PHILADELPHIA -- Three suspicious unattended packages left along the first-base side of Citizens Bank Park were detonated by a bomb squad Wednesday afternoon at about 5 p.m. ET, according to Michael Stiles, the Phillies' senior vice president, administration and operations. The substances inside the packages weren't explosive, and the area was cleared for Wednesday's Phillies-Braves game. "It turned out to be nothing," Stiles said.
It turned out to be a whole lot of nothing. The team later announced that "a commercial shoot was conducted at the park, during which hot dogs heavily wrapped in white packaging and duct tape were used as projectiles by the Phanatic's hot dog launcher. Three of those projectiles were inadvertently left behind on a light post at our First-Base gate." Police were called shortly after 4 p.m., when the packages were discovered outside the stadium, and some Phillies employees in the East side of the stadium were told to leave the area at 4:45 p.m., including general manager Pat Gillick and assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. The Phillies and Braves, who were on the field, continued to take batting practice. The Philadelphia Police's bomb squad detonated the packages and sounded an "all clear" for fans to return to the park, Stiles said. "The police reported that this package did not contain an explosive device," he said. Shortly after the package was detonated, multiple reports surfaced that the packages contained hot dogs and condiments left by a delivery person, but Stiles wouldn't confirm that initially. "When we looked at the debris afterwards, there was packaging and duct tape," Stiles said. "Somebody just said hot dogs. We just did what we thought was appropriate. In this day and age, if you have a question, you call the police. They took action. It's important to let people know that it did not contain an explosive device. "We could've gone over, picked it up and thrown it in the trash and been done with it, but if we had been wrong, someone might have lost an arm." With the crisis averted, some players in the clubhouse were able to laugh at the drama the situation created. They heard the "crack" of the explosion, but weren't sure what it was. "I'd rather them blow up ketchup, mustard and relish than have it be the real thing," Chad Durbin said.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.