Embarrassment at Citizens Bank Park

by Mike Cunningham

I'm an embarrassed to be a Phillies fan. I'm embarrassed to be a Philadelphia Sports Fan. And I'm embarrassed to be a Philadelphian.

On Saturday, I spent 3 hours in the blistering sun, watching my home taken over by Red Sox Fans. Coming on the heels of losing 2 of 3 to the Mets, where the Cit was peppered with New Yorkers, once again seats that should be reserved for the hometown crowd were empty, and they were eagerly filled by the fans of the Defending World Champions.

There are certain things you can expect at a ball game. Beer, Cracker Jack, Peanuts, the Phanatic. You also expect, when you stand in Ashburn Alley waiting for your Pork Sandwich from Tony Luke's that when you hear loud cheers, your team just scored. Unfortunately, the Phillies were not at bat.

Now the Phillies for their part didn't give the fans anything to cheer about in the first 2 games of this series. The Phillies potent offense has been shut down for 2 straight weeks. Adding to that misery, the Red Sox have outscored the Phillies 15-1. Embarrassing.

Regardless of the field of play, the lackluster Phillie fans coupled with the fans who choose not to show up is worse than anything. All year long, there has been a vitriolic rage among Philadelphians who call themselves Phillies fans. The city who is starving for a winner, has decided to focus all of their rage on the Phillies, the most disappointing franchise in sports history.

Despite the fact that the last 4 and a half years, the Phillies have a winning record, a better stretch than any in least 25 years for the team. That doesn't mean a thing, because this team underachieves. Or they have no heart. Or Bobby Abreu's numbers are empty. Lieberthal is a joke. Thome is done. Pat Burrell is a bum.

Last year, the Phillies were heralded as champions of the NL East, before a game was even played. Despite the fact the Braves were still in the division and of course so were the defending World Champion, Flordia Marlins, the Phillies did occupy first place as late as July 22. But no matter, Ed Wade made no deal at the break despite having tradeable commodies like Ryan Howard, Gavin Floyd, Marlon Byrd and Placido Polanco. And the Phillies faded past the Trade Deadline.

Bill Conlin wrote at the end of the year, it was the most disappointing Phillies season EVER. And he was right. The fans had their chance to win, the seats were filled with people, and then like Paulie from Goodfellas turning his back on Henry Hill so did the fans, and the Phillies faded.

This season offered no new hope. The same pitching staff was in place, despite the addition of Jon Lieber. Tim Hudson and Randy Johnson weren't here. Fan-favorite Larry Bowa was replaced as manager, and the best the Phillies could do was ignore Jim Leyland and bring in Foghorn Leghorn, Charlie Manuel.

So what is a Phillies fan's recourse? Give up their Season Tickets and not show up to the games. And that leaves thousands of empty seats to be scooped up by Red Sox and Mets fans. Rob Charry on WIP was trying to figure out why? It wasn't because Red Sox Nation was there. It was because the City of Brotherly Love WASN'T. And that's most embarrassing of all.



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