Ibanez demolishes Aaron Rowand's record for fastest to tri-state man-crush
Updated: April 28, 2009

By , PhillyGameday.com

Aaron Rowand’s legendary record of reaching full-on man-crush status in only 34 games as a Phillie has fallen in nearly half the time due to Raul Ibanez’s epic play, only 18 games into his Phillies career. Rauuuul capped off a 3-for-5 performance at the plate with a go-ahead grand slam in the Phillies’ 13-11 triumph over the bottom-dwelling Washington Nationals.

The previous man-love record was set back on May 11, 2006 when Rowand made a spectacular catch while smashing head first into the center field fence at Citizens Bank Park against the rival Mets with the bases loaded. The bloodied center fielder’s all-out hustle and love for the game earned him an instant free pass for the remainder of his baseball career and an early trip to the disabled list. The injury also led to Cole Hamels’ major league debut as he was called up to replace Rowand and made his first career start the following day.

Ibanez earned the record by hitting .342 with six home runs, 16 RBIs and 18 runs scored through 18 games. By comparison, Rowand hit .306 with only two homers, five RBIs and an un-Ibanez-like nine runs scored through his first 18 games as a Phillie. However, sacrificing your body to make a game-saving catch is easily worth a good 20 or so homers.

“I definitely don’t play this game for the records, but I appreciate the sentiment by the fans,” said Ibanez. “I consider myself lucky that I didn’t have to destroy my face to break the record. That’s always a good thing.”

Zaki is the Chief Rocka and senior writer for PhillyGameday.com and thinks you should hurry up and follow the site on Twitter and Facebook before it's too late.

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