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So apparently I'm a jackass

Apr 16, 2010, 8:25 AM EDT

Carton.jpgSo yesterday Craig Carton and Boomer Esiason of 660 WFAN went crazy on me for calling Yankees fans “classless and ignorant” for booing Javy Vazquez on Wednesday. The audio of that is here, beginning at around the nine minute mark.  It starts with Carton calling me a “jackass” and it goes downhill from there.  Good times!

Always a fan of great theater, I decided to call in to the show this morning.  I had no illusions that Carton would change his mind on the matter, and he most certainly did not. But rather than defend the booing on the merits — which I don’t think even he can — he decided to unload on me for being a blogger, not having a journalism background and all of that. Anyone who follows the media very much knows that’s the last refuge of someone with no argument, but there he went anyway. When I told him that Mike Lupica has a journalism background and he sucks he pulled a Francessa on me and hung up. Great theater — and basically what I expected — but telling all the same.

Carton’s main point from yesterday — that it’s the God-given right of Yankees fans to boo whoever they want to — is absolutely correct. But he has no answer for the notion that you look totally bush league when you boo a guy over six year-old failures six months after winning the World Series.  There are all sorts of things you can do if you want to. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

All that said, I would like to thank Carton and Boomer for having me on. The easy thing to do would be to ignore me. There are things that are more fun in the world than being hammered by talk radio guys, but (a) it was actually kind of fun on some level; and (b) the worst day of being hammered by talk radio guys about baseball stuff beats the best day in a law office defending the indefensible.

UPDATEHere’s my segment on WFAN from this morning.  I’ll leave it to you to decide who comes off better. 

  1. Dan - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    Whether you agree with booing or not, when people are shelling out tons of money for a ticket which goes towards paying the players, I believe fans have every right to boo, which the above article supports. If the players don’t like it…boo hoo, it comes with their job, playing sports for a living.
    I don’t know how you can call Yanks fans classless and ignorant, thought. I was watching the Yanks/Angels game yesterday, and Matsui got a standing ovation after hitting a homerun to give the Angels the lead.
    I’ll also say…some of the venomous booing isn’t all directed towards Javy…it’s towards the Yanks management, who many fans I’ve talked to, didn’t support the decision to acquire him.
    In traveling around the country, while Yanks have their fair share of obnoxious fans, I find them to be some of the most knowledgeable around, in terms of knowing players/stats/minor leagues/history.
    I’ll end with this…Booing will not make Vazquez any better, and it probably should stop since he’ll be out there every 5 days, but I’m not going to call a fan base classless for doing so.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Yankee fans have both short and long memories. All they did was Boo. My god, what a sin. This guy is perceived as one in a long line of pitchers who can’t pitch in NYC (you all know the list) and most Yankee fans did not like reaquiring him. Perhaps the boos were for that decision?

    If I can show you numbers to how ridiculous this statement is, will you stop believing this (he can’t pitch in NYC?)

    That doesn’t excuse it, it was obviously not Vazquez’ fault that they lost…

    The order of fault in the ’04 series goes something like this:
    Torre (for not using Rivera in G5 in the 8th)
    Rivera (two blown saves)
    Gordon (HR to Ortiz)
    Brown (3.1IP – 8ER)
    Jeter (.200/.333/.233 line)
    (5 or 6 more guys)
    Look at the numbers from the series. It’s idiotic that fans blame Vazquez for that game after the terrible pitching Brown did to put the game in that situation.

  3. Raffy - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    I am a New Yorker and a die-hard Yankee fan. I for one would not have booed Javy Vazquez because I know that he is a solid pitcher who will turn the boos to cheers if he can string a few good starts together.
    However, I think calling Yankee fans ignorant and classless is pretty inaccurate. Yankee fans are among the most knowledgeable fans around – remembering a poor performance from 6 years ago shows that Yankee fans don’t forget those who perform well and those who don’t. Yankee fans will always be reminded about that embarrassing collapse (by the whole team, not just Vazquez) in 2004, and so far that is the epitome of Vazquez’s Yankee career.
    It is the same reason that Red Sox fans booed Bill Buckner years after he was gone, or why Bartman has to seek refuge from Cubs fans. People can boo whoever they want. Vazquez will win over the Yankees, especially if they keep winning, but so far he has done nothing yet to take away memories of him imploding in the second half and playoffs in 2004. Are the boos necessary? No, of course not, and they are premature after only two starts. But I don’t think a fan booing Vazquez for starting off the same way he finished the last time he was here makes him classless or ignorant.
    (We could talk about Braves fans who don’t even bother going to games to support their perennially contenting team).
    The main thrust of my comment however is to talk about WFAN. I’m glad you went on to defend yourself (whether I’m 100% behind your opinion or not).
    I hate that guy Carton. When driving to work in the morning, Carton has absolutely made me a bigger Mike and Mike fan on ESPN, and I’m listening to a lot more music in the morning too. Carton is horrible. Not only is he a complete asshole, but he sounds like he is always trying to portray himself as the everyman sports fan.
    However, all I hear is him calling every caller an idiot and talking about which celebrity chicks he wishes he could bang. You gotta give us more legitimate sports than that, Carton. He sounds like he wants to seem young and cool, but he always comes across as lame and pathetic.
    I have heard him make exactly this kind of asinine argument before that he made against you. Once I heard a caller call in with an opinion on why an athlete might have taken a particular action (I don’t recall what incident it was), and he happened to mention that he was a psychologist. Since it was the opposite of Carton’s opinion, Carton didn’t discuss any of the very valid points the guy made – he just spent ten minutes ripping on the guy and calling his opinion worthless because he was “not a real doctor”
    Seriously, Carton has no personality of his own and sounds like he took out a notebook, sat down and listened to years of Chris Mad Dog Russo for his style and Opie and Anthony for his content (I do like O&A by the way). Then he just imitates both every morning.
    On the occasions where I’ve been able to stomach the show for a while, I don’t hear him make a single relevant point and I have to change the station after a few minutes almost every time.
    WFAN with a lineup including Boomer and Carton, Mike “I know everything and I’m disgusted that I even have to take calls from these nitwits” Francesa and Steve Sommers (a great guy, but a really boring show that doesn’t give the listener anything he doesn’t know before tuning in) is abysmal.
    I know dozens of former WFAN fans who tune in now only for Mets games or to listen to Joe and Evan in the Midday.
    Plus Carton’s radio voice is almost as grating as Yankee announcer Suzyn Waldman.
    A complete ass.

  4. Nico - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    Craig, you are younger, balder and thinner than I imagined.

  5. Moses Green - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:02 AM

    Craig Carton takes issue with Craig Calcaterra’s educational and writing qualifications. And makes milk come out my nose. A double curse on that ignorant donkey turd.
    Listen people, Uncle Moses has some serious, high-quality life advice to drop on you here – if you still listen to terrestrial radio you deserve whatever high-decibel idiocy you get. Car stereos with cd players and jacks for MP3 players are not expensive. If you spend significant time in a car, treat yourself like you should. Don’t listen to radio – play music that you like instead. You’ll thank me later.

  6. Adam - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Wow, if this is the demographic that listens to ‘WFAN’ (aka, adults with the spelling ability of the 3rd grader), I guess that pretty much backs up what Craig is saying.
    Oh and “ha”, shut up.

  7. Bull Durham - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:25 AM

    I have an undergraduate degree in journalism and a law a degree and neither one of them have anything to do with my understanding of sports. I can’t remember any courses in either curriculum entitled “Boooo! Javy Vazquez, Carl Pavano and the psycho-social dynamics of the die-hard New York Yankee fan.”
    I think Yankee fans like the fact that they play a role somehow through their reactions at the stadium. Booing Vazquez is just another example of making themselves a part of the story. I don’t blame them for that necessarily though I fail to see how they think it’s helping the Yankees’ cause. Moreover, I continue to wonder why anyone outside of New York cares about any of this.

  8. Jesse - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    No, actually Braves fans go to the park and support their team just as much as Yankees fans. Let’s do some analysis here. Metro Atlanta has a population of roughly 6 million and the New York City area has somewhere in the neighborhodd of 18-20 million. The two ballparks are roughly the same size. MLB is probably the most popular sport in the Northeast, or at least holds its own against the NFL. Nothing holds a candle to college football in the south.
    So, based on those points, I wonder what team is going to consistently draw more fans? It doesn’t mean that Braves fans don’t love their team, it just means there are fewer Braves fans than Yankees fans. I will admit it is kind of embarassing that the Braves stadium isn’t full during the first round of the playoffs, but all that means is Atlanta doesn’t have a whole lot of bandwagon fans jumping on board for the playoffs just because the team is doing well. Yes, there are fewer baseball fans in Atlanta than New York, but there is a passionate fan base in Atlanta. By the way, those points can probably be applied most MLB cities.

  9. BC - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Carton is an a$$. How he stays on the air is beyond me.

  10. YankeesfanLen - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Thanks for the clip. My radio doesn’t pick up 660, only 880. Strangely, it will get 1050 from time to time, but not 770.
    Captcha: in accords- with Craig’s opinions.

  11. Ice Berg - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    “Craig Carton”
    … Stopped reading right there.
    Carton is a f*cking knitted scarf. No one in NY values his thoughts beyond what Boomer should be eating for dinner.

  12. Linus - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Hey Craig,
    I don’t honestly care about this particular issue one way or the other. I am in favor of decorum and hate booing in nearly any circumstance, so if you like, chalk me up for your side.
    But can you lay off on the consistent, “practicing law is souless, meaningless, and the worst job ever” meme? I love being a lawyer. I love practicing the law and helping people, especially those who often don’t have a voice in the system. I am sorry your practice made you so unhappy, and i am personally glad that i now get a chance to read your writings on baseball. But please, i think there are plenty of lawyer hate out there already, let’s not create more.
    I’m glad you are taking up the banner in defending against the notion that bloggers are all socially inept basement dwellers who shun sunlight and exercise. But stop giving us souless, miserable, slimey lawyers a bad name.
    I am incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to train bright, enthusiastic, compassionate, and dedicated people to become lawyers. I am more than a bit tired of how much they get told being a lawyer sucks.

  13. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    Apologies, Linus. When I say stuff like that I am referring only to my practice, and even then, I have been more than upfront about the fact that the shortcomings of my experience are every bit my own as they are the legal professions (i.e. I realized after some years that I just don’t have the temperament for the gig).
    But there’s no reason for people just coming by to know that, so your point is taken. If I slam the law in the future, I’ll do my best to make clear that I am only slamming my own narrow experience within it and not the profession as a whole.
    There are good people in it doing good and important things. Just because that wasn’t my personal experience doesn’t mean they deserve to be painted with my wide brush.

  14. Moses Green - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    “Carton is a f*cking knitted scarf”
    Love me some Berg. Hopefully someday Boomer decides to have Carton for dinner – Fat Bastard style – get in me belly!

  15. Fat Ted - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    I thought your comments were fair and enjoyable and it’s great that you defended yourself. Don’t go on radio shows like that though because it now makes the comments section unreadable.
    I haven’t listen to sports radio in years, but now it makes me think of the movie, Big Fan. Very funny.

  16. BC - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Q: What’s 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean?
    A: A good start,

  17. Curious George - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Why is Boomer Esiason slumming with this Carton donkey? Am I giving Esiason too much credit? Morning after morning of Carton’s braying would be tiresome. Hell, the five-minute clip was tiresome.

  18. Gnort - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    And what makes you think Yankees fans would even deign to “follow” another fan base’s machinations, let alone one that hasn’t even been around a decade? It’s pretty clear the Yankees fans follow the beat of their own drum, not others.
    My point was that two separate fan bases have not liked Javier from the start and neither one of them are connected to each other aside from the pitcher stinking it up from the get-go.

  19. tank74 - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Don’t you feel any responsibility in the bad behavior of fans when you yourself have fueled the fires with nitpicking claims about matters unrelated to the activity ON the field? And so, how can you criticize someone else in the media, notice I do not call either of you journalists, for doing the same thing you are, namely selling yourself and your product – this blog. Booing and cheering is how fans express their feelings – no more, no less. They/We do not have blogs, do not have TV shows, do not have radio shows. But at least we aren’t selling out or being controversial for the sake of controversy.

  20. al - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Great job, Craig, with the blog and the “interview” on the FAN. I’m a die hard Yankee fan, and I thought the fans were out of line booing so early in the season too. As for 2004, Vasquez’ numbers sucked because of a terrible second half in which he was playing hurt. Didn’t he make the all-star team after a great first half?
    As far as Carton – who by the way wears Ugg boots, which really makes me wonder about him – anyone who thinks he’s articulating his point by getting louder doesn’t know what articulate means! And yes, Teixera earned a buffer after last year, but what about the time JETER (of all people) got booed after a slow April – after 4 championships?! Yankee fans are usually the best fans in the world, but I guess we screw up once in a while. Even if we have the right to do it, that doesn’t make it right.

  21. Moses Green - Apr 16, 2010 at 11:54 AM

    Everyone knows that Yankee fans are mouth-breathing bandwagon jumping fair-weather fans of the very worst kind. We don’t need this asshat Colton to prove it. It’s shared common knowledge that only Philly fans are worse than Yankee fans, thus I look forward to the Philly-NY World Series again this season, and the hundreds of YouTube videos that are sure to follow of their mongoloid fans fighting it out in hundreds of parking lots.

  22. Largebill - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Well said. Quantity is NOT synonymous with quality.

  23. Lawrence From Plattekill - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:08 PM

    Carton’s a moron, and attacking writers for being bloggers is stupid, but Craig’s wrong here. Booing someone is not a sabermetric analysis, designed to separate valuable players from not valuable players. You don’t add up someone’s WARs and decide he’s worth mild applause, or serious booing. Booing is an emotional reaction to having something happen that you don’t like, and an accepted way of expressing involvement in an enterprise that makes billions of dollars from fans’ involvement.
    Fans sometimes also boo because they want to make themselves feel that they are better than other people. It’s just like Craig insulting fans to make himself feel better than they are.

  24. Trevor B - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:21 PM

    They rip on you for not haveing a journalism degree? Wow, because everything you get from a journalism degree (like research and writing) you don’t get from Lawyer school, plus much more. Craig, I’m sure you have itches on your back you worry about more than these two chumps. The whole Lawyer thing puts you at way more education than them 2 combined. Plus, what does Boomer know about Baseball?

  25. Palooka Joe - Apr 16, 2010 at 12:28 PM

    “And what makes you think Yankees fans would even deign to “follow” another fan base’s machinations”
    You made me think it, when you talked about your first-hand experience of seeing Vasquez booed by D-backs fans. It sounded very much like you were saying “the Diamondbacks did it, so it’s OK for the Yankees to do it too.”
    Then I thought it again, right now, when you said “two separate fan bases have not liked Javier from the start and neither one of them are connected to each other aside from the pitcher stinking it up from the get-go.”
    When I go to a D-backs game and something like this happens, I’m disappointed because even though we’re a young group of fans, we really should know better. I’m surprised to see one of “the smartest fans in baseball” (assuming you are a Yankees fan. If I misread that, I apologize) use our foolish behavior as an excuse for his own.

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