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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Stop Whining, Willie and Billy

This link (you need to scroll down a bit) suggests that the Phillies' fans were cheering when Jose Reyes collided with Chase Utley's knee in the third inning of Friday night's game. Apparently, Willie Randolph and Billy Wagner were upset at the cheering they thought they heard when Reyes lay prone on second base.

I was at the game, and I was pretty close to the field. Was there cheering? If there was, it was by a vast minority of fans. But to claim that the fans in general were cheering is a gross overexaggeration. The sources? A thin-skinned Randolph -- and this makes you wonder what type of heat he can actually stand in his personal hot seat as Mets' skipper -- and Wagner, a gadfly who often says things that border on the outrageous.

Did the Phillies' fans boo when Reyes seemingly lay prone on the basepath forever? Yes, some did. Why? Because many thought that the Mets were milking the situation to get Phillies' pitcher Cole Hamels out of his rhythm. At some point, plate ump Brian Runge should have prompted the Mets into action more quickly -- either Reyes gets up and plays, or he gets replaced. To me (and I didn't cheer or boo -- I was hoping that Reyes would pop up quickly), the whole injury scene did take too long. Did the Mets milk it a bit? Who knows? Like Randolph, I would have taken as much time as given to ensure that my superstar was healthy and ready to play. Was there some game playing regarding letting Hamels get cold? Possibly, but it was a backstory to Reyes' getting hurt on his head-first slide. Still, those who booed the time it took to permit the Mets to make a decision were not out of line -- I've heard worse in most major cities.

But were the Phillies' fans generally happy that Reyes got hurt? Of course not. Few want to see another player get hurt. Why? Because we're good sports, generally, and we don't want our players to get hurt, either. And, like New York fans and Boston fans, we can be tougher on our own than our opponents. Willie Randolph and Billy Wagner should stay focused on what's going on during the game, and by large measure they have been, as the Mets have taken two straight from the Phils and Wagner has gotten two saves.

But these overexaggerations were wrong.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was also at the game, much further up than you were, and it was not a vast minority of fans up there. There was a wave of cheering, frankly the loudest the whole game until the 8th inning, and then people started HIGH FIVING. And the boos initially started when Reyes STOOD UP.

I think the problem at CBP is that too many people are there to have something to do between Eagles' seasons, and not enough care about baseball, or the Phillies.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Escort81 said...

There is a precedent for cheering an injury at the Vet during an Eagles game -- Michael Irvin horizontal on the artificial turf. But that was the Cowboys.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the game, and I booed the ump when Reyes took an inordinate amount of time. I only just now saw the replay on TV and Reyes didn't even touch the bag - Utley's lower leg completely blocked the bag, and Reyes should have been called out. Instead, he scored after Hamels had to wait while Reyes and Willie milked the situation.

The Mets will fold again just like they did last year, as the same soft players make up the core.

6:33 PM  

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