Phillies

Payback’s a boooooo! Phillies fans give it right back to Sean Rodriguez

Payback’s a boooooo! Phillies fans give it right back to Sean Rodriguez

A day after hitting a game-winning home run in the 11th inning, Sean Rodriguez was in the Phillies’ starting lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ordinarily, a walk-off home run the night before would earn a player a nice ovation during pre-game introductions.

But Rodriguez was booed by fans as they settled into their seats before the first pitch.

He was booed again before his first at-bat in the second inning.

It would take a significant offense for fans to turn on a guy who won them a game the night before. Rodriguez stepped into the lion’s den when he called fans “entitled” after Monday night’s 6-5 win.

Instead of basking in the glow of his game-winning home run, Rodriguez became defensive and confrontational when a reporter attempted to ask him how good it felt hitting a home run after previously being 1 for 20 with 11 strikeouts in the month of August.

Rodriguez used the question as a launch point to fire on fans and others who have been critical of him and his place on the roster. He extended his commentary to those who have been critical of the team in general (see story).

Rodriguez called fans “entitled” and that did not sit well on the executive level of Citizens Bank Park. It never does when someone disrespects the paying customers.

Manager Gabe Kapler, whose long relationship with Rodriguez dates back to their days as teammates in Tampa Bay, said he spoke to Rodriguez about his comments on Tuesday afternoon.

“Sean's a fiery, fiery guy,” Kapler said. “He's a fiery player. And I think what he was attempting to convey was that he supports his teammates and thinks his teammates perform best when they feel that support, too.”

Kapler was asked specifically about Rodriguez’ use of the word “entitled.”

“I don't think our fans are entitled,” Kapler said. “What our fans are entitled to do is feel what 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, right? Charles Barkley was here and spoke to our club not that long ago. Charles Barkley got booed. Ryan Howard got booed. Jimmy Rollins got booed. Mike Schmidt got booed. Some of the greatest athletes in Philadelphia history. It's part of playing here. And I think the best thing for all of us to do is have the thickest possible skin and not take this personally at all. It's not personal.”

Slumping Rhys Hoskins was booed after popping up with the bases loaded in the ninth inning Monday night. The popup capped an 0-for-5 night. He did not take the booing personally.

“We won the game,” he said. “I couldn’t care less (about the boos.) We won the game.”

Hustle, good play and winning remain the ultimate boo repellent.

“Go out and do our jobs every day and do it well,” said Kapler, who was booed before managing his first game in Philadelphia in April 2018. “When we do, we're going to get cheered quite a bit. We see that. We walk off and the stadium erupts. Bryce Harper hits that home run (against the Cubs during the last homestand) and it's all anybody is talking about for several days straight.

“When we're doing our jobs, when we are playing great baseball, we're cheered. And I think that's what we should strive for always.”

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At the Yard podcast: 3-batter rule, DH dynamic, NL East predictions

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At the Yard podcast: 3-batter rule, DH dynamic, NL East predictions

Ricky Bottalico and Corey Seidman discuss one big rule change, another on the horizon, and make their NL East predictions in the latest At the Yard podcast.

• How does the new 3-batter rule for relievers change their mentality?

• Which Phillies relievers does it affect the most?

• If the DH does come to the National League in the next two years, how would it help the Phillies?

• Both guys are still vehemently anti-DH.

• Fan Q&A.

• NL East win total predictions.

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Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

The DH sucks but would undoubtedly help the Phillies

The DH sucks but would undoubtedly help the Phillies

The designated hitter coming to the National League is an inevitability. To some, it's a welcome inevitability. Personally, I hate it, but I acknowledge I'm probably outnumbered.

It's not about watching pitchers hit. That is the over-simplified one-line response from DH proponents. It is about many additional elements of strategy not having a DH adds. If you're a pitcher, it affects how you approach the 6-7-8-9 hitters. There is more thinking ahead. 

That goes for managers, too, who face the difficult of question of, "Do I pull Jacob deGrom with two outs and two on in the bottom of the sixth inning in a scoreless game for the extra offense?"

That doesn't happen in the AL. The Justin Verlanders of the world pitch until they're no longer effective. There is no difficult decision for the manager. 

There is also less need for a bench. AL teams sometimes run three-man benches. And plenty of AL bench players exist only as defensive replacements and/or pinch-runners.

But whatever. It's probably coming. Could be coming as early as 2021, according to Jim Bowden.

It would actually benefit the Phillies, though. The Phils face a potential logjam in the corner infield with Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm, Scott Kingery and Jean Segura. Only one of them can play third base. And Hoskins or Bohm would be at first base. If the DH came to the NL in 2021, the Phils could just slot Bohm into that position.

They could also use Hoskins, who isn't exactly an above-average defensive first baseman, as the DH. And toward the end of Bryce Harper's 13-year contract, his days of effective right field defense could be over and that may be the ideal spot for him.

It will be an adjustment when the NL rules change, and there will be some hard feelings, but the baseball world will probaby get over it within a few years. MLB has already adopted the three-batter rule for relievers, altered active rosters to 26 and prevented teams from utilizing their entire 40-man roster in September. These changes, in conjunction, are pretty significant too.

Subscribe and rate At The Yard:
Apple Podcasts / Google Play / Spotify / Stitcher / Art19

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Phillies