First of all, if you missed Len Kasper's column in the Daily Herald Monday. Please read it. Now!
Ok, now that you're back, let's chalk up another way in which we are so blessed to have this guy as part of our daily lives. He is really just too freaking awesome. Kasper really put himself out there, and for those of us who even deal with generalized anxiety, like so many do, this was a huge thing for him to do.
Thank you, Len.
Also please check out part one of the Q&A I did with him. Originally, I was only going to write about Hot Stove/Cool Music and have some quotes from the Cubs broadcaster sprinkled in. Well, if you have a chance to hear Len Kasper tell a story, you let him tell it. It was just too good.
Here is part two. We get into more music stuff, Twitter, and the waiting for the Cubs kiddies.
TL: OK, so one of our writers -- I don't know if you've checked him out He goes by Wilco Me That -- is a big music fan. He wanted me to ask you where the Eddie Vedder lyrics are.
LK: Oh yeah. The Eddie Vedder lyrics?
LK: I have them in my safe place.
TL: Okay, safe place.
LK: I've got a nice letter from Eddie and the lyrics and a set list from the final shows at the Spectrum in Philadelphia. Hand-written, which are really cool. I had given him a four color pen. Actually, I had given him a few four color pens the previous times he was on the stretch.
He used that pen to do the set list because there were four shows. He did them in four different colors and gave you a nice letter. Yeah, I've got a few things that are pretty cool from Eddie. He gave me and gave Bob (Brenly) the CD set from the entire tour. I think it was '08 or I think 2009. See, I have every CD of every show on that tour. Very cool. Yeah.
TL: Wilco also wants to know what are your favorite "desert island" discs.
LK: I'd have to say "Joshua Tree" will always [be one]. I don't listen to it all the time, but that's just one that every song is good and puts me in a good place. Probably "Pleased to Meet Me" by The Replacements when I want to rock a little bit would be another. Then, to me, the best, the most perfect album ever made was "Who's Next." That probably would cover it. I'm sure I'm missing a few, but those are three pretty good ones.
TL: It's kinda funny that you're the right broadcaster for the Cubs in the right time. Not necessarily in terms of on-the-field happenings, but speaking to the social media happening that is now. There's probably not that many broadcasters that are as intertwined as you are. Do you think that that's something you became involved with on your own or was it a byproduct of the gig?
LK: I think that it's very helpful for me to be on Twitter; I find out a lot of information. I follow a lot of baseball writers and things to get updates during the game. It's really important to me to be as up-to-date technologically as I can because it is changing so quickly.
I've always been into the computer thing and that's made my life easier in terms of research, but I think that it's imperative for us as broadcasters to not turn off a significant, really important part of the audience and that is a younger part of the audience. I think we want baseball to reach generation after generation. To ignore that, to me, would be a huge mistake.
I enjoy it, like the immediacy of the feedback; not all positive, but that's okay, too. Keeps us honest. It's fun to be on that level and to be able...[to make] people feel like they're part of the broadcast. You get a tweet if you say something that was wrong or spurred a thought and someone brings up a good point. I'm happy to bring it up on the air, I have no problem doing that.
TL: That has to make the broadcast a little more more fun. Speaking of fun, it's got to be a little harder on you guys last few years because of what's going on on the field. You have to be selling what we are watching right now. Are you looking forward to next year when maybe a couple of these kids are on the field and we've got something you can pump up a little more?
LK: Yeah. The way I look at it in terms of what I do, I love going to the ballpark every day. I'm excited to go to the park tonight; every day is its own entity. It's a lot more fun when you're winning consistently and the games matter, absolutely. But at the basic level, I love my job dearly and I just want to go see a good ball game.
Yeah, everybody's excited to see the prospects. We keep hearing about them. I'm really anticipating Kris Bryant and Javier Baez and Albert Almora and all these kids we've been hearing about for the past few years to finally get to this level and see what they're all about.
Starlin (Castro) came out of nowhere. There wasn't a ton of hype before he got to the big leagues. Anthony Rizzo there was some, but it only lasted maybe six months or so after the Cubs acquired him; but this is a little different with these kids. I think everybody feels that way in terms of you can't wait to see them at this level.
TL: Lastly, I want to leave off back on the music thing. If you could play a concert at Wrigley Field and play guitar with somebody, who would it be?
LK: The Replacements are my band and the fact that they're back together, not that I would want to replace Tommy Stinson, but to be able to play alongside Paul Westerberg would be as good as it gets. But I've been very fortunate to play with a Buffalo Tom song with Bill Janovitz. I've been on stage with some amazing musicians.
I've played with Jimmy Chamberlin and I've played with a lot of people, but when you play with musicians that good, they do elevate your game a little bit. I'm a total amateur. I would probably be very, very nervous but if offered the chance, I'd play with Westerberg in a heartbeat.
Yesterday I wrote about last year's Hot Stove/Cool Music concert and the highlight being Kasper and Matt Spiegel's Replacement cover. Here is that clip I took with my phone.
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