St. Pete paper takes on Phils fans

Did Phillies fans go too far in their exuberance, by bashing and terrorizing fans of the Tampa Bay Rays in Citizens Bank Park? A St. Petersburg Times columnist sure thinks so. (David Maialetti / Staff Photographer)

Was wandering through the visitor's locker room this morning -- by that, I mean -- and read a disturbing piece about how Philadelphia fans are the worst. The headline: "Phils fans live down to their reputation."

And I wondered if this is a "cultural difference," or we've got some 'splainin' to do.

The St. Pete Times piece is by columnist John Romano, who wrote:

During Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night, Rays family members and employees say they were harassed and abused by Phillies fans at Citizens Bank Park to an unacceptable degree.

Children were cursed at, and one 9-year-old boy had beer poured on him. A Rays family member stayed locked in a bathroom stall because, he said, Phillies fans were banging on the walls and threatening him.

I'm curious. Was anyone there who can shed light on the ambience at the ballpark?  Anyone see the bathroom incident?

He goes on:

This isn't just rude or profane; it is intimidating and threatening. It is women being called whores and worse. It is children having food thrown at them. It is being pushed, shoved and jostled in the concourses.

Does this sort of thing happen at other stadiums? Without a doubt. And I'm sure it has happened on occasion at Tropicana Field, too. But no city has the reputation of Philadelphia. And the Rays have never complained about another stadium in this way.

He quotes Ray's coach Joe Maddon's good-natured comments about the fans, and how he'd enjoyed his back and forth, but wished people wouldn't throw mustard at his granddaugher. Can't blame him.

The writer then calls Philadelphia fans the nation's most brutal. This is a favorite meme of visitors, but there's fresh atrocity reported. Again, I'm still curious -- anyone see this stuff? I'd love to know what it was like from other perspectives.