Before you want to tar and feather a baseball player for saying something about Philly fans, let’s take a look at a good portion of what he actually said in context.
From Jim Salisbury’s story following the game last night in which Rodriguez hit a walk-off home run and was the hero.
Rodriguez admitted that he was aware that his spot on the roster had become an issue with fans and critics alike.
“Who’s looking bad and feeling entitled when you hear stuff like that?” he said. “I’m not the one booing. I’m not the one screaming. I’m not the one saying pretty disgusting things at times. That seems pretty entitled. You’re just making yourself look pretty bad as an individual, as a person, as a fan. That’s tough.
"There’s still a lot of good fans, though. Those are the ones I hear and pay attention to. The few that might be behind home plate and say, ‘Hey, Sean, keep doing your thing. Don’t worry about it. Things will come around.’ “
Notice the “that seems pretty entitled” follows him saying “I’m not the one saying pretty disgusting things at times.” The people saying "disgusting things" are the ones he’s calling entitled. And he’s not wrong. He then goes on to clearly state he’s not talking about all fans, pointing out the plenty of good fans.
Salisbury’s piece ends with another quote from Rodriguez in which he’s defending his teammate who has been struggling mightily.
“The guy has 60-plus homers in three years and you’re booing him,” Rodriguez said. “Explain that to me. That’s entitled fans. I don’t know if it’s them feeling like they’re owed something. There’s nobody in here that doesn't want to win. That’s what sucks. When we hear that, we’ve learned to try and take that and use it like we should. But if I sat here and just buried you every single day verbally, is that helping?”
This point is a little less cut and dry to me. There’s nothing wrong, in my opinion, with booing per se. Boo whoever you want. Booing is meaningless. It’s a verbal sign of disappointment or unhappiness or whatever you want it to mean. If you can’t take a simple boo, get out of the kitchen. It’s when fans take things a step further and verbally abuse players, that's crossing a line.
If you’ve ever attended a sporting event in Philadelphia, you’ve likely witnessed fans act in ways that are absolutely unacceptable in terms of public decorum. You can’t say whatever you want, including being verbally abusive, just because you paid for a ticket. Rodriguez calls those types of people “entitled.” That’s fine with me. He’s right. Those types of unpleasant people make attending games in Philly a little less comfortable for everyone.
Just be careful when calling out a very specific group of fans because plenty of people who aren’t in that group are sensitive and will think you’re talking about them. And maybe up that batting average before calling out anyone. That always helps.
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