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Kratz for the Memories

Everybody Kratz your hands... one last time.

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE


It doesn't rhyme with "claps." But we said it anyway.

Why? Because that's what Erik Kratz did to us. He scrambled our brains to the point that "rhyming" became too complex of a notion. Who was he? We don't know. Where did he come from? There's no clues. But now, he's gone... exchanged for a middle of the pack reliever with nothing left to lose but his mind.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We actually do know who Kratz is, and where he came from. These are all very normal, easy thing to find out. That this opening contains such gaping informational holes makes me wary of the rest of the post.

Let us, then, reflect on the many roles Erik Kratz served while in a Phillies uniform.

Table setter for Freddy Galvis

"Are Galvis and Kratz the new power combo in Philly?" we asked, and no amount of confused glances or worried calls from parents would sway us otherwise. These two had done something the world had never seen - hit two home runs, consecutively, off the fastest thrower in baseball. If Aroldis Chapman was a little leaguer, he'd be the 6-foot tall fifth grader whose hat was so small it wouldn't stay on his head, and whose father was always being shushed by the other parents and that one time, the police.

But there were Galvis and Kratz, battering Major League Baseball's version of the Kid Who is Clearly Too Old For This League; Come On, Larry, Just Sign Your Kid Up for One of the Older Leagues. And from that day forward, we knew: there was something special happening in Philly.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Who "asked that?" Was it you? It was you, wasn't it. I'm going to do a Twitter search and it will have been you.]

Kyle Kendrick's rock to lean on

Kyle Kendrick has been one thing for the Phillies during his career: hit with baseballs. Sometimes those baseballs are baseballs of emotion, like when Brett Myers pegged him with that "You've been traded to Japan" prank. Other times, they are literal baseballs, hit very hard by a bat.

And it was none other than Erik Kratz behind the plate the night, the emotional cushion for Kyle's physical bruises. We'll never know what Kyle was saying; some say it was as simple as "OW!" while others believe he chose that moment to do his extremely intense cat impression. But whatever he said, we do know he trusted only one man to hear it: Erik Kratz.

Who would he have turned to otherwise? Chooch? He's terrible. Why do you think everyone boos him so relentlessly, especially when he does good things? Because they despise his success, his sinister smile, his poisonous attitude. Phillies fans are smarter than anyone realizes, and there's no greater evidence of this than their hatred of Carlos Ruiz.


Turkey bacon advocate

Cartoon animals aren't just for people who drink too much cough medicine and then decide to write a Phillies blog post anymore.

This will be one of the sadder aftereffects of the Kratz trade... watching some no-name Phillie inherit the cherished Godschall's turkey bacon ad campaign. You can just picture opening day in Philadelphia, Tom McCarthy smiling through a recap of the previous season while we all taste vomit in the back of our throats and Chris Wheeler chases a butterfly with his eyes. Then, fade out to the first commercial break, and who stands there addressing a cartoon turkey dressed like a pig but... Brad Lincoln?!

"Um, hello," he says, making frequent, awkward eye contact with the camera that they probably just should have gotten rid of with another take. But there's not time. This is the alternative meat market - stand still for too long and the next thing you know, it's you in the grinder.

"You must be that pitcher for Philadelphia!" the turkey will say with that doofiness that charmed an entire Delaware Valley one magical summer.

"Hi, yes," Brad will reply, clueless. It's a lot hotter under these lights than you thought, isn't it, Brad? Schmuck. This commercial is ruined!!

And weeks later, as Godschall's turkey bacon factory burns to the ground, it will be Brad Lincoln holding the gas canister and weeping, the lifeless body of a tiny cartoon turkey in his pocket.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Oh my god, I don't even know where to... are you saying they put people into meat grinders if commercials take too long to... WHY DO YOU HAVE ACCESS TO PUBLIC FORUMS]

Tyler Moore-withstander

Now I don't know about you, but the best part of baseball is when a catcher is utterly destroyed, physically. It brings back sense of mindless blood lust that kept gladiators in business for so long. Scientists agree that collisions at the plate are what keep baseball interesting. Endless reports have confirmed this.

Kratz wasn't going to miss out on an opportunity to take part in one of baseball's most spectacular, necessary plays. When he saw Tyler Moore's weird, tiny body rounding third, he was already tasting blood. And not just because he had bitten through his own tongue in anticipation, which he has never denied.

The throw came in, requiring a bit of handling before Kratz turned to his adversary, and in a split second experienced only by Kratz and Moore, they locked eyes, and Kratz's pupils burst until the whites of his eyes went black and he blasted the Nationals' utility ballfielder with fury of the demons squealing inside him.

Tyler Moore never played baseball again, and instead went to live in the mountains somewhere, spending the rest of his days in a rural bar being known as the "weird guy who mutters about how he saw the devil once and is repeatedly wakes up screaming after passing out on the bar."

[EDITOR'S NOTE: I am happy to report that Tyler Moore is alive and well and will be playing baseball this season for the Washington Nationals like a normal, sane person with no brain problems.]

Victim of Dom Brown and Kevin Frandsen's shenanigans

Every team needs a pain sponge, and that was Kratz's principal job on the IronPigs. His teammates would make messes... and Kratz would soak them up.

Channeling the same energy as when he broke Tyler Moore, even though that happened after this, Kratz stood in the box, well aware of the trickery at play. Kevin Frandsen had been shouting from the dugout, Dom Brown had just connected on a bomb and fancy-pants'd around the bases. And the Braves teach their players to be as prickly and awful as possible at all times, so everyone knew where this was headed.

Kratz took one for the team that night, and when he got home, quietly logged that Gwinnett Braves' pitcher's name in his revenge book. Chances are, he'll never meet that pitcher on a warm night at home plate, when his turns are turning black. So 'ol Kratzy will have to find... another way.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: There is no evidence that any of this happened, or that Erik Kratz is 'an empty husk of flesh, puppeted by the darkness of the underworld' which are words I just deleted from this post after my young son read them over my shoulder and began sobbing.]