It was 8:16 last night. The passionately loyal, deep-pocketed Phillies fan crowd of 45,785 paying customers had settled into their seats on a perfect early summer night for baseball. It was the bottom of the fifth inning, and Phillies starter Cole Hamels had become slightly flustered after a balk call.
An inning before, of course, Coco Crisp had journeyed around the basepaths to give the A's a 2-1 lead.
It was time to set things straight. Time to go on an offensive tear to set all the naysayers, the skeptics, the nattering nabobs mutely down. And Dom Brown, the Phillies' poster child for offensive futility, was leading off the inning. Surely he would harness his skills, his young, quick bat, his developing, patient eye at the plate, his blazing speed, to start the next Great Offensive Asploshun in Phillies lore. Surely he could master Trevor Cahill and double the number of hits the rest of his team had to that point with one swing of the bat.
In short: It was time to be a legend.
What we were treated to, instead, was a ground ball to second baseman Jemile Weeks. And Brown? Well, he jogged. Jogged! To first! Dogged it. Lollygagged. And he heard boos for his pathetic effort. The Phillies' most prized prospect in years, Mr. Untouchable himself, got the Treatment(TM).
Oh, it matters not what his teammates did, as Brown's actions quickly spread throughout the dugout and rendered the Phillies' offense clutchless and impotent against the A's Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey, costing his handsomer staff ace another victory and a shot at this year's NL Cy Young Award. And there's no point in explaining that we've been here before, of course.
Dom Brown is officially on my 30-Day Fan DL. I will not earnestly hope for his success, mutter things like, "C'mon rook!" while watching his at-bats, or encourage my children to wear their Dom Brown No. 7 R-Phils giveaway jerseys. FOR ONE MONTH. Burn!
And I encourage you to join me in The Shunning.