The "Outta Leftfield" Weblog

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hu really is on first

Jeez, I hope it wasn’t my fault. I finally got to my first Phillies game Tuesday evening. Up to that point, the home team was a perfect 3-0 to start the season. So I show up and everything goes to Hades in a handbag.
Among the things that went wrong: Pitcher Cole Hamels stunk up the joint; it was cold; the Phillies didn’t hit much with runners in scoring position; it was really cold; the New York Mutts, uh . . . I mean Mets, did just about everything right, especially third baseman David Wright, who had four hits, two RBIs and two runs scored; and it was colder than a witch’s watoosie.

(The accompanying video provides some of the sights and sounds of what was my 2011 Opening Day at the ballpark.)
When there’s nothing much to cheer about, I try to think up alternative things for which to root, root, root. Since the Phillies weren’t providing many options, I decided to cheer for:
(1) My hands to stay warm.
(2) My feet to stay warm.
(3) My hind end to stay warm.
All of which were as cold as the Phillies bats seemed to be in the frigid temperatures. Move along pal, nothing to cheer for here.
Fortunately, the Mets provided me with a more interesting distraction. In the fifth inning, Mets manager Terry Collins replaced second baseman Brad Emaus with Chin-lung Hu, which immediately prompted me to ask myself, “What’s Hu doing on second? I thought Hu was on first.”
Another of the things I do to enjoy the ballgame is keep a scorecard, which I’ve done since I was a kid. Over the years, that has kind of made me the unofficial stat guy for my section. Oftentimes I’ve been asked by those sitting near me how many strikeouts a certain pitcher has or how many hits a certain hitter has at that point in the game.
The Mets new second baseman, who had entered the game in the fifth, batted in the sixth and singled up the middle. The Phillies fan sitting behind apparently had missed the lineup change.
“What’s the guy’s name on first?” he said after tapping me on the shoulder.
“The guy on first?”
“The guy who just got the base hit?”
While I was amused by the whole exchange, I thought it best not to push it any further. Phillies fans aren’t exactly known for their patience and I didn’t want to take a chance of getting wacked upside the head by a guy who thought I was messing with him.
I finally had to show him my scorecard on which I had written Hu’s name.
“Oh, right,” he said.
No, he’s on third.

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Location: Fort Washington, Pennsylvania

Mike Morsch has been executive editor of Montgomery Newspapers since 2003. His award-winning humor column "Outta Leftfield" has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Suburban Newspapers of America and the Philadelphia Press Association.

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