“Don’t boo your own team.”
I hear this mantra repeated over and over for the fans in Flushing. This is hardly unique to the area; it’s a New York thing, for sure. But I think even St. Louis Cardinals fans, you know the “Best Fans in Baseball,” have booed their own players, contrary to popular belief.
Look at hockey. I am a Rangers fan, and the fans are BRUTAL. I challenge any baseball player who has butthurt feelings to play hockey in an intense town like New York City. They’ll be running home to their mommies, crying and sucking their thumbs.
So to boo or not to boo, that is the question. I think when I was a kid, I used to think it was funny that players would get booed. But when I was eight or nine years old, I thought the players were superhuman. They could handle the cheers, the boos, any distractions. Even the airplanes that flew consistently overhead.
It wasn’t until I was much older (probably older than I care to admit) that I realized that these were people who were coming up to bat. People who were pitching, throwing the ball. What other industry or job can one have that you can have a 70% failure rate and be GOOD at it?
Yet, here we are, with the age old question: “To boo or not to boo?”
According to former Mets hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, booing is a BIG problem at home. (Mind you, I’m sure the team hears boos on the road…and they play just fine there).
“I really just think guys tried too hard at home,” Hudgens told MLB.com after his firing. “I think the fans are really tough on the guys at home. How can you boo Curtis Granderson? They have no idea how hard this guy works and how he goes about doing his business, doing his job. He gets off to a slow start and they’re booing him? Come on. It’s tougher at home to play than it is on the road, there’s no doubt about it. And they’re trying really hard at home.”
Wow. I mean. Just WOW.
Of all the things I’ve heard my team blame their poor play on…the fans are all of a sudden “the problem.”
From not going to enough games, to voicing displeasure, to not being loud enough. I’m just at a loss. I have no idea how to even broach this topic anymore.
I’ve been a Mets fan for 30 years. I’ve been through more down years than up. Never have I felt more condescended to by the ownership, front office and team in my life. And this is after two ginormous collapses in 2007 and 2008, then sub-.500 years in CitiField. All of a sudden…it’s the fans who are the problem. Yes, that’s the one constant.
In the parlance of my time…#SMH.
And then, I have to hear the self-righteousness of the people who claim to never “boo” their own team. And I mean, I might applaud fans booing, and yell a sarcastic, “Lets go METS” every now and then. The only people I suppose I’m hurting, would be the players themselves. Players, by the way, that get paid a shitload of money to listen to a few people boo IF THEY CHOOSE TO DO SO. Because at this point, I’m sorry to admit, the laundry is going to get the brunt of the discontent here. I mean, the ownership doesn’t take the field. (And if they did, I’d probably cheer Saul Katz for the sheer news that he’d sell his shares of the Mets). There is a larger picture here.
But over the years, I’ve thought of players who have been loathed by their own fans. And I mean, I can think of at least a dozen players that Mets fans CANNOT STAND. Two pop into my head, actually.
@Coopz22 I think Ollie reached a point where I almost cheered the boos.
— Jason Bornstein (@DyHrdMET) May 27, 2014
— The Coop (@Coopz22) May 27, 2014
And I got to thinking…if everyone is claiming, “I don’t boo my own players.” Then those players are subsequently booed…who’s doing it?
It’s like the rhetorical question (that was literally translated) by Sally Albright, when she told Harry Burns most women fake orgasms at one point in their lifetime.
If most women have done it, chances are, they’ve done it with him.
And chances are, you’ve done it too.
I admit, I’ve been particularly harsh with Curtis Granderson. I heckle him in the appropriate fashion: via social media. But here’s the kicker: I want him to do well. But I can’t fathom why anyone would think a guy who hit home runs at Yankee Stadium is all of a sudden “surprised” that this same guy hits long fly ball outs at CitiField.
Here’s a thought. And it’s always been this.
It’s not CitiField.
It’s never been about the fucking walls, despite numerous attempts to make it about that.
It’s not about the coaches.
And it’s certainly not about the fucking fans and whether they voice displeasure every now and then.
GET BETTER PLAYERS.
Maybe they need to talk to guys like Troy Tulowitzki or Chase Utley (Utley’s corner, anyone?) and see why they manage to hit well at CitiField.
You know why?
They don’t make excuses. And excuses, if you remember, are like assholes. Everyone has one…and they ALL stink.