Some Philly fans bring class to the NLCS

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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!

Mets acquire Jacob Rhame from Dodgers

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The Mets acquired right-handed reliever Jacob Rhame from the Dodgers, the team announced on Sunday. Rhame is the player to be named later in the trade that sent outfielder Curtis Granderson to Los Angeles on Friday night. He’s expected to report to the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

Rhame, 24, pitched through his second Triple-A campaign with the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2017, collecting two saves in 41 appearances and logging a 4.31 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 through 48 innings. While his ERA saw a sharp spike from its modest 3.29 mark in 2016 (perhaps thanks in part to a midseason DL stint due to an undisclosed injury), he’s controlling the ball better than he has in several years and has drawn some attention with a fastball that occasionally touches 98 MPH on the radar gun.

The Mets’ bullpen hasn’t been at its finest over the last few weeks, ranking 16th among its major league competitors with a collective 4.50 ERA and 2.4 fWAR, but likely isn’t looking to add an extreme fly ball pitcher to its staff just yet. Until he gets his big league break, Rhame will beef up Triple-A Vegas’ relief corps alongside fellow right-handers Yaisel Sierra, Joe Broussard and Josh Ravin.

Cardinals and Pirates prepare to play unusual finale in first-ever MLB Little League Classic

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The Pirates and Cardinals will switch things up for Sunday’s series finale, moving from the spacious PNC Park to the renovated Minor League confines of BB&T Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field. Normally the home stadium for the Phillies’ Short-Season Single-A Williamsport Crosscutters, Historic Bowman Field will set the stage for an unusual — and unprecedented — matchup between the NL Central rivals as they take the field for the first-ever MLB Little League Baseball Classic.

The game will cap a packed day for Major League and Little League participants alike, as four Little League double-elimination games will be played in the morning and afternoon before the Pirates’ Ivan Nova and Cardinals’ Mike Leake face off at 7:00 PM ET. Despite drawing national attention, the Classic will be invitation-only, and its projected 2,366 attendees will comprise the lowest capacity attendance figure in Major League history.

The event is designed to spark more interest in the sport, especially among young players, and Cardinals’ manager Mike Matheny called it “grassroots marketing at its finest.” “We all fell in love with the game and started dreaming about playing on a field like this at the age of these kids we’re going to go see in Williamsport,” he told reporters prior to Sunday’s game. “I hope there are some kids that we can encourage and maybe give a different look of the game and create some lifelong baseball fans that might not have been there otherwise.”

Judging by the excitement that infused the pregame festivities among the players, it looks like they’re already on the right track.