ALBANY—I crashed a conference call that Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania held to discuss a World Series bet he made with David Paterson: two fans of the winning team will get a free trip to the losing city, meaning once the Yankees win, two New Yorkers will be treated to free meals and hotel rooms in Philadelphia, and even lunch with the governor himself. (If you’ve been living on Mars, the Yankees begin play against the Phillies in the seven-game Fall Classic tonight.)
But Rendell flat-out declined when challenged to wear a Yankees skirt if his Phillies lose the World Series. The idea first came up when the Post wooded a photo of Shane Victorino in a skirt, and when asked about it on CNBC yesterday, Paterson said “I won’t have to pay so I’ll take the bet.” Paterson, unlike some other New York governors, is clearly backing the Yankees.
“Unbelievably, although Governor Paterson is a friend of mine and a great guy, he said yes,” Rendell said of the skirt bet. “I believe it’s okay for politicians to occasionally make a fool of themselves, but not make a complete fool of themselves, so I demurred from wearing a skirt based on the simple fact that I don’t think the people of the commonwealth are ready to see my legs in a skirt.”
I then asked Rendell why he was too chicken to wear a Yankees skirt, and whether it belied his public (required) claim that the Phillies will win in six games.
“Well I have the utmost confidence in the Phillies, but I’ve been a baseball fan all my life. I know that strange things can happen; the best team doesn’t always win–the Phillies are clearly the best team in my judgment. I just think there are certain things a politican shouldn’t do. For example, my predecessor as mayor of Philadelphia did a promotion for Disney–Disney was in town–and they asked him to wear mouse ears. He put mouse ears on–and I don’t know if anybody’s here from the Philadelphia Daily News–but it was a front page, full page, picture of the Philadelphia Daily News. And I vowed to myself seeing my predecessor in mouse ears that I would never be pictured in something completely stupid. In fact, I was asked by one of the T.V. stations, as a result of my diet, would I do what Kirstie Alley did and pose in a bathing suit to show people my new body. And I also concluded that Pennsylvania wasn’t ready to see that either.”
Later in the call, Rendell added: “I actually have pretty good legs, but I don’t think they’re made for a skirt.”