If you're a professional baseballer, I imagine the list of instructions to getting along with your hometown fans is a short one: 1) Sign a few autographs. 2) Smile 3) Hit lots of HRs
Oh, and then there's 4), which is probably the most important, yet easiest to follow: Under no circumstances should you ever rip the paying fans for being frontrunners, especially when you're in the throes of a division race and especially when you're playing in Philadelphia.
You know, like Jimmy Rollins did the other night on The Best Damn Sports Show.
Understandably, Philadelphia fans are not pleased and their reactions follow the jump ...
The Fightins': "Frontrunners, Jimmy? You mean, for the past 25 years we’ve only supported all those winning teams we had? All (omitted) zero of them? That’s the only time we support our teams? Oh, okay. So when like, our defending MVP shortstop is having a (below par) season and is on pace to score about 70 less runs than he did last year — we should just unconditionally support him? Is that what you mean? Or when that same defending MVP gets benched for not running out fly balls or gets stuck in traffic on his way to a game vs. the Mets — we should just brush it off and cheer you on anyway? Got it. Thanks for the tip, J-Roll."
The 700 Level: "I get it; we're tough on our players. But front-runners? Let's be honest—it's hard to be a front-runner when your squad is one of the all-time losing-est franchises in sports. I won't even get into the Flyers attendance during the worst season in franchise history, or how tough it is to get a seat at the Linc to watch an 8-8 team, (...drawing a blank on any comparable Sixers reference)."
Honestly, if you asked me to list the most fairweather fans in this country, Philadelphia fans would have probably been at the very bottom. Those are some smart and rather loyal folks out there. Hang in there, Cheesesteakers. Your fandom is appreciated here on the Stew!
(Clip ripped courtesy of the technological wizard over on The Fightins')