Some members of the notoriously polite and refined Philadelphia Phillies fanbase are outraged — OUTRAGED! — that a Marine O-5 would dare joke about using a tank to stop pitching ace Roy Halladay. Saying something like this is terribly insensitive because, as we all know, tank attacks on major league pitchers are an epidemic that should never be joked about. The nerve of this guy!
Anyway, here’s how this mess got started: Lt. Col. Shane Tomko, the Marine in charge of Marine Week St. Louis, was a guest in the booth last night as the Phillies played the hometown Cardinals. While talking about the week’s festivities, he appeared to give a compliment to Halladay in the form of an awkward joke.
“I’ll tell you what, with that M1A1 Abrams we got across the street, if Halladay keeps on pitching well, we can fix that with one round pretty quickly,” Tomko said.
I know, I know. Somebody go get the smelling salts. So outrageous.
The announcer seemed caught off guard by the joke (granted, it was awkward and hardly laugh-out-loud funny), saying, “I’m sure you could. I don’t know if we should say that, but you just did.”
Tomko then said, “I can say whatever I want because I’m a war fighter, and this is the Cardinals Nation the last time I checked.”
That last comment caught the ire of the Crossing Broad blog, which has video of the incident. Most fans weighing in in the comments section have hammered Tomko.
A writer for PhillyBurbs.com also took exception to Tomko, calling the Marine a “TV tough guy” and saying “[Tomko] should keep that smack talk in the barracks. Or better yet, Colonel Tomko should dress down to his civilian duds, take a walk down to the Phillies clubhouse and say it to Doc’s face. Let’s get that awkward exchange on camera.”
Marine Corps Times writer Dan Lamothe has more about the incident at our Battle Rattle blog.