Phillies

Philly fans are going nuts, spending lots of money on Bryce Harper and the Phillies

Philly fans are going nuts, spending lots of money on Bryce Harper and the Phillies

Philly has gone completely nuts since the Bryce Harper signing, with their words and wallets. It's clearly the honeymoon phase and it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. Philly fans have the national reputation of booers, but this town is so deeply behind Harper right now that it just doesn't seem like he'll hear that reception with a slow start to the season. Fans are all-in and will be until they have a reason not to be.

There are several ways Phillies fans have already shown their support. Comments sections and social media have been filled with positivity, the degree of which has even surprised the Phils' front office. It's rare to see such a large portion of the fanbase verbally backing the GM and ownership, admitting they were wrong in their assessments of Matt Klentak and even Harper himself.

As you'll see in the video above, the Phils have already made history in the four days since Harper said yes. 

• According to the sports apparel company Fanatics, more Harper jerseys were sold in the 24 hours after launch than ever for any player in any sport. There is such a backlog of orders for Harper jerseys that some are receiving receipts that say the order will ship by May 31.

• The Phillies have sold upwards of 220,000 tickets since last Thursday. Factor in parking and concessions and you're looking at about $10 million. Not that the financial aspect was even close to John Middleton's main concern.

• Flights from Philadelphia to Tampa, which is the closest major airport to Clearwater, have risen significantly price. As of last Wednesday, an American Airlines flight from Philly to Tampa for this upcoming weekend was around $350, compared to nearly $700 now. That will continue to rise with Harper potentially making his spring debut as the Phils' DH on Saturday.

More on the Phillies

The Joe Girardi-to-Phillies connections keep getting louder

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USA Today Images

The Joe Girardi-to-Phillies connections keep getting louder

Joe Girardi was in Philadelphia Monday for his second interview with the Phillies. Will he be the next manager? As this process has played out, it's looked more and more likely.

Beyond our own reporting of how the week is shaping up for the Phillies and that Girardi may very well be the preferred candidate, there were these two items:

If true, it would make sense that of the Phillies' three top decision-makers, John Middleton is the most pro-Girardi. He has to recognize that Girardi has an extremely high approval rating in this city already. Girardi is the overwhelming fan preference. An organization should not base a decision around fan preference, but the Phillies have shown that they do consider it a piece to the puzzle.

A few weeks back, we ranked the eight managerial openings in attractiveness now and over the next three years. The Mets were first but not by a significant margin over the Phillies. They're in slightly better shape with Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso and Noah Syndergaard, but how many more years will anyone other than deGrom be in that rotation? Syndergaard trade rumors have persisted, Zack Wheeler is a free agent after the World Series and Marcus Stroman is a free agent after 2020.

The Phillies have also been more willing to spend over the last decade than the Mets. Their average end-of-season payroll from 2011-14 was more than $171 million. Last year, their opening day payroll was $140 million and all signs point to more spending this winter.

In all four of those years earlier in the decade (2011-14), the Phillies ended the season with a payroll higher than the Mets have ever carried. If you're Girardi and your two best offers are jobs in major markets that involve immense pressure, wouldn't you rather be with the ownership group you trust more to spend?

The Phillies also have the money to pay Girardi himself — another obviously important factor. Manager salaries don't count against the luxury tax. As Jim Salisbury pointed out on our At the Yard podcast Monday, the next manager's salary might cost the same as a middle reliever. At that point, what is an extra couple million if it means firmly landing the most appealing veteran manager on the market who has the qualities the top of the organization and vast majority of the fan base want?

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At the Yard podcast: Zeroing in on Joe Girardi, free agency, 2020 outfield

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NBCSP

At the Yard podcast: Zeroing in on Joe Girardi, free agency, 2020 outfield

The Phillies shouldn't let Joe Girardi leave town early this week. Jim Salisbury and Corey Seidman discuss the Phillies' second round of interviews and more on the latest At the Yard podcast.

• Joe Girard back in Philly Monday and Phillies shouldn't let him leave.

• How much competition do the Mets present for Girardi? Are they prioritizing someone else?/

• Ways Girardi could make his imprint on the 2020 Phillies.

• Do Phillies have an identity crisis?

• Will draft pick compensation affect Phillies' free-agent plans?

• Outfield plans for 2020.

• Corey Dickerson's future.

• Where Jim thinks Gerrit Cole will land. 

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