That being said, I normally do not rag on Atlanta fans. I generally tend to say that Atlanta fans are the most reasonable fans in sports. After all, are we not rooting for the same players, the same team, the same city? But tonight, I am FURIOUS. So in lieu of posting pictures for the October 3 win or the October 10 loss, I'm going to make this post instead:
YOU NEVER BOO YOUR OWN TEAM.
YOU NEVER BOO YOUR TEAM'S PLAYERS.
I have never felt so pissed off at Braves fans in my life. Other teams' fans? Yeah. When those Phillies fans were walking through Turner Field, rubbing in the fact that we'd just lost on October 2? I'm not gonna lie, I seriously considered tripping them down the stairs, Matt Diaz style. (Except MattE would never do that because he's a good person, but I have never claimed to be a good person.) When the Red Sox fans showed up in droves, acting like total dicks (and I generally like the Sox and their fans... just not the way the ones around me were acting at Turner Field; let's just say I'm glad Tommy Hanson made them STFU), I thought about throwing a bottle at some of the fans. Or when the Yankees came to town, and half the stadium was in pinstripes, acting like they're all big and bad because they're the spoiled rich kids of baseball? Kick-to-the-junk was pondered. Oh, yes, I considered all of this. But I never thought I would be so angry at Braves fans. Fans of my awesome scrappy fantastic do-or-die team.
This post obviously does not apply to all Braves fans. You know you are a true Braves fan when you stick with them through the losses, and you cheer as hard as you can even if the odds are stacked tenfold against them. I'm not talking about cursing at the television or being frustrated with a player or the team or with the manager. That's only natural, and it's going to happen.
The fans I'm talking about are the fair-weather fans, the fans that only stick around if the team is winning. The fans that boo. The fans that act like they would be better players than whoever is on the team. Hey, asshole, there is a reason he's on the team and your sorry ass isn't. Sit down and STFU.
One of the direct quotes from this game: "Hell, I could throw a no-hitter with the way this team is playing right now." DIE IN A FIRE, JACKASS. I mean, it couldn't possibly BE that Jonathan Sanchez is actually a legit good starter. No, it's clearly that the offense sucks and WHY are you at this game again? SHUT UP.
But no, the one person (and yes, he is a real live human being with nothing wrong with his ears, with feelings, who plays with heart and emotion) that caught the brunt of all the trash talking... was not Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, no, no. [Speaking of which, whytf would people boo Posey because he's actually, you know, good? Obviously I'm going to think that Heyward's better because he's a Brave, but uh... you know who's proving he's playoff material? Buster Posey. And he's doing it with an FU to Braves fans. Good for him. I'm mad at him, but good for him. See how that works? You respect that he's a good player but you don't have to like him. Booing is unacceptable. Grow up.] It was the Atlanta Braves' own Brooks Conrad.
ARE YOU SERIOUS? Where the hell would this team be without Brooks Conrad? Some of the other blogs and analysts are saying things like, "You can't trot out the 'Braves wouldn't be in the playoffs without him' line, because players are expected to perform at all times, not only for moments of glory."
Lest we forget, assholes, that those moments of glory are what got us to the playoffs, because it came down to ONE game. And who was a HUGE part of bringing about those clutch victories? Oh, I don't know, could it be BROOKS CONRAD? (The answer is "Yes." Stop reading and GTFO of my blog if you don't know this as fact. I'm not fooling; I do not need or want dumb readers and I'm fully prepared to alienate readers that want to be contrary.) And yes, Brooks needs to perform. BOOING DOESN'T HELP.
I posted this in response to someone's comment that anybody on the Braves bench would be better than Brooks at second base, that he was, essentially, a liability:
I was at that game, so it was really one of the most painful things I've ever had to displeasure to witness. Did those 3 E's cost us? Yes. But when you say "anybody" is better at 2B than Brooks? Who? Diory Hernandez, who has barely played this season? What other option do we have right now. Trust me, I know that Conrad isn't the best defensive second baseman. BUT SO DOES BOBBY. Would I rather have him come in and pinch hit instead? ABSOLUTELY. He's not a starter. But with the injuries that have ravaged the team, what would you have Bobby do? Put him back at 3B? Clearly not an option. Put Glaus at 3B, move Omar back to 2B? Glaus has bad knees; this is why he's not starting at 1B anymore. Same scenario, except with Hinske? Hinske hasn't played 3B all season, but at least Glaus has rehabbed at 3B. The best option is Brooks, as much as Braves fans are dogging on him right now. I don't think anybody feels it more than he does right now and I think the fans are being totally unfair to him. What can I say? That I was at the game where Braves fans were caught on NATIONAL TELEVISION booing one of their own players? Yeah, I'm real proud of that.How disrespectful is that, though? What do you think will be accomplished by booing a player wearing your team's uniform? Yeah, that'll definitely help his next at-bat, sure. He's not gonna hear the jeers. This is why I hate Atlanta fans. They suck and they never stick by the team, ever. It's Bobby's last postseason run, and they boo the team he put together? WTF.
The point of this is: You're wrong. There is no one else. So you can either suck it up and cheer for him, or be a fairweather fan.
I will fully admit that I was a little quick to jump all over a Facebook status comment. Especially since he wasn't at the game booing Brooks. But what can I say? A girl gets a little pissed off when she sees fans who supposedly root for the Braves booing a Brave or naysaying a Brave. This isn't a new development either; I've been to several games this season and I can definitively say that these Braves players have been booed while I was in attendance: Melky Cabrera. Nate McLouth. Yunel Escobar (oh, yes, and I have a chip on my shoulder for this one). Kenshin Kawakami. I know for a fact that fans have booed Troy Glaus (and I Infinity Heart him--definite chip on my shoulder for this one). And now? You can add Brooks Conrad to that list. We fans, we're SO classy.
The Atlanta Braves' fans were caught on national television booing their own player. So much for showing the nation that we are the best fans that any team could hope for like they asked us to be at Turner Field. (They made an announcement before the game began to start cheering like maniacs; we did or at least, I did.) So that was caught on camera. But so was booing Brooks Conrad after his first error. Which, I'm sure, really helped his confidence there. [Baseball is as much a mental and psychological game as it is a game of inches and timing. So bite me if you think I'm overly harsh about the fans.] I'm sure that didn't at all contribute to the second error. Nah, I don't think postseason jitters have him at all, so clearly the booing won't affect him. Oh, and his at-bats. Yeah, I think I'll boo him when they announce his name. That'll help him hit better, right?
I'm not trying to excuse that he made the errors. I'm not trying to say that fans should cheer for the fact that he made errors. I just think that if there isn't anything to cheer for, then you keep your mouth shut. Going to a game to watch your team means rooting for them. That's it. I assure you that he's not the only one who heard the boos and had it demoralize him. The rest of the team heard it, too, and it probably didn't help lift their spirits. "Yay, they hate my teammate, all right, high five." And you know who else heard? THE REST OF THE NATION. How classy of you, Atlanta fans. /slowclap.
Try to imagine my incredulous fury when the fans booed the Jumbotron when it showed the video of Brooks Conrad's walk-off grand slam. Really? Because we needed that win, and he was who got it for us with a swing of his bat. I actually got up and screamed at the fans in my vicinity. I'm pretty high-strung when it comes to the Braves, admittedly; sometimes, I really do think they're going to give me ulcers and I wish I didn't care so much and that my moods weren't so affected by how they are doing. But it is what it is. I got up and screamed at the fans, "You DO NOT boo your own team! YOU DO NOT BOO YOUR OWN TEAM'S PLAYERS! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?"
Seriously. You think that booing is going to help them play better? You think it's going to pump them up? No, not when it's YOUR OWN FANS BOOING YOU. If the Giants fans were booing me and I was a Braves player, I'd be like, "Now I want to just slam a win right in your snotty face." [Which, incidentally, IS WHAT BUSTER POSEY DID TO US WHEN WE BOOED HIM.]
The Braves need die-hard fans. They DESERVE fans that stick with them, win or lose. They have fought hard enough for that. If the fair-weather fans don't want to stick around, that's too bad, but the Braves don't need them. They deserve better than the sorry excuses I saw tonight.
So moral of the story. Suck it up. Look how far this team has come. They literally limped into the playoffs. An unhealthy Atlanta Braves team is in the playoffs, pretty evenly matched with a team that are division champs. This is the first time in five years that the Braves have made the postseason. It is Bobby Cox's last postseason run. DO NOT BOO. Cheer as HARD and as LOUD as you can for the Braves, no matter what. Because this team is deep. It is scrappy. And they play hard and they play with heart. They are beaten down, broken, fatigued, etc. They've lost key player after key player. And yet they still lumbered on. And they're in the playoffs in spite all that has happened. Isn't that something to be excited for? Isn't that something worth cheering for?