No Shai readers, except one
By Bob Halloran
Special to Page 2

This is a big day in my life. I'm going to answer e-mail questions from the readers. It makes me feel like The Sports Guy when he says, "Yup, these are my readers."

West Indies cricket fan
Bob Halloran isn't a common sports nut like some of you, but his secretary is.
I realize I'm not The Sports Guy, and if I wasn't already aware of that, Steve from Oakland was nice enough to point it out for me: "Bob Halloran isn't a common sports nut like the rest of us. He's nothing." Steve also suggested that my secretary begin writing my columns for me, but unfortunately he can't, because he's currently ghost writing the memoirs of my personal trainer, my limo driver, and my man servant, Maurice.

Secretary? Steve, you've got to be kidding me! I share a cubicle with three other people. I'm lucky to have my own phone.

The column that elicited an abundance of thoughtful -- and helpful -- responses was the one in which I listed an extremely small percentage of the things I don't know. It was intended to be the first in an ongoing series, because the dearth of my knowledge is boundless.

A friend suggested I was being either a tad courageous or excessively foolish to admit such ignorance. But I just thought I was being obvious. Has anybody read my stuff? Besides, only a fool believes he has all the answers. But of course I do have all the answers -- to your e-mails.

I just came across Bob Halloran's column this week. It was so good, I spent the rest of the evening reading all the articles in his archive! Perceptive, witty, well-written. From now on, he'll be the first name I look for on Page 2.
-- Shai from Baltimore

Just in case my bosses missed this one. Also, I was going to write something like, "Shai and I have decided to run away together," but there's another thing I don't know. I don't know if Shai is a man's or a woman's name.

Your latest column asks a question regarding a pitcher getting a win and a save. One of the rules in qualifying for a save is that you can't be the winning pitcher. I'm a little surprised you wouldn't at least attempt to look something like this up. Unless of course, you're being humorous and I missed the joke.
-- Mark from Camp Hill, Pa.

Whitey Herzog
Whitey Herzog knew how to utilize the talents of Rick Horton.
I was. You did.

Whitey Herzog used to use two relievers. Todd Worrell would face a righty, then go to play right field while Rick Horton faced one or more lefties. Worrell would then come back to the mound to face righties. So, the concept is not completely new or completely theoretical. Just thought I'd let you know in case everybody has forgotten Rick Horton besides me.
-- Tony G. from Sacramento, Calif.

Horton was also a valuable pinch runner, and served for several years as the Area Director of the St. Louis Area Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He won 31 games in 10 years with the White Sox, Cardinals and Dodgers. Who could forget?

OPS stands for On-base Plus Slugging ... C.C. Sabathia's name is Carsten Charles ... The WNBA trading deadline is July 29 at 8 p.m. ET.
-- Ezra from Waterbury, Conn.

C.C. Sabathia
Carsten Charles Sabathia's better than Ezra.
Shave Ezra!? Does anybody else remember that commercial when the woman yells to her husband in another room that she went to some store and "Saved Extra." The husband thinks she's saying, "Shave Ezra," and he looks down at his dog, who's lying by a dish that has the name Ezra written in bold letters. I remember that commercial, but I don't know if they ever showed the dog without hair. Every answer brings new questions.

You questioned why the batter who gets hit by a pitch doesn't throw the ball right back at the pitcher. Because the pitcher has a glove! The batter would look pretty stupid chucking the ball at the pitcher ... only to have him catch it. Just had to get that off my chest.
-- Kris from California

Happy to unburden you. You make a marvelous point. Truly, I didn't think about that. I guess the batter also runs the risk of missing the pitcher all together and firing the ball into the outfield. I think you're right. The risks far outweigh the rewards. I'm glad we talked.

Your May 21 article by Bobby Halloran is one of the funniest and best ever. Classic. Give him a raise or more articles.
-- Bill from Venice, Fla.

Thank you, Billy. But my sisters called me Bobby once. Once!

Thank you, thank you, thank you! It's such a relief to know that there are other people in the world who have to deal with the oddity of the ear pulse. Finally, I know I'm not alone. And the band was War, I believe. But I'm not looking it up either.
-- Soraya from Dallas

Soraya, we have confirmation. A veritable multitude of people wrote to tell me that War sang the song "Low Rider." And we didn't even have to look it up. I like that. Also, regarding the annoying phenomenon of the ear pulse beating against the pillow when people like us try to sleep on our sides: Why us? Don't you wonder what percentage of people suffer from this anomaly? Certainly, we're not curious enough to actually do any research on it, but I was just wondering.

I wouldn't be too sure that the vernal equinox happens in the fall, since it happens in the spring. Although I'm sure the mistake is probably your editor's fault.
-- Mike from Cambridge, Mass.

Actually, it was my secretary's fault. I, of course, know that the vernal equinox is the first day of spring, falling on or about March 21 when the day and night are both 12 hours long. Maurice, the man servant, told me.

This is for Bill Halloran. He couldn't explain why the moon was so big that one night. A full moon is always the same size on any given night. It appears to be bigger on the nights it is lower to the horizon, because you can compare it to objects on the horizon. The mental device at work here is "size constancy," which (when it fails) results in the same object appearing to be different sizes because of different contexts.
-- Eric from Princeton, N.J.

First, Bobby. Now, Bill. But c'mon! I really did know that the moon doesn't actually get bigger and smaller. (It's still made of cheese though, right?) I mean, how stupid do you think I am?

How does it feel to be so stupid?
-- Patrick from Concord, Calif.

It feels kinda sexy!

Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal
Now that we know more about the Burger King jacket, maybe someone can explain those leather numbers Kobe and Shaq wore.
The reason Shaq wears a long leather jacket in his Burger King commercial is because the spot is a takeoff on "Shaft." Not too bright, are you, Bob? Here's a brain teaser for you -- water is wet!!!
-- Matt from Los Angeles

Wow!!! Three exclamation points!!! Is that temple vein ready to burst yet??? Oh, I get it now. Shaq ... Shaft. The music, the leather jacket. It's so obvious. In fact, it's so obvious, even I knew it. But Shaq looks ridiculous!!! The man's dribbling and driving from center court and then slamming on a bunch of short people!!! Even Shaft would have taken the jacket off for that kind of activity in the sweltering California heat. It wouldn't look so dorky, if Shaq just picked up a loose ball and hit a long jumper.

One more thing, I believe water is wet because of the hydrogen bonding which occurs at an angle of 105 degrees. The asymmetrical shape of the molecule arises from a tendency of four electron pairs in the valence shell of oxygen to arrange themselves symmetrically at the vertices of the tetrahedron around the oxygen nucleus. But I'm just guessing.

To clear up the whole sacrifice situation. A runner who is on second cannot be sacrificed to third because he is already in scoring position. So, it is neither a sac fly nor a sac bunt if the runner moves from second to third.
-- John from Marcy, N.Y.

John, I was definitely being a smug bastard toward Matt from L.A. whose comment that water is wet was dripping with sarcasm. So, when I correct you, I don't want you to think I'm still being smug. Your point about already being in scoring position seemed valid, so I looked it up. Rule 10.09 (a) says: Score a sacrifice bunt when, before two are out, the batter advances one or more runners with a bunt and is put out at first base, or would have been put out except for a fielding error.

So, you can sacrifice a runner from second to third with a bunt, but the rules also state that a runner must score on a sacrifice fly. I still wonder why there's a distinction between the bunt and the fly, because there's no way I'm going to be believe that a hitter "sacrificed" his at-bat by intentionally hitting a fly ball. He might have tried to hit a fly ball, but he certainly didn't surrender his at-bat, because by swinging he gave himself a chance to accidentally hit a home run.

Bob Halloran should not be writing for Page 2. He is unoriginal and not at all amusing. This is not a big deal to me, as I just ignore his columns, but I sure hope you do not pay him much.
-- Joe from Queens, N.Y.

Rest easy, Joe.

  Kamakaze pilots wear helmets ... because chicks dig a man in uniform. And even a man about to die wants to believe that, if circumstances were different, he'd be too hot to resist.  

In answer to your question about whether it's legal to hit a tennis ball that doesn't go over the net, but lands safely "in": Yes. This happens a lot in doubles, and it's totally legal to whack the ball around the netpost. Good way to win a quick point out of a seemingly dismal situation.
-- Ben from Washington, D.C., 1997 Berks County tennis champion and avid Page 2 reader

Thanks, from the 1978 Beacon Hill Country Club junior champion.

Punts and field goals are simply measured from the last spot the football touched the ground. Let me ask you, why do kamikaze pilots wear helmets?
-- Brett from Fredericksburg, Va.

Brett answered my question about why field goals are measured from the spot of the kick, but punts are measured from the line of scrimmage. Great answer. I really didn't know that one!

Now, let me answer yours. Kamikaze pilots wear helmets ... because chicks dig a man in uniform. And even a man about to die wants to believe that, if circumstances were different, he'd be too hot to resist.

My brother-in-law and I absolutely hate the Denver Broncos. Recently, he moved to Denver, and when he saw that they were selling sod from the old Mile High Stadium, he went down and bought some (even though he lives in an apartment). He took the grass home, put it on his back porch, and when Bronco fans come over, he takes his dog out to whizz on that sod. Just thought you would be interested in ulterior motives for buying such useless memorabilia.
-- Tim from Eugene, Ore., responding to a different column entitled, "Memories vs. Memorabilia"

That might be the No. 1 ulterior motive of all-time, but shouldn't there be a No. 2?

Thanks to everyone for helping me e-mail this one in.

Bob Halloran is an anchorman for ESPNEWS.



Bob Halloran Archive

Halloran: The terrifying world of child's play

Halloran: (Way) out of curiosity

Halloran: Objectively speaking, you're all biased

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