Answering some questions
1. There was a lot of conversation about whether or not to rebuild New Orleans after Katrina. Should we [be] rebuilding in the desert after these annual fires, with water at such a premium?
If I had my way, we'd all leave the desert to the freakin' scorpions. The problem isn't the rebuilding, it's that no one wants to admit we have a water problem. If someone suggested we shouldn't rebuild because of the water problem, they'd have to address the water problem, and no one wants that. I think it would be the perfect time, really. So no, we shouldn't be blithely rebuilding unless we can figure out how to supply everyone.
2. All-time favorite pitcher and position player, and why.
That's a tough one. Mike Schmidt is my favorite position player, because he was the best third baseman of all time (screw you, Brooks Robinson!). He never hit for average very well, but he hit a bunch of home runs in an era where 35 led the league, and he was the best defensive third baseman ever. Plus, he played his entire career in Philadelphia, which was nice.
As for pitcher, I don't know if I have one. Steve Carlton was my favorite growing up, for a lot of the same reasons as Schmidt - he played for the Phillies, he was the best lefthander in the game for a decade, he won crucial games for them - but then he retired and went nuts, so my love for him is tempered by my knowledge that he's insane (and not in a good way). I've always loved Lefty Grove, because he pitched for those great Athletics teams of 1929-1931, and from what I've read about him, he was unhittable for five years. And I like that he won his 300th game and then quite.
3. How many major league sporting events have you attended, roughly?
Probably 50 Phillies games, 2 Diamondbacks games, a Philadelphia Stars (USFL) game, and two Cardinals game (they played the Eagles both times). So I'd say around 60. Unless you count Penn State football games, which I'd count as "major" (they draw 100,000 fans, after all). That puts it at close to 80. And I saw an Australian Rules Football game in Melbourne.
4. How has Seinfeld held up? What still works and what feels dated?
Pretty well, I'd say. Nothing really feels dated because they weren't really into topical humor all that much. I mean, the O. J. references are dated, obviously, but they won't stop being funny until everyone who's aware of the case is dead. I think it's one of those comedies that will remain a classic for a long time, because it's about people being jerks - and who doesn't love that?
5. Your analysis of the Phillies' 10,000 loss. Did you know that Harry Kalas broadcast 29% of them?
I assume Roger means their 10,000th loss, but that was just a typical game in Philadelphia - lots of home runs and poor pitching by the home team. If he means their 10,000 losses, we have to remember that the team has been around longer than any team except two, and for many years, they were simply awful. These days they can't get over the hump, but they've been a decent team for five years. They were also the best team in baseball for the years 1976-1983, with only one World Championship to show for it. The biggest issue I have with the Phillies is that the media in the country hasn't romanticized their futility like they have the Cubs and the Red Sox, so there's no cult around them to sustain fan interest when they suck so bad. The Cubs suck as bad as the Phillies do, but everyone loves them. When people talk about the Phillies sucking, it's not with a wistful nostalgic longing for simpler times - because they sucked then, too. I guess the Phillies should have played in an ivy-covered stadium without lights for decades, and then maybe people would have inordinate love for them instead of the losers in Chicago.
Kalas is a wonderful broadcaster. I heard on the Sunday broadcast that he had called 2900 losses. But he also got to call the only World Series win in franchise history. Plus, he got to work with Richie Ashburn for years. Not bad.
There you have it, Roger. The deal is, if you're reading this and you want me to ask you five questions, leave a request in the comments and I'll leave my questions in the comments. You can answer them there or at your own blog. I hope this gives you some insight into my twisted, bitter mind (I grew up in Philadelphia - of course I'm bitter and twisted!).