Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm Not Gonna Let Bruntlett Take the Brunt of Anti-fans' Wrath

On August 23, Philadelphia Phillies reserve 2nd-baseman Eric Bruntlett executed an unassisted triple play. The fifteenth unassisted triple play in Major League history, this was only the second such defensive lightning bolt to end a game (the other instance occurring in 1927). With the Phils leading the New York Mets 9-6 in the bottom of the 9th, Angel Pagan and Luis Castillo both reached base on errors (including one by Bruntlett, himself, whose miscue cut Philadelphia's lead to 9-7). Then an infield single by Daniel Murphy put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs. With the winning run at the plate, Jeff Francouer ripped a line drive up the middle. But with both runners going on the pitch, Bruntlett, who was dashing to cover 2nd base, found himself in perfect position to snare the sure hit. He quickly stepped on 2nd to double off Castillo, then lunged at the backpedaling Murphy to end the game, leaving a raucous New York crowd in stunned silence.

Two days ago, Mount Drinkmore's Pat directed me to an "Eric Bruntlett Sucks" anti-fan forum that he stumbled upon ( Although all of the posts predate Bruntlett's unassisted triple play, some are particularly cruel and leave no doubt as to how low these anti-fans regard him.

Sure, in seven seasons as a utility player, Bruntlett has hit a paltry .231. Sure, his fielding percentages at the middle-infield positions are below league norms. Sure, he's barely cracked .200 in two seasons as a Phillie, and fans—rabid for another World Series run—have no tolerance for a player who literally can't hit his weight this year.

Yet the fact remains, Eric Bruntlett anti-fans: Eric Bruntlett is now only one unassisted triple play away from becoming the all-time leader in unassisted triple plays.

Don't you think he's earned a name-change to the "Eric Bruntlett Doesn't Suck That Much" forum?

(Photo of triple play copyright Associated Press.)

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