“[The fans have] been very good to us all year long. They stay right there with us. I wish we coulda done better. I wish we coulda went where we wanted to go. But that’s baseball. That’s how it goes.”
After the game last night, Charlie Manuel pulled the media aside to do some heavy breathing into a microphone. This time, however, he wasn’t breathing in elation of a Phillies home win or on another possible moment that could serve as a turning point for the team.
No, where the Phillies are going, there are no turns left.
Last night marked the final time the Phillies will lose at home this season, ending a 40-41 run that culminated in a 7-3 loss. It was the first time in 12 years that the team had a losing record in Philadelphia.
Now, this isn’t about who we should be blaming. I think we can agree that all of the blame lands on Kyle Kendrick. We just haven’t figured out how yet. But you know he did something. Like, where was he when Jimmy Rollins didn’t run out that pop-up? Exactly. On the bench, instead of hustling onto the field to run it out for him. Lazy.
But Charlie was asked a question, I forget the exact wording, but it was something like “Even though the Braves and Nationals have clinched playoff berths, they still don’t have any fans willing to come to their stadiums, while the Phillies will miss the playoffs and still have the highest attendance in the game. Why are all other fans such cowards?” That sounds about right.
Anyways, it was a nice little prompt for Charlie to give a nod to the fans, for all of the looking at the Phillies we did this year. And he nailed it, with the regret of a man who feels like he let everybody down. It was touching; made you want to go up there, pat him on the shoulder, and assure him that we know damn well it was all Kyle’s fault.
Another home season at The Bank comes to a close, and this one without a playoff series to look forward to. Sometimes, you stay healthy. Sometimes, Ryan Howard screams and dies on the last play of the season. Sometimes, the offense summons a run for Cliff Lee. Sometimes, they let him starve to death over 10 shut out innings.
That’s baseball. That’s just how it goes.