Every time the subject of Philly fan behavior comes up, someone goes and mentions that booing Santa Claus thing. And to be honest I’m with the Philly folks in thinking that to be stupid and unfair. I mean, it was over 40 years ago and at some point you gotta let go, ya know?
But their legitimate indignation at being tarred with the Santa Claus thing has led to a curious phenomenon: every time some fan does something stupid there, Philly fans get upset when anyone points it out, even if it happened yesterday. “Yeah, sure, go ahead and say that Philly fans are obnoxious. Feel free to stereotype us. How original,” they huff, rolling their eyes. We saw this when the guy puked on that girl earlier this year. We saw it when the guy got tased. We saw it the very next night when the copycat guy jumped on the field. Point out some dumb Philly fan behavior and other Philly fans immediately play the “we’re being persecuted” card.
But you know what? Even if they don’t deserve the reputation for being awful that so many have applied to them, there is a certain brand of Philly fan that is obnoxious. Not all, of course, and not even a large number. But a subset that is unique to Philly in their poor taste and boorishness. And hey, here are some of them now!
I don’t object to taunting the occasional player, but that stuff isn’t funny or clever. Or even warranted. I get going after Scott Rolen or someone with a history, but Burrell? Sure, he had his ups and downs in Philly, but he was a big part of the 2008 championship. And he wanted to stay in Philly after that season, but the team never seriously negotiated. And Lincecum? How do you have any ill feelings for that guy? “Fix your teeth?” Really?
That stuff is just totally bush league. And I would hope that rather than spending all of their energy getting all defensive at once again having some of their own being called out for poor behavior, right-thinking Philly fans acknowledge that those dudes with the signs were pathetic.
UPDATE: Even more class!
Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.
Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.
Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.
Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.
The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.
Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.
Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.
The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.
Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.
Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.
Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.