Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Of Pigs And Gladiators

For some reason, I found myself watching “Gladiator” the other night, the day before Phillies Unlimited Idiot General Partner Bill Giles, returning from Italy, the setting of the movie, said the team’s alleged wife-beating pitcher was “trying to help her get back to the hotel.”

The whole thing was a big misunderstanding, he said, implying what Brett Myer’s victimized wife and four eyewitnesses told the police was a pack of lies.

No need to replay the whole back-and-forth, hem-and-haw and regurgitation Team Puke Managing General Moron Dave Montgomery tried in spinning what Giles said into a big misunderstanding, too. Just assume both these guys take the fans as stooges.

It would be fair to assume Les Invisibles -- the inbred group of bluebloods that own the rest of the franchise – view the fan base as Commodus thought the Roman mob at the Coliseum: Crazy, bloodthirsty hedonists looking for a daily bacchanal to enliven and amuse their base instincts. For our modern masters, certainly only an unclean, uncouth brood descended from enslaved barbarians would be sucker enough to fund a stadium for their profit.

Alas, their richly-compensated gladiators have failed miserably this year, and the year before, and the year before that since the new Coliseum was erected. Now the barbarians, to the owners' shock, are screaming for heads. Their heads.

As they see it, the modern forum for the "crazy" loudmouthed masses to vent their bile is talk radio and other mass media. Giles said as much in his fateful interview with reporters before the All-Star game Monday. He must view the Internet as the work of the devil. There’s no seven-second delay here, and better, no “owner” telling you to assume your readers are chowder-eating grannies.

Many years ago, I wrote a story for a “family” newspaper about one of the slaughterhouses that make scrapple, the inimitably Philadelphian breakfast delicacy with ingredients of pig heart, pig liver, pig tail, pig lip and pig snout, among other viscera. The plant is not a sight for the faint of heart. The pictures accompanying the story were gruesome.

They did, however, depict the truth. And the words wrapped around the hanging, gutted pigs succinctly described their fate.

It took about a day to get all the approvals needed from On High to run the pictures, and the photos were critical, because this was a cover story for a tabloid insertion in the broadsheet newspaper to which the aforementioned chowder-eaters subscribed.

Would people never know how scrapple was made if the story never ran? Of course not. Anybody could find out if they wanted to see for themselves. But the story took people to a place they might have never have thought to have gone, or had the time to do so.

The Brett Myers public wife-beating arrest has involuntarily exposed the public face of the ownership – Montgomery and Giles -- innards and all. Like scrapple or hot dog lovers, Phillies fans might not have ever wanted to see how the cooks made the product. Now for our mid-summer’s pleasure, there are Monty and Giles, hanging with all the dignity of a slaughtered swine on a meat hook.

Now the hungry hordes want more flesh to hang - or at the very least, somebody from Les Invisibles to disown their idiot stepchildren who interface with the customers.

Here’s a heads up, Billy boy. When you call fans “crazy” for expressing their displeasure with your suckass joke of a team, and then deny violent criminal charges “never happened” with the clear certainty of a true believer, you should fear the masses and stay out of the Coliseum. Bullshit smells the same in Villanova as it does in Tacony. When you say -- at age 71 -- you will never sell your share of the team as long as you are alive, you should hope the other shareholders or creditors don’t end your run with the modern day equivalents of assassination, the hostile takeover or cash call. If that doesn’t happen, here’s hoping your heirs hate baseball and sell.

If anything, old man, you should be grateful that you can take the pulse of your customers anytime of the day and take the good advice of people who know a helluva lot more about baseball – as opposed to generating millions in borrowed wealth – than you do. Boycotts are already being arranged, Billy boy, as if the second half of this season didn’t portend empty seats a-plenty. Judging from what all the “crazy” fans are saying, there are legions more who have decided to stay away after your idiocy this week.

Unlike a good hunk of scrapple, your product is indigestible.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.

12/8/06 9:48 AM  

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