The World Series is on and for the first time since being defeated by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993 the Philadelphia Phillies have made it to the championships.
Their victory was due in no small part to Matt Stairs, a bearish 40-year-old from St John NB, who played well for the Blue Jays until he was traded to the Phillies earlier this fall.
Stairs arrived in Philadelphia in time to hit a two-run homer in game four of the National League Championship, ensuring a pennant victory for the Phillies.
All this sports talk comes not from what Stairs did during that game but what he said after it.
“You want to get that one big hit where you feel like you’re part of the team,” he enthused to reporters. “Not that I don’t feel like I’m part of the team, by no means, but when you get that nice celebration coming into the dugout and you’re getting your ass hammered by guys it’s no better feeling than to have that done.”
To that I say, “Amen, brother” but the sports writers responded with shocked giggles and silly headlines like, “Matt Stairs gets his ass hammered by guys.”
Despite their love of bats, balls and tight pants the baseball world still has its collective sphincter clenched. Former LA Dodger Billy Bean came out in 1999 but no one has dared to follow him since.
Any discussion of homosexuality in baseball is often schizophrenic: our Jays have held “gay days” in the past but also faced, in 2006, the sad, silly spectacle of two of their players in a mock wedding.
New York Mets’ star catcher Mike Piazza once felt compelled to hold a press conference to announce, “I’m not gay. I’m heterosexual,” but he also insisted that he didn’t think an openly gay teammate “would be a problem at all.”
Sadly, despite his enthusiastic outburst, the married-with-children Stairs isn’t our guy.
We’re still waiting for that grand-slam moment when a major-league ballplayer can say he’s off to enjoy getting his ass hammered and not be met with giggles. For now we’ll settle for this prediction from The Sporting Blog: “Don’t be surprised to see a large contingent of Phillies fans wearing ‘Ass Hammer’ T-shirts.”
That’d be a base hit, I guess.