After eighteen seasons, Mrs. P and I chose not to renew our Philadelphia Phillies season tickets. It was a roller coaster experience from the lows of last-place finishes to the highs of a World Series win. We witnessed a no-hitter, a playoff clincher on the last day of the season, the implosion of the old toilet-bowl that was Veterans Stadium (the Fightin' Phils' home for 33 seasons) and the christening of the beautiful new, state-of-the-art Citizens Bank Park (now, celebrating its tenth anniversary). The Phillies themselves have come full circle in that time, going from a pathetic conglomerate of uncoordinated losers to scrappy hustlers, hungry for the win and now returning to an aging group of "memories of one-time greatness." A lot of factors played into our ultimate decision. So as the 2014 baseball season approached, we resigned ourselves to the reality of watching the Phillies on television.
But, as the Phillies were opening their season on the road in Arlington, Texas, Mrs. P and I received word that the law firm that employs me had offered the Marketing Department (of which I am a member) tickets for the first Sunday home game. The firm has access to a so-called "luxury suite," one of many corporate-owned private boxes that accommodate sixteen people, lavishing guests with food and drink and a personal hostess. It's a pretty sweet deal, especially if you are used to sitting out in the "regular" seats with the commoners. While the suite is very nice and affords a great way to see a ball game, it does not offer the best seats in the house.
|"May I see your tickets, please?"|
|"I must be in the front row!"|
A nice young lady introduced herself as our server for the evening. She displayed a list of the complementary offerings and, once again, we over indulged, requesting sodas and candy and peanuts and Cracker Jack (just like the song says.) She also told us that the buffet would be open until the sixth inning. I made a mental note to run up at the bottom of the fifth for ice cream in a souvenir mini Phillies helmet Maybe two! I'm sure they had my favorite flavor — "free."
|"Better ...or worse? Better ...or worse? Better...? "|
The Phillies, who took an early lead on a home run by off-season acquisition Marlon Byrd, were now in a catch-up situation. The stalwart Brewers widened the gap in the score. The Phillies, who couldn't hit a ball out of the infield, were obviously not up to the task of winning. The game plodded along. O., admittedly not familiar with baseball, was losing interest. He asked me the location of seats that my "firm law" provides. (O.'s native tongue is Hebrew, where, like most languages, the adjective follows the noun it is modifying.) He fiddled with his phone, posing for "selfies" of Rae and himself. He was bored. Judging by the vast amount of empty seats, the remainder of the 25,000 announced attendees had had enough of this drubbing as well. In the ninth, third baseman Cody Asche swung at an outside fastball for out number three and the weary Phils recorded their fourth consecutive loss.
But, man, were those seats great!
* I originally thought that she was cooking up meth in her basement when she told us she worked in the pharmaceutical industry.