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August 05, 2015

Dodgers writer calls Philly sports fans 'ill-mannered,' which didn't go over well

Bill Plunkett is the Los Angeles Dodgers beat writer for the Orange County Register, which seems like a pretty good gig. Good team, good weather, etc. With the Dodgers in town last night and Jimmy Rollins’ return serving as the major angle to write about, Plunkett tweeted out this link to his story on J-Roll after the game:

In reality, Plunkett was just using the “ill-mannered” description as part of his lede instead of giving a full-fledged hot take full of Santa references. You can read one of those from a Los Angeles writer right here. Here is what the first two paragraphs of Plunkett's story look like. I unfortunately couldn’t read the rest because I started loudly booing at my computer screen in an uncontrolled rage:

Notorious for their ill manners, Philadelphia fans greeted Jimmy Rollins with cheers in his first visit to Citizens Bank Park as the enemy.

They cheered him during batting practice. They cheered him again when he stepped in to lead off the game for the Dodgers – so loud and long, in fact, that Rollins stepped out of the batter’s box twice to acknowledge the ovation. Even former teammates such as Ryan Howard applauded, slapping his glove at first base.

Plunkett’s tweet was enough to fire up the masses. People in Philadelphia don’t appreciate the outside narrative that we’re all a bunch of Neanderthals. We can all admit that Philly sports fans do some pretty ridiculous stuff from time to time, but they’re also quite capable of rationality.

In this case, the characterization is especially unnecessary. Rollins is a strong personality that from time to time drew the ire (sometimes unfairly, too) of portions of the Phillies fanbase. Still, it’s not lost on anybody in the Delaware Valley that J-Roll is bar none the greatest shortstop in the franchise’s long history. Maybe @FakeWIPCaller still thinks Larry Bowa was better, but that’s about it.

Rollins was both the catalyst on the city’s only major champion in the last 32 years and a huge part of a golden era of Phillies baseball. There was no question as to what type of reaction he was going to receive on Monday night: 

Unfortunately for Plunkett (but maybe fortunately for the OC Register’s traffic), the “ill-mannered” designation wasn’t met very well in Philadelphia. 

And those tweets were mostly just from media types! Anyway, it's probably time to turn back to fighting the real enemy: fake Canadian robots.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann