Fans frustrate Victorino, seeking support
Center fielder hears criticism during series-finale loss at home
PHILADELPHIA -- Shane Victorino is not alone with his frustrations.
He heard it during Wednesday's 7-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park, where a few fans chided him about his play. It bothered him enough that he brought it up in the clubhouse afterward.
"Quick to forget what happened the last two years, you know?" he said, referring to the 2008 World Series championship and '09 National League pennant. "That's the thing that frustrates me more than anything, listening to that kind of stuff. They're quick to forget what we've done the last two years. When I hear things like that, it eats me. OK. I see. Jimmy [Rollins] used that word. I'm not going to use it, but you know what I'm talking about."
Rollins infamously called Phillies fans, who sold out Citizens Bank Park for the 80th consecutive game Wednesday, front-runners on a national TV show a couple years ago.
Fans booed Rollins upon his return home.
Not coincidentally, those boos turned to cheers when the Phillies won.
"It's tough right now," said Victorino, whose team has fallen six games behind the Braves in the NL East. "We've got to find a way to figure this out. There's no reason to panic or throw in the towel. We can't panic. If we panic, we're just going to add pressure to ourselves."
Victorino said he did not consider the comments he heard unfair.
"If I'm a fan of a team and they're not doing good, I get frustrated, too," he said. "But don't throw in the towel. Get behind us. Find a way to get behind us and pick us up. We need them. That's what this game is about. It's not just us. The atmosphere that they've created, it's been awesome. They're still coming out, even though we are struggling. But to hear those things, it's like, 'Oh, really?' It's frustrating when you hear those things from your own fans.
"Don't forget what we've done here. We're not giving up. Comments like that ... they're thinking that we're done. I think that's what I'm trying to get at. Stick behind us. We're going to keep playing. We're going to keep plugging along. We're not done."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.