Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters

Well, we haven't gotten anything better, so I'm going to stick with Steve's suggestion from last week and go with The Whole 42 Letters. 

Before we get going, my Milwaukee Brewers released Randy Wolf today, and I know that I am the go-to source for snarky Internet commentary about the Milwaukee Brewers so here goes. One of the key reasons I thought the team wouldn't suck this year was that I expected Randy Wolf to not completely implode (and for Shaun Marcum to stay healthy). I was so very wrong. Now, had I been thinking logically, I should have known that Randy Wolf was Jeff Suppan 2.0 and jumped ship a long time ago.

Derp. I look entirely too pleasant and can no longer get guys out.

*Last night while watching Ervin Santana pitch against the Red Sox, I asked editor-in-chief Steve whether Santana was better than Edwin Jackson because I conflate/confuse the two, and we both immediately agreed that Jackson and Santana are the same pitcher, to the point where they should have the exact same stats. Well the only duo I can think of to resemble each other quite as much would be Randy Wolf and Jeff Suppan. Especially regarding their late-career implosions while pitching for the Brewers.*

Even when Randy Wolf was good, he kind of sucked. He got guys out with smoke and mirrors. This blog caught a Brewers-Red Sox game at Fenway last year  in which Wolf shut down the Sox for 7 innings and it never at any point seemed like he was pitching well. He didn't have pinpoint control (or at least that reputation with umpires) like Maddux. He didn't have a single go-to pitch. He just had junk and he threw a fastball at about 89 and a few breaking balls and he was moderately effective. Some guys can do this almost infinitely, though as Jamie Moyer proved this year, all things must come to an end. There was a time when Wolf could out-fox hitters (get it???) but not this year. 5.69 ERA! 1.57 WHIP! Just nothing redeeming. It made me pine for the halcyon days of Ruben Quevedo (I can guarantee that I am literally the first person to ever write that sentence). At least Quevedo was supposed to suck.

Wolf was infuriating. Never really more than a glorified 3 starter, the 2012 vintage of Wolf was now the worst pitcher on a team imploding. And the Brewers finally let him go. ON HIS 36TH BIRTHDAY. Because screw Randy Wolf. Small market teams fall in love with safe guys (like Wolf and Suppan) and give them too much money because they think it's a sure thing. Well, it's not. I like to imagine that Mark Attanasio shoved Wolf down Bernie Brewer's slide as he was pushing him out the door and he's been sliding down and down ever since... TO HELL. 

Will the Wolf survive, indeed?

On to your questions...

What's the most embarrassing song on your iPod? Mine is "My Sharona" by The Knack.

Probably "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego" by Rockapella. I don't generally call things guilty pleasures, because I consciously chose to have all the music on my iPod, but that one's pretty irredeemable beyond nostalgic kitsch. Also, I just looked through quickly and somehow "Running on Empty" by Jackson Browne is on there. I checked and it has received zero plays. Phew. I was going to have to do some serious soul-searching.

I'm 9, and I'd like to know who you think is better... Spongebob or Patrick?

First off, thanks for writing in! We've gotten some flack for our family-unfriendly language but I'm pleased to know that your parents are clearly awesome and let you read our stuff.

To answer your question, it's Patrick by a mile. Spongebob has a little too much Jerry Seinfeld in him, and sometimes he exists for everyone to be wacky around him. Plus he's whiny. Patrick could absolutely be one of my friends, and we would get so many crabby patties together, whereas Spongebob would be the guy that hangs around but everyone is kind of sick of.

How many times is it acceptable to reuse a towel?

I have three towels (just swapped out an old one for a new fluffy guy from Target! Aw yeah!) and I do my laundry every other week, so about 4-5 times. Your question brings up a problem I run into sometimes precisely because it's a question I would usually be too awkward to just ask someone. What if I'm totally weird and/or disgusting and I never knew it? Like maybe people only use a towel once and that's the accepted way to do things? I really have no idea. I knew a guy that smelled really bad even though he claimed he wore deodorant only to have his friends discover that he was applying it with the cap still on. I DON'T WANT TO BE THAT AWKWARD MISGUIDED SMELLY GUY WHEN IT COMES TO TOWEL ETIQUETTE. I don't think I am. Just saying.

Imagine someone in your family won Powerball and decided to give you a gift of a new car. What kind of car would you get?

Batmobile. If money were no object, fuck Prii (plural form of Prius).

What's the grossest ice cream flavor?

I don't know that I've ever had a "gross" ice cream flavor. They all seem to me variants on the same thing, and the weird ones I've tried, like spicy mango or pistachio, have been surprisingly good. The flavor that I'm always disappointed in is Rocky Road. Marshmallow in ice cream is kind of a diminishing return. I'd feel the same about cotton candy or any flavor that's predominantly sugar.

What food's goodness is diminished the most by being canned rather than fresh?
I had this exact conversation with someone (maybe it was the letter writer? They're anonymous) about canned mushrooms, which truly are significantly worse than fresh. And I love mushrooms. I'll eat 'em on anything. That's a pretty good choice. That or maybe tomatoes, though canned tomatoes have a time and place... And that place is college. And in sauce.

If one of your facial features had to be really noticeably big (like Adrien Brody's nose level, not like Cyrano de Bergerac or anything), what would you choose?

I got a big ol' dome to begin with, so I would take that first if it were an option, since I'm ruggedly handsome as is. Otherwise, ears are the way to go. CAN'T MAKE JEW JOKES ABOUT BIG EARS.
... he says as if he were at any point taunted for having a big nose, which he doesn't, and also he went to a Jewish elementary school for the prime body-related taunting era in his life and so didn't get sneered at for looking Jewish. 

I guess I don't really have to exorcise any demons about this. I'll just move on.

Let's say you get to play for your favorite pro sports team. You're a player, and you're good enough to be a player. The only thing is that you never get to wear the uniform. You just wear whatever clothes you want, but you can't wear that team's uniform. How much does this diminish the experience of being a player on your favorite team?

I think it diminishes the experience pretty significantly in terms of the value of playing for my favorite team, because the jersey would have some specific sentimental connotation, but not diminish the value of being a professional athlete so much. I could still get all the ancillary benefits of being an athlete with or without getting to wear the jersey. And maybe I'd get to be a fashion icon. Like Chris Bosh.

Chris Bosh. Fashion icon.

Should Melky Cabrera get more punishment for hilariously making up a website?
Absolutely not. I can't think of anything more entertaining (and schadenfreude-y for Yankees and Braves fans who LOATHE him) than the Melky Cabrera saga. For those uninitiated, check this Deadspin write-up, but the short story is that Melky tested positive for testosterone and then some of his people bought up numerous overseas URLs and added a fake product that Melky would have accidentally bought and ingested that contained steroids. I mean harebrained doesn't even begin to describe this scheme. I think the MLB should reduce Melky's suspension just for having balls, which are probably pretty small by now (STEROIDS JOKE! ZING!).

In equally un-shocking steroid-related news, Bartolo Colon got caught using testosterone, too. He should have claimed he just ate too much beef tainted with steroids. It'd be believable.

Bartolo Colon. Fatty.

Let's say you become the sovereign of a nation. You're a great sovereign, and things have never been better in that nation than when you were the sovereign. The only problem is that everyone, including your people and everyone in the international community, sees you as being just as bad as, say, Saddam Hussein, even though you're great. Would you still want to be the sovereign? 

It would really depend on whether I had access to nuclear weapons/whether or not some dick country like the US would ignore sovereignty laws and bomb my country to bits. The bigger problem would be that if the world saw me as some great despot, I'd probably be tempted to actually play the part and start executing people on my whim and decreeing lunatic things to see what I could get away with. ANYONE CAUGHT IN POSSESSION OF A BLACK EYED PEAS SONG SHALL BE FORCED TO DANCE UNTIL THEIR DEATH. (FYI - no Black Eyed Peas on my iPod.)

Kobe Bryant is seen as a selfish player because of his playing style. People think that he doesn't trust his teammates and therefore plays hero ball. I posit the theory that Kobe trusts his teammates but he trust himself much more and as a result he doesn't pass the ball that frequently. With Steve Nash and Dwight Howard plus another year of slipping athleticism do you think that Kobe will retool his game? Or does his confidence/selfishness fuel him so much that there is only one way Mamba can play?

I think he has been retooling his game and that he'll do to Nash and Howard what he did when Gasol first arrived, which is sublimate his ego not to feed them but to just sort of play with his new toys. At some point in the season, old Kobe will re-emerge and he'll make a stupid basketball play that Nash would never in a million years have done, but I think championship 6 is the most important thing for Kobe. He won't gun for 40 this year (and we saw him change his style for the sake of his body when Ramon Sessions, who BLOWS, came to the team). I still think he's selfish and if he sees the team going down, he'll get his so as to show it's not his fault, but he certainly knows how to play good basketball. That wasn't really an answer. Sorry.

If you could only watch movies with one actor for the rest of your life who's movies would you watch? 

My immediate answer was Samuel Jackson, because he's a bad motherfucker, but then I realized that I would have access to the new Star Wars trilogy and not the old one and that would drive me insane. Clint Eastwood or Denzel are both good choices, but their movies are all pretty similar to each other. Tom Hanks might not be bad, but he's not in that many movies that I absolutely love (Forrest Gump being an obvious exception). 

Attacking this from a different angle, my three favorite movies are probably Blazing Saddles, Pulp Fiction, and Airplane and I wouldn't want to go the rest of my life without seeing them. I don't think they have anyone in common, so of all the actors in those movies, it'd be down to Gene Wilder, Bruce Willis, Jackson or Leslie Nielsen. I'm tempted to go Leslie but that's not a good answer either (though I love Naked Gun). 

Let's just pick Will Ferrell. Love me some Step Brothers.

Foodies in recent years have taken to pairing beers with foods, such as a lemony summer ale with barbecued fish, or urine-y Coors Light with Spam (also Spam, Spam, Spam, sausage and Spam). Which beer(s) do you drink while watching your favorite sports teams compete?

For this Brewers season, whatever light beer that tastes most like piss. I find Beck's to be very good football watching beer, though I remember specifically that I drank a ton of Magic Hats during the Packers' recent Super Bowl run. I can't decide for basketball, though I'd certainly want something with lots of hops (I'm so inordinately proud of that joke, it's sickening). Goose Island Honkers Ale is my favorite beer these days, so that goes with anything.

More than a week after the Olympics, I can't stop thinking about the bronze medal game for women's team handball and replaying each shot in my mind. Any advice?

Funny you should say that because I can't get "Chariots of Fire" out of my head. I seriously want that song to score everything because it's so epic. AND THE BRITS USE IT UN-IRONICALLY. That tune has been in thousands of montages, and it hasn't been used straight-faced like it was at the Olympics since 1983. Loved it.

Send in your questions to Sean for next week. Muchin out.


  1. On the SpongeBob question, while I agree that Patrick is better, SpongeBob is not "whiny" as you claim. He is indefatigably positive. Squidward is whiny.

    1. Sorry, I meant bitchy more than whiny I guess. Spongebob cries a lot, and it's not even remotely endearing like when Patrick does it.