Isn't that what makes a man?

A few thoughts on the Isringhausen situation, and I’ll leave this as basically an open thread on the topic so y’all don’t have to take over threads that are about other topics.

As always, though, you guys know the rules — be civil to each other, to me and to players and management. No name-calling. No insults. It’s not welcome, and I’ll delete the comments. If you’ve got a point to make, make it like an adult, with reasoning rather than vitriol.

Anyway.

It’s very clear something isn’t right with No. 44, but it’s baffling to me what it might be. His location is way off. Yet his velocity, for him, still seems to be fine. And in the past, when something has been physically wrong, he has occasionally at least hinted at it. Not this time.

So it’s evident something needs to be done, but as for what, it’s a fair question. Larry Borowsky covered the alternatives with depth, insight and reason (as usual) a couple of days ago at VEB. One thing he touched on was something I addressed in a preview a few days earlier, which is the drastic decline in swings and misses. That’s a major concern and a very bad indicator.

As for what they could do in his place, I won’t be at all surprised if they consider McClellan in that job. Franklin seems like the path of least resistance, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Looper seemed like the path of least resistance at the end of ’06.

The main thing I want to say, though, is something I’ve said before — take it easy on the guy himself. Cardinals fans have always said that they don’t boo guys for a lack of performance, only a lack of class or effort. Well, I assure you this guy is giving it all he’s got, and if he isn’t up to the job, it’s killing him way more than it’s killing you as a fan. If you want to get upset at the mgr for sending him out there when something’s wrong, I understand that. But take it easy on the pitcher himself.

-M.

65 Comments

Yes, I’d agree that Izzy has faced his failures in an admirable way. I should only be so candid in acknowledging my own screwups. However, I wonder if he is really being 100% open about his physical state — not because he is trying to hide something but because he himself can’t see/feel/recognize the problem. As baseball-injury guru Will Carroll has pointed out, loss of command, which has been a component of his struggles, is often a harbinger of arm problems. When you’ve been pitching for as long as Izzy has, you get used to your arm hurting — but there’s hurting and there’s INJURED hurting. It might not be a bad idea to hypothesize that his performance is telling him (and TLR, Dunc, the rest of us) something that his nerve endings are not yet willing to admit to him, and treat him as though he does have an as-yet undiagnosed injury.

One way or the other, I’m with you in admiring the way he’s handling this, even as I was tearing my hair out in the ninth inning last night.

Matthew, You couldn’t of said that last part any better. I was in St. Louis last friday when Izzy gave up the 2 run homer to Soriano and then was booed off the field, to tell you the truth that disgusted me as I clapped and said “get em next time Izzy” that is very classless on what I believe is the best fanbase by far in baseball. I have never booed this guy because I KNOW that he is trying is butt off out there and extremely dissapointed when he doesn’t get the job done, if he didn’t care that would be one thing but you know when a guy that has been as successful as Izzy has and says after last nights game that he doesn’t need to be in this role right now, that takes a big man to do that. After looking at Larry Borowsky’s column I sure hope this doesn’t take LaRussa weeks or months to figure out something needs to happen and I don’t think it will. I would Love to see them give Chris Perez a chance, he is doing the job well in AAA and it won’t affect the rest of our current bullpen either. ….Mathew maybe you can answer this for me…How would that work? Does Izzy have options left to go back to AAA to work on stuff or would he have to go on the DL? How many options to guys get for stuff like that…Hopefully Izzy can work his situation out and get his command back, but if not at least he is standing up like a man and understanding that he can’t continue this performance which has nothing to do with his lack of effort!

As far as the last comment by slata4 goes, I’m a fan of this team, if a player is hurting the team, I feel as if I have the right to boo him. It was that way with Kip Wells as well, when he performed poorly, I booed him, when he performed good, I cheered him. It is not to disrespect the player in any way, but to show my frustration. I am what you could call a sore loser, I don’t like it when the person/team I’m rooting for loses, it actually quite upsets me. As I have said, no disrespect towards you, just my thoughts. As far as Izzy goes, if it’s possible that we can send him down to Triple A, can we send Springer down, or cut him, because he’s been performing poorly as well it seems. And if we can send one or both of them down, I would like to call up Ron Flores, that way we have another lefty in our bullpen, and call up another reliever as well. And I would like either McClellan or Ron Villone to take over as the closer.

You may have a right to boo, but I think it’s really disrespectful to boo your own players when they are doing the best they can. I was at a game in 2006 when Izzy had problems and there was one person in my section who started booing and tried to get others to boo. Thank God, they did not. They all showed a lot of class. I think Izzy has shown how much he cares by ‘manning up’ and saying they have to decide together what the next step is. I have always admired Izzy, never more than when he prepared the young bullpen to take over for him before he finally gave in to his his injury in 2006. He has shown far more class than those fair weather fans who boo him. They should be ashamed of themselves. I am embarrassed by them. They are as low as the fans of other teams I don’t need to name. If you want to call yourselves the best fans in baseball, you don’t kick a man when he is down. I hate losing a game as much as anyone, but throw some blame on the hitters. You can’t expect to win when almost every game is a 1 or 2 run game. Izzy may be tied for most blown saves, but he also has the most saves–a product of too many close games.

There’s a big difference between booing a person when they perform badly, and kicking them when they’re down. One involves sound as a sign of being upset, the other involves physical action with the intent to cause injury. It does not make me a bad fan for booing, it simply makes me a fan. If I’m upset, I believe I have the right to do whatever I want, what someone else thinks about the matter, this being you, is your opinion, and in my opinion, your opinion doesn’t matter to me. If I’m upset, I’m booing. I strongly dislike losing, I’m a very competetive person, if I’m playing a game, and I lose, I’m upset at myself, I’m pretty much booing myself without the booing being involved. Oh and by the way, saves mean absolutely nothing, they do not determine, by any means how well a pitcher has performed. A pitcher can have 50 Saves to end the year and lead all of baseball in saves, oh my gosh, this automatically makes him a good pitcher, actually, that’s a false statement. If the guy has, lets say 25 blown saves and an ERA of 8.00, that does not at all make him a good pitcher, but based on the fact he has 50 saves, apparently people are going to think he’s a good pitcher, when in all reality, he’s not. Izzy has 11 Saves, oh me, oh my, this makes this pitcher a great guy. Wait, nope, the 7.57 ERA says otherwise. Sorry.

And sometimes your offense doesn’t always back you up, your stuck with a 1 run or 2 run lead, it’s your job as the closer to get 3, maybe more outs, depending on when you come in. I don’t care if it’s the last inning of the game, in my opinion, it’s no different than the first, you go out there and do your job, and if you don’t do your job, you get punished. That’s how it is at most work places. For example, if my parents perform poorly on the job 3 days in a row, guess what buddy, they’re getting fired.

Elms I completely agree with you…Booing at a guy that is competing his butt off walking off the field with his head down knowing he has just let everyone down is ridiculous and un-needed, why kick a man when he is down? It’s not like he doesn’t understand what has just happened. We need to try to pick our players up as fans and while of course being dissapointed because they didn’t get the job done, show them that we still support them no matter what. Crazy..Do you have the right to Boo? Sure you do, I just don’t believe that it’s the right thing to do, There is a difference between lack of effort and lack of results, Izzy’s problems have nothing to do with effort (which would be something to boo) again a matter of opinion I guess, because no one hates to lose more then me and no one lives and dies with this team more then me, but as someone who has played baseball for most of his life, I realize how difficult this game is, one week you may be on a tear and the next week in a slump and knowing that teammates and fans are behind you no matter what makes it that much easier to deal with. Also just to be realistic…If someone has 50 saves they are never going to have 25 blown or an Era at 8…if they had that many appearances something is going to outweigh the other…you will never see a 7 or 8 era with 50 saves.

Crazy — you knew she didn’t literally mean KICKING. Come on. You know exactly what that expression means.

-M.

While I’m happy to see that the Cards and Izzy have agreed to make a move I don’t agree that taking Franklin out of the Setup role or sharing with Springer for that matter is the right choice. Springer hasn’t looked good lately and Franklin has been a lights out setup man. I like it when a closer has that lights out stuff…Ala (Chris Perez) bring in Franklin to get his hitters out and the Perez to close it out exactly what he is doing in AAA so he is used to that pressure. Happy to see a move made but not happy with the decision! Hopefully LaRussa proves me wrong as I’m sure he knows his team better then I.

I was thinking the same thing M. But I didn’t feel like commenting on a ridiculous “Kicking” comment…

As regards booing: In my opinion it’s sometimes appropriate to boo a *team* that’s underperforming, to say “we’re not going to stand for this any more.” A few years ago my wife, an Arizona fan, and I were at a game in Phoenix where the D-back bullpen blew an EIGHT-run lead going into the eighth. (They still managed to win the game in extras, on a homer by … Troy Glaus.) The box score is at http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ARI/ARI200506100.shtml if you’re interested, and it isn’t a pretty sight; look at what the AZ pen did in the eighth inning. By the time the fourth reliever of the inning was in, most of the fans were booing as vigorously as at any game I’ve ever seen west of Philadelphia, even though D-back fans are usually a pretty even-tempered bunch. We weren’t among them, but I could certainly understand those who were; this was an across-the-board lousy performance.
Thing is, though, when Lance Cormier (who finally got out of the inning) went on to blow the save in the ninth and the booing continued, I think even Cormier understood that he was merely the guy on the mound for the final stage of that boo-worthy travesty of relief pitching. He was taking the boos for all those who had gone before him. This is also true for the “e-boos” directed at Izzy last night: they were at least as much about TLR making a dumb decision to use a clearly subpar pitcher as about Izzy himself. And I don’t think that’s out of line. This was Tony’s screwup at least as much as it was Izzy’s.

Again, I’m with Matthew and most of the others here: booing should never be done lightly, as it is in Philly and other unmentionable ballparks. But sometimes it’s the only way to tell a team, and a manager, that they’re on dangerous ground in terms of delivering the product, and unfortunately, someone’s going to be on the mound when it happens. Better a team hear the boos and do something about them (even if it hurts) than fail to respond and soon see the fans start to vote with their feet.

GAME TIME!!

I think I as a fan have a right to voice my opinion. And since I don’t get the chance to write the main office telling them my opinion, then I have the right to cheer or boo a player in order to voice my opinion. If a player is coming out of a game after performing badly, should I cheer him? No, that’s stupid. Why would I cheer someone who’s performing badly? It’s like saying, “You did horrible, but it’s okay.” If I’m a pitcher in a game, and I perform horribly, I want the fans to voice their opinion, I want them to boo, I don’t want them to cheer me, because that makes it feel even worse, cheering me when I’m doing bad, it makes me feel as if you feel sorry for me.

Good Point Crazy…Someone Cheering you always feels worse then someone booing you….It’s always better to know people can’t stand you then they are behind you…Did you really just type that??

Sometimes, we have to make a conscious choice about our emotions … is it all about me, or is it about the team? Maybe as a fan, I have the right to boo. But, as a Cardinal fan, I would rather support my team and show some class and cheer even when I am frustrated to no end. Players always talk about coming to St Louis because of the fans and the class of the organization. St Louis fans are special in that regard … they know that it is not all about them.

Best wishes to Izzy. He has a lot to offer for us, and he has done a great deal as our closer over the years.

Scott, I think you hit it right on in a lot of ways, but one in particular stands out for me right now.

I hear and read a lot of people, here and elsewhere, saying “I have a right to boo.”

And, yeah, that’s true. But here’s the thing — nobody ever denied that. Nobody’s saying you should be forbidden from doing it. I’m not suggesting that people who do it should have their tickets revoked, or anything like that. And if you turn it into a question of whether you have the “right” to boo, you’re missing my point entirely.

My point is about the DECISION, not the RIGHT. I’m asking people to make a conscious decision to show class and grace. My saying, “Hey, take it easy on the guy” is not the same if I said, “You have no right to do that.”

-M.

Why must every team have a “closer”? Baseball got along fine for many years before that word entered the vocabulary. (Sure, there were pitchers who filled that role unofficially, but there weren’t all that many of them and it wasn’t considered mandatory.) If a team has a pitcher who fits that role, fine. But if, at the moment, the Cardinals don’t, why insist on choosing someone to push into it?

TLR says it takes a special guy to pitch in the ninth. Well, it takes a special guy to play in MLB at all. Seems like they’re made a sensible decision regarding Isringhausen for now. So why not make late-inning pitching decisions with the same strategies that are valid at any other time?

Good Points Scott and Matt!

We all have times when we’re down or in a funk. I’m in one with my golf game right now, and Izzy is the same way. I know that I am struggling, and when I get momentum on a hole, it fades quickly the next. I have now made an adjustment in my game that I believe will return it to normal. I’m thinking that Izzy needs the same thing – an adjustment.

I have noticed Izzy’s fastball being a little high, but his velocity is at his norm. If he makes an adjustment by lowering his arm with his fastball and has a better mental approach, hopefully he will return to his 2007 form.

I’m with you, dston. I’m all in favor of some pretty heretical bullpen notions, basically using your best pitcher at the biggest moment — which very well may come in the seventh or eighth inning.

But I also know that TLR vehemently disagrees with that notion, and feels very, very strongly that the 9th is simply different. So if he has one guy he believes is best suited, he’ll lean on that guy.

Then again, if you look at some of the recent times that Isringhausen has been down for a couple or a few weeks, they actually have shown a willingess to mix and match. I’m thinking in particular of 2005, when Isringhausen was on the DL in late April and early May. In the space of 2 1/2 weeks, Randy Flores, Al Reyes, Julian Tavarez and Brad Thompson all got at least one save (though Thompson’s was a three-inning blowout save).

So I guess I’m kind of contradicting myself.

-M.

The way it sounds is that you’re saying I’m a bad fan simply because I choose to boo, and I don’t get that saying at all. I think I have a right to boo when a player is doing bad, and I don’t think it’s “kicking” the guy when he’s down, I’m not saying, “This guy sucks,” or, “This guys a bum,” or anything negative like that, I’m booing, simply booing, I’m making a noise with my mouth, that sounds like an owl with a speech impediment (sorry if I spelled that word wrong), instead of going, “hoo, hoo,” I’m going, “boo, boo.” I don’t see how that a negative thing at all, it’s me voicing my opinion that I was displeased with his outing. And a boo by no regards means that a person can’t stand you, it’s a sign they’re displeased with my performance, and if I’m a player, and I play badly, I do not want cheers, because that gets on my nerves, someone cheering me when I perform badly, it just gets on my nerves, it’s like when I’m playing Yahoo! Checkers, if I’m losing, and I have people sitting there cheering me, it gets on my nerves, I’m playing bad, I know I’m playing bad, I don’t want them to sit there and cheer me. I want them to tell me I did bad that game, because it pushes me to perform better to stop those boos and turn them into cheers.

And quite frankly, I don’t care what any of you have to say about this, it’s what I believe, and what I believe is what I believe, noone’s going to change that.

I guess I’m just a low class person, that’s what it seems to me you’re saying, I have no class, I’m a bad fan, because I boo a player who’s performing badly and costing the team wins. Darn, isn’t life so screwed up?

Wow everyone throw Crazy a pitty party..No one is saying your a bad fan were just saying that someone booing is not classy AT ALL!! Just an FYI playing Yahoo Checkers is not the same as playing Baseball and I’m sure no one has ever cheered you on for that…Players “DO” want to hear cheering they “DON’T” want to hear booing although they do Understand it if they stink up the joint one day. Booing helps NO ONE!! Apparently it makes you feel better though so you keep making your weird owl noise and hopefully the cheers of the classy fans will drown you out….Good luck righting yourself Izzy…You are a CLASSY Veteran!

To get away from the topic of to boo or not to boo…what is wrong with the Izzy-man?

Think back to when he was coming up with the Mets. He threw 6-7 pitches then, and even when he came over the STL he would at least through more than just cutter-knuckle curve.

Where has the four-seamer and the circle change gone?

I’m not so quick to blame just Jason, though. Go back to the 0-2 to Berkman on 4/25 and Yadier kept asking for cutter away and eventually it got smoked in to left. He’s living and now dying by that pitch, so when it isn’t there, there is no plan B.

Between Dunc, Izzy, Molina, TLR, etc….they will get it straight. I’m not worried about that, I just hope it comes before the Cubs catch fire and pull away.

No, what I’m trying to say, is that it seems like you’re saying I have no class, because I’m booing a guy for poor performance. I’m not throwing stuff at them like the fans do to Andruw Jones in Los Angeles. I’m not chanting his salary, I’m simply booing. If a player does good, I cheer, if they don’t, I boo. And I don’t see how that means I have no class, but that’s what it seems like everyone’s been saying. And it seems like the Cutter is killing him more than any other pitch, he’s using it as a get it over pitch, and they’re hitting it for a get it out of the ball park pitch.

It seems like that is what people are saying because that is Exactly what people are saying. Booing is classless when it has to do with a guy not doing a good job who is trying his hardest. If you got a player or a team that doesn’t care or isn’t putting forth any effort then that is another story. If a guy is just struggling do you really think you are helping anything or do you just need to do it to make yourself feel better. Again a player DOES NOT want to hear you boo, nor do the classy cardinal fans around you. There is a reason why so many players and fans say we have one of the most intelligent, classy, and passionate fanbases in the majors and it has nothing to do with us booing our players when there busting their butt to help the team win and it just wasn’t their night. But again Crazy you do what you want and hopefully you remain in the minority.

I wouldn’t mind putting wellemeyer in the spot, but that would require another starting pitcher coming up from AAA or the DL.

Given the instability of our staff, we should consider putting izzy on the DL. If we don’t want to put Izzy on the DL then we should send Barton down to AAA (if we can, not sure how that works with rule5) or send down Ryan.

I really hope Izzy will be fine and that this is just a fluke. It’s really sad if this is the end of his career and just a natural decline. I wish him the best. He’s a consummate professional and Cardinal. We’ve been so lucky to have him over the past few years.

Derrick, I think our only option is putting him on the DL but I think TLR wants to continue to pitch him just not in pressure situations cuz he isn’t hurt. I doubt were gonna see any starters like Wellemeyer or Looper going to the pen cuz they are just to valuable in the rotation right now. Barton can’t be sent down because he is a Rule5 and Ryan is playing to well to go down. I say send Parisi back down and let him start in AAA…why do we keep bringing up starters and putting them in reliever roles..that has always confused me. If they need someone for the back of the rotation bring up one of them from AAA that is doing it and doing well like Perez or Motte, and keep the rest of our current bullpen where they have been pitching comfortably.

Most of the time the past couple of years it’s just been because guys were needed that could eat up innings. Who eats up more innings, a starter or reliever?

Ya i understand that but starters and relievers go through a different routine..some people would say pitching is pitching but if that was true then anyone could start or close, so I just think bringing up starters to be relievers and then having them start again isn’t the best idea. I mean really how often are relievers needed for 4+ innings.

My dad and I have gone back and forth on this topic for the past few years. He isn’t a big Izzy fan, because he thinks that Izzy makes it a little too ‘interesting’ by allowing so many hits/walks. My argument has always been ‘but the results are there, so who cares how it gets done’? Unfortunately, I can’t make that argument right now. I’m with those who say they hope Izzy gets right soon. I’m not happy with his recent performances, but I love his willingness to accept responsibility.

As for the topic of ‘booing’…

I don’t think it’s really necessary to let *any* player or manager know that you aren’t happy with a loss by booing. If you’re a fan, then of course you aren’t happy with a loss. They already know that. They *want* to win. It may be your ‘right’ as a fan to boo when you want, but don’t you think that’s sort of like stating the obvious? You also have the right to run around yelling ‘the sky is blue!’ or ‘staring at the sun burns my eyes!’…

If Izzy is struggling mentally, a chorus of ‘boos’ isn’t going to help him get right any faster. However, it *can* hurt St. Louis’ reputation for being a wonderful place to play. That kind of rep doesn’t hurt in signing free agents. It’s an intangible benefit, but it’s one that I’m very proud of. I don’t live in St. Louis anymore, but I still follow all St. Louis sports, and I’m proud to tell people that I’m a Cardinals fan.

That will change if we gain the reputation of being fickle.

Maniac….Very well said! your relationship with your dad reminds me of mine with my aunt who resides in St. Louis, she is of the thinking Izzy makes it way to interesting while i don’t care just as long as we still have the lead after the 9th when he is done pitching…and I applaud him for understanding he can’t do that right now for whatever reason and to step back and figure it out instead of being to proud and continuing to hurt the team.

Thank god Izzy didn’t get the save opp last night! Maybe LaRussa is realizing the big-eared freak isn’t worth anything.

I think Izzy is a big man by saying that he isn’t the guy that should be in the closer role. He didn’t stop trying, always gave it his best. I don’t see how you fault that. Sometimes you try your best and it doesn’t happen. That’s life.

As far as Izzy not being worth anything, that’s just flat out wrong. He has brought some big moments and happy moments to this club, that’s always worth something.

I don’t trust him in big game situations…actually in any situation. There’s no way St Louis would have won the world series with him as closer.

Bearden, man, what’s with the insults? Come on. Dude asked everyone to be civil about this discussion, and if he had time I think he’d say, ‘Please keep it civil, or take it elsewhere.’ Look Jason Isringhausen is NOT perfect, and he is not the best closer ever. But he is/was one of the best. You can’t take that away from him, though you don’t seem to want to recognize it.The numbers prove it over his career. How many active NL closers have more saves than Izzy?? Oh yeah, NONE. Now, I think you’re right in your frustration and criticism…to the point you begin to insult the man. That’s just not necessary. I happen to NOT be a fan of Izzy’s either, proof is in my previous posts. I think you’re right that we never would have won with him as closer. The pressure of BIG situations just rattles him too much. It’s not as if he doesn’t have the stuff. He just can’t command it while being pressured. That’s my opinion, btw, minus the personal attacks. Please use this example.

One little thing from Larry’s piece that I linked to in the original post:

“his failure rate has been lower than hrabosky’s, sutter’s, or worrell’s and about even with lee smith’s. he’s appeared in 19 postseason games for the cards and only cost them one — the kent walkoff homer in game 5 of the 2004 nlcs.”

-M.

what is this little league guys???? honestly, izzy has every right to be booed. We could have a 5 game lead right now. Matt, what you said is right, however, as TLR is just as much to blame in this problem of izzy. I am glad that it was finally decided to remove him as he deserves a demotion to AAA and not even to stay in the bullpen. think of how frustrating it is to us, the fans, to watch a team that wasn’t even supposed to be competing, actually playing very good baseball. A pitcher goes 6 or 7 or even 8 strong with 1-3 runs, and then we have to watch izzy come in and blow it???? He should be booed in every right, as the fans are voicing their displeasure with the situation and not the man himself. And Mr. Leach, as I said i was new to the blog, i now understand what u mean not to write on another “thread”, as in no way did i think i was being disrespectful or childish, just being a fan!!

Ok… for me to say I haven’t been frustrated with Izzy at home while watching the games would be a lie. However- if i was AT the game i would NOT be booing him in the stands. why? because i agree with matt- it’s very disrespectful. Do people honestly think he’s going to go out there and screw up on PURPOSE?! it hurts him, his teammates, his fans, his coaches. Do you think he wants to do it? I personally can’t stand going to a game in St. Louis (the best fans in baseball) and hearing people boo at the game. The guys are out there playing their hearts out and then they get booed. I am the type that if it’s in the 9th inning, 2 outs, bases loaded and Pujols at bat to grab the people around me that are sitting down because they think it’s over and tell them to get off their butts and support the team they came to watch. Let’s support our Redbirds at ALL times, not just when they are doing good. That’s being a bandwagon fan. Go Cards!

Here’s my thing…for me, it has little to do with the “right” to boo…and while I agree with the “decision” to boo argument wholeheartedly, I think you have to look at the “effectiveness” of booing…what the H*** does it accomplish, guys????

If you think it accomplishes something…well…that’s just wishful thinking. TLR does not sit there and say, “Hmmm…the fans booed today…if they do that two more times, I’m gonna’ have to pull him.” All booing does is demoralize an individual that is doing everything he can to succeed.

Think about all of the obstacles MLB players overcome in order to succeed…and then realize that those of you who boo them when they are down…YOU are one of those obstacles.

I understand you have a right to boo – to voice your frustration – but that is ALL it accomplishes…it allows you to voice your frustration. Guess what…my son used to voice his frustration by throwing a screaming fit in the store. That’s what booing is in baseball…a fit.

Just think about it…just what, if anything, are you trying to accomplish by it? You can’t honestly think you are going to change TLR’s mind on anything because you booed…and if you do, you don’t know TLR or professional baseball. And once you realize it is totally ineffective, then you’re just doing it because you WANT to voice your frustration…

You are intentionally attacking a player who feels bad enough already and is doing his best (and, who feels worse than you ever could for what he did) for your own selfish interests. Selfishness…self-centeredness…that’s what booing is in cases like this.

Just show some class and some concern for the players on a team you pretend to love…AND…don’t come back at me with “We have to hold them accountable!!!” because I completely agree with that…I’m saying booing DOES NOT DO THAT…and any rational person, when they set aside what they WANT to be true, has to admit that.

You know…to say just a bit more on the overall treatment of MLB players…I recently took my son to Opening Day…and I was disgusted by how so many fans act towards the players.

While my son and I were waiting next to the Cardinals’ dugout for autographs before the game, two or three guys in their early to mid twenties were standing a few people down from us taking pictures. While they waited, they consistently yelled and laughed at the players…not hurling insults, but clearly taunting the players and then laughing at the fact that they didn’t come over…it was basically ridiculous behavior…

And those same individuals will have kids some day, and they’ll be standing by the dugout again with their son or daughter wondering, “Why doesn’t Albert or the other players come over and sign????” And they’ll think they are selfish, rude, or just inconsiderate…but they never stop to realize how these guys are treated by fans.

In watching other fans get autographs, it’s sad…they mob the players and are clearly out to “get something” out of them. They show appreciation, care, concern, or anything even resembling grattitude…they push in front, get their autograph, and run off…

It’s no wonder guys like Rick Ankiel have developed a nearly impenetrable sphere of protection around himself…fans have forgotten how to act around players…and now, booing is just one more inappropriate, self-centered act in a long list of acts by fans just out to get something from these guys…

In a weekend of three games (Opening Day, Opening Day rainout game, and game at Springfield), I heard just one person say “thank you” to all the players who did sign autographs…the rest simply got their autograph and then turned their heads away from the player who gave it to them and started yelling shamelessly at the next one…

Just an assembly line of heartless machines designed to give us what we want, whatever we decide that should be…that’s what too many (not all) fans have turned MLB players into these days.

oops…correction…meant to say (above) that “They show NO appreciation…” etc…

Sorry for coming into this so late, but I want to comment about the to boo or not to boo stuff. In STL the Cards are like family to the true fans. If you have a kid who is pitching a little league game and blows the lead would you expect to hear anybody boo? No because it is the right thing to do. Would the parents of the other kids have the right because they want to see thier kid win? Its just ridiculous. If you want to voice your opinion about how someone is doing do it on these blogs… Encouragement is always a better tool for getting somebody back on track.

What I am saying I guess is if you think it isn’t degrading or demoralizing to a player go do it to your kid and see how they react and then come back and tell me it isnt demoralizing.

Re: Crazy–
Sometimes I think you guys are really hard on him. Just because you don’t agree with what he has to say doesn’t give you the right to rip on him. That’s just my opinion, though.

–Mrs. Dude

Re: Booing–
I’ve never understood why people boo at sporting events. It isn’t something I do because I don’t see the point. Guys who are lazy aren’t going to be motivated by the boos and guys who can’t give anymore aren’t going to improve because of the boos. I guess that ultimately fans have every “right” to boo, but I don’t get why they do it.

I guess if you think a guy isn’t trying his hardest, you might boo to let him know that ‘hey, I know you’ve got it in you to do better and I’m holding you accountable for your slacking on the job.’ But what does that get you? He knows how you feel, I guess. But if a player is inclined to slack, do you think your boos are going to make him work harder? I’m guessing that they’re just going to roll of his back. What if the person you’re booing is doing the best he can? What if (as it might be in Izzy’s case) it’s just a combination of not being “right” and getting older and losing a step or two. What if he *doesn’t* have it in him to do better? Then what? He’s giving his all and you’re just making him feel worse that he doesn’t have the stuff to give.

I’ve read what everyone has to say on the subject, but I remain baffled.

–Mrs. Dude

amen, Mrs. Dude

AND…regarding booing as motivation to somehow work harder…

If playing major league baseball to win is not enough motivation, a fan’s booing is not going to get the job done, either…

I boo umpires at baseball games and refs at basketball games, but I never boo an athlete.

For those who feel the _need_ to boo, you may want to read the book “Uprooting Anger” by Robert Jones. Very insightful!

Also, why do some tend to think booing sports players is a normal societal behavior? Do we boo the McDonald’s employee when our order is messed up? Do we boo our children when they get bad grades? If you answered yes to one of the previous questions, you may want to read the aforementioned book.

um…I don’t know about the rest of y’all…but I absolutely boo the McDonald’s drive through employee if he/she messes up my order…with a megaphone…

If my son gets bad grades, I just lecture him and then ground him…sometimes, I wish I could lecture and ground players (like when Cesar swung on the first pitch with two outs and the bases loaded and Suppan had just walked 3 guys), but that doesn’t tend to be an option for me…

(but I still am totally against booing…)

I think the days of fans in St. Louis only booing people who lack effort have been over for a while. That’s soooo 1998. It’s sad. I was at a game this year. Izzy allowed to runners but didn’t allow a run. I couldn’t believe how many people were booing him then.

And yeah. Why was Izturis swinging when I guy walks the bases loaded! Ah! It boggles my mind.

Booing your own players is never ever acceptable. It is rude and unsportsmanlike. I was certainly raised better, and I am ashamed of my fellow fans who choose to be less than respectful in their conduct at the park or otherwise. I don’t even like booing the other team, and have to sit on myself when it comes to bad calls by the umpires. Izzy is a class act and takes responsibility for himself and his performance. I sincerely hope that he can get things on track and be back to closing out games the way he and the fans want to see it done. Being rude and booing a guy when the chips are down doesn’t make Izzy look any worse, but it does make the fans look really trashy. Cards fans are better than that….or at least they were better than that.

Ok I am bumbfounded by all the heat that crazy is taking on this. I don’t boo but I applaude the people who do. They have the guts to say what they feel. I suppose all of you who want the booing to stop also want to give a trophy to all the teams kids in littleleague just for playing. Or you dont like to keep score at a certain age. We have as a society made it so that hey it is no big deal to fail. You tried your haerdest and that is ok. Well I for one say just trying your best is not ok. If I try really hard at my job and do it wrong every time I gurantee you I wil get fired. I dont doubt that Izzy is a great guy but he has a job to do and not doing it . I do applude him for manning up to it, but not booing because it supposedly classless is just downright baffling. And the guythat applaudes when he actually blew the lead I cant even fathom that. That islike saying greatjob son you just got all F’s on your report card here let me buy you a treat. Please all you who do please continue for those that do not have the nerve tospeak up.

dude…are you serious? You SERIOUSLY think it takes GUTS to boo??????? gimme a break…it takes GUTS to boo in row 23 of the second deck in right field while blending in with 43,000 fans?

You’re right…you don’t get it. Booing accomplishes nothing and ONLY makes things worse. You know what…I don’t have time to waste on this response…sheesh…GUTS to boo…that’s a good one…I’m “bumbfounded” by your perspective…and by “bumbfounded” I mean “dumbfounded”…

By the way…let’s take your example…your kid comes home with F’s…if it is for lack of effort, okay…yell, lecture, ground, spank, whatever…but if he has a learning deficiency or is trying very hard but just isn’t getting it…you better take the time to figure that out…because if you yell, lecture, ground, whatever…well that just makes you a jerk and an ineffective parent.

Hmmm the best response you have is making fun of a typo that is great thought there was supposed to be a moratorium on that kind of stuff here guess I was wrong. Exactly how does booing make anything worse and don’t give me that classless garbage because it does not fly with me. Secondly, come on you try to take apart my argument by throwing in a learning disability that is so lame I guess your point is maybe we should look if there are extenuating cicumstances with Izzy that isthe only thing I can pull from that silly remark. If that is the case then fine like in 06 when he was hurt but he claims he is healty so that does not fly here. I guess you would porabably be shocked to that I actually have had the nerve to teach my 4 year old that when we play the cubs to call them the yuckie cubs and that he has already starting booing them. In fact he just automatically says yuckie cubs and I love it. Oh my call child protective services. I guess also you were one of the many many people (assuming you follow football as well) that thought the patriots this year were being just down right nasty by running up all those scores. I say hey stop complaining you dont want them to do it then STOP THEM!!! I am not a pats fan either cant stand em. I am a fan of the hapless 49ers but thought that criticism was completly unfounded. All this is just more proof positive that we are all way to soft now a day.

hehe…wow…I don’t think I even have to respond to that…I think you pretty much demonstrated my points for me…but I guess I will anyway…but just to clear the air, here…for the record…I was all for the Patriots running up the score…on that, we agree…AND…I’ve taught my 8-year old to boo the Cubs as well…we’re talking about booing the home team, here…

So…booing…as soon as you tell me what it DOES accomplish, then you’ll have a leg to stand on…but in the absence of that argument, we’ll go with my point, which is that it accomplishes nothing and only worsens the player’s performance. It affects a player’s confidence which absolutely affects his performance. If you are honestly telling me that Izzy stepping on the mound when 40,000 people are booing him is the same experience for him as 40,000 people cheering or simply being silent, then you just don’t get it. Especially for a closer, comfort, mindset, and confidence are all key to pitching effectively. Maybe Izzy just doesn’t have it anymore…I don’t know…but I do know booing simply does not help him get better and it shows a complete lack of respect for a guy who is doing his best and has given the Cardinals a hell of a run over the last few years. He’s been consistently one of the best for a long time, and he deserves a bit of respect from guys like you.

In regards to the “moratorium” on criticizing other posters…you don’t get to claim that those of us who choose not to boo Izzy don’t have the nerve to do so (or imply we are gutless) and then get to turn around and claim protection from criticism/attack/etc. for yourself.

And for the record, of course telling you you’re classless doesn’t “fly” with you…that’s like trying to explain color to a person who was born blind…they have no inner reference to compare it to…you just don’t get it (and by “it” I mean the concept of class, respect, etc.).

okay…just fyi…this has already gone too far on Matt’s blog…so regardless of how you respond, i’m bowing out of this argument…read into that what you will…

Sorry, Matt…

Look, strawnj, I don’t know why you chose to ignore this direction in the initial post, but I’m going to repeat it just in case you missed it.

“As always, though, you guys know the rules — be civil to each other, to me and to players and management. No name-calling. No insults. It’s not welcome, and I’ll delete the comments. If you’ve got a point to make, make it like an adult, with reasoning rather than vitriol.”

Referring to “the insanity that is that argument” does not follow that direction. So I’m deleting your last comment.

For Pete’s sake people, RESPECT EACH OTHER. You don’t have to agree, but be respectful or take it somewhere else.

-M.

Was the reaction real bad tonight in Busch after the 6th blown save?

You are kidding me right? You just showed a complete lack of consistency. You chose to delete my very mild content after all the stuff that was said previously. I guess I should expect it coming from a site that lists the ACLU, SPLC, and Amnesty International as favored sites. I am done with the entire Cardinals site. I will stick with the PD where they are at least fair and have thicker skin. Please feel free to delete all my comments wont be back here anyway.

dude really why boo izzy. i mean i have disliked him from day one with his inability to come in for one inning with the lead no less and just not let them score. i mean the guy is like watching an episode of days of our live for christ sake. really though booing is just uncalled for i mean if your going to boo then boo the wave. i mean how stupid is the wave i cant stand being at a game trying to watch real baseball and all of the sudden everyone around thinks its cool to stand up for 2 seconds. the wave to me is so much more insulting to a pure baseball fan. to me there is nothing worse than watching a game thats close in the 8th and a wave breaks out. what are you a bunch of 3rd graders, honestly boo the wave to no end.

um…i do the wave and look like a 3rd grader because…well…MY 3rd grader WANTS to do the wave…so we do the wave…

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