Yes, the headline seems confusing, but that’s essentially what Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is begging for: Philly fans to boo. Yes, it’s like asking fish to swim, but evidently Philly fans have actually done the impossible in the aftermath of their team’s World Series title: They’ve become too polite.
(They’re not saying “Boo,” they’re saying “Lewww.” I want them to say “Boo”!)
According to THE REPORTER, Manuel has just about had it with fans thanking his players for what they did last year, insisting that it’s about time they start jumping on them for lack of current achievements. Hey, evidently he’s still a cantankerous skulk after all.
Manuel may have a point. While the Phillies are surging on the road — they’re a major league-best 16-6 away from Citizen’s Bank Park — they’ve struggled to an 8-13 record in Philadelphia, a mark which is about as strange as a Philadelphia manager begging for more vociferous protests from his team’s fans.
“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,” Manuel said. “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.”
Still, isn’t asking fans to boo a bridge too far here? Look, this is a city that can’t even hold a World Series Championship celebration without booing Adam Eaton and watching at least a pair of fans get into a full-on fight. Add in cheering for a potentially paralyzed foe, throwing snowballs at Santa Claus, and moonshine, and we’re pretty sure you have the nascent preconditions for the French Revolution.
That being said, it’s safe to assume that Philly fans will follow their manager’s lead, booing lustily whenever the Phillies screw up. Given the struggles of their pitching rotation so far this season, they’ve have ample opportunities. Then again, they can always get the booing started with Manuel himself.
After all, he asked for it.