Just a Number

By Tim Whitaker
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Jun. 27, 2007

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"Everybody hates George Steinbrenner," said WIP host Glen Macnow, easily scoring the best quote in the story, "but Phillies fans would gnaw off their right arms to have an owner like Steinbrenner."

The 10,000 losses will almost certainly be officially ignored by our sheepish and leaderless Phillies franchise.

Rest assured, however, the milestone won't go unnoticed in Phandomville.

There'll be lots of stories written and lots of chat on sports radio.

Bloggers, posters, first-time callers, longtime listeners will all drone on about what the losing means to the city and to Phillies fans personally.

"All I can say is that watching them lose year after year is like a shared experience," posted one reader in response to the New York Times story. "Even though we know better, we always hope that this year will be different. Like a Philly senior dumping her social security check into a slot machine at Atlantic City, or a working dad who spends his $40 spending money on lotto tickets, we have hope we'll hit it big this year."

Likely, though, no one will take the point of view of militant Phillies fan and PW writer Daniel McQuade, who this week tells the story of the Phillies' 10,000 losses through the tale of a kid who dared to keep a foul ball in 1923.

McQuade uses the foul ball story as a metaphor for all the bad choices the Phillies have made in the many decades since.

And then he concludes with this:

"Phillies fans watch games with a feeling of dread."

That sentence is destined to be among the most truthful McQuade, though only 24, will ever write.

Prompted by the 10,000 losses, writer Bruce Buschel--whose book Walking Broad, which includes a Phillies riff or two, will hit stores next month--recently emailed me his 10 favorite Phillies moments.

Like with most long-suffering Phillies fans, his favorites cover lots of ground and run from the personal to the grandly disturbing:

10) "Puddin' Head" Jones lookin' like a father.

9) Danny Ozark sittin' there and doin' nothing.

8) Dick Allen's intensity.

7) Wes Covington's shot over the Connie Mack clock.

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