Twas the night before Christmas, when all over the field,
Not a player was stirring, as the 2015 season had been sealed.
The bats were stacked in the clubhouse with care,
In hopes that a winning season someday would be there.
The Phillies were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of trophies danced in their heads.
And Pete Mackanin, with a managerial contract tucked under his cap,
Had just settled down for a long off-season nap.
When outside of his house, there arose such a clatter,
Pete sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window he stumbled, half asleep,
Having woke from a nightmare of a 2015 repeat.
The man in the moon stared down in discontent,
As he wondered what the crazy Ken Giles trade really meant.
When what to his weary eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh filled with many kegs of beer.
With many little pint glasses, so shiny and thick,
He knew in a moment, this would do the trick.
More rapid than the trade deadline, forward all the new no-name players came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and attempted to call them by name!
“Now, Marion! I mean Morton! Now, wait, what was your name?!
Hey, old guy! Hey, player I’ve never heard of! Why are you here?!
To the top the roster! To the bottom of the league!
Now run away! Run away! And have a drink on me!”
And then, in a twinkling, Pete heard, “Should I pitch or just warm the bench?!”
From the shouting of drunken, no-name players recently dug out of a trench.
As he drew in his head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney, Phanta Claus came with a bound.
He was dressed all in pinstripes, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
With a bundle of coal baseballs he had flung on his back,
It looked a lot like it may be time for some fans to deliver payback.
Phanta Claus spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Handing out balls to the fans, who have grown tired of players not doing their homework.
And with thunderous joy, the fans tossed the balls,
And yelled, “Practice! Please, practice! Before this team hits another wall!”
Phanta Claus then sprang to the sleigh, and to the team and fans gave a call,
“Hang in there everyone, pretty soon, I think we will have better baseball!”
But they heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
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Photo from http://www.csnphilly.com/
The Phillies held their annual Holiday Sale this weekend at the ballpark and as usual, it was an interesting event. Phillies Charities holds the event each year, selling game-used merchandise, autographed items, left over programs and books, photos, etc… Although, this year was not nearly as crowded as last year because of the World Series loss.
This means less money for Phillies Charities, which is sad. In fact, the people selling many of the charity items were actually haggling to get rid of merchandise. A Scott Eyre signed jersey marked $125 went for $100 after the buyer decided $125 was too much and decided to walk away. Now that is something I have never seen in all the years I have attended. But plenty of other items raked in big bucks, like game used bats, balls, street banners and empty Champagne bottles from the playoff celebrations.
I picked out a locker name plate grab bag for $30 and wound up with Carlos Ruiz, Miguel Cairo and Mick Billmeyer (bullpen coach). The Ruiz plate was worth the $30, so I was happy with that. I have also been working on a collection of signed 2008 World Series balls and am trying to get every player on the team. But some players who have gone, like So Taguchi, may be impossible to get now. So I decided to try to buy a Taguchi signed regular ball, which they had a box of there, but by the time I got up front in the line, they were sold out. Yes folks, an entire box of Taguchi signed balls, gone. Did everyone else have the same idea I had or are there just huge numbers of Taguchi fans out there that I do not know about? I can tell you, he was not popular here in Philly at all, so I thought that was a bit weird. Maybe because they were only $5 people didn’t care who signed it ;o)
While there were not any players there, everyone did have a chance to meet with broadcasters Tom McCarthy and Chris Wheeler, who was signing his new book, “View From the Booth.” I think Dickie Noles was there too, but I did not see him. And Milt Thompson was scheduled to sign copies of a hitting DVD he put out later that day. I ran into Tom in the clubhouse store and chatted with him for a while, then got my book signed by Chris. Here I am below with Wheels, plus a shot of a Holiday tree and Phanta Claus, who was entertaining the kids:
It was a dreary day outside, which may have kept some shoppers home. Rain, slush and snow also dampened the Philadelphia Santa Claus parade, which made its way around the ballpark with fire engines, sirens and bright lights, although the only people silly enough to be outside were those of us waiting in line to get into the Holiday Sale. Not sure if the Phillies tree lighting went off as planned as I cut out early, but here is a photo of the tree taken from inside the Hall of Fame club:
I also walked around the concourse a bit to see what the off-season ballpark looked like. Turns out, they wrap the mobile concession stands with giant tubes of Saran Wrap. This is either to protect them from the elements, or the stands have been put on some weird plastic wrap weight-loss plan:
Maybe they can shrink the prices while they are at it? Just a thought ;o)
So, did anyone else go to the sale? What did you think about it? Feel free to comment below :O)