A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.

Agent K

I admit it completely. I am not a guy that the average baseball fan would enjoy bringing to a ball game:

  1. I will not do the wave. In fact, I was at the Mets-Braves game on Saturday and seriously questioned the logic of the guys in the right field Mezzanine seats at Shea trying to start the wave. In the ninth inning. Of a one run game. Do you guys have any interest in the outcome of the inning at all???
  2. I won’t get drunk at a game. Beers are too expensive, and when my choices are Bud, Bud Light, and Bud Select, I will most likely choose “none of the above”. Besides, there’s a game going on. Focus, people.
  3. I do not jump up and down at the sight of the Pepsi Party Patrol shooting t-shirts out of a cannon. Nor do I understand people who are sitting all the way in the back of the sections who do so. I mean, do you understand at all that there’s no way in hell that a t-shirt is coming your way? It’s not a matter of being vocal. It’s just physically impossible. Plus the t-shirts are crap.
  4. I refuse to boo. It’s a worthless exercise.

carlos_delgado_gi897.jpgI can go on and on regarding why I’m no fun at a baseball game. But it’s that fourth reason that I want to address right now.

A lot of Mets fans spent all winter fuming. We basically had six months to stew over “the collapse”. When April rolled around, the general fanbase was out for blood. The team had let us down in September. The manager and coaches had let us down. The front office executives let us down. And the fans wanted to let them know it. So what have Met fans done consistently in April?

They booed. A lot. They even booed Johan Santana, who had the audacity to allow five runs in one game. I’m serious. These people are nuts.

But the guy who has taken the brunt of it has been Carlos Delgado. Prior to last night’s game, the Mets first baseman had the line of .186/.276/.256. That’s not a typo. Carlos Delgado was slugging .256. And the fans booed him after every out he made at the plate.

This changed yesterday afternoon, when Delgado cranked two homeruns against the Braves in the Mets 6-3 win. Following his second round-tripper, the fans stood up and cheered loudly, begging Delgado to give them a curtain call.

boo.jpgBut Delgado would not come out. He celebrated in the dugout, taking high-fives from teammates with a grin on his face. But he ignored the fans’ request (and then, they predictably booed him). And I didn’t blame him one bit.

I’m not sure when it came to pass that the fans started feeling entitled to things. We’re entitled to a team that contends each and every year. We’re entitled to an owner who’s willing to spend every dollar to make that happen. We’re entitled to a team that not only excels on the field, but also shows fire. When we don’t get these things (at least here in NY), the fans become upset. And I don’t know why. Maybe it comes down to ticket prices. We’re paying more and more each year and as a result of paying that price, maybe we expect too much.

But the fact remains that booing a player is not going to get him “untracked“. It only creates resentment. It only makes New York less appealing. The players are not our monkeys. They’re not going to, nor should they, oblige to our every whim. So why should Delgado care as to what we think? When we didn’t show any signs of support when he was down, why should he appreciate any level of goodwill that we may show? It’s incredibly condescending to expect otherwise.

The part that really bothers me is the mob mentality. If these fans met Delgado one-on-one, I’d bet that each person would gushing at the chance to meet a real Met. But because the baseball writers and bloggers have nothing else to write about, all the fans hear is how underachieving and lackluster this team is. Hence, the booing. Individually, we’re genuine human beings. Together, we turn into jackasses.

So what does Carlos Delgado owe us Mets fans? Nothing he doesn’t owe himself. We treated him like crap and we’re surprised when he doesn’t beg for our approval? Please. You reap what you sow.

NOTE: The one thing I can’t help doing at a game is air drumming to “Enter Sandman” when Billy Wagner comes out. It’s early Metallica. The apex of rockitude. I will not sit idly by. Thank you.

16 Responses to “Mets fans deserve the cold shoulder”

  1. By standing behind the visitors’ dugout at Nationals Park last week, booing Aaron Heilman’s god-awful performance, am I any different from Red Sox fans who boo Lugo or Yankee fans who crucify Farnsworth or Hawkins?

    Paul, those who booed Johan in his home debut were indeed acting like jackasses. Ditto with the fans who jeered Delgado after he refused to do the curtain call. Having said that, the observation that the same fans ask these players for autographs the very next day proves that it’s nothing personal.

  2. Paul Moro says:

    JE, absolutely not. But honestly, I don’t care all that much about how Red Sox and Yankee fans treat their players. Not my problem. But I’m a Mets fan. And I hate seeing my guys get treated like crap.

    Yeah, Delgado and Heilman are performing poorly. But why are we booing them? Are they doing it on purpose? No. They’re doing what they can, no matter had bad that may be.

  3. Sarah Green says:

    Certain players deserve to be booed. And booing a deserving player is one of the simple joys of the game.

    That said, I was appalled by a couple of chuckleheads on the radio who said Sox fans should boo David Ortiz. BOO DAVID ORTIZ?! HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MINDS?!?! Just as there are certain players who have earned a good and thorough booing, there are certain players who have earned the right NEVER to be booed. Ever. David Ortiz is clearly in the latter category. I mean, maybe if he was caught drowning kittens in his bathtub…no, actually, even then I still couldn’t bring myself to boo.

  4. I thought only Philly fans boo’d unnecessarily.

  5. MattNokeslives says:

    Enter Sandman is not early Metallica. It’s from their fifth album. Good song and good album, but that album did signal the beginning of the end of their rocking days. Give Ride the Lightning a listen.

  6. Paul Moro says:

    MattNokes (by the way, awesome name), the Black Album was not the beginning of the end. It was the last good album the band put out and their decline was so rapid that there really was no “beginning” to their demise. It just happened. Before we knew it, we had “Hero of the Day”. Absolutely tragic. And yes, I do greatly appreciate Ride the Lighting, although I’ll argue that Master of Puppets is better. Battery is incredible. So is Sanitarium.

    And Joe, precisely. When we have to compare Mets fans to Phillies fans side by side, it pains me.

  7. Paul, I respect your decision not to boo, but keep in mind that our revered ancestors who frequented Ebbets Field constantly booed members of the home team. (Clem Labine said that Gil Hodges was the exception.)

    By the way, do you have any concerns with fans booing Willie for his decision-making? Or was I wrong to object to the lousy Brian Lawrence starts?

    We pay good money to see a game. Curse-free booing is simply a way that we express dissatisfaction with how elements of the game are played. I just don’t see the outrage.

  8. Paul Moro says:

    JE, I just don’t see the point in booing. I don’t understand what purpose it serves. It bothers the hell out of me when I see Reyes swinging at the first pitch and popping out the 3rd. But even if I did boo, is he going to listen to me? Who does he think knows more about the game? He’s not going to listen to the average fan who has no idea how to keep his front shoulder in. He’s going to listen to his coaches or himself.

    As far as Willie is concerned, his management of the pitching staff is pretty bad. But not all of it is his fault, really. I don’t like the fact that our bullpen is so reliant on match-ups. Joe Smith, Pedro Feliciano and Scott Schoeneweis have pretty bad splits. I can’t blame that on Willie so much. And if we’re going to criticize him for using Brian Lawrence last year, why are we not praising him for using Figueroa this year? There’s definitely some things that drive me nuts as far as Randolph is concerned. But I do think that Mets fans blame him for everything bad and don’t give him much credit for doing something right.

    And just because something has been done for decades doesn’t mean it’s the correct thing to do.

  9. Sarah Green says:

    Paul, I hope you would at least consider joining the booing under the following circs:

    1) Player being booed is a known wife-beater, a la Brett Myers.

    2) Player being booed has shown consistent and remarkable lack of hustle, a la Izzy Alcantara (who later confirmed what we already knew—that he is a giant douchebag—by karate-kicking a catcher in the neck.

    3) Player is a known taker of steroids. (Countless examples.)

    4) Player defects from team and goes IMMEDIATELY to arch rival. (Johnny Damon, etc.)

    5) Player in question has made disparaging comments about fans of own team. In this case, booing is surely justifiably retributive, no?

  10. Outstanding article Paul. Well said. I agree on all points. Since 2006 Met fans all of a sudden seem to have this sense of entitlement that’s very disturbing. It’s amazing to me that some NYers seem to think that since this is a tough town that they have a right to act stupid, rude, obnoxious, nasty and annoying.

    I’m a season ticket holder and the behavior of some ruin it for many. Players love to play in St. Louis because the fans are nice. Larry Walker strikes out in his first AB after a trade and he gets a standing ovation before and after the AB. Oh by the way St. Louis has 10 World Championships, 17 Pennants, and 22 Playoff Appearances. Get a clue Met fans. You can be passionate without being stupid, rude, obnoxious, nasty and annoying.

  11. Paul Moro says:

    Thanks, Pedro. And that’s the rub. People confuse criticism with knowledge. “If I boo, that shows that I understand baseball!” No. If you boo indiscriminately, you look like a total moron.

    Pick and choose your spots people. Or else it’ll be meaningless when it’s most deserved.

  12. Sarah Green says:

    In a pretty unrelated tangent, I was reading some message board or other recently (why can’t I remember which one? maybe not enough coffee??) and some guy who identified himself as a Red Sox season-ticket holder made two points. 1) The “Yankees suck” chant is lame and has got to go (I agree) and 2) at a recent game with the Sox down by a few runs, the fans started cheering to try and get the team going and gosh golly darn, it was so heartwarming, and he can’t remember ever having that sort of reaction from the fans in the Fens ever before….to which I can only say, what are you SMOKING. I don’t have season tix, but I’ve been to a boatload of games over the years and I have seen this sort of groundswell of support from the Faithful numerous times. Too many to count, in fact.

    I can only assume this is some bandwagon-jumping season ticket holder who only got his seats this season and who also just moved here from Omaha (where, of course, there is no MLB team). Normally, I’m fine with bandwagoners—or converts, as I like to think of them—but when they’re holding on to season tickets, my patience runs short. (My fam is on the list for season tickets…they recently estimated that we only have nine more years to wait—huzzah!)

    That’s just by way of saying that even though we boo douchebags, we still know how to cheer when it counts. Or something.

  13. Paul Moro says:

    There’s a place in this world for bandwagon jumpers (at least in Shea). It’s called the Outer Field Box Seats. These terrible sections of Shea make it seem like you’re close to the action because you’re technically only a few rows away from the field. But you get to see nothing but the outfield because your line of vision to home plate is blocked by the constant hordes of people close to the dugouts who insist on getting up and walking around. Those who have been to Shea more than a few times know to avoid this area like the plague. These bandwagon fans help fill these seats and make the team that much more profitable.

    So bless them.

  14. Pedro, SOME players may enjoy playing in St. Louis. SOME may even prefer the public schools of Denver and its suburbs. However, I do not believe that there is empirical evidence readily available demonstrating that your average ballplayer chooses St. Louis or Denver over New York.

    If anything, I would imagine more players care about the absence of state taxes in Florida and Texas than whether or not fans will try to hurt their feelings.

  15. Paul, I have to admit, I like your style. If I’m lucky enough to score tickets to Fenway, I’m there when the gates open for batting practice and don’t leave until the final out. I remember a game in 2006, end of the season versus the D-Rays and I had excellent seats on the first base line. Sox were getting hammered and the mascot was nearby so all the parents were coming by with their kids, blocking my view… jerks, there was still a game going on. Though the only time I booed a player was in Damon’s return as a yankee.

    I think the issue with the Mets is expectation. Since Minaya signed on Pedro in 2005, EVERYONE has expected this team to win. The 2006 unexpected loss to the Cards and the sudden collapse in 2007 just heightened a sense of restlessness. So yeah, Mets fans have been jerks lately because you guys have gone from a franchise that was just hoping to squeek by the Braves to a powerhouse franchise. It won’t really end until the Mets win a world series and the fanbase calms down.

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