Not the best moniker for the Will Saulsbery mailbag, but, like us all, it’s a work in progress.
I’m going to level with you from the tip-off, I was uninspired this week by St. Louis sports. So, I decided to farm out creativity to all of you. And what follows are my responses to all the serious and well thought out questions you sent me. To you the reader, hand to the almighty, I did not make up any of these questions.
Joshua Yakovitz from Clifton Heights:
Josh was the leader in the clubhouse with four questions over all. And, well…here they are.
When will we get modern anti-squeak basketball shoe technology?
Answer: Never. You don’t mess with tradition, and I need to hear the defender coming up from behind on the break so I can switch hands mid-air and dunk on the other side of the rim.
What is the greatest sports movie of all time, Field of Dreams or is it Field of Dreams?
Answer: Neither. It’s 1989’s Major League. Drama, humor, romance, hi-jinx, and fights scenes all in one film. More one-liners than Spaceballs and multiple award winning/nominated actors. Honorable mention to White Men Can’t Jump, as it is the greatest basketball movie ever produced.
Is bull riding a sport? I think if you can wear Levi's while you do it, it's not a sport.
Answer: Yes. And the tour is called the PBR. Bonus points.
If you had to create a baseball team made up of only The Avengers, what would be their batting order?
Answer: Damn, this is tough. I’ll limit myself to the nine Avengers I actually know, being I’m not full nerd, just a movie nerd.
1. Ant Man- Speed and agility to lead off and set the table
2. Black Panther- Speed, Power, Genius, all in the 2 hole. He can read every situation like Peyton Manning reading the Texans defense, and provide whatever offense you need, in any situation
3. Thor- I want pure power in the middle if my line-up and Thor is the only way to start.
4. Hulk- Who else do you want batting clean-up? Yes, his swing and miss rate will be a bit high, but he’s the Pete Incaviglia of the Avengers and will strike fear in any pitcher with men on base
5. Captain America- We still want power down at the 5 spot, and we want that All-American face and can do attitude that the entire of the squad can rally around
6. Black Widow- We need to add some speed to the bottom half of the line-up to keep the opposing pitching staff off balance. Plus, she can yell at Captain America from the on-deck circle to keep him focused and wanting to impress.
7. Hawkeye- He has to be in the bottom third of the line-up. Look, Hurt Locker is an amazing performance, but he’s pretty much Katniss Everdeen with short hair, and less awesome.
8. Spiderman- Speed and power, but zero plate discipline from this rookie. Hide him down here, keep him in for his defense at 3rd and any offense is a bonus.
9. Iron Man- Downey is definitely batting 9th and pitching. He can load the baseball into whatever those hand cannon things are and straight deal all night. Plus, Jarvis can keep him supplied with up to date scouting reports as the batter walks to the plate.
Joshua Mosley from Columbia, MO via Clayton, MO:
Can you just do a couple paragraphs on the glory that was Clarence Gilbert?
Answer: Could I!!!!??? CG was the truth. He was the Vinnie “the Microwave” Johnson of COMO. Instant offense, and endless excitement. I miss you Clarence.
Astros: Future dynasty or a one-hit wonder?
Answer: Wait, what? An actual question? Dynasty in the old sense will never happen again. I’m thinking 4 titles in 5 years as what a true dynasty is. I can see the Astros being a dynasty like the Redbirds of 2000-2015. Playoffs 11 out of 15 years and always banging down the door of the fall classic. Young talent at important positions, a Huge TV market that will allow for keeping that young talent long term, and an incredibly smart and data driven farm system to keep low price great talent constantly coming up to the show.
Donnie Ryan from Kansas City via Arnold, MO:
Could you do an expose on how I could have made it big in the NBA, but the fact that I never played basketball really caught up to me during the 2000 NBA draft?
Answer: No. But, man, you would have been one helluva of towel/water man. All arms and legs, quick with a joke during any timeout. The indispensable linchpin every squad needs.
Gavin Ashton, Carondelet via Letchworth England:
Why do FIFA, or the international football organizations not allow a more appropriate replay rule based on modern tech?
Answer: I’m assuming this is about soccer. First, learn how to stop the clock when play stops. “Stoppage Time” is the dumbest thing in sports. Second, if you have the technology, use it. Not having in-depth real-time replay to ensure the calls that made are correct is inexcusable. Get with it FIFA. And where the hell is Qatar?
If you are spending tens of millions on a stadium, why not update the AstroTurf to make it made of the new variety that contains LEDs at the end so you can draw the down lines on the 'grass'?
Answer: This is a genius idea. This needs to be beta tested at the university level and then rolled out to the NFL asap.
Jeffrey Trotter Columbia, MO:
Okay, serious question...For Mizzou Basketball. What should fans do about their expectations? My fear is after 3 years of pure misery a significant portion of the fan base could be left shi&&*%$ on the program when this year's team "only" wins 25 games and goes to the Sweet 16.
Answer: This is my fear as well. But, we do need a deeper run than this. Elite 8 must be the goal. You want to get Mizzou on in primetime as much as possible so the program, like a Kentucky or a Duke, can begin recruiting itself. An up tempo offense with marketable future NBA stars is the quickest ticket to this. But, the Sweet 16 is nothing to sneeze at.
H.t. Sims, St. Louis, MO:
Would the premonitions of Final Destination work against the mind games/murder traps in Saw?
Answer: Mind. Blown. But wait…what if the premonitions were of the mind games/murder traps? We just stumbled upon our next movie franchise. Copyright here. Sims and Saulsbery strike again!!!
Michael Wesley Wingate, Columbia, MO:
Can we please trade Matt Carpenter for a closer?
Answer: Can we please trade him, period? I know some radio mouth pieces in the STL think OBP is pretty much the ONLY stat that matters, but you know what’s better than a walk? A double. If your 1st baseman weighs 165 soaking wet and can’t even sniff 30 bombs anymore, trade him now. He still has value. Billy Beane/Bill Belichick this guy and get something while you still can. I’d settle for a middle reliever at this point.
Kyle Kelley, Columbia, MO via Kearney, MO:
Bare knuckle brawl: Do you place money on George Brett or Wade Boggs? Follow-up question: Spicy wing eating contest. Do you place money on Steve Balboni or Wade Boggs?
Answer: Never bet against Wade Boggs, unless he’s going against George Brett. I’ll take Brett in 22 rounds after he musters one last haymaker than reigns down upon Boggs.
To your second question. Dude, Balboni all the way. He looks like Nintendo’s Mario and SNL’s Drunk Uncle have a nephew in common.
Well folks, there you have it. My first attempt at a mail bag. A mailbagman is only as good as his mailbag questions, therefore, I must be amazing. Thanks to all of you, and if you have any follow-ups, shoot them my way!
P.S. I am very disappointed at the lack of Ray Lankford related questions.