But those emails are rare. Most of our readers compose well-intentioned and interesting, literate emails. For instance, I received a few emails this week regarding the race in the NL West between the Dodgers and Padres and which team Phillies fans should root for.
That's a good question. From the way that race is jumbled -- on the seesaw, if you will (and I know you will) -- it seems as if the Phillies are chasing two teams. But that's wrong. The Phillies are chasing the team not in first place. That means Phillies fans should root for whichever team is leading the division and root against the team leading the wild-card race.
Better yet, since the Dodgers and Padres don't play each other any more, just root for them both to lose and the Phillies to win... that is if you want the Phillies to go to the playoffs.
Double play duo
Another interesting email I received asked whether or not Jimmy Rollins, with 22 homers, and Chase Utley (28 homers) are the first middle-infield duo in Phillies history to slug 50 homers?
See, good question.
I haven't looked it up and I'm not going to ask the Phillies PR staff because all they will do is roll their eyes, huff and puff and basically give an annoyed, "I don't bleeping know... " to any query presented. But based on what I know about the Phillies and their history, I'm going to go out on a limb and say yes, yes they are.
As for a double-play combo smashing 50 homers in a season in Major League history, I found Bobby Doerr and Vern Stephens with 56 for the 1948 Boston Red Sox, 57 the next season, 57 more in 1950.
Of course there is Alex Rodriguez, who as a shortstop for the Mariners and Rangers, routinely hit 50 homers by himself. In 1999, A-Rod and David Bell (remember him?) hit 63, with Rodriguez getting 42 of them. In 2001, A-Rod hit 52 while Michael Young added 11 and the following season, Rodriguez hit 57 and Young hit 9. During Rodriguez's last season in Texas in 2003 -- his last as a shortstop -- he hit 47 and Young hit 14.
That's about as far as my research took me, because I would probably be sitting here all day looking up numbers, going off on tangents and analyzing Richie Zisk's career.
The Bull and some bull?
An email from the award-winning writer (see, I told you our readers are literate) Charlie Schroeder arrived yesterday, thanking me for the plug of his story that appeared (will appear?) in The Best Sports Writing in America 2005 anthology. Here's the story for any one who missed it.
However, Charlie, a fellow Lancasterian from the 'hood and now tearing it up in L.A., questioned some of my "facts" regarding his role in the gulley-trapping/rock-throwing incident with Pete Horn. Charlie says he doesn't remember the incident, but related something at the Day School involving a skateboard, a few ruffians, Tim Watt and Richard McNamara. Watt, as everyone remembers, was the feared slugger for the Lancaster Township Indians who used to smack them way out onto the track at the Wheatland Jr. High field. He was also much bigger than most of the other kids his age and a little crazy so to mix it up with him was to really test fate.
As far as McNamara goes, anyone who knows me knows that my stories regarding him are classified and not publishable on something as holistic as this site. Put it this way... he and I will never go to Canada or Mexico together again.
Anyway, Charlie produced a neat homage to Greg Luzinski for the NPR show, "Only a Game." Check it out here.