Thursday, May 24, 2012
So Indians closer Chris Perez went off on his own team's fanbase the other day, calling them out for their boo-happy ways and the team's home attendance ranking (dead last).
"Asked if it bothered him to get booed at home, Perez said, "It doesn't bother me, it p----s me off. I don't think they have a reason to boo me." "
And despite his horrible beard, the dude is right. Maybe it's my own personal bias showing here, but it's generally accepted that booing the home team is poor form at best and assholish at worst. It breaks the fan code. My fan code, anyway. Unless a player is openly dogging it on the field, or is caught punching a puppy in the face away from the park, it's a distasteful practice. I'm sorry (I'm really not) if you're a booer and the above offends you, but what... you're going to scream at a player's talent level relative to the competition?
"Hey Overbay, you're middling power at first base is offensive to me! Booo! Booooo!"
"Vernon Wells! Your biweekly paycheque is not commensurate with the level of production you are showing on the field! Your tireless community improvement charity work and playing through injury doesn't cut it with me! Screw your tenure and model behavior on this team! BOOOOO!"
"Rios, failing to fulfill your poten..." nevermind, because Rios didn't give a fuck so let him have it. There are exceptions to rules, y'know.
But back to the matter at hand.... if we can agree (I know we don't) that booing the home team is distasteful, why is it then OK to rip a player apart via twitter? This whole post was borne from Ricky Romero's twitter bomb the other night following his shaky (generous!) start vs the damn Rays.
And no, I don't care to link to it, because quite frankly, I'm hurt by your words, Rick. In case you missed it, after chastising the hatas out there, Romero concluded that none of it mattered because he plays for his teammates and his family. As I noted on twitter, for those of you who follow, it felt like a big F-U to the fanbase.
But can you blame him? Can you blame Chris Perez, who made similar comments (and maybe Mr. Rick followed that story more closely than we think...)
"It's a business. You didn't choose to get drafted by Cleveland. I'm in it for my family. Who knows? I could throw my last pitch tomorrow.
"At the same time, I'm here. I'm here to win. I'm here for my teammates and I want to bring a championship to Cleveland, to do my job and help the team win. I think I do a pretty good job of showing that on the field. I don't think I bring any undue attention to myself. I'm out there for the team. In big wins, I get excited and I'm like a kid again, because it's fun."
It's the downside of social media. Twitter at it's best brings fans closer to athletes; it gives us a window into their lives, personalities, and in some cases, their intimate thoughts. That's also the downside. It allows parasites to flap their yaps in their direction and drive a wedge between the player and the fans in general, even if 95% are well meaning.
I don't want Romero and the boys to be mad at us. So cut it out, jerks.