Celebrating losing is always a touchy thing. There are plenty of Phillie fans who don't share the glee that fans at the Park last night had for loss #10,000. Enrico of The 700 Level is one of them and since he is the man for all things Philly, we'll give him his say.
I don't like how the fans at CBP tonight were cheering when the Phillies lost. You don't do that.
That's a fair view. No matter the historical impact of a loss, it's never something you should feel chuffed about. He also echoes what I wrote earlier about the fans being the ones who really deserve a celebration. I feel the same way about my fellow Jet fans. Say all you want for turning the other cheek when you get slapped but Jet fans stand up straight after getting kicked in the groin for years on end and put their faith in a quarterback who throws like a girl. There's nothing easier than rooting for a winning team but there's nothing to take away from it. Rooting for the Phillies or the Jets or the dozens of other not-so-lovable losers can actually impact the kind of person you are. They say you find out what kind of friends you have when the chips are down and the same is true of fans.
That's why I'm conflicted about something from the AP report on yesterday's 10-2 Cardinal win in Philadelphia. Ryan Howard made the last out of the game and the ball ended up with St. Louis manager Tony La Russa.
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said he had the ball from the final out and would auction if off, with the money going toward his animal rescue foundation.
"That ball is history," he said. "It's nothing to be ashamed about."
On the one hand this seems like a great way to use money raised for a piece of memorabilia from a loss. Animals that are mistreated are a lot like fans of losing teams. They don't ask for much more than love and respect from the people who take care of them and all too often they receive pain and suffering instead. Like dogs, fans keep coming back for more no matter how many times they get the short end of the stick so using something to help another downtrodden group is a fitting tribute.
On the other hand, though, the ball should be the property of those fans who keep supporting the Phillies through all the down times. Perhaps it should go to the season ticket holder who has had his or her tickets for the longest time. They could have it as a memento of the years spent rooting for a team that's had their share of troubles and it would be a testament to the best kind of friend a team or person could ever ask for. Or they could blow it up the way the Cubs fans did with the Bartman ball as a way to shake the mojo of 125 years. Maybe it should go to Cooperstown to be appreciated by all baseball fans as a duel reminder of the longevity of both baseball and fandom in Philadelphia. I'm pretty sure it shouldn't belong to Tony La Russa though.
Perhaps the best of both worlds would be if a diehard Phillie fan purchased the ball at auction so that the suffering of two groups could be assuaged at the same time.
(AP Photo/George Widman)