there on out. TERRIFIC! Onward:

Say you could go to the NBA but you wouldn't actually play. You'd get a jersey, you'd get to high five the starters when they came off the court, you'd be basically Brian Scalabrine. How many years of your life would you give up? You would only make the money you would have in your normal career, but you'd get recognized by die hard fans and probably get all the ass that comes with being a pro athlete.

What a good-looking question! Two big things about this question: How long do I get to do this? I'll assume that I can have a normal NBA career (let's say 8-10 years). And secondly, I would only make my normal career money? I can't imagine that I'll ever make THAT much money in my career (unless this blogging thing really takes off!), so that's one huge part of the NBA player equation that's missing. The NBA season is sort of grueling if you're only making, say, a first-year teacher's salary, but in other ways, it's a baller-ass lifestyle. I'd also get to put myself in when I play an NBA video game. So that would be sweet.
Let's say that I would live to the average life expectancy of 78 (let's be honest, I'm crapping out way before that). So, to be able to hang out with awesome NBA players, not do a real job, and have a kick-ass NBA All-Star weekend every year (with Scalabrine-level ass to boot!), I'd give like 8 years. Seems fair, one for one. Basically it's 8 years of fun rather than sitting behind a desk and dicking around on the Internet. Now if I actually got to make millions, that's a whole other story.

If you could remake one movie where you took the place of the main character, with your same personality and acting ability, what would it be?

Interesting. The perfect movie for me to do this would fit the following criteria:
1. The demands on the lead actor would have to be really small, so that my awful acting wouldn't ruin it too much. It basically couldn't be any, say, Leonardo DiCaprio or Philip Seymour Hoffman role. If I tried really hard, I could do an only slightly terrible job.
2. It would have to be a movie that's not culturally/critically important (I'm not gonna be Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca because that would ruin a classic. It wouldn't be a classic if I played the Humphrey Bogart part, in fact, so I wouldn't get any sweet recognition for it).
3. The role would still make me a really sweet and awesome dude for having played it.

Y'know what? What about being the lead in the first Harry Potter movie? Daniel Radcliffe wasn't a "good actor" per se when he was like 11 years old. I probably could've done a decent job with that. I was a smart kid who would've tried really hard and listened to acting coaches. And no one would blame me for being bad because I was just a kid. Plus I get to be the first Harry Potter. Yup, the answer is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Why don't the Heats just put LeBJ at pointguard?

I think they kind of do that a lot. Their current starting point guard, Mario Chalmers, has one of the lowest Basketball IQ's in the league at point guard as far as I can tell. His teammates are on his ass constantly about being dumb. But in reality, LeBron does play point guard a lot. The offense runs through him, and he even brings the ball up a lot. And you don't want LeBron matching up on the other team's point guard on D (at least not most of the team). I sort of think Miami does an okay job handling LeBron's specific talents, but I think you're right in that they shouldn't be afraid to have LeBron run the offense and not have a true point guard out there. They should be unafraid to play a LeBron-Wade-Battier-Bosh-Anthony lineup, or something like that.

Do you say he got 100 RBI or 100 RBIs?

I say 100 RBI because I'm a pretentious asshole. Really, I should say 100 RsBI.

Which baseball position is most important? And why do they have such different offensive production?

The second part of your question is sort of easily answered I think. A position like first base or right field has more production because it's relatively easy to play. You put great hitters who aren't so great in the field at first base or right field. A position like shortstop, however, is more difficult. You need to put an excellent defender at shortstop (unless you're the Yankees) because a bad shortstop will hurt your team significantly. So to find an excellent defender who's also an excellent hitter is fairly rare. The most difficult defensive positions have the worst hitters (shortstop, catcher, second base, center field), whereas the easiest positions have the best hitters (DH obviously, first base, corner outfielders).
And does the first part of your question mean 'which defensive position is most important on defense?' The cop-out answer is pitcher, but if we're talking about a real answer, I'd say probably shortstop. Center fielders and second basemen tend to get a few more putouts (as do first basemen, but those are different), but I think a shortstop's putouts are more difficult to get, and can save more runs. They have a bigger area to cover and more difficult throws than second basemen, and more responsibilities on the diamond than center fielders. So I'd say shortstops. Catchers have a legitimate case as well, but I'd almost call that a cop-out answer as well.

Is it me, or should the quidditch world cup be a 3 game cumulative point total championship? I mean, sure Ireland won without catching the snitch, but the way quidditch works it would usually just be a 1 game event based on one player catching it.

The snitch's role in quidditch makes the sport itself really, really flawed. Catching the snitch is way too important in quidditch for it to be a compelling sport. Your proposal does a little bit to make it better, but I think a single match should be conclusive in some way for any sport. Essentially, a team just has to make sure it's not down by more than 150 at any point (shouldn't be that hard), and hope that their guy catches the snitch. If the sport were just snitch-seeking, that's fine. This whole shit with the quaffle and whatnot is frivolous. The success of your team is almost completely reliant on the success of one player (the seeker), which not good. Quidditch is exciting, but the competition is actually really shitty. Stupid sport. Also, Victor Krum catching the snitch so that his team would lose was absolute bullshit and would never happen if quidditch were a real sport.

Please rank the following players in terms of how much you like or dislike their handling of free agency: LeBron James, Deron Williams, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Steve Nash.

From most like to least like, the list is:

1. Steve Nash
2. Chris Bosh
3. LeBron James
4. Carmelo Anthony
5. Deron Williams
6. Dwight Howard

Nothing wrong with what Nash is doing. No reason for him to be loyal to the shitty Suns. He can do whatever he wants and I'm okay with that. Same with Bosh: no reason to be loyal to the shitty Raptors. He's slightly behind Nash because he went to the Heat so fuck him (not a reason that makes any sense at all when you think about it for 2 seconds). The only real problem I have with LeBron's free agency is The Decision. I don't mind that he left Cleveland, and I don't mind that he went to a team that gave him the best chance to win a championship. The Decision was completely obnoxious and unnecessary, however, so fuck that.
The final three suck because they demanded trades, which is horseshit. I hate that shit. Carmelo did the least damage to his team in demanding a trade, and the Nuggets got okay value for him. Deron Williams forced his coach out, which is bitchy and I hate that a lot. And Dwight Howard continues to be an absolute asshole about his free agency. He demands a trade, forces out his coach, claims he never said things that he said, says he'll come back to play for the Magic for another year and then waffles about that. Fuck you, Dwight Howard. You are a penis.

How long (if ever) will it take for baseball to completely use instant replay? Balls/Strikes/Plays at the plate, etc.

Baseball currently uses instant replay basically only to determine if a ball was a home run or not. I think that instant replay will very gradually expand to include other little things (fan interference on other plays, plays at the plate) for the remainder of Bud Selig's tenure as Commissioner. Bud Selig is quickly approaching his 78th birthday, so I think he will be done as Commissioner in about three years.
After he departs, I think baseball will become a lot more progressive, especially vis-a-vis instant replay. I think within three years of Selig's departure, all out/safe calls will be subject to instant replay (though they will be limited, like a coach's challenge-type system as in the NFL). Baseball will finally figure out that it's worth it to have an MLB official in the booth to review any and all challenged plays quickly and definitively. There have been a bunch of very public dipshitty calls over the past few years, so I think this is coming sooner rather than later.
This system, however, will not apply to balls and strikes. Balls and strikes will NEVER become challengeable. Balls and strikes will not be taken out of the hands of umpires until a computer calls all balls and strikes. And I don't see this happening in the foreseeable future. It might happen in 20 years, 50 years, or 100 years. It may never happen. But I really don't see managers or players ever being able to challenge balls and strikes.

Which presidents were packin' (Obama excluded)? Which weren't?

Luckily, I've considered every president's penis size and can answer this question having already pondered it thoroughly. The president (other than Obama) with the biggest penis is either Teddy Roosevelt or Lyndon Johnson. Those guys were balls out (perhaps even balls to the wall) and gave less of a shit than any other presidents. The presidents with the smallest penises include the Adams family (John and John Quincy) and Jimmy Carter. Your middle name can't be Quincy. Yeah he totally had the smallest penis. Although Jimmy Carter...Jesus...I CARE ABOUT HOSTAGES! Shut the fuck up Jimmy Carter.
Bill Clinton is a popular choice for biggest penis, but it wasn't about the penis for Bill. It was about the gravy. And oh was there ever so much gravy. Nicest, friendliest overall penis belonged to the lovable Gerald Ford, whereas the meanest, nastiest penis is a tie between the obvious Richard Nixon and that pissant Benjamin Harrison. The best overall penis, needless to say, belonged to George Washington. I love this goddamn country.


  1. Thanks for providing the opportunity to share my long-repressed thoughts on this subject. Lincoln was the tallest president, so you should have considered him. On the other hand, maybe wearing the top hat was just his way of compensating. JFK probably slept with Marilyn Monroe, so he deserves at least an honorable mention for "Best Use Of..." And if you're going by name alone, you can't do better than Millard Fillmore.

    1. You know, you're right. Height is an important factor in determining penis size. Everyone remember that. And JFK filled 'em best, but no one filled 'em more like Millard.

    2. What are the odds W.H. Taft could even see his? (Also in my head, he looks disturbingly like Mike Holmgren... not sure if this is actually true or not.)

  2. I forgot one. As Lily von Shtup said to Sheriff Bart after she dimmed the lights about midway through "Blazing Saddles," "Is it twoo how you people are, eh, gifted? Oh, it's twoo, it's twoo!" Barack Obama is every American's president, but he's, at least partly, one of Sheriff Bart's people.