Saturday, June 17, 2006

Abandoning All Hope

Despite my deeply irreligious nature, I do harbor superstitions and believe in magical gnomes and space aliens.

With that in mind, and my Little Red Phillies Book tucked in the back pocket of my People’s Revolutionary Army trousers, I headed to My Corner Bar to change the Phillies’ run of bad luck.

Maybe I should never have renounced The Baltimore Catechism, because Team Vomit got ass-raped again last night, 10-4, the dynastic Devil Rays playing the parish priest to these altar boys. Again, the details were the same – get behind early, surrender soon thereafter – as Cole Hamels, the alleged Savior, played the part of the Anti-Christ for the fans.

It had been a month since I had watched a game at the bar, and it was revelatory. There are some hardcore Phillies fans that are evidently there every night. They sounded as if they had lost their faith.

“There goes the game in the first inning again,” I said to an ambivalently friendly, old leprechaun sitting next to me.

“I’m a Mets fan,” he said, an obvious change in his allegiance from weeks ago. “The Phillies suck.”

By the time it was 7-0 in the 5th inning, The Stat Man came in. He’s a virtual walking baseball encyclopedia, and goes back far enough to remember the Whiz Kids.

“So what’s wrong with the Phils?” I asked him, fully expecting a statistical evaluation and historical comparison. But it wasn’t forthcoming.

Fuck the Phillies,” he said. “When do the Iggles start training?”

And, of course, there was My Bartender, who attended his first game at Yankee Stadium in April. As the Rays piled up the runs, he just shook his head and cranked up the jukebox. The good news for him is that he’s probably slinging more drinks to assuage the pain – baseball and otherwise.

But the worst news for Dave Montgomery and the rest of the intellectual bottom-feeders that own and run this team is that after their sold-out Yankees and Red Sox series, there’s going to be a lot of empty blue seats. This is not a guess. I know enough people who attend on a regular basis to accurately gauge interest is descending quickly in watching this roster of failures flail away and flounder in the standings.

Father’s Day is tomorrow, and I will be watching from the easy chair in my living room. My Co-Defendant will be at the game. It will be the last he attends this season. Wrote my old friend in an e-mail:

What a mess this Phillies team is, eh? For fuck’s sake, they get swept by the fucking Mets. They are truly pathetic. Unfortunately, my Mom bought tickets for Sunday so my brother and I could go to the game with my Dad. Not that I don't want to hang with my Dad, it's having to be at a Phillies game while doing so that ain't so appealing. At least they're giving hats away. That should be the last game I see at CBP this year.

If Pat Gillick isn’t already reading this – and why wouldn’t he? He’s got to be a masochist, too – maybe I’ll forward that message to him. I’m sure I’ll get a chuckle from the canned response.


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