Things have been quiet at Citizens Bank Park since the start of the MLB lockout. We were right in the middle of free agency when everything came to a screeching halt. The Phillies signed Corey Knebel and Johan Camargo and then silence.
Now, we’re in a holding pattern as we wait for the players’ union and owners to get back on speaking terms. Many baseball talking heads don’t believe that talks will even start up until after the Super Bowl in mid-February.
It could be a while until we ever see a picture of a current Major League Baseball player again.
There are many free agents who are also lost in baseball limbo, leaving many unanswered questions.
One question that no one is asking, though, is what is the Philly Phanatic up to during the lockout. Well, I’m glad you asked.
A Day in the Life of the Phanatic
*A Liberty Bell-shaped alarm clock starts to shake back and forth as the 6 ABC Action News Theme blasts*
The Philly Phanatic aggressively whips his bedsheets off and jumps up. He’s wearing pajamas adorned with many pictures of Bryce Harper.
The green Galapagos guy saunters over to his closet. He seems to be questioning whether he’ll wear his usual today or his Rocky costume. “It’s not that type of day,” thinks the Phanatic.
Haphazardly throwing the golden boxing trunks back in the closet, the Phanatic hurries to the nearest restroom. After a few seconds of deliberating which stall to enter, the Phanatic rushes in one close to the middle.
We see more clothes than the Phanatic seemed to be wearing start flying over to adjacent stalls. One of the next-door stalls flies open to reveal a disgruntled Dan Baker, now sporting some rather large boxers with hearts on his head.
He announces, “Now upset with the Philly Phanatic, public address announcer DAN BAKER!”. He bundles up the boxers and throws them in a sink.
The Phanatic emerges changed into his Phillies jersey, leaving the stalls a mess. He notices the boxers as he goes to comb his luscious mane. While confused about how they got there, he scoops them up and heads on his merry way.
The janitor who finds the mess will be less merry.
Now time for breakfast. He heads to the left field corner of the stadium to find Greg “The Bull” Luzinski frying up some bacon and eggs at his BBQ. “Hey buddy, you hungry?” exclaims Luzinski.
An aggressive nod comes from the Phanatic. The Bull hands him a platter. We do not see how the Phanatic consumes his meal, but from the grimacing face of Luzinski, it must be in terrifying fashion.
The Phanatic waves goodbye. As he walks away, Luzinski shouts, “BE SURE TO SEND A COUPLE HOT DOGS MY WAY DURING CANON PRACTICE!”.
With nothing to do, the Phanatic finds his way to the video booth and puts the 2021 Phillies yearbook on the video board. He throws a handful of popcorn in his face for the MVP home run that Bryce Harper hits.
After the video wraps up, the fanatic picks up a large outdated green phone to call his best friend, Bryce Harper.
He dials one. Waits. No answer.
He dials twice. Waits. No answer.
Worryingly, dials a third time. Still, no answer.
The Phanatic is slightly panicked. Where could his best friend be? Is he ok? Who should he call for help?
He thinks to call his second-best friend. He dials the phone. Finally, an answer.
“Hey, Jimmy speaking.”
With Jimmy Rollins on the line, we see the Phanatic gesture wildly. It seems J-Roll understands.
“Man I’m sure Bryce is doing just fine. He just can’t contact the Phillies right now.”
The Phanatic, confused, utters a *PFFFFF* of a streamer.
“Yeah, there’s a lockout in baseball right now. Until the owners and players can reach an agreement, Bryce isn’t allowed to contact anyone in the organization. It could take a bit man, sorry.”
A look of despair crosses the Phanatic’s face. He gestures to Jimmy seems to ask if they can still hang out.
“Of course dude, we’ll grab cheesesteaks next time I’m in town.”
The Phanatic’s mood rises a bit. The two say their goodbyes.
After a conversation with a rollercoaster of emotions, the Phanatic continues to do through his day.
He rides on his ATV. Target practice goes smoothly, hitting Greg Luzinski square in the chest. Goes to the speed pitch in Phunland, hitting 72. He burns a Mets jersey in a trash can. (He doesn’t do this every day. He rotates between NL East teams.)
As the sun starts to set, the Phanatic realizes he has to get ready for tonight. He runs back up to his room to grab an orange foam finger.
He exits Citizens Bank Park and walks about two blocks.
As he nears his destination, squeaking can be heard in the distance. It gets louder and louder until a wild Gritty appears!
The friends/neighbors embrace in a strong bear hug.
“How’re you holding up?”, squeaks Gritty.
“I’ve been better. This lockout has been rough.”, gestures the Phanatic.
“Well come on in, there’s a bunch of people here that will love to see you!”, squeaks Gritty as his emotionless eyes shake back and forth.
The mascot duo walks through the halls of Wells Fargo Center. Flyers fans cheered both, often stopping them for a picture. They’re happy to oblige.
During the first intermission, the duo got to play hockey on the ice with a bunch of local 5th graders. Did the Phanatic slip on the ice? Yes. Did it hurt his ego? Of course not.
He did, however, think to himself, “Playing a sport on soft grass is so much better than this.”
Being around a bunch of fans was something that the Phanatic truly missed. He hadn’t seen a crowd like this since September.
Although the Flyers lost, the game was just the distraction that the mascot needed. He said goodnight to Gritty who happened to be lighting a Penguins jersey on fire.
“I feel that,” thought the Phanatic.
As he made his way back to the Bank, he waved to all the people at Xfinity Live!. “One day I’ll stop in for a drink”, thinking of the Phillies from 1995-2005.
The Phanatic was exhausted from another busy day. He changed into his pajamas. This time they had pictures of Chase Utley and Pat Burrell with their dogs. As he does every night, the Phanatic video-called Kevin Frandsen.
And like every night, he read him his favorite bedtime story.
Almost done with his story, Frandsen reads almost with an excited whisper, “swing and a miss, struck him out. the philadelphia phillies are 2 thousand 8 world champions of baseballlllll.”
The video call ends. The Phanatic is asleep.
Photo Credit: Alec Kostival