Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Etiquette of Booing: Part II

In 2008, one of the earliest post I wrote for this blog was on the etiquette of booing. In that post, the situation was specific to booing Trevor Hoffman. The basic point was that Trevor Hoffman had earned our respect and a blown save here or there was not worth the fans of San Diego booing him.

Today, this argument was renewed. After yesterday's 7-0 loss to Atlanta yesterday, Petco Park was filled with boo's. To the point that Orlando Hudson responded, reportedly saying, "That's why they're fans, they couldn't cut it in high school or college baseball & you don't boo the home team."

Let's take this in a couple steps.

1) Orlando Hudson is not Trevor Hoffman. It's a rare player that earns the respect and does not deserve to be booed, absent serious misconduct. Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman are probably the only two players in Padres history that are on that level. Orlando Hudson has been a Padres for only a few months. And let's be frank, the first regular season month of Hudson's career in San Diego has been less than stellar for the team.

2) There's a debate amongst fans whether fans should boo the home team. A debate that I'm sure they snicker at in Philadelphia and New York. But I like not being a fan of Philadelphia and New York, in part because we don't turn on our team at every bad moment. Does that mean a teams fan base is NEVER allowed to boo? I beg to differ. Philadelphia and New York boo too much but that's not to say there isn't a time and a place. That time and place is...

- 7 shutouts in 25 games in 2011 (12 shutouts in all of 2010)
- .208 team BA, good for last in ML. 213 SO, most in MLB
- And of course, the oft discussed BA/RISP of .172

3) There is a difference in booing a player or team you don't like (see: Cleveland with Lebron) and fans booing out of frustration. It is my belief that what happened Wednesday is the latter. And Orlando Hudson's reaction was an extension of that frustration.

I don't believe for a second that the player's aren't doing everything they can to start winning games. Probably trying too hard ultimately. I don't for a second think that these players aren't playing 100% and aren't more frustrated than any fans are. So I get Hudson's venting. What I don't agree with is Hudson's opinion that fans are not allowed to boo simply because they cannot play at a MLB level.

I'm not a booer unless I don't like the player or team. I don't boo my own teams no matter how frustrated I get. But I don't have a problem with fans doing it if they need to vent. Within reason. And through the first 25 games, we are well within that reason.

The fact of the matter is, I've been a bigger fan of the Padres longer than Orland Hudson has been. Or Brad Hawpe, or frankly any member of the Padres this year. So yes, I may not be talented enough to play at the MLB level. But I'm emotionally invested enough that if I'm frustrated by the teams play, I can let out a groan or a sigh or even, yes, a boo.

Everybody's frustrated, from the players to the GM to the fans. Brighter days are ahead, this I know. And no disrespect was meant toward any player individually or personally. And hey, I like Orlando Hudson. I give him a pass on this. He's a stand up guy, great in the community and a fun guy in the clubhouse by all accounts.

So let's chalk all this up to frustration. And take that frustration out on Los Angeles.


Avenger-in-Chief said...

I rarely boo and when I do it's more for shockingly poor performance. I was at the game on Tuesday and let out a frustrated boo.

I think fans pay their money and can do what they like as long as the "colorful language" is left at home. Having said that I would prefer not to hear any boos for the Padres while at PETCO.

My issue involves around Orlando Hudson's logic..."fans boo because they can't play... they're not good enough... they got cut from their high school team."

I fear players who come from the Sean "If you can't play then shut your mouf!" Phillips school of thought.

Fortunately, ODog has a good track record and I definitely appreciate his frustration right now.

kerz said...

Now I guess we know why the front office wants us worrying about the name on the front. The names on the back are pretty terrible. Maybe if they give in and make the uniforms brown for the rest of the season, we'd at least have that to cheer about.

It's going to be awfully hard to buy tickets to see them play up here in SF if you know they're going to be terrible.