Youve Got MailBefore I jump right into the first ever On Deck Circle Mailbag, I thought I’d introduce the article by paraphrasing the great Silky Johnson, he of Player Hater’s Ball fame, not that handsome guy that lives in Brantford. So, to begin…

“First of all, I wanna thank God for giving everybody so much time to waste, and me so much work to put off to help them waste it. I hate you, I hate you, and I don’t even know you and I hate your guts, Professor. I hope all of the bad things in life happen to teachers and nobody else but teachers. And as I sit here in Douglas Library, sipping a Tim Horton’s coffee that the girl in the J-Duc didn’t stir, I just wanna say school can kiss my ass in two weeks. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna put down my Pharmacology 100 notes, put some water in Alex Jackson’s momma’s dish, and answer some mailbag questions. Good luck studying, tricks!”

How did I determine who made the Mailbag? Well, despite an overwhelming amount of questions (thanks everyone, seriously appreciate it), almost every question made the Mailbag. Only those who sent in multiple questions didn’t have them all answered. So…this thing is a little long, and I worked on it over a few days at the library, taking study breaks here and there while learning about marijuana, steroids, and other wonderful drugs. If you are self-centered (or, dedicated to school work/getting laid/anything else useful), just hit Ctrl+F, type in your name, and you’ll find your question answered, because there is otherwise no rhyme nor reason to the order. With few exceptions, all of the questions were pulled out of a Ziploc bag or Dodgers hat. Let’s get on with it. Note: I seriously recommend reading this with a large coffee or in installments, because it’s pretty long. It’s also pretty awesome, though, so definitely read it.

Who would win in a fight: Jamario Moon or Sidney Crosby? – Robbie Alomar, All Your Base Are Belong to Rios
What a strange way to start it off here. I’m of the belief that Crosby couldn’t even kick my ass. Add in Moon’s size and reach advantage and this is a no brainer. Jamario Speedwagon by 1st Round KO.

You are the Leafs brand new General Manager, and you have been given full control. Assume Sundin retires. With that cap space, would you buy out certain contracts, who would you buy out, and who would be the key free agent you tried to sign? – Ed Murphy, my father
The Leafs are projected to have $13M in cap space this offseason, if you assume Sundin is gone. Buying players out is tricky and expensive, and a waste of cap space to some degree, since they still count against the cap if bought out, so I’d ideally be targetting free agents aggressively with the cap space instead. The Leafs also have to sign restricted free agents Matt Stajan and Kyle Wellwood back, so let’s assume they only have $9M in cap room to fill their two roster spots. Most of the top free agents are older (Sundin, Federov, Sakic), and this is a step in the wrong direction for the team. It doesn’t make sense to spend money just because you have it (a long-lived Leaf philosophy), especially if it requires multi-year deals. That said, I’d be going after one of the trio of Sean Avery, Jason Williams, and Brendan Morrison, the only significant free agents under 33. If you take off the ‘free agent’ part of your question, I’d get aggressive in going after either of Tampa Bay’s stars as they try and clear cap room.

Does anyone consistently demonstrate sexier braids and better overall grooming and style than Carmelo? I’ve never seen anyone whose nickname (Melo) meshed with their on- and off-court persona so well. – Michael Loughry
I agree 100%. Even his mug shot last Monday morning looked great. I love ‘Melo and think he’s unappreciated, probably because he’s a little on the gangster side, and I couldn’t agree with you more. If he ever shaves his head it will be a travesty.

Your thoughts on Rojo Caliente? – Alex Jackson, The On Deck Circle and More Handy Than Capped
It’s fantastic. That girl not only lives in the residence across the street from mine, but last week I physically bumped into her leaving Lazy Scholar. The song sucks, yes, but she is a campus legend and a solid 1000 on the unintentional comedy scale.

Who is the future of hip hop? Also, do people still care about 50 Cent and G-Unit? – D-Rob
This was by far the hardest question of the Mailbag, looking back. When D-Rob sent this in, I spent an entire drive home from Kingston thinking about it. The best I could come up with is that it is impossible to predict, because Hip Hop is far too cyclical with short-lived bursts at the top. 50 Cent is a prime example of someone who was expected to be ‘the future’ and flamed out after three years. My best guess as to who could move into the top tier, for however long, is the following: Mims (with a good producer behind him), Huey, Juelz Santana, Plies, and Rich Boy (with some added variety). On the R&B side of things, it’s easy – Chris Brown is the truth. My two sleepers would be Bow Wow (if he can recover from being a child sensation and legitimize himself) and Papoose (a serious mixtape master). But if I’m looking legitimately for a rapper to invest in, I’m hollering at JDiggz, whose only disadvantage is being Canadian; the kid produces all of his own stuff , has great range, is good looking and stylish, and already has experience producing popular songs.

What I want to know is – how do you rupture your Achilles Tendon and have to retire, not play in the majors for 2 full seasons, decide to manage the Greenville Drive (Red Sox Class A), and then return to hit .368 with 4 HR and 13 RBI in 16 games? – B.J. O’Brien
Steroids. Tsk tsk, Gabe Kapler.

I find that weed heightens stimulation in all aspects. I also find that sports (and Guitar Hero) are a lot more fun on said drugs. What do you think the actual usage rate of weed is in the mainstream? – Geoff Frigault
It is definitely going to vary by sport, and some of that variance will be due to race, I’m sure. That said, I’d be surprised if more than a dozen athletes in any sport ever actually play high, the risk is just too large. For non-game use, I’d put the NBA at a 67% clip, the NFL at 50%, MLB at 25%, and NHL at 20%. For the record, Guitar Hero and Rock Band are the stupidest shit on the planet.

If you could control all promotions for one team of any sport, who would it be? What would their jerseys look like, would you change their team name, and how would you market them? – Tieja MacLaughlin
It would be the Chicago Bliss of the Lingerie Football League and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Alright, here’s the deal. I know you’re well versed in your sports knowledge, but I come to you for advice on the other topic constantly on my mind: bitches. Specifically, this one fine young lady who just won’t see me as the stud I am.

But first, a little background. I met this bitch through a friend, who is also a bitch. It was casual at first. I found her somewhat intoxicating but nothing serious. We shared similar interests and ended up hanging out (along with her other friend, who is also a bitch) as a threesome (but not the good kind).

I never actually made a move, because I valued her as a friend, and found some of her tendencies to be a tad annoying. Having said that, as time went on and I banged other bitches, I kind of put her on the backburner. We stopped hanging out as much and I didn’t think of her as that close of a friend anymore.

And then the switch hit. I realized, hey, this bitch is pretty and has a tight ass and decent tits, and at the moment I set eyes on her again, I just got this old fashioned romantic feeling…that I’d do anything to bone her. My question is, how do I escape the friend zone and get her to shift her friendship affection to her being bent over in a thong smiling as she polishes my knob? – BFF Forever
Wow, that’s a long one, and a tough one. The friend zone is killer but you have several things going in your favor. First, you guys haven’t been that tight lately, so the friend zone barrier is probably weak. Second, you got a sexy ass body and your ass looks soft (mind if I touch it, and see if it’s soft?). And most importantly, you have a few weeks for a window. This is important because it means the time frame is short, so you have to throw caution out the window, and because it means you’ll be drinking lots. My suggestion is to try an innocent move drunk and see how she responds. If it’s positive, you’re in, and if it’s negative, you chalk it up to being drunk. It’s a no-lose situation, except for the whole pride thing, but you also have probably four or five nights of drinking left to slowly build it up and gauge her response. Trust me on this one, make a small-step drunk move.

Why is Rasho Nesterovic playing so sick lately? – Matt Murphy, my lil’ brother
Because Rasho is a sick player. I don’t think anyone ever doubted Rasho’s ability to contribute regularly given the opportunity; it was more a case of the team being committed to giving Bargnani minutes at center. Nesterovic(-davitavitzky) is a proven veteran and a stabilizing force on the team, and he’d be key in any first round playoff match-up if it wasn’t Orlando. Having his boy Primoz on the team probably doesn’t hurt, either.

Who is this? – Dave Power, The On Deck Circle
This is Dave Power.

Your thoughts on Avery’s display in front of Brodeur, and the NHL’s response to it? – Adam ‘Weasel’ Klemencic
The NHL definitely handled this the right way, taking immediate action. You can argue that it’s a legitimate way to screen the goalie, but it makes the game look terrible and it was a very childish move. My biggest problem with it was that, yes, you’re screening the goalie, but you’re also taking yourself out of the play during a man advantage, so is it even worth it?

What do you think of Walter Hermann’s retirement from the Argentinean national team? – Kinnon Yee, Hoops Addict
Really, unless you know the player’s motives for such a move, you can’t accurately judge. That said, Hermann has struggled for playing time this year and playing internationally this summer was his best chance to prove himself a useful contributor and give himself a chance at an NBA roster spot next year.

What would you deem the most disappointing sports performance of all time? – Jason Dunkel
Ahh, most would say the Patriots this year, but I’m going to go with Russ Adams’ entire career. Or the fact that I choked in my SlamBall tryout.

Why do you hate on hockey? It pwns basketball. – David Forsayeth
I don’t hate on hockey, necessarily. I’ve never really made fun of it or anything. I do, however, prefer other sports, and the reason is three fold. One, I grew up with pretty much just hockey, so when other sports showed up they seemed new and interesting, and maybe that hasn’t worn off yet. It’s like if you’re dating a 7 for a while and then you break up and hook up with a few 7.5s. The difference is negligible, but it’s a new experience and you’re mad at the 7. Second, the lockout killed me. I’m still bitter that it really put a damper on 1st year, since Saturday night common room games could have been unreal for bonding and brother/sisterhood. And finally, because I want the site to be successful. Zing!

If you were duplicating Kissing Suzy Kolber’s “Mascot Kill Kill Tournament” and did an NBA version, which mascot do you think would win? Quite frankly, if Jurassic Park taught us anything, I like the Raptor’s chances against most mascots, with its superior intelligence, slashing claws, and incredible speed. I think it would own the octagon and leave a trail of carnage from Toronto to California. – D-Rob
You just answered your own question. 10 out of 10, with the only addition I’d make being that the Raptor even has back-up (the inflatable Raptor).

Why is it such a big deal not to play A-Rod at short? Jeter’s injured and they have a former shortstop who was actually better at it than Jeter anyways, so…(so glad I hate the Yankees). – Don, With-Malice
Now that Jeter’s hurt, will A-Rod move back to shortstop? – Brent Spurgeon
I think there are two reasons for not moving A-Rod, other than the obvious ‘we’re not sure if he can still play it’ cop out. First, their minor league depth is better suited to replace a SS than a 3B, since Gonzalez is a decent prospect. Second, the team is smart enough to avoid a superstar controversy. They safely avoided it when A-Rod arrived and giving him a chance to shine at short now risks splitting the fans when Jeter returns or, because Jeter is God in New York, making them turn even more against A-Rod.

What is your opinion on masks and neck guards in the NHL, especially given the recent injuries to Richard Zednik and John Madden? – Katie Dennison
Well, neck guards is an easy one. I played hockey my whole life, and wearing a neck guard is easy to get used to and not at all uncomfortable. The cost-benefit trade off there is ludicrously in favor of neck guards being mandatory. Face masks are a little trickier, as they are both a (marginal) detriment to vision and are bad for television and marketing, hiding the players. I don’t think they’ll become mandatory, but I think the visor and half-visor will become more and more commonplace.

International rugby is coming to Kingston. Is this something that interests you as an avid sports fan? The Churchill Cup has 2 games being played in Kingston, unfortunately, neither game features Canada. This will probably be the best rugby Kingston will see until a certain OUA Championship team comes down in the fall. – Tyler Greer
Man, Brock really is a tough team. I heard they’re quite the good looking squad, too, Tyler. Anyways, rugby coming here can’t be a bad thing for the sport in Canada. I know a lot of people, actually, who really like rugby when exposed to it, so increased exposure has to help. Although, that’s what people said about lacrosse…

laxLacrosse is apparently Canada’s national sport, so why is it such a joke? I mean, Toronto has one of the largest fan bases in general and the Toronto Rock have consistently competed but season tickets still cost, what, 36 bucks? With the children of the area, lacrosse has made inroads, but fizzled on the big stage. Do you think lacrosse will ever become big, even just in Canada, or will it always be left primarily to the natives? – Geoff Frigault
Honestly, it’s too early to tell with lacrosse. When the NLL was getting its act together, you and I both played in grade 12 immediately. That is a late start, and there was no way we were ever going to be great at it (who am I kidding, we were naturals). To build up a sport like that takes a generation, because the parents and kids all have to buy in early to develop the talent and the enjoyment of it. Eventually, it will get bigger, but the CFL/AFL is the NLL’s upside, I think.

We spoke at depth about how the Raptors are not strong competition for the Magic, with both of us agreeing the Raptors would be hard pressed to take the series to a 6th game. That said, if I were to lay money on the series, I’d still take the Raps in 7. How screwed up am I? – RapsFan, Raptors Talk
You’re not screwed up at all. It always makes sense to bet on a less likely scenario, because the odds are better (and because it’s more fun to cheer for). Vegas makes its money by making the logical outcome unappealing to gamble on. Plus, it’s the Raptors…with how they’ve played over the past two years, they are equally likely to lose four games 100-70 or win four games 100-70, there is no predicting that team.

What is the best way for a girl to get the attention of a sports-obsessed boy? – Emily Jackson
I should point out that I suggested Emily ask this question, because I want to deliver a message to any girls reading this (unlikely). My number one turn on is girls in jerseys, and any sports-related gift will do just fine at a gift-giving time. Jerseys are the sexiest thing in the world. Write that down.

Most out of place in the nWo: Sting, Luger, or Disco Inferno? – Alex Jackson, The On Deck Circle and More Handy Than Capped
Well, every stable needs a bumbling idiot/pawn, so Disco made sense. Luger was also a bad wrestler but a big star, so he made sense too. Sting, well…I think they just ran out of Sting v. nWo steam since they really didn’t have many people left opposing nWo. Sting is definitely the most out of place, based on character, career, and lack of backstage politicking. Showtime!

Is there any better time of year for sports than early April? Baseball is starting, hockey playoffs are here, March Madness is around, NBA playoffs are starting up, and the Masters goes down! – Ian Cass, The On Deck Circle
If we expand it to late March-early April, it is absolutely the best time of year. That way you get all of March Madness, fantasy baseball drafts, and Wrestlemania into the picture.

Can we have the number to those Seattle Sonic help lines…We have a nagging feeling we’re going to need a similar service very, very soon… - Buffalo Bills Fans Everywhere
A word of advice –get close with Ralph Wilson, explaining that you are his estranged son/daughter to try and get into some of that family money or his will. That may be your only shot, because who knows where that franchise is headed when he dies.

Was Steve Austin and Dude Love the greatest tag team that never was? – Alex Jackson, The On Deck Circle and More Handy Than Capped
I agree. They did, however, tag once. Here. Assuming this disqualifies them, the best tag team that never was is Dave Power and B.J. O’Brien. They were awarded the Tag Team Titles but Dave lost his belt and they disbanded before they could ever tag for a match.

How soon can I see your sexy ass? – John Heymans
Pretty freakin’ soon. Home for good on the 27th, just for you Horatio.

Brighter future – D12 or Amare? – Trevor Smith, The On Deck Circle and Hoops Addict
Definitely a tough call, almost as tough as “CP3 or Deron?”. Each has serious advantages and drawbacks. Dwight has more size and is a bit younger, but comes off as complacent, doesn’t shoot that well yet, and has worn down at the end of each year. Amare is crazy athletic and a naturally gifted scorer, but he has had microfracture knee surgery on both knees and his stats may be inflated right now playing with Nash. I give the edge to Howard, only because he has a few extra years and has no injury history.

Have the NBA hoops always been the height they are now? Should they be even higher now that NBA players seem to be getting taller? – Carolyn, And One
I’m pretty confident the hoops have always been 10-feet tall, though I actually couldn’t find information to confirm that. As for players getting taller, it’s a combination of popularity and athleticism. The height comes from the game’s expansion, as it creates more people who want to play and more people who can be discovered. The athleticism comes mostly from science, as players learn much earlier how to take care of their bodies and how to increase athleticism and vertical jump.

With the number one pick, is Steve Stamkos a lock? If so, I say Tampa takes Stamkos and trades St. Louis for younger, cheaper players so they have the cap space to get better. Your thoughts? – Uncle Pat
I agree completely. The Tampa Bay cap situation is ugly and it is going to handcuff the front office from putting a competitive team around Stamkos outside of the ‘big two.’ It doesn’t have to be St. Louis, in my mind, because I think Lecavalier could command more in a rebuilding effort, but St. Louis’ contract is two years longer and therefore worse for putting a team around Triple S (Super Steve Stamkos).

You mentioned Gary Roberts as a top-5 all time player. Who the hell is in that top-10, then? – Kevin Smith, The On Deck Circle
It was a joke, originally, but let’s make a list…the top-5 “overrated by their home team” players in hockey, completely unresearched and off the top of my head: Tomas Kaberle, Gary Roberts, Jordan Tootoo, Jeff Cowan, and everyone on the Ottawa Senators.

Toss up, 1-on-1 playing by streetball rules. Noah Cruz (headed to UCLA, pre-motorcycle accident, in Crossover) vs. Kyle Lee (headed to Gerogetown, in Above the Rim), who ya got? Winner gets Jesus Shuttlesworth. – Anonymous
Damn, it’s a shame that gets chalked up to Anonymous, because that was an incredible question. For starters, Jesus destroys either of them and any other movie basketball player ever – his floor was Ray Allen, and his ceiling was as high as LeBron’s, and no movie character can take either of those, except Space Jam Jordan. So, Cruz is a great player and Lee has mad skills, but both have flaws. Looking at career potential, you have to like Lee because he has the drive and desire, whereas Cruz wants to be a doctor and is using basketball as a ride. But since this is a streetball 1-on-1…I’m still going with Lee. Something tells me, from the limited game action we saw, Cruz is more of a system point guard, a good passer and team leader, whereas Lee is a flashy me-first guard. That kind of game translates better for 1-on-1, and the evidence suggests Lee played more streetball, too. Tech (Crossover) would give Lee a good run, but Lee takes Cruz.

Who is gayer, Daniel Alfredsson or Mike Ribeiro? (Note: there is no wrong answer here.) – Jason Dunkel
Based on the photographic evidence you sent me (here and here), this is easy: they’re gay together.

Hey Blake, I just picked up Homer Bailey in a fantasy league I’m participating in and am wondering what your take on him is? But aside from the snide remarks, I do have a real question: Of the three young Reds pitchers, who do you think will have the best ’08 season? – Samuel Cassady, The On Deck Circle
For those not in the know, I drafted Bailey too early in our fantasy league and was then forced to drop him when he was sent down…then Sam grabbed him. Since he’s been dominating at AAA (3-1, 1.03 ERA, 16K in 26.1 IP) and the Reds have a brand new GM, it seems likely he’ll be called up in place of Josh “Dragon Slayer” Fogg sooner rather than later. For this year, it’s tight: Cueto has the highest 2008 upside, Volquez’ ERA and strikeout rate has been disgusting, and Bailey could realistically make ‘the jump.’ For this year, I’m taking Volquez – he may have lower innings but his WHIP and K-rate are ludicrous. Long term, Bailey will have the best career, but this is a threesome that could rival Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz as far as franchise trios go.

R. KellyPretty Ricky v. R. Kelly, who you taking? – Conrad Leung
Shiiiit, that’s a tough one. Personally, I’m a bigger fan of Pretty Ricky (why have one R&B guy when you can have five?), but Kells is the King of R&B and he pretty much is the genre. Plus, I don’t want to piss any black people off, and I know how much they love R. Kelly. Also, Pleasure, the member of Pretty Ricky with the brightest future, is already doing solo stuff so the group may not last too much longer.

George Printezis – dud or stud? - Jeff Wong, The Score Basketball
I like what I’ve heard so far. That said, he was the 58th overall pick. He put up decent numbers in Greece last year (11.5 points, 3.9 rebounds) and was named the best player in the league under 22, so that is promising. This year, his scoring has dropped to 6.7 because of playing time (his shooting percentage is still great), and he won the 2007 dunk contest over there, so it appears he’ll at least be a likable energy player off the end of the bench. I haven’t seen any game action but all things considered, I’ll put his floor at Uros Slokar and his ceiling at Bostjan Nachbar.

Am I the baddest motherfucker of all time? – Marlo ‘Black’ Stanfield
It’s me or you, playbwoy.

Why is Rod Black the worst baseball commentator ever? Why won’t he stick to women’s curling or figure skating? Why does he always talk about the ‘bombs’ that Frank Thomas was hitting in batting practice as if that is at all relevant? – Erik Arnold, The On Deck Circle
Because Rod Black is the black hole of sports broadcasting. He butchers basketball and baseball, and I’m sure he’d butcher hockey if they didn’t have 500 hockey commentators already, making him a legitimate triple threat. He absolutely sucks, but you have to give him credit for being able to suck over such a wide array of sports. I’m sure curling and figure skating fans hate him, too.

Why does Greg Oden look like an older version of David Robinson? – Uncle Silky
I couldn’t think of a clever Paul Mooney-esque answer for this question, so I’ll just be brutally honest. Greg Oden is David Robinson’s father.

Best sports/wrestling intro tune? – Alex Jackson, More Handy Than Capped and The On Deck Circle
Tough call for sports, but I really like B.J. Ryan coming out to Slipknot and, of course, Rivera coming out to Enter the Sandman. For wrestling, I love Randy Orton’s and Edge’s theme music (just regular, aggressive songs that fit them well). Matt Stairs covers both with Stone Cold’s music. Just awesome.

You’re playing in a 3-on-3 superhero basketball tournament. What superheroes do you pick for your team? – Jason Dunkel
I’m going to pick three, either assuming I’m the coach or you get a sub. Anyways, I’m going with Green Lantern first, because he’s the only black superhero. Next, I’m going with whatever superhero has stretching ability (Gumby?) because we saw from Space Jam how useful that can be. For my final player, some may say Superman (flight), Spiderman (webbing), Thing (defense), or Invisible Girl (tough to guard), but I’m going with Flash.

Why is there a girl beside me in the library pouring herself a bowl of cereal? I’m trying to write an essay, goddam it, I don’t need to hear her crunchy ass corn flakes right now! – Mike Cascone, The On Deck Circle
I never understood eating in the library – you need a study break at some point anyways, so eat then, snacks excluded. Then again, I chew and spit sunflower seeds in the library, so who am I to talk. Bigger library problem – sexy girls I can’t take my eyes off of. I have a unicorn here at Queen’s, and I’m not sure I’ve told anyone who she is, but she’s usually on the same floor of the library as me and I think I’ve met her before at a party. She is unreal, and it’s extremely distracting. If you’re reading this, Library Unicorn, I love you.

When having a threesome, I find the most difficult part for a guy is figuring out when to stick what where. Any suggestions of when it’s good to transition from one area to the other, or when two girls are involved, should the guy just let them take charge? – Geoff Frigault
There better be two girls involved. What is that ‘when’ shit? Two girls, one guy, that’s a threesome. Now, the guy’s role is entirely to get things initiated. Once you can get the girls to break down their walls and get going, it becomes their fantasy to play out and you’re just a pawn (assuming one of them is not your girlfriend, in which case she won’t be for long). Let them take control once you’ve got things started, just be active enough that you don’t end up a spectator.

When will the Undertaker be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame? I think the dude might be older than Flair, but he just keeps winning big matches… – Alex Jackson, More Handy Than Capped and The On Deck Circle
He is ageless, since he’s dead and all. In reality, ‘Taker is 43 (to Flair’s 59 and Hogan’s 54). The WWE’s Hall of Fame policy seems to not like active wrestlers (save for Flair, Whoooo!), and Taker has a few years left so probably not for a while. By the way, Survivor Series in November will mark 20 years in WWE for the former “Mean” Mark Callous.

Best future pro of this year’s Freshman Class? (For reference, the correct answer is Rose, but I just want to hear you say it.) – Trevor Smith, The On Deck Circle
It’s absolutely Derrick Rose. Love will be the biggest “why did he go so late?” pick, Beasley will be a good player, etc, etc, but nobody’s NBA potential compares to Rose’s. Rose is going to be a serious scorer, defender, and playmaker, while the other guys in this class seem to be one- or two-dimensional guys. Rose’s game has thirty seven dimensions.

In a 1-game, winner-take-all situation, who would your Starting Pitcher be, choosing any player in MLB history? – Khandor, Khandor’s Sports Blog
Without hesitation, it is 1985 Dwight Gooden. I’m a huge fan of the original Doc, have his jersey, and think his career path is maybe the most disappointing in sports history (save for Len Bias). Gooden’s 1985 is the best season ever, in my opinion, with a 1.53 ERA, 0.965 WHIP, 16 complete games, 8 shutouts, 276.2 innings, 268 strikeouts, and only 13 home runs allowed. It was dominant from start to finish. My second choice wouldn’t be Bob Gibson, either, it would be early-Red Sox Pedro Martinez.

Top 5 time: Hottest female celebrities? Movies? Songs? – Gagan, Hoops Addict
Is this a first date? What? Alright, top five hottest celebrities. This is completely, 100% off the top of my head and I’m sure this top-5 should, in actuality, be 50 women long. I’m going with Elisha Cuthbert (my guaranteed #1), Jessica Alba, Gabrielle Union, Kate Beckinsale, and my library girl I mentioned earlier (who is now famous, having made The ODC). For movies, it’s even tougher so I’ll keep it to sports movies: He Got Game, Bull Durham, Major League, Mr. 3000, and Friday Night Lights. For songs, there are about a billion deserving of mention but I’ll reward longevity for the most part: Fireman by Lil’ Wayne, Dammit by blink-182, Real Talk by Fabolous, I Did You Wrong by Mims, and The Fake Sound of Progress by lostprophets.

Let’s start with a hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you need to buy a boatload of booze. It’s almost summer time, it’s realistic. You have a budget of $300. We are limiting the selection to just Labatt Blue. The pricelist is here. What’s the best bang for your buck, based on the $300 limit? While I’m no Excel wizard, the best combo I got was 76.496L for $299.20. – Alex Jackson, More Handy Than Capped and The On Deck Circle
First of all, it must be nice to have $300 for booze. Second, why Labatt Blue? The potential quantity goes up if you get a nice cheap, smooth, awesome beer like Pabst. Regardless, given that list and some quick Excel work I got 76.652L for $299.90, a pivotal extra 156ml. This package includes: 12 cases of 18 bottles (the best volume-per-price value of any item, strangely enough), one 6-pack of bottles, and one individual 950ml can. Booyah.

I wrote an article for debate. The jist is that “I do not think they should be using metal bats at any level of baseball…As a purist, I do not see college baseball as real baseball…When you play with a larger ball, you call it softball. Why would you not change the name of the game when you play with a metal bat?” – Ethan, NESW Sports
I agree with the article, for the most part, that the games are very different. I also contend that at the college level, metal bats are probably unnecessary. The reason they are used is because they outperform wooden bats (according to a Brown University study), they last longer, and the sweet spot is artificially enlarged. The problems, obviously, are inflated performance and a higher safety risk, especially for pitchers (since off-the-bat speed is theoretically increased). I think calling it college baseball is enough to differentiate it, but the metal bat should probably be on its way out at that level.

Looking at SI’s poorly done list of the top-25 toughest athletes, how would you rank your top-3, current athletes only? – James Dalgish
I’ll go one from each of the four major sports instead, excluding MMA (and Boxing, I guess) since those guys would probably terrorize most athletes. From the NHL, I’m taking George Laraque, no questions asked. In baseball, I’m going with homerism here and betting that BJ Ryan is the biggest bad-ass in the league, even though I’ve seen Gabe Kapler’s arms. In the NFL, it’s a mighty big wash but I’m taking Shawne Merriman for the size and the ‘roid rage. Finally, from the NBA, since Oak has retired, I guess I’m going with Jason Maxiell…sleeper pick.

Can a Crosby/Ovechkin series resurrect the NHL? – Kyle Norton, The On Deck Circle
I guess we won’t find out for at least another year. Considering I watched 6 first round playoff games in anticipation of that match-up, I’d say there’s a good chance it would have brought fringe fans back into the fold. It will take more than one series to bring back old casual fans or create new fans, though.

If you could date any athlete, who would it be? If you could set me up with any athlete, who would it be and why? – Tieja Maclaughlin
This was a set-up to reveal my closet pseudo-homosexuality if I’ve ever seen it. I’m going to go with Tanith Belbin, the figure skater, for no reason other than looks (and because Paul took Sharapova off the market). For you, I’m going to suggest Dustin McGowan. He’s very cute with high upside. Not only will he make a lot of money eventually, he could get better looking by ditching the burns. He’s also a little quiet and reserved, so you don’t have to worry about much drama and you get the joy of bringing him out of his shell a bit. There, now you know how much I’ve thought about things like this.

I’ve been hearing a lot of different opinions on the top part of the NFL draft this year. Clear it up for me with a projected top-10. – Michael Loughry
Chris Long absolutely will not go first overall, you have my word. To be fair, I’m writing this on Thursday but it will probably be posted on Monday, meaning the draft will have happened, so just trust me that I actually guessed here: *note to self: look up top-10 later and copy and paste it here.*

Which Raptor, if any, will be the casualty of Colangelo’s offseason shuffle? – Raps Fan, Raptors Talk
The one that makes the most sense is Rasho Nesterovic, because his expiring contract (at around $9M) is a huge trade asset. Delfino is probably also out as a restricted free agent, and I’d guess Joey Graham and Maceo Baston’s expiring contracts could be a throw-in in some trade, as well. My money is on Rasho though. (Note: I think we all hope it’s T.J.)

Will Kosuke Fukudome continue his season the way he started? If so, is he a lock for NL Rookie of the Year? – Don, With-Malice
Even if he does keep it up, there are two pitchers in Cincinnati who may have something to say about handing out ROY hardware just yet. That said, nothing about Fukudome’s Japan numbers suggest he will be able to maintain this pace at the major league level. His .338 average should regress closer to .300 and his 17 runs scored in 20 games are largely dependent on the rest of the team cashing him in, so that pace should slow down, too. His home runs and stolen bases won’t be high enough (20-20, tops) to guarantee him votes either, so that race is wide open.

Anderson Silva v. Floyd Mayweather isn’t going to happen, but it’s still fun to think about. A pure MMA fight or a pure boxing bout would be pretty clearly lopsided, so what set of rules would lead to the most even-matched fight? On a related note, which two athletes from non-combat sports would you most like to see square off in the ring or octagon? – Jason Gurney, BallHype
It would seem that kick boxing rules are the middle ground between boxing and MMA. Since Silva is a dangerous striker, this would be acceptable, but there is absolutely no set of rules that could make it an even fight. Any rules that let the fight go to the ground seriously disadvantage the boxer, and any rules restricting action on the ground seriously hurt the mixed martial artist. That said, there’s no reason that a boxer and MMA fighter couldn’t meet up in an exhibition – it would still sell, and it would be understood that one is at a disadvantage. For your second question, I’d really like to see Tom Brady and Peyton Manning throw down, and not for joking purposes. I think it would be a close fight.

What ever happened to that NHL contract scare with TSN offering an insane amount of money to get a hold of Hockey Night in Canada? I never knew more than what I just said, but would like to know what the deal is so I can perhaps write a Don Allan style pro-Canadian rhetoric opinion piece about it. – Don Allan, The On Deck Circle
Okay, it started when CTV outbid CBC for the 2010 and 2012 Olympic coverage rights, and the major curling coverage, for whatever reason. They negotiated including NHL rights in the package, but it never came to fruition. CTV owns TSN, so they obviously would have scored a great deal of this extra coverage. CBC ended up striking a deal through 2014, but it is one that gives TSN greater coverage of the NHL (and curling and the Olympics). The largest sticking point, I think, was that CBC owns the rights to the Hockey Night in Canada name, making that property essentially useless to TSN. I also imagine it would have created a great deal of ill-will towards TSN if they stole something so engrained in Canadian society and limited it to owning certain cable packages (and possibly subjecting it to black outs).

Why am I so underrated? – Fabolous
I couldn’t tell you, man. You’ve had four studio albums now and they’ve all been of equally above average quality (7.5-8.5/10). You’ve proven that you can throw down with tracks that play well on the radio (Never Change, Breathe, Young’n, Can’t Deny It, Diamonds). You’ve proven that you can throw down with panty-wetting tracks for the lady or ladies man (Trade It All, Make Me Better, First Time, Holla at Somebody Real). You’ve proven that you can still be on that hood shit (Real Talk, The Bad Guy, Not Give a Fuck). You’ve proven you can throw down with witty and enjoyable lyrics (Get Smart, Be Easy, Joke’s on You). And you’ve proven you can combine all of these elements on album after album. Why you aren’t considered one of the industry’s foremost studs is beyond me.

What happened to your MySpace page? Don’t the kids just love MySpace? Yeah, kids and pedophiles…lots and lots of pedophiles. Did you have a Chris Hansen moment? – Red Hot for Rojo Caliente
There were several problems with MySpace. First, most of our writers/readers don’t have it. Second, I was tired of getting weird messages and having freaky people talk to me. Third, it’s impossible to add people en masse to spam MySpace with my site. Finally, it’s just downright weird and scary, I hate it.

What is your early pick for the annual NBA Playoffs theme song? Can it get any worse than the Rob Thomas incident of ’05? – D-Rob
I’m a little late but luckily, I’ve streamed all of my games and therefore haven’t really heard the music (because commercials and some sounds are cut out, and I’m usually rotating games). It cannot get worse than Rob Thomas, so you’re safe there, but they may go the Nickelback route. Why won’t the NBA use hip-hop, even tamer hip hop like a nice JDiggz or Lupe Fiasco beat, similar to The Score during their Madness coverage? I don’t know, but that’s what I’d do – simple beats with low lyrical content.

Tell me you see the obvious parallels between the 2008 Pittsburgh Pirates and the career of famous Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa! – Stu Wilkinson, The On Deck Circle
Here’s how I see it: The Pirates are generally a lock to win 33% of their games, people in Pittsburgh get excited about them every year, and nobody outside of the 4-1-2 realizes they exist. The Wiz would be lucky to get 33% of the YouTube views that Rojo Caliente got, people in Pittsburgh get excited every time he has a new single (read: rips a hook or beat from someone else and raps over it), and nobody outside of the 4-1-2 realizes he exists.

Who are the five best looking athletes in major sports? I mean, I am on the market… – Emily Jackson
I’ll start this off by saying that if any athlete is reading, Emily would make a great wife for an athlete, for sure. To answer your question, I have no idea. There are way too many good looking male athletes that I have man crushes on. I will try, though: Dustin McGowan, Nick Swisher, Reggie Bush, Tom Brady, Jose Theodore.

Why does LeBron have so many wrinkles on his forehead? – Silky Johnson
Wouldn’t you have wrinkles if some of your best teammates so far have been Ricky Davis, Eric Snow, Damon Jones, Larry Hughes and Ben Wallace?

What’s wrong with the Detroit tigers? Losing Granderson of course is a blow to a team’s production but struggling against rotations like the Royals and White Sox should be raising some alarm bells. Can their offensive struggles be attributed to everyone being cold from the gates, or is there something more at work here? – Robbie Alomar, All Your Base Are Belong to Rios
Will the Tigers rebound to win the AL Central – Deven Hiscock, The On Deck Circle
Sorry guys, a little late on this one as the Tigers have turned it around a bit since then. That said, I think a large part of the struggle was based on Granderson’s absence. Not only is he underrated as a blogger, even I have been guilty of underestimating his value to a line up. He appears to be a real leader on the team and putting him at the top of the order allows them to hit Renteria towards the bottom of the order, either cashing in more runs or acting as an additional lead-off man at the bottom. While Leyland keeps switching the line-up around to get the most out of the team, having Granderson back stabilizes the playing time and the top of the order, and it should really help get the rest of the team comfortable. The Tigers are definitely in the Central hunt still, and are a playoff threat if their rotation can figure things out.

What is the over/under date for Bryan Colangelo’s final day of employment as the President/GM of the Toronto Raptors? – Khandor, Khandor’s Sports Blog
It’s tough to say for two reasons. First, he is still very much a hot commodity, so you’d think some team will throw money at him sooner rather than later. Second, he is still early into his rebuilding plan for the Raptors and may therefore want to stick around to see it through, at least to moderate success, both to sustain his reputation and increase his open market value. He has it good in Toronto with unlimited power, an international fan base, and bosses who are largely clueless and uncommitted to what he’s doing, so I’d set the over/under at the summer of 2011.

I got a question for the streets: who hotter than me? – Plies
Nobody, homie, that’s why you’re name got dropped a little earlier as a future hip hop star. With tracks like Hypnotize, Who Hotter Than Me, and Shawty, combined with the fact you can apparently get anyone to jump on a track with you (or you can jump on a hot DJ Khaled remix), and I’d say you’ve got it good.

Something unexpected is bound to happen in the NBA playoffs. What’s it going to be? – Don, With-Malice
I’m going to go with a game in the Western Conference Finals where Chris Paul and Deron Williams trade buckets, dimes, and steals all game (to the tune of 30-15-3). The game then heads to overtime where a double technical takes place, followed by a shoving and shouting match. This continues for the rest of the series, and our much-hoped-for rivalry has turned from friendly/competitive to bitter/awesome. Also, Kobe Bryant is going to choke out Lamar Odom.

Most inspiring piece of literature you’ve read? – Tieja Maclaughlin
Tough call. Despite reading primarily non-fiction, it hasn’t all been that motivating or moving. I’ll call it a tie between “Opening Day,” a book about Jackie Robinson’s first season in the majors, and “Clemente,” a book about Roberto Clemente (obviously). I’ll work on this area of my reading repertoire in the summer.

What is it that makes the Detroit Red Wings a perennial threat, besides the fact that I support them and they win because they don’t want me to look bad? – Martin Melady
It’s definitely that they don’t want you to look bad. I don’t want to say they have a horseshoe up their ass because a lot of it is probably strong scouting and management but come on, getting production out of Hasek and Osgood this late in their careers? Luck aside, they are managed extremely well at a fiscal and hockey level, and there is evidence that they’re development and scouting is top notch. How do I know? On their active roster they have 14 players drafted in the 5th round or later (or undrafted), only two of which were drafted by other teams…that can’t all be luck.

How many games will the Dolphins win this year? Will Bill Parcells make that much of a difference? – Don, With-Malice
3-13, because they’ll be young and have growing pains. Parcells may make a difference, but only if he has the balls to suffer those growing pains and be committed to in-house building. Trading Taylor would be a good first step, especially if they can grab an extra 1st rounder or two.

I have had many sleepless nights over this one…who is better: Shark Boy or Curry Man? – Habib Tarzi, The On Deck Circle
This is the second toughest question of the Mailbag, for sure. On one hand, Shark Boy is hilarious, has a great finishing move, and is the single greatest rip off of someone else’s character/intellectual property ever. On the other hand, Curry Man is a complete original, is equally hilarious, and is going somewhere from a storyline perspective. He can also dance. They both kick bass and make up the best tag team in wrestling – gimme an Oh Shell Yeah! Forced to choose, I’ll take Curry Man because he has a brighter future in the business and a more versatile move set. We have to see this match down the line.

Italian neck beards or NBA neck beards? – Mike Cascone, The On Deck Circle
As much as I love you and your people Mike, the Baron/Deshaun/Gooden beard trio is untouchable. I can’t wait for this trend to grow and be just as popular as the high-top fade once was.

Who will be the breakout player of this year’s NHL playoffs? – Deven Hiscock, The On Deck Circle
Clearly, you’ve turned to the proper authority on this one. I’m going to go with that Clowe guy, since I had never heard of him until the playoffs started and now I know everything important about him (his last name).

Why do the Raptors suck so much? How can Colangelo fix it this summer? – D-Rob
This is going to sound like I think the Raptors are worse than they are. I don’t, there are just a lot of small changes that can be made. I really think the point guard situation needs to be solved, if not for the team on the court then for the fans and the mental health of the point guards themselves. It’s always going to hang over the team. Additionally, we have to either clear some cap space for the 2010 offseason (a heavy free agent class) or acquire an effective slashing/defending wing man (Ford+Rasho+Graham for Maggette+Thomas, as I’ve been saying all season), because the team is a strong wing man short right now. The rest of the changes will be tweaks since the core is in place, but the big change comes at the helm with Sam Mitchell. You’ll recall that I love Sam and really wanted him to receive an extension after last season. I still think he is a good coach in the motivator/player-relations mold. He’s a great fit for a young team or a team in turmoil that needs a stabilizing force (e.g. the 2006-07 Raptors). For a mature team ready to win now, though, an Xs and Os coach is needed, and that is something Mitchell just isn’t. It sucks to swallow a contract or slap him in the face after a Coach of the Year award, but the team needs to take the next step towards defensive and offensive efficiency, which Sam isn’t equipped to handle.

Why is Kyle still here? – Anonymous
Good question. Kyle, step into my office, ‘cuz you’re fucking fired.

What will it take for you to get back into hockey? – Alex Pennycook, The On Deck Circle
Apparently I don’t have a choice, since most of this Mailbag has been hockey related. In all honesty, I think it’s just going to take time. The glut of young and exciting players they have developing right now are going to be tough to ignore once they’ve matured. The Ovechkin-Crosby angle is exciting, too, though they really need a playoff series or a tight Art Ross race to turn that up a notch. This, of course, is coming from a former-die hard, and is not at all the formula for bringing in non-fans or former casual fans. That’s a much tougher problem to fix. For me as an individual, I can’t see me holding out any longer than 2010…if I’m not completely back by next season or the one after, the Olympics will seal the deal.

What will it take for you to forget about hockey completely? – America, Fuck Yeah!
My eventual move to the U.S.

Thank you. – Eric Hinske
You’re welcome buddy, and thank you for that Rookie of the Year season and your current resurgence that will take The ODC to the foremost point of web/street credibility.