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Morning News: Desi Relaford says things

Good morning! Hope you’re shoveled out as the sun melts away the snow.

NOLA DAY: That was fun.

Aaron Nola yesterday went four, struck out five and gave up just a hit to a split Red Sox squad in a 2-1 win. He looked great. That’s great.

TODAY’S GAME: Meanwhile the Phils play the Yankees at 1 p.m. Ben Lively is on the bump with a very opposite lineup to yesterday:

  1. Quinn – CF
  2. Kingery – 2B
  3. Knapp – C
  4. Altherr – RF
  5. Joseph – DH
  6. Flaherty – 1B
  7. Cozens – LF
  8. Walding – 3B
  9. Rosales – SS

DESI SPEAKS: So the fact that NBC Sports Philadelphia even shined a light on this is annoying, but here we are: Desi Relaford, former Phillies shortstop who hit .234/.315/.328 with the stripes before moving on (once Jimmy Rollins was ready), said on some podcast that Phillies fans were terrible.

The fans, they were trash. I have some really good friends there but as fans? Oh yeah, the worst.

It wasn’t just me. It’s just well known … not only are they hard, but they’re just irrational. They boo just to boo. I saw them boo Billy Wagner one night because he didn’t throw 100. He threw 100 a few pitches in a row, they’re all excited, he threw 98 and they booed the s— out of him. Or Scott Rolen hitting two home runs in a game and coming up the last at-bat and not getting a hit and getting booed out of the stadium. Or me getting booed before they even announce my name: ‘Now batting, your shortstop, *BOOOOOO*.’ I get it, I was scuffling, I’m not saying you can’t get booed or fans shouldn’t boo. Yeah, if a player deserves to get booed, boo his ass, give it to him. But there’s a time and place and it shouldn’t just be for any and everything, and especially your home team. I can understand booing your home team, but things should be really, really bad before that happens.

His statements about Wagner are funny because he’s probably talking about a 2004 game in Philly, when Relaford was playing for the Royals and not the Phils. Back then we booed when Wagner didn’t hit 100 because we were poking fun at it. But whatever …

Relaford also called out the late John Vukovich for treating him like a child, in his words, during his time with the Phils. Now, with no bias I can totally understand this issue: We talked about it with the bus – these players aren’t little kids, but they’re actual adults who should be treated respectfully.

Look, Relaford’s words here are valid: that if he thinks Vuk treated him poorly and didn’t respect him, that’s his truth. But, come on, Vuk has been dead for 11 years (weirdly enough, today happens to be the 11-year anniversary of his death — great timing, Desi). From Relaford’s words Vuk did nothing serious (yelling at a player sucks, but it’s not a violation), so it just comes off as cruel to drag Vuk through the mud here.

Point is, what the heck are we doing here?

Whether you like it or not, booing is a right. It’s not malicious, and it’s a way to show frustration with the product while still wanting to support a team. Folks booed Relaford because those late 1990s Phils teams stunk, and his play just happened to echo what we were seeing from the organization. Desi, I’m sorry you have bad memories of Philadelphia. I bet that, before this, if you came back and appeared publicly, people would’ve shaken your hand and recalled the old days. Now, they’re probably going to boo you again.

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