Now that it’s 2022, we’ve got a plethora of Phillies news to discuss!
Just kidding, there’s still a lockout going on with no end in sight. On the “bright” side, by the time the season eventually starts, the Omicron variant will have probably burned itself out. So, we might have fewer COVID-related absences, even considering the Phillies’ players’ less-than-enthusiastic attitude regarding vaccinations.
Or we’ll be on to the Rho variant which is not only vaccine-resistant, but actually turns the vaccine into poison. If that happens, then all of a sudden, I like the Phillies’ chances to finally return to the postseason.
Another Phillies brawl
Since last week’s look back at a Phillies-Mets brawl was so much fun, I decided to search YouTube for some other Phillies brawls from the past. I came across this incident between the Phillies and Braves from 1999.
Paul Byrd had some command issues in 1999, leading the league with 17 hit batters. It seemed he was really fond of hitting Braves catcher Eddie Perez, having plunked him for the second time that week.
Perez tried to take his frustrations out on Phillies second baseman Marlon Anderson by basically running him over at second base. Why would you pick on Marlon Anderson like that, Eddie? Marlon never hurt nobody! (Something I learned today: Anderson had a 12-year Major League career. I thought he flamed out of the league quickly after leaving the Phillies.)
Later that game, John Smoltz tries to avenge Perez by hitting...Alex Arias? The Braves were really taking their frustrations out on some all-time greats here.
Finally, Byrd comes to the plate, and Perez apparently doesn’t believe Byrd’s explanation that the beanings were unintentional, or he simply doesn’t care.
A few observations:
- Curt Schilling came running out to attack Perez really quickly. Either he really wanted to defend his teammate, or he figured this was his best opportunity to punch a minority without getting in too much trouble.
- I got a kick out of Ron Gant carrying Gerald Williams halfway across the stadium.
- Braves manager Bobby Cox, who had already been thrown out of the game, comes back on the field, and for some reason, isn’t immediately escorted off it. It fits with MLB’s history of not properly punishing Cox for his offenses.
Last week’s answer: Andrew McCutchen appeared in 144 games for the 2021 Phillies. (For those curious, Jean Segura led the team with 514 at bats, while Bryce Harper had the most plate appearances with 599.) Nobody was able to come up with the correct answer.
This week’s question: Who led the 1999 Phillies in home runs?
Featured Phillies baseball card
Anderson was rated as a top 100 prospect prior to the 1999 season, and this SkyBox card really seems bullish on his potential.
Sadly, that speed and power combination never really carried over to the Major Legues. Anderson always seemed like one of those players about who you could ask: What is he good at? I suppose he was just good enough at everything to last 12 years, which isn’t nothing.
Another fun fact about the 1999 Phillies
The Phillies were 13 games over .500 on August 6, 1999. They finished the season eight games under .500, after going a dreadful 10-21 in September and October (including an eleven-game losing streak).
Now that I think about it, this fact wasn’t all that fun.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Eagles, and they ended up making the playoffs. Yet some fans seem unhappy about it.
I don’t care if they took advantage of the expanded playoff field or a weak strength of schedule. As I can tell you from the past ten years as a Phillies fan, making the playoffs is always better than not making the playoffs, so stop complaining!