Citizens Bank Park, overtaken by noise from the second straight sellout crowd, had become so loud after Bryce Harper’s home run on Saturday evening that Rhys Hoskins said he had trouble just hearing himself think.
Hoskins, standing near the on-deck circle, had little time to gather his thoughts. There was a coordinated celebration to remember. Harper touched home plate, hollered, and Hoskins’ recall overcame the raucous crowd.
Harper reached for a high-five, Hoskins missed, the pair locked arms and patted each other on the back before a business-type handshake.
Harper and Maikel Franco then pounded fists and then shot imaginary arrows into the sky. Harper and Franco shouted, but Harper said he’ll keep that between the two of them. Andrew McCutchen, standing just near the dugout steps, then slapped Harper’s hands twice before each of them mimicked as if they were buttoning a jacket.
Harper’s homer was the fifth the Phillies hit in their first two games and each was met with a series of celebrations. Harper said he needs to find one for Jean Segura, who exchanged just a simple high-five.
The celebrations, rehearsed during the doldrums of spring training, were brought into the fray of an opening weekend that has been filled with promise. The Phillies are having fun. And the crowd, as the players danced on the field, grew even louder.
“It’s pretty much the first time I’ve ever had a handshake with almost every single one of my teammates,” Harper said. “Awesome. Just really, really cool. We have a lot of fun. It’s a great group of guys in here.”
When the 8-6 win was secured, Harper acted as if his glove was a basketball. He dunked his glove against Odubel Herrera, just as Andrew McCutchen did after the season opener. Harper said he picked that one up this offseason from a video game, and the outfielders will celebrate each win by playing hoops.
The Phillies, beginning a season with high expectations, have their celebrations in order.
“Some of the handshakes have to get ironed out and make sure we remember them,” Hoskins said. “You know a lot of new teammates, but I think the more handshakes we get to do I think the more fun we’re having, and that’s always a good thing.”
Gabe Kapler said the quotes by an anonymous scout published last week in Sports Illustrated that criticized Odubel Herrera were “completely factually inaccurate” and “fairly inappropriate” before saying the quotes should have never been published.
Kapler, who was asked about the comments before Thursday’s game, said he did not read the article until Friday and wanted to give another response. Soon after publishing, SI issued a correction and apologized for the scout’s comments, which labeled Herrera as a “clown” and a “dog” who has hurt the Phillies more than he has helped them.
“There's no doubt, we've talked about it at length, that there's times that Odubel can focus more, concentrate more, bring a higher level of play,” Kapler said Saturday. “And you know what? So can everybody. And we can call out those moments where the game has to be elevated and challenge him. And we will. But a generalization of who Odubel is, that just was B.S. unquestionably.”