Conversational Tips for the Harry Kalas-Richie Ashburn Benefit Dinner


So, in case of which Phillies guy you run into at dinner, I’ve compiled what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

Gary Matthews

Okay, what you need to remember is that you’re dealing with a guy who has a “Hat Enthusiast” section on his Wikipedia page, and he’ll probably be wearing one, so your ice breaker is right there.  But what you need to remember even more intently than that is that you do not want Sarge to start talking to you.

So he may be pushing you to into some dialog regarding hats, or his hat specifically… this may include taking it off and wordlessly admiring it, or pretending to drop something so he can bend down and put his hat right in your face.

But resist, because what awaits you at the other end of one of his questions is an explosion of burly, incoherent phrases and words.  My advice is to stick with polite smiles, should eye contact occur.

Roy Halladay

Well obviously you don’t want to look directly into his eyes, or his face, and to be on the safe side, I’d just avoid his torso entirely.  It may seem socially backwards to stare down at a man’s feet when addressing him, but keep doing it.  It’s the only way to put aside your completely rational fears of turning into a pillar of salt upon seeing the badass darkness behind his gaze.

Chase Utley

Chase is a friendly guy, so there should be plenty to discuss over cocktails.  I’ve compiled a short list of topics that would probably be considered taboo.

  • Baseball
  • Phillies baseball
  • Playing baseball
  • Knees
  • Injuries
  • Watching baseball
  • Timetables
  • How well Wilson Valdez is doing
  • Chondromalacia (it is genuinely shocking at how organically this can come up in regular conversation)
  • Any topic in which you could possibly graze the above subjects offhand
  • Finances (this one’s a good rule for conversations in general)

Cliff Lee

With Cliff I’d skip the pleasantries and dive right into intricacies of stalking and killing a wild hog with a crossbow.

Just keep in mind Cliff has answered your bullshit questions about dissing the Yankees and coming to Philly and being wonderful a trillion times, so unless you want to silently infuriate the man of your dreams, wipe the drool off your chin and try to have more dignity than the entire Phillies press corps did.

Shane Victorino

Ask Shane what baseball encyclopedia he consulted to discover the “benefits” of swinging the bat with a one-handed back hand on pitches just hairs above the earth’s surface.  Then segue way into the real heart of the matter:  That this isn’t a benefit dinner at all, its an intervention for all of his closest friends and fans to tell him that he is addicted to swinging at every thing that is white and spherical and coming right at him.

Carlos Ruiz

**Carlos Ruiz quietly eating dinner**


Chris Wheeler

Bring a pinwheel, spin it, and make bets on how long it takes for him to stop laughing and clapping.