Sunday, July 23, 2006

Requiem For A Mascot

In a move as devastating to the region as the summer’s floodwaters, Sal Fasano was designated for assignment by the Phillies yesterday.

No longer will the Citizens Bank Park right field upper deck be populated by Sal’s Pals, the two dozen fans who tried establishing a cult around the career journeyman, now finished with his tenth franchise. The 35-year-old has vowed not to report to the Phils’ Scranton-Wilkes Barre AAA affiliate, which is a real shame. They need a good laugh after the flood.

Maybe it was the fans’ desperation to find a hero that deluded the chubby backstop into thinking he was part of the team’s solution, because to hear Sal tell it, what the Phils did was fucked up and nasty.

"I just didn't think that being outrighted is a reward for going on the DL when you didn't want to,” Sal cried. “Maybe I should have made it a little bit more known then. It just goes to show you they'd rather go with guys they just picked up than guys that were here."

If he was referring to the catchers that remain with the big team, Sal really should do a little research. There is, of course, the veteran albatross Mike Lieberthal, playing his swan song injured as his corpulent contract expires at the end of the season. And then there is Chris Coste.

Coste, a 33-year-old rookie, has been assaulting half the pitches he has seen the last month, cruising along at a .333 clip and providing timely hits in the bottom third of the order – something unheard of this season until Chollie began to give him a shot. And he wasn’t “just picked up,” either. He was signed as a minor league free agent by the Phils in 2004 – a year before Sally signed -- and all he’s done since then is produce in AAA and the majors.

Sal, on the other hand, has produced a funny fan club, 10 RBIs, a .243 average, and has a hand in the pitching staff’s National League-worst ERA. And unlike Coste, he is unable to throw out base stealers from his chronically injured knees.

Insanely, he thought the pox he has laid upon the team would last the remainder of his marginal career.

"It hurts a lot, because I finally found a home," said Fasano. “This is where I thought I might retire.”

The axing of Sally is especially notable insomuch as Team Vomit’s limited partners were recently exposed as meddling in front office affairs for years when “fan favorites” were on the verge of being released or dealt. Surely, Fasano quickly emerged in that category this season, if only because of his cool hair and Fu Manchu moustache. That’s a hell of a reason to keep a guy on a roster when your team’s 13 games behind the fucking Mets. Thankfully, it didn't happen.

Here’s hoping the deluge is coming. Is there a good reason to subject us masochists to Abe Nunez or Ryan Franklin anymore? Can’t some would-be contender be snookered into taking the pathetically ineffective Arthur Rhodes off the team’s hands?

Do it quick, Gillick. These guys don’t have fan clubs yet


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17/8/06 10:40 PM  

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