Question: How does your friendly neighborhood blogger redeem himself after an embarrassing throwing and shooting performance on Good Day Philadelphia?
By HITTING BOMBS and winning the Richie Ashburn Memorial Home Runs For Heart media day at Citizens Bank Park. That's how.
OK– not bombs. No one hit a home run. But your favorite snarky, self-aggrandizing blogger hit a few just about to (in the general vicinity of?) the warning track, which was good enough for the day’s distance lead, print media trophy, and a handshake from Scott Palmer, who emceed the event.
After watching many media members and FORMER MAJOR LEAGUER Ben Davis struggle to make solid contact off the pitching machine, I feared that, having not swung a bat in two years, I might not be able to reach second base.
I misunderestimateitedated myself.
I took the first pitch, just to see what the machine had. Low and inside… alright, that’ll play. My hands choked up on the 34-31 aluminum bat that had a barrel thicker than the average waistline of Phillies offseason signees.
Swing and a miss. Shit.
I eased up my grip. Be a spray hitter, Kyle… the power will come.
Contact. I lined one past a diving J-Roll™ at short.
Suddenly, the bat felt lighter. I slid my hands down and wrapped them seductively around the tip (…).
The next pitch took about 20 minutes to reach the plate and appeared to be a beach ball so large that even Marc-Andre Fleury could have stopped it.
Everything got fuzzy from there on out. All I remember thinking – for a brief moment – was, holy shit, that ball has a chance to go over the fence at Citizens Bank Park. The crowd rose to its feet. I think the light tower exploded. Angels may have been signing. I don’t know, really. But the Knights had won.
Several more of those followed. I can't describe them, though. Like Will Ferrell in Old School, I had blacked out.
The only downside to the afternoon was that Ruben Amaro, who had been on hand for most of the event, bailed before yours truly stepped to the plate… which sucks, because I’m pretty sure I displayed more power than Placido Polanco.
All obnoxious gloating aside, the event was pretty much the highlight of my sporting existence (tallest midget in that circus) and for a great cause. I was joined by our "fashion editor" (as dubbed by one Phillies employee), Dan Fuller, whose long muscles I was expecting more from. Congrats to fellow winners 6 ABC’s Jeff Skversky, who took home the TV trophy… Crockett, who took home the radio trophy… and CBS 3‘s Kate Bilo, who took home the women’s trophy.
Home Runs For Heart is a two-day baseball home run hitting contest at Citizens Bank Park that will give fans an opportunity to take their whacks at putting one over the fence. On May 1 and 2, you too can have the chance to play on the Phillies field. Simply call 215-575-5218 or visit www.heart.org/phillywalk and click Home Runs For Heart to register. All proceeds from the event go to supporting the American Heart Association’s lifesaving work in research, education and community programs. It’s a must-do for baseball fans. And yes, the outfield grass feels like a sponge… or warm apple pie.