It's a little belated now, but I can't resist chiming in on the Josh Beckett booing scandal (if anyone calls -- or already called -- it "boogate," I'm personally seeing to it that you're reassigned to an Alaskan sports network). As most of you may know by now, Beckett was booed off the mound after departing in the third inning of this past Tuesday's game against the Detroit Tigers.
Normally, that wouldn't be an issue. Beckett, after all, has been very boo-worthy as of late. The chicken and beer (gate -- sorry, couldn't help it, off to Alaska with me), being an all-around sassy individual, and so on. Much to my complete shock, though, there were people actually defending Beckett and saying that fans were wrong to boo him. Wait, what?
Why was that? Well, because he was injured.
Beckett was leaving the game with what would later be deemed a back spasm after walking in a run (how very Beckett-y of him). Unfortunately for him, this did not result in any sympathy from the crowd. Beckett would later say that, yeah, he heard the boos, and of course, he wasn't affected by it.
That's nice, Josh. Quite frankly, this isn't about what you said postgame. What really got at me was the fact that some in the Red Sox press corps (the one that Bobby Valentine wants to replace) were getting on fans for booing Beckett, implying that it was wrong for them to do so.
Most notably, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe chimed in with this opinion. While I greatly respect Peter and all of the work he does -- I think he's one of the top baseball reporters in this city -- I greatly disagree with him on that point.
First and foremost, if you're a fan, and you bought a ticket to attend a game, you can do whatever you want. With all respect, Peter, don't tell fans what they should and should not do.
I'll admit, I got on fans for booing Manny Ramirez on his return. And I'll own up to that. My tune has changed since then. I still don't think Ramirez should have been booed upon his return, but who am I to tell fans -- the paying customers -- what to do?
Secondly, the fans weren't booing Beckett because he was injured. They were booing because of his me-first mentality and his complete disregard for the fan base and, quite frankly, anyone that isn't himself of his family. Also, the fact that he is 5-9 with a 4.54 ERA this season when he's supposed to be the staff ace certainly didn't help his cause. Fans were absolutely justified to boo Beckett. There's no question about it.
Sure, it comes across as disrespectful to boo an injured player. But when that player has essentially disrespected fans, it's justified. I have no problem with fans booing the Texas Tough Guy (coined by MIke Felger of 98.5 The Sports Hub, of course). I probably would have done so myself if I were in the stands that night, too.