No one is above the boo. There's always a time and a place for it. Game #4 of the season isn't one of them. Cole Hamels had a very solid 2010 season, but even last year he had a few hiccups early on. Better that he get the 6ER in 2.2 innings performance out of the way now than wait until August. Cole Hamels knew he But of course, that didn't stop a good portion of 46,000+ from booing him last night.
The problem lies with a group of fans that I've dubbed "Children of the 700 Level." These are the kids who are in their late teens and early 20s who grew up listening to tales of brash behavior and urinating in sinks at Veterans Stadium from their dads and uncles. They're guys who hadn't been to the park before 2008. They're the voices you can hear asking stupid questions while barely paying attention to the game. They're the guys who refer to opposing players by number when heckling because they have no idea what their actual name is. They're the bratty kids who throw up children and run onto the field. Quite frankly, I'm sick of them giving me a bad name. In a week where a Giants fan was nearly beaten to death at Dodger stadium, there's a reason why Philly fans still hold the public persona of "worst fans." We do it to ourselves. There's a large population among us who perpetuate the stereotype on a nightly basis. The guys who scream obscenities from Ashburn Alley knowing full well that there are children right below them. The guys who nearly spend the GDP of Denmark on $7.50 Bud Lites each night stumbling down stairs and over their own words. Now all of us have thrown a few back and made some bad decisions while at sporting events, but the problem lies with those who do this on a nightly basis. These "fans" believe that they are carrying on a tradition of propper sports behavior. They think that the "Asssssssholllllllle" chant is a right of passage and that it's their duty to perform it. So the next time you scoff when someone says "You threw snowballs at Santa Claus and batteries at JD Drew," look to your left and to your right. Chances are someone around you is proud of that reputation and he's the one that drags down a whole fan base.
It's early in the year and you can bet that we're going to see our fair share of clunkers out of this team in 2011. It happens with every team. Some of the time, a boo is going to be deserved. But I urge the fans to hold back from anything further. I can guarantee that Cole Hamels was giving himself more than enough boos last night. Let's stay off the field for the rest of the year. Let's hold our liquor. Let's know when to censor ourselves around a mixed audience. There's a difference between honest passion and informed baseball banter. It's a new year and if we're ever going to change our reputation, let's start now! Turn your hat straight, pull up your pants, and enjoy some good old fashioned baseball.