Wow, needed that week off. Back at it now. Don't have much time tonight, but I can spare enough to give Bill and his readers the chance to say five ludicrously stupid things. That'll get us through a good 3% of last week's mailbag.
Q: The most amazing thing about A-Rod's career: He's one of the best hitters the game has ever seen, yet he will not be remembered favorably by a single person.
There's one. Hey, sorry everyone, I know the Jeff Pearlmans of the world desperately want you to believe that he's bin Laden, Stalin and the BTK killer all rolled into one, but I'm going to remember A-Rod fondly. He was fucking good at baseball. He also lied and broke the rules. But he ALSO helped expose Jeter (to the few hundred Americans willing to consider the idea that Jeter wasn't Christ come back to earth) as the whining, selfish little cunt that he is when Jeter refused to switch positions for the defensively superior Rodriguez (who then acted like a good teammate and let the issue go). Those last two balance out, leaving me only with memories of one of the ten or so best hitters ever. Works for me.
Say what you want about Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, etc.; but at least there will be groups of fans who will always remember them in a positive light. A-Rod's going to pass 650 HRs and not have a single Old Timer's Day to come back to. Has anyone else in sports ever been so good, yet burned every single bridge when it comes to the fans?
-Peff Jearlman, definitely NOT somewhere in upstate New York
—Ryan K, New York
SG: I wouldn't count out Retired A-Rod yet. In 2008, the thought of Roger Clemens returning to Fenway to celebrate the 25th anniversary of "Morgan Magic" was inconceivable. In 2013, this happened …
(picture of Clemens at Red Sox old timers day)
… and not just that, but Clemens received a few cheers and even joined WEEI's radio broadcast during the ensuing game.
OW-UH FANS AHHH MO-AH FAHGIVING THAN YO-AH FANS!
But you brought up one intriguing story line: The real possibility that A-Rod becomes a historical nomad, a generational talent that ultimately doesn't belong to any fan base.
That's two. He will "belong" to the Yankees for life. It may take their fans a few years to re-embrace him, but you can bank on it.
There's a precedent: Oscar Robertson spent the 1960s with the Cincinnati Royals before finishing his career in Milwaukee.
HEY! I KNOW NBA HISTORY! LET ME DEMONSTRATE THAT FACT!
/boring and self-serving paragraph about Oscar Robertson deleted, because the thesis was "he's the only all time great who can't get a standing ovation in his home arena whenever he wants one," when in fact Oscar Robertson could get a standing ovation in any arena in the league anytime he wants one, because NBA fans are not fucking idiots and they know who Oscar Robertson is.
So barring a 2013 World Series miracle, how does A-Rod avoid being a historical nomad? I think he has only one career move left, whether he's suspended for 2014 or not: That's right … Japan! I could see him going there next season with two goals: make as much money as possible, and make a run at Sadaharu Oh's all-time professional baseball home run record (868).
Q: Which installment of the Fast and Furious franchise will feature Nic Cage?
—Ted, Alexandria, VA
SG: Fast Eight. No question. The Mayans predicted it way back when. I'm sure Nic Cage is more confused than anyone that they've made seven of these movies without ever saying the words, "Hey, what's Nic Cage doing?"
Q: Actual conversation I had with a girl the other night:
Her: "Did you read Bill Simmons' article about that?."
Me: "Yeah, I read all of his articles."
Her: "You say that like it's a hard thing to do."
SHUT UP, MOM!
Thanks, jackass. That tidbit was an impressive feat to throw around back in 2005.
No, it wasn't.
Now it's just pathetic.
—Bryan, Grand Forks, ND
Bryan and I both know that conversation never happened.
Q: In your latest podcast with Zach Lowe (off his "Best NBA Team Nicknames" column), you discussed the stupidity of the Phoenix Suns nickname and suggested the Phoenix Pitbulls. Why not borrow your idea for Brooklyn to just be "Brooklyn" and drop the Suns name altogether? Just call them "The Phoenix!" The Phoenix — it symbolizes "rebirth" and it's high-flying and fiery?
That's four. Jiminy Fucking Christmas. Who are these people, and have they been sterilized yet?
Q: Aren't you the king of "Stay In Your Lane"? So what are you doing abandoning your column and podcast during the 2013 NBA Playoffs for television? A column and a podcast can last forever, but all those pregame shows you did were meaningless, empty accomplishments the moment they were over.
I almost counted this as stupid thing number five for being so facially idiotic, but then I realized that I agree with Daniel's underlying message 100%: stay off my television, you untalented, nasal-voiced hack.
Q: When Hank closed the garage door, that was like the Heat improbably getting the rebound in Game 6 and everything that followed in that scene was Ray Allen hitting That Shot. One of the greatest moments in TV history, period.
I love Breaking Bad, love the way this season is developing, and loved that moment. And yet, that's number five, partially because I want to go to bed, and partially because Kyle from Cambridge is obviously one of those AWWW BRO SICKEST PARTY EVER fuckos who ruins everything with hyperbole. Thanks Kyle. (And yes I know I overuse hyperbole, but come on, I'm not exactly Kyle over here.)