BOO THAT MAN!: Why do Mets fans boo their players?

Joe GallopiniContributor IMay 13, 2008

So, I am a season ticket holder for the New York Mets.  I haven't gone to too many games this season because I've been busy with work and school.  But now the summer rolls around and time frees up, allowing me to go to more games.

However, with the few games I have been to this season, I noticed something rather disturbing.  Many of my fellow Mets fans have been booing not just the visiting team, but the METS. 

The are booing the team they came to root for and see win.  Guys like Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, or even Jose Reyes come to the plate ,and if they don't get on base, they boo. 

My question for them is this:  Why?  What do you think you are accomplishing by booing these players?

I understand that the Mets had an extremely disappointing end to their 2007 season last year.  Trust me, it hurt a lot.  I hated seeing the Mets go down the way they did last year.  It upset me how bad that most of the guys did at the end of the season too. 

Butto go into Shea and boo players on the Mets?

Now, I'm not all against booing the home team.  If a pitcher comes in and blows a lead, then yeah, when they walk off you boo.  You're expressing your displeasure with his outing that day. 

But when a guy comes to bat in the bottom of the first inning and you boo him, then how is he supposed to get his confidence back if he's been struggling? 

I guess fans who boo their home team somehow think that booing a player when they are doing badly will make the player say to himself, "Oh, maybe I should start playing better now because the fans are booing me." 

Trust me, they don't think that.  In fact, it puts MORE pressure on them to hit well, and they think WAY too much about it.  When you're in little league, they tell you not to think too much.  Just go out there and do what you have to do.  The more you think about it, the less chance of you getting it done.

Think about a kicker in football.  It's the fourth quarter and his team is down two points.  There are three seconds left on the clock, and they have the ball on their opponent's 30-yard line.  That's a 47-yard field goal.  The opposing team has a time out. 

The whole reason for "icing the kicker" is to make him think about the kick more and more.  Give him that extra time to think, "Oh crap, I gotta make this kick or we'll lose.  Oh man I better hit this.  It's a long one but I did hit it in pre-game.  Oh but there's so much pressure now." 

Now, the great kickers will go out there and have a mind of stone.  They won't let anything take their focus off making that field goal.  The other kickers, well, they'll miss the field goal and lose their jobs.

In baseball, the more a guy thinks, "Oh man the team needs me to get through here" the harder it'll be for them.  Guys who are slumping are already going after pitches they usually don't want.  They see a pitch and think it's a fat one, but really is going to cut in on them at the last second, and miss the sweet spot of the bat. 

And that is WITHOUT the fans booing him.  Now, add in the extra pressure of New York fans booing you more than ever, calling you a bum and that you make too much money to have a .240 batting average.  You get tense and forget the little things in your swing that helped you get 35 home runs, a 120 RBI, and a .290 batting average a year or two ago. 

Then fans come out with the whole, "I pay for tickets so I have a right to boo whoever I want whenever I want."  These are the same fans who want a guy shipped out because he isn't hitting. But when he starts hitting, they think it was a great idea to sign them.

These people make me sick.  As a Mets fan, I can tell you the deals I'm happy with and upset with.  Some may shock you, some may not, but that's for another time.