Pandering Gone Wrong: Nick Castellanos wears Kobe Bryant Lower Merion jersey to break slump
Phillies outfielder and haunted house resident Nick Castellanos has had a tough season so far, to put it mildly. His numbers are not what anyone had hoped for, and with other members of the lineup producing, the focus is squarely on him.
So Castellanos did what any savvy Philadelphia athlete would: throw on a Kobe Bryant high school jersey and pander.
Unfortunately, I don’t know if this one makes the grade. Even so, I can’t blame the guy for trying.
It’s a time-honored tradition in this city. Bryce Harper’s tenure has been a perfectly executed example of pandering to this fanbase. Even Chad Johnson has been hitting every beat to a T. Masterclass-level work from both.
Sadly, Philly fans have been hardened over the recent months and are less receptive to things like this. The Sixers are pathetic, the Eagles haven’t played in months, and Phillies fans are rightly skeptical about the team.
The mid-slump pander really is a bold move. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work as a one-off when you can’t hit a baseball consistently.
It may have worked if it had started before the season and continued until now. But instead, Castellanos chose to emulate NBA Finals Jayson Tatum doing a weird Kobe thing, which is probably the last person you want your star athlete to be.
Sadly, I think Panderin’ Nick has come down with a classic case of too little too late. I want the guy to turn it around and be a stud as much as anybody, but this ain’t the way to do it.
First, he needs to burn his house to the ground, salt the earth, and have a high-ranking member of his parish perform an exorcism to cleanse it of the Ben Simmons curse. Then, it’s all about keeping his head down and going to work.
Philly loves Castellanos and his family; no need to pander to us. Just put the barrel on the ball and bring the juice. The rest will come easy from there.