That is the question.
The Mets' bloggers and mainstream media have been on the topic of booing home players since 4:00 yesterday afternoon. The Brewers hit a few bombs and won the game, which caused a mild stirring of boos in Flushing.
Some have taken the ridiculous stance that fans should never boo home players. Others have gone to the argument “Stop booing, you mean people”. I’ll take the high road and assume that booing home players isn’t an extremist group of drunken so-called “fans” on a Saturday afternoon at Shea.
The subject of booing home players has, once again, surfaced. Do fans have the right/responsibility to boo home players?
In a word: Yes!
If there’s a new ace pitcher that’s working on a six-year/$137.5 million contract that’s under performing, the fans have a right to boo. If there’s a relief pitcher that’s got a three-year/$10.8 million contract that’s been reduced to being a lefty specialist and not doing it well, the fans have a right to boo.
I fully support booing home players when the subjective decision has been made that a player is sorely under performing, a.k.a. stealing the Mets money. I’ve participated booing home players with some ferocity on two occasions:
- Scott Schoenweiss (2007)- 0-2 record, 70 games, 59.0 innings, 62 hits, 33 ER, 8 HR, 28 BB, 41 SO, 3 wild pitches, 4.97 ERA. Summary: Schoenweiss should have been arrested for grand larceny for all of the Mets money that he stole last season.
- Mike Stanton (2003)- 2-7 record, 50 games, 45.1 innings, 37 hits, 23 ER, 6 HR, 19 BB, 34 SO, 2 wild pitches, 4.57 ERA. It’s hard to remember a pitcher as ineffective as Stanton in 2003. It looked like batting practice when he pitched.
Although those are two occasions that I’ve engaged in booing home players, some fans could make other arguments as well. In 2007, Carlos Delgado was difficult to watch. I think that an argument could be made there.
To conclude this post, Mets fans do have a right and responsibility to boo home players that are sorely under performing, especially when their contract is deemed excessive. I don’t think that was case yesterday at Shea.
In my opinion, Johan Santana pitched extremely well in Florida, very well in Atlanta last Sunday, and not very well yesterday. Does that justify booing a two-time Cy Young Award winner? No way! There just isn’t enough of a body of under performing work to justify booing Santana at this point in the season. Mad Dog Russo would say “That’s a bad job by Mets fans yesterday”.