Charlie Manuel, the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, and the rest of those Philadelphia Cheesecakes may have just catapulted the Mets out of their month long slump on Friday.
Besides continuing their usual round of trash talking, this time from starter Cole Hamels, they picked a fight with the wrong guy during game one of the doubleheader when they accused El Duque of illegally doctoring baseballs with a foreign substance.
El Duque was shocked, when in the middle of his warm-up pitches all the umpires and Willie Randolph gathered around him on the mound and asked for his baseball cap. Of course they found nothing that a little Tide or Wisk couldn’t fix, and gave him his hat back.
El Duque was furious as he pointed his fingers right into the Phillies dugout with a flood of Spanish expletives that was definitely not for the faint of heart. When Ramon Castro was asked if he thought El Duque was mad, he replied "Oh, yeah," Castro shook his head. How angry was he? "He was talking Spanglish," the catcher said, as he broke out laughing.
Willie Randolph said "I was glad they did that. They did us a big favor."
El Duque went on to dominate the Phillies for the entire game. He was at his absolute best and even his fastball clocked in at 94 MPH, a new season high. On the day he allowed the Cheesecakes only two runs and three hits, while striking out seven batters.
In what could only be seen as a small token of justice or revenge, El Duque ended the game with a strikeout in the sixth inning, and as he left the mound he stared into the Philly dugout and pumped both of his fists in the air.