The Phillies slow start has their fans on edge.
The afternoon crawled along, threatening rain in the late COVID summer. Philadelphia Phillies fans were beyond annoyance, their anger stoked by talk radio hosts shouting that manager Joe Girardi had committed the unforgivable sin of pointing out that two long-injured relief pitchers were injured. This was not considered an acceptable comment about his bullpen’s dreadful start.
The Phillies were scheduled to start a 4:05 p.m. game, and apparently, Girardi was expected to mount a coup d’etat at Citizens Bank Park before that hour, or at least hold a gun to managing partner John Middleton’s head until he brought in better relievers by – oh, say, this past April.
The afternoon’s opponent would be the Baltimore Orioles, suddenly an A.L. East contender. (Just try typing that without error. Or laughter.)
Personally, I was arguing with another long-time Phillies fan about the Philadelphia tenure of Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, who is working in a contract year. He was hopeful. I am not.
It’s almost not worth mentioning that no one seemed immediately satisfied with the recent replacement of two problematic relievers by two others who had been awaiting phone calls at the backup team’s camp, or whatever it’s called.
Then, it started raining.
Even the report that presumed up-and-coming star Alec Bohm was also coming from that same camp was met with cynicism. One Twitter poet declared: “Bohm will single handedly fix every problem confronting the Phillies. He will: -have a > 1.000 OPS at all times -fix the bullpen -fire Klentak -fix Kingery’s swing -shave Rhys’s mustache -bring back the old Phanatic -allow fans into the stadium.”
For the record, recent photos reveal Rhys Hoskins has already shaved off that mustache, but how would this fan know? Local cable TV didn’t broadcast yesterday’s game. It was only on MLB.tv. And here’s another hard-to-type sentence: It’s almost as though it would be better if the team were still farming out a couple of games here and there to Facebook.
Have I noted the Orioles have beaten the Phillies in the first two games in their current series? The Phillies are currently 5-8, the Orioles 9-7. Last night, without a mustache, Hoskins grounded into three double plays.
The game broadcast came on. It was still raining. It was announced by veteran Phillies play-by-play man Tom McCarthy that the umpiring crew was on the phone to New York, trying to determine an answer to the question: “What are we going to do?”
Phillies fans undoubtedly answered from their various TV observation posts, “Exactly.”