the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: World Series

Exciting World Series Publicity Stunt

(IM conversation)

Neil:  I have this fun idea we can do for our blogs.  You realize the Phillies and the Yankees are in the World Series.  You live in Philadelphia.  I live in New York. So, we can do one of those publicity stunts like the mayors of the competing cities do — where if the Yankees win, you are forced to eat a bagel and lox, and if the Phillies win, I will have to eat a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.  And the loser has to post a photo on the blog as punishment.

Philly Girl:  Doesn’t seem like much of a punishment.  I like bagels and lox.

Neil:  That’s true.  And I like a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich.

Philly Girl:  If anything, I don’t like Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches.

Neil:  OK, so maybe YOU should eat one if you lose… wait, that doesn’t make much sense.   Besides, I like both of bagels and lox and Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches.  What would I eat?

Philly Girl:  Isn’t there some sort of New York food that you don’t like?  Hot dogs?

Neil:  Like them.

Philly Girl:  What else is there?

Neil:  I can’t think of one right now.

Philly Girl:  I don’t really hate Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches.  I just don’t eat them.  They are high in fat.

Neil:  But you eat bagels and lox?  That is high in fat with the cream cheese, no?.

Philly Girl:  I use low-fat cream cheese.

Neil:  Philadelphia brand cream cheese!  Isn’t that ironic?  Everyone in New York also uses Philadelphia brand cream cheese!

Philly Girl:  Never thought about it.   Do they make Philadelphia brand cream cheese in Philadelphia?

Neil:   I have no idea.   I think we are striking out with the food gimmick.  Maybe the loser should be forced to sing a song on his blog.  Like you would have to sing “New York, New York.”

Philly Girl:  And you?

Neil:  I got it.  Elton John’s “Philadelphia Freedom.”

Philly Girl:  My microphone on my laptop is broken.

Neil:  Damn.  I’m not sure mine works either.

Philly Girl:  Are you really into this baseball game?

Neil:  I don’t even like the Yankees.

Philly Girl:  I can’t even name one player on the Phillies.  Until you mentioned it, I didn’t know that they were in the World Series.

Neil:  I think they are.  I think they beat the Dodgers in the National League.  Let me go on Google and check.  (after checking) Yes.

Philly Girl:  So?

Neil:  You ever been to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia?

Philly Girl:  I have been!

Neil:  That is such a cool museum!  You should come to New York some day.   We can go to the Met.

Philly Girl:  I think I’ll be there at Christmas time.

Neil:  Cool.  We should get together.

Philly Girl:  Sure.  OK, gotta go.  Good luck with the Yankees.

Neil:  Good luck with the Phillies!  May the best team win!

Second Base With Sophia

(AP photos from

"Neilochka, would you come over tonight?" Sophia asked.

"Sure.  What for?" I thought.  "Hmm… maybe she’s missing the ol’ Neilochka.  I put on some Brut and headed off to Redondo Beach."

I arrived with thoughts of scoring with Sophia.   But no.  Well, to be honest, there was some scoring.  In fact, there was a whole lot of talk about getting to second and third base. 

"I want to watch the baseball game tonight with you.  Everyone at work was talking about the Angels, and I still don’t understand how this stupid game works."

"You’ve lived in this country for so long.   Why don’t you know baseball?"

"It’s soooo boring.  But today I want to finally learn." 

Tonight  I would teach the Russian/Israeli Sophia all about baseball.

Now I’m not a big baseball fan, but I played and still follow the Mets… sometimes.  I played in Little League… poorly.   And I certainly know the rules of baseball, from the ball to the balk, from the RBI to the ERA.

How hard could this be to teach Sophia all about baseball?



"That’s a ball."

"Why not a strike?"

"Because it didn’t hit the right zone.  You see that area around the catcher’s glove?"

"The catcher?  What team is he on?"

"The Angels."

"I thought the thrower was on the Angels?"

"The pitcher.  Yes, he is."

"So, why is the catcher trying to take away his own team’s ball?"



"Sophia, now there is one out."

"I thought there were two outs."

"No.  There are two balls and two strikes.  But there is only one out."

"OK, he just missed the zone.  So that was a ball.  So, it’s now three balls and two strikes."

"Great, you’re getting it.  It’s a full count."

"A full account of what?"



"Why did the pitcher throw it to the guy at first base rather than to the hitter?"

"Oy, this is a little complicated.  You remember the White Sox guy… the good-looking guy who got the hit before."

"Right.  Good-looking Japanese White Sox Guy."

"OK, Good-looking Japanese White Sox Guy is now on first, and he’s taking a lead because, uh, because, uh, I don’t know how else to say this… he’s thinking of stealing."

"Stealing what?"

"This is a little advanced, but sometimes when a runner is on the base, such as Good-looking Japanese White Sox Guy, he can start to run when the pitcher throws the ball — and he can steal the base."

"And what does he do when he steals it?  Does he run off the field with it?"



"He caught it! Yay!  He’s out!  That’s good for us, right?"

"Sort of.  But because he hit is so far, the guy on third is tagging up.  He’s running home to score."

"I thought you can’t run when there is an out."

"Usually, you can’t.   Unless you hit it really far away, then the runner can… he just can tag up.  Forget it about it.  It doesn’t happen that much."

"It just happened now."

That’s because he hit it into the outfield."

"The outfield?"

"The outfield is out there!  The infield is in here!"

"You don’t have to yell.  I hear you."

"It’s just some weird rule."

"Weird rule?  This whole game is nothing but weird rules.  In soccer, they kick the ball, everyone knows what’s going on.  Here, I’m thinking they just made up the rules as they went along."

"Forget it.  It’s not that important.  But you understand the difference between the outfield and infield?"

"Yes.  If you hit it to the outfield, you’re out.  If you hit it in the infield, you’re in."



"Strike three!  He’s out."

"Not really.  Remember what I told you.  As long as he makes contact on that last strike, he still gets another chance."

"For how long?"

"As long as he makes contact."

"What if he keeps on making contact for three more hours?"

"Then he’s up for three more hours."

"I see.  And what happens if in the bottom of the ninth, the Angels catch up?"

"Then they keep on playing into extra innings."

"Let me guess.  Even if it’s for three more hours…  This thing is never over."

"Baseball is like chess.  It is a very intellectual game."

"Oh, yeah.  That Angel spitting some brown stuff onto the grass looks like a real Einstein."

"Once you get into it… there’s nothing like a good baseball game."

"Booooring! I’m beginning to think they made up the game just to sell hot dogs and beer to the people in the stands."

"Finally!  You understand the real meaning of baseball!"

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