Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Yankee Fans Are Pitiful at Times

This is a rant about one thing I can't stand - fans who boo their own team. This phenomenon is especially prominent with many New York teams and has been plaguing the Yankees quite a bit this year.

There are a few times when I could be convinced it's OK for a quick boo, for instance if your team makes a boneheaded play call, or a player who doesn't put forth any effort. There really isn't an excuse to boo a guy who is out there honestly doing his best to help the team.

Joba Chamberlain, the team's best young pitching prospect received a few boos from the stands last night after blowing a save and costing the team a win. Joba is a class act. He tried hard, he's pitched extremely well, he's a nice guy and most likely is a key piece in the future of this franchise. There's absolutely no reason to boo a guy like this. After his unfortunate outing, Joba immediately returned to the locker room and very patiently and politely answered a host of questions from the reporters gathered there. No avoiding the questions, no avoiding the reporters, no ill-tempered remarks, just a guy doing the right thing. It's  a shame that a few fans decided to lessen the game by booing a decent kid.

The other incident that really gets me is the booing of LaTroy Hawkins. Early in the year Hawkins was abysmal and I frequently suggested he should be cut, sent down, or traded. New York fans seemed to care less about his poor performance and more about the fact that he wore number 21, which some misguided fans think should be retired because Paul O'Neill wore it. No way does Paul O'Neill deserve to get his number retired. A very good player, but not "number retired" great. The saddest part of all of this was that the number was chosen to pay tribute to Roberto Clemente. I'm still shaking my head that O'Neill trumps Clemente in anyone's book.

Eventually Hawkins switched numbers and the booing stopped. His performances at Yankee Stadium improved quite a bit after that as well. I wonder if the fans know what a nice guy Hawkins is? If you follow the team in the media, you'll know that he's a stand up guy who goes out of his way to support his new teammates. This isn't behavior that deserves booing.

This behavior isn't limited to just the Yankees, it's common for most NY sports teams, and some other big city teams as well. It just doesn't seem right to me and can't be helping matters any if the team is struggling. Maybe next time these so called fans feel like booing, they'll just get up and get a hot dog instead and cool off a bit. Yeah right.

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