I'm not a big fan of booing at sporting events. I just find it fairly silly and unnecessarily mean-spirited. But I understand it, at least on occasion. It's not that someone who makes $8 million a year shouldn't screw up a lot. Screwing up happens, whatever your salary. But the problem is that the more a player makes, the more ticket prices get raised. So, I can at least understand someone being pissed off at having to pay high ticket prices and not liking that one of the reasons for that is screwing up a lot. But it's not something I particularly like.Then there are the players who complain about fans booing. Mind you, I understand that, too. No one would like to get boo'd, even if you know you did poorly. But complaining about fans booing, is borderline foolish. I've seen good, appropriate complaints, but generally not.
There was a wonderful example of the "generally not" the other day.
The Chicago Cubs have a relief pitcher, Carlos Marmol, was was their closer until finally getting demoted on Sunday after a couple bad outings to start the season. And a couple lousy years. And a $9 million salary. On Monday, the Cubs had their first game of the new seasons at home, and Marmol got booed lustily when he was introduced before the game. And booed when he later came into the game.
Afterwards, two of his teammates commented on the booing. Teammates will always defend one another. That's completely understandable. But there was the good way, and the "Geez, guy, c'mon" way.
The good way was outfielder David DeJesus who said, "You don't want that for any of your teammates. You hate that, but it comes with Chicago...You've just got to put some zeros up and that'll start changing."
And then there was fellow pitcher James Russell, who almost got me falling out of my chair. What Russell said was, "It's a game of failure, and I think he's been handling it great. It's definitely not deserving of boos...You get that in Chicago a little bit. There are some fair-weather people."
I thought, "Say what???!!" He's calling Cubs fans "fair-weather fans"??? Fans who'll cheer for you when things succeed , but get on you when they go bad?? Seriously? So...I'm wondering -- when were all these "good times" for Cubs fans?? The Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. That's 104 years (without succeeding)! They've actually gotten into the post-season three times in the the last 28 years. But they got knocked out each time too early, and therefore haven't even been in a World Series since 1945. That's 67 years! And James Russell thinks fair-weather fans are booing Carlos Marmol?? That stadium that day was packed to the brim with foul-weather fans. The Cubs draw over 3 million people in the second tiniest ballpark in the major leagues, playing more day games than any team in majors -- all for a team that hasn't won in 104 years. As I've often said, it's not amazing that the Cubs have so many fans -- it's that they have any fans.
I know that James Russell was trying to defend his teammate. But, c'mon, guy, don't flam these fans for only being there to see a winner. In the words of Prof. Harold Hill -- Think, man, think.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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