We all had misguided hopes when the season started that the Phillies were actually better than the pundits proclaimed, when they were within 1.5 games of first place in early May. Sadly, the last month has proven critics more right than wrong.
It’s not that the team is terrible; they just can’t get the offense fired up when the pitching is on point, and the pitching is disastrous (think: Aaron Nola the past four games) when the bats are hot. Then there’s the seriously bad fielding that results in so many errors and bad plays, you want to go back and root for Taney, hometown Little League heroes, again.
The Phils have some time to get better (or implode completely) before the Aug. 29 match-up against archrivals Washington Nationals, a game at which the Phillies will host the first “official” Pride Night at Citizens Bank Park.
We got our tickets for the gig last week for several reasons. For one, the first 1,000 people who buy a ticket using the PRIDE code HERE gets a limited-edition rainbow Phillies T-shirt. (You must use this link to get the shirt.) You will get a voucher in the mail to collect the shirt.
Also, there are many great seats available because of the Phils’ less-than-stellar record this year. We got near-front-row seats in the outfield, not far from Ashburn Alley, so we not only have easy access to the overpriced beer and food, we also can watch the relievers warm up. It also puts us in a place where we could catch a home-run ball.
And, of course, it’s a fun time. If you don’t already know their record and you look back at LGBT community nights over the past 12 years, you’ll find that the team is at a dismal 2-10. That’s even worse (by a little) than they are playing this year. But it’s still fun to go sit in the park, have a couple of dogs and a brew (that’ll be $87.50) and wander through the stadium checking out the sideshow.
But the upshot of all of this comes down to this: After a decade-plus of getting the community night on the schedule with the Phillies, the team is opting to recognize the LGBT community willingly and shouldn’t we go and return the favor by supporting them now, when they need us?
Yes, we should.
• Falcons summer league kicks off 8 p.m. July 1 at Tavern on Camac. Come join the team for a drink, talk soccer and make some new friends!
• There is still a little time to get your team together for the first Stonewall beach volleyball competition. A team of six is required to sign up and the fee is $45 per person. Games will be played at Drexel University at the Buckley Sand Volleyball Courts, 33rd and Arch streets. Go to stonewallsports.leagueapps.com/ to register. Sorry, but you must be 21-99. No centenarians need apply.
• If you’re interested in rugby but don’t know if you have that killer instinct to get down and dirty, head over to 11th and Wharton streets 1-3 p.m. every Saturday for some “informal touch rugby.” This is the first time the Philadelphia Gryphons RFC have had this touch-and-go sort of play and it’s to let those who might be interested in trying the sport learn some basics and get into a ruck or two in a less-intimidating manner. For more information, search Philadelphia Gryphons RFC on Facebook.
• City of Brotherly Love Softball League has already had two weeks of play cancelled and rescheduled due to weather and wet fields, and with no play over the Fourth of July weekend, it’s going to be a long(er), hot season! If you’re not playing this summer but are considering the fall league, go to cblsl.org/ and take a very short survey about playing levels, days of play and length of season to help organizers plan ahead.
• The Philadelphia Liberty Tennis Association is actively recruiting new and returning players for friendly competition on Saturdays and Sundays this summer in FDR Park. Registration is also open for the Philly Open, held the first weekend in August at the Legacy Youth Tennis and Recreation Center. Philadelphialibertytennis.org/ is the place for more info.