It is May 31st and the Phillies find themselves 11.5 games back of the division leading Mets. Is there light at the end of the tunnel? Sure! But its not the sun, its an oncoming train called “Scherzer and DeGrom. But the Phillies have a bigger issue than the standings, its the stands. Are the Phillies fans already checking out on this team?
If you went down to the Wells Fargo Center during this previous Flyers season then you probably noticed what most people noticed; There was no one there. The Wells Fargo Center looked like a local town hall meeting where people voiced their displeasure but you came away wondering “didnt you have ANYTHING better going on tonight than to come to THIS?!” The apoplectic nature of the Flyers fan base is thanks to a franchise that appears to be a rudderless ship. A franchise that just refuses to look inward and address age old problems. The fans got tired of it and checked out. The Phillies are close to facing the same problem.
The Phillies are in a good spot in many ways. During half of June, all of July and August, and 6 out of 7 days in September they are the only game in town (except for the Union.) So in many ways the Phillies have a monopoly on sports in the summer for Philadelphia. And there is no better place to go on a nice summer day than Citizens Bank Park. But when the team is bad, people aren’t going to go and when there is no hope, people aren’t going to pay attention. Yes! You there! Bobby Baseball will pay attention. But your neighbor who is a casual sports fan wont check in. Even our own Jamie Lynch from the John Kincade Show said he couldnt bring himself to check in this past weekend because he didnt want to see the team lose. And who could blame him?
The Phillies spent. A lot. They did the UNTHINKABLE and went over the luxury tax. And yet they somehow found themselves in a bigger hole than anyone could have imagined. With Girardi at the helm, the fanbase has become apoplectic. Phillies fans see the problem, and with everyday that goes by with Joe Girardi being the manager of this team, there is no real reason to come back.
Its not even June and this
team manager has lost the city. If the Phillies want to avoid the same fate that fell to the Flyers, they need to make a change and do it fast. Or else Citizens Bank Park will once again be a ghost town in the coming months.