#AskSpector: What's the latest on A-Rod? You'll never have to wait to find out

Welcome to a special Friday edition of the #AskSpector Tweetbag, where you ask questions about baseball or anything else, and I answer them as best as I can. Last week in this introductory space, I told you that I had the flu. That turned out to be wrong. A trip to the doctor revealed that it's not the flu. In fact, what I have is Virus Syndrome, which is the medical community's way of saying, "yup, you sure are sick!"I'll try to do better than that in answering the questions sent my way. Let's do it. On a scale of 1 to 10, probably a 6, because once the season gets going, there will be actual baseball to talk about instead of DRAMA! surrounding a guy who turns 40 in July and may or may not still be capable of playing at a major league level. Right now, though, it's January, which meant that on Thursday, the world got to read Newsday's report that A-Rod thinks he will be the Yankees' third baseman over Chase Headley, something about which Rodriguez almost certainly is wrong, but also something that any professional athlete should think. You don't go to training camp expecting to be a backup.Friday brought a groundbreaking comment from A-Rod himself to the New York Post that he is "ready to go" and has been "working hard, doing a lot of plyometrics." Believe it or not, A-Rod also said he is excited for spring training and to be back with his teammates.No kidding, and you can bet that the Daily News won't be left out of the A-Rod party, so I'll be looking for some kind of silliness in the Sunday paper. I think a lot of us can admit it's tabloid driven and not A-Rod driven -- he's doing and saying all the right things, heading into spring like what he is, an aging ballplayer coming off a year-long suspension. At the same time, the appetite is clearly there for A-Rod stuff. This very column will have A-Rod in the headline and the URL because the man still draws eyeballs, even when he's doing nothing. That's just [email protected] Is the Kang signing more about a SS upgrade for the Pirates or more about infield flexibility, in your opinion? #askspector— Jason Rollison (@rollo1207) January 14, 2015It's about an upgrade. The Pirates had two players last year who appeared in 100 or more games and posted an OPS under .700. One was Gaby Sanchez, who who was non-tendered in December. The other was Jordy Mercer, the shortstop Kang figures to replace on an everyday basis. The Pirates have a tough lineup to deal with, and adding Kang figures to make Pittsburgh even [email protected] what's the A's opening day lineup looking like? #AskSpector— Dustin Sellers (@dustinsellers4) January 12, 2015The A's open against the Rangers, which presumably means they will be facing Yu Darvish, so it does not necessarily figure to be a platoon-shifted lineup. My guess right now would be Coco Crisp leading off and playing center field, Ben Zobrist at second base, Josh Reddick in right field, Billy Butler at DH, Ike Davis at first base, Brett Lawrie at third base, Stephen Vogt catching, Marcus Semien at shortstop, and Sam Fuld in left field. This is subject to change, of course, when Billy Beane makes another half-dozen trades before the season [email protected] favorite story idea you never got the chance to do #AskSpector— Mike Shoro (@mike_shoro) January 16, 2015I don't like to close the door on anything, but as a realist, I don't think that my dream story of learning to throw a knuckleball well enough to compete with professionals at some level is ever going to happen. I don't see my body making it happen, nor do I see having the free time to do it while I have a job and a [email protected] which sign of the #apocalypse would be invoked should either the Astros o

r Padres sign Max Scherzer? #askspector— Dale Nixon (@Dale_Nixon) January 14, 2015I don't think Scherzer signing with either Houston or San Diego would be apocalyptic. Both of those teams are looking to get better, and while it would be highly surprising to see them spend the kind of money necessary to reel in Scherzer, it's not like we're talking about the Mets throwing a bunch of money around to get their team to the next [email protected] #AskSpector "Schmeff Schmilpon from Locust Valley, NY writes, 'Don't you hate shortstops?'"— Howard Megdal (@howardmegdal) January 15, 2015No, Schmeff, I don't hate shortstops. You know, your name sounds very close to the Mets COO's, though I'm sure you get that all the time. His team seems to have a funny issue with shortstops, where a name gets bandied about for a trade but nothing ever happens and Wilmer Flories winds up playing a whole bunch, or maybe Ruben Tejada does. I still say this isn't necessarily the death knell for a contending team, and that both of those players still have something to offer at the major league level because they're both young, but dang, Mets, you're really not that far from being among the better teams in the game. If you actually go out there and look like you're trying, maybe you'll sell a few more tickets. Spend money to make money, am I right, Schmeff? Schmeff? You still there? [email protected], Anthony Rizzo believes the Cubs will win the NL Central in 2015. Is he crazy or just ahead of the curve?— Jordan Kuehne (@Jordan_Kuehne) January 15, 2015I picked the Cubs to win the World Series, so he's obviously a top-level thinker. This isn't unlike A-Rod, though. If you're a professional athlete, you better go in thinking you're going to win. If not, you never [email protected] #AskSpector Best tv show from the 90's?— Casey Dulson (@Casey_Dulson) January 15, 2015You're asking me to choose between Seinfeld, The Simpsons, and Friends, though you could also throw in the last few seasons of Cheers, which, let's not, because that would just complicate things. I'm not even going to get into Law & Order or Homicide: Life On The Street, because I'm a comedy guy. Some of Seinfeld really does not hold up, so that narrows it to The Simpsons -- the peak of The Simpsons -- and Friends. I could basically flip a coin on this, but I think there's more stuff in Friends that you can pick apart, so my pick is The Simpsons.Not that you asked, but I want to say it: the best TV show of the 2000s was Look Around You.Look.around.you.module.2.-.water by tickingclockPeter Serafinowicz and Robert Popper, if you're out there, you did some amazing work on both seasons of Look Around You. Please do a third season whenever you [email protected] What are you going to do to alter the space/time continuum and make baseball season get here sooner?— Jennifer Cosey (@VivaTigres) January 15, 2015By being sick, the past two weeks have barely existed in my mind. I've also lost 10 pounds. I'll be ready for spring training in the best shape of my [email protected] I know they didn't make the Sporting News cut, but thoughts on the Sand Gnats (Savannah) as a mascot. #AskSpector— Luke Martin (@lukermartin) January 15, 2015From what I read, sand gnats leave bites that are itchier and longer-lasting than mosquito bites, and the bugs can carry disease. To this, I say no thank you, and if I were Savannah, I would not necessarily want to advertise myself to the world as the home of sand gnats. Montgomery has the right idea with its team, the Biscuits. Where would you rather go, the place with the bugs that are worse than mosquitos, or the place where you can get delicious biscuits? It's not even [email protected] A movie plot where a reporter uncovers a diabolical plan to rig the Home Run Derby. Who plays you in the movie? #AskSpector— GrandPaD (@_GrandPaD) January 14, 2015Jon Hamm, or the movie doesn't get [email protected] #askspector do you think the Braves should have gotten more for upton, Heyward, and Gattis?— Scott B (@ScottBravesFan) January 16, 2015Yes, I do. I wrote a bunch about how I do not understand what the Braves are doing this winter.How do Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens not have the same HOF voting percentage? #askspector— bobby lemaire (@Bobby_Lemaire) January 16, 2015They did not receive the same number of votes. I find it preposterous that someone could look at Bonds and Clemens, and say one is a Hall of Famer but the other is not, but there are people out there doing just that. It's all a result of the Hall of Fame providing little to no guidance to its electorate as to how to deal with the PED [email protected] On a scale from 1 to 10, how remarkably awesome is Milos Raonic's new hairdo? #AskSpector pic.twitter.com/W180K6ozKz— Tom Dorsa (@TomDorsa) January 16, 20153. That's a really cool haircut for a kid I went to camp with 20-plus years [email protected] Defoe !!! Yea or nay ???— Andrew Malcolmson (@podmundo) January 16, 2015Yea! I'm very disappointed that things did not work out for Jozy Altidore and Sunderland, but I love the rare intercontinental soccer trade that brings Altidore to Toronto and sends Jermain Defoe to Sunderland. For the first time ever, Sunderland has a player who I have seen score a goal, in person. When I went to England in 2011, I saw a 1-0 loss. Last summer, though, I saw Defoe score for Toronto against Red Bull New York in a very entertaining 2-2 [email protected] What's your problem with Fall Out Boy? They're a reminder of one of my favorite Simpsons episodes #thegogglesdonothing— Jason Waterfalls (@kranman85) January 16, 2015Their music is horrendously overplayed, and also simply horrendous. I wrote extensively on Fall Out Boy's album last winter while previewing the National League West. Referencing The Simpsons earns no points with me if you're besmirching the good name of The Simpsons. Go away forever, Fall Out [email protected] Since you've opened it up, I've googled & googled & ask you to settle the question definitively: Is corn a vegetable or grain?— nyyankeefanforever (@nyyankeefanfore) January 16, 2015Corn is a grain, but also a master of disguise, not unlike its rival in salsa-basing, the tomato -- a fruit that tries to get away with being a vegetable. If you ever gain access to a time machine, please do not read this answer to a 12-year-old me, who would like to continue believing that corn is a vegetable in order to be able to claim eating some kind of vegetable. Thank you.

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