Reverend Redbird

Preaching the Gospel of St. Louis Cardinal Baseball

Booing and Bat-flipping

Posted by The Right Reverend on April 19, 2006

Much has been made recently about the issue on whether to boo or not to boo. Albert Pujols recently came out and condemned the booing of Izzy and Encarnacion, and I appreciate him being a leader and sticking up for his teammates. My personal opinion: If you paid the price for the ticket, and you want to boo, that’s your thing. I’m not going to boo because it probably does more harm then good. Tony LaRussa has said how hard Jason Isringhausen is on himself, and I don’t think him hearing boos is going to help. Sure, he’s a professional getting paid a lot of money. He should let it roll off of him. But ballplayers are human beings, and they have egos just like you and me. Take Edgar Renteria. (Please!) Tony LaRussa wondered if Edgar could take the heat of playing in a baseball rabid town like Boston, where the fans let you hear it when you fail, and Edgar went and had a miserable season in the field and at the plate. Now traded to the Braves, it appears that LaRussa was correct in his assessment about Renteria.

I have no idea what Juan Encarnacion is thinking when he heard loud boos in his first week at Busch Stadium, but I’m sure it wasn’t at all what he expected given our fan’s reputation for being supportive. I am sure however, that it  isn’t helping. Winning has spoiled us as Cardinal fans, and we expect excellence and should. But booing isn’t going to suddenly alert a player to get in gear, nor will it help him go from being sorry to spectacular.

I will tell you one thing a ticket does not buy you, and that is the right to act like a complete jackass. I was absolutely disgusted when I read a recent editorial column by Brian Burwell at the P-D. It told the story of a grandfather with his grandchildren at the game Sunday hearing a nearby fan getting cursed out, heckled and booed when the nearby fan caught a homerun ball hit by one of the Reds players. The drunken “fans”-and I use the word “fan” loosely- were insisting with much vulgarity for the man to throw the ball back.

First, this brings me to a question-If these people were real Cardinal fans, why are they insisting the man throw the ball back? “Throwing it back” is a Cub fan tradition, and do we really want to imitate Cub fans? Secondly, what sort of a sick person must one be to curse out a person in a drunken rage over a baseball, and while there are children around? These sort of people should be immediately removed from the game by security. I don’t care how much they payed for their ticket, by acting like that they forfeit their right to be there.

Another issue I have seen on many Cardinal forums is Pujols’ supposed poor sportsmanship because he watches his homeruns go out  and he  flips the bat as he runs to first base. I’m sorry, but the man is the greatest hitter in the game, and while the bat flips appear to be in poor taste, he’s not the sort of superstar you worry about your kids emulating. As the superstar on the team, he’s always calling attention to his teammates and is their biggest cheerleader. And as I just noted, he sticks up for them when they struggle. Another thing about Albert is that he’s doesn’t soak up the glory when he does something routinely amazing. He’s always talking about forgetting it and moving forward to the future, and how he just wants to win. 

Albert has an extremely focused, results-driven personality, and personalities like that can come across as cocky to some people. I thinks it’s confidence, and that he means no offense to any pitcher when he hits a 440 foot homerun and flips the bat as he jogs to first. Cardinal fans getting upset with Albert over flipping his bat after he hits a solo homerun off of Oliver Perez when the team was getting blown out seemed to have no problem with Albert watching the ball go out and slowly walking to first against Brad Lidge in game 5 of the NLCS last year.

He can do the moonwalk around the bases for all I care, as long as he doesn’t hurt himself and continues to play the way he does. Yes, I would prefer he just put his head down and run the bases like Scott Rolen. But I think what Albert does is intimidate, and as long as he continues to be a team first player and keeps his priorities of family and others off of the field, it doesn’t bother me one bit. Let Albert be Albert, because is a vast difference of Albert being Albert then say, Manny being Manny.

7 Responses to “Booing and Bat-flipping”

  1. Bruce said

    Amen…

  2. CalvinPitt said

    Wait, cardinals fan are complaining about Albert watching the ball? I thought that was the job of fans of the opposition.

    As for drunk fans, ugh. They’re the main reason I haven’t been to a game since ’99. because I just have no tolerance for drunk idiots.

  3. Paul said

    Thank you for pointing out how unbelievably *stupid* it is that Cardinals fans ape that idiotic tradition started by Cubs fans. It’s a completely pointless, childish act. What, are these drunken morons still in the third grade?

  4. Brian said

    The grandfather didn’t catch the ball. He and his granddaughter were just sitting near the people who did, so the drunken morons weren’t actually cursing at the grandfather and granddaughter.

    The’re still drunken morons, though.

  5. Brian

    thanks for pointing that out, problem fixed.

  6. Chris Guebert said

    Agree. However, Encarnacion has not only looked less than major league caliber in first few Redbird games, he’s also been called out by more than one fan for the appearance–whether real or not–of being a bit lackadasical. Not hustling in the outfield in to retrieve a ball hit in the corner in Chicago, lapse of attention on the bases and who will forget his dropped ball in the outfield that almost costs the Cards the game. This, probably more than his pitiful plate performance thus far, is what has brought out the boo-birds. And I’m of the opinion it’s warranted. The same fans acknowledge smart and outstanding performances by both the home team and visiting players. So no “boo hoo’s” for Juan. Just “boos.” Let’s hope he turns it around as much as it’s possible for a .270 mild power player can. Or, let’s just hope he becomes a highly paid reserve for all three OF spots. That makes him more bearable, IMHO.

  7. I guess I'm fine when a player doesn't hustle. We fans are basically paying a player's salary with all the tickets, tv packages, parking, merchandise, etc we buy.

    A guy should hustle, and that's considered being a part of the "Cardinal way". I just don't like booing if you have any doubt the player is sincerely trying and just not getting the results.

    But I don't wanna bee the boo police and if you chose to boo, go right ahead. I just don't see how it helps.

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