My dad was in town visiting this last weekend, and I took showing him the town very seriously. NO SLOW WALKING ALLOWED (I may have kept us on a pretty tight schedule; sorry, Dad). We toured Independence Hall, visited the Liberty Bell, explored the pretty streets of Old City and Center City, ate at hip brunch places where we clearly didn’t belong, walked the University of Pennsylvania campus, and, perhaps most importantly, attended a Phillies game.
It was a Sunday afternoon game, on a day when the weather report correctly predicted “abundant sunshine.” Our seats were up high with other father-kid duos and some of the less die-hard (read: cheap) fans. We drank sodas and ate popcorn as we laughed and cheered at the bongo cam, the kiss cam (sponsored by PhilliesSingles.com), and the Phillies Phanatic dancing with some teachers to the tune of the Beach Boys’ “Be True to Your School.” In the eighth inning we were ahead by three runs, and everyone was happy. I kept reminding my dad, who, as you may recall, lives overseas, that this was the best of America.
And then the Phillies pulled in a closing pitcher for the last inning, and it all went to crap. He gave up four runs in the top of the ninth, and the Phillies fans turned on him with a vengeance. The pitcher, Jonathan Papelbon, lost his cool (which is, apparently, not unusual), made a lewd gesture at the crowd which involved his swimsuit area and then got in a fight with the umpire. The next day the Phillies announced that he would be suspended for seven games. The umpire was suspended for one.
It started all joyous and family-friendly, and it ended with Papelbon in disgrace and Chase Utley striking out while looking, leaving two batters stranded on base with no where to go. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
P.S. I only got one picture from the weekend, this one from Saturday when we went up to New York.