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Best or Worst Fans in Baseball?

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Best or Worst Fans in Baseball?

AP

I don't know if you've heard, but Phillies fans can be tough to deal with. It's a narrative that's been around since the printing press came about in the 15th century (well maybe not that early but you get my point).

For better or worse it hasn't gone away. And it seems like every season, something else happens that starts up the discussion about how rough the Philly fans are and how they are the worst in sports.

I've gotten used to it, and I've been able to ignore the rabble that is fodder for many a morning radio show. But still, I can't help but shake my head when this topic comes up again.

From Jeff Francoeur, as filmed by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, and previously commented on by NBC Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra:

“Philly is the worst -- no doubt about it,” Francoeur says. “I thought it was bad when I was with the Braves. Then it got even worse when I played for the Mets and we went there. In New York, people just yell at you. In Philly, they wear you out. Even the little kids can be rough in Philly. It’s way out of bounds.”

You see, if I were Francoeur, I wouldn't take this as an insult. I would take is as a compliment. Why? Because the opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference. If you were being ignored by the fans while you are patrolling the outfield, that would be an insult, because they don't notice you.

Getting razzed by opposing fans is part of the game, plain and simple. Some fans do it more than others, with more verbosity than others, and occasionally, with more curse words than others, but we do it out of love. I remember back in 2006, when I was at a Phillies/Reds game, and this guy in right field would not stop razzing Ryan Freel. It wasn't that Freel did anything to the Phillies, he was just out there, and the guy wouldn't stop harassing him. For the entire game. It wasn't mean spirited or vulgar, he was just busting his chops nonstop from the fourth inning on. And we loved it.

So, thanks Jeff. Thanks for once again complimenting the fine fans of Philadelphia, who year after year have to re-prove their status as the worst best fans in baseball. It's times like these that I'm glad I root for the Phillies. 

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