As rough as yesterday was at the ballpark, that’s how good today was. I walked into the Administrative Offices before the game, and asked the receptionist DeDe Angelillis for a piece of paper. Told her that I wanted to write a thank you note to let them know how helpful Joe K was in handling the disturbance in our section yesterday. She was all smiles, because her office usually fields complaints and much less often gets to share good news. With only 16 games on the home schedule, each one is too precious to be ruined by abusive fans. Verbal abuse doesn’t have to be foul language; it can be targeted obnoxiousness, as was the case yesterday.
What a difference a day makes. Today our section was populated by polite Phillies fans, beginning with chants for Chooch though he didn’t start behind home plate. See the blond-haired young woman in the row in front of the Chooch sign? Interesting family.
She was there with her brother, who is an aspiring young catcher, and her Dad. Her name is Sandi and she’s from Philadelphia. I know this not because I asked, but because it was announced to the whole stadium. You see, #31 on the list of Top 48 Reasons to follow the Phils to Florida is that Dan McDonough is known to pick contestants for “Let’s Make A Deal” who are easy on the eyes. This isn’t just my observation, mind you. It has been reported elsewhere. Knowing this, Sandi from Phildaelphia flagged Dan McDonough down before the game and asked if she qualified to be a contestant. As you might have guessed, the answer was yes. So here she is, playing Let’s Make A Deal, though I couldn’t get a good shot because her proud father elbowed me out for a better camera angle.
There was a nice pre-game today, by the way, starring some old Phils. Two first pitches were tossed out, one by Dick Allen and the other by Dave Cash. Allen’s catcher was his son, and Cash’s battery mate was a decent ballplayer named Michael Jack Schmidt.
Let me tell ya, Allen and Cash are still in great shape! As the game got underway, Cash took a seat one aisle over from me and Coop, where he was subsequently interviewed by Phils broadcast man-about-town, Greg Murphy.
It really was a beautiful day, in so many baseball ways. I left in the 7th to beat the traffic as the game got sluggish, and the Phils n’ Bucs headed into the bottom of the 10th tied at 4. Michael Dubee came on in relief for the Pirates, son of Phils pitching coach Rich Dubee. Boom! Walk off homer into the bullpen by Luis Montanez. I’m sure Daddy Dubee is proud of his son, though it was a tough finish for him today. Chances aren’t good of Mike making it to the majors. Then again, Rich toiled in obscurity in the Kansas City farm system, compiling a sub .500 minor league pitching record, and never making it to the majors. Now look who he coaches! Only the third rotation in major league history to have three of its starters in the top 5 for Cy Young voting in the same year.