June Manuel, the mother of Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie, died this morning.  The Phil’s skipper is managing his team in the second game of the National League Champion Series this evening. 

What struck me about this brief story was a paragraph that speaks to the humanity of the games’ players.  It would have happened around water coolers or work sites anywhere in this country.  But with all the hate that has infused our political season and the fear of financial loss that threatens many, it’s welcome on a Friday afternoon to recognize our commonalities.  If only politics were like baseball.

Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez, whom Manuel managed in Cleveland, was among the players and coaches who stopped to offer condolences. Dodgers manager Joe Torre put a hand on Manuel’s shoulder as the two chatted, and former Phillies closer Mitch Williams also dropped by behind the cage.

And if only there wasn’t mention of Mitch “Wild Man” Williams.  He was the pitcher who gave up the winning home run to Joe Carter that cost the Phillies the 1993 World Series.