Major Strasser: What is your nationality?
Rick Blaine: I'm a drunkard.
Captain Renault: That makes Rick a citizen of the world.
I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun.
—Philip "Roger" Marlowe in Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond "Happy" Chandler.
Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.
— St. Paul "Saints", New Testament, 1 Timothy
I never drink…wine.
—Bela "Julio" Lugosi as Count "Montefusco" Dracula
There’s nought, no doubt, so much the spirit calms
As rum and true religion.
—Lord "Baltimore" Byron
Drink, sir, is a great provoker of three things ... nose-painting, sleep, and urine.
—William "Author" Shakespeare in Macbeth
You can't drink them all.
—"Billy" Barney Gumble
Billboards, billboards, drink this, eat that, use all manner of things, everyone, the best, the cheapest, the purest and most satisfying of all their available counterparts. Red lights flicker on every horizon, airplanes beware; cars flash by, more lights. Workers repair the gas main. Signs, signs, lights, lights, streets, streets.
—Neal "Raul" Cassady
Attractive woman make us buy beer. Ugly woman make us drink beer.
— Al "Sacrifice" Bundy
A sophistical rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity
—Benjamin "Orestes" Disraeli
"Drink thee not wine nor strong drink, thou, nor thy sons with thee, lest ye die," Leviticus 10…Friends, let me tell you something, however compulsory it may be. There's no film. I'm live. Now back to where we were when you last heard from me. It was with Leviticus on the 10th I believe. Drink thee not nor thee thou sons, lest ye die. Nor congregate at the corner tabernacle. I'd like to take a short sabbatical. Or a cup of coffee. Or I wonder is there a doctor in the tent?
—Father "Hugh" Mulcahy delivering a sermon on temperance after getting drunk on holy wine on M*A*S*H
Remember when public drunkenness was the height of entertainment? From Charlie Chaplin's best friend in City Lights, who only recognizes Chaplin when he's drunk, to Otis the town drunk on The Andy Griffith Show, who would let himself into jail when he was on a bender, to Archie Bunker who made so many trips to the local bar that he finally bought it, inebriation was comedy at best.
That seemed to change on Cheers when Norm and Cliff went from the coolest and the smartest guys at the bar, respectively, to a couple of pathetic losers, one who couldn't keep a job and the other who lived with his mom and collected potato chips resembling famous people, respectively. Maybe it was the fact that they had to drink near beer on the set. Anyway, by the time The Simpsons rolled around, the town drunk, played brilliantly by Barney "Buuuuurrrp" Gumble was a self-parody and even the occasional drinker, Homer, bespoke a man whose brain cells could almost be counted as they died off.
All of which leads me to an unfortunate conclusion. The excuse for Joe Morgan the analyst is not that he is incompetent nor is he goofing on or experimenting on his audience. The man is half in the bag. He's snoggered. He's hammered, plastered, tight, zonked, two sheets to the wind. He's ready to pray to the porcelain god. There's no other rationale than Morgan is becoming drunk and, therefore, losing lucidity as he performs his analysis. If you don't believe me, witness the following chat session, or as I refer to it, my attempt at an intervention with Mr. Morgan. (Of course, if Mr. Morgan's lawyers are reading, I am, to quote Tony Montana, only kidding.):
chad (chi): don't you think kerry wood suspension was too much! how will they do against the cardnial,
The reason pitchers get five games is because they only pitch ever fifth day. So, technically, you're only causting him one start. If you suspend a pitcher for two games and he wasn't going to pitch that day anyway, you're not hurting him.
[Mike: The cardnial? Oh, the Cardinal. "Good god! It's The Bishop!"
Right you are, Joe. They usually suspend starting pitchers five games to ensure that they miss a turn. This round is on me.]
Josh (Miami): Why is it that Barry Bonds is getting so much positive press these days? Of course he's putting up monster numbers, but at the same time the allegations that he has used steroids seem to have tremendous circumstantial support. Shouldn't we all take a wait-and-see approach to Bonds? After all, if he has used steroids to generate extra power then his numbers are grossly exaggerated. He has great hand eye coordination, and a very quick bat, but minus the power that probably came from steroids, he's really closer career-wise to Paul Molitor. Still a great player, but clearly one that doesn't belong in the "greatest player ever" conversation.
I think you don't understand baseball at all if you are calling Bonds style similar to Paul Molitor. Bonds has one MVP awards six years ago. You've been reading the paper too much. Bonds has taken drug tests just like everybody else. To pinpoint Barry is not fair at this point until the allegations are proven, I"m going to reserve my judgement. Either way, to call Barry Bonds, Paul Molitor is not real knowledgable.
[Mike: Right, Joe! Let this ultra marron have it! What a gulli-bull! He probably believes every word the media is saying about Bonds' home run feats being directly attributable to steroids.
And the question…Bonds minus the power equals Paul Molitor??? As if that even makes sense. Ruth minus the power is Billy Hamilton (they both batted around .340 for their career). What does that mean? Besides even though their career batting averages are similar (Bonds .298 and Molitor .306), Bonds blows away Molitor when it comes to on-base (Bonds .436 over 100 points better than the park-adjusted league average; Molitor .369, 37 points better). Opponents changed their approach to the entire lineup because of Bonds' presence. Molitor was a feared hitter but never had the effect that Bonds has had. Molitor stole 500 bases but wasn't nearly the base runner that Bonds has been. Bonds was once a perennial Gold Glove left fielder with a world-class arm; Molitor was never much of a fielder and appeared mostly as a DH in the second half off his career.
The bottom line is that Molitor was a clear-cut first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, but Barry Bonds is arguably much better than Molitor in every facet of the game. Bonds is the best player that I have ever seen, and I've been watching since the mid-Seventies. Morgan is right on the money here.
Although you might want to put down that glass, Joe. You slurred your way through, "Bonds has one MVP awards six years ago," which I suppose was supposed to be, "Bonds has won the MVP award six times" or "Bonds has won the MVP three times in a row" or something.]
Chris (Bowling Green, OH): With the solid start the Reds are off to, do you think they can keep playing well and have a shot at the central this year?!
Well, I think a lot will depend on the health of Griffy and Kearns and Dunn. But it's great to see the Reds off and running.
[Mike: No, it won't. If Griffey, Dunn, and Kearns are all healthy and presumably still playing for the Reds for the remainder of the season, maybe they'll challenge the Cards for third. More likely they will settle among the wretched refuse of the George W. Bush division: two upper class teams, one middle class team, and three doormats.
By the way, the Reds have just gotten swept by the Astros and have lost 5 in a row and are a half-game ahead of the Brewers for last in the NL Central, probably about where they'll end up for the season.]
Chris (Bowling Green, Ohio): Joe, what is with the amazing hitting of Sean Casey as of late?! He is on fire! Ted Williams once said that Sean Casey will win a batting title someday. Do you think this is his year?
Sean Casey has always been a pretty good hitter, he's had some big hitters to his hands, that's a tough injury to recover from. But he is off to a great start, none of this is a fluke, he is better and older and more mature at the plate. We'll see what happens.
[Mike: Chris from Bowling Green again? Or as Satchmo said, he's "Long Gone from Bowling Green." Well, it seems that Joe is mighty partial to those Reds questions, and I guess this guy is the last Reds fan on the planet.
To answer the question, "No". Casey's hottest month over the past three years has been April (.317 BA/.858 OPS), and his average dropped 32 points in the second half on average. Besides he's still 63 points behind Bonds, and look at the others in the top 10 in batting in the NL: Shane Spencer, Danny Bautista, Paul Lo Duca, Mssrs. Wilson from Pittsburgh. To quote a greater mind than mine, "It's May, pal!"
Oh, and, Joe, Casey hasn't been good hitter since 2001. He was horrific in 2002 and barely average last year playing in 147 games.]
Adam, Minnesota: Hey Joe whats crackin? The Twins are 14-7 and that is one of the top 5 records in the Majors but, no one ever talks about them....it is always about the Red Sox, Cubs, or Yankees....How come my Twins aren't getting any love???
The Twins are not glamour team. They go out and get the job done year in and year out. The Twins have had low payrolls and they've won. I guess Billy Bean gets more credit than the GM in Minnesota, but really , they are very similar. I agree with you, the Twins deserve more credit for what they do each year.
[Mike: Where's the love? Maybe it's spent on teams that aren't playing in the worst division in baseball and who aren't just 2.5 games ahead of the Tigers.
And as far as the "love" society has for Billy Beane, the putative author of Moneyball, if Joe is to be believed, the A's have been in the playoffs in one of the tougher divisions in baseball for four straight years. The Twins have won their division, arguably the weakest in baseball, the past two years. Which is better, Joe? Maybe "Billy Bean gets more credit than the GM in Minnesota" because even when you do give Terry Ryan credit, you don't remember his name.]
Brian from Boston: With many of the Red Sox stars on the last year of their contracts, even if the Red Sox are on pace to make the play offs at the trade deadline, do you see the Red Sox trading one of their stars away?
Why are we worried about next year. Enjoy the fact that your Red Sox are in first place and probably the best team in the East. I think the Sox have a very good chance at going to the World Series. I'm only watching that right now, we're worried about next year after that. Things have a way of working themselves out over the course of a year.
[Mike: Joe, ATFQ (Answer the F'ing Question).
The answer is, "Who knows?" Nobody possibly can know. I'm sure they will have to look at the situation at the time. If they could trade Manny Ramirez for Barry Bonds, maybe they would consider it. Well, that's a bad example because Ramirez has five years left on his contact. How 'bout Nomah for A-Rod?
They're smart boys in Boston. They'll keep their options open. It does get complicated because they have some key players in the last year of their contracts and because winning a World Series would be so important to their rabid fans (or rather a perceived throwing in of the proverbial towel would be suicide. Isn't that right, Grady Little?). But if you want an answer at the end of April, you're behind in your Ritalin.
Eh, that's my answer. At least I answered the question.]
Dave (Houston): Hello Joe Did you see Andy Pettitte pithch yesterday. pitches 6 inning and only 1 hit. is this going to be Andy we will be watching for the rest of the season.
Well, you can't judge anything based on one performance. I mean, he got knocked around the first time. See how his arm holds up.
[Mike: Will Pettitte pitch one-hit ball every time out? In a word, no. If he's healthy, he's pretty much a known quantity with nine years already under his belt.]
Omaha, NE: Do the astros have enough firepower on offense and with their pitching to win the NL central over the cubs and cards? Kyle
They definitely have enough hitting -- Bagwell, Kent, Hidalgo! They have the bats. The will be relying heaving on production from their pitchers.
[Mike: "That's telekinesis, Kyle." I guess it's D time.
I have to point out Berkman of 1.031 OPS and Biggio of the .960 OPS, who were not on Joe's list.
However, I have to disagree with Joe. Yes, right now just about everyone in the lineup (Barring Ausmus and Ensberg) looks pretty good. However, Bagwell has been fading, is 36, and has seen his adjust OPS fall in each of the last 5 seasons (from 169 in 1999 to 152, 141, 137, and 127 last year). He hasn't had an OPS as high as his current (1.075) in a decade. Biggio had one season in the last four in which his OPS was over the adjusted league average. Kent had a severe dropoff last year, his first in Houston (from am adjusted OPS of 152 to 118), and seems to be hitting at the same clip this year. And all three of these guys is over 35 (Bagwell turn 36 on May 27).
Berkman has been great for them but has seen his adjusted OPS drop over the last three years as he went from 25 to 27. Those are the years that players are supposed to improve. Hidalgo is a complete wild card. He was great last year and in 2000, but also has had some pretty mediocre and even bad seasons mixed in.
Right now all but Kent are over-performing based on their history. It seems unlikely that that will continue.]
Ben Spinner (Bound Brook, NJ): The Phillies just don't seem to be flourishing the way people thought. Their offense seems to have a lot of holes and the starting pitching isn't playing as dominate as they can be. What do you think seems to be the missing key in the puzzle?
I haven't seen enough of Philly, but I think it's all consistancy, their hitters are hot, then all of a sudded their bats go to sleep. Same with their pitching, they will be hot and on top of their game, then go into a lull. But, if they find their groove, I think they will certainly do some damage in the East. They should anyway.
[Mike: The Ben Spinner? I loved you on Next Generation, man!
Oh, yah, if you re-pot the Phillies in a new stadium and add grass, they should really flourish. Isn't that right, Margie? Oh, yah.
Ben, starting pitcher is where you want to lay the blame for the Phils phlaccid start? The ERA for the starters is 3.88 (4th best in the NL) and for the staff overall, 3.40 (best in the NL).
The Phils trouble have been on offense and it's not a problem with consistency. Some players have been consistently bad. They are 13th in the NL in runs scored. Their OPS is 14th. The two players they have been using to lead off (Byrd and Rollins) have .210 and .198 batting averages and .281 and .267 on-base percentages. The number two batter (Polanco) has been sub-par but has a .336 OBP. Number three Abreu just started to come around. Thome and Burrell at four and five have been solid, but no one in the tail end of the lineup (Bell, Lieberthal, and usually Rollins) has an OPS over .688. The Phils seem to get one scoring opportunity every third inning. That's not going to score many runs and it hasn't.
Also, sudded? It sounds like you're a bit sudded, Joe.]
Kerry (boston, ma): Is Byung-Hyung-Kim going to be a legitimate starter for the sox? Arroyo has been doing really well so far, but is it a good move to put him in the bullpen and have Kim as the five?
If Kim is healthy, then I think he should be the starter. It all depends on his health. I think that is what they are basing their decision on at this point, too.
[Mike: Bronson Arroyo, I'm dying again!…Wait, I'm still laughing…OK, Arroyo? He of the 5.11 ERA and the 5.15 career ERA at age 27?
The Sox desperately need Kim to be a viable starter especially with Martinez having some uncharacteristic turns and in the middle of a contract situation. Arroyo is the best of the dreck that they could get their hand on. At least, he's not Casey Fossum.]
Jon Ny, Ny: What have you herd about the Giambi Hudson trade?
I read about it in the paper out here in the Oakland paper. I don't think the A's are looking to get Giambi back. I'm sure the Yankees would love to have Hudson, but I don't think the As would make that trade. I mean, they wouldn't pay Giambi before ... why now?
[Mike: Well, Joe. If you been keeping up with the sport over the last, say, two and one half years, you'll notice that teams are much more likely to eat a great deal of a player's contract just to trade him to a team that does not want to pay said contract. The A's would take Giambi back in a heartbeat but what's the cost? I soubt they'd trade Hudson.
Not that I think it will happen with Giambi. He takes over at first, Tony Clark? Travis Lee? What a great right side of the infield!
Hudson is signed through next year. I doubt that Beane will mess with the staff until he has to.
Joe, soubt? Maybe you've had enough.]
Seth (Boston): Why don't more teams play smallball? The glamour factor is down, but the last 3 Series have been won by teams that bunt, steal and rely on sacrifice flies to score runs. You'd think that more teams would catch on, but everybody just looks for power nowadays.
I've been saying that for three years. It's cyclical. Right now, things are leaning power hitters and homeruns. Eventually it will swing back to manufacturing runs through hitting and running and moving guys around the bases efficiently. l
[Mike: Actually, three years coincides nicely with the dropoff in power numbers in baseball. So why complain now? Why not complain in, say, 1998?
By the way, I ran the numbers and the correlation coefficients for a range of stats and I found that bunting is less likely to lead to scoring now than it was in the late Nineties. That is, on a per-team basis, if a team bunts more often it leads to fewer runs. It has for the last decade or so (I didn't run the historic numbers), but the negative correlation has been getting progressively stronger since 1999. The strongest correlation is between OPS (and there was much rejoicing) and runs. But slugging and batting average are getting stronger correlations in the last few years as well:
The bottom line? People who tend to bunt often don't score as often as those who do not. That's why so-called small ball hasn't take off as homer numbers drop off. And to respond to your last comment, Joe, "2".]
dave az: is the dback pretty much done for the season?? Are we going to lose the big unit to evil empire.
I have no idea where that started that Randy is headed to New York, but as I've said before, I wouldn't be surprised.
[Mike: "Here we see the diamondback relaxing peacefully in the shade in his natural habitat. But not for long. I have sent Jim Fowler to annoy the snake and there he goes. Look how he attaches to Jim's arm and pumps in the venom. After the commercial break we will see how the snake can dislocate its jaw and swallow Jim whole. This is Marlin Perkins for Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom." Cut to theme music: "Mutual of Omaha is people you can count on when the going's rou-ugh-ugh…"
ATFQ, Joe. No, they are not done for the season. They are in the most up-for-grabs division in the NL. I don't expect them to win it, but the Dodgers and Padres are far from secure. Please see "It's May, pal" reference earlier.
And as far as, Are we going to lose the big unit to evil empire, I think this is some euphemism for an act the FCC does not want me to address here.]
K-Dog (Deerfield Beach, FL): First of all, I am a HUGE fan... I know it's early in the season, but what do you think of the OTHER team in Chicago? Guillen appears to have this squad re-energized, and playing very similarly to his former squad, the World Champion Florida Marlins. Few "experts" had the Sox winning their division, but if they keep winning the one-run games (7-1 and best in the Bigs)how can you not like their chances? Also, what would you consider an area of need for their continued success? The bullpen still scares me, but so many teams can say that.
I think the White Sox are a very good team who needs a little more from their starting pitching and a little more consistancy from their hitting. Loiza is 4-0, but other than that. I guess I worry more about their hitting than anything else. It's not good to put up a ton of runs in one game and then not score for two days. But they do have all the other pieces.
[Mike: They're now 9-1 in one-run games, just ahead of the Dodgers (8-0), Padres (7-3), Pirates (6-1), and Cards (5-1). No one else has more than four one-run wins. I think that's a fine reason not to like their chances. Their expected winning percentage is .542 (13-11), which may be an indication that the one-run wins are nothing more than luck.
Also, their relievers have been good overall (3.42 ERA, 4th best in the AL), but they are led by major-league rookies Neal Cotts (1-0, 1.69 ERA), Shingo Takatsu (1-0, 3.00), and Jon Adkins (2-1, 3.86). Between Marte and Koch, it doesn't look like they have a viable closer. So once the rookies go 'round the league a couple of times, and without a reliable closer, those one-run leads will dry up pretty quickly.
Joe's worried about their hitting, but they are 5th in ther AL in runs scored and second in OPS. And looking at their individual numbers, only Juan Uribe's (1.013 OPS) seem uncharacteristically. Some actually are below the player's career average.
If Loaiza holds up, Buehrle comes around, and Schoeneweis can pitch reasonably, their rotation should be OK. And if they can keep the momentum in the pen and land on a reliable closer, they look like a solid contender in the AL Central. Keep in mind that it's a very weak division.
No, Joe, I really shouldn't. I'm driving…]
Matt (LA): Who do you think the best team in baseball is at the moment?
Right at this moment, in the AL I'd say the Boston Red Sox -- and they are probably the best overall too. I think the Angels, along with the Yankess have the abiltiy to be right there with them, but not right now. I don't think there are any teams in the NL right now who are better than any of those guys.
[Mike: Since this chat the Red Sox have gone 0-4, and every other division leader has at least as good a record as them. Way to jinx 'em, Joe.]
Al Morgan (Little Rock, AR): Good morning Joe! I really appreciate your expertise and precision on the game of baseball. What do you think the early struggles of the Giants are attributed to? I mean the scores seem to be competitive but never enough to win. Do you think that the organization is going to have to make some more moves this season in-terms of acquiring another bat and maybe a pitcher?
The Giants struggles ... they've lost Kent and Reggie Sanders and Renteria. Now it's a one horse team. It's all on Barry's shoulders. I think it's going to be a tough season for the Giants. I don't expect it to get much better.
[Mike: They've lost Renteria? Uh, do you mean Aurilia? Santiago? Ponson? Nen? Worrell? Kent? Baker? Mays? Ott? Mathewson? Who???
Besides Kent and Sanders didn't play in San Fran last year, and they were still 6th in runs scored per game.
Joe, maybe you should go easy on this stuff. And your brother Al— your expertise and precision on the game of baseball ?—no more for you.
Look, there may no longer by a Kent to be Salieri to Bonds' Mozart, Itchy to Bonds' Scratchy. However, Marquis Grissom continues his late-career renaissance. Pierzynski, Tucker, and Snow almost have to improve. When Durham returns, they can rest one more unproductive bat (probably Alfonzo's, who may be ready to have a fork stuck in him). The one place in the offense where I don't much room for improvement is at short. Neifi Perez has more at-bats than anyone else on the team and has a .526 OPS to show for it. Backup Deivi Cruz isn't much better but at least he is better.]
Gregg Conley(Jackson, MI): What do you think about the Tigers being over .500, and what do you think about the additions they made in the offseason?
For a team to lose as many games as the Tigers did last year, a lot of this is the "bounce of the ball" so to speak. Not only did they add a crop of new players with a winning attitude, but they were due. They were never as bad as their record was, and for all that, they are getting some better bounces of that ball this year.
[Mike: Now follow the bouncing ball as we ask the musical question, "What the frig is Joe talking about?" And a one-ah and a two-ah…
The Tigers were 43-119 last year. They were historically bad, among the worst of all time. Using any yardstick you choose, they were the queens of putrescence. "So bow down to her if you want, bow to the [2003 Tigers]. Bow to the Queens of Slime, the Queens of Filth, the Queens of Putrescence. Boo. Boo."
As for this bounce o'the ball theorem, their expected win total was just three wins better than actual. Was Brandon Inge (.605 OPS in 2003, .569 for his career) due? Was Warren Morris (.689 and .709)? Ramon Santiago (.576 and .608). The 2003 Tigers were a bad team with bad players. A very bad team. Wish it into the cornfield. The 2004 Tigers have replaced those players with a perennial All-star Catcher (Pudge) and two solid veterans (Guillen and Vina). The neglect that the management of the team practiced last year was particularly abhorrent, given that Detroit is a large market that very recently got a new stadium.
I can't imagine that the Tigers will remain above .500. If they win 75 games it will be an historic turnaround (I think I did some research on this). I don't care how their balls bounce, so to speak.]
Dan Milwaukee : hey enough with the reds and tigers...how bout my brewers ? i think we got the best out of that sexton trade!
I've always been a fan of Junior Spivey, I'm shocked that Arizona let him go. I think he had so much potential, but I guess the D-Backs got what they wanted -- a power hitter to go along with luis.
[Mike: [I] think we got the best out of that sexton trade! Dan, have you ever even seen a baseball game? (By the way, his name is "Sexson")
The Brewers are treading water because they have played almost exclusively in their own, weak division. And at that they are just 1-5 against the Astros and have yet to play the Cubs.
Of course Joe loves Spivey. He's Morgan-lite, an homage to Joe and a reason for Joe to feel superior to the current players in one fell swoop. Spivey looks like he is back to his 2002 level, which is pretty good. But he is 29 and has just one decent major-league season under his belt. How much potential can he possibly have?
Sexson is the same age and has never had a bad season in his six-year career. He was the best player on the team and was just let loose to cut payroll from the already low $40 M to the bargain-basement $30 M so that Bud could sell the team without a lot of outstanding debt.
That Arizona was willing to part with Spivey, Lyle Overbay, Craig Counsell, and Chad Moeller, tells you either that the D-Backs thought very little of their talents or weren't very effective in evaluating talent. The truth probably is somewhere in between.
However, comparing this to another 5-for-1 trade, the one the Phils made for Von Hayes (I know there were others involved in the trade but I'm talking the principles). The Phils gave up young talent, which the D-Backs did not do (Overbay is 27). The Phils got a relatively unknown quantity; Arizona did not. The Brewers got quantity over quality and that will show over time.]
Shrevie Wonder (Mesa, AZ): Who was the best shortstop you ever played with?
[Mike: Little Shrevie Wonder, play us some of that "Won't You Come Home, Bailey Concepcion".
Quien es? Bob Bailey? Onix Concepcion? Sweetbreads Bailey? Get A Concepcion?
Of course, it's a beer-smeared reference to Dave Concepcion. But given that Joe's other choices were Craig Reynolds, Johnny LeMaster, Ivan DeJesus, and Roger Metzger, basically the recipe for an average shortstop, did he have much choice?
But remember Joe don't mix the grain with the grape.]
Sean (Washington): Joe, what's the worst hitting slump you ever went through? Did it reach 32 AB?
Yes it did. I went 0-35 once. Mine was different b/c I wasn't striking out. I had a lot of runs scored and walks missed in -- but I was still 0-35! I broke my streak with a home run off of Nolan Ryan. We won that game 1-0. I was fine after that.
[Mike: Joe scored runs while going 0-for-35 by walking? That's sacrilege! That's, that's like using OBP in baseball analysis. Horrors! And Joe, your speech is getting more slurred—"missed" instead of "mixed"? That's it, you're cut off. And I'm driving…]