15 07 2007

I headed back out to the ballpark tonight, and the Phillies obliged(?) by finally(?) losing the franchise’s 10,000th game. Fittingly enough, I suppose, it was a blowout: Cardinals 10, Phillies 2.

Yes, the Dubious Distinction, being the first American pro sports franchise to lose so many games in its history, has been reached.

For the record, I was actually rooting for the Phillies to win. I swear! If they’d won tonight, their 10,000th loss surely would’ve happened on the road trip that begins tomorrow…and I wouldn’t have felt bad about missing the, er, landmark game in Los Angeles or San Diego. But since the 10,000th loss happened right here, I’m glad I was in attendance for it. It’s a good story to tell.

The Cardinals’ offense was definitely humming tonight. Albert Pujols homered twice, and four other Cards hit it out of the park. Most of those home runs came off Phillies reliever Brian Sanches, but the game was long past competitive by the time he appeared in seventh inning. Adam Eaton, who started for the Phils but didn’t last five innings, pitched like hell just didn’t have good stuff. Sigh.

I sat out in left field, with the scoreboard over my right shoulder (I’m going to have a crick in my neck tomorrow), in Section 147. I really enjoyed the perspective. I got a real sense of the defense, and I wasn’t as fixated on balls-and-strikes as I sometimes am. And I had a great view of the backsides of outfielders Aaron Rowand and Pat Burrell. Sometime soon, I’m going to write a gay man’s guide to baseball, and Burrell’s butt is—naturally enough—going to figure prominently. It’s a shame, by the way, that Burrell’s posterior was the best part of his game tonight, as it is on so many nights. He just doesn’t have good range in the outfield, and more than one of the Cardinals’ early runs seemed attributable to his inadequacies on defense….

It was a gorgeous evening. By the time the game started at 6:05 p.m., the July heat had given way just enough to be pleasant. I felt alive, right down to the tips of my fingers. (No, I don’t know why I wrote that. My fingertips don’t usually feel dead.)

I’m glad I went.  And I’m sorry the Phillies lost.  Really!




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