I’m a day late in posting this, because I was just downright exhausted when I got home last night, but I was at the stadium for yesterday’s narrow, exciting win over the Mets. The game ended controversially, with an interference call giving the Phillies their final out and preventing a Mets pinch runner from scoring the tying run from third base.
At the ballpark, I was puzzled. From Section 302, it wasn’t even clear to me that the second base umpire had called interference on Marlon Anderson, the Mets runner. And, of course, there were no TV announcers making everything clear with words and instant replay angles. Plus, from the perspective I had, Anderson’s slide didn’t look all that unusual. On the replays (there’s one accessible on the page I linked above), you can see the case for an interference call, although—in all honesty—it’s probably a call I wouldn’t have made. After all, even if Anderson hadn’t slid toward second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, there just wasn’t a double play to be had on a good throw by Iguchi to first.
I confess that I was also distracted during the play. Sometime during the ninth inning, a fight broke out in my section. It seemed like nothing at first, and then there were a few punches, and then, suddenly, there were a dozen-plus ushers/security guards separating two different groups of angry, drunken jerks. I went to the game with a buddy from work, and neither of us saw the fight coming. Sure, there’s always some tension at the park when the Mets are in town (for one thing, there are always a lot of Mets fans in the park). But there just hadn’t been any particular taunting going back in forth in our section. Some of these guys were getting arrested, I’m sure.
(For all those Philly haters out there, I want to stress that the ballpark isn’t usually like that. Sure, fights break out at Eagles games, but Phillies games are usually not like that. When the Mets are in town, though, the park just feels different.)
By the way, the Phils beat the Mets again today, 11-10, in a crazy game. That’s a four-game sweep of the Mets. Maybe the heat’s getting to me, but I think the Phillies may actually just make a legitimate run for the playoffs this September. Wow.