Philadelphia Phillies Philes Vol 1.23: Entitled to better baseball

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 29: Philadelphia Phillies fans cheer after Scott Kingery hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park on May 29, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 11-4. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 29: Philadelphia Phillies fans cheer after Scott Kingery hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park on May 29, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies won 11-4. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images) /

In a week where Sean Rodriguez called the fans entitled, the Philadelphia Phillies once again reminded all just how unworthy of our respect they are.

Leading off

The Philadelphia Phillies aren’t that good. After another series loss, this time to the New York Mets who had lost six straight games prior to Friday night, the Phillies are in danger of falling into fourth place in their own division. They’ve also fallen to 3.5 games back of the second wild-card leading Cubs.

The Phillies need to get hot while the teams close on their heels and those in front go cold, and that just seems extremely far from possible. Quite frankly, the Phillies are an average baseball team, and maybe even that is a stretch. With 28 games to go, I’ll be shocked if they finish above .500.

What a disappointing group.

Run at your own risk

Why people even attempt to run on J.T. Realmuto is beyond me. He’s thrown out a league-best 40 attempted base stealers, almost twice as many as the next best. His 49 percent caught-stealing rate also tops the league among qualified catchers.

On top of his impressive offensive numbers, Realmuto continues to show why he’s one of the best all-around players in baseball, let alone catchers.

Entitled…to boo

More from Philadelphia Phillies

My take on the Sean Rodriguez comments are this: he’s entitled (like what I did there?) to say what he feels. At the same time, Philly fans are entitled to voice their opinion.

Unlike Rodriguez, fans don’t have the opportunity to voice their displeasure in front of a microphone and camera in a controlled setting. Booing and cheering is the best way for fans to voice their opinion, often from a reactive perspective. Booing players who are under-performing is completely justified.

Baseball players – and all professional athletes, for that matter – are paid handsomely to play a game that fans pay to see. It’s a show, and if the paying customer is unhappy, he or she has every right to react in an appropriate manner. Remember the whole “sticks and stones” adage? Booing – even rude comments – never hurt. It’s on the player to develop a thick skin.

Sean Rodriguez has every right to voice his opinion. And we have every right to disagree.

Most Valuable Phillie Power Rankings – Top 15 (through 8/31/2019):

  1. J.T. Realmuto (C) – Previous Rank: 1 (↔)
  2. Aaron Nola (SP) – Previous Rank: 2 (↔)
  3. Bryce Harper (OF) – Previous Rank: 3 (↔)
  4. Hector Neris (RP) – Previous Rank: 5 (↑ 1)
  5. Jean Segura (SS) – Previous Rank: 6 (↑ 1)
  6. Rhys Hoskins (1B) – Previous Rank: 4 (↓ 2)
  7. Cesar Hernandez (2B) – Previous Rank: 7 (↔)
  8. Scott Kingery (OF/INF) – Previous Rank: 8 (↔)
  9. Mike Morin (RP) – Previous Rank: 10 (↑ 1)
  10. Vince Velasquez (SP) – Previous Rank: 9 (↓ 1)
  11. Jason Vargas (SP) – Previous Rank: 11 (↔)
  12. Jose Alvarez (RP) – Previous Rank: 13 (↑ 1)
  13. Blake Parker (RP) – Previous Rank: 12 (↓ 1)
  14. Corey Dickerson (OF) – Previous Rank: N/A (↑)
  15. Zach Eflin (SP) – Previous Rank: N/A (↑)

“Ring the Bell” Award Winner of the Week

Sean Rodriguez drew the ire of many fans for his “entitled” comments. However, his manager’s response the next day was spot-on:

"“I don’t think our fans are entitled. What they’re entitled to do is feel how they feel and express themselves accordingly. Let’s go at it directly, every great player in every sport that’s played here in Philadelphia has gotten booed. Charles Barkley was here and talked to our club not that long ago. Charles Barkley got booed. Ryan Howard got booed. Jimmy Rollins got booed. Mike Schmidt got booed.”"

Gabe Kapler, booed by Phillies fans in his home debut as manager last season, has had his fair share of struggles, but for his awareness and introspective outlook (at least on this matter), he earns this week’s honor. Go ahead and ring it, Gabe!

Phillie Pholly of the Week

I could have given this to Sean Rodriguez, but I’ve already exhausted enough energy on his irrelevant opinion. Instead, Gabe Kapler pulls double duties as he takes home this week’s “Pholly,” and I’ll explain.

When Nick Pivetta was optioned down to Triple-A just over a week ago, Kapler mentioned to reporters an area the young hurler needs to focus on:

"“I think Nick is a developing young man and, specifically, I think he’s still really learning 100 percent accountability. Well, I think the most important thing a player can do in these situations is look themselves in the mirror and say, ‘What can I do better?’ And that’s what I mean by accountability.”"

Is Gabe listening to his own words?

Last Sunday after Cesar Hernandez didn’t run out of the box following a hit he thought was a homer against the Marlins – a game the Phillies would inevitably lose – Kapler once again failed the organization by electing to not discipline the player in the exact moment.

He would “bench” Hernandez the next game, but it wasn’t enough. Granted, Kapler’s only in his second year of managing and is still learning, but had he taken immediate action any of the previous times this happened throughout the year, a precedent would have been set and it’s likely we wouldn’t be seeing this lack of hustle now.


Braves manager Brian Snitker had no problem benching MVP-candidate Ronald Acuña Jr. a few weeks back after the young superstar failed to run in a similar situation. Charlie Manuel had no problem benching Jimmy Rollins back in the day.

What do these two managers have in common? Their teams win.

Why then does Gabe Kapler refuse to set a tone of accountability – the same accountability he’s asking his players to instinctually practice?

As the person paid to manage and lead the team, Kapler needs to set the right example in the moment. Unfortunately, the example he’s setting is one of passivity where lack of effort is excusable.

I get the Phillies need to win games. I get that they have a weak bench and that keeping Hernandez in presents the best opportunity to win. I also understand the importance of setting a winning precedent, an area that Kapler has overlooked.

The fact that he sat Hernandez the next day is a tiny step in the right direction, but the benching needs to be immediate right after the play. That will set a tone. A winning tone. One the Phillies desperately need.

Phillies Phlashback

The date was Sunday, September 3, 2006, and Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had himself a game. Facing the Braves’ Tim Hudson, Howard would homer in each of his first three at-bats, connecting for numbers 50, 51 and 52 on the season (watch clips here). The eventual 2006 NL MVP would go on to finish the year with 58 home runs, which remains the Phillies single-season record.

While the three homers were impressive, so, too, was the game.

Down 7-6 entering the bottom of the ninth, Chris Coste led off the frame for the Phillies with a single. Utility infielder Joe Thurston would pinch-run and safely reach second on an Abraham Nuñez sacrifice bunt. Following a Randall Simon walk, Jimmy Rollins would deliver a game-tying liner to left.

With Carlos Ruiz on third – who came in to pinch run for Simon – and Rollins on second, Shane Victorino connected on a grounder into right field, plating Ruiz for the come-from-behind walk-off win.

Geoff Geary earned his seventh win in relief, while Bob Wickman recorded the loss and blown save.

dark. Next. Phillies allow another strong Aaron Nola outing go to waste

On Deck

The Philadelphia Phillies visit the Reds for four games before taking on the Mets again, this time at Citi Field.