Based only on the goofy outfits they wear, any time a Major League Baseball mascot wanders away from the ballpark, the potential for shenanigans goes up tenfold. When the story specifically involves the Phillie Phanatic, along with a wedding at the Jersey Shore, a motel swimming pool and a lawsuit, well, you have struck comedic gold.
The Philadelphia Phillies find themselves among the defendants in a lawsuit brought by a woman named Suzanne Peirce, who alleges she sustained myriad injuries after the Phanatic tossed her — lounge chair and all — into a pool at the Golden Inn of Avalon, N.J., the weekend she was attending her sister's wedding two years ago. All that's missing from this story is Tommy Lasorda and an ATV chase. There's YouTube video of the Phanatic engaging in certain "antics" at said inn, but no smoking gun. (Or dripping-wet lawsuit lady.)
The lawsuit does not mention specific dollar amounts, but claims Peirce has spent large sums of money on medicine and medical attention and has also suffered from "humiliation and loss of life's pleasures. "
Peirce, Denker said, is a Phillies fan.
"Humiliation and loss of life's pleasures"? Sounds like a Philadelphia sports fan, all right.
Peirce claims she hurt just about everything in the incident, including suffering "severe and permanent injuries to her head, neck, back, body, arms and legs, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and tissues ..." and more. The pool did have water in it, Denker said, though Peirce was tossed in the shallow end.
"The next day she really felt it and had a difficult time getting out bed and had a difficult time participating in the wedding," Denker said.
Since it was unclear who was actually in the Phanatic costume that day, Peirce is suing both Tom Burgoyne and Matt Mehler or any other unnamed individual who was portraying the Galápagos Islands native there, the complaint claims. The team and The Golden Inn are also named as defendants.
Since it's a civil trial and not criminal, we should be spared the drama of Burgoyne being pressured to turn on Mehler, or vice versa. As with Dr. Who, it's tough to imagine the Phanatic informing on another of his selves. But I'd pay at least $50 to see a "Law and Order: Criminal Intent" rip this from the headlines. The best we can hope for, probably, is an "It's Always Sunny" episode with the Philly Frenetic.
It also might surprise you, but shouldn't, to learn that the Phanatic might get sued more often than any other mascot. Imagine if Lasorda ever followed through on his threats.