On occasional occasions – and this is one such occasion – we here at NotGraphs like to see if you’ve paid attention. So … have you paid attention?
1. Before hiring Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, Cuban free agent Rusney Castillo also considered:
(a) Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Rach Nation Sports.
(b) Johann Sebastian Bach’s Bach Nation Sports.
(c) Doc Severinsen’s Doc Nation Sports.
(d) John Holmes’ Penis Country Athletics.
2. When Manny Machado threw his bat at Alberto Callaspo, he was trying to:
(a) Teach him an important lesson about the U.S. timber industry.
(b) Administer an invigorating deep-tissue massage.
(c) “Keep him on his toes.”
(d) Marry him, in the manner of a jumping-the-broom ceremony.
(e) Both (a) and (c), and possibly (b) and (d)
3. The Nationals are attributing their recent hot streak to banana and mayo sandwiches. To what sandwich do the D-backs attribute their miserable season?
(a) PB&J (the “J” is for “Jheri curl”)
(b) BLT (the “T” is for “thumbtack”)
(c) Banana and mayo
4. On what do the Rangers blame their injury woes?
(a) The Curse of Ian Kinsler
(b) The Curse of Nolan Ryan
(c) The Curse of Ian Ryan, a 12-year-old boy from Limerick, Ireland, who, whilst reading Ulysses Almost Explained: The CliffsNotes of the CliffsNotes, daydreamt a bizarre scenario in which a voodoo priestess gives the evil eye to an official MLB bobblehead of a figure that she renames “Limper, Texas Ranger”
(d) Too much salt
5. Despite the highest payroll in baseball history, the Dodgers are performing like a bunch of replacement-level players. Why?
(a) Too much No Salt (“All the Flavor Without the Sodium! Or the HGH!”)
(b) No pepper
(c) Lack of team chemistry, i.e., too much time in team history and team math
(d) The Curse of Ryan Ian, a 12-year-old boy from Limerick, Ireland, who, whilst reading Ulysses Almost Explained Explained: The CliffsNotes of the CliffsNotes of the CliffsNotes, daydreamt that the Yankees had become the Dodgers
6. With the first pick of the 2014 Draft, the Astros selected high-school pitcher Brady Aiken. Not selected was/were:
(a) Clay Aiken.
(b) Willie Mays Aikens.
(c) Aiken, South Carolina.
(d) Brady Quinn.
(e) Cindy Brady.
(f) Most if not all of the above.
7. With the 837th pick of the Draft, the Padres selected former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. This means that the San Diego offense will:
(a) Use the spread formation.
(b) Be disappointed by the all-male cheerleading squad.
(c) More easily make mechanical changes, and also agricultural changes.
8. The Rays have announced that the struggling Grant Balfour is out as closer. In is:
(a) Grant Walkoff.
(b) Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn.
(c) Betty White.
(d) An aardvark.
(e) A Swiffer Sweeper.
(f) All of the above.
9. In efforts to help his floundering team, Rays manager Joe Maddon recently brought in a Seminole medicine man. Who’s next?
(a) Motivational speaker Tony Robbins
(b) Infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau
(c) Psychic healer Raven
(d) A priest, to administer last rites
10. True or false: Mets catcher Travis d’Arnaud recently got d’Emoted.
11. The Chicago Cubs are to baseball as:
(a) The Cleveland Browns are to football.
(b) The Washington Generals are to basketball.
(c) Lyndon LaRouche is to the presidency.
(d) The Chicago Cubs are to baseball.
12. In what now seems an obvious omen, Rangers pitcher Derek Holland sustained an offseason knee injury by tripping over his dog. What is the dog’s name?
(b) Hines Ward
(c) Cassandra, the Portentous Prophetess of Doom
13. On June 16, Pete Rose will serve as manager for the independent Bridgeport Bluefish. Odds that a baseball writer will make a betting joke are:
(a) 100 percent.
14. Bryce Harper says that as part of his recuperation from thumb surgery, he will play ____________.
(a) The role of Zach in the Broadway revival of A Chorus Line
(c) With himself
15. On talk radio this week, former big league catcher Paul Lo Duca said that the Mets catchers are “schmucks.” Lo Duca also said:
(a) “Take my wife – please.”
(b) “I just flew in from Yonkers, and, boy, are my arms tired!”
(c) “Both (a) and (b), ya putz.”
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.