Baer Naked: The Crashburn Alley Interview


To me, Phillies blogging legend/author/internet success story Bill Baer exists as a frequently updated series of posts on a bright red web site.  Only instead of furious pounding of the keyboard, he uses words and numbers to establish intelligent points.  He uses graphs.  He uploads .gif’s.  He often doesn’t have to sit up in his bed in the middle of the night, realizing he’s published a possibly incorrect post earlier in the day and been wrong on the internet.  About sports.

For this reason, Bill’s blog is one everybody’s heard of.  At least, everyone who would read this site.  And that knowledgeable standard has led to him getting to write a book, which he recently published, titled 100 Things Phillies Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die.

Faced with deadlines, starved by writer’s block, and constantly harassed by his editor, Bill eventually triumphed and will now reap the glorious benefits heaped upon writers after their first completion of a project.

Bill and I met on the internet on a beautiful mid-March afternoon that we were both oblivious to because we were inside, on the internet.  He’s a pleasant fellow, I assume, with a charming voice I’ve never heard and a face and hair and maybe even a hat.

What follows is what I can only assume will be considered by historians as the Frost/Nixon of Phillies blogging.

So, what made you decide to write a book with a purpose of reminding Phillies fans that death is inescapable?  Or is the title more of a threat, and meant to be read as if you the writer are holding a gun in the reader’s face, and saying “You will do these things before you die!”

I consider it to be my day job to remind people of their own mortality. The universe is billions of years old and you won’t even make it to triple digits. lololol y u mad tho

What would you say to someone who told you, “I didn’t read your book and I probably never will?”

You are the 99%.

And what would you say if that person was interviewing you right now?

I would awkwardly rip my microphone off of my shirt, stand up, and stomp out of the room, Diane Sawyer.

100 things is a lot of things.  How hard was it not to repeat yourself, get bored, lose count, or throw everything on your desk onto the floor in a fit of passionate frustration?

Very hard. But I never lost count because Microsoft Word has an automatic numbering system.

What advice can you give someone who thinks they could also write a book about the Phillies, and maybe should have by now but it’s just so hard, and who may or may not be boiling with insane jealousy over your movie star-status?  

I am what you call an a-list celebrity. I get noticed every time I go out and bombarded with autograph requests. I never have to pay for a beer and I’m constantly surrounded by a swath of attractive women. “Sir, stop impersonating Brad Pitt, please.” Oh, my bad. If you want to write a book, go for it. We all die in the end, so spend your time doing things that make you happy. Because you die eventually.

How much money is in your wallet, right now?  

Exactly $20. 

What does “Prospectus” mean?  Is it Latin for “no pictures?”

“collection of pasty, white nerds”

How long can the Phillies blogging window stay open?  Or will blogging just be cool forever?

With microblogging all the rage (Twitter, Tumblr), I’m guessing no longer than two or three more weeks. Enjoy it while it lasts. Also, cash in on those Google ads for that sweet, sweet blogging money.

You’re sitting in your sealed air tight inflatable writing cube, hard at work.  Suddenly, the Phanatic appears in a fit of smoke, wearing a cape and goggles.  He somehow nonverbally communicates that he is from the future, and needs you to come with him.  The time machine brings you to September 1, 2012 at Citizens Bank Park.  You don’t know why, and the Phanatic is too busy vomiting from the time jump to answer any of your questions.  The Phillies are preparing to play their late afternoon contest with the Braves.  What is the starting lineup?  How important is the game?  Have solar flares destroyed the earth’s polarity?  Is Roy Halladay okay?  What is the general state of the Phillies at this point, in your prediction?

Starting lineup is Me (custom character in MLB 2K12 with maxed power), Chase, Mayberry, BIG PIECE, J-Dubs (Werth, for those of you who aren’t cool), J-Roll, CHORCH, David Wright, Coal Hammels. The game isn’t very important. Solar flares didn’t do a damn thing. Roy Halladay is always okay (and is now President). The Phillies are ahead in the division by at least 10 games but the fan base is still panicking for some reason.