If Philadelphia Phillies fans were electing a Governor of Pennsylvania and had to choose between two guys who did not want to spend money for, say, snow removal, the most likely result is that those voters would stay home. That’s how brutal this winter has been for all of them.
The choice facing fans of the Phillies these days is a similar one and they are voting with their feet.
Good for them.
They don’t want to suffer in the summer the same way they have suffered in the winter and they do not like the way GM Ruben Amaro has constructed his ball club. They can continue to be Stepfords and fill a stadium supporting the oldest team in baseball or they can say something about it.
They are saying something about it.
They are staying home. The Phillies have played five home games and have sold out none. Why is that surprising? Because this is the same “baseball town” that sold out 257 games through Aug. 7, 2012. When a baseball town rejects baseball, you know there has to be a problem.
The problem, simply, is this: Where is all of the money going? If the money is going to a fat and slow first baseman (Ryan Howard) and a shortstop who cares more about being a compiler than a winner (Jimmy Rollins), the evidence dictates the fans are not interested in giving that hard-earned money away. The Phillies had more than enough money and prospects to acquire Giancarlo Stanton — who hit two home runs against them on Saturday night — but chose to spend $16 million on a washed-up 37-year-old free agent pitcher, A.J. Burnett.
Do the Phillies get that message? Maybe, but maybe it will take 257-straight non-sellouts and, if so, that is a worthwhile endeavor.