Before I begin, I’d like to address my inclusion of Cy Ho Park on the Texas Rangers roster as part of my glimpse into the AL’s future. Originally, I was going to explain it away with a tiny fib, before I realized that such a betrayal of trust would not be looked kindly upon. So, instead, I’m telling you the plain and simple truth: it was my crystal ball’s fault.

No one fully understands the mysteries of the crystal ball, not even myself. Perhaps the cloudy globe thinks Cy Ho will return to his old haunts in Arlington by midseason. Or possibly it delivered a faulty prediction on purpose as spiteful retaliation for my drilling holes into it after signing up for that bowling league. Maybe it’s just getting old and it’s time to invest in a younger, shinier, larger-breasted version.

But in any case, thanks to everyone for writing in and pointing out the mistake. (As you’d expect, the error generated the largest amount of mail in the history of the column.) It won’t happen again. And when it does, it still won’t be my fault.

On to the mail!

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I was just reading your column, and I noticed your final sentence made reference to the infamous trough-diving video that has recently floated around e-mail circles. If you get a chance, take a look at that video again. That’s not Wrigley Field, as we are led to believe. No one there is wearing a Cubs hat, and there is no wooden fenced bathroom at Wrigley. It’s all propaganda and lies, most likely perpetrated by some mouth-breathing White Sox fan who felt that winning the World Series wasn’t enough torture for Cubs fans. But I digress

Andy Anaya
Mundelein, IL

It’s been a painful few years for Cubs fans, hasn’t it? Although many say the pre-2004 Red Sox fans had it worst when it came to heartache, I don’t think they ever had such a string of complete bowel-evacuative misery like the Cubs recently had, starting with the Bartman-Alex Gonzalez Debacle and still going on.

And you’re right, Andy. There’s no need to add insult to injury by attributing a video like this to them, too. The Cubs fans have suffered enough. It’s time to take it easy on them and ajlbasdf. Oh. Sorry about that, Andy. You’d think that after five months I’d get used to typing while wearing this enormous World Series (replica) ring. You know how it is.

Oh, wait …

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I’m sure you’ve gotten your share of initialphilic responses, but I’d like to cast two names into the fray:

JT Snow—who was until recently the longtime faithful Giants defensive dynamo, a crowd favorite, all around good guy and life-saver of Dusty Baker’s errant ballboy son—and FP Santangelo, one-time exciting member of Mike Krukow’s “Fightin’ Hydrants” Giants outfield and good guy (despite recent underwhelming attempts at becoming a color man).

In defense of your initialism, however, is AJ Pierzynski, who was responsible for the unfortunate Stan Conte groin incident.

Sam Hollander

I’ll give you JT Snow—even though he has the best hit-man name in professional sports—but I’m taking Santangelo out of the running. Besides him, I’ve never heard the combo “FP” in my life. That tells me one of three things: (a) he’s foreign and “FP” has some kind of cultural significance, (b) his first name is too large and difficult to write in its entirety, or © he has a torrid, violent past he’s trying to bury.

After conducting research, I discovered he was born in Michigan—eliminating a—and the initials stand for Frank Paul. And, since even the laziest person could muster up enough energy to write down Frank, that leaves the last option as the only reasonable explanation left. Now I’m not exactly sure what he did in his past life to warrant such an act, but if I know my Frank Pauls, then it surely involved a Frisbee full of cocaine, a dozen dead hookers, and possibly a mahogany coat rack.

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Hey, Playboy, what are your thoughts on Jeff Bagwell getting into the Hall of Fame?

Adam Everett’s Biggest Fan

I think he’s a shoo-in once he gets those 500 home runs. And, at the rate he hit last season (3), that’s only 17 years away. It’s a cakewalk.

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Great post on NES characters and fantasy baseball. A question, though: Does Mega Man get to summon Rush when he’s playing center?

Will Li

Mega Man has a BFF clause in his contract (like Jack and Craig Wilson), so that if he gets traded, the robo-canine goes with him. But that’s as far as his assistance goes. If you start letting one player bring a significant other onto the field, soon you’ll have all the players taking advantage.

Jose Lima will put his wife next to him on the mound, frustrating batters with the unexplainable fact that she married him. People will be striking out on purpose so they don’t have to converse with Anna Benson, strategically placed near first base. Pedro’s Little Friend will be biting everyone. Mike Piazza’s leather-clad posse from the Blue Oyster will just stand around, making everyone feel weird.

It’ll be total anarchy. And ticket sales will go through the roof!

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With all due respect, I would like to persuade you to make the following changes

Thomas is not a fifth-place hitter; he’s hardly a bench player. The “kufaw” grunt after every kick would make him a better fit as Monica Seles’s mixed-doubles partner. Besides, we all know it takes maybe one punch to break a confetti ball, and it took Thomas three.

I suggest in his place you put the red Contra guy. Any dude that can have 30 lives by simply practicing a pregame superstition of up-up-down-down-left-right-B-A is going to have a long and fulfilling career. Besides, he’d go the entire game shirtless with no armor. You can’t teach skills like that.

Also, I think Kid Icarus should get the boot in favor of his arch nemesis, the Eggplant Wizard. The Wiz never had powerful stuff—he maybe got those eggplants from the rubber to the plate at 35 mph—but let me ask you, have you ever tried to hit a baseball after someone has turned you into a giant eggplant? This guy makes Mariano Rivera look like trash.

Also, as honorable mention, please put in the nameless hero from Urban Champion. Seeing as most people forget what it was, it was Nintendo’s first fighting game, and I think at least this man should be league commissioner. Without him, there would be no Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or even River City Ransom.

Ethan Jacoby

As I’m sure Bill Simmons would attest to, you’re nobody until somebody sends you an e-mail while they’re completely stoned. Thanks for the milestone, Ethan.

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And, finally, if we think of Ethan as the “effectively wild,” beer-guzzling, sideburns-touting setup man who takes over in the eighth inning, then Mr. Matt Woolsey—the author of the following letter—is the graceful, cognac-sipping, clean-cut closer who paints the corners, forces three ground balls in a row, shuts off the lights, and takes us home:

What about an irrefutable literary team? After all his years in the Cuban League, I can imagine Hemingway being quite the slugger. There is no doubt Papa would have a short, sweet home-run stroke—not unlike Bonds’s—and he’d probably be just as much of an asshole to the media.

A man as prolific as Tolstoy would be an incredible innings eater out in the middle of the rotation, and have a great valued contract based on his continually giving away large sums of money and book rights … his donations to charity from salary and endorsements would make him incredibly popular in the community, except no one would come to see him pitch, as his slow, drawn-out, human-rain-delay style is incredibly boring to watch.

T.S. Eliot would manage the team—mostly becauseThe Natural is based on_The Waste Land —_and, like the Fisher King, his body would reflect the status of his kingdom/team, but middle-reliever romantics like Wordsworth (moved to the mound from the outfield because he was always picking dandelions) would tank games on purpose, just to make “that modernist motherfucker” suffer.