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Does An Intentional Walk Ruin A No-Hitter?

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FunbagTime for your weekly edition of the Deadspin Funbag. Got something on your mind? Email the Funbag.

Okay, so before I get into the Funbag, some quick appearance news. I’m gonna be at this big Towson sports career speaker series on draft night. It’s at the Greene Turtle (CLASSY), and open to the public. Also, next month, I’m gonna read the first couple of chapters from The Hike over at the Howard County Library. That’s also open to the public, so come tell me that my shirt is ugly to my face.

Got all that? Good. Time for your letters:


What would happen if a pitcher intentionally walked a batter for no strategic reason other than to preserve the no-hitter? It’s the 9th inning with two outs, and you’re facing a batter with a near-.400 batting average, with one struggling to break .190 on deck. Let’s say that your team is up by 16 runs, so a single baserunner won’t risk the game, and you’ve already walked someone, so a perfect game is off the table. You intentionally walk the .400, strike out the .190, and celebrate. It’s a no-hitter, but would those who care about such things try to mark it as lesser?


Fuck yeah. In your scenario, the only reason the walk was issued was to preserve the no-hitter. There’s a reason no pitcher has ever pulled that shit. He’d get crushed. I know we knock the unwritten rules of baseball here a lot, but you deserve to catch hell for that kind of blatant, game-altering brand of stat-padding. This is like when Ricky Davis intentionally missed a shot so he could log a triple-double.

THAT’S GLORY BOYISM! Besides, what if the guy gave up a home run AND lost a 1-0 lead right after that walk? I could get a month’s supply of takes and take breakdowns out of that.

Now, it’s different if the MANAGER has ordered the intentional walk sometime in a middle inning as a matter of strategy. This actually has happened once (and apparently only once) in history, with Reds pitcher Jim Maloney issuing an intentional walk in the 8th inning of a 10-inning no-hitter against (who else?) the Cubs. Maloney walked TEN batters that game, so you can understand why the intentional walk there wouldn’t be sacrilege. No sane manager would order an intentional walk to break up a perfect game, but if the pitcher already has already lost the perfect game due to a walk or an error or an HBP, then it makes sense to manage the game the same way you would if there wasn’t a no-hitter on the line. Maloney doesn’t deserve an asterisk because of that walk. Intentional walks have been an accepted strategy in baseball forever.

The reason that fans venerate landmarks like a no-hitter or a triple-double is because they’re difficult. So if you deliberately game it so that you have an easier shot of hitting that landmark, and you put your team in greater danger of losing in the process, then people are gonna rightfully take a shit in your cleats.



I’ll be 90 in 2070. Let’s say I do live that long: will I experience one country dropping a nuke on someone in my lifetime?


No. Mutually Assured Destruction, etc. People are inherently selfish, which means that even if I’m a nutjob dictator, I’m never gonna nuke you, because you’ll nuke me back, and then I won’t get to enjoy all the cool trappings of being a power-mad dictator: palaces, orgies, watching my enemies tortured before me, paying Hilary Swank to come to my cocktail parties, etc. So you won’t see an official COUNTRY nuke another one.

But of course, you and I know that’s not the real threat. The real threat is some rogue, stateless madman (the Joker!) or ISIS splinter cell getting its hands on a nuclear weapon, and then using it to cleanse the Earth. These people don’t play by the traditional rules of warfare and/or political science. And frankly, it’s annoying. I demand they draw a clear border and build visible, targetable government and munitions facilities. That’s provoking global hostility the RIGHT WAY. I would say the odds of them pulling off a suitcase nuke attack before you turn 90 are about one in four, because acquiring a nuclear weapon and using it is still a difficult trick to pull off logistically.


If it’s any comfort to you, please remember that, come 2070, nuclear annihilation will be the LEAST of your worries. You’ll be stuck up in a tree, desperate to find higher ground as the oceans rise all around you and the Earth consumes itself in a noxious carbon dioxide death cloud. All the volcanoes will erupt simultaneously. All the plants will die. Fresh water will become nonexistent. Instead of dreading nuclear war, you will pray for it to arrive and put you out of your misery. SO CHIN UP, KIDDO!


I was born January 18, 1981. LeBron was born December 30, 1984. What was the last day in history that I was a better basketball player than he?


You essentially had a four-year start on LeBron, so that’s a pretty hefty advantage. You would have crushed Baby LeBron and Toddler LeBron. But once LeBron learns to walk and not poop his pants, the gap closes quickly. LeBron was already an athletic prodigy by fourth grade, which is age 10. He would have smoked you by then. So I’m gonna be charitable and say your last day as a superior player to Bron-Bron was New Year’s Eve, 1990. That puts him at age six and you at age 10. I’ve seen 10-year-olds play basketball. They could use some improvement in the shooting department. Kindergarten LeBron would make you PAY.


When I heard the news of Prince’s unfortunate passing, my first reaction was one of sadness. But because the details surrounding the cause of death still haven’t been made clear, I began to think that there was a distinct possibility that he is in fact not dead, but rather in the primary stages of the greatest work of Machiavellian art in modern times. I feel like no artist could pull this sort of thing off EXCEPT for Prince. Given his history of bizarre live performances and the stories surrounding his life/career, I don’t think this is outside the realm of possibilities. What would the public reaction be if, at his funeral, he emerged from his casket and shredded a 30-minute rendition of “Computer Blue”?


People would lose their shit, obviously. And Prince is one of those celebrities who is so universally beloved (say something bad to me about Prince, Rick Reilly and Peter King, I fucking dare you), that I think he would be forgiven for screwing with everyone, so long as it wasn’t some sort of brand stunt. (“I’m alive again, thanks to the restorative power of POM pomegranate juice!”) I’ll give you one fake death, Prince. Just don’t ever do it again.

In general, you should never buy into any “X famous person fakes their death” theory. I blame Andy Kaufman’s rotting corpse for the proliferation of celebrity death truthering. No famous person outside of Ken Kesey has ever faked their death, and they never will. Not only is it virtually impossible to keep up that sort of ruse, but no sane person would ever WANT to fake their death, no matter how super-awesome of a prank it may be. That’s especially true of celebrities, who are driven to fame and fortune because they crave an audience. Why would you give that up—everything you’ve worked for—for some asshole prank? Why would you risk enraging fans who were loyal to you? You wouldn’t. If you want privacy, you can just buy a fucking island. All dead celebrities are dead, and the only reason people truther those deaths is so they can put off their grief.



Baby A is born in California at 11 p.m. PST on December 31. Baby B is born in New York at 1 a.m. EST on January 1. Which baby is older?


Baby A is “older” even though, technically, he/she was born an hour later. That’s fucked up, but sometimes you have to accept the little quirks and farts that come with time and space. It doesn’t always work out cleanly. I think we can all turn a blind eye and just agree that Baby B is younger, and if Baby B is like, “Yo, but I was born an hour sooner GO YANKEES!”, we can throw that baby in a sewer.

By the way, I’ve noted this before, but I think it’s a really raw deal that the Eastern Hemisphere gets eternal first dibs on Christmas, movie-premiere dates, centennial celebrations, and other shit thanks to the vagaries of the International Date Line. Why does Micronesia always get stuff first? THAT IS HORSESHIT. I say the Earth should spin one direction for a day, and then spin the OTHER direction the next day. Snake-draft rotation. That’s what would be fair.



The first guy in our group of friends just had a kid. Now, every time we’re in a group chat or email, he’ll randomly throw in a photo of his kid doing some stupid shit. We’ll all be chatting about a fantasy baseball draft, or RG3 signing with Cleveland, and then out of nowhere comes a photo of this 6-month-old eating cardboard. It was adorable for a good two weeks. Now it’s just the worst. We’re all trying to be super nice about it—he’s the first one of us to have a kid, and none of us know the proper way to react—but now it needs to stop. At what point are we allowed to tell him to chill?


Don’t bother. He’ll get the gist eventually. Every new parent over-documents their new offspring. Whenever the baby farts or wears a new onesie, you take a picture, and you’re like, “CHECK OUT LITTLE PRAXTYN AT THE GOAT ZOO!” And then your loved ones start ignoring the pictures, and you get bored of taking them, and everything settles down. That’s how it works. These days, my kid could teach a dog to play piano and I’d probably be too lazy to snap a photo of it. I value the storage room on my iPhone too much to risk it.

So if I were you, I wouldn’t mention it. I wouldn’t turn on the baby and start trash-talking it (“That baby has low motor imho”). Just move along, and he’ll chill at some point. The time will come when YOU have a child and become an annoying photo dad, and you’ll appreciate it when your friends reciprocate the aggressive disinterest.


You’re at a tenuous stage now where your WOLFPACK OF BROS is transitioning from swinging singledom over to full-fledged domestication. The first guy in this kind of group to take the plunge ALWAYS gets the most shit. “What happened to you, man?” etc. Just leave it be, because it’ll happen to YOU, too. Oh, yes, it will. And that’s if you’re lucky. The only thing worse than being the first guy in the group to get hitched is being the LAST one to get hitched.


It seems like on Tinder and Bumble, the girls with children ALWAYS have sons. It’s always like, “I have a 3-year-old son, and he’s the perfect gentleman!” or some other dumb phrase. I’ve never seen any mention of a daughter, not once, and I’ve been on these godforsaken apps for months. Is there anything to this phenomenon?


They probably assume that a son isn’t as much of a deal-breaker to some Tinder bro as a daughter would be. Like, if you have a son, maybe the guy swiping is like, “BRO, SHE HAS A KID, BUT HE’S A BOY KID, SO I COULD TAKE HIM TO A BASEBALL GAME, AND THEN I GET THE SEX FOR IT.” Whereas if you have a daughter, the guy swiping is like, “EW, TOO MUCH GIRL STUFF, I’M JUST GONNA LISTEN TO THE HERD INSTEAD.”

Frankly, I’m shocked there isn’t a Tinder spinoff app for people with children. That way, you don’t have to be coy about it. There should be a Tinder spinoff for parents, one for vegetarians, and one for people with herpes.




It’s the NFL Draft; Goodell just announced the first pick in the draft. The player is walking onstage, trips, cracks his head, and dies. The pick is in, and the Ginger Hammer announced the player’s name. What does the NFL do?


Tough shit! If the card is in, the card is in. Did the Jags get backsies on Dante Fowler last year when his knee turned into olive paste? No. Did the Celtics get a make-good pick for Lenny Bias (DAHHHHHHHK TIMES!)? No. Of course not. Shit happens. You don’t get recompense just because life is unfair. Take it from me. I grew up prowling the MEAN STREETS OF COLBY COLLEGE.

Anyway, if a draftee tripped and fell and died on his way to the stage, Goodell would respectfully put a #1 jersey over the corpse, order commemorative patches sewn onto the team uniforms, and then stage a military family reunion on top of the dead body. That’s what Roger Goodell would want Jared Goff to have wanted.



I want to start off by saying I am not a Trump supporter. But what would happen to American politics if he won the presidency and actually turned out to be a good president?


Nothing. Even if he turned out to be an effective President who helps the economy and saves the environment and frees Tom Brady and ushers in a new age of world peace and scientific discovery, people who hate his guts will still hate his guts. Once I publicly commit to hating you, I can’t go back. That would make me look weak! All my fellow Trump haters would be like, “You’ve changed, man.” I can’t afford that. I have an image to maintain, by God.

So instead of turning into a full-fledged Trump fanboy, I would be like, “Well sure, he closed the wealth gap and gave us the hyperloop, BUT.” Or, “Now you know I hate Trump, but I WILL SAY THAT [insert conditional praise here.]” Please consult this classic movie clip for further information on how this all works:


So I moved back to Colorado from China, and I’ve noticed everyone in my state seems to have a Colorado flag logo plastered to their car and/or are wearing the flag. It’s a nice flag logo, but it’s ... a state flag logo. I’m wondering: what is the big deal? Are other states doing this? Is Minnesota draped in the “10,000 lakes” logo? Is NM rocking the “land of enchantment” logo?


I don’t even know what the Colorado flag looks like. Let’s have a look.

Jesus. That flag sucks. That looks like the flag of a country where we operate a puppet government just so that we have unfettered access to its coffee crops. It says nothing about the state of Colorado. I want the CO flag to have a mountain range in the shape of a pot leaf, with John Elway’s horse teeth ringing the edges. That would be a flag worth displaying.


Anyway, to answer your question, SOME states pimp their flag all over the goddamn place, but not all of them. I have lived in seven states in my lifetime, and only one of them—the one where I currently reside—has a big public hard-on for its flag. The only worse offender is Texas. Meanwhile, California has the best state flag and always will. We should make the California flag the American flag. The bear would frighten other countries into submission.


How pissed must center backs be when they come up for corners or free kicks, only for the taker to go short or send the ball out of bounds? I would imagine they would be pretty angry—that’s a long way to run for nothing.


I’m not the biggest Socc Boy (FACT: soccer fans who are in the know refer to each other as Socc Boys, and you should do likewise), but I don’t appreciate it when teams lay up on corner kicks in favor of some doomed set play.

When faced with a corner kick, you should either a) BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM, who is a relevant soccer person I have heard of, or b) cross that shit right in front of the goal and hope someone knocks it in with their head. Those are the only two good things to do with a corner kick. If you just dribble it out to some guy nearby, you’ve killed the anticipation, and I hate you. If I coached the USMNT, I would instruct all players to bend it like Beckham on corners. That’s how we’ll win the World Cup.



Is oatmeal the worst breakfast food? It’s basically horse food, it turns to glue immediately so you have to scrub a pot as soon as you’re done cooking it, and it’s gruel.


You’re not putting enough unhealthy shit in your oatmeal, bossperson. Just dump a fuckload of brown sugar in there, plus a pat of butter. Yes, I put butter in oatmeal. Makes the whole thing taste like a bowl of warm oatmeal raisin cookie dough. This is why I got into a fight with Bon Appetit’s Twitter feed. I’m not here for nourishment. I am here to poison my body.

Oatmeal only sucks if you try to repurpose it into some kind of awful health food. Every brunch joint in New York has a $13 bowl of steel-cut oats on the menu. You’re a shithead if you order this. Get the Eggs Benedict like a sensible person would.



I live on the first floor of an apartment complex, and my patio faces the parking lot. Sometimes I like to sit out there and drink coffee in my robe. I sometimes feel weird about it, because while I always wear something under my robe, I don’t want people to think I’m a creep. Am I being self-conscious?


You are not. If you drove up to an apartment complex and you saw some dude sitting out there in a robe, what would you think? I’ll tell you what you would think: OLD PERVERT. Guys in robes are either gonna molest you or force you to read a particularly compelling op-ed they just saw in the New York Post. Never trust a man in a robe.

In a perfect world, your porch would be elevated and completely isolated from public viewing. That way, you never have to be self-conscious about sitting out there in a robe and eating Skittles straight from the bag. But sometimes you get the motel patio and you have to accept its limitations. This is why 40 percent of front porches are used for storage space only. Walk up to the door, and there are six bikes and a box of wedding plates right off to the side.



As you’ve now come out a carbonated water person, can I ask: what’s the best term to use when asking for it? Depending on the situation, you have to ask for: seltzer, soda water, club soda, sparkling water, or fizzy water. And nobody seems to understand that these are all the same thing—I usually get “is club soda okay?” Surely we can all agree to just go with one term, right?


Yeah. At bars and restaurants, just ask for club soda, because that’s a go-to mixer and the drink of choice for recovering alcoholics. If you ask for “seltzer,” they’ll think you’re looking for some small-batch celery soda or something. One time I asked for “plain soda” and felt like a Mormon. So don’t do that.

By the way, there IS a difference between club soda and seltzer water, because club soda has added minerals, sometimes including sodium. OMG SODIUM NOOOOOOOO! IT’LL TURN YOUR HEART TO STONE.



If you’re texting someone, and they are typing (you see that dot dot dot thing), but YOU text first, are you rudely interrupting them?


I kinda enjoy beating them to sending the text. Sometimes I send that new text in and the dots disappear. I stopped them dead in their tracks. I WIN.

Anyway, it’s not rude to text while the other person is texting, but unless it’s a really urgent missive (i.e., you are the first person to inform your friend that Prince has died), I would wait to see what they have to say. Because if you don’t, you may risk the dreaded Forked Texting Thread, where you have changed the subject before your friend is ready to, and then you gotta manage two different strains of conversation within the thread, like so …


YOU: How’s Dave?

ME: Oh, he’s doing great.

YOU: That’s awesome.

YOU: BTW, why the fuck would Beyoncé stay with Jay-Z when he’s such an ugly bastard?


ME: Yeah, the first round of chemo is over, but he says he’s still booting his brains out.

That’s the worst. Avoid that if you can. I actually get mad if I’m sending a multi-text diatribe (all one subject) and I see those fucking dots on the other end. I need an emergency I’M NOT DONE YET auto-message to send out to preempt them.



My girlfriend seems to be under the impression that most guys sleep at night while holding their junk with one hand. I disagree with this notion and believe that I fall into the group of most guys who fall asleep at night with no hands holding onto their junk. Please tell my girlfriend that she is wrong.


She’s probably wrong. I can’t hold my junk when I’m trying to fall asleep. TOO SEXY. I’d seduce myself in a heartbeat. Or sometimes my junk will be hanging out of my underwear but I won’t know it, and then I make a move or I put my hand down there, and it’s like, “Ooh! Well now, Mr. Magary!” Again, too sexy. I’ll gladly hang onto my junk or scratch my balls in bed, but there’s no 12-hour power grab going on.

Email of the week!


I work at an office with a super-lax dress code. This policy doesn’t extend to meetings with clients, though, so it’s not unusual to see someone change mid-day from a T-shirt and shorts to a button-down and khakis. Today was one of those days—for my lunch break, I was planning on picking up a sandwich from somewhere, swinging by my house on the way back, and throwing something else on before an afternoon meeting.

This didn’t go quite according to plan, though. As I’m driving to my house, nibbling on the first half of a pimento cheese sandwich and bobbing my head to classic rock radio with the windows down—in all respects, having a great time—I sharted. I have no idea how or why this happened. I haven’t been sick. Hell, I didn’t even have coffee this morning. I understand the concept of betting big and losing, but this shart came out of nowhere.

Really, though, this was pretty much the ideal sharting situation: I was alone, heading home with the express pretense of changing clothes anyway, so I took a few extra minutes to hop in the shower, throw my shorts in the dryer, and throw my boxers in the trash. Nobody would be any the wiser.

One problem: one of my coworkers had asked me to pick him up a sandwich too, and that sandwich was in the car. I had no idea what I should have done—how do you tell someone they don’t get lunch because you couldn’t clench like a functioning adult?—but I ended up giving him the sandwich and acting like everything was completely normal. In all fairness, the sandwich was in the backseat with not one but two layers of bag protecting it, and I showered before I touched it. I still feel terrible about this, though, because I feel like it’s a basic human right to know if a sandwich has been within, say, a 20-foot radius of a shart. I’m weak and a coward.

He really enjoyed the sandwich. Am I a bad person?

No. I’d still want the sandwich.

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About the author

Drew Magary

Drew Magary is a Deadspin columnist and columnist for GEN magazine. You can buy Drew's second novel, The Hike, through here.