ABOVE PHOTO: Philadelphia Phillies’ Trea Turner performs throughout a baseball recreation, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Picture/Matt Slocum)
By Dan Gelston
PHILADELPHIA — Trea Turner used a easy message to specific his appreciation for the way in which Phillies followers have caught with him throughout a tough first season on the town: “Thank You, Philly.”
The message was splashed on 12 digital billboards within the larger Philadelphia space following a collection when Philly followers — typically billed as a number of the worst in sports activities — gave Turner standing ovations in at-bats all through the weekend. The concept to cheer Turner was hatched on social media and the slumping shortstop responded — he blasted a three-run homer in a win Saturday in opposition to the Royals.
Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million cope with the Nationwide League champions within the offseason, however he’s batting simply .238 with 11 residence runs and 39 RBIs. He was even dropped to eighth within the batting order.
In three video games over the weekend in opposition to Kansas Metropolis, Turner went 4 for 12 with two doubles, a house run and 5 RBIs.
Turner was scheduled to bat seventh Monday within the opener of a four-game set in opposition to Washington earlier than the sport was rained out. The groups will play a single-admission doubleheader on Tuesday.
“I believe it was good to get the message on the market and say thanks,” Turner stated Monday within the Phillies clubhouse. “I stated it in interviews and whatnot however I believe it was simply one other good gesture.”
The Phillies already rented the billboards and use them for quite a lot of causes, normally to advertise upcoming residence video games. Turner pitched in and made an undisclosed monetary contribution in help of the message.
Turner broke into the majors with Washington in 2015. The 2-time All-Star hit .300 with 192 steals in six-plus seasons with the Nationals, profitable the World Collection in 2019.
The 30-year-old Turner stated he had by no means earlier than made such a grand gesture to thank followers for his or her help.
“I really feel like whenever you’re youthful, you don’t take into consideration issues like that,” Turner stated. “You’re simply form of dwelling the dream or making an attempt to play baseball and whatnot. As you become older, you begin to see what’s essential. I’d by no means achieved something to that magnitude.”
Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper — one other former Nationals slugger who gained an NL MVP award with every workforce — stated over the weekend he wished he began his profession with the Phillies. Harper and Turner are the newest huge names which have pushed again on the narrative that Philly generally is a powerful place to play due to the followers.
“Simply such an unbelievable second for him (Turner) to have the ability to go on the market and know that the followers have his again and have our groups’ again,” he stated on the postgame radio present. “That ought to be one thing for us too, as a workforce, to reap the benefits of and know like, they bought us. It doesn’t matter what, they bought us.”
The Phillies entered Monday tied with San Francisco for the primary NL wild card. The Phillies are 36-19 over their final 55 video games since June 3 and their .655 profitable share over that very same span is second in MLB behind solely Atlanta. (37-15, .712).
The Phillies would earn residence discipline within the first spherical of the playoffs ought to they finish the season with the highest wild card. The Phillies have bought out 25 of 51 video games at Residents Financial institution Park and are sixth in MLB in attendance.
“I believe everyone is aware of what this constructing does to us and to different groups,” supervisor Rob Thomson stated. “That’s the objective. That’s the message.”
Extra residence video games could possibly be a key to sparking Turner within the postseason push. Over his final 35 video games at Residents Financial institution Park, Turner has posted a .783 OPS with 20 runs scored, 15 extra-base hits, 22 RBIs and 11 walks.
“The blokes particularly that haven’t been right here earlier than, that weren’t within the playoff run final 12 months, can see what nice followers we have now and the way supportive they are often whenever you’re enjoying nicely,” Thomson stated.
Or maybe in Turner’s case, even once they’re not.