FanPost

Skip Schumaker and the Most Important Play Ever Made, or, How I was almost a Phillies Fan

The tale itself (for this is a tale, with chapters and everything) begins after the jump, until then, enjoy this required reading:

The post refers to this game: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI200807090.shtml

and this play: http://mlb.mlb.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=3101712

And here we go...

Chapter One, Life in Britain

Here in jolly old blighty whatho pip pip i'll have a crumpet kindly Gladys if you please and a cup of your finest tea, from the Imperial Raj dontchaknow, lovely weather we're having today! Shan't last i don't think though... rather.*Ahem* Obligitary cultural stereotype out of the way, in Britain, generally most people don't know much about baseball. Most think baseball is basically 'Rounders' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rounders) but played by fat, beardy men on the colony. In truth rounders is to baseball what Netball (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netball) is to basketball, a basterised version played by teenage girls. If anyone here has heard of baseball you can bet your house that they haven't heard of the St. Louis Cardinals, at best they know of the Yankees and Red Sox, maybe. So, how, you may wonder does a Briton become a baseball fan, nevermind a Cardinals fan!

Chapter Two, British Television

Well, (deep breath, more explanation) here we have five terrestrial channels which anyone with a television can watch with only an aerial and no digital Sky+ HD megabox 6000. BBC 1, BBC 2, iTV, Channel 4 and Five. BBCs 1 and 2 are the publicly funded channels i'm sure you know of already, iTV is 24 hour brain melting shit (e.g. the X Factor, which recently revitalised the career of Vanilla Ice... somehow), Channel 4 is genuinely good. However, today we are concered with Five which was born in the 1990's and was instantly reknowned for showing the worst of America's television, and softcore europorn. Since then though it has gone through something of a transformation, now it usually shows some of America's better televison (CSI (ok, Miami and NY suck ass but the original is good.) and NCIS (which is just brilliant) as well as other stuff i don't watch), hilarious documentaries like 'The Boy with an Arse for a Face' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9al-mpqXjc) and, most importantly America's favourite sports! NFZ! NBQ! NLJ! NDC! NHL! NFW! MLB! and many more!

Early one July Morning in 2008 at some ridiculous hour (probably 3am) i was settling down to watch some baseball, this paticular night it was the St. Louis Cardinals in Philidelphia. At this point i hadn't chosen a team to support, during the games i saw my usual method was to support whichever team was playing in red, so on that fateful evening i was screwed. Instead i picked based on which team played better...

Chapter Three, The Game


Lineups:

  St. Louis Cardinals                       Philadelphia Phillies                        
1. Skip Schumaker LF 1. Jimmy Rollins SS
2. Ryan Ludwick RF 2. Shane Victorino CF
3. Albert Pujols 1B 3. Chase Utley 2B
4. Troy Glaus 3B 4. Ryan Howard 1B
5. Rick Ankiel CF 5. Pat Burrell LF
6. Aaron Miles 2B 6. Jayson Werth RF
7. Jason LaRue C 7. Pedro Feliz 3B
8. Mark Mulder P 8. Carlos Ruiz C
9. Cesar Izturis SS 9. J.A. Happ P

Interestingly only four of the Cards lineup still play in STL, whereas seven still play in PHI.

The Game started well enough; the Cards draw a pair of walks off inexperienced Phils starter JA Happ but can't do anything with them. He Who Must Not be Named Because he Cost us Dan Haren (HWMNNBCDH) Strike out Jimmy Rollins, leading off the night for the Phils looking with a 3-2 count! Woo! He then promptly walks the next two batters... without throwing a strike, seriously, before his arm implodes catatrophically. un-Woo. But never fear! WonderBrad is here! His Royal-Bus-Ticket-ness gets a doubleplay to end the inning, Miles-Izturis-Pujols. The next inning and a half passes with out significant incident, we rejoin the action in the home half of the third inning...

Chapter Four, The Play

*In best Mike Shannon voice*

Jimmy Rollins at the plate, 1-1 the count, nobody on 1 out, third inning action. The pitch, hanging breaking ball from Thompson. Smoked down the left field line by Rollins... but its going to go foul... NO! SLIIIDING catch by Schumaker!!! My word! that was a great catch by the young outfielder, just what the Cardinals needed, two away. 

NB: i don't have the original transcript, but i can imagine it being something like that.

Chapter Three Part Two, The rest of The Game.

The rest of The Game was not paticularly interesting, here are the highlights; bottom of the fifth Rollins strikes back,  RBI triple to right-centre 1-0 Phils, Howard single scores Utley after Rollins is out on a fielders choice, 2-0 home team. Top 7th, El Hombre's Sac Fly brings home Izturis and Glaus' liner to the centre scores the Schu-man. But the Cards can't hold it together, Howard homers of K-Mac (who took the loss) and current-indian Chris Perez gives up a homer to Pedro Feliz (Yep, that Pedro Feliz) and the Cards lose the game 4-2 as Brad Lidge picks up his 20th save (despite giving up two walks) it what would be his perfect year.

Chapter Five, Thanks

Well, thanks for reading, if anyone actually does, if not i'll go back to making factual fanposts. I don't know if anyone else can pin point the exact play that made them a fan, but if you can or have any other stories i'll happily read them! 

Special thanks to Baseball Reference and MLB.com

As ever, will read all comments, hate mail and suggestions.

Lets get outta here... word to your mother.

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