In celebration of Stairs’ bomb finally dropping today, David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News printed a well-written story that chronicles the life of the bat that Phillies’ pinch-hitter Matt Stairs used to hit the go-ahead homerun in Game 4 of the NLCS. The article notes that the bat was made by an independent company looking to provide an alternative to the maple bats that are stirring up debate in the MLB. Murphy goes on to tell that the salesman for the bat was initially scheduled to meet Marco Scutaro of the Blue Jays, but crossed paths with our professional hitter and offered to take him out to dinner a few swings with the bat. Stairs declined, but when told it was produced in Canada, Matt changed his mind and placed an order. The bats arrived in time for the Phillies date with the Dodgers in the NLCS, and the rest is history. Reading something like this makes you realize all the things that go on behind the scenes and all the little parts that add up to the big picture. It’s amazing how perfectly these things can align for your team on the way to a championship and a little scary and upsetting to wonder what would have been had any of these things happened differently.
But just as interesting as the legend of the bat is a quote from Stairs embedded in the story. When asked about why he made the switch, Stairs replied, “Canadian wood is better.” Under normal circumstances, you might take this to be an innocent quote, but when coming from the man who proclaimed “there’s no better feeling than [getting your ass hammered by guys]”, you see the deeper meaning behind it. Now, we love Matt Stairs about as much as you can love a guy who has only played for your favorite team for two months, but he needs to put a little more thought into his words before speaking. Then again, if he put more thought into things, maybe his approach in that October 14th at-bat against Jonathan Broxton would have been more complex than just “hit a homerun”, and we wouldn’t want to venture down that road, would we?