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TGP writer interview: Mike Becker

Our staff writer shares his thoughts on the greatest American songwriter, cheesesteaks, and more!

St Louis Cardinals v Philadelphia Phillies - Game 5
If only we could erase this at bat from history
Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

It’s time for another opportunity to get to know one of our writers at The Good Phight just a smidge better. This time, I asked questions of Mike Becker. Find out what he has to say about TGP, horse racing Reddit, and which Phillies at bat he would have redone. (Warning: The following contains a clip of David Lee Roth)

When and how did you start writing at TGP?

I started at TGP before this past season. Ethan put up a post looking for writers and I thought “why not?”. I don’t have a journalism background or anything, but I’ve always written about sports in other contexts, either just ranting on social media or for school assignments. For example, I wrote my university capstone paper about the advent of professionalism in baseball from a class and labor perspective and…oh, you fell asleep there for a second.

So yeah, I just kinda sent my stuff in and Ethan said I could write stuff here and the rest is…well, I’m responding to questions from a horse.

Favorite Phillies moment since you’ve been here?

Hmm, it’s either the Mike Lorenzen/Weston Wilson/Nick Castellanos game or Game 1 of the NLCS for me. Of course, the no-hitter/first home run/200th home run of it all was special, even if Lorenzen turned back into a pumpkin, Wilson went back to the minors soon after, and Casty had the NLCS that he did. I watched most of that game on my phone at work and by the time the ninth inning rolled around, I convinced my boss that we all needed to stop what we were doing and watch on his computer, which we did.

On the other hand, I was in the stands for NLCS Game 1 which was the first Phillies playoff game I’ve ever attended in person. Kyle Schwarber crushing Zac Gallen’s first pitch into the right field stands sent my soul from my body and my vocal cords didn’t survive Bryce’s follow-up shot (I may or may not have hit on a long-shot parlay involving both of those homers).

Favorite writer - past or present - at TGP?

Currently, it’s probably either Smarty or Joe Edinger. From the past, either Wet Luzinski or Justin Klugh.

Have you ever been too drunk to fish?

This is a loaded (heh) question. I can say unequivocally that I have, in fact, been too drunk to fish. Hell, I’ve been too drunk to do just about anything one time or another.

That being said, I haven’t been presented with the opportunity to go fishing since I was a kid at my grandpa’s place up the Poconos. So, we will never know for sure if on one of those nights when I Irish-good-byed from a party to puke in the bushes and wander home that I would or would not have been able to cast a line without inadvertently hooking someone’s eyeball. We’re probably better off not knowing.

What Major League player never played for the Phillies, but it felt like he should have?

Alan Embree always gave me “guy the Phillies would sign” vibes. Pitched for the Red Sox? Check. 4.59 career ERA? Check. Facial hair that would fit in alongside Brett Myers, Kevin Millwood, and Randy Wolf? Oh yeah.

Oakland A’s Spring Training
Alan Embree could have been a good Phillie.
Photo by Jay Drowns/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images

Who is the greatest racehorse of all time?

I feel like saying any horse besides Smarty Jones will get me taken off the masthead. (Editor’s note: I don’t have that kind of power. One day, maybe.)

Also, shout out to the horse racing subreddit which I just discovered exists and where they apparently have the same arguments that other people do online about baseball players (“most starters colts now days will never be in my top picks, they throw a complete game race 4-8x and retire”)

Best YouTube clip of all time?

If you could undo one at bat in Phillies history, what would it be?

I think the easy answer for me is Ryan Howard’s final at-bat in Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS for obvious reasons. Joe Carter might have something to say about that one and rightfully so, but personally I could do without having seen my favorite Phillie from the ‘07-‘11 run tear his Achilles while the Cardinals celebrated at CBP.

Anything else you’d like to share?

David Bazan is the greatest American songwriter of the last 25 years. American cheese doesn’t belong on a cheesesteak unless it’s Cooper Sharp. Go Birds.