Should Blue Jays fans boo Vernon? It hurts more than it helps

This just in: Vernon Wells makes a lot of money.

Oh, and he’s playing like crap.

So, what does that mean for the fans?

Obviously, people have the right to boo. Nobody’s stopping them, and yes, once you buy your ticket, you can do what you want (mostly).

But, if you really care about the Jays, does it make sense?

Consider these examples:

David Ortiz – He’s done A LOT for Boston over the years. Two World Series titles and a whole lot of good memories certainly helps when times are tough. Well, that’s a good thing because he started the year hitting like a 4-year old, but the fans stuck with him. It seemed pretty fruitless for a while, but eventually Big Papi started swinging the bat well. The key here is that the Boston fans actually supported their guy, cheering him on, and acting more disappointed than flat-out angry. It had to help – These guys are people too and it can wear on you mentally to worry about avoiding the fans’ rage in each at bat.

Alex Rodriguez – A few years ago, ARod was having easily his worst year, especially in the field. The New York fans were merciless – Booing him non-stop and basically making their guy as miserable as possible. The result – ARod continued to play like crap. It’s all better now, and he did end up staying in NY, but it was close for a while, and the booing certainly did not help, and probably hurt his production.

So what do Jays fans want to accomplish by booing? Letting Wells know we think he sucks? Well, mission accomplished.

If you actually want him to hit better, lay off…I’m not saying I care about Wells’ feelings, and I certainly don’t feel bad for the millionaire athlete. But I’m telling you it hurts his production, if anything, and it makes going to Jays games a pretty lousy experience.

Some food for thought:

Vernon Wells @ Home: .175 AVG / .241 OBP /.301 SLG / .542 OPS
Vernon Wells On the Road: .332 AVG / .364 OBP / .505 SLG / .868 OPS

I’d say those road numbers are mighty fine. Maybe, just maybe, I’m on to something here…


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July 27, 2009 7:32 pm

1. You’re bang on about Ortiz. I was VERY impressed with how the Boston fans reacted to his struggles. I have no doubt that rooting for someone in a slump does more good then boo’ing them. (neither probably does much but at least a player knows his hometown fans got his back)

2. The worst part is I’m sure a lot of the people boo’ing are the same people who refer to the Blue Jays wins as “we won”. I use to hate that, but you know what? Fine. Think about yourself as part of the team, you do put money in that is then used to help fund them. BUT if you consider yourself some kind of member of this team why would you boo a teammate repeatedly? Could you imagine Roy telling Vernon he was a waste because he went 0-4?

Boo’ing a person a few times over repeated mental mistakes (see Milton Bradley) is understandable but Vernon isn’t being lazy or not paying attention. He is just plain-old struggling and boo-ing him doesn’t help anyone. Especially doing so in front of his family.

July 27, 2009 9:14 pm

This is a thing I keep going back and forth on. I can understand why the frusteration. Wells does seem like a nice guy, it’s always much easier to boo a jerk when he’s struggling, but it is so frusterating to see the guys production drop right after he signs his big contract, not saying he’s doing it on purpose but I can see why he is taking the heat from the fans.

I wouldn’t compare Ortiz to Wells, Ortiz was a major part in bringing a World Series to the team first time in about a century, he and a lot of players at that time period has a lot of capital to play with. I compre Ortiz more with Joe Carter, after hitting a World Series winning HR, Carter could pretty much hit .220 for the rest of this Jays career and I don’t think any true fan can bring themselves to boo him too harshly (or even at all, I know I wouldn’t) but Wells really hasn’t done anything to earn that “Can’t do no wrong” reaction from the crowd.

The only player on the team who I would be truly offended to hear boo in any fashion would be Halladay

July 27, 2009 9:31 pm

I think you’re dead on. There’s no doubt that certain fans do some idiotic stuff down at the dome. The booing, the ‘pizza’ chants at important parts of the game, throwing stuff on the field.

I hate to say that too, because I think sometimes Jays fans get ragged on unfairly as being uneducated and disinterested , and there’s some really great hardcore fans out there ( is a good example). But yeah, the booing is stupid.

July 28, 2009 7:06 pm

You may want to take a gander at this

Comparing the Ortiz fan reaction to Wells is like apples and oranges,Ortiz had always come through for the Sox until then.I think the fans felt that if Big Papi’s tank was empty,they had got more than their share of milage.

September 14, 2009 1:41 am

Wells deserves what he gets. As a pro fans booing should be the last thing that gets to you. Hes been absolute garbage. 20 million a year thats what he makes. Hes on the top 20 highest paid ball players and he doesnt even touch any of those guys for talent. I am a diehard baseball fan and it makes me sick to watch that guy play. Watching a game the other night he has guys on first and third 1 out and the guy throwing gives him a 3-0 count all pitches not even close. Of course he swings and hits a little pop up to second base killing the inning. Hes gives that team absolutly nothing and to get rid of guy like that is impossible.

Wells and Riccardi(who is even more fuckin pathetic) need to go NOW.

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