Phillies fans are used to Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Roy Oswalt.
With one of the best rotations in the history of the game, a robot, designed by students at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Engineering and Applied Science, probably had little chance of impressing anyone. The machine got soundly booed when it failed to hurl the ball across the plate as part of the opening pitch ceremonies at yesterday's Phillies-Brewers game.
The robot, PhillieBot, lobbed a softball that had to be scooped up by the Philly Phanatic mascot several feet in front of home plate. The pitch couldn't have gone faster than about 30 miles per hour.
Made from a Segway, PhillieBot has an arm that acts like a pitching machine. However unlike a pitching machine, which functions like a gun, PhillieBot has an armature connected to a hand that was specifically designed for throwing, and it can put wrist action on the ball. Yet despite this design, the pitch came off as more of a slow, unimpressive soft toss.
After the failure of PhillieBot, Philly fans let the robot have it. Sports fans from the City of Brotherly Love are notorious for bad attitudes -- in the past, Philly fans have booed Santa Claus and cheered when former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin seriously damaged his neck during a game.
Check the video below for the entire incident, which took place at Science Day At The Ballpark, part of a school outreach program.