Sal's Pals More Entertaining Than Phillies

Sal's Pals More Entertaining Than Phillies

Sal Fasano is Italian, looks like a trash man, has a Fu Manchu and therefore will be beloved by Philadelphia more than Bobby Abreu, one of the best hitters in baseball, ever will.

Sal loves his new found glory as the man with a mustache:

“It pumped me up,” Fasano said Monday before the Phillies opened a series in Atlanta. I was in awe of the whole thing because I thought only superstars have stuff like this.”

“Sal's Pals” began as only a handful of fans, but grew to more than two dozen by the time Fasano started Game 2, with many of the late arrivers drawing mustaches on their faces.

Although a 34-year-old journeyman who has never been a starter in the big leagues, Fasano was warned in spring training that he could become very popular this season. After all, he's a full-blooded Italian playing in South Philly. Both of his parents, in fact, were born in Italy before settling in suburban Chicago.

The Phillies lost their 8th home game in 10 tries this season Friday night.  A Florida player stole home.. STOLE HOME.  But at least Sal's pals had something to cheer for:

Sal delivers: Fasano sent 20 free pizzas to Sal's Pals, a group of about 20 fans in the right-field upper deck seats that come decked out in the long hair and shaggy mustache like the catcher. Fasano went 2-for-3 with an RBI, giving his faithful followers plenty of reason to cheer.

In related news, Fasano's family crest is a picture of a barracuda eating Neil Armstrong.  The chief export of Sal Fasano is mustache.

In addition to bringing in Dutch Daulton to manage the Phillies, I'm a staunch proponent of changing the starting rotation and catcher match ups to:

Fasano --> Fasano
Fasano --> Fasano
Fasano --> Fasano
Fasano --> Fasano
Fasano --> Fasano

I'd like to encourage all of Sal's Pals and other loyal fans to send in all pictures of Sal and/or his pals.  This phenomena needs to be documented.  Send all pictures to:  the700level [at]

Follow Up: Sal's Pals founders write in with stories and photos.

-Fasano in Awe of Sal's Pal's fanclub [PhillyBurbs]
-Phillies Lose to Fish [ESPN Recap]
-Sal Fasano, Legend [PhilliesPhans]
-Fire Charlie, Hire Dutch [700]
-Picture from Flickr user [djhaigh]

College Hoops wrap: St. Joe's edged in usual ending at Saint Louis

AP Images

College Hoops wrap: St. Joe's edged in usual ending at Saint Louis

No. 2 Villanova bounced back with a win over No. 23 Creighton, clinching the Big East regular-season title outright (see Instant Replay). Meanwhile, Temple was able to clip Tulane in double overtime to end a three-game losing streak (see Instant Replay).

Here's a look at the rest of college hoops in the Philly area. 

Saint Joseph's edged by Saint Louis in unusual ending, 61-60
ST. LOUIS -- Jalen Johnson scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Mike Crawford hit a key 3-pointer, and Saint Louis edged Saint Joseph's 61-60 with an unusual ending on Saturday.

The Billikens were up 61-58 with five seconds left when Crawford missed a pair of free throws. The Hawks' Jai Williams grabbed the rebound and passed to James Demery. Demery dribbled the floor and bypassed Brendan Casper, who was calling for the ball just outside the 3-point arc, and made a layup as time expired, sealing a one-point win for Saint Louis.

Crawford's 3-pointer gave the Billikens a 59-58 lead with 1:15 to play. Johnson forced a turnover on Saint Joseph's next possession, and Aaron Hines made a layup to stretch the lead to 61-58.

Saint Louis (10-19, 5-11 Atlantic 10) snapped a three-game losing skid.

Chris Clover scored 17 points to lead Saint Joseph's (10-18, 3-13), which has lost eight straight (see full recap).

Drexel downed in Charleston, 80-67
CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Jarrell Brantley scored 22 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four steals, Joe Chealey added 16 with three steals, and the College of Charleston beat Drexel 80-67 on Saturday to win its fourth straight.

Cameron Johnson scored 14 for the Cougars (23-8, 14-4), who have a No. 2 seed and first-round bye secured at next week's Colonial Athletic Association Tournament.

Chealey's free throw put the Cougars up for good 11-10 en route to a 36-26 halftime lead. Brantley hit three straight free throws and the Cougars led by 18, 70-52, with 6:30 left to play in the second half and were never seriously threatened.

The Cougars shot 27 of 40 free throws and outrebounded the Dragons 39-32, scoring 14 second-chance points off of 13 offensive rebounds.

Kurk Lee scored 13 points for Drexel (9-22, 3-15), which has lost five straight (see full recap).

Penn State allows near triple-double to Mason, loses to Minnesota, 81-71
MINNEAPOLIS -- Nate Mason had 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and Jordan Murphy added 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Minnesota Gophers in an 81-71 win over Penn State on Saturday.

Dupree McBrayer added 15 points off the bench for Minnesota (22-7, 10-6 Big Ten) with Akeem Springs scoring 12. Reggie Lynch had nine points and set a career-high with 11 blocks as the Gophers won their seventh game in a row and avenged an earlier loss at Penn State.

Tony Carr had 20 points and seven assists, while Shep Garner scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Nittany Lions, who have lost three straight. Penn State had just five turnovers, all in the first half, but shot 35.5 percent.

Excluding the vacated season of 1996-97, Minnesota has won seven games in a row for the first time since 1978 (see full recap).