By now everyone with a pulse has seen film of the squirrel’s mad dash in Tuesday night’s Cardinals, Phillies playoff game from St. Loo.
Just as Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt uncorked a 1-1 fastball to the Cardinals’ Skip Schumaker, a squirrel darted, first base side to third base side, just inches in front of Schumaker on his way into the stands.
The squirrel obviously got a better look at the pitch over the inside part of the plate at the knees — than home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez, who called it a ball. Hernandez was deaf to Oswalt’s and Phillies manager Charlie Manuel’s pleas that the throw should be ruled a no-pitch as Oswalt was distracted by the squirrel. (Those viewing the replay could easily conclude that Hernandez was the one most distracted by the cheeky varmint. But Oswalt or Manuel could have been pitched from the game for saying so.)
Hard to say what the squirrel’s game was. He may just be mad about ballpark nachos and was headed for the stands in hope of scoring some, oblivious to the game. Or maybe he just wants a career in show biz. He certainly got some face time on the nationwide telecast. And he was on every highlight show in the lower 48, America’s protectorates, and the Lesser Antilles. Look for the squirrel, as yet unnamed, to appear on Letterman this week.
The game, which the Cardinals won 5-3, can go down in Redbird history as “The night the squirrel went berserk.” The Cards could hire Ray Stevens to write and perform a song about it. It would be ever so much more entertaining than yet another round of Y-M-C-A.