The start of the weekend mail
You fine folks have let me down a bit.
There’s these and maybe one or two leftover in the file (any maybe one that’s a list) and I’m not sure what’s going to be up for tomorrow.
Q: Since you talked in your blog today (Thursday) about respecting the game (and have mentioned the concept quite a few other times), can you give us a list (you decide how many) of instances where the game (any sport) was very disrespected? I'm sure you've had the unfortunate 'opportunity' in your profession to see a few.
Tim H, Windsor
A: It’s often not an overt action that rankles me. It’s more general actions, like taking games off when you could play, loafing through long portions of games or plays, being an ungracious winner or loser. It’s teams running up the score, or not playing their best players when the other team has something to play for.
There is an unwritten code that should be followed and when it isn’t – in any sport – that kind of bugs me.
Of course, had I been at the game where Ricky Davis intentionally miss a shot on his own basket so he could get a rebound and a triple double, I may have stormed the court. That’s by far the most egregious act I can think of in my time.
Q: Oh Mighty ex Rocky coach...Are any of the HOTHC playing/practicing as a group somewhere? I read that The Pacers are doing it.
Who would you take in an arm wrestling contest? ...David or Billy? Where would Adam Silver rank?
Okay today's music question, for all you teenagers out there...WHY DO FOOLS FALL IN LOVE?
Bob E, Kanata
A: No, there’s been nothing about a group of the HOTH getting together but I guess that’s not surprising since Jose’s in Spain, Andrea in Italy, Leandro in Brazil, Sonny in Lithuania and Jonas not even able to sign here. Toss in the fact Reggie Evans, Julian Wright and Joey Dorsey are free agents and that Amir Johnson is rehabbing after ankle surgery and they probably couldn’t get a scrimmage together if they wanted.
And while David’s stocky, he’s also 69 so I’ve got Billy; Adam would be a distant third, wiry but no mass behind him.
And if you find out why fools fall in love, find out why birds sing so gay, would you?
Q: Long time listener, first time caller.
Quick question for this weekends multi-sampler platter.
I typically follow the blog for its basketball offerings on the HOTH, however during the recent pause in activities I have enjoyed the additions into other areas as well. This leads me to a TOD question, since Hobbs’ season is over, did he complete enough games to make him ineligible for ROY next year? I know you had pointed out a month ago that he would just miss out on the possibility if he completed the year, any idea if he crossed the barrier?
Kyle G, Reykjavik
A: He did, actually. The threshold that was the most significant was 130 at-bats and he got to 132 the night before his season end so no rookie of the year possibilities for him in 2012.
Q: Hey Doug, thanks for the recommendation on "The Wire" great show.
I was wondering if you read anything into the TOD being 10-0 at home in extra innings? Certainly seems promising as to how they deal with pressure, or that when they are really focused they can be really good.
Is that a fair assessment or will everything even out and they will lose the next 10 extra innings games?
Robert M, Charlottetown
A: Well, it’s 11 now after Wednesday, first time in baseball history a team’s done that.
Now, as a wise person once said, there’s always a “regression to the mean” so they may not lose 11 straight but I would imagine they’ll eventually drop a few.
And there really is no explanation for it other than good fortune and not giving up on games. It’s not as if they have the best bullpen in the game that keeps them alive until the offence can scratch out a run and while they do have some clutch hitters like Bautista, it’s not a lineup littered with grizzled old veterans who know how to manufacture extra-inning runs.
I guess fans should just enjoy the ride while it lasts.
Q: Whaddup DS. If you have done this list, forgive me. I always remember Don Baylor always getting hit by pitches in baseball. Who are your top 5 NBA'ers (past and present) who always seem to get that offensive foul call and know how to get that call almost every time.
Simone E, Toronto
A: Well, we’re walking a fine line on that, aren’t we?
Between guys who flop and guys who know how to get in position to draw an offensive foul because they’re quick and can anticipate a play.
If you’re looking for current guys who can draw a charge here are five names of pretty good ones: JJ Barea of Dallas, Manu Ginobili of San Antonio, Derek Fisher of the Lakers always seems to be among the league leaders, Andrew Bogut, when he’s healthy, might be the best big man at it, and Phoenix’s Grant Hill actually led the league last season.
Really hard to come up with a list and I can’t find the statistical data at the moment to tell you but the two best Raptors I ever saw were Morris Peterson and Oak.
Q: Hey Doug! So, I've nothing deep nor probing... yet!(Also, this feels too early for questions; I really work much better under the pressure of your Last Desperate Call for Scintillating Reading Material that comes on Saturday.) It's not deep; but it is a nitpicky, finicky sort of question that's taken root in my brain. In fact, I sat bolt upright at 3AM this morning and it was even my first thought: (And my second thought had to do with cursing you two: @doug because he brought it up in the first place and you because you didn't weigh in on what was correct!) So, Doug - please help me sleep tonight - what, oh what, is the plural of Runs Batted In? As Buck Martinez says: 116 RBI or as @doug says it should be: 116 RBI's? With grateful, sleepy thanks
Lorie P, London
A: Ah, here we go. An age-old debate right up there with “Miami Heat is” or “Miami Heat are” and stuff like that.
Now, normally, I’m all for correct grammar and punctuation and the like but in this case …
Obviously, the plural of a run batted in is two runs batted in so, technically, I guess the correct spoken phrase would be 116 RBI.
But for the ease of being understood, I always say “116 RBIs” or whatever the number is and think everyone else should do it, too.
Q: Hi Doug: Since we are all over the place, sportwise, until the NBA billionaires and millionaries decide end their haggling, a baseball related question for you. Is it some unwritten rule that when a pitcher (unintentionally) beans a hitter and that hitter is really hurt, that said pitcher does not go over to the hitter - who may be laying on the ground in obvious pain - and show some concern? It just seems so unsportsmanlike, yet it is something I see from time to time. Thank you.
Colin W, Toronto
A: Nah, there really is no unwritten rule, even on those unintentional plunks that leave guys writhing on the ground in pain. I imagine most pitchers just want a guy to be tended to by his own while they collect their thoughts. What you’ll see sometimes – not often but every now and then – is a little nod from one guy to the other as the hitter goes down to first to acknowledge the accidental nature of the HPB.