Remember Desi Relaford?
If you don't, you certainly know the name now.
Relaford played parts of his first five major-league seasons with the Phillies from 1996 to 2000. The shortstop slashed .234/.315/.328 in red pinstripes for teams that finished in the NL East cellar during three of those five seasons.
He went on to play for six more teams over his final seven seasons.
Let's just say his time in Philadelphia was the worst stop along the way.
Relaford, now 44 years old and the bench coach for the Daytona Tortugas, the Reds' High A affiliate, made that abundantly clear while speaking on "The Jake Brown Show" podcast in an episode that was released Wednesday.
A 1991 fourth-round draft pick of the Mariners who was traded to the Phillies in July 1996, Relaford blasted Philadelphia sports fans and singled out former coach John Vukovich for why he disliked his Phillies playing days. Vukovich, who spent 30 years in the organization and was beloved by many, died in March 2007 from cancer.
Below are some of Relaford's comments, while you can listen to the podcast here. He begins talking about the Phillies at the 18:00 mark.
The fans, they were trash. I have some really good friends there but as fans? Oh yeah, the worst.
It wasn't just me. It's just well known … not only are they hard, but they're just irrational. They boo just to boo. I saw them boo Billy Wagner one night because he didn't throw 100. He threw 100 a few pitches in a row, they're all excited, he threw 98 and they booed the s--- out of him. Or Scott Rolen hitting two home runs in a game and coming up the last at-bat and not getting a hit and getting booed out of the stadium. Or me getting booed before they even announce my name: 'Now batting, your shortstop, *BOOOOOO*.' I get it, I was scuffling, I'm not saying you can't get booed or fans shouldn't boo. Yeah, if a player deserves to get booed, boo his ass, give it to him. But there's a time and place and it shouldn't just be for any and everything, and especially your home team. I can understand booing your home team, but things should be really, really bad before that happens.
The fan thing, you can kind of tune that out, it's whatever. But when you have to deal with someone on a personal basis, day in and day out — and I was young, I got to the big leagues when I was 21. I'm just trying to fit in, I just want to do my job, man, and instead of them (the coaches) making it easier, it was hard.
There was just a coach (Vukovich) that I dealt with there for a while that made my time there terrible. … I didn't have a whole lot of fun there, so I don't claim Philly like that.
He made it not fun. Like, it was dumb s---. Just always treated me ultra rookie and I couldn't even be myself. Say if I was in the clubhouse and I was having a good time, talking, being like myself — I'm not shy, I have a good time. I don't know, I'm not loud, but I'm talkative. I move around, talk to different people, whatever, whatever, but if I was being myself and doing that, then I was a rookie and I didn't know my place. And if I was in my locker with my headphones on listening to music by myself, then I wasn't a team-type guy. Or if I was taking groundballs … say I took 100 groundballs and the last ball, I make a bad throw or whatever, he'd like literally yell at me and tell me I wasn't that good. Or if I went 3 for 4, he would harp on why I didn't get the fourth hit. Like dumb stuff, it was always something.