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Follow-Up: Perception Key In Rollins Saga

Last night was a bad mixture of things. The Phillies ran out to a big lead over the Dodgers, and as the night progressed and the news of Jimmy Rollins’ comments about Philadelphia fans grew, the lead shrank. By the end of the night, we were all fuming — a leader saying things we don’t want him to say; another bad loss.

Let’s concentrate on Rollins, and I’m pulling out Todd Zolecki’s blog post about the matter because he eloquently illustrated a point that I somewhat sprinkled into my vitriolic post last night. Point is, Rollins is from the West Coast. He doesn’t have the knowledge of Philadelphia fandom that we do. In fact, his most telling quote came at the very end, when asked where he was from.

Rollins is from Oakland, where “they just don’t show up,” he said. Bingo.

When taking a step back, Rollins is correct: We do waffle on our team. We’re happy as can be when they win; we’re angry and spiteful when they lose. Most East Coast cities are like this. Rollins saw both sides of the coin — the bad teams and angry crowds of the early 2000s, the good teams and happy crowds of the past three years. (And the quick-to-turn crowds when things go wrong lately.)

Rollins is also correct when comparing us to Saint Louis fans. Of course, Cardinals fans support their teams no matter what. That’s a different way of life, a slower, family friendly way of life. The Cardinals are the most white-bread franchise in baseball. That’s the extreme, the exception.

Rollins, meanwhile, is from an area where the fans “just don’t show up.” Even when winning. That’s how he sees it.

We’re not wrong because of what we know. He’s not wrong because of what he knows. I do think he could’ve thought before saying exactly what he said on national TV. With his place as “team leader,” he could’ve chose his words better. But as we look at this newest installment of “As Jimmy Turns: The Disappointing Season of 2008,” we should understand everyone’s perception.

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