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:
- 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???
- 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.
- 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.
- I refuse to boo. It’s a worthless exercise.
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.
But 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.