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Saturday, March 30, 2013
This week's Q&A-Mac is brought to you by the return of Major League Baseball: Take THAT, March snow.
Q: Indeed, the baseball season opens tonight. I'm guessing you're excited?
A: Always. Although technically, I'd argue the season starts tomorrow. Tonight's lone game features the Texas Rangers against some minor league club called the Houston Astros.
Q: Guess you saw that Alex Rodriguez, who will make $29 million this year, has a higher salary than the entire Astros payroll of roughly $25 million. That A-Rod. What a scoundrel, right?
A: Oh, he's stealing that money this year, but I think this reflects much more poorly on Houston than on the Yankees' persona non grata. Unless the Astros are offering $2 box seats and 50-cent beers - they aren't - then they're insulting their fans with that lack of financial commitment.
Q: How many games will they win?
A: The Vegas over-under is 59.5. I'll go under. And it could go wayyyyy under.
Q: Any other predictions for the season?
A: Yep. The Blue Jays will miss the playoffs despite all their high-profile acquisitions, rendering them the most disappointing team in baseball. The Angels, who held that dubious distinction last year, will rebound to win the World Series. The Yankees will finish last in the AL East for the first time since 1990. The Nationals will claim the NL pennant. And my yet-to-be-selected fantasy team will rule the earth.
Q: So, Duke faces Louisville tonight for a spot in the Final Four. Care to retract your "Anybody but Duke" column written before the ACC tournament?
A: That column was beloved by all!
Q: Uh, my man, have you SEEN the letters in the paper?
A: Oh, right, those. You should have seen my email inbox. Many of those dispatches were much less cordial than the letters we ran. Hey, if people thought that column was unoriginal or simply not funny, I can live with that. They're probably right; it wasn't my best effort (the guy who argued it was sophomoric was 100 percent correct).
Still, what I'm having trouble understanding is why anyone would assume that a column that calls an entire fan base a bunch of puppy-, kitten- and child-haters is designed to be taken at face value.
Q: How should we have taken it?
A: Read "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift and get back to me.
Q: I won't read anything by that guy! Isn't he the fool who suggested we ought to solve society's hunger issues by eating our children? How could you possibly recommend anything penned by such a monster?
Q: I'm disgusted with you, but we still haven't talked about Robert Brown. What do you think of his decision to transfer from Virginia Tech?
A: Surprising. When I talked to him after the loss to N.C. State in the ACC tournament, he said he planned to make 30,000 shots this offseason to prepare for his junior year.
Q: Did he say those shots would be taken in Blacksburg?
A: He did not. But I did not ask.
Q: Should Tech fans be concerned about another departure?
A: Generally speaking, I'd say no. Transfers happen everywhere. But the fact that retention of players was one of the key reasons athletic director Jim Weaver gave for hiring coach James Johnson, well, it doesn't reflect well on his decision.
Q: Speaking of coaches, sounds like the new Tech football assistants are pretty intense. Have you seen them in action yet?
A: Not yet, but I love what I'm reading from beat writer Andy Bitter. A lack of identity was the biggest problem for the Hokies' offense last year. At least we know they're aiming to create one - one of physical play and dominance in the trenches, excuses be darned. Whether they can get there, we'll find out. But it's great to see this be the stated goal.
Q: Comment of the week on the blog?
A: Have to go with Perch, defending his love of televised fishing against soccer fans arguing that televised fishing is boring: "Don't like fishing on TV? Man, you must just not understand the game! The slow buildup of cast after cast is just the set up for the eventual score!"
Q: Hey, I thought you liked soccer?
A: I do. But I like a good joke even more.
Weather JournalMidday update: More ice likely later