PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Eighteen years after playing in Philadelphia, former Phillie Desi Relaford called Philly fans “trash.”
Relaford spent 11 seasons in Major League Baseball, the first five with the Phils. He was a career .243 hitter.
“The fans, they were trash,” Relaford told The Jake Brown Show podcast. “I have some really good friends there, but as fans? Oh yeah, the worst…Not only are they hard, but they’re just irrational. They boo just to boo.
“Getting booed before they even announce my name, ‘Now batting, your shortstop, booo!‘ 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 a**, 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.”
Relaford, now 44, wasn’t done there. He went on to rip the late John Vukovich, a former Phillies third base coach.
“He made it not fun,” Relaford said of Vukovich. “[He] just always treated me ultra rookie and I couldn’t even be myself.
“Say I took 100 ground balls and the last ball — I make a bad throw or whatever — he’d like literally yell at me and tell me I wasn’t that good,” Relaford continued. “Or if I went three-for-four, he would harp on why I didn’t get the fourth hit. Like dumb stuff, it was always something.”
Relaford hit over .270 just once in his career, in 2001 with the Mets when he hit .302. He played for seven different teams throughout his 11-year career, hitting a total of 40 home runs and knocking in 308 runs.