Last night I sat in section 310 and did not clap for Chase Utley’s first at-bat. Instead, I did that awkward hand slapping your chest thing that you do when your other hand is busy filming the occasion. And while I was live streaming for our Facebook page, I was far from the only one filming. Chase Utley spent 12 years being the platonic (and romantic) ideal of a Phillie. There is love there. That feeling doesn’t just go away because he’s wearing blue. I’m a human. I’ll root for a man over a shirt every time. If your loyalty is to a shirt and not the human inside of it, especially when that human is Chase Utley, your fandom is shallow, your indignation is stupid, and your opinion is as worthless as organic, one-ply toilet paper.

So when Chase blasted a home run to right field in his third at-bat, you had to cheer, because WHAT ELSE DID YOU EXPECT HIM TO DO? It’s in his blood to play his best baseball, as ruthlessly as possible, when all eyes are on him– and that is why we always loved him. So when he does it to us, to our bad team that is harboring post-season delusions like an out-of-shape blogger with two cats for roommates on Tinder who thinks anyone will swipe right, who in their right mind wouldn’t cheer?

These people:

[UPDATE: Jillian Mele points out that her and Sarah Baicker were in favor of the ovations.]

Those are words to a dumb song written by a guy who didn’t even like baseball.

And then whatever the hell this is:

These are the same people who cling to their one-dimensional “Philly fans speak their minds and that’s great takes.” It doesn’t only go one way. Yes, when Philly fans hate they hate with the best of them. But you know what? We love too. And if our hate is worth national recognition and local pride, what kind of person are you if you think our love isn’t? Is your heart empty? Is your soul black? Do you hate rainbows? And as a side note, to the dude who told me on Twitter last night that cheering Utley was an “embarrassment” and an “epic VIOLATION,” congratulations, you speak in sports talk radio memes. You fucking idiot. Cheering for a man above your team when your team sucks isn’t some “loser mentality.” It’s real, human emotion, and rational thought. If you want to be a walking stereotype, that’s fine by me. But don’t get all pissy because other people aren’t defined by “this is the way Philly fans do things.” It’s tired. Grow out of it. And in fact, the way Phillies fans do things is to recognize greatness. Which is exactly what they did last night.

Sports are many things to many people. Entertainment. Escapism. A place to funnel your passion, love, and hate. If you think cheering Chase Utley, a man beloved in this city for over a decade, betrays any of those things, I’m sorry to break this to you, but you’re wrong, stupid, and most of all, empty inside.

Kyle: I agree with all of this. But if there is one thing that would’ve made the reaction better, it would’ve been to boo Chase, vociferously, after the grand slam. It’s the ironic Philly boo, the changing of your status from face to heel. It would’ve been a sign of respect, and I think Chase would’ve appreciated it.