Larry Bowa Expects Cheers, Not Boos, for Scott Rolen's Wall of Fame Ceremony
Haven’t heard much talk about Scott Rolen returning to CBP this Friday, probably because the Eagles are 2-0 and the Phillies basically have a playoff spot locked up. But it is happening, in case you forgot.
When the Wall of Fame ceremony was first announced, people wondered if Phillies fans would boo or cheer Rolen. Jayson Stark at The Athletic (with ads) talked to Larry Bowa, who thinks it’s time for Phillies fans to turn the page:
“I don’t believe that stuff about (how) he didn’t like the city,” Bowa said of Rolen. “I do believe that he wanted to win.” What Bowa witnessed close up was a star player whose Phillies teams had done almost nothing except lose — so naturally, that star player wanted to see more money spent and more management commitment to win before he signed on to stick around.
“I think that people didn’t understand him here,” Bowa said of Rolen. And that reminded him a lot of how Philadelphians “didn’t appreciate” the greatness of another Hall of Fame third baseman, Mike Schmidt, for over a decade.
Bowa said, he expects Rolen to be cheered, not booed Friday because this isn’t the testy fan base that hung out in the upper reaches of Veterans Stadium back in Rolen’s day. This is a fan base that just rewrote Trea Turner’s Philly script with a standing ovation — leading Bowa to say: “The mentality is different here now.”
That final paragraph features the nicest way Larry Bowa has ever called someone a pussy.
I don’t really have a hatred for Rolen. I was nine when he left. At that time it was all about Allen Iverson and Donovan McNabb. I had only been alive for two winning ball clubs. I just knew the Phillies to be a team my dad would yell at for being a bunch of losers. So if I was going Friday, I’d give a nice little golf clap and move on.
From everything I’ve gathered, Rolen just wanted to win and the Phillies having the sixth lowest payroll wasn’t cutting it. Would you want to put your body on the line when they’re trotting out Travis Lee, Marlon Anderson, and Johny Estrada every day on a Vet turf that could kill you? Neither would I.
Nowadays, a team would be ridiculed if their star player turned down $140 million because they couldn’t put a winner on the field. Twenty years ago, the player was the asshole because that’s how sports media told it to fans. Enough time has passed that Rolen deserves recognition. During his time here he won Rookie of the Year, had four Gold Gloves, and an All-Star appearance. It’s not like he mailed it in.