By Tim Baffoe-

(CBS) Welcome to the Ten Foot Mailbag, what I hope to be a weekly feature here. That is, unless it goes horribly, horribly wrong, which is pretty much probable.

If I am allowed to keep kicking this can down the street expect a brief rant about a topic du jour that is bugging me. I enjoy telling you how to think and why what you like sucks, so be ready for that.

For instance, it is impossible to not enjoy the new album by The Black Keys, El Camino. There is nothing not absolutely awesome about that album (as well as most of that band’s previous work), and you need to get on them now if you haven’t already done so. It makes you want to fight a man with a chainsaw and walk up to a supermodel and give her the Chris Berman treatment at the same time. While dancing.

On to your questions (all e-mails and tweets are presented unedited):

Prediction on Garza, when will he be traded or signed to an extension, also, can you send me a lock of your hair? I will stare at my computer for am answer. – RodeoVann

Matt Garza will open the 2012 season in the Cubs rotation and will be Matt Garza—durable, high-quality, and the ace of the staff. As the season wears on horribly for the Cubs and contenders look to beef up, like the Tigers, for example, trade rumors will fly. The only way Jedstein trades him is if the return is immense—like at least two stud, near-can’t-miss prospects. If he finishes the season on the North Side, extension talks will occur (he’s signed through 2013), but perhaps only because there would be plans to get more for him in an off-season deal. Saying that, though, and coupled with his jersey number change from 17 to 22, Garza will probably blow out his arm in his third start, destroy his trade value, and get nothing positive for the Cubs because that is what happens to the Cubs because God, Allah, Vishnu, and Bono hate the Cubs and me for being a Cubs fan.

And I shave my head and manscape. Sorry.

is there a difference between strawberry blonde and ginger and if so, are they enemies? – @pteque

Huge difference. Strawberry blonde is not Ginger (and please capitalize that word). I prefer to call them “strawberries or blondes” or S.O.B.s because they get to align themselves with whichever situation is convenient given the situation. When people are mocking a Ginger for hoarding gold doubloons: “Oh, I’m not red, I’m a strawberry blonde.” When someone stereotypes a blonde as stupid: “I’m strawberry blonde. We’re perky but pensive.” They’re the bisexuals of hair color — selfish and always bringing a friend to laugh at you.

Their tint changes shades depending on seasons. And they get tan. No true Ginger tans, only combusts.

They are enemies of Gingers because everyone is an enemy of Gingers. We’re done taking it from the rest of you. Keep up the “you don’t have a soul” talk and “I hope you get skin cancer” jokes and “I’d never let my daughter marry one of you” declarations. The Ginger Revolution is quietly upon you, and it will not spare you.

What do you think is the best plan of attack for the Bears this offseason to make it to the SuperBowl? – @noelbax

Make Jay Cutler not die. The offensive line must be upgraded, as must the receiving corps. It’s the best wide receiver free agent pool I can remember, so going that route and using the draft to focus on the line early is fine by me. I also trust proven WRs to get a team closer to a title than rookies. The defense has holes, but not as gaping as the other side of the ball, and, as we saw this year, a less-than-great defense can get you far if the offense is dangerous. Green Bay, New Orleans, Detroit, New England, and the New York Giants all had poor defenses yet made the playoffs because they also had a QB that could chuck it AND had guys to sling it to. Unless a defensive player that is a sure thing is left when the Bears pick in the early rounds, I hope they address offensive concerns.

It’s become apparent that the Bears will have to out-shoot the Packers and Lions rather than try to suppress them consistently. They are projected to have about $25 million in cap space for the upcoming season. I figure ownership will allow new GM Phil Emery to spend what he can in order to start his tenure well and maximize Cutler, Forte, and an aging-but-still-capable defense.

As a literature teacher, what would you recommend for my 9 yr to read next? He’s gone thru all the Harry Potter, all the lord of the rings, anything Rick Riordan. He loves to read and flies thru books. He likes funny/ sci-fi stuff. – Mike

The lad strikes me as ready for classic Russian fiction or even perhaps Kafka. Nabokov wrote about kids, didn’t he? The thing is, I teach high school kids and don’t really keep up on children’s literature, and I really have never been into much Sci-Fi or fantasy stuff. When I was his age and my parents forced me to read (I was allowed as much TV time as time I read each day. Imagine that) I remember enjoying Judy Blume, Matt Christopher, S.E. Hinton, The Chocolate War, How to Eat Fried Worms, A Wrinkle in Time (which is Sci-Fi, I guess), and Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. What about Shel Silverstein, particularly his collections of poetry? They are still some of my favorite books ever. Oddly enough I can still recite word for word his poem “It’s Hot” which I had to do in front of the class when I was in second grade (got a standing ‘O’ from my tiny classmates because I screamed the whole thing in the teacher’s face and scared the hell out of her as I appeared to be stripping before she realized I was wearing skeleton pajamas under my clothes).

It’s hot!
I can’t get cool,
I’ve drunk a quart of lemonade,
I think I’ll take my shoes off
And sit around in the shade.

It’s hot!
My back is sticky,
The sweat rolls down my chin.
I think I’ll take my clothes off
And sit around in my skin.

It’s hot!
I’ve tried with ‘lectric fans,
And pools and ice cream cones.
I think I’ll take my skin off
And sit around in my bones.

It’s still hot!

Though if the rest of the country starts taking after Arizona, the boy won’t be able to read anything outside of the Puritan and Victorian eras, and almost all of that stuff sucks, so maybe throw Vonnegut and Palahniuk at him now while you can before we become Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451.

Will Jeremy Lin be a consistant threat for the Knicks rwill his fame and skill quickly die out. – @TRussBrennan

His skill won’t die out unless he gets injured or ages seven years. The guy can obviously play basketball at a high level, and I don’t think anyone will deny that. The question is what will happen once Carmelo Anthony returns from injury. Melo will get his shots, Linsanity or no Linsanity, and one would have to assume that will shave off several of the points Lin has suddenly been expected to put up night in and night out now.

Overall, too, Lin’s huge games have come against inferior competition. Since Linsanity began, he has played against two teams with records above .500, and one was Utah who doesn’t exactly frighten me. If he starts consistently putting up 20+ on real teams, then I’ll buy in. He also can’t turn the ball over 36 times in six games as he has.

What hopefully does die out are the really bad jokes. Putting LIN in a word where IN was? I bow to your Reader’s Digest comedic skills, you incredibly uncreative people. Byron Allen is on Line 2.

Thanks for emailing, tweeting, and reading. If your question did not get answered this time, that does not necessarily mean I am ignoring it. It may be saved for the next mailbag. Hopefully you’re a slightly better person now than you were ten minutes ago. If not, your loss.

Want your questions answered in a future Mailbag? Email them to or tweet them with the hashtag #TFMB. No question, sports or otherwise, is off limits (with certain logistical exceptions, e.g. lots of naughty words or you type in Portuguese or you solicit my death). If you email, please include a signature.

tim baffoe small Ten Foot Mailbag: A Linsane Idea Gone Horribly Wrong

Tim Baffoe

Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.

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