Those who know me know that I’m a big baseball fan. I played a ridiculous amount of baseball growing up in southeast Houston. Naturally, my favorite MLB team is the Houston Astros.
Today, as I “work”, I’ve been watching the Astros battle the Philadelphia Phillies. Former Astro Eric Bruntlett, who is quite the wizard with the glove, has been filling in for “NL MVP” Jimmy Rollins while Rollins nurses a bum ankle.
Early in the game, Bruntlett made a fantastic play on a sinking liner. He’s playing a good short for them in the absence of Rollins.
In the bottom of the 4th, amidst a Phillies rally, Bruntlett strikes out. The Philadelphia Boo Birds come out of their shells and give Bruntlett some pretty harsh treatment.
So, that leads me to a question: When is it OK to boo a professional baseball player?
I can think of two guys that I’ve ever boo’d:
(a) Carlos Beltran because his free agency shenanigans after the 2004 season really messed up the Astros chances of bagging other free agents.
(b) Brad Lidge during his monumental struggles after the 2005 season. However, this was just as much a booing of Astros manager Phil Garner for sticking with him long after Lidge had shown that he was not really able to get ‘er done.
I’ll be honest. I regret booing Lidge and Garner a bit. Booing a player on your team just seems like a terrible idea. I’m not sure if Phillies fans are expecting Bruntlett to live up to Rollins’s numbers, but they are being a bit too harsh on this bench player.
The company I currently work for is based in the Philadelphia area. As of today, there is no talk of moving me up there. But, if there was, would I be able to handle going to Phillies games?
fn1. Looking at the stats, I cannot understand how Rollins beat out Colorado’s Matt Holliday for the 2007 NL MVP. Other than steals, I’m not sure how Rollins outplayed Holliday at al. Just my opinion.