Frantz: Answering the burning questions 

Emptying out the mailbag ...

Q: I saw where Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel went after radio host Howard Eskin last week and challenged him to a fight. I think it’s cheap and irresponsible when a talk show host tries to goad a professional into a fight just to advance his own career, don’t you? — J. Everett, Los Angeles

A: Absolutely. But the good news is that Manuel didn’t follow through with the threat and knock the punk out. If he had, Eskin would probably have landed his own nationally syndicated show, subjecting the entire nation to his nauseating shtick.

Q: I’m a huge Alex Rodriguez fan, and I love the incredible start he’s off to in New York this season. So why does everyone have to degrade his performance by calling him "Mr. April" just because it’s coming so early in the season? — D. Winfield, St. Paul, MN

A: Baseball fans are strange, D. Some of them think that victories earned in April and May don’t actually count toward the total that puts teams into the playoffs in October. Either that or they just hate perennial MVP candidates who are on pace to finish with 800 career home runs or something.

Q: I still can’t figure out why everybody in basketball stood up for that big crybaby, Tim Duncan. He whines and moans constantly about every call and the first time a referee has the guts to stand up to him, the ref gets kicked out! What’s going on here? — Joey C., Newton Falls, PA.

A: Well, as I understand it, the referee in question has a bit of a Napoleonic complex, and actually challenged Duncan to a fight on the bench. But don’t feel bad for the ref — I hear Charlie Manuel just hired him as bench coach with the Phillies.

Q: Is it true that some knucklehead in New York actually shined a laser pointer in the eyes of Braves’ hitters at the plate in order to help the hometown Mets? Why do fans continually try to inject themselves into games they’ve only paid to watch? — Steve B., Chicago

A: Sometimes they’re frustrated wannabes who live vicariously through real athletes who have attained the level of success that they always envisioned for themselves. Their fanaticism stems from their true love of sports and their loyalty for the teams they long to join. Other times, they’re just criminal a-holes who should be locked up for reckless endangerment.

Q: What’s with those three college players who admitted at the NFL scouting combine that they’ve been using marijuana? Are they just trying to throw their NFL futures away? — R. Williams, Jamaica

A: Yeah, hard to understand, isn’t it? It always amazes me when guys who have the whole world in front of them, with careers in professional football and millions of dollars just staring them in the face, can’t enjoy their success without ruining it with drugs. Unless, of course, the drugs are steroids. Then they earn trips to the Pro Bowl.

Q: Say, did the Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson ever make it down to Durham to issue their apologies to the innocent Duke lacrosse players they verbally attacked without justification? Just wondering ... — Don I., New York

A: Great question, Don. I hear those two are big on apologies. And forgiveness. And fairness. And justice. And perspective. So I’m sure they’ll be on their way to North Carolina just as soon as they’re done dressing the wounds on those Rutgers’ players who were so scarred for life. Sure they will.

Sports personality Bob Frantz is a regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at bfrantz@examiner.com.

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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