Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Booing Cano

Just so you can keep it straight:

it is perfectly acceptable for New York fans to boo the living hell out of anyone they like, not to mention throw whatever crap they can find up to and including month-old casualties of the Nathans' Hot Dog Eating Contest, onto the field. Players who don't appreciate it "can't handle the pressure", and are presumably named Ed Whitson.

It is deeply unacceptable for fans from Kansas City to boo a New York Yankee, which is disrespectful and inappropriate.

Of course, Robinson Cano, the guy who actually got booed - and let me tell you, the Kansas City fans did not half-ass it - had the right attitude about the whole thing. He understood why they were mad (he didn't pick local hero Billy Butler for the AL's Home Run Derby squad) and he could appreciate that they were behind their guy. The booing was a little silly - this was an All Star Game, after all, not anything that counted - but still, it's not like they were throwing snowballs at Santa (Philly) or batteries at Chipper Jones (the Bronx). And for the most part, the applause and enthusiasm shown by the crowds for the whole All Star kit and caboodle was impressive.

But yeah, they got on Cano for not picking Butler. The thing is, I can't blame him. Yeah, it would have been a nice story on a night of nice stories to have hometown guy in the Home Run Derby, but really, who do you replace with him? Prince Fielder, a guy who was hitting homers out of Tiger Stadium when he was bar mitzvah aged? Jose Bautista, who's been the best power hitter alive for the last few years? The beastly Mark Trumbo, who's got more homers by the All Star Break this year than Butler's had in any season in his career so far? Or Cano himself, last year''s champ? Not happening. So it's perfectly understandable that Butler wasn't going to get named to the team unless a meteor hit Kauffman Stadium during the Derby itself, and it's perfectly understandable that the hometown fans, whose baseball team is so screwed up that they're banning bloggers and giving Jeff Francouer long-term deals, let their displeasure with this be known.

The only real villains in the piece are the hypersensitive New Yorkers with column inches who are mortally offended by the whole affair. I mean, I realize they don't understand that anyone living beyond the broadcast range of WFAN does not actually have motivations of their own and instead exists merely to serve as backdrop, but c'mon, kids. Seriously? You're New Yorkers. You're supposed to be tough. Getting booed by a bunch of hicks from flyover country (their words, not mine. At least, presumptively) should be rolling right off you faster than a Rusty Hardin cross-examination. And yet, the geshrying is epic. It's as if Yankees fans and writers are somehow ashamed of their team's success and are looking around for anything they can find to make them feel persecuted, so they can justify whatever it is that Yankee fan types do.

Of course, I expect the a full-on media frenzy the next time the Royals to come to New York. I expect full-throttle booing of the likes of Luke Hochevar, not that he needs the help. And I expect someone in New York to finally be interested in a game with the Royals, for the first time since George Brett retired.
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