Padres bloggin' since 2007

The Tao of Boo

April 29th, 2011 by Melvin

Booing is an act of frustration from fans who have a great deal of interest and emotion invested in a situation yet are powerless to do anything else.

Lets talk about the given reasons given for the boo?

“The player is paid handsomely and isn’t performing.”

Sure. Does the player need to be informed of his poor performance? Probably not. Will booing encourage better performance? The boo will most likely create resentment between a player and his supposed supporters. All of a sudden, playing on the road becomes more friendly than playing at home. This won’t help the situation.

“It’s the effort being booed. Play harder to earn my respect.”

I see. Poor on field performance means there’s poor effort. What if the player were to throw his helmet around? Punch a locker? Can I assume the boos will stop?

Suppose we give the booer a bat and helmet and put him on the field. Surely his performance will be poor. Easily mitigated by returning the boo favor. Problem solved!

“We must send a message! We fans will not tolerate poor play!”

By booing the player? But why is the player on the field in the first place? What player would you prefer given the relative price of players and money available to retain their services? Who decides how much money is available for those services? If you feel the money available to retain players’ services is unsatisfactory, does buying a ticket and booing a player send the right message?

The discussion about the Tao of Boo, unfortunately, doesn’t go anywhere. People boo so they feel better. They boo to demonstrate to others that their team’s poor play doesn’t reflect on their own self worth. They boo to create a sense of control. They boo out of frustration. It’s understandable, but doesn’t accomplish much.

Or, by all means, wear brown to the ballpark. That will totally motivate Brad Hawpe.

Posted in controversy, players | 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “The Tao of Boo”

  1. Larry Faria says:

    Booers gonna boo. It’s not my style, but I can’t criticize others for it, in the right circumstances. It used to be, the teams were lousy and outclassed**, and all the fans wanted to see was honest professional effort. Fail to run out a grounder, and the player would get booed. Make a bonehead play, not just an error, and the player would get booed.

    Failure to get a hit, failure to make a tough play, are different animals. No player wants to go oh-fer, and no player should be expected to make a dazzling Brooks Robinson play. If a fan boos then, he/she/it should his/her/it self be booed by the fans around him/her/it.

    Fans pay their money, they have a right to boo in the right circumstances, but fans fueled by alcohol, nachos and/or personal problems should be discouraged by other fans from cheapening the latter fans’ experience.

    ** My first Padres game was in 1971. The Giants put up Willie McCovey, Willie Mays, and had Juan Marichal on the mound. The Padres put up Ed Spiezio, Dave Campbell and Clay Kirby. Outclassed.

    • Sammy says:

      I agree with you, Larry, that there should be a limit to booing and obnoxious behavior. A round of boos after a .167 hitter strikes out for the third time in a game? Acceptable (IMO). Spending nine innings booing and screaming obscenities? Not.

  2. […] The Tao of Boo (Sacrifice Bunt). I’ve booed players twice that I can recall, neither of which had anything to do with their performance. I booed Hideki Irabu in Oakland on account of his dissing San Diego, and I booed Bobby Chouinard at Qualcomm Stadium on account of his overzealous Christmas spirit. I get on the umpires every once in a while, but they have a tough job, so my threshold is high. There was a game at Petco Park last year where the plate umpire did a lousy job calling balls and strikes, and we all gave him an earful after pretty much every pitch starting around the fourth inning. That just became comical after a while, though, which suited his interpretation of the strike zone. […]

  3. Sammy says:

    By the same token, what does cheering accomplish? I’ve been to many Seahawks games at Qwest Field. Before the team takes the field, the 12th Man flag is raised by some former player or other Seattle area icon to the deafening cheers of 70,000 people in a stadium physically designed to capture the sound. It’s louder than an Iron Maiden concert. During every single defensive play, the crowd is so loud it is impossible to hold even a top-of-the-lungs yelling conversation.

    And you know what? When the team sucks, they still suck. Yes, they’re better at home than on the road, but I’ve seen them start games so flat, that I’ve wondered if they even heard those cheers.

    I’m not justifying booing the home team, although I’ve done so to voice displeasure. I am, however, saying that whether it “accomplishes” anything is really irrelevant. And if Hawpe starts hitting above a welterweight’s weight, he’ll hear those cheers.

  4. OBcean says:

    Well put. Reasonable. It’s too bad people aren’t all like that.

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