Questions for the Clowns: 8/15/2011

Alright, we are back for another edition of Questions for the Clowns. As I mentioned last time, some are from actual readers (yes, we still have those) and some are from the Curious Clown, a top-secret man of mystery and source. One of them is completely fabricated, but you probably will not be able to figure out which one.

Fabregas is gone, we drew Newcastle, and looked mediocre doing it, and I want to take a crap on Joey Barton’s face. What can I feel good about with my Gunners?
Danny in NJ

Pepe Reina's prediction/proclamation finally comes true.

First off, you shouldn’t be too crushed about Cesc leaving. You knew he would be leaving at some point, and now is as good a time as ever to sell (for a good price) a player who has not been the same since his transfer rumors started in earnest. Two years ago Fabregas was a force and likable even to non-Arsenal fans. Last year he whined constantly, did not produce on the field and spent plenty of time injured. You should be glad he is gone frankly, especially if it lands you Jadson from Shakhtar or something. Not to mention, I heard he told reporters he was joining Barcelona because he was tired of not winning trophies. So now you have a manufactured reason to dislike him.
As far as the Newcastle game, you just were not very sharp. I understand the urge to crap on Joey Barton and I do not blame you, but you should really be excited for Gervinho d once he returns. If he can improve that touch just a little bit he could make you forget about Adebayor.

Anything/anyone notable about week 1 of the preseason?
Greg in Houston

The only thing notable about the NFL preseason is that it still has not been fixed. Sure, you have moments of clarity during the preseason, like mine where I watched the Benglas O-line, as well as Andy Dalton, get mauled by Detroit and make me drop all Bengals-sleeprs talk, but for the most part the only thing I note in the preseason are injuries and that it is still an annoying part of football. Putting any stock in preseason results is a bit like judging an NBA season on LV Summer League results. The games are being determined by guys who will barely see the field, but with 4x more guys to not make a difference.

Why did the Marlins send their 2nd best hitter (by OPS+) to the minors? Am I the only one who cares about this team?
Signed Logan Morrison’s Mom

If this was from a purely baseball standpoint, someone needs to lose his/her job. However, I think it is prtty clear we do not know the entire story here and I bet it is disciplinary on some level. No idea what he is being disciplined for but pretty sure that si waht it is. And to answer your other question, yes you are the only one. And I am very impressed you know about OPS+, Mrs. Morrison.

Gun to your head, which would you rather have: the Super Bowl or World Cup?
Matt ni Cincinnati

First off, if the US were to win the World Cup, we can all agree it would be one of the great sporting upsets of all time. Such an upset, in fact, that even non-US soccer fans would be in total awe of it, so we might have to adjust this one for bias. Let’s say I am an American fan of a team that has a shot of winning the World Cup but is neither a front-runner nor a long shot. Mexico or Italy seems about right for now. Just to take my Colts bias out of it (as they often  have a shot to win a Super Bowl, thus making each playoff run seem less amazing), let’s say I am a fan of a similar team in the NFL which has a shot to win a Super Bowl but is probably in the 60-70th percentile. Just for fun, let’s make them the Giants as they seem to fit pretty well.
The contest falls on three criteria: the importance of the event to me, the overalll spectacle of the competition, and ramification of that title.
Super Bowl
  • National Championship
  • De facto world championship because no one else plays
  • Club level not international
  • More attachment to the sport because I have known it longer
World Cup
  • World Championship
  • National level over club level
  • Better overall competition than NFL playoffs
Alright so if we have leveled out the unlikeliness of a team winning, and most of the other factors here it is just about a sweep for the World Cup. It is a larger competition, with more history, with ramifications that turn footballers into nationally beloved icons. Aaron Rodgers gets a lot more love around the country, but he does not get cheered when he goes to Chicago (which is not a super-rivalry) yet Andres Iniesta still gets cheers in Madrid (and Barcelona-Madrid is definitely a super-rivalry). The World Cup just has more punch to it and is a far greater spectacle. The only advantage for the Super Bowl is the direct result of me being an American citizen and being more familiar with it, which is probably the weakest of criteria.
Perhaps the better comparison here is Champions League vs Super Bowl as they are both club sports (where, frankly, we are rooting for laundry) rather than international. This makes it much closer and we would have to adjust the bias factors again. As an American fan of European football, my allegiance to the club is really pretty superficial. i love my team but there is nothing about me that is inherently tied to the team from living near them and supporting them all my life. There is at least some of that for most NFL fans as I feel fairly connected to my Colts. If I were a native of, let’s say, Madrid, and liked American and European football equally, I think I would go with Champions League because of the gigantic revenue attached to it that helps bolster the club (which the Super Bowl doesn’t do at any kind of level like that) AND the fact that it is an international competition, not just national. As a native Hoosier and Colts fan, I would lean Super Bowl over Champions League Final because I feel much more attached to my team, but if you were to take away the native-factor it would be very close.

Can the Diamondbacks hang on and win the NL West?
Bill in Tempe

It may not be pretty but the Diamondbacks could win the West.

I am not sure if they WILL win it, but they definitely are capable. Their staff is good enough to win a division title and they can hit, which is more than any other team out west can say. That is really all you need to win a division, especially when the Giants are tripping all over themselves like they are right now. Keep in mind that the Giants just barely snuck into the playoffs last year ahead of the Padres and they will be more than ready to mount a comeback in the division but the Diamondbacks are absolutely capable of it.
Also, just because I like taking little shots at Kenny Williams, how do you think he is liking his Edwin Jackson for Daniel Hudson deal? That’s what happens with the trigger-happy. You take the good with the bad. The Diamondbacks should absolutely be taken seriously in the NL West but I have no idea if they will win the division or not.
Is Randy Moss a Hall of Famer?
Mike in Atlanta
Statistically, this is a no-brainer. He certainly did himself no favors with his performance last year and those years in Oakland, but his numbers speak for themselves. He may be the 2nd best WR all-time on stats so that is hardly the issue here. If this was the baseball hall of fame, the writers might hold out on him a bit for being a colossal prick when not motivated, but it isn’t and he will be in the first time he is eligible.
Alright that is all for this week. We will be back next week unless you flood us so completely with questions we have to write another before then.

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