My parents came to the majority of my little league games as a kids, so I always had to explain to them how much better I was on nights when they couldn’t make it. I may strike out three or four times, pop-out to myself (don’t ask), and scream myself hoarse after a fifth strike out when they were rooting me on from their lawn chairs, but I positively crushed it every time work ran late or my sisters needed to be picked up. It was uncanny.
I’d hop in the car, narrating epic sagas of on base heroics, grand slam home runs, and breaking the record for most unassisted triple plays in a row (four). And because they weren’t there, they couldn’t just tell me I was remembering it wrong or blocking stuff out again or didn’t have a firm grasp of “…how baseball is played.”
It was so weird. That’s why its a bit of vindication to know that professional athletes suffer the same sort of condition. The Reading Phillies just finished losing nine of their last eleven games, including a seven game losing streak. Manager Mark Parent explained why the coming road trip will help:
“Guys aren’t in front of their girlfriends or wives or family when we’re on the road.”
The vacation is brief, as the R-Phils are back in town by Thursday for a brand new collection of shameful performances in front of increasingly humiliated relatives. The stadium employees are boycotting free giveaways until the team is respectable again.