Ten Foot Mailbag: Bears Moves And Spring Baseball Broadcasts
By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) The Blackhawks began the long climb back to bloated bandwagon status with a shootout win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. Everyone who self-jettisoned after the back-to-back losses can start returning to the bus stop. The Hawks will U-turn and gladly let you back on, even after being Sports Illustrated cover boys.
St. Paddy’s Day weekend. Shamrock.
On to your correspondence. All emails and tweets are unedited.
how do you feel about the bears FA additions and where does it put them in the division ? #tfmb—@Sirithe
Of course there’s no way to be sure on any signing or trade or draft pick until after there has been actual significant game play, but as of right now I like the Phil Emery moves. First of all, they show a lack of passivity. For all the stereotypes the Bears organization gets—most usually wrong—this is not the “cheap McCaskey way” garbage that people feel comfortable using for previous team problems. Emery targeted issues, knew names he believes will solve them, and went and got them immediately when he was able to.
I’m a huge fan of the Martellus “Sure To Be Called Marcellus Incessantly” Bennett signing. He not only is a threat down the field, posting career highs last season with 55 catches, 626 yards, and 5 touchdowns—those done mostly through a knee injury—but he also can actually block and do so well. As gravy, he’s also pleasantly crazy and already one of the best interviews in that locker room.
Jermon Bushrod’s signing isn’t looked as in such a positive light nationally. Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson told Joe Ostrowski Wednesday “I think if you look at Jermon Bushrod through 16 games, you’re going to get a guy who’s about average, and so in that regard I don’t think that it’s a huge upgrade.” With the offensive line woes Bears fans have suffered watching the past few years, average may very well be an upgrade. Bushrod’s metrics do grade out as nothing special (and statistically he’s been very close to J’Marcus Webb), but there is something to be said about the Emery deciding so quickly on a guy to fill a need. Don’t forget new offensive coordinator/line coach Aaron Kromer was partly responsible for Bushrod’s two consecutive Pro Bowl selections.
Is there anything more worthless than a radio broadcast of spring training baseball? #TFMB—@salmon58
What’s inherently wrong with a Spring Training radio broadcast? If you’re looking to see how the big names on a team are looking early, if you want to get accustomed to some of the not-so-familiars and hot prospects, and if you want to hear really great, weird baseball stories, Cactus League games are where it’s at. They are not, say, the World Baseball Classic, whose exhibition status leads to nothing of substance. Pitchers are working on new stuff for their regular season arsenals or shaking off rust from the previous year’s injury, and there are battles for starting position jobs and roster spots. There is much less of a fictional feel to it all that some global tournament thrust upon us that we’re told we should appreciate.
I think you fail to really appreciate, too, the magic of radio baseball. Spending a lot of time in my car, I’ve taken in a hell of a lot of radio games over many summers. What with us as a whole being such a technologically jaded culture these days, the art of a baseball game painted on the radio is something I fear will soon be lost on future generations, and it is very much an art. I’m more inclined to take in a Cubs game on TV or radio, but I think it’s really cool what the White Sox and The Score do with their Spring games—doing a traditional call of the early innings with the familiar players and then incorporating Chris Rongey and fans calling in to talk to him, Ed Farmer, and Darrin Jackson for the rest of the time. It all becomes a tapestry of the game itself, valuable question-and-answer learning experience, and oddly appealing Farmio stories.
And to ask that question when it was Rongey’s birthday on Thursday? Man. Apologize to him on his MySpace page.
I’d like to see a list of your top 5 unsung pizza delivery man perks—@loffyloff
5. Between deliveries I get to accomplish other things, such as reading a book or interesting magazine piece, grading papers from school, watching pertinent sporting events on the restaurant TV, or dropping important tweets on y’all. I may even start getting some of my columns written during that time, so if you see a spike in anger in tone in my stuff, you know why.
4. Cops are usually on the same page as me. It’s not like it happens a lot, but once in a while I get pulled over for a perceived bending of the rules of the road. After John Law gets to my car and eventually establishes that I’m delivering food, I get something to the effect of “Okay, well, just be more careful,” and I’m then sent on my way. If you have a problem with this, you’re a hypocrite because you know damn well you couldn’t care less if I ran over 17 puppies to get your food to you as quickly as possible. Also, you cops are the bestest.
3. Seeing fat kids trip and fall as they run to answer the door.
2. While the adult film industry has inaccurately stereotyped pizza delivery, there is nudity from time to time (rarely on my end). People often forget what they’re wearing when they answer the door—this might sound ludicrous to you puritan self-aware school marms, but it’s true. Or sometimes customers just don’t care because they see the delivery guy as less than human and are therefore not inhibited by showing him a bit of flesh. Sometimes this nudity comes unfortunately in the form of large hairy men (for example, a certain shirtless 670 The Score employee I won’t name), and that’s when you have pause a moment in your car and really take stock of what your life has become.
1. A driver knows your address, phone number, maybe your credit card info, and sometimes a few very personal secrets of yours. (Your spare key hiding spot, that you keep your wallet in your glove box, etc.) It’s not wise to piss off someone with access to such. I’m certainly no criminal in that sense, but the job can attract people much worse than me. Remember, too, that the delivery guy controls something you’re going to ingest and does not forget.
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 email@example.com 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 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 670TheScore.com, 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 @TimBaffoe, but please don’t follow him in real life. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.