Sunday, October 03, 2004

Bo Goes; Phils Fall; Suds Sought

There, now, Ed Wade, that wasn't so hard, was it? After yesterday's reports that Larry Bowa would be jettisoned next week -- file under "No S---, Sherlock" -- Bowa stomped into Wade's office and demanded to know his status. This was hardly a new phenomenon during this lost season, but this time Wade finally found some stones and told Bowa what he should have told him this time last year -- take a hike.

Jayson Stark's piece on ESPN.com last night sums up the situation very nicely, though I continue to be perplexed by his and others' perception that Bowa maintains some sort of mystical aura of popularity that allowed him to hold on for as long as he did.

The Gary Varsho-led Phillies then went out and dropped a 4-3 game to the Marlins. I was among the 36,000 or so in attendance, and found the experience depressingly familiar. Had I closed my eyes and simply listened -- to the complacent boredom of the crowd, to the occasional Eagles cheers, to the booing when John Vukovich and Tomas Perez botched a play at the plate, helping to squelch a ninth-inning rally -- it would have felt like the Vet all over again, yet another meaningless late-season game in front of disinterested fans who were present simply because they had prepaid for their tickets.

Sadly, my final visit to Citizens Bank Park left me with a sour taste in my mouth. While Bob Ford delivered an assessment in yesterday's Inquirer that was hard to quibble with, I was stunned to find dozens of concession stands closed last night. Especially distressing was that so many of the shut-down counters were the wonderful Brewerytown stands, where several outstanding microbrews were sold during the course of the season. And this was on the main concourse -- upstairs, where my brother and I have our seats, the only open concessions were bunched around home plate. I know the Phils packed it in early this year, but the Park should have been an exception. But this is the Phillies, of course, a team that has elevated the concept of not getting it to an art form, both on and off the field.

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