Philadelphia and booing used to go together like peanut better and jelly. Boos were thrown out at almost every player who put on a uniform at one point or another. And, national media will never let us forget we once booed Santa Claus (even though they know nothing about the real story).
After the goose bumps wore off, the inevitable question arose, “Can we still boo if they don’t play up to par?”
It’s understandable to be hesitant about booing the defending world champions, but the Phillies 12-14 record at home is one of the worst in baseball.
“I notice sometimes if fans are near our dugout and talking to our players, they always want to talk about last year and that’s good -- I want them to keep coming to the games. But, I want the fans to start telling them they want to win this year too. Of course they love us and everything, but maybe they should get on them a little bit,” Manuel said according to The Reporter.
The next day, Manuel told Rich Hofmann of the Daily News that he was just kidding and that “the fans shouldn’t have to motivate our team.”
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But if this were last year and the Phillies played in front of their own fans like they are this year, those fans would be all over the team, the manager, the front office and maybe even the guy that plays the saxophone outside the stadium.
But we won the World Series -- we’re not allowed to boo any more.
The real reason the Phillies fans boo is not because we don’t like the player but because we know that they aren’t playing up to their potential. Jimmy Rollins, the no-question leader of the team, is batting a paltry .204 at home. Jamie Moyer and Joe Blanton have ERAs over 6.75 when they are on the mound at CBP.
Now let's not boo Jimmy every time he gets up to bat or trash the pitchers when they are on the hill, but the thought should be in our minds.
It’s not a stretch to say that this team is just as good -- if not better -- than the team that won it all last year. The Phillies road record is the best in baseball.
But, it seems like Phillies fans are complaisant with just a taste of championship sweetness. But we shouldn't be complaisant -- we should want to gorge.