Trea Turner thinks Jets fans should take a page out of Philadelphia’s playbook when it comes to Zach Wilson.
The Phillies’ shortstop was in the middle of a horrific first season with his new team after signing an 11-year, $300 million deal when the team’s fans decided to give him a standing ovation at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 4.
The results were almost immediate and were eye-opening, as Turner — who had been hitless in his previous three games, made a costly game-altering error and had an OPS of just .657 — turned his season around once the fans changed their tune.
The Phillies quickly won six of seven games, and in the 47 games since the first ovations Turner has a 1.060 OPS as the team heads back to the postseason.
Turner said before the Phillies’ series opener against the Mets at Citi Field on Saturday that he’s aware of Wilson’s struggles and the fact he’s facing a flurry of criticism. And he knows it’s not doing any good.
“Everyone is different and you don’t know what’s gonna work and not work, but in my opinion — after going through it and being a fan of sports in general — you might as well try anything, right?” Turner said.
He’s not sure exactly what impact the crowd’s support had on his turnaround, but Turner said, “It definitely didn’t hurt and the results are what they are.”
Of course, Turner arrived in Philadelphia a two-time All-Star and one of the top shortstops in the game.
Wilson, despite being the No. 2-overall pick out of BYU in 2021, doesn’t have that résumé to look back on.
Still, Turner believes it’s worth a shot.
“Zach Wilson, I’m sure, wants to win just as much as any fan wants to win and he wants to do well,’’ Turner said. “We all do. As a fan, why not try it to hopefully make him play better, and then it’s on him to keep working and trying to succeed and produce eventually.”
The Jets host Kansas City on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, and Wilson is expected to start.
“When you’re going through it, give it a shot,’’ Turner said. “I mean, who cares? It doesn’t matter what his reputation is as a player or if he hasn’t done it yet in the league. At the end of the day, you want the Jets to win and I’m sure he does, too, and that might help him put everything out of his mind.”
The criticism has come from everywhere — including Jets legend Joe Namath, who said Wilson should lose his job.
“That’s part of sports, and it’s going to happen,’’ Turner said. “You don’t want to see that happen to somebody, but that’s why we get paid like we do, to handle that pressure. But if you can take some of that pressure away, it can help. Then it’s on him to work hard and try to improve things. He’s got an opportunity to do that. It’s all in front of him.”
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