Only July 4, Philadelphia Phillies radio play-by-play announcer Scott Franzke vaulted himself to the top of my “favorite Philadelphia sports broadcasters” list. While calling a Phillies game against the New York Mets that day, Franzke let his Philly pride shine brightly – maybe a little too brightly.
In a blunder that is receiving national attention, Franzke, who thought the radio broadcast had gone to commercial break, shouted into the mic: “Will somebody figure out how to fucking get Scott Hairston out? He stinks! Jesus Christ!”
Franzke was expressing his frustration at the Phillies’ lack of ability to not let up a home run to Mets outfielder Scott Hairston, or, even better, get him out at all. In only 34 at-bats against the Phillies this season, Hairston has a .324 average with 5 home runs and 8 RBIs. Franzke is absolutely disgusted by that stat line because Hairston isn’t very good against anybody else. He is a career .244 hitter and has AVERAGED 9.7 HRs per year! Yet, somehow, the Phillies can’t keep him in the ballpark.
Sound clip aside, Franzke is right: Scott Hairston does stink, just not against Philadelphia. Here are some other professional athletes that fit that bill.
No Phillies fan will ever forget the six-game stretch the then-San Francisco Giants outfielder put together against them in the 2010 National League Championship Series. Ross, a career .261 hitter who has hit more than 14 HRs only twice in 10 years, looked like Babe Ruth against the Phillies. In those six games, Ross lead the Giants to the World Series by hitting .300 with 3 HRs and 5 RBIs. And it wasn’t just what he did but when he did it. His home runs were always backbreaking, and whenever the Giants needed a hit, Ross responded. After his spectacular 2010 postseason, Ross signed a 1-year deal with the Giants for $6.3 million, then promptly hit only .240 the following year.
The Phillies were looking for a catcher to replace long-time backstop Mike Lieberthal in 2007, and they turned to Rod Barajas. In his three prior seasons with the Texas Rangers, Barajas hit .253 while averaging 12.33 HRs and 53 RBIs per season. In 2007 with the Phillies, Barajas disappointed, to say the least, by hitting .230 with only 4 HRs and 10 RBIs. He spent only that one season in Philly, thankfully, and eventually cleared the way for current catcher Carlos Ruiz. What’s worse than Barajas’ performance in Philadelphia has been his performance against the Phillies over the last three years. In just 49 at-bats over that time, he has hit .327 with 6 HRs and 13 RBIs. Where did that come from??
Conine always seemed to be clutch come playoff time. That’s why the Phillies signed the veteran outfielder/first baseman in 2006. Of course, they didn’t make the playoffs that year, so it didn’t really matter. Overall, Conine was a serviceable Major Leaguer, playing 17 seasons and recording 214 HRs and a .789 OPS. Against the Phillies, though, he performed like a Hall of Famer. In 425 at-bats against them, he hit 14 HRs with a .850 OPS!
Philadelphia Eagles fans hate Joe Jurevicius as much as Phillies fans hate Ross – and this even though Jurevicius is a graduate of Penn State University. Jurevicius played 10 seasons in the NFL, scoring 29 total touchdowns. He scored 2 of those TDs in 9 career games against the Eagles, along with 15 receptions and 217 yards. But what puts Jurevicius on this list is not necessarily his career numbers but one play in particular. In the 2002 postseason, he ripped the hearts out of Eagles fans after catching a pass over the middle and sprinting 71 yards down the field. The play lead to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go-ahead score against the heavily-favored Eagles.
Who? Boniol, if you remember, was one of the better placekickers in the NFL in the mid-1990s – well, at least when he played for the Dallas Cowboys and against the Eagles. In 1995, Boniol successfully converted 96.4% of his field goal attempts. In 1996, he was 88.9%. Then he signed with the Eagles and dropped all the way down to 71% in 1997 and 66.7% in 1998. Not surprisingly, his tenure in Philly lasted only those two years. To make matters worse, he was great against the Eagles, connecting on 13-of-14 attempts (92.9%) in 7 career games against them.
This one is difficult for me, personally. The Philadelphia Flyers drafted Fedotenko, and he played two seasons for them before moving on to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade. Of course, since the Flyers traded him away, he won two Stanley Cup titles – one with Tampa, after he killed the Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals, and one with their hated rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins. Fedotenko hasn’t been much of an offensive threat in his career, scoring 169 goals in 816 games. Like the other guys on this list, though, he shines against Philly. In 42 games against them, he’s scored 16 goals – which is the most he’s scored against any other team in the NHL. Lovely. The Flyers brought him back to Philly with a one-year contract a few weeks ago, though, so maybe he can produce for them again instead of against them.