Well, this is an awkward family photo.
From left to right, that’s Erik Kratz, Dom Brown, Tommy Greene, Greg Luzinski and Scott Palmer at the Phillies Phanacation, which is going on right now in the Riviera Maya(, just a few miles from where I’ll be heading on my honeymoon in July). One of these things doesn’t belong here, and it’s Erik Kratz, who was traded to the Blue Jays this offseason. But, either because he’s a good sport, wanted the free vacation, or most likely because he’s getting paid to be there, Kratz still went and just opted not to wear a Phillies jersey. I imagine this is the baseball player equivalent of accompanying an ex-girlfriend to a wedding because you want the free booze (and because you’ll probably still get laid).
I’ve always been amazed by these sorts of trips. On one hand, you get to rub shoulders with professional athletes. On the other, they’re usually B-list players and former players. I mean, no offense to Kratz, Greene, The Bull and Palmer, but if you book vacations around meeting guys like that, you are a real loser.* Brown, though, is a quasi-star. I’m guessing he probably agreed to this before he got good, when he was still deep on Ruben Amaro’s shit list. His presence, in my mind, takes the trip to different level. After all, how else can you get an MLB All-Star to toss his balloons at you in a pool? [Don’t answer that, girls.] But what about the athlete? There’s no way they spend the entire time around fans (Phans?), right? I couldn’t imagine how awful it would be to be pawed at for seven days straight. I mean, sure, after appearing on FOX Good Day a few times and the Great Sports Debate, I can’t leave my house without rubbing palms and kissing babies. So I just don’t leave my house. Ever. [For real, I haven’t showered since Saturday.**] But being at a resort for a week, surrounded by overzealous, and drunken, fans? Yuck.
*And then there’s this:
**I just realized I haven’t showered since the Eagles were still in the playoffs. Sometimes I write in hyperbole. This is not one of those times. I’ll be back in 20 minutes.