Today in Philly Sports History: Tommy LaSorda: “I Hate the Phillie Phanatic”

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One of the less traditional rivalries in sports reached a fever pitch on July 20th, 2005, when longtime Dodgers manager Tommy LaSorda called out everyone's favorite Galapagos Islands-bred mascot on his blog, "Tommy LaSorda's World." LaSorda's beef with the future-Hall-of-Fame rabble-rouser stemmed from an incident nearly two decades prior, when the Phanatic stirred up crowds by running over a dummy wearing a LaSorda jersey--twice, in fact. Quoth LaSorda: "That type of a display should not be shown in ballparks, especially in front of children.  It exhibits violence and disrespect."

LaSorda went on to talk about how he confronted the Phanatic the next time the Blue were in Philly, and even "bodyslammed it to the turf" after he refused to honor Tommy's cease-and-decist request. The blog entry inevitably caught a small bit of internet buzz, and the Phillies fans turned out to the website to give LaSorda a piece of their mind. Some of the better comments:

"You're just a grumpy old man. Even Fletch hates you." -VGP100

"You were just jealous because the Phanatic weighs less than you, lardo.
Once, you made my sister cry because you wouldn't sign her ball. You
are a jerk." -JesseGloyd

"Tommy, here's a dollar. Buy a sense of humor. It's unbelievable you're still on this after 15 years. Sheesh.' -Abunker

"Did the kids see you bodyslamming an actual person?" -Shadowfax23

Regrettably, the feud between the two larger-than-life personalities appears to have waned somewhat in recent years. But as the two franchises seem to be on a collision course to meet in the playoffs for the second consecutive season, maybe it's time to get those old feelings of hate a-brewin' again. Let's use a pinata this time, though.

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