Give Pitchers And Catchers Headsets

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Illustration: Sam Woolley (GMG)

Today, we’re talking about peanut butter yogurt, pot pies, P.J. Fleck, and more. 

Your letters:


Why not expand the number of sports where players use headsets? Would football be better if a quarterback could use a little radio thing to speak directly with the other players and make an audible or even change things up mid-play, and vice versa? (*KSSSHK* “I’M OPEN, DANNY”)


Forget football. The QB has enough to process already. He doesn’t need some yippy wideout screaming “I’M OPEN!!!!” at him while he’s busy dodging Mack trucks in the backfield. The coach/QB headset is already a needless intrusion on the game that encourages coaches to micromanage the on-field action more than they already do. I am a sports purist in that I’d like to remove all of that tech, and let the athletes play the game as organically and instinctively as they can play it. Too many external factors weasel their way into the games already.

HOWEVER… I am 1000 percent percent in favor of giving headsets to the pitcher and catcher in baseball. It would end both sign stealing and mound meetings, and the latter are a goddamn scourge. Shit, give the manager a headset, too. Imagine never having to see some dumpy manager take 15 minutes to execute a pitching change all because he has to waddle out to the dugout to take the ball away from some redassed pitcher. God, that would be great. Rob Manfred is sitting there brainstorming all these weird ways to “fix” baseball when all he has to do is stick a radio in the catcher’s mask.


Now, I know full well that catchers would object to using this technology on principle, because it’s for nerds or something. They would probably establish an unwritten rule to never use their headsets, and then two teams would get into a brawl because one of them actually dared to use it. Then baseball would hold mandatory headset training and force catchers to use it, and then they’d rebel by using it only to tell the pitcher “I banged your mom” in between pitches and shit. Whatever. It’s still worth giving it a shot. In the near future, every pro athlete will be equipped with the same kind of dipshit Bluetooth headset gamers use anyway. May as well expedite the process.


Why does peanut butter flavored Greek yogurt not exist?

Because no one wants it? Listen man, there are thousands of other peanut butter delivery vehicles out there for you. You can get it in pretzels, cereal, chocolate, salad dressings, ice cream, and even on burgers. As we speak, the lobbyists at BIG PEANUT are trying to get hospitals to buy peanut butter intravenous fluids in bulk and stock school vending machines with peanut butter soda. The peanut butter market is already highly saturated. They have peanut butter and jelly BITES now and I was sorely tempted when I laid eyes on them for the first time.


If you desperately need peanut butter yogurt, presumably because you are pregnant with twins, they do sell those Reese’s yogurts in the dairy aisle. These are the snack yogurts kids like because they hold zero nutritional value and because there’s half a tablespoon of candy in the lid for them to eat before they throw the rest of the yogurt into the garbage can. That shit isn’t even yogurt, by the way. Like, Go-Gurt is just sweetened milk with mucus added for thickening. It’s a yogurt-like substance designed to induce diabetes within seven minutes or you get a partial refund. It’s fucking poison.

You could also buy plain Greek yogurt and mix in some peanut butter. Not only would that be cheaper, but you could do it in the privacy of your own home, with no one around to see your shame. Greek yogurt is a lifestyle brand now, and the swarthy executives at Fage aren’t about to sully that brand by mixing Skippy Extra Chunky into it. Every new flavor of Greek yogurt is shit like “Just A Hint Of Willamette Raspberry” or “A Touch Of Mackinaw Peach” or “Just The Ever So Slightest Soupçon Of Toasted Amaranth Farts.” So if they ever did introduce a peanut butter flavor, it would be so verbose that you wouldn’t even realize it was peanut flavored. “A Faint Essence Of Unadilla Legume. And Grape Jelly.”


By the way, I really do recommend buying a big yogurt and just mixing in whatever you want: granola, preserves, fresh fruit, whole chunks of pulled pork, etc. Why spend your precious time on earth digging around the bottom of a fucking yogurt cup for extra fruit? Put yourself in control.


Would you rather give up eating birds or mammals forever?

The answer is birds, even though I would be deeply annoyed about it. I love chicken. I love duck. I love turkey at Thanksgiving and will defend it from snotty naysayers. I love eating very small birds like quail and squab because they make me feel like a giant. A quail drumstick is a hilarious thing to eat. It has one bite of meat on it and basically looks like a Lego chicken drumstick. I love it. So succulent.


But it’s easier to get meat to approximate the taste of poultry than the other way around. Everything tastes like chicken. Only a ribeye tastes like a ribeye. So I would become a mammalvore and then spend every day driving past the Popeyes near me, audibly whimpering like a teenage boy suffering through a breakup.


Is a chicken pot pie truly a pie if it has a top but no bottom? I got into an argument with a friend about this and he says yes. If something is to be called a pie, whether it’s sweet or savory, it needs to have some kind of bottom crust. What my friend believes to be a chicken pot pie is, in fact, a chicken cobbler.


I think it’s a pie because it has pie crust. I don’t really care WHERE that crust happens to be. So long as it’s got a layer of flaky, solidified Crisco somewhere, that’s pie enough for me. In fact, unless we’re talking about a graham cracker or Oreo crust, the bottom of your standard pie is just a gloopy, flavorless mess anyway. I rarely eat the bottom crust of a pie, if only to retain my girlish figure. I’d rather have more filling at the bottom in its place. So yeah, a chicken pot pie is a pie. Would you like to make one right now? LET’S FUCKING DO IT.


1 rotisserie chicken, with the meat taken off the bones and torn into pieces
1 carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
Half a cup frozen peas
Half a stick of butter
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
Half a cup of whole milk or half’n’half
1 store bought pie crust
Salt and pepper to taste


Okay, so preheat the oven to 400. Take a pot and melt the butter in it on medium heat. Add the flour and keep stirring it into the butter until it’s a deep brown roux. Add the veggies and the salt and pepper, and cook the veggies in the roux until they’re soft and coated with all that goodness. Add the chicken and stir it around for another minute. Then add the broth and the peas and stir that shit around for another 10 to 15 minutes, until it’s reduced a little. Add the milk and stir it around some more until it’s nice and thick.

I usually make individual pies instead of one big one. So, if you can, take a cookie sheet and arrange six individual ramekins (SO CLASSY!) on that sheet. Then lay out the pie crust dough on a floured counter and, using a bowl that’s a bit wider than the ramekins, cut out circles in the dough by pressing the bowl upside down into it. Fill each ramekin all the way with the stew (it’s fine if you have some leftover), then lay a circle of dough on top of each and press it into the edges. Prick each one with a fork and, if you feel fancy, brush the top with a beaten egg yolk. Stick the pies in the oven and bake for roughly 20 minutes, until the crust is golden and that shit is bubbling.


Alternately, you can put all the stew into a pie dish and just cover that with the entire dough. That’s probably easier, but I enjoy having my own miniature pie to myself. It makes me feel special. I put enough Frank’s sauce in there to kill a man.


Who the fuck dresses P.J. Fleck, and why are they not fired?

I actually watched Minnesota get creamed by Maryland this weekend and it’s true: P.J. Fleck dresses like he’s about to report live from the inside of a hurricane. He’s also a hilarious, insane fraud:


I just… Imagine buying into that guy’s horseshit. In every possible way, P.J. Fleck resembles a Rob Corddry satire of a college football coach. He’s a football coach infected with TED Talk brain, where far more effort is put into the presentation of a thing than into the thing itself. We are absolutely a year away from him getting roped into a sex scandal featuring either Papa John or Jimmy John. “Your Honor, this was NOT an orgy. It was a free-range bodily fluid ideation session. We call it The Big Greet.”


Is there a one word possessive name (ie Rick’s, Johnny’s, etc) that hasn’t been used in a restaurant name yet? Hitler’s Place?


Of course. There is no way the restaurant naming industry is gonna be able to keep up with the ever-growing supply of terrible Utah baby names. One night you’re gonna be out on the lonely road, tired to the bone, searching for a place to eat. And in the distance, through a rain-soaked windshield, you’ll see salvation in the form of a diner. You’ll dream of hot coffee and sassy waitresses and fluffy pancakes and surly cooks working the griddle and thick mikshakes and big plates of gleaming, red bacon. Maybe you’ll even get a tuna melt. And you’ll pull into the driveway and look up in delirious hope at the neon green sign glowing above the landscape. And that sign will say JAXXTYN’S.

And then you’ll peel out and keep looking for a McDonald’s.


With the recent wave of ties to start the NFL season, and since every god-fearing American hates a tie, what would be the most interesting way to solve this similar to a soccer shootout? Field goal kicks from the 50-yard line? Each team running plays from the two-yard line? Kickoff returns with the defense short one man? The people want winners and losers!


I’m fine with ties, and was in fact disappointed that the NFL couldn’t manage three straight ties in three straight weeks. Imagine all the pizza Roger Goodell would have forbidden if that had happened. You wouldn’t even hear about those Clay Matthews penalties because the entire football world would be in the grips of Tie Panic. But if you really need resolution to a crummy regular season football game, I don’t think shootouts or foot races are the answer. I think the most obvious gimmick to deploy would be college overtime. College overtime is an abomination but it’s a FUN abomination. I have never regretted watching a college overtime and neither have you. What ends as a 21-21 tie in regulation becomes a 57-56 clusterfuck 20 minutes later. It’s football on cocaine, and I support it wholeheartedly.

The NFL should just get over themselves and adopt it because the current format is basically designed to facilitate ties. Ten minutes of overtime is just enough time for each team to mount a turgid drive that ends in a midrange field goal. BORRRRRING. College overtime fits triple the scoring into half the time. Just do that and let’s get on with our lives. It would be worth it just to watch fantasy owners’ heads explode.



Why the fuck does anyone ever voluntarily go into a cave?

For treasure! DUH. Every time I see a cave, I get overly excited and hope that the cave leads either to another dimension or to a city of gold. GOOOOOOOLD HEE HEE HEE!!!!!


(grabs pickaxe)

Then I take two steps inside and realize I’m in a damp bat factory. It’s a real letdown. Caves are awesome from a distance, and then they grow more and more horrifying with each progressive step you take inside. It takes a certain bravery to go spelunking underground for hours on end like you’re Lara Croft, and I do not possess it. I turn around right away. I remember reading about NYC subway workers who spend all day under Manhattan, drilling through bedrock. And those guys LOVE being underground. They’re all like, “My fadduh was a moleman. My grandfadduh was a moleman. And I’m proud to be a moleman too. GO YANKS!” Those guys are all NUTS. The coal dust definitely got lodged in their brains.


I went to Luray Caverns in Virginia once with my kids. This is one of those tourist attractions where you walk down deep into the ground and gawk at all the limestone stalactites and stalagmites that have formed over the curse of a zillion years. And it only took five steps before I was overwhelmed by claustrophobia and was dying to get out. At one point the ceiling got real low and I was like this is fine. The ceiling will just get lower and lower and then the cavern will collapse on me like a giant jaw and I’ll be buried alive. No problem! I blew right through that cavern with the kids. No pictures.



When demonstrating the size of a spider to someone with your index finger and thumb, do you include or exclude the legs?


I include the legs, and then I include an extra inch of diameter just to enhance the terror. I lie about spider size like I’m an old fisherman. “It was THIS big! I nearly bit my fucking head off!” Was the spider really that big? No. But what if it GREW to that size? Or what if it really stretched out its legs for a second? You never know! I need everyone in the room to know that this was no ordinary spider I confronted. It was Aragog. Why would you ever exclude the legs? No one’s gonna give a rat’s ass if you say the spider was the size of a marble. Add legs to that marble and suddenly it’s a BEAST. Not everyone would have been brave enough to be in the same room with that spider and not shit their pants!

It was an unusually wet summer where I live, which meant I had bugs the size of your head lurking and breeding in every available fetid puddle nearby. There are orb-weavers all over my yard now and they all look like they just swallowed a bear. Am I exaggerating about this? Possibly. But I need you to understand how courageous I am to live among these monsters. A wolf spider sidled up to me when I was grilling over the weekend and I reacted like someone had pulled a knife on me. Just pure, frozen terror. Don’t hurt me, spider. I have a family. Take my wallet. TAKE MY CAR.



My mother-in-law is awesome. Think Lucille Bluth but with more vodka. She’s a laugh a minute but she has ONE HABIT that kills me. Every time we go to a steakhouse, she orders her steak “Medium plus”. Every single server scratches their head. What the hell is “Medium Plus?!?” IT DOES NOT EXIST. Does it?


A simple Google search seems to indicate that Medium Plus is how people order their steak if they’re too stupid to know that “Medium” is the official level of doneness after medium rare. And if they’re looking for something between medium and well done, they’re basically asking for it well done. Once the pink is gone from the meat, you’re splitting hairs. The waiter is just gonna tell the chef to cook the shit out of the steak, and your mother-in-law is gonna be too sloshed to complain when it arrives. Everyone wins!

I’ve met enough old drunk ladies to know they don’t give a shit about food. They will curse you a blue streak if you don’t put enough olives in their martini, but the food could be infested with mealworms and they wouldn’t notice or care. They ordered that meal strictly for the sake of having something in front of them at the table. It may well be made out of fucking plastic. I used to work as a table runner in a lakeside restaurant with an older clientele, and those ladies would send back whole club sandwiches, untouched bowls of soup, and steaks with a single bite taken out. And it wasn’t because the food sucked. The food was good. But the food was competing for tummy space with all that vodka, and the vodka won out every time. You could feed millions of children every day with uneaten country club meals.



Should the rest of the league have an unspoken commitment to straight-up goonery anytime they play Golden State? I bet Kevin Durant would be crying himself to sleep by December.


I like your idea, in theory. Last year’s Finals were a boring, utterly predictable affair. It needed some dick-punching to help raise the stakes, and Draymond never came through. That piece of shit.

So yeah, I like the idea of every other NBA team gathering in the Stonecutters lodge and colluding on a master plan to hack and grab the Warriors for five straight months until they either wear down or just flip the fuck out. BUT… I lived through the late-’90s NBA. I lived through the Riley Knicks, and Hack-aa-Shaq, and all that awful shit. I hated it, and so did most reasonable people. I’d rather watch Golden State win another perfunctory title than endure another season where every game ends 88-88. Golden State saved us from a lot of that, and while my instinct as a sports fan is to ALWAYS turn on cool teams the second they overstay their welcome, I don’t wanna see the Rockets get past them just by trading for 10 different clones of Kelly Olynyk and then letting James Harden dribble around in a circle at midcourt for 20 seconds at a time.


I say we split the difference and ONLY hack Durant for 82 games. That’s the kind of precision goonery I could get behind. Just clothesline his ass every game and then let him vent by posting passive aggressive movie quote memes on Instagram. I could see Durant using that one Willy Wonka screengrab that every Twitter egg fuckhead uses. “Oh, you wanna hack me? THAT’S CUTE.”


Where is the best place to have a kid birthday party? I contend at home, cause you can all stand around a cooler of cold canned American beer and relax and stuff. Plus you get to use your own bathroom. This one dummy says the bowling alley ‘cause you don’t have to clean up, they have pizza, and the kids have an activity to keep them occupied.


The answer is indeed at home, UNLESS it’s a winter birthday party. If your kid was born in the wintertime (two of mine were), you’re basically up shit creek. Yeah, you can have the party at home, since it’s easy and affordable. But then you have to welcome 12 filthy runts in your house, to overturn every toy and get their germs all over every inch of the walls. Then you gotta figure out a way to entertain them for two hours, and then you gotta clean up after them. All of that is horrible. You will inevitably end up spending as much money as you would have if you had just bitten the bullet and done Chuck E. Cheese’s, and you’ll be exhausted at the end. I wish my kids had all been born in the summer, so I could banish them outside to the yard for parties and just handed them a hose to play with. Alas.

For a couple years, we actually rented a little bus that pulled up next to the house and had a playground INSIDE. I know this sounds like some kind of devious child molester plot, but it was actually great because the party was at “home,” but all the kids just fucked off to the bus for an hour. They also rent out video game trucks for parties now and, while they’re incredibly expensive, they’re also THE SHIT. I went to party that had one and when the truck rolled up, those kids lost their fucking minds. They even had VR. I got to experience the REAL sensation of opening a drawer and taking a gun out! Wow.


Email of the week!

My wife is driving from Kansas City to Cleveland with our 4 year old daughter and her mom. Important note is that my wife and her mom have a rocky relationship at best. They are taking the trip in a rental car because we had hit a deer the week before with my wife’s car which we should have realized as a bad omen.

So from KC to Cleveland is about 15 hours. Indianapolis is about midway. My wife has just passed Indy when her mom starts complaining of a stomach ache. My wife tells her to hold on and she’ll find a place to stop, but it was too late. Her mom proceeds to vomit all over the inside of the rental car. As my wife tells it, the 4 year old absolutely lost it when this happens and starts screaming and crying.

My wife finds an exit with a McDonalds and pulls over. She tells her mom to go in and clean up and bring back napkins so they can clean the car. Her mom refuses. What had happened was that when she barfed everywhere she also pissed herself and was too embarrassed to get out of the car. So my wife and her mom get into (kid still bawling in the back). Her mom my wife clean up her puke mess while she’s sitting there in piss pants and puke shirt

They then had to complete the drive in a car that smelled like vomit and pee.

I was at work when this happened and I remember simply getting a text that said, “My mom threw up and peed herself in the car.”

I sent her a text back and got no reply and I thought I better leave it be. But I sat there at work the rest of the day wondering just what the hell had happened and thanking my lucky stars for the bullet I had dodged.