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OK, west coast and Midwest fans can be nuts too

Apr 27, 2010, 10:09 AM EDT

Roy Halladay upset.jpgEli Whiteside hit a home run off Roy Halladay in the seventh inning of last night’s Giants-Phillies game.  According to Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer, that caused some Giants fans to chant “overrated!” at Halladay. I suppose if anyone can talk smack to Roy Halladay it’s the fans who root for Tim Lincecum, but calling Roy Halladay overrated is crazy.

Fan weirdness in Kansas City too as Royals fans booed Mike Sweeney when he pinch hit for Seattle last night.  Sweeney was the Royals’ best hitter for a good while and I understand that Royals fans are a bit miffed that he got a big contract and fell off a cliff at almost the exact time the team decided that Carlos Beltran wasn’t worth trying to keep around, but that’s on an inept Royals front office, not Sweeney. Sure, it’s hard to boo a front office seven years after they did something dumb, but booing a nice guy like Mike Sweeney is a decidedly un-Midwestern thing to do.  Midwesterns are much bigger on passive-aggressiveness than open hostility. There’s a thin veneer of politeness to it which makes us think we’re better than everyone else.  

And since I’ve taken it upon myself to tell fans all over the country who they can and can’t jeer, I may as well go one presumptuous step further and tell them exactly how they should receive players like Halladay and Sweeney.

In San Francisco, the fans should, after getting the best of a guy like Roy Halladay, offer wild applause for their own guys, and a zipped lip (though exuberant inner-joy) at the misfortune of Halladay, knowing full well that (a) you got the best of one of the best; but (b) it ain’t likely to happen the next time your guys meet up with him.

For Sweeney? Tougher, because that business with the $55 million bust of a deal is really old news.  Maybe Royals fans should get creative and, rather than boo him, they could all meet outside the stadium after the game, pool their resources, figure out where former General Manager Allaard Baird lives and leave a flaming bag of dog poo on his porch.

Much more constructive if you ask me, and really, a lot more satisfying.

  1. ecp - Apr 27, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    Generally, Royals fans have cheered Sweeney in his previous return visits to KC while with the A’s and Mariners, so the boos were surprising.
    But don’t blame the Royals front office for the Sweeney contract or Beltran’s departure. Both of those moves can be laid at the doorstep of owner David Glass who (a) blocked the Sweeney trade that Allard Baird had negotiated with the Angels which would have brought the Royals three good prospects in return and (b) gave Baird exactly 24 hours to move Beltran out of town lest he have to pay him more money than he wanted to pony up at the time.

  2. enough already - Apr 27, 2010 at 11:40 AM

    Beltran also get booed in Houston. So tell me, CC, how were the fans supposed to react when David Wright got beaned? Are they allowed to boo then? What about when said pitcher tips his hat to the crowd. How are the fans supposed to feel then. I’m not a big fan of the booing in general. But some people really do deserve it.

  3. Arsenal_FC - Apr 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Giants fans just having fun. I am sure the Philadelphia fans have chanted a lot worse than overrated. Considering the Giants have the Best pitching Staff in Baseball, I will cut them some slack. The Giants fans had a loud Barry Zito Chant going a couple games previous, after his Gem vs the Cards…. Fans just having fun!

  4. Steve B - Apr 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM

    Of course Roy Halladay doesn’t deserve to be called “overrated,” but neither did Joe DiMaggio ‘deserve’ to be told that Dom was “Better than his brother Joe!” Accuracy has very little to do with it It is possible for “overrated” to be delivered with a certain sense of irony, right? My guess is that many of the San Franians who were delivering this understood that; and if they didn’t, what’s wrong with telling the opposition they suck? Seriously? They weren’t making fun of his lung condition or his tragic family death or something. Taunting the opposition regardless of talent level is part of the charm of the game. Honus, why do you hit so badly?
    captcha: “that lineage” – I think I could have used this phrase in my post.

  5. Jonny5 - Apr 27, 2010 at 1:09 PM

    It’s called home field advantage. Fans play a big part of that. Unless you’re talking about the marlins, then balls bouncing off empty seats is a part of it.

  6. Hamilton - Apr 27, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Craig – this quixotic and pretentious attempt to define the optimal fan behavior is not only dumb; it is incredibly uninteresting. Imagine you’re a Giants fan at the game with some of your Giants fan buddies, having a few beers. You guys have developed an in-game relationship with some loud, drunk, yet likable fans a couple of rows away. After the fifth run comes in, they start the “overrated” chant. Do you: (a) join in the revelry; (b) stay silent with a stupid grin on your face (because logically, Halladay doesn’t deserve this); or (c) give your friends the same advice you just gave us? As a fun-loving, intelligent baseball fan, I would still choose (a) every time, knowing full well that we’ll probably get no-hit the next time we face him. I was on board with you on the Vazquez thing, but this has got to stop. I realize you delivered this article with a little tongue-in-cheek, but I cannot overstate just how uninteresting this line of discussion has become. The only thing that is more uninteresting is working on my Property outline.

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 27, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Jeez, Hamilton. I cook up this whole line of boring posts just so you’d stay focused on your 1L exams, and this is the thanks I get!
    Seriously, though, as the tone of this one (hopefully) suggests, I’m not terribly serious about this. A lot of NY fans got on my case over the Vazquez, stuff though, accusing me of just being a Yankee hater or what have you, and I vowed to them that I would point out fan idiocy when it occurs elsewhere. Fair and balanced, you know.

  8. Ron - Apr 27, 2010 at 5:39 PM

    Booing is up to the individual, but there are a lot of reasons not to like Mike Sweeney. He was a good player, but when the Royals had a chance to trade him and his overpriced contract for several prospects, he refused and exercised his no-trade option clause more than once.
    Then couldn’t play in more than 80 games a season after that. The contract might not be his fault, but he had the chance to help the Royals more by leaving than by staying, and wouldn’t go. Then he tried to claim that because he was the ‘captain’ that he deserved to be mentioned as one of the great Royals of all time.
    I’ve been watching the Royals for 39 years, and I can tell you Mike Sweeney is not one of the great Royals of all times. Sweeney was about himself first and the team second. Look back to where the Royals might have been saving the money on his contract and the prospects, and where they are today by having to keep him, and it’s not any suprise that Sweeney is welcome in Kansas City.

  9. Boo Hoo Florio picked on your team - GET OVER IT - Apr 28, 2010 at 3:06 AM

    Interesting that Craig finds the whole sports world to be a little unfair. Welcome to reality, chief.

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