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May 23, 2005



I agree with you, Beth.

//"The point being, the guy comes out here and works hard, and don't let six weeks shadow eight years of greatness. The guy's a great player."//

Someone needs to tell Millar that we're not disputing Edgar's past greatness. What we'd like, though, is for him to be great for us, now, and not for the 2003 Cardinals.


Ok so you have made the case as to why you have the right to boo. You pay good money...free speech...etc. But why do it? To what end?

Boston Fan in Michigan



i have to say that i totally disagree with you. i think booing your own team is pretty shitty and i never have done it and never will do it. i spent a combined ten hours in a car, over $350 dollars, and requested a day off of work to go see the Red Sox put on a half-ass display up in Detroit, so if you want to talk about a "waste" of time and money, there it is, yet booing never crossed my mind. maybe it's just because i don't live in boston and i feel pretty grateful on the rare occassion that i get to see the sox live - i haven't ruled that theory out. but booing my own team...it's not because i want to coddle or emotionally protect a bunch of multi-millionaires. how much $$$ they make isn't a concern of mine. it's just that the 25-man Sox roster - those guys are like my heroes. they're going into war with another team for my entertainment, for the pride i can feel when i wear their jersey. i'd never disrespect them by booing.


//I am booing because I came out to the ballpark yesterday, and I didn't go out there and pay my money (the money that helps pay yours and Edgar's salaries) to watch you lose.//

But you say that like they're *trying* to lose, or not putting in much effort now that they've suckered you out of your gate money, which is, as far as I can tell, completely not true. Unless Edgah's dogging it or drunk or purposefully throwing the game, why boo him? He's trying, but he's human. He's not going to be perfect, and the team's not going to win every game just because fans paid to see it. Millar's not blaming Edgah's troubles on the fans; he's pointing out that Edgah *is* struggling, and the last thing that will help him is the fanbase turning on him. Mark Bellhorn admitted during spring training that the ALCS booing got to him and probably helped prolong his struggles, because he was pressing harder knowing that if he didn't, he'd hear "PO-KEY" some more.

I was shocked at Yankee Stadium when Yankees fans booed Rivera after the Sox came back in the 9th back in April. I was *appalled* last night to hear the Fenway "Faithful" booing Edgah.

::shrug:: I agree with sarah -- I will never boo my own team.


I think booing your own team is the equivalent of throwing a tantrum.

The day you paid to see them, they underperformed, so you are going to yell things.


Some players can't perform at the same level once they move into a larger, more pressure-filled market, or they need more time to get into a groove. And the answer is for the home fans to get on his case? Ri-fuckin-diculous.


i didn't boo him every time he got up to bat. in fact, i didn't boo him every time he fucked up, either. i booed the one time he was standing there with two men on and struck out on the most pathetic wave at a pitch he would've needed a croquet mallet for. i'm not sitting there throwing a tantrum--or "yelling things". but there's only so many times i could sit there clapping my hands and shouting, "come on, edgar, come on, let's go, buddy, come on, you can do it, just a single, just don't make an--ah, SHIT." before my frustration took over.

what i was responding to in this post was millar's seeming hurt, outrage and bewilderment at a boston crowd getting on edgar's case. it seemed disingenuous to me.

in no way do i think that booing a single at-bat by renteria on my part is the same as yankees fans booing a proven, veteran member of their team in derek jeter or mariano rivera.

in no way does it mean i'm not grateful or happy to be at the game, or less of a fan. it means i'm frustrated. is it necessarily productive? probably not. but it's a ball game. not the freakin' UN.

i stood up and fucking cheered when edgar got a walk, btw. what was the point of that?

Sox Fan in the Heart of the Beast

I agree any fan has the right to boo his/her team, but I just don't see the point. It can only prolong a slump and creates a negative atmosphere around a team that's doing a nice job staying afloat despite a rash of potentially crippling injuries.

Renteria is too good a player for this to continue much longer, and when he comes around don't you want to be able to unashamedly stand and cheer?

I've been to a bunch of Sox games at Yankee stadium, and I've always felt proud of my fellow Sox rooters compared to the classless frontrunners that make up the core of NYY's fan base. Let's stay better than them.


//when he comes around don't you want to be able to unashamedly stand and cheer?//

i guess i fail to see why i should be ashamed to stand and cheer having booed once. i can see where you guys that disagree are coming from, but honestly, i don't think it's a huge deal to boo at a ballgame. i really don't.

Boston Fan in Michigan

You can't compare booing at Rivera to booing Renteria. Booing Rivera, for New York, would be like Boston booing Manny-- the proven, beloved veteran. I'm sure there are a few who are booing him, but overall you certainly don't hear many boos for Manny, just a great big 'aaawww' when he fans. 'Cause he's been here for a while, and he's our guy. Like the Fruitbat is (or was) for Yankee fans.

Boston booing Edgah would be, more accurately, like New York booing The Unit. A big, pricey acquisition who's supposed to be quite good but is, for whatever reason, struggling. You get them on your team and all you can think about is how that money could have been spent on someone who's NOT struggling, and you don't care how good this guy WAS, you want him to be good NOW, as Iain said.

Boston and New York are both big media markets filled with insane fans. PLAYERS KNOW THIS WHEN THEY COME HERE. The agents know this when they talk the players into coming here. You can't honestly come to one of these cities and expect the fans to clap politely if you struggle. If you want that you'd sign with the Marlins.

I don't see anything at all wrong with booing a guy under those circumstances. Would I boo 'Tek if he struggled? Probably not. Would I boo Edgah? Probably (although I did not on Friday... despite MAKING OUTS IN TWO SEPARATE BASES-LOADED-TWO-OUTS SITUATIONS THANKS EDGAH). Fans boo because they give a shit about how their team is doing, and if you point to a city where they never boo their struggling players you're pointing to an empty and/or apathetic stadium.

Er, sorry for ranting in your blog, Beth.

Sox Fan in the Heart of the Beast

Fair enough. Booing Edgar is much more like NYY fans booing the Big Eunuch or A-Wad than it is like them booing Mo. I guess my only point is that Edgar is known to be an extremely hard worker, solid player, and great teammate, and that I'd rather see him get a little slack until he finishes adjusting to the AL. I understand we all want to see him succeed in a huge way, but I would go about spurring him on differently.

Also, booing is just one way of showing you give a rat's ass about your team as a player struggles. My preferred method involves thinking back to October 2004. Failing that, I devise new ways to taunt Giambi.

Anyway, this is a great blog and I agree w/ pretty much everything else Beth says, so I guess I'll just let this one go.


here's where i have to vehemently disagree with you. thinking back to oct. 2004 does nothing for us in may 2005. just as iain pointed out that edgar renteria on the cardinals in 2003 doesn't make a lick of difference on the sox in 2005.

it's not that i don't appreciate oct. 2004, and if that was your implication, i resent it. i'm just as interested in the team remaining competitive this year. i'm not content to give them a "pass" based on the WS. that, to me, is losing my edge as a sox fan--losing interest in a way that many national mediots predicted so shrilly last fall.

you're right that there are different ways to spur the team on. but i guess i just have less faith in the idea that my "boo" from the section 18 grandstand really makes that much of a difference in edgar's performance.


"Fans boo because they give a shit about how their team is doing, and if you point to a city where they never boo their struggling players you're pointing to an empty and/or apathetic stadium."

Wow, that's quite a statement. Does that apply to an individual? 'Cuz I've never booed, been inclined to boo or for the life of me understood those that do boo. I still think I "give a shit".

When Beth said this...

"is it necessarily productive? probably not. but it's a ball game. not the freakin' UN."

...that said it all for me. She in essence admitted that booing was senseless and irrational and achieves nothing.

I don't fall into the camp that you refrain from booing because "these guys are my heroes" and stuff like that. There are two reasons I don't boo. One, I just think other humans ought to be afford one another a certain level of decency. Booing, for me at least, falls below that level. Two, to paraphrase my original post, what possible good could it do?


Sorry for the typo in the third-to-last sentence. Should read..."One, I just think other humans ought to afford one another a certain level of decency."


which is all well and good, sully, but i have to say i'm surprised at how far people have taken this conversation. i personally don't find the issue of booing a player at the ballpark one that warrants the kinds of implications and imprecations i've seen in this thread about others' fandom / basic human decency. that's my only real stance on the issue at this point--i only wrote this post in the first place, as i've said, because i found millar's remarks disingenuous. i never meant for this to become a discussion in which those "in favor" of booing and those "not in favor" of booing come dangerously close on both sides to accusing each other of being lesser fans.

there is a case to be made for the idea that a sox fan booing at the ballpark is to be expected and a part of our feted "passion". there is also a case that such an action is silly, or childish. but really, when it comes down to it, we're all fans, we all care about how edgar's doing and the team's doing, we have different opinions on how best to express it. other than that, i'm not very cool with the kind of barbs i've seen fly over it here so far.


It's an interesting topic, that's all. I found Millar's defense of a struggling teammate endearing. When two reasonable minds disagree, it's fun to talk about. I feel badly you interpreted some of my words as "barbs".


not necessarily your words, sully. sorry, i should have made that clear. i was talking about the discussion as a whole.

Sox Fan in the Heart of the Beast

No barbs intended from me. My bad if I came across that way. Everyone here is obviously a huge Sox fan and has a passion for the team -- otherwise why would be reading this blog?

One point of clarification, I hope: I don't think back to 2004 and give anyone a pass for 2005, certainly not a guy who wasn't on the team last yr. I still am infuriated at terrible situational hitting, sloppy defense, nibbling pitchers, etc. I only meant that remembering how the team was .500 for about 3 months last season before staging the best comeback in the history of sports and delivering their fans to nirvana helps me cope w/ today's struggles, e.g., Renteria stinking. No free passes here. They're too good not to expect sustained greatness.


ok, SFHB (can i call you SFHB?). i misinterpreted what you were saying.

speaking of thinking of oct. 2004, though, am i the only person who ever just suddenly, spontaneously hears the entire "back to foulke!" call by joe buck in her head and then breaks out in goosebumps, say, while sitting on the T or at her desk at work?

please say no.

Sox Fan in the Heart of the Beast

SFHB here.

My "back to Foulke" flashback normally involves the radio call: "The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions. Can you believe it?!" Goosebumps guaranteed. If I had a better mobile phone, it would be my ringtone.


I too found Millar's "Get after me, I suck." defense of Renteria endearing. Do I wish he didn't suck? Yeah. But in a pressure cooker like Boston guys with a character like his are important to a team.
I don't have a huge problem with other fans booing players out of frustration. We're a passionate town in victory and in loss. I can't bring myself to do it though, mostly because I am a performer myself. Fucking up on a concert hall stage and fucking up in Fenway park when people spent $250 to see you win are not exactly the same thing, but it's close enough that I just feel for the guy.

Boston Fan in Michigan

//Wow, that's quite a statement. Does that apply to an individual? 'Cuz I've never booed, been inclined to boo or for the life of me understood those that do boo. I still think I "give a shit".//

Didn't mean it individually. Like I said, I didn't even boo Edgah when he stranded eleventy billion men on base all by himself on Friday. I'm talking about the aggregate-- you come to Boston and you don't produce, people are going to boo. I don't think that makes this a bad baseball town, I'm saying it's part of the exact reason why it's a good baseball town.

Savannah's Dad

Hey, sorry I've not been by here lately...congrats on your engagement (I know I'm supposed to say that to the gent, but I've no idea who he is and you're more accessible through your excellent blog here), that's great news.

Pats fan that you are, I expect to see a well-written entry here about the re-signing of Troy Brown. Tommy Brady may win the Super Bowl MVP's (usually), but Troy Brown was the soul of that team, especially last year.

Cheers, you two crazy kids...I'll raise one for you the next time the occasion arises.


beth - i definitely didn't mean to cast any barbs your way. but booing is sort of a polarizing subject, you can't expect people not to comment.


sarah, i wasn't saying people can't comment, or have a right to their opinions. but i was pretty surprised at how strongly some people have felt about this--and i never like it when a debate becomes who's a better fan. i was trying to nip that in the bud.

Sox Fan in the Heart of the Beast

I can't resist posting one more comment on this issue, since Edgar himself has now weighed in. From today's Globe:

How about the booing during the series with the Braves last weekend?

"That doesn't bother me one bit," said Renteria, who went 1 for 13 against Atlanta. "If you're not doing the job, people have the right to boo you. If I don't give them a reason to cheer for me because I'm doing good, what can I say?

"I know the fans in Boston are the best in baseball. When you perform the way you're supposed to, they're behind you. When I play the way I'm supposed to play, the Boston fans will be behind me."

I guess that's his way of saying to rooters like me, "I'm cool. Don't worry about me." Cool, indeed. Go to it, Edgar. Tear it up.

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