Saturday, May 27, 2006

Paid for the Privilege

A Sox fan behind the dugout and Keith Foulke had an apparent verbal confrontation after the reliever's departure.

I haven't been to a Red Sox game for over a year. I'm sure that I've been to hundreds over the years, and verbal abuse has traditionally been a part of the Fenway experience. Sort of like Durgin Park, except meaner and with poorer quality food. Except usually it's the fans who suffer. At least in the past, the Kevin Bacon six degrees of separation shrank to only three seats of separation from the nearest patron "in the bag."

Do you feel superior by 'trashing' a professional who hasn't performed up to his best? (Why blog then?) What have you done for me lately? (Anybody else think Foulke should have been the World Series 2004 MVP?) Is it your right to heckle because you ponied up 75 bucks? (Nobody can hear you in the bleachers anyway.) Did you just forget your medicine? (Lordy, it's so expensive, I can understand that.) Are you the best in the city at your profession and never had a bad day? (Guess we can leave that one out.)

Yes, Keith Foulke may not be Mr. Lovable, with his 'Johnny from Burger King' act, and he isn't at the peak of his career. He's had a rough go of it lately, and I'm perfectly willing to cut him beaucoup slack. And I don't want to hear about overpaid professional athletes. Do you offer to payback your salary if you have a bad day? Did you impress your significant other with your macho display? But to what end does vilifying mediocrity at the ballpark serve you or your peers? (Again I guess that wouldn't apply to blogging or Larry Lucchino, but I digress.)

Did you know that between 10 P.M. and 1 A.M. one out of every thirteen drivers is intoxicated? God forbid we hear the statistics for Red Sox fans. Of course, at 7 bucks a beer (or whatever they charge), the Sox are making public drunkeness pricier if not more difficult.

Now I don't know if the 'plaintiff' (boorish heckler) was intoxicated, or even paid for his ticket. (Does free advice or criticism have a higher place in the hierarchy of free speech?) Maybe he's proud of himself for putting Foulke in his place. Somehow I think Foulke knows a good outing from something less. And we know that baseball isn't even Foulke's favorite sport.

We Bostonians pride ourselves on our sophistication and savoir faire. We have some of the finest educational institutions in the world, and along with global warming the compassion warming has occurred in the Hub, at least relative to the seventies. I'm for taking boorish behavior out of the ballpark and putting it back online where it belongs. Amnesty for Johnny Damon, humanity for Keith Foulke, and maybe even for the rest of the mercenaries in the bullpen if they can get a few outs...

Let's leave the heartless slaughter of ballplayers where it belongs, to the sportswriters.

10 comments:

Brad said...

I can't agree with you more. Thank you.

db said...

Bravo. You can't go wrong with self-righteous indignation. When in doubt, just write about how much other people suck.

Anonymous said...

Give me a break. The guy was bombed at a Sox game and railing Foulke. It happened to guys 40 years ago, it will happen 40 years from now, in all MLB parks at that. The fact that you are sober and typing a blog about it is so much more pathetic and self righteous

Anonymous said...

Your comments about Keith Foulk are ones that needs to be said over and over. Foulke should be forever in our graces. He pitched courageously throughout the 2004 playoffs, probably at the risk of his career. Simply put, without him, the Red Sox do not win. He hasn't always been the most approachable guy, but so what? He does his job the best he can.

As for Damon, he also has a place and when he ends his time in NY, he should be welcomed back. Until then, he is dead to me. I would never boo him, but I won't root for him either.

Brett said...

"We Bostonians pride ourselves on our sophistication and savoir faire."

Have you seen the meatheads in and around Fenway on game day? I GUARANTEE not one can pronounce savoir faire.

Splinter Faction said...

This message is right on so many levels, including that Foulke should have been the '04 MVP, and as far as I'm concerned, if that doesn't get him a lifetime cheer, it does get him a lifetime exemption from the more rude varieties of razzing. What kind of person thinks it is OK to act like that fan in public? Thanks for calling him out. More people need to call this rudeness what it is.

Anonymous said...

Giving a free pass to this guy really does not sit well with me. He has done nothing to endear himself to the fans over the last season and 1/4, and he has taken it upon himself to put said fans in the 'Burger King Johnny' class. 2004 was obviously a great season and everyone involved should be commended...but lets move on. Foulke is a self-made pariah at this point in his career, and honestly, I blame his lack of potential talent for the loss of Paplebon as a starter (this year or next). Foulke is supposedly a closer, not a spot reliever when we are ahead by 5 runs.

Anonymous said...

"And I don't want to hear about overpaid professional athletes. Do you offer to payback your salary if you have a bad day?"

Before you start talking about people complaining about overpaid athletes, consider this...

These athletes aren't asked to increase their skills on a yearly basis like normal company employees are. If I had the same skillset year after year, we wouldn't be giving back money, we would be fired. No one asks David Ortiz to learn how to run faster in order to become one of the top 50 stolen bases leaders.

So please, spare me the barbs about criticizing an athlete for the money he/she earns.

Anonymous said...

Over the years, there have been Red Sox teams and players that deserved prolonged booing. There have also been players who failed to live up to their end of the bargain after getting paid many dollars.

I cannot think of a single player on this roster abut whom I feel that way. They play the game correctly (Manny being the exception, but he brings more to the table than he takes away), they play hard, and they seem to have a pretty good chemistry. All in all, though flawed, not a hard team to like.

I'll stay away from name-calling, but the resentment and bitterness of those who express rage at players because of their salary is really quite petty and truly pathetic. Get a life guys. It really makes you look small.

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