The Nationals certainly have much to celebrate; their first month of play has been highly successful, and the future looks bright. It’s too bad I didn’t write about that in the last month, before the events of last night.
I also wish I could get through one, just one Phillies series without thinking their fans are the most vile specimens of human beings on the planet.
Saturday, I thought that might be the case. True to form, Philly showed up in massive numbers. Thanks to the (I think) successful marketing/PR move by the Nationals to “take back the Park,” the place was packed, and much of the red belonged to Washington. After a nail-biter Friday night in which the Nats prevailed, they pulled off a big win Saturday, in which former Philly star Jayson Werth hit a home run to take the initial lead. As suspected, the Phillies fans booed his success, one even shouted profanities at my fiance (because clearly, the best way to get back at someone for supporting a winning team is to tell them to F themselves.), in front of children. Classy. I’ve come to expect that. By the end of the game, though, we’d made friends with the phans in front of us, and it was an overall great experience. Had I managed to publish a blog that night, my summary of Take Back the Park would’ve been much different.
Last night wasn’t as successful, for the Nationals or for the overall public perception of the people of Philadelphia.
The Nationals got creamed, that’s the only way to describe a 9-3 loss. After losing 2 in a row, the Phillies fans no doubt had something to cheer about. The top of the 9th was a complete pitching debacle on our part.
Earlier in the game, Phillies fans got about as creative as they can, and started chanting to Jayson Werth that he was a sell-out. Okay.
But the fact that Werth’s former fans suddenly hate him now that he’s playing well and the Nats are winning (last year they cheered for him the first time the Nats came to town), is not so surprising.
Here’s what is:
In the top of the 6th, Werth attempted to dive for a fly ball. It would’ve been a great catch, and he nearly had it, until he fell on his left wrist, breaking it. It’s too soon to tell how long he’ll be out, but it’s certainly devastating for the Nationals.
What’s more devastating is the lack of humanity that comes to town every time these 2 teams play. Phillies fans actually cheered when it was apparent that Werth was seriously injured. I heard someone behind me yell “yeah! get him out of here!”
You can heckle, taunt, annoyingly whistle, overrun our parking lots and flick us off in the name of baseball hyper-fandom. But cheering for another human being’s injury–a BASEBALL PLAYER at that–we’re not talking about a criminal here, but a baseball player that once brought your town immense success, is simply unacceptable.
Jayson’s wrist will heal. This team will keep winning. I just hope that decency befalls the seats of Citizens Bank Park in the meantime.