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You'd think that anyone associated with the city of Philadelphia would have been feeling mighty fine on Wednesday night. The Phillies stomped the Yankees 6-1, Cliff Lee tossed a gem worthy of a museum and they did it all in the Yankees' house. Alas, it seems it will take more than that to put a smile on the face of Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Fitzpatrick didn't enjoy his visit to Yankee Stadium one bit. It seems that he thought he was covering a high school badminton game because he was stunned to find a press box that was more crowded than normal upon arrival in the Bronx. In Fitzpatrick's defense, it had been a whole year since the Phillies have been in the World Series, so how was he to know that this was the kind of event that generated interest among Americans.
So he beat a hasty retreat to the auxillary press box, high in the left field stands and found that it didn't meet his standards either. Granted, the view ain't the best from the stadium's upper reaches, but short of relocating paying customers to suit Fitzpatrick's bruised ego the Yankees didn't have much choice about finding him more suitable accomodations. Fitzpatrick writes that he found "the puddles of water that two days of rain had left on our chairs and tables were icing over," which is impressive for a couple of reasons. It's amazing that Yankee Stadium is excluded from the laws of nature on a night nowhere near freezing and also amazing that a man from such a tropical climate as Philadelphia lived to complain about a little rain.
We'll summarize some other observations. The stadium's expensive! Joba Chamberlain looks stupid! Yankee fans are fat! The whole article boils down to the kind of petty griping you'd hear from a spoiled teenager who doesn't get everything they think they have coming to them. There's one more note worthy of particular examination, however.
Fitzpatrick writes that the World Series "has precipitated a lot of ugly sniping between the more sophomoric elements in New York and Philadelphia." He doesn't characterize himself as one of those elements, but, then, he doesn't need to be explicit when he drops Pulitzer-worthy reporting over our heads.
When New Yorkers brag about New York, they're actually talking about Manhattan, a place where none of them live.
They all reside further from the Statue of Liberty than Philadelphians, residing like gerbils in grimy, overpriced hovels in the outer boroughs or, worse yet, Long Island.
We'd love to hear what Fitzpatrick thinks the 1.5 million people that live in Manhattan call themselves if not New Yorkers. Perhaps he can talk to some before Thursday night's game if his precious little self is thawed out enough from the harrowing experience of watching a baseball game.