Mid-Week Mailbag.

I Get Slightly More Mail Than Santa.

Time to answer some more questions.  Remember if you want to get in on the fun, or you need an open forum to discuss your issues, shoot off an email.  I’m waiting at mggross21@gmail.com

Q:  I have a theory that the whole practice of gathering autographs, or any memorabilia for that matter is based on proving your story.  I feel like some guy back in 1920 was insistent that he drank every night with Babe Ruth, but no one believed him until he brought back a signed cocktail napkin.  Richard Henderson Oakland, CA.

A: That’s a very reasonable argument, Rickey.  I’m afraid it is too logical to make sense, though, and I imagine the practice of autograph collecting has always been in some ways rooted in monetary gain.  Surely that went back to times before Babe Ruth’s drinking buddies.  Let me see what Google has to say:  Oh my God.  Rickey is kind of, sort of, right.  According to the internet, autograph collecting became popular in the 1500s when they were used as bragging rights in a clearly defined class structure.  The collections were called a “Book of Friends,” so to answer your question, yes that is why autographs exist, just in future sub out Ruth for Rembrandt in your example.  

Q: Why doesn’t Cadillac market its cars as battering rams for elderly people?  Every Cadillac commercial highlights how sporty they are, skewing young and trendy, but every time I see one in real life, Father Time is peering over the wheel and about to deflect off 3 cars on his way into a bright blue parking space.  Art Lemontree Brooklyn, NY.  

A: I think you’re asking why tobacco companies don’t market their product to people already addicted to cigarettes. No need, my friend.  Old Chimney McGee is going to buy three packs a day regardless, but you need Joe Camel to lure in those new customers.  I’ll allow a moment for that cutting edge, Joe Camel reference to sink in.  What I’m saying is, when a driver hits a certain age they are going to buy a Cadillac (or something of similar proportions) regardless of what they see on television.  You’d think they’d want something smaller, old people move into smaller houses, and you’d in theory hit less stuff with a smaller car, but they don’t care about hitting things.  THAT’S THE RUB.  So, Cadillac forces their youthful verve down our throats, but I imagine it’s not very successful because people like you keep seeing big Cadillac sedans with two dinged bumpers.  

Q: I’ve got a box of Q-tips.  On the box it says, “For a Variety of Uses,” or something wildly non-specific like that.  Shouldn’t it say, “Q-tips: Jam them in your ear hole.”  Roy Munson Paducah, KY.

A: Another marketing question.  Thankfully I took copious amounts of business classes in college and have all these answers at the tips of my fingers, no pun intended.  Q-Tips knows what their product is, but they just can’t quite admit it. Yes, Q-Tips are for jamming in your ear hole as you so eloquently stated, but somewhere along the line someone probably pulled out some brains with their earwax and sued the company.  No more Q-Tips in the ears!  A doctor told me once that you are supposed to shoot water in there or something to clean them out.  OK, I’ll get right on that, water in the ear is so pleasant.  I suppose a Q-tip has makeup uses?  Perhaps?  Who knows, and I’ve once use one to dab a cut on my face, but I’m comfortable saying 9 of 10 Q-tips sold end up in an ear hole.  

Q: What’s the ideal temperature for sleeping?  I like it nice and cool, but not so cold that I can’t get out of bed in the morning.  Audrey Griswald Chicago, IL.  

A:  Well Audrey, when I was a kid my parents used to talk about “good sleeping weather.”  I feel like this was any temperature in the 55-60 degree range.  As an aside, I had a ninth grade teacher who left her classroom windows open year round.  On one particularly chilly day I commented to a classmate that it was “good sleeping weather,” and they couldn’t stop laughing.  I’m still not sure what was so funny, but all I can tell you is what I prefer.  Now, I’m a rare individual that can sleep with no coverings.  When I tell people this they usually look at me like I am a creature from a far off land, but it’s true.  NO BLANKETS NECESSARY!  So, in the summer, I set the temp to about 70 degrees.  In the winter?  If I’m committed to a blanket?  It’s gotta be cold.  Subarctic.  Like 55 degrees.  

Q: It always bothers me when I see a television show or a movie and they have a hot chick playing a role that no hot chick would ever play in real life.  There aren’t FBI agents that can go undercover as supermodels.  I’m looking at you, USA dramas.  Carl Lipbaum, Topeka, KS.  

A:  So you watch cable TV dramas for their realism, Carl?  I think that might actually be your problem and not what hot chicks do or do not do with their lives.  You know, there’s a theory that the recession has hit the hot chick quite hard as well, and they’re having trouble getting by on just being hot, so you’re seeing an influx of these beauties into all types of professions.  I say don’t underestimate the hot chick, I mean, look at Amanda Knox.  She’s got a ton of admirers and spent years in prison accused of murder.  So, go back and watch Chained Heat again with a whole new perspective there, Buddy.  

Q: So, I’m watching the Phillies game yesterday and Ryan Madson comes to the plate with a man on in the ninth inning.  I know things weren’t exactly going to plan, but how does this happen?  Wouldn’t you rather have had Raul swinging for the fences and a 5-1 lead?  Bill Bolt Jr. Aston, PA.  

A: A nice, timely question.  The debate will always rage on, does Charlie know how to double switch?  Does he properly understand how to utilize it, and if he does, does he think far enough ahead to put it into play?  We’ll probably never know these answers.  If someone asked Charlie this question last night I imagine he either would have said simply that he didn’t do it, because he didn’t, or he would have launched into a longer explanation about how he wasn’t at the proper place in the order to pull the switch.  His only option would have been putting Ibanez into Pence’s spot in the order, which means you have Raul hitting in the 9th, but you also have him in the field.  There’s a trade-0ff there.  Plus, managers usually skew toward defense with the lead, but considering how the Phils’ bullpen has been looking I understand your general concern.  

Q: Every year my house is bombarded by Trick-O’-Treaters.  Every year they get more demanding and less grateful.  When I was a kid I kept a straight face when someone gave me a sandwich baggy full of candy corn, now the kids can hardly be bothered to put some energy into it.  They just stand like mongoloids with their bags open.  The point is, I’d like to spice things up for myself this year.  I want to make a wheel that the kids have to spin to determine which candy they get.  There will be a bonus space that wins them a huge candy bar, but I plan on rigging it so that the wheel cannot land on that space.  I want to see the disappointed faces all night long.  Long story short, do I have issues?  Al DeWalt Norman, OK.  

A:  Oh no, Al that’s totally normal.  Everyone gets overworked about Halloween and then spends hours hand crafting a rigged candy roulette wheel just so they can disappoint the CHILDREN.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  My neighbor last year did the EXACT SAME THING.  I’ll give you credit for coming up with a particularly nasty idea, because you know every single kid would be expecting to hit the huge candy bar on the wheel and I can just see their faces as it sits there on your front stoop, untouched.  I think you’re just bitter, man.  In the rose-colored memories of your own youth, you were some Halloween all-star, but you probably were walking around in a sheet mumbling your demands just like today’s youth.  If it bothers you so much, leave the candy on the porch, or move off the grid you gosh dang miserable bastard.  

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11 thoughts on “Mid-Week Mailbag.

  1. yeah, I have a 2010 Section 133 Phils Ticket signed by 3-Putt.
    i can vouch, i def did it for the monetary investment.

    he’s was kind of mean about it too, like i wasn’t even worthy of his signature.

    a Q against Q-tips (because the FDA should ban them for use in ear as they actually lodge wax, had a client go def cause of ’em once. no joke. so, you just dampen a warm wash cloth or use wax removal stuff. only good use for q-tips…art, and watching the cotton tips expand in water).

  2. Hey there. Saw all these great QBs listed on your website and thought, what a coincidence because we are having an open tryout right now for a QB to start on the road against the Jets. Couldn’t get ahold of David Garrard or Jake Delhomme. So my mailbag question is whether you have phone numbers for any good QBs? In particular I am hoping you know Vinny Testaverde?

  3. I wish I knew VInny. Sad scenario down there in Miami. Perhaps you know I am a bit partial to Chad Henne and his arm strength. Have you thought about Michael Bishop? That guy could really slang it.

  4. What has changed from 2008 offensively with this team other than the obvious “we’re older” answer? We used to threaten offensively every damn inning. Is the window really that small?

  5. Well, it has been 3 yrs, but also 2008 was probably the tail end of their real offensive peak. This was a good hitting team for a while before they even won anything, so it’s not quite as small a window as it seems.

    That said, I’m really not blaming the offense at this point. I stand by the fact that Lee has to win game 2. That’s the difference right now. Today they played an all around terrible game, but other than that this team is built on pitching and they’re not pitching well enough in my opinion.

    The NL has a lot of good pitching and to not give any credit to St Louis makes no sense. They ran into pitching last year too. If they get by St Louis, I think you’ll see different results. It wasn’t 2008, but from June thru August this was probably the best offensive team in the NL or very close.

    St. Louis is not a great match-up for them, because they have good pitching, but also the style of pitching. Today was partially on the offense, for sure, but they also ran themselves out of the first inning with a little help from the ump.

    Last, Howard has been bad the last two games, and it’s obvious that Polly isn’t right, so with Ruiz cold the bottom of the order is a black hole and it’s letting pitchers get in rhythm and killing momentum.

  6. I’m just saying we’ve been conditioned to blame the offense. It’s sunken in, where every game we lose where they didn’t score 8 runs is the offense’s fault.

    And, today, that was probably the case. It just bugs me that Cliff Lee is already blame free. And last year, game one against Lincecum they scored 3 runs, that’s not a bad outing against him. How about not giving up two homers to Cody Ross? But nothing falls on Halladay.

    So. Yeah, the offense isn’t as good as it was in 2008, but the media has also created the culture of blame that focuses on the hitters. In my opinion.

  7. I agree with you on both counts…that pitching has not been the “4 aces” or even close…I also agree that the Cardinal are pretty damn good offensively. I honestly thing the Cards might be the most complete team left in the post season in either league (other than the Phillies). All the more reason I think we should have thrown the Reading Phillies into the last games vs. Atlanta. I knew from the start this was a bad matchup for us.

  8. Yeah, the Cardinals don’t match up quite as well against other teams, but they are very good.

    This isn’t a 90 win team. They blew countless games and once they settled on Motte and he was effective they’ve been as good as anyone.

  9. another dilemma….do I root for the Yankees in hopes of the Phils winning game 5 and and NLCS to hopefully beat them or hope for their first round exit?

  10. I think it’s always more interesting when the Yankees are in it, but I also think that I drastically underestimated the Rangers. Either team is going to have their hands full.

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