TERYVETTE "TERY" IBANEZ gives the look you give when somebody has just said something so shocking that you momentarily convince yourself you couldn’t possibly have heard it correctly. Even though her eyes are behind tawny Jimmy Choo sunglasses, you see them widen. “Are you kidding me?”
Nearby, Heidi Hamels’s hand flies up to her own eyes, squinting in the sun. “Are you serious?” she whispers.
Between them, sitting under a palm tree in Clearwater, Florida, by one of the Phillies’ spring training fields, Missy -Martin — that would be longtime-fiancée-of-Phils-skipper-Charlie–Manuel Missy Martin — has just informed these two ladies that on occasion, Phils fans come to her and Charlie’s front door and knock … and Charlie lets them in. You know, to talk baseball.
Rewind: Tery Ibanez has just been talking about these same fans, how they sometimes creep into the backyard of the Main Line house she shares with her husband, Phils outfielder Raul, and their four children. And Heidi has told of how she and her husband, standout pitcher Cole, have had to institute a firm rule of no fan interaction while they’re dining out, at least until plates are cleared. And now Missy has just thrown a Molotov cocktail into the whole conversation.
“Oh, yeah! Two or three times Charlie’s let ’em in, sat down and talked with them,” says Missy, who is like Charlie in that she has a warm, folksy charm, and unlike him in that she is slender and country-chic, in a Loretta Lynn kind of way.
Tery is now wildly shaking her head. “Oh no, oh no no no,” she says. “I’m from Miami. I would be saying, ‘Charlie! Charlie! What are you doing?!’”
Heidi, amused, sinks back in her chair. “I can so see Charlie doing this.”
“Oh, that’s just how Charlie is,” Missy continues, accompanied by a dismissive wave. “He’ll sit down and talk baseball with anybody. But then I’ll walk in and think, How weird is this? And then I give him the look.”
Ah yes. The Look. Is there any more deadly weapon a wife has at her disposal than the withering, telepathic, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding Look? But if you’re married to/engaged to/shacking up with a Philadelphia Phillie, The Look is often all you have to try and keep your life from devolving into total chaos.
Because if you’re a Phillies spouse, your life is lived in halves. There’s the public half, the glamorous half, the half that makes you a celebrity. The one that gets waved to the front of lines for pricey blowouts and beauty treatments at the city’s better salons, that gets the table at Vetri without the reservation, that sits in deluxe box seats at Citizens Bank Park, that drives the nice car and shops at nice stores. That lives a life that can only be called delicious.