Here’s a gross photo:

The Phils lost 3 of 4 to the Braves, who clinched the NL East on Wednesday night.

They celebrated on the Citizens Bank Park field and the fan/media reaction was basically split into two thoughts:

  1. get these dickheads off the field and take that message off the video board
  2. this is good sportsmanship. congratulations to the Braves, who are very good. this should motivate the Phillies

The thing about the video board salute is that it’s common throughout Major League Baseball. The Astros did it last season when the Phils clinched a Wild Card spot down in Houston:

That one was hardly a big deal because the Astros had already clinched and don’t play in the NL East, so it’s not like the Houston fans gave much of a shit. It’s a little different when a division rival clinches on your home turf and you’re still fighting for a Wild Card spot with the Cubs 1.5 games back and breathing down your neck.

Of course, a ubiquitous response you’ll see today goes something like “well if the Phillies had won just 2 out of 4, the Braves wouldn’t have clinched on their home field.” That is true. No matter how you slice it, competitive guys like Bryce Harper and Zack Wheeler likely use this as a motivational pivot, like “we can’t allow this to happen again.” And maybe it’s the spark that helps this team finish strong, wrap up the top Wild Card spot, and go into the postseason on a positive note.

But from an optics standpoint, yeah, it does look corny, especially when you use cross-sport references. Would the Eagles congratulate the Cowboys on clinching the NFC East with a victory at Lincoln Financial Field? Would the Sixers congratulate the Celtics for snagging the #1 seed after a win at the (New) Wells Fargo Center? Would the Flyers play a tribute video for the New Jersey fucking Devils?

When you put it in those terms, it’s a little barfy. Makes you throw up in your mouth a little bit, but I think what we have here is a classic of case of “more than one thing can be true.” The video board tribute sucks, but it’s something MLB teams have always done, and if the Phillies or their fans don’t like it, then next time don’t lose 3 of 4 at home to a division rival.

Good morning.