Last evening Brett Myers pitched in Philadelphia for the first time since his arrest on domestic violence charges in Boston last month. (As you know, I had a pretty strong reaction to his arrest, the charges filed against him, and the team’s cowardly response to this crime – visit my baseball category listing and you’ll find my three previous posts about this topic). Somewhat surprisingly, the Philly fans did not boo Myers too much. Here is how Philadelphia Inquirer baseball columnist Jim Salisbury analyzed the crowd response:
Now, some folks might be troubled by the fact Myers was not ridden harder by the fans. Some might even make the ridiculous suggestion that those who supported him were somehow soft on domestic violence. Similar assumptions were made a month ago when the Phillies botched their initial handling of the matter.
The best way to view the reaction Myers received might be this:
The fans who supported him last night had a little perspective on life. They weren’t condoning what Myers is charged with doing. It was wrong. It was rotten. And no one with a heart beating in his chest could possibly feel any other way. Maybe the support Myers received was the fans’ way of saying the athlete gets another chance, contingent on the man working on his problems and never messing up again, because there will be no third chance.
Myers knows he was wrong. He will carry his mistake the rest of his life. Someday he’ll have to explain it to his son, and that will hurt.
But this doesn’t mean he can’t come back from the mistake, most importantly as a man, and secondly as a Philadelphia Phillie. He at least deserves the chance to show he can do it.
(Read the entire article Most fans giving Myers a 2d chance)
Perhaps there is forgiveness in Philly, or maybe it is just forgetfulness. I suspect that for many Phillies fans Myers’ return to the mound at Citizens Bank Part pushes the issue of his arrest towards the back burner, especially if he continues to pitch well (he’s the Phillies’ best pitcher and, despite getting the loss, he pitched 8 strong innings and struck out 7 until he gave up the go-ahead run in the 9th).
Nevertheless, the city that often belies its Brotherly Love appellation seems to have tepidly embraced Brett Myers and given him a second chance. For the record, I would boo Brett Myers until my vocal chords snapped . . . but I admit that at the same time I’d probably offer a reluctant golf clap each time he struck out an opposing batter.
Forgiveness, Philly style.