The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat were never meant to occur on successive nights but someone forgot to tell Jason Michaels.
One night after a spectacular circus miss-catch in which the Phillies outfielder first played an out into a double and then a home run, Michaels had an equally impressive albeit more positive evening going 4-5, driving in four runs and hitting a home run.
The Phils won both games as it turned out but Michaels didn’t feel much like a winner Thursday night unless one considers his starring role on Sports Center and every other sports show replay. It remains to be seen whether or not Michael’s extraordinary juggling act replaces that of the ill-fated ski jumper of Wide World of Sport fame, the one seen careening off the end of the runway and hurtling posterior over teacups, as the signature image of agony.
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Todd Zolecki described Michael’s near-catch as an unbelievable home run people are likely to always remember. Michael’s, on the other hand, would just as soon forget it. That outcome is highly doubtful. Manager Larry Bowa likened the play to “jai alai” and assured his centerfielder he had achieved sports highlight immortality, however, dubious the honor