PHILADELPHIA—Philadelphia Phillies fan Rick Kirkland was disappointed to learn Friday that his season-ticket package had once again dealt him a game started by the fifth man in the team’s rotation, Joe Blanton. “Four of five starters are All-Stars, and we get the shitty one again?” said Kirkland, who has had to endure the mediocre Blanton the past eight times he has taken his family to the ballpark. “Do you have any idea what it costs to go to these games? If I wanted my kid to see a guy who will be totally forgotten in a few years struggle to locate an 89-mile-per-hour fastball, I could take him to a college game, for fuck’s sake.” Kirkland did express some hope a rainout might alter the rotation schedule, but when asked about the scenario, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel confirmed he would still start Blanton just to spite the ticket holder.
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