My first game in attendance for 2007 was today's BPS at 3:05 pm, and hats, mittens, and scarves, where really needed! The wind whipped around the stadium in the lower level concourse areas so badly your teeth chattered, and that was before the Phil's took to the field! It was 43 degrees at game time, but with the wind chill and overcast skies it felt like 32 degrees. As strange as that was, the game followed suit. The Phil's looked listless, like they couldn't fight their way from a paper bag. The bright spot was Pat Burrell today, he got a small amount of boos here and there upon a strikeout but when he hit the ball, he ignited the crowd! A double off the Southwest Airlines sign in center sent the fans into fits, they clapped cheered and all of his 'sins' if you can call them that were forgotten.
I also heard something today, I didn't think I would hear from the crowd, booing last year's MVP Ryan Howard. Can this be possible? Even on the radio broadcast, Larry Anderson couldn't believe it, and mentioned this on the air. Are people that critical in Philly? They boo Santa, so they would boo the King of Homeruns too? I saw Howard angrily react after a strikeout in the dugout by throwing a cup in disgust. This is not good. Is this why the Phillies only won 1 more game than they lost last year at home? They wouldn't get this bad a treatment on the road for crying out loud. I can see being disappointed as a fan but to boo your own players in their home stadium is beyond me. The fans should stand by their players, maybe their in a slump, maybe they had a bad day at home, whatever! I am sure anyone reading this has had bad days and for someone to kick you when your down, that is inexcusable.
The Braves had a losing record against the Phils last year, so maybe they had a score to settle. Many writers have pointed to Jimmy Rollins claim that the "Phil's are the team to beat" proclaimation have spirited on teams to play extra tough against them. That may have some merit. The Bravo's go meet the buzzsaw called the Mets down in Atlanta so, I don't think the Braves will be undefeated soon, but I do know the Phils are getting themselves buried a bit quickly and they need to find a win and find it soon.
Yes, the Phils got swept at home. The first three games are history. Now they go down to Florida to play the hungry Marlins on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Thank god, there is only 6-7 thousand people in that stadium and chances are they won't be booing the Phillies. Something is wrong, I don't know if is all the players fault. It does speak volumes when you go .500 at home but you win more games on the road that much is for sure.
I'll be doing a podcast on Sunday to sum up what goes on down in Florida where the Phil's need to come up with a 'fish fry'!
Rich Baxter // Fightin' Phils 2007 Audio Blog