Mail Time! Answering Your Questions

I will engage in a semi-frequent throw down with Seattle SB Nation writer Kevin Cacabelos in an attempt to show the world how much smarter, better looking and wittier I am than he. It should be quite easy.

Pick two: Servando Carrasco’s girlfriend, James harden’s beard, Isaiah Thomas’ car, a personal pancake chef for life. -Erik K.

KC: I’d like all four of these things, so let’s tackle this by process of elimination. Currently in college I have the luxury of a meal plan and going anywhere on campus and having any type of breakfast made for me — omelette bars, chocolate pancakes, extravagant waffles, and plain bagels to name a few — with this said, a personal pancake chef would be great to have, but I’d feel terrible for this hypothetical chef when I wasn’t feeling pancakes on a certain day. Some days you just need to eat a bland breakfast to make the amazing breakfasts stay amazing. I’m assuming Isaiah Thomas tweeted a picture of his car that he bought with his NBA money and I’m also assuming this car is swagged out. I’m also going to take his car out of the picture because his car doesn’t come with a lifetime of gasoline, gas costs too much. Eliminating personal pancake chef and Isaiah Thomas’ car leaves me with Alex Morgan and James Harden’s beard. Facial hair and a bomb girlfriend, two things I lack right now and two things I want. Looks like this question was way easier than I thought.

Thomas’s Range Rover is No Alex Morgan

Brian: Kevin’s response was awesome. I didn’t know he had that kind of witty analysis in him. This is a tough question for a 33-year-old with a wife and kid. Obviously Alex Morgan is eliminated from being a possibility for me. It would be far too awkward to have her and a personal pancake chef living with the three of us in West Seattle. Our house just isn’t big enough. Although we would be happy from all the pancakes and soccer lessons – I am assuming that is why Alex Morgan would live with us.

I’d take Isaiah Thomas’s car. I often am in search of more SWAG or street cred. Although it appears Thomas has a pretty normal looking Range Rover. Since Range Rover’s have space, it could fit a car seat so that works. The one thing I know I want is James Harden’s beard. I want it so bad it is ridiculous. I often spend my breaks from teaching (including summer) growing a beard to go with my bald head. I like the Common Market look. I think it makes me better looking and more mysterious. Yet inevitably after three weeks I can’t stand the itch of the beard so I shave. People like Harden should be applauded. They fought through the itchy phase to the nomadic Bedouin people phase. I yearn for that.

Why is Brendan Ryan not out collecting unemployment by now? -Patrick P.

KC: There simply is not a better shortstop on the Mariners roster at the moment. Lookout Landing tackled this question last week (http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2012/5/3/2996715/eric-wedge-for-president). Will Ryan continue batting .153? Who knows? His glove is the reason he is keeping his job and unless the Mariners find an adequate defensive replacement at shortstop, Ryan will stay as the starter.

Brian: Kevin nailed this one perfectly. Who else plays? Kawasaki? Probably not. Although my wife would advocate for him to play more since she invented a fantasy team in her mind. She watches an inning or two here and there of Mariner games just to humor me. While she does it, she picks random guys that she likes for various reasons to be on her “fantasy team”. Kawasaki was first on the list. I agree with her. He is quite loveable if not good at baseball. If you don’t believe me, check out his quote after scoring the winning run in a 3-2 victory over Detroit on Monday night.

“I’m OK, but obviously we’ve got a lot of big guys here,” Kawasaki said, through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “They’re very powerful and I’m Japanese, so, it wasn’t easy. But I’m OK.”

So Loveable

Which current basketball team, if any, is most likely in your view to become the next Seattle Supersonics? – James S.

KC: Easy answer has to be the Sacramento Kings, right? I guess the better question would be who else is in danger of losing their NBA team? One team to keep your eye on is the Milwaukee Bucks. Though their owner wants to keep their team there, the Bucks have an aging arena and does not have a restrictive lease like most other possible relocation candidates. Unfortunately for Sonics fans, the Bucks have an owner that wants to stay in Milwaukee (http://www.jsonline.com/sports/bucks/be-thankful-bucks-arent-in-sonics-situation-655a126-150377375.html)

Brian: With Vancouver apparently becoming a real player in obtaining a NBA franchise, I am losing hope of ever getting a franchise again. Sacramento appears destined to just be in a stalemate for years or move to Anaheim. New Orleans seems like it is staying put. Milwaukee has a committed owner. Memphis? Maybe someday, but I believe they have a lease issue (http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2012/mar/25/strong-lease-ties-griz-to-city/).Of course, I never imagined the Sonics would ever leave. Before Schultz sold the team to Clay Bennett, I didn’t even think it could be possible. So we know things can happen very quickly and the same could occur in obtaining a team in Seattle. I choose to not spend time speculating because it just leads to emotional highs and lows. Better to just wait and get excited if something actually happens.

Who will have a better career, Ackley or Seager? – Robb M.

Image courtesy of Google Image search: “Kyle Seager”

Brian: I began debating this on April 13th (http://waitforitseattle.com/2012/04/13/is-kyle-seager-better-than-dustin-ackley/) and continue to find this debate intriguing. People has always assumed Ackley would be better because he was the #2 pick and projected to be better. At what point do we look at production?

Player A
Minor League Stats – .328/.401/.474, 22 HR, 150 RBI, 28 SB, 130 BB, 165 K’s in 269 games
Major League Stats – .269/.311/.419, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 5 SB, 16 BB, 50 K’s in 79 games

Player B
Minor League Stats – .280/.387/.435, 16 HR, 86 RBI, 17 SB, 130 BB, 117 K’s in 200 games
Major League Stats – .264/.338/.396, 7 HR, 45 RBI, 8 SB, 52 BB, 102 K’s in 120 games

Which player would you consider to be better? It is pretty close. I would even lean toward Player A due to the increase in power. Well, Player A is Seager and Player B is Ackley. It is time to accept that Seager just might be a bigger part of the future club than Ackley.

KC: Something in me tells me that Ackley is the better player than Seager, but I have no numbers or personal observations to back up this gut instinct. Jeff Sullivan analyzed Ackley’s production so far saying he is swinging at too many balls and taking too many strikes — so how does he fix this? I’m not a hitting coach, and Ackley has been hitting his whole life, so I think it’ll just take some time. Let’s not forget Ackley is only in his second season in the MLB. Yes he’s underperforming, but can we really say Seager is going to be better than Ackley after the pair has only been in the big leagues for under two seasons? Let’s ignore production until we have a larger sample size.

Why do Seattle Sounder fans think Eddie Johnson was as good as Eusebio, when at best he’s an improvement on Roy Lassiter and not even as good as Erik Wynalda? – Carlos A.

Brian: Who the hell is Eusebio? And who cares? Eddie Johnson is good for the MLS level of play. He is better than any other forward the Sounders have linked with Fredy Montero in their three years of existence. He can score. He is fast. He is good. This seems like a question that is more a reflection of your feeling that the MLS sucks overall rather than a condemnation of Sounders fans.

KC:  Sounders fans should stop comparing any of their players to legendary soccer players because legendary soccer players do not play in the MLS.

Question to Brian from Kevin:

At the Huskies’ spring football game, one lucky fan got to catch a pass from Keith Price:

If you could interact athletically with one athlete, past or present, dead or alive, short or tall, who would it be?

Brian: I spent this past weekend in a wiffleball home run derby with my buddy Justin. We played this game with a makeshift home run line on the beach depending on the condition of the wind. I would like to use this opportunity to say A) I won the derby on a walk off and B) home run derby is the best athletic competition ever. I wouldn’t want to enter in to a “real” athletic competition or interaction. It would just embarrass me. So I would want something I thrive at, thus wiffle ball home run derby.

I challenge you

My opponent would be Milton Bradley. Obviously.

The rules would be as follows:

  • Playing on the softball field at Santa Clara, which was my home field in college and has the best outfield fence for wiffle ball.
  • We get 15 swings per round for six innings.
  • We use the same pitcher.
  • Regulation wiffle balls must be used as well as a yellow regulation bat.
  • I bat second so I can win on a walk off and flip my bat at Bradley. Which leads me to my last requirement:
  • Police officers will be stationed along the foul lines.

Question for Kevin from Brian:
Since you are extremely limited athletically, what advice would you give me in raising my son to be an athlete as you look back on your failed athletic experience?

KC: Shots fired! I don’t know if your son will be athletic, but if he is, I’d definitely be the parent that forces him to use his left hand. If he’s naturally right-handed, he’ll enjoy a host of advantages in all sports if he can also use his left hand. A guard that can handle the ball with both hands is good in basketball, a switch-hitter in baseball enjoys a moderate advantage and I think being able to use both hands in football is beneficial to your balance. So how do you teach him to be left-handed? According to this online article (http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Left_Left_Left_right_Left_Tips/) You will know in a couple of years when Lincoln is either right or left-handed, once you find out you should start strengthening his other hand for athletic purposes. I don’t know how exactly you plan to do this, but that’s the fun in parenting!

Brian: I know exactly how I will do this, but will not divulge my tactics on this site because parents like Marv Marinovich are shunned by society for some reason.

You can read Kevin’s stuff at SB Nation (http://seattle.sbnation.com/authors/kevin-cacabelos) or follow him on Twitter @KevinCacabelos. Kevin gave up Seatown Sports recently to focus more on this mailbag.
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