As a Philadelphian, I am naturally aroused by D-cell batteries. I do not understand why. I wake up with handfuls of them in my sheets; which sounds weird, but its been going on for so many years, I don’t even really notice. So when a local journalist makes mention of our regional, terrifying past in that regard, I just blink at it and move on. But not everybody can do that. Some people have deadlines to meet and nothing to meet them with.
I would go to the Vet as a kid, and my relatives would say, “Let’s hate J.D. Drew. Can you believe he doesn’t want to play for us? The ’97-2000 Phillies? Danny Tartabull once played three games here. What else could you possibly ask for.”
And I was like, “Hey, I’m a young child full of hate. Gotta put it somewhere before the neighbors’ pets start disappearing.”
This did not justify throwing batteries. That is why only two guys threw them that night; at the “What Terrible Things Will Philly Fans Do” weekly summit, we had all agreed that booing viciously and some strategic sign-making would be enough.
In 1997, there was only so much you could do to vent frustration during a horrible year. There wasn’t even a vast blogosphere to scream into. So when the front office thought they could inexplicably tackle the sinister Scott Boras, failed, and we lost out on J.D. Drew, we booed. We booed like a trapped animal snarls. Because what the hell else could we do. Back then we were actually booing J.D. Drew himself, but these days it’s more like we’re booing what he represented—as a young phenom, he did not want to come here, and he had every right not to. His decision, sadly, made him not just the epitome of that dark period, but the corrosive buffoonery of the front office.
If we boo him now, its because he’s a bookmark on that shit-stained page of our history. Is that fair? Hell no. But it’s not like he comes to the plate with tears in his eyes when it happens. He probably doesn’t even hear it anymore. Its a cultural reference being slowly erased by the sands of time that younger fans do not understand.
We also booed his brother Stephen. We did that because it was funny.
The battery thing is over; it happened, it sucked, and its far enough away now that we can address it historically or satirically without it happening again. I guess we’ll try to restrain ourselves from hurling batteries 12 years after the fact, confining the action solely to our wondrous dreamscape, in which Citizens Bank Park security waves in fan after fan carrying cardboard boxes full of D-cell Philadelphia fandom. Thanks for the reminder, Craig Calceterra. We needed it. Because this is Philadelphia.