The Philadelphia Phillies put on a rare offensive display in the first inning of last night’s game against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park.
Apr 10, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown (9) gets congratulations from first baseman Ryan Howard (6) after hitting a three-run home run against the New York Mets in the first inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
With two runners on, outfielder Domonic Brown added to a 2-0 lead with a mammoth home run to the upper deck in right field. Brown, a former top prospect and struggling fringe player whose 2013 season is predicted to be a breakout year, carried his bat with him down the first base line, then flipped it to the side in an act of egregious cockiness, well over the legal limit.
The crowd, which moments before had been cheering in jubliant celebration, fell deathly silent, the only sound being the wooden bar softly landing on the grass.
“I couldn’t believe what I saw,” said Phillies fan Damien Alderbrush of Norristown. “It was literally the worst thing that has ever happened on a baseball field. Seriously.” Removing his cap, he wiped cold sweat off his brow. “I used to believe in things, man.”
The bat flip – one of, if not the worst act of aggression in modern society – cast a pall on the rest of what had been a gleeful victory.
“How are we supposed to be happy about something as trivial as a ‘win’ when somebody is holding onto a baseball bat a little longer than normal in quiet celebration of a big hit?” asked second baseman Chase Utley in an uncharaceristically outspoken interview. Utley had called reporters over to his locker after the game, even shouting to several who hadn’t heard the first time.
“I had no involvement in the bat flip, whatsoever,” he assured everyone. “I want to say that to the fans: I would burn a PSPCA shelter to the ground before engaging in an act so brazenly awful and widely victimizing as a bat flip after a home run.”
His words were interrupted by the sound of Ben Revere vomiting at his locker. “Oh god,” Revere muttered, embarrassed. “They told me Philly was different, but I… I…”
He continued vomiting for some time.
After the game, the bat laid there, on the grass, where it had landed after the initial flipping. The players and coaches had avoided it as if it were a diseased object, rather than a normal MLB bat that had been carried down the first base line a bit and then tossed casually due to a player’s newfound confidence; an act hundreds of players have done before.
Apr 10, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jeremy Hefner (53) reacts after Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Domonic Brown (9) hit a three-run home run in the first inning Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
“Oh, I wasn’t touching that,” Charlie Manuel reported in a press conference. “I’m sure that will be dealt with internally. Amaro came down to the dugout in the middle of the game and told me to take Brown out of the game. I told him I would, but I didn’t want the cameras to catch me interacting with him whatsoever, regardless of context. Amaro said he understood completely.”
Manuel went on to say that the Phillies’ bat boy explained through a veil of tears that his mother demanded he quit his job, as she couldn’t have him working in a toxic, ruinous environment.
“He couldn’t stop crying,” Manuel said. “It was really bad.”
The biggest victims, of course, were the children, many of whom were in attendance while countless others watched at home on TV.
“My son asked me if that’s how babies are made,” reported Claudia Wilcox of Lansdale. “What am I supposed to say? I just smiled and nodded. It was so grotesque and intrusive… I felt like Dom Brown had kicked my front door in and been really confident all over the inside of my house.”
“When will baseball take action against this disgusting act, that is really a huge deal that everyone needs to talk and care about? When, I ask you, when?”
Brown himself showered and left without talking to reporters, as if he hadn’t just disgraced himself and the game in just one brief moment of unfathomable arrogance.
In this young baseball season, it is this reporter’s opinion that a bat flip not only mars the game, but puts a distinct black mark on Dom Brown, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the city of Philadelphia. It was an act of outward, horrifying aggression that should move past instant replay and PED abuse as the priority of the comissioner’s office to end forever. I can honestly say that this is not a dumb thing that people make a big deal out of for no reason – Dom Brown should be put in jail for his actions last night.
The Mets, also victimized by the travesty, were too stunned to retaliate or address the matter in any way.