The Phils Had a Crypt-o-night and What About Ster-o-mites?

I love fantasies. Before last night’s game I fantasized about donning a skin tight shirt spun of fire engine red, embossed with a superhero diamond, except instead of an S there was a huge power P for “Phillies” plastered across my padded underwire to call attention to the superpower that they are.

But even Superman had a weakness and yesterday the Phils had a crypt-o-night.

I didn’t see that coming. That game was as much a surprise as a 47-year-old spinster winning Simon Cowell’s heart or a 50 to 1 underdog taking the Kentucky Derby… No wait. It wasn’t quite like that. It was more like getting your period at the grocery store - it wasn’t pretty.

Now I haven’t done anything really significant in my life so it’s my nature to find ways to think I’m special. Like Shane continuing his personal hitting streak, I started what I like to call my own Phillies cheer, “C’mon Chase, get on base!”

Okay, a poet I’m not. And I’m also not the best singer of ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ either, but I’m undeniably the loudest. I love a sold out game, playing in the rain, or when Charlie gets thrown out of a game. Everyone has a purpose, and I can’t be a ballplayer or do one, so I’m the next best thing – I’m a fan, a passionate one.

But not a perfect one. I’ve been known to grab a Phillies rally towel to dust my furniture, so when things started to go awry last night I had to remind myself, I’m not perfect either.

Who’d have thought our defense would be reduced to a pile of errors and our offense would strand runners like the SS Minnow? And who’d have guessed Chan Ho Park would take my advice? No one takes it, that’s why I’ve turned to blogging my opinions instead of talking about them. But Chan Ho Park walked to the mound like Flattish Poe ordered him to get his act together. I hate to take credit for his great outing but I was in heaven seeing him give Johan Santana a run for his money (and that’s a lot of dough). Everything was wonderfully analogous.

Then my husband said, “Not Scott Eyre!”

Can you tell where his loyalty lies?

That’s right – with that other left-handed reliever, JC Romero. But JC took something and tested positive.

It’s not that I want to talk about this – trust me, I’ve put it off as long as I’ve procrastinated picking the fuzzies from the Velcro on my sneakers. But as with my marriage, if I can’t stop thinking about it, 'it' needs to be addressed. Like my husband says, “I’ve always got something up my…” Well, you get the gist.

So here goes. When I hear of a ballplayer who’s done something wrong, I think, “What if he was my boy?”

I talk to my child about the difference between right and wrong and believe I empower him to make informed decisions, but sometimes - like a good base runner - he misses a signal.

Now I realize Alex Rodriguez injecting steroids isn’t like catching my ten-year-old with a Playboy (or anyone’s hypothetical ten-year-old with a hypothetical girly magazine). A-Rod’s paid a lot of money under the pretense that he’ll follow the rules.

But how long ago did he make that admission? Maybe we only stopped talking about it momentarily because he had surgery. Maybe even in the media it’s uncouth to condemn a guy who’s had a sharp instrument that close to his privates.

But now it’s back. And they say women can bitch and moan. Gesh! Then my husband told me the problem is A-Rod’s steroid encounters are featured in a book written by a woman. I rest my case.

So what if Alex was my boy?

I’m his mom. By design I love, and I’m supposed to do that unconditionally. But really, what do I do when my boy brings home surprising news? Well, first I take a deep breath to remind myself I’m no angel. Then I help him clean up the mess.

I’m not disappointed in A-Rod like Jamie Moyer and company. Sure Jamie is hardworking and giving, and I love that about him, but don’t go into that whole role model thing. I don’t want to ‘be’ A-Rod, I want to ‘do’ him. Whoops was I thinking out loud?

My point is you don’t have to model yourself after him. Just take what’s useful. You don’t have to be Charlie Manuel and raise your siblings, survive cancer, or have your own bobblehead to be great. Just take his advice – don’t get too big for your britches.

Be your own role model or better yet, be your kid’s role model. You, yourself, be diligent, set non-negotiable goals; persevere with devotion, and believe in yourself. Jamie would probably make a great role model but I like to remind myself that when I’m pointing the finger (not the fowl one), there’s three pointing back at me.

I look at A-Rod’s indiscretion as an example of what not to do. And I’ve learned to be careful - people tend to band together more for a common enemy than for a common cause. I believe it’s simply my cause to withhold judgment because I’m sure the MLB has the MLB’s best interest at heart. It’s how they make their living.

So whether A-Rod should be punished, Pete Rose should stay banned, Roger Clemens should be stripped (I’d watch!), or JC’s suspension was unjust, I say just clean it up and move on. It hasn’t tainted anything for me except the taste of those dollar dogs. I just can’t get them down. Remember, life’s too short to drive an ugly truck.

So no matter what controversy arises in the MLB, I will look at it through my candy-coated lenses. As for Barry, Roger, Alex, JC, and now Manny, punish me and punish me good, I’ve been a bad girl. Let’s kiss and make out, I mean, make up.

The moral of the story is, I love baseball – no if’s, and’s, or butts (and there are some fine ones). So when JC Romero walks to the mound in June, I’ll be the babe in section 145 who just can’t stop cheering.


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