Charlie Manuel Wants Fans to Toughen Up on the Phillies

It’s like some sort of Twilight Zone in Philly. Philly fans have carved out a reputation as some of the least-forgiving in the country, being notoriously known for booing Santa Claus. But with the Phillies pulling in a World Series title last year, the fans have much less about which they should be bitter. Much less. And apparently that is becoming a problem for manager Charlie Manuel who’s unhappy with the team’s 9-14 home record:

“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.”

This reminds me all too much of the Rachel Phelps line from Major League: “Maybe the problem is we’re coddling these guys too much, yeah.” It’s like Manuel’s living in some sort of alternate universe here dealing with Philly fans actually being happy. Now I’m not sure if it’s the fans who are responsible for the effect, but the Phils could just be falling victim to the trend of complacency that inflicts championship teams; it’s really hard to repeat as champions because players don’t always work as hard the following year once they’ve reached the top. You could point to the team’s excellent road record to negate that argument, which I guess would come back to Manuel’s comments. Who knows, maybe there is something to what he’s saying.

(via Sports by Brooks)

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    With all of the heart ache endured by Philly fans over the years there is a feeling of relief with the start of this season. While the Phillies aren’t playing well at home it’s surely a good sign they can play on the road. Their home record will improve once the Phillies pitching gets in line because their offense will always be there. I think this was a good move by Charlie Manuel and there is without a doubt the honeymoon period will end in Philly and the fans will start to respond and push them along. Look for the Phils to rebound this weekend with a home series starting Friday against the Nationals.

  • http://www.discoverfellowship.com Rich Gieson

    Fans to toughen up on Phillies?
    Is Charlie Manuel delegating a job to the Philly Fans? Talk about passing the buck.
    Phillies are not victims of their own complacency, what they are victims of is their own overachieving. Great teams thrive on the pressure to repeat, mediocre teams dive on the pressure to repeat.
    The Philly Fan dosen’t have a job, its their dime to sit and watch.
    The Phillies have a job, its their time to hit and catch.
    The game really isn’t complicated, just ask Yogi!