I’m a little disappointed with the harassment levels.
J-Roll’s hobbling down the street like Tiny Tim, just trying to get to his car so he can run over the first local news crew that doesn’t dive out of the way fast enough, and he is right to do so. Then there’s the amount of booing received by Cole Hamels, which seems totally disproportional to the situation. Baer’s got a thing on it over at Crashburn Alley.
I like booing. It’s like reverse-cheering. I assume when enough of us are booing, the will to play the game is quickly leaving any opposing players within ear shot. Eventually, they’ll just bow their heads and walk dejectedly off the field in the middle of a play; I just can’t get anyone to boo with me for that long.
Booing your own player is tricky. Not because its sick, unsupportive, and genuinely classless, but because it is a precise move. You’re not just booing an entire team or city, you’re picking one guy out, and you’ve got to be careful, because you don’t want the whole team to think you’re upset with them.
Trust me. This is how it works. I’m not just making it up as I type.
Booing Pat Burrell was fun, because his defense was like watching a Looney Toons short, and when his offense disappeared for awhile, we just a burly, handsome turd out there, like he’d just walked off the side of a paper towel roll and decided to play baseball. We had every right to be pissed off at him. And for every boo, there was a well-meaning, overweight middle-aged woman shrieking about cute his ass was, telling him “Don’t listen to them! They’re just jealous!”
Of course we’re jealous. Some of us suck at our jobs and don’t get $11 million to do it.
Anyway, there was a time and a place. The time was “always” and the place was “anywhere Pat Burrell goes.” It wasn’t hostility, it was gentle goading and encouragement through the filter of alcohol and rage. Like when a bully beats up a kid with asthma because he can’t run away fast or enough, or getting sexually assaulted.
No, no, wait. Its like a big brother punching his little brother in the arm until it turns blue, and the little brother always having a blue, bruised area on his arm as a reminded to never touch his brother’s LEGOs again.
But Cole? Cole’s no Pat Burrell. Cole’s stumbles last year were all too visible, and we all know he’s under the microscope, but shut up. Don’t boo him. Not yet. I know we’re all jonesing to boo somebody, and the Mets are terrible, and we don’t play the Yankees at home, but there’s no need for this. We need that arm to work right, and we need it to work right in Philadelphia.
This went on longer than I thought it would.
Phillies-Nationals, 7:05, Citizens Bank Park
The 2nd Base Chase got all wound up and even got a nice little math check to make sure it was on the level. That said, with Chase being one of the lingering All-Stars in the lineup, let’s assume he will have a banner night, which for Chase Utley means he knocks in 10 runs in his first at bat and gets laid before and after the game.
I’ll be there to make sure. And Kyle Kendrick, let’s see that form that had Rich Dubee all smiling and giggling this spring. Or I’ll start with the boos.