Philadelphia may be the City of Brotherly Love, but there is no love amongst Philadelphians for Keith Hernandez.
Hernandez revealed on Tuesday’s Mets-Reds SNY telecast that he put in a special request to avoid calling Phillies games, merely because he “hates” doing so.
As a result of his comments, Hernandez has turned an entire city against him.
“I think he’s gotten hit with too many loogies,” Phillies play-by-play voice Tom McCarthy quipped in an ode to Hernandez’s famed “Seinfeld” cameo.
John Kruk, McCarthy’s broadcast partner, pointed out that Hernandez “hasn’t seen this version” of the Phillies, who have won 12 of their last 13 games and boast a 40-19 record since June, when they fired Joe Girardi.
“We play a pretty exciting brand of baseball right now,” said Kruk, who also mentioned that Hernandez was texting McCarthy about their comments during the broadcast.
“… We’ve had people on social media asking, ‘Well, what are you gonna do about it? What do you mean? What, are we supposed to drive to New York and punch Keith?”
Kruk and McCarthy, unsurprisingly, admitted their jests to be good-natured. Others, though, seemed to express more disdain.
Marcus Hayes, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, placed Hernandez on “Philly’s Mount Rushmore of hate,” alongside Jerry Jones, Ben Simmons and Carson Wentz.
“Hernandez just started a war he won’t even bother to attend,” Haynes wrote. “… At this point, he might be wise to never set foot in Citizens Bank Park again.
“… And if Hernandez is using the Mutts as a barometer, consider that his team hasn’t reached the playoffs in five seasons, hasn’t won a playoff series or won the division in six seasons, and ranked behind the Phillies in fielding percentage (fifth vs. eighth). … The best way for the Phillies to prove Hernandez wrong? Send the Mets home weeping in two weeks.”
When asked about Hernandez’s comments in his press conference, Phillies manager Rob Thompson disagreed with Hernandez’s stance.
“He’s a good baseball man and I respect his opinion, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it because I don’t,” Thompson said. “I think we’ve been playing very well defensively the last couple of months. I think we made five errors in the month of July and last night was our first one in August.”
The Mets and Phillies have played four series this season, with the Mets sporting a 9-3 record against their division rivals. They last met at the end of May, with the Mets notching a three-game sweep. Seven of the Mets’ next 11 games are against the Phillies, starting Friday night at Citi Field.
Entering play on Thursday, the first-place Mets are ten games up on the third-place Phillies in the NL East.