Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Something About Letters Numero 4

Well we've made it around the horn with our bloggers answering your letters, and we still don't have a real name for the segment. Will we ever? Maybe a suggestion for the name could come in the letters. Would that be meta? Debatable. I'm not really sure what that even means. Okay great fine.

How good is Ichiro historically? Does he make sense as a replacement for Gardner this year?

The first part of your question is very difficult to answer. He came to the MLB at the age of 27 after a decently long career in Japan. He's won two batting titles, led the league in hits seven times, and has the all-time record for hits in a season (262). For Christ's sake, he has over 2500 hits and this is his 12th season. But he is a Punch and Judy hitter, which is certainly not the most valuable type of hitter. His career wOBA is .345, only a little above average. Sort of like Mariano Rivera, he is among the best ever at what he does, but what he does isn't that valuable. He's also a GREAT right fielder, perhaps the best of this generation in baseball. So he's a complicated figure in terms of all-time greatness, like Rivera. I think he's a Hall of Famer because he is SO good what he does (some day I will write my criteria for Hall of Famers), but he is not, for instance, a top-50 hitter of all time.

And as for the second part of your question, he's not replacing Gardner because Gardner is out for the year. He's replacing Andruw Jones/Raul Ibanez (though whether Ichiro be the true everyday left fielder remains to be seen). By my estimation, Ichiro is NOT a good replacement for those two players. The Yankees would be better off with the situation they have now than with Ichiro; they both get on base more than Ichiro and both have more power. Ichiro's defense is probably better than Andruw Jones's at this point, but perhaps not by much, and certainly not enough to jettison Jones from playing almost every day. It's a somewhat baffling move for the all-but-completely washed up Ichiro to replace a platoon that has worked quite well for the Yankees. Maybe they did it because Ichiro Yankees jerseys will sell like hot cakes.

Why do you need an updated prescription to order new contact lenses? Shouldnt it be up to you if you want to have an outdated prescription? You can wear the same glasses for years, why not replenish your old contacts

I've never worn contacts, but my suspicion is that the person who sent this question is just being a bitch about going to the eye doctor. THEY SHINE A LIGHT IN MY EYESIES ME NO LIKEY!

Why is it that gas caps are on different sides? And what side should be the norm and why?

I think gas caps are on different sides in different cars because cars are all built differently, and no one ever sat all the car companies down and decided on an industry standard. I think the location of the gas tank is sort of an afterthought after all the engine shit, safety and whatever else. I clearly know everything there is to know about cars. Something about independent rear suspension.

If I were to dictate the industry standard, I would say that they should be on the passenger's side, though for a very picky reason. I find that most of the time, I pull into a gas station by turning right because there are often gas stations on both sides of the road, so I pick the right one. I find that many gas stations also have two entrances/exits. So I pull in to the station on the right in the entrance that is closest. So if you're picturing this, your car is oriented with the gas tanks on the passenger's side. So because I can't think of any other basis on which to choose, I'd go with the one that is more convenient like 70% of the time.

Are girls the worst?

Kinda. No no no no no jk jk jk jk jk they're not they're not.

If you could start a sports league from scratch, what salary cap structures/rules would you put in place, if any?

I'm a big believer in hard salary caps a la the NFL. Teams rise and fall in the NFL faster than in any other league, and it forces teams to be smart about how they allocate their payroll. It makes it fairer, it keeps all fan bases involved, and it gives hope each year for each team. The soft cap in the NBA with luxury taxes still gives teams with big budgets a bigger advantage. It's far from perfect. The only thing I would change about the NFL is making sure teams couldn't just void a contract by cutting a player. A small amount of guaranteed money would need to be insured in my league for players who are released. All that money wouldn't necessarily need to count against the salary cap, but teams would be responsible for it.

The basically non-existant salary cap in the MLB is just awful. It allows teams like the Yankees and the awesome Red Sox to just swing their dicks all over the place. It puts not just small-market teams, but middle-market teams at a gigantic disadvantage, and allows teams like the Pirates to keep turning a profit by sucking. It makes just as much sense for the Pirates to not even try than to try to compete, having a middling team at best, and lose money. There's a like 8-team aristocracy in baseball and that ain't right. So yeah, hard salary cap like the NFL with some more rights for players. Boom.

What is your favorite summer jam, and what constitutes a summer jam?

To the second part of your question, a summer jam is a pop/rock song that is positive, upbeat, and has a sweet, singable chorus. Reggae or hip hop songs aren't really "summer jams" per se. They can be good summer songs, like many Bob Marley songs, but to call them "jams" is a stretch. A jam has to be something you can jam out to, but since it's the summer, it's gotta put you in a good, sunny mood. My favorite summer jam is Hootie and the Blowfish's timeless classic "Holy My Hand." It's a jam for every season really. Fine, that's my favorite song. No no no jk jk jk (but seriously)
I disagree with your take on this, but please explain why you think PBJ is the greatest sandwich there is.

This is a really irresponsible misrepresentation of what I said. It's not even that it's taken out of context; it's just incorrect. What I said was that PBJ is obviously better than a similarly-constructed turkey sandwich. Just slapping some turkey and mustard on bread is CLEARLY not as good as PBJ. It's very bland and lacking in substance. PBJ is sweet, savory, hearty, fulfilling and flavorful. It stands on its own MUCH better than plain turkey. Of course, a sandwich with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles and chipotle mayo on a French baguette is better than any PBJ you can create. But I never said it wasn't. Not that I'm even here to talk about the past, because I'm not.
If you could only have one condiment to use for the rest of your life, and had to use it in place of other condiments, meaning you couldn't just not have ketchup on your burger you'd have to have your condiment of choice, what would you pick?

This question gets me thinking about when I use condiments. I don't really use them on hamburgers, and I usually put mustard on hot dogs. As the previous question indicates, if I'm eating a plain sandwich, it's a PBJ. The only condiment that I use with any regularity is actually hot sauce, and that goes with everything that I would ever use condiments on. It makes the flavors bolder, as any boldness expert will tell you. I could, as Frank's Red Hot commercials say, put that shit on everything. Hot sauce: the answer. And if you get diarrhea after, it's the fiery kind of diarrhea, which is fun. Fiarrhea.
Favorite athlete in each sport who isn't on your team.

Big toughie. Here they are:
NBA: Used to be Steve Nash, but now he's on the Lakers. YOU BLEW IT NASH. I'm gonna go with Andre Miller. He's just a really interesting player to me in that he doesn't seem to have any discernible skills. He's just super smart. I enjoy him immensely.

MLB: I root hard for baseball players whom I think are underrated. I'm gonna go with Shin-Soo Choo, a guy who has been underrated for a number of years now. And he had that whole thing about having to join the South Korean military, which was really dramatic and awesome.

NFL: I like players in football who are exciting as hell and balls-to-the-wall. I think Maurice Jones-Drew is my favorite non-Patriot for this reason, and because I think he's underrated by the non-fantasy football crowd. Terrell Suggs would be a no-brainer if he didn't play for the Ravens, who are a minor rival of the Patriots.

NHL: It's obviously Ryan Miller. He rubbed his scrotum all over the Olympics FOR AMERICA in 2010. Sure we only won silver, but who the hell cares? It's hockey. Only white people play it. USA USA USA USA USA

My MLB and NFL favorite players rhyme, and my NBA and NHL players are both named Miller. Notable.


  1. The question about favorite athlete not on your team certainly didn't pertain to hockey I said "sport." Fucking amateur.

  2. i think the gas cap thing is so that cars can approach gas stations from either side. as a whole, if one side isn't favored over the other, then i think they think it increases efficiency at gas stations. i think the ratio is surprisingly close to 50:50 for that reason.