Thursday, May 11, 2006

At Least They Lost The Fight

My wretched habit of timing my ballpark visits to coincide with magnanimous losses continued yesterday, my desolation so yawning it prohibited a more timely entry. I had to sleep this one off.

It is the Day After a 13-4 thrashing at the hands of the Mets; after three $25 tickets; one $10 parking pass; two $6.50 beers (the Old Lady had one); one $4.50 nachos and cheese; one $20 powder blue throwback hat (again, the Old Lady); and two $3.50 BOTTLED WATERS for fuck’s sake. Oh, I forgot the $10 media guide, easily the most useful and concretely enduring purchase of the night. Now I have Chris Wheeler’s career statistics.

There were intangibles. I furthered my son’s Education in Philadelphia Fandom, instructing him in the proper booing technique, which he had ample opportunity to practice. Accompanying the Family Tacony were two old friends, My Co-Defendant and The Promoter, experts in the aforementioned art, as well as such arcane practices as creating clever chants to charm the crowd.

The Promoter was particularly clever, intoning a sarcastic “Bring in Ham-els” sing-song that elicited guffaws from Phillies fans (they were charmed) and Mets leeches (smelly and repugnant) who were in the process of watching the New Yorkers put the game away early, scoring ten runs in three innings, the six-run third frame taking a gargantuan 32 minutes.

The Promoter wasn’t exactly kidding about his invocation. Cole Hamels, the newly-promoted pitcher he references, likely would not be as horrid as Corey Lidle and Geoff Geary were last night. Probably would have played a better first base, too, as Ryan Howard got busy putting on a display of defensive incompetence, letting one ball roll through his legs (Bill Buckner, were you there in spirit?) and blowing a sure double play by errantly tossing the ball over Jimmy Rollins head as if it were covered in lye.

Team Psycho was back.

Meanwhile, the Family and I got to watch future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine settle in and no-hit the Phils before Pat Burrell hit a two-run homer in the fourth to shrink the lead to 10-2. But it was already over. By then, the true entertainment value of our $136 outing was re-directed to Section 304 in the upper deck, as young hooligans wearing Mets merchandise unwisely had puffed out their feathers and challenged the angry Phillies faithful. All attention turned to this inter-city conflict, and from what I can tell, Philly out-hit New York by a 3-1 ratio. It was a pyrrhic victory, but a win nonetheless.

All of us stayed for the entire nine-inning debacle – true fans never leave a game before it’s finished – and vaguely hoped that alpaca fucker Billy Wagner would get a little work. Not a chance.


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