It’s a sign from the heavens!
But here’s the thing. It’s the brother.
If you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, then you don’t remember or didn’t know Squirrel One. The freakin‘ Rally Squirrel.
It was game 4 of the 2011 NLDS Phillies against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals, who were lucky to even get to the division series, were facing the 102 win Phillies and were about to be eliminated with Roy Oswalt — if you recall, one of the 4 aces — on the hill. The Phillies took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
It looked like Sayonara.
When something strange happened — the Rally Squirrel!
In game 3, the rotten rodent made his appearance and ran around the outfield making a fool of himself. But it was in game 4 when the nasty vermin brought his voodoo to the diamond and demolished any chance the Fightins’ had of going to the next post level.
With Skip Schumaker at bat in the home fifth, and Oswalt coasting, when suddenly, with Oswalt in his windup and just about to release the ball, a fluffy varmint darted from nowhere and ran across home plate.
Oswalt was rattled, to say the least. He demanded that the pitch not count.
With no video replay available, the umpire crew ruled in favor of the Rally Squirrel. The pitch was called a ball.
But what happened next was even more conjuring. The Cardinals rallied and won the game. The series shifted back to Philly, where Carpenter pitched a shutout and the rest is history. The Phillies were eliminated and worse yet — Ryan Howard suffered his Achilles injury.
Damn that squirrel!
Now, it’s returned. During the recent Phillies – Rockies series, a strange squirrel — Ron, aren’t they all strange? — ran across the field in a pitiful and shameless display of ignorance, and interrupted the game.
Now most folks watching said something like, “Oh, look at that cute squirrel on the field. My, how did he get in?”
I knew immediately that it wasn’t just any squirrel. It was Rally Squirrel Two, the brother of Rally Squirrel.
What does this mean to the Phillies 2014 fortunes?
Simple, we’re going squirrel huntin‘!