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Booing Utley

Mike SteffanosSunday, August 6, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


With a hat tip to Can't Stop The Bleeding for the link, I see that on Newsday's Mets blog, Bob Herzog takes the Mets fans to task who booed Chase Utley Friday night. Herzog can bemoan the "lack of class" from Mets fans all he wants, he himself is indulging in the recent arrogant and obnoxious trend of sports columnists to paint all fans with a wide brush and then let us know that we are not worthy.

First of all, Bob, despite the impression you gave, not all Mets fans were booing Utley. As a matter of fact, most weren't. I'm going to share something with you that you're obviously not intelligent enough to figure out on your own -- the people that don't boo make a lot less noise than the people that do. This is also true when a Mets player like Carlos Beltran was booed. Therefore, Bob, we class-lacking Mets fans would appreciate it if you wouldn't lump us all together. I know it's hard for you to grasp, but there are many different types of Mets fans, and about all we agree on is that we love the Mets. But then again, when you are smugly putting down a group to prove your moral superiority, details like that are mere inconveniences.

Secondly, Bob, I'd like to take a moment to make fun of you:

What is baseball without its history, and wouldn't have it been nice if Utley's 35-game hitting streak lasted a little longer to generate more discussion and make us appreciate what Joe DiMaggio did even more? The Mets have such a huge lead in the NL East that games against the Phillies can hardly be considered critical right now. And the fans booed Utley right from the start, not just late in the game when a hit might have been damaging.

Bob, can I ask you a question? When you wrote those smarmy and self-righteous words, did you pause for a moment to bow your sanctimonious head and give thanks that you are so very much morally superior to the rest of us? Did you have the required flexibility to reach around and pat yourself on the back for your virtuous regard for baseball history?

Mets fans had every right to boo Chase Utley and root against him Friday night. When a player gets booed in another ballpark, I think most see it as a sign of respect, anyway. I wouldn't have booed Utley had I been at the game, but I would have rooted against him, and I was happy when the Mets were able to stop his streak. Stopping a streak is a part of baseball history, too, Bob -- in case you didn't realize that. I have respect for baseball, and I respect Utley as someone who plays the game the right way, but I feel absolutely zero need to root for him, and can find no fault at all with people that bought those expensive tickets to spend an evening at the game and actively rooted against someone on the other team.

I suspect that sportswriters and columnists always looked down on the rank and file fans with a feeling of superiority and possibly even contempt, but in the old days they attempted to hide it. So while you bemoan the changing nature of fans, I feel nostalgic for the days when guys like you had some respect for the fact that guys like me pay your salary. For you and all those like you, Bob, please accept this virtual Bronx Queens cheer from an ignorant fan.

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Comments (28)

Mike,

This commentary you wrote about Mr, Herzog is unbecoming of you. Are you having a bad hair day or are not feeling well today? You attack a man for writing an opininon piece that doesn't jive with your opinion, and then you go out and trash him personally to the hilt. Wow! Are you angry at him or angry in general and are using his writing as tool to blow off steam?

I've been a die Mets fan for as long as you, Mike. I'm also a baseball fan, and one of personal accomplishment. Utley's streak was a great accomplishment and is worthy of appreciation as the 10th best ever. The Mets fans who booed, were/are in my opininon, out of line. It places a bad mark on Mets fans in general...the boos against a player of Utley's professionalism on the field is an embarrassment. Have some Mets fans become so greedy and so self absorbed they cannot appreciate the greatness of what Utley accomplished? Back in the late 90's when Mark McGuire hit numbers 49 and 50 at Shea enroute to his record breaking home run season, the fans cheered, I was there, we appreciated the magnitude enroute to something bigger that had not yet come to be. I'm not saying Mets fans should have been rooting for Utley; but to boo him?

Pure embarrassment.

In the same way that Bob Herzog had the right to state his opinion on Mets fans, and you had the right to state your opinion on me, I had the right to state my opinion on Bob Herzog. I didn't hide behind an anonymous comment with what I wrote. That was brave of you.

Fans have the right to boo someone on the other team. If they threw things at him or acted in a threatening manner, that would be different.

In sports you root for your team and root against any other team playing them. Whatever degree you take that to is personal and reflects your own personality.

Provided you don't cross the line -- booing and rooting against a guy on the other team don't qualify. For Herzog to say "So much for that quaint notion about New York baseball fans being so knowledgeable and so respectful of the opposition" is an insult to Mets fans -- and to me, his reason for doing it doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

I agree, Mike. This guy needs to spend some time in Atlanta when the Mets are in town....its brutal

I was there Friday night. I didn't boo Utley, but I cheered every time he made out. I'd do it again. Should Met pitchers have just thrown him fastballs? Hitting steaks are hard, and his was stopped. It's my fault?? Please.

The people that don't boo make a lot less noise than the people that do.

This observation is so common-sensical that it is sublime. Bravo!

I wonder what things were like when diMaggio was on his streak. Is it so impossible to believe people might have even booed him had he come up against say the boston red sox?

Anonymous, you have somehow managed to fail to see the difference between a team like the cards where there is little rivalry and the phillies. Granted it is no Mets vs. Braves, but theres history there nonetheless (even more in fact?) and being in the same division, its simply not the same as mcgwire or bonds.

But i suppose we should lump this in with any fans who have ever booed a team with a great record at the end of the season with their team out of contention. Theyre not in contention - why not root for the other team to break single-season win records! I'll sure to keep that in mind next time the mets are in last place and they face a first place yankees or braves or phillies etc.....(which hopefully won't happen anytime soon)

this whole thing smells of the age-old argument over the merits of booing and i dont think we'll find a definite answer here or anywhere else, but it doesn't give anyone reason to be as high and mighty or accusatory as Mr. Herzog seemed to be in his article.

Eli -- c'mon, don't you feel just a little guilty? ... Me neither.
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Greg -- For a common sense observation, a lot of columnists seemed not to get it when some were booing Beltran on opening day. Even the "great" Joe Morgan made an observation last night that "Mets fans" booed Beltran on opening day. Jeez...
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nyleetch2 -- That's the point. You want to say that Mets fans shouldn't have booed Utley, that's an opinion. To label them as no class and stupid crosses a line.

I've been saying this for years when it comes to booing, if you have a crowd of 50,000 and a few thousand boo and the rest doesn't, you will still hear it but it doesn't mean everyone booed and you should lump them all together like that. But the media constantly does this.

Robert -- I guess if they admit that, it takes away from their ability to use the "holier than thou" approach.

I have no problem with booing utley / cheering his last at bat when he didn't get a hit. But to everyone who was saying that Mets fans are classless for booing someone on a division rival team, can I PLEASE point out that a week earlier against the Cubs, Mark Prior got a standing ovation for pitching 5+ innings of no-hit ball? Things like that prove that Mets fans care about baseball, know their stuff, and will acknowledge a quality performance.

Yes, Utley's hit-streak was exciting (for some) to watch and if he wasn't playing the Mets, I'd probably wish him well with his pursuit of DiMaggio. But when he comes to the plate at Shea and the Mets staff shuts him down for the first time in five weeks - what's not to cheer about?

Herzog is a moron. I bet he wasn't in the stands. If he did he would have had the Mets fans pulse. He would have known that any boos were in opposition to the annoying, irritating Phillies fans, who felt it was their birth right to walk into Shea and be as drunk and beligerant as possible. It didn't help that they all were wearing Utley shirts. When you have a drunk fat Phillies fans screaming in your ear, spilling both of his beers (in each hand) all over you while telling you how much the Mets suck, in your home stadium, there is not a Mets fan on earth that is going to cheer for Utley.

Herzog should blame it on the Phillies fans who came to Shea and provoked the Mets fans rather than blaming the Amazin' faithful.

C

Mike -- you sound like someone with class and intelligence, despite what Mr. Herzog thinks.

Chris -- I hear you, but I think maybe he would have been better if he had avoided blaming anyone. Whether you were provoked or not, you had every right to boo a guy on the other team.

The only reason I'd be cheering for Utley is to take a record away from a stinking Yankee so we could stop heaing about it!

The booing, yes, very classless. I can appreciate the accomplishment of another human being without the need to diminish it because he happens to play for the opposition. Who cares. A great accomplishment is a great accomplishment. Are some Mets' fans so fragile that they cannot bear to see someone else do well and appreciate it for what it is regardless of what uniform the person is wearing? Some of you try to justify it by pointing out what other fans do. This is not about other fans, but Mets fans and how we presented ourselves in our response. Somehow if "they" did it, then so should we. Rather lame to deflect responsibility elsewhere. I'm not offended by Herzog; what he did is tell it like it is and for some of you, that's insulting.

Dave -- Cover you ears and stay away from Mr. Coffee products.
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Tol -- I'm pretty sure you're the same person that left the Anonymous first comment, my answer to you is the same. Booing is part of the game. If Wright had a long hitting streak and got booed in Philadelphia, I don't think he would be offended and neither would I. I honestly think that you're being a little silly.

Not for anything, as a Phillies fan, I don't care that he got booed. We used to boo the hell out of Piazza when he came to Philly, so fair is fair. But the way the Mets fans appeared to act of TV seemed to have a bit more vitriol than usual, so New York fans shouldn't expect a real cozy reception at Citizen's Bank Park should you choose to come down again.

Don -- you mean Mets fans won't enjoy that love and brotherhood we usually share with Phillies fans?

come on, u know if beltron,wright, reyes, or delgado came into philly, had a long streak and we stopped and we booed, u would be talking about the lack of class we have.

mary kay -- Yeah, no Met player was ever booed in Philly, right?

As long as you don't throw objects out of the stands at the player, there's nothing wrong with booing him. Period. This is the northeast, not Hooterville. We boo the opposing team here. People need to get over it.

yea i no there is going to be booing in every city, but that night the mets fans booed utley because of his streak. did u guys boo any other phillies that why that same night??

Did you even read what I wrote, Mary Kay? I didn't boo anyone, and most in the crowd weren't booing him. And of course the ones that were booing him were doing it because of the streak. What's your point?

I didn't mean YOU, i meant Mets fans in general.

You know what, I'm sorry i get your point.

You know what the funny thing is, Mary Kay -- the people who were booing Utley might as well have been giving him a standing ovation, anyway, because that's what it sounds like to a player when he gets booed like that on the road.

Not that I was good enough to be a pro baseball player, but if I was, I would have loved to inspire that kind of response from the other team's fans.

That is a very good point. I'm sorry i understand where you are coming from.

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