Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Of Course It's Kosher To Boo - Even When We Love Who We're Booing.

Say what you will about this crazy Dodgers' season, but if anything, 2013 has given the local and national media, social media and us bloggers plenty to write, gripe and debate about over this past month. 

The latest fuel for fire is still attached to Matt Kemp, and whether or not it's OK to "boo" the face of the franchise.  One might say that I've been booing Kemp regularly here, and that would be a fair assessment.  Another might say I have no right to boo a guy who is so generous and gives to the fans straight from the heart.

Matt Kemp flew Joshua Jones to Los Angeles (Photo Credit: Sportspedia)
 I do have to admit that Kemp definitely has a knack for immediately going out and doing something wonderful,like flying and hosting terminally ill Dodger fan Joshua Jones and his family out to Dodger Stadium, immediately after I've written a less than positive piece about him.  That said, Kemp's benevolent moves away from the field, while worthy of respect and admiration, do nothing to advance runners in scoring position when it matters on the field.

Baseball has always been the sport of "Boo!" as much as "Peanuuuts!" and "Down in front!"  Anybody who's paid the price of admission is entitled to express a non-obscene opinion out loud, even if that sometimes includes hurling one or two hearty razzes at the home team.  It doesn't make you disloyal to your team or less of a fan simply because you expect more and you let the guys on the field know that you're not happy when they don't deliver. 

I'm definitely not advocating booing every time a player muffs a play or grounds out, and I'm definitely NOT advocating booing a struggling player in the middle of an at-bat.  That's exactly what happened in a recent game when the Dodger Stadium crowd actually started booing Kemp when he got to a two-strike count.  They weren't booing a perceived bad strike call by the ump.  No sir. They were booing in anticipation of an inevitable third strike.  Which inevitably came, and was followed by even more boos. That second-strike negativity doesn't help anyone, and possibly will cloud a player who's already pressing at the plate. 

That said, we should consider what exactly are all those boos directed toward?  Yes, in a situation following a third or fourth (the dreaded Golden Sombrero) strike out of a game, many of those folks are directly booing Kemp.  But many like me, are booing the entire scenario.  We're not only booing Kemp's strike out, we're booing the big picture, if you will.

In the case of this season, we've been booing the general situation of yet another case of runners left stranded, another ruined rally, another game lost that we should have won, and - until recently - the resistance of Don Mattingly to face reality and drop Kemp down in the batting order where his current offensive capabilities truly deserve to be.

If I may digress for a bit - all I've got to say about that recent development is - FINALLY!  I've been  writing here for quite a while practically begging that Kemp be dropped down in the order.  I suppose it takes a while for humble little blogs like mine to filter over to Mattingly. 

We're not booing in the stands or grumbling in our blogs because we're anti-team.  Rather, it's quite the opposite.  We love our team and we want them to win every night.  Point of fact: Dodger fans don't boo the home team easily.  That hasn't been our M.O. like it is in other cities; Philadelphia, to name one.

We're just tired of losing, tired of the enemy up north leading the division, and damn tired of rising ticket, hot dog and beer prices for a last place team.  There.  Now that a healthy boo has been let out -

( Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)


  1. I'm not a vocal person by nature (I'm much more vocal in my writing), and I'm very sensitive to sounds so booing has always been an issue with me.

    I don't understand booing a player whose not doing well but obviously trying. I can understand booing poor decisions or obvious lack of hustle, although I can't see myself showing visual disgust in that way. I'd much prefer to write it out if it bothers me that much.

    I think, as you mention, booing can be open to interpretation and therefore people get confused over why someone is booing. (When you're writing your criticism, there is no doubt).

    I realize booing is a part of the ballpark experience for a lot of people, and probably a lot healthier than internalizing it, but I just can't do it. What you just did here, to me, is more effective.

    1. Right,N.O. Home crowds don't wanna boo at the Boys, but last place doesn't sit well with Dodger fans. It feels strange and we don't ever want it to feel normal.

      I'm starting to believe this revamped squad full of gritters is gonna ride our strong starting three and we just might pull out of this tailspin.
      Then we'll be able to once again reserve all our boos (verbal and otherwise) for the friscos.