Saturday, April 28, 2012

To Boo or Not To Boo

I had an interesting conversation on Twitter with @williamnny23 of The Captain's blog. If you haven't read his blog, you should. It's a great read. He posted the following tweets regarding Freddy Garcia's last start against the Detroit Tigers followed by my responses.

@williamnyy23: I'll never understand why fans boo players. Garcia didn't give himself this start and didn't leave himself in despite having nothing

@williamnyy23 players should be held accountable when they don't do well. That's the way fans let themselves be heard as active participants

@williamnyy23: @SiscoKid027 I just think that's silly. I don't blame Garcia for being bad. I blame the manager for refusing to acknowledge it.

@williamnyy23 it goes with the standing O when they get the job done. The other side of the coin.

@williamnyy23: @SiscoKid027 Again, I think that's silly. Booing anything but a mental mistake makes no sense to me. Too each his own though.

He basically feels that it's silly for fans to boo Garcia for anything more than a mental mistake. The fact that he was trying and not getting his job done shouldn't have been a point of booing or placing blame by the fans. That the blame fell squarely on Yankees manager Joe Girardi for starting him and keeping him out there for as long (or as little depending on your point of view) as he did with Garcia basically throwing batting practice to the Tiger hitters. I can see his perspective on it but I think the pitcher should be held accountable by the fans for his lack of performance. For the fans, the way to do it is by booing. But is it helpful?

Let's be honest, booing will do nothing to help Garcia regain his confidence and /or his pitching mechanics. More often than not booing will only add additional stress to the person being jeered. At the same time, I believe that the jeering goes hand-in-hand with the cheers of adoration that players get when they succeed. I firmly believe that you can't have the fans cheer to your success and give you a standing ovation when you do well without you as the person on the field not being held accountable for your lack of success.

Do I feel that someone like Alex Rodriguez (or anyone else that is not liked by the fans) should be booed at every visiting park he steps to the plate in? Not at all. I believe that it's a product of jealousy by some fans and hatred of who he is by others. Back to Garcia. If a he has just one bad game so far, I don't think booing is recommended. But let's be honest, so far this season he's been downright dismal.

According to New York Newsday reporter David Lennon:

In his last two starts Garcia has given up 12 hits, 11 ER, 3 1/3 innings. 29.70 ERA. He has allowed 30 baserunners (25 hits, 5 walks) in 13 2/3 innings. Opponents are hitting over .400

Fans today feel as if they are much more active participants in the games due to the fact that they pay higher ticket prices to games, higher concession fees and higher prices for merchandise. The smaller ballparks are putting the fans closer to the action further adding to the idea that they are more part of the game than just spectators. The way fans can show their displeasure is by booing and making noise in the same way the fans are asked to make noise, chant and cheer in between at-bats to help the team rally when it's down. It can't be one or the other. I believe that cheering and jeering are part of the proverbial same coin.

Do some fans take it past a certain respectable point? Absolutely. Those who make it personal against the person they are jeering are wrong. There is no excuse to heckle someone because of their race, religion, sexuality or beliefs. But I believe that it's perfectly acceptable for a fan to boo a player if he or she has not performed their job in the manner they were hired to perform. That's just my opinion on the subject. What do you think. Agree? Disagree? Don't care?


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