HOUSTON Astros pitcher Justin Verlander was quick to adopt the “Philly hello” middle finger when dealing with Philadelphia fans.
Before Game 3 of the MLB World Series in the City of Brotherly Love, Verlander threw the bird at the waiting Phillies supporters as they arrived at Citizens Bank Park.
Then, as fans called his name, Verlander exited the bus and waved again before turning them off again.
But Verlander has since taken to Twitter to explain that interaction, declaring that it was all fun.
He tweeted: “All the context, Darren. … The whole interaction was a joke when all the fans around you just said hello in their native language.
“So I answered right away. [laughing emoji] All in a lot of fun. I enjoyed the banter. Also, no one smashed the window. Was just like that [shrug emoji].”
This was corroborated by his brother Ben, who explained on Flippin’ Bats With Ben Verlander that Justin had explained that “it was just a Philly hello.
“They did it to me with a smile on my face and I immediately returned it.
“As we sat there in the dugout and just hung out, some people — Phillies fans — literally came to the front row and said, ‘Hey, Justin, can you say hello to us?’ And he waves to them.
“They say, ‘No, no, no. The Philly hello.’ And he says, “Yeah. I’ll do it.” And give it right back to them. And they loved it. They ate it up. I think that speaks volumes about what was going on.”
And judging by the reactions of many fans on Twitter, it’s safe to say that the “Philly hello” was warmly received.
One commented: “Philly dude here, don’t need context. No Phillies fan would mind. You acknowledged her.”
Another said: “I spoke to colleagues about this this morning…I love it…it was clear it wasn’t done out of genuine disrespect.
“[Honestly I] appreciate athletes who come to town and “get” it. Shipment confirmed to Philadelphia next year.”
However, not everyone was convinced by Verlander’s explanation, with one responding: “My 4-year-old son was there and after seeing you blow his mind NOT ONCE but TWICE, he realized just how much you care on and off the field a cheater (6.07 ERA in the World Series) and he’s now a fan of a REAL pitcher who’s also a good person, Trevor Bauer.”
The Astros lost Game 3 7-0, with Philly taking a 2-1 lead in Game 4 on Wednesday.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6584577/fans-react-justin-verlander-explains-context-middle-finger/ MLB fans are all saying the same thing as Justin Verlander explains the “context” behind his middle finger to Phillies supporters