On Saturday we had to make a drive up to Appleton and back. This coincided with the broadcast of the Brewers game and I ended up listening to 9 1/2 innings of the game on the radio. To me, this is the great thing about baseball I listened to the whole thing on the radio and didn't feel like I missed a thing. During the game Pudge Rodriguez was ejected and then his manager was as well for arguing balls and strikes. For the rest of the game the fans booed every single ball and strike call that didn't go in their favor. At one point Uecker even commented that fans were booing a ball that was six inches off the plate which led him to say "these fans are going to boo the babysitter when they get home." I wasn't watching the pitches, but the way Uecker made it sound was rather ridiculous and this got me thinking about booing and how much I generally hate it.
When the Brewers were last home I went to a game against the Reds where Manny Parra was pitching. Parra was a little bit off that day(!). He walked one in the first inning, then gave up a double to score a run. In the second inning, he gave up a double and fans started to boo. He got out of it. Then in the third he gave up a walk followed by a two run homer and the fans REALLY started to boo. I turned to my friend and wondered aloud why they were booing as it was, you know, THE THIRD INNING and they were only down 2 runs. He then threw the next three innings scoreless. At the end of the day Parra gave up three runs and notched his only quality start of the season.
Thinking of this brought to mind a quote I heard from Jason Kendall on the pre game about "knowing which guys need a pat on the back and who needs a kick in the butt". As fans we want our team to do better. We dislike things that happen on the field, but is booing your own team really the best way to address this? I don't think so, let Kendall and Macha handle the "kick in the butt."
Think about it like this, you are at work. You do something wrong. What would you prefer to happen: A) your boss is nice about it, B) your boss says nothing, C) yelled at or D) booed by all your co-workers. Obviously, your answer is A or B and if you like someone you should always do A or B. So why when it's your favorite team at your home ball park do you go with C and D?
Here is a list of acceptable times/people to boo:
- The Yankees are in town and Alex Rodriguez is batting: No explanation needed.
- The umpires strike zone is actually all over the place: You are only allowed to boo, however, if it is clear to you. Don't be like those jackasses in Houston and boo any pitch you don't like. My seats are on the third base line and with a right handed batter up, I can't see the plate so I never question balls and strikes and you shouldn't either.
- A former player returns and was a jerk and/or sucked the whole time he was here: Examples being Eric Gagne, Jose Hernandez, Jeff Suppan if he ever leaves and Bill Sharp. (feel free to add more in the comments if you'd like)
- Another team is obviously throwing at the Brewers: This is the fans way of saying "Hey, f-you stop doing that and if you keep it up our team will come after you, but we don't really want them to because players involved in brawls get suspended and we can't really afford to lose Prince or Braun for a few games so stop doing that."
- There is a fan in the stands being an asshole and someone stands up to them. Then the nicer fan is thrown out along with the asshole or the asshole stays.: You know what I'm talking about, this happens all the time. (I love when people are thrown out by the way because it leads to my favorite moment of fan interaction, fans singing the "nanana hey hey goodbye song" love that.)
- An obvious call was blown by an umpire: This could be a home run, double play, someone was called safe when they were clearly out, anything.
- Roseanne sings the National Anthem.
And that's just about it. Did you see any situation herein where you boo players on your own team? (You didn't.) The reason they are home games is because the people like the team that is playing at home and the team likes playing at home. When the team is booed, they'd rather be in Philadelphia and nobody should ever want to be in Philadelphia, ever. Seriously, Philadelphia sucks.
Stop booing the Brewers. It's annoying and stupid.