Booing other team’s players? I get it. Booing your own based on performance? I don’t.

Matt Kemp is having a rough season, and even if you haven’t watched him this season you might be able to see it on the spreadsheets. -1.0 fWAR is 3rd worst of all 171 qualified hitters, his wRC+ (77) is tied with Yunel Escobar and just below Yuniesky Betancourt (who has come back down to the earth his abilities live on). His .277 wOBA is 151st. To give you an idea of what he did in his should’ve-been-MVP season in 2010, he had an 8.4 fWAR, 168 wRC+, and a .413 wOBA. That’s the Matt Kemp we’ve come to expect, but a crash in Colorado last year has changed things and Kemp’s shoulder flexibility has become limited. Dodger fans have turned on their star and are making it rain with the boos, and Kemp has made it known that he’s not all that thrilled with it:

“It felt like I was in AT&T Park…I’m taking a beating from the fans…It’s disappointing to get booed by our own fans, even shocking.”

Chad Moriyama has been the leader of the charge against booing Kemp/their own players, and his timeline has basically been that recently since there’s been so much booing lately. I applaud his efforts, because as you judged by the article title, I agree with his stance on the matter. I will echo what he has said before in this sentence: fans have the right to do and say what they want, but booing your own player is stupid. I don’t understand why those booing expect an under-performer to either all of a sudden recover their past abilities or inspire them to work harder for their team. Kemp has a huge contract, for sure, and he is expected to be a star, but what will booing accomplish, besides letting out your frustrations? (Clearly, I also care not for those frustrations being exhibited in a “boo.”)

Nobody should be kidding themselves that this is a new thing only happening between the Dodgers and Kemp, I mean, you could tune to the ALCS last year for games at Yankee Stadium and tell me what you hear.

Booing your own player for their not performing to your expectations is ridiculous. It’s a tradition that will live on, I know. There are other ways to express frustration, though the message will be slower to reach those that make the decisions, although its not like the journalists that cover baseball are blind to things like that. It wouldn’t hurt the fans to think about the reason for a player’s lack of success and start calling for change. Until then, those fans just look like people that will say whatever comes to their minds first, not thinking about the consequences or rationale of whatever it is they say and/or are about to say. Who really listens to the opinions of those people anyway?

3 Comments

First of all, major league players do not get their inspiration from the fans. In this day and age, they could care less about us sitting in the seats. They have brought this all upon themselves with their selfishness and if they are going to continue to under-perform, the fans PAYING THEIR SALARY have every right to boo and to call us stupid and ridiculous to do so is in itself stupid.

We don’t think its going to change a thing! However, it is the one and only best way to get it through to not just that one player, but the entire team, managers and owners that this will not be tolerated much longer before you start seeing it at the gate. It’s only the first step in the process of us little guys doing what WE can to try and turn things around. And none of us have the time to sit around, as you say, and wait for management to make a move while we stifle our emotions!

How can anyone expect for me to sit there and politely applaud under-performance when I’ve just spent 3 or 4 hundred bucks for my family to go out and see my team under-perform when I see the millions of dollars that these guys get and at the end of the day most of them could care less because they just think “its a long season” and “we’ll get ‘em tomorrow” and “glad that series is over”.

I bought airline tickets and game tickets, as soon as they became available to the public last year, to bring my son to his first Giants-Dodgers game only to see the Dodgers crush the Giants 10-0! I wanted to boo! Oh you bet I did! But I probably would have been doused with beer and a fight would have ensued, ruining it for many including those I was with, excluding my son who probably would have enjoyed it!

I say, in fact, there isn’t enough booing! We cheer our team like mad when they do well and damn it, we SHOULD boo them when they play poorly because they need to know that we aren’t going to put up with it!

Boo on Dodger fans! Boo on as the Giants win their 3rd in 4!

Hey Steve,

Thanks for the reply — very glad you were able to make the trip with your son to AT&T Park (what a spectacular park, right???) but sorry that you had to watch the drubbing that ensued. I have been in AT&T/Pac Bell when fans booed their own player (I believe it was Armando Benitez who was the recipient), so I don’t think you would’ve been too out of place voicing your displeasure in a “boo” after a 10-0 game.

My dad definitely has a very similar opinion when it comes to ballplayers and the money that goes into paying them, so your thought process hits close to home, I suppose you could say. I get it, but I also know that when it comes to the money, the agents and the regional sports networks have a lot to do with the crazy cash that’s being circulated, although ultimately yes, we are paying for their lives with high paychecks.

We’re obviously on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to opinions on booing, but I appreciated you taking the time to write a thoughtful reply. Hope you got to see the Giants win today!

Best,
Stuart

And Benitez DESERVED IT, haha!

Hey, you’re dad must be a great guy, I’d love to meet him sometime, haha!

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