Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why We Boo

Nomar Garciaparra's recent warm reception in Boston brought up the issue again, and Diamond Leung chided Dodger fans for it: Why do Dodger fans boo former Dodgers?

I'm not talking about obvious examples, like if Andruw Jones were to squish out of the visitor's dugout, or every time Gary Sheffield and his collection of burnt bridges come back to Dodger Stadium. I'm talking about fan favorites. Joe Beimel got booed. Eric Gagne got booed. Same with Mike Piazza, Paul Lo Duca and Shawn Green.

Nomar, the biggest pre-Manny fan favorite in years, received probably 75 percent cheers as an A's player at Dodger Stadium last month. What was the other 25 percent thinking?

Nomar came up during an A's rally, which accounts for some of the negative reaction. But the overall reason behind the booing is quite simple: Most Dodger fans are just that: fans of the team. Call it rooting for laundry if you want, but there's very much an if-you're-not-with-us-you're-against-us attitude at Dodger Stadium — a mindset that works equally well for all levels of fans.

The booing may not be becoming, but it's convenient and unifying...like those other crowd pleasers, the wave and beach balls. Consider these quirks a price for consistently having among the best attendance in the majors. After all, no one can hear you being classy.

photo by Winslow Townson/AP

7 comments:

koufax said...

i dont boo ex-dodgers just to boo them, but of the people u mentioned i have participated in a little booing. However, I have booed Gagne and LoDuca for their rolls in the mitchell report and obvious steroids use. Joe Beimel was hardly significant enough for my breath and I have no idea why Shawn Green is boo worthy.

Oh ya, if i ever see J.D. Drew again, even if its in passing on the street, he will get booed.

Erin said...

I think it depends on the circumstances. Nomar played for seven and a half years in Boston, then got traded away and saw the Sox finally won one without him. Johnny Damon, on the other hand, professed his
desire to stay in Boston, then left because the Yankees offered him not that much more money. If you leave for money when you're making millions either way, you might get booed.

Nic j said...

Not to mention nomar put up great numbers in Fenway, the ravine he had his moments but it definately wasn't anything great.

All that being said, I cheered.

Mr. Customer said...

I don't think I've ever booed anyone at a ballgame (at least not in my adult life), so I'm not sure that I'm an authority on the subject.

From observation, the ratio for boos at the ravine is about 1/4 how well you played as a Dodger, 1/4 how much you got paid for said performance, 1/4 if you're playing for a rival or within the division, and 1/4 how many times you opened your mouth, only to have something stupid fly out.

Nomar only qualifies for the first of those, so the 3/1 cheer to boo ratio .

Mr. LA Sports Fan said...

I can't boo Nomar ever, not after seeing him hit a walkoff homer against the Phillies last year. He did a lot for this team, even though he was injury-prone. He played every single part of the infield except second, even returning to shortstop while Raffy was out. He helped the community with his Carne Asada Sundays which are now a tradition. He has contributed to the most storied game in 21st century Dodger history.

Josh S. said...

I don't boo ex-Dodgers just because they're ex-Dodgers. Now, when they become Dodger-killers, as many do, then the urge to boo is strong.

Now, if Schmidt ends up starting on the 20th, that will be an interesting scenario for me. My first instinct will be to boo, just because of the entire fiasco. On the other hand, if he does well, I don't think I'll be overly motivated to cheer either.

Ken said...

I did not boo Garciaparra during the A's series. I clapped and the people around us clapped as well.

I also cheered Beimel when the Nationals were in town.

Unfortunalely, Andruw Jones was not in town, or I would have booed the crap outta him.