How Do You Boo?

As the President was booed quite loudly before throwing out the first pitch Sunday night, one of the non-baseball message boards I frequent has been on fire for the past three days about it. There’s the side who says Free Speech allows everyone to protest however and wherever they want. Then there’s the side who says it’s disrespectful to boo the President no matter what you think of him. It’s like watching one of those American league games that never end – people just can’t seem to shut up about it.

I tend to think that booing anyone – whether it’s a player, an umpire or the President of the United States – is impolite and classless, but I stop short of calling it treason.

After watching baseball dragged into the Halls of Congress, where those elected to govern are supposed to stop acting like politicians and start governing, I have so far this election season been called a jerk (because I’m a baseball fan and guilty by association) and “brainwashed”. And April has just started. But here is a message for all the non-baseball fans that have succeeded in making Sunday night’s game a political issue while they argue endlessly that politics and baseball don’t belong together:

The first pitch is but one small inconsequential part of
the opening ceremonies that people just want to see done with so the game can
start – much like the National Anthem. Yes, that’s right, patriots, no one looks forward to the first pitch or National Anthem as much as the game itself. So sue us. The bigger story is that it was a
perfectly magical game in a beautiful new park with an almost mythical ending.
It was the type of game baseball lovers dream of being there to see. For people who
could care less about baseball to spoil the memory of a game like that for a
fan is a hard thing to do, but congratulations, you’ve succeeded in doing that for this one.



  1. dhacks

    Interesting question. I didnt see the booing incident, but here’s what I’m thinking.

    It’s a ballpark, not a church or an orchestrated campaign stop. While I’m not a big boobird myself (for reasons you stated), this is an historically accepted means of expression at ballparks. It is fairly common for politicians to be booed at games, and Mr Bush is a very impactful politician with an uncommonly low approval rating.

    I sense crowds are basically decorous regarding treatment of Presidents, dependent on circumstances. For example, they are less likely to boo a newly elected President, or when the nation perceives we’re vulnerable to attack, and I think that restraint generally transcends party. Circumstances are different now, people are expressing themselves and, no, I dont believe that it is emboldening terrorism or weakening our country.

    When Nixon resigned, I remember my dad (who was aligned with Reagan in most respects) spoke with considerable pride about how, in our country, the most powerful man in the world could essentially be forced against his will to forfeit power, without a drop of blood being spilled.
    I guess I feel much that way about booing President Bush. It’s a remarkable testament to freedom that ordinary people can publicly boo the most powerful man on earth without fear of repurcussion. And I actually give President Bush credit for fulfilling the traditional obligation, knowing he would get hammered. That says something for him.

    I’m not convinced booing an unpopular President in his seventh year is such a bad thing, really. High ranking Chinese officals will be spared boos at this summer’s Olympics, and I wouldnt sit in that stadium for the world 🙂

    • chicksdigthelongball

      Ah, Matt. The measured voice of reason…AGAIN. Thanks for your thoughts. I wholeheartedly agree.

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