I have to say, I just can’t wrap my head around this photo, taken around the time of the first pitch Tuesday night in Philadelphia by the Philly Inquirer’s Matt Gelb.
I mean, it kind of looks like there are empty seats! At Citzens Bank Park! For a Phillies game! What in blue blazes!!!
This just makes no sense to me, because I’ve been told for five years that Philadelphia fans support their teams no matter what, and spit on your bandwagon implications, and are true baseball lovers in a true baseball town, and that their impressive attendance has nothing at all to do with the fact that the on-field product has been consistently excellent.
I mean, there’s no chance this has to do with the fact that the home team is now in last place. That just does not mesh with the indisputable world truth that Philly fans always, always, always show up. True fans. No bandwagon.
“Phillies announce a sellout, their 216th straight. Pockets of empty seats everywhere,” Gelb wrote on Twitter. “Capacity at the ballpark is officially 43,651. Phillies announced 43,821. They consider sellout between 42,900 and 43,100 paid spectators....Smallest crowd since July 7, 2009, the day the streak began.”
(And yes, I’m aware the Flyers were playing at the same time. Sixers, too. Whatever. There are 18 hundred million diehard Philly sports fans. That’s enough to fill a ballpark.)
(And sure, this would be a massive crowd at most Nats games. That’s not the point.)
(Above shot, taken during the ninth inning by @Coll383)