Monday, April 28, 2008

When is it Acceptable to Boo a Player?

Let me start by saying I am a die hard Mets fan. Especially over the past few years with great young talent such as David Wright and Jose Reyes who have already become superstars in such a short period of time.

The Mets also have their fair share of (very) old talent with guys like Carlos Delgado and Moises Alou who have been playing the game since I started following the sport way back when.

With age and experience also come expectations of players. Guys like A-Rod are expected to bat .320 and knock in 45 HRs a year. Guys like Johan Santana are expected to win 18 games and record 220 SOs a year. And what happens when these guys don't do what they are expected to do? Yeah, you guessed right - stupid sports fans (myself included) harass the player with a barrage of boos.

Get real folks - the point of a sport is that NOTHING is guaranteed. But unfortunately, expectations play such a large role in just about everything in life that it is hard NOT to be influenced by an expectation of a certain player. And when that player "underperforms" (which of course is just a word that is based upon expectations), it is hard NOT to be upset and boo them.

But is booing acceptable?? Does it even make sense??

Every baseball fan witnessed A-Rod's "disappointing" 2006 season. He was greeted with a series of boos every time he stepped up to the plate at Yankee Stadium that year. Did anything good come out of it? Did booing help him break out of his "slump"? No. Nothing good came out of booing the best hitter in baseball. It only made things worse. And by the way, taking a look at his 2006 season right now, he had a hell of a year that most baseball players would kill to have. But ah, those damn expectations come into play, and suddenly a fantastic season looks drab compared to what he was supposed to do.

The overall point of this is that not even a full month into this season, I, as a Mets fan, have already witnessed 3 players get booed. Johan Santana, Aaron Heilman, and most of all, Carlos Delgado, have gotten booed on at least 1 occasion. Regardless of whether or not these guys have been off to a good start this season, booing them won't help matters. I, for one, honestly think Aaron Heilman is going to have a mental breakdown everytime he comes out to pitch. And booing Johan Santana is just plain wrong. I would have been embarassed if I was one of the fans in the stadium that day when he got booed after giving up 4 runs in 6.2 innings.

Expectations of a players performance are inevitable. We are all going to look at the top players and expect a lot from them. But when they "underperform", just realize they are human, and what makes sports so great is inconsistencies of it. Stop the crying and the booing, because it ain't gonna help.

1 comment:

Jared said...

When we're paying Arod 27 million a year and he's batting under 300...I BOO...because he's the reason it costs me a two week paycheck to go to Yankee Stadium.

-Little Sherm

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