My name is Mike Francis. 16 hours ago I was just getting out of Miami-Dade jail. I didn’t start my evening in jail, I started it with some friends on a road trip to see the Phils finish off a sweep of the Marlins.
Everything was going great. We tailgated, cooked and played lot games as a Philly fan does. We took our first row tickets in the fish tank and headed inside the stadium with the signs we stayed up all night making. I’m from Philly but I live in Flordia now, so I go to every game in Florida (Fish or Rays) that I can. Point being, I’ve been to some empty games. Roy Halladay’s perfect game, the first time the best pitcher in baseball pitches in Florida, barely 24k on a Saturday. But this most recent series had terrible attendance. Wednesday they claimed 18,158 tickets sold, but if you watched the game, you know they were lucky if 3,000 showed up. But we were there! Well, myself specifically.
The crowd that was there was easily 90% Phillies Phans, as always, which meant I had some backup, as always. I’m not extremely rude… OK, rude maybe. But I’m not profane at all. But growing up with the Vet made me love heckling opposing players (and sometimes Phillies players too.) So I just say funny things like “You’re not good!” instead of “You suck!” to keep the Marlins cry babies as calm as I can (Marlins fans are notorious ball park texters.) But let me tell you iPhone users something great technology has added to baseball. Player bios on wiki available on demand, in the palm of your hand, in the middle of Emelio Jose Bonafacio Del Rosario’s current strike out sesh. Great for previous player info. So I can yell “That’s why the Nats didn’t want you!” or “Go back to Santo Domingo!” *note that Bonafacio’s wiki page features a picture of him striking out. LOL.
But tonight was the most acknowledgment I’ve ever received from a player. After yelling “Where’s Cody Ross when you need him?” Bonafacio turned and blew me a kiss. He then, literally ran to the dugout and called security because I was quote, “Making the game harder for him to play.” So like I said, a minute later, this security guard is walking my way, making direct eye contact with me.
(Security guard and myself)
SG: Hey are you the one yelling at Emelio?
Me: Maybe, was I doing something wrong?
SG: (talks into mic then) Let me see your tickets. (tickets check out) We had a report from a player that a Phillies fan was causing some problems for him.
Me: Was it Bonafacio?
SG: It doesn’t matter who it was, what matters is that he said you’re making the game harder for him to play.
We talked momentarily about the fact that I was totally complying with the rules of the ballpark as far as profanity and whatnot. He then told me, “If you yell one more time you’re going outta here. Even if it’s for Ryan Howard.” Frankly, this pissed me off as Ryan Howard was up next and I’m gonna cheer my team. Long story short, I cheer for Howard politely “Let’s go Howard!” Boom! Gripped up. I argued my point that if a Marlins fan doesn’t get ejected for cheering for the Marlins, then why am I being tossed for cheering for Ry? Didn’t matter. I was escorted out by security, and then the police. “We told you to shut your dumb fuckin’ mouth asshole.” said one of the security guards. But this is just where the story get good. I argued with security about this for 5 minutes in the hallway, and after I explained my point, they actually started throwing out Marlins fans in 127 for cheering for the home team! I do still get ejected for no real reason other than the Marlins can’t be a winning team in any month of any season and the fans hate hearing it from WFChamps.
Anyhow, we left and angrily decided to call the ball park to complain. Hey, if they can only get 4500 people or whatever was really there that night then they may not want to kick anyone out EVER. (Even if they bring a flare gun like back in the day at the Vet’s Eagles 9ers game.) So I call 305-623-6100 and ask for someone in charge at Sun Life. We talk, they apologize and agree to give me a refund. So I go for my refund inside the building at gate E and as I’m talking to this guy the police grab me and tell my friends that they have to leave because we were ejected and I’m going to jail for trespassing after a warning. Literally less than 5 minutes after security escorted me out the side gate. I’m discussing my refund with the people there and this prick Dade cop is arresting me. So I’m trying to keep this a short story remember? He writes me up a charge and calls to beg a real cop (he’s a desk job pussy that watches cctv for the stadium) to come get me.
He loads me up and takes me to Dade County pre trial detention center for trespassing and disorderly conduct. If you think there’s no fans in the ball park, try the prison. I go into a jail cell with literally 50 gangster ass dudes and I’m still wearing my Eagles Reeboks and Halladay jersey. Nobody cared. In fact, nobody there even liked the Marlins. Houston, Braves, Toronto, Texas, Seattle, the Brewers, lots of Rays, Yankees bros everywhere and a guy that said he hasn’t watched baseball since the Expos. Not a single Marlins fan. Were all twenty seven of you fish fans at the game that night? Either way, the inmates in my over crowded holding cell and the prison guards loved the story about Bonafacio and the way the evening transpired. The guards also didn’t like the Marlins. But does anyone anymore?
So I turn over my Eagles shoes and my Phillies belt and hat and spend a couple morning hours bullshitting with people while I wait for a judge. I’m the only one there for anything not charged with cocaine possession or stabbing anyone as we all get called up to see the judge. This is honestly the best part. Judge looks at me, “Alright a Philly fan! You’re a real fan, you traveled a ways to get here.” She looks down to my charges “And you got arrested at the game last night? Wow! Well here’s the deal Mr. Francis… I Love Baseball, and while I don’t love the Phils, I Love the Red Sox! And anyone that hates the Yankees as much as a Sox fan does is OK with me. CHARGES DISMISSED. Have a great weekend Mr. Francis, you’re free to go.”
I’m gonna buy her a Red Sox something for being so cool. But what a shocker. I could have crapped my pants with excitement when she said it. And I was off. But I made sure to get a copy of my mug shot before I left. I attached it below for your viewing pleasure. I’m Mike Francis and this has been the strangest but truest Phillies game story I ever could have imagined living out. I hope you enjoyed reading it.
Honestly I’m not creative enough to make this kind of stuff up.