People love to say Philly is a hard place to play. They will say the fans are fickle and will boo you the moment you struggle. Trea Turner has been the latest example used to support that case. He has started very slow. In fact, he is playing some of the worst baseball of his career. Nearly two months in, his avg stands at .250, and an OBP of .295. And that started to lead to him hearing the boo birds. Including during yesterday’s game vs the Diamondbacks. His 4th at bat saw him swing at two sliders nowhere near the strike zone. The boos got loud. Real loud.
But then he responded. In the 9th inning, he came up big, finally. They were trailing by 2, and down to their last out. And with one man on, Turner needed just 1 pitch to equalize it. He crushed his 5th HR of the season, to tie it up, and send the game to Extras, where they eventually won it.
But perhaps more notably than that, was how he reacted to the boos. He didn’t whine, or deflect. In fact, he has not done that at all during his struggles. Turner has made it perfectly clear his performance has been unacceptable. Hell, he even joked that his mom was booing him too. And that is the thing. He gets it.
Philly fans are not as tough to please as people say we are. Yea, we boo. But we are also incredibly easy to pander to. Just Turner taking that accountability is going to go a long way to making Philly fans fall head over heels with him. Yea, he is struggling now. But he is too talented not to figure that part out. He is going to be here for a while. 10 more seasons after this one. There will be many more moments like what happened yesterday. And there will be more struggles. But what is going to win fans over even more, is his attitude towards being booed.
Some guys just get it. And once Trea Turner starts hitting, if he keeps that attitude of owning up to his mistakes, and embracing the boos, he is going to fit in just fine in Philadelphia over the next 11 years. As hard as we can be on players at times, the guys who truly embrace the city, we will love more than any city loves any athlete. Trea Turner has a chance to be that type of beloved player. He may hear more boos. But the cheers he gets are going to be twice as loud.
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