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Home Field Disadvantage

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Offline  Home Field Disadvantage
#1

Posted: September 11, 2008, 3:30 PM Post
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The Weatherman
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From the JS blog, Corey Hart commented tonight that the Brewers are "looser" on the road, suggesting that the pressure from the fans is getting to them at home. He thought the booing was out of line since the Brewers are leading the Wild Card race, a fact that many fans seem to forget, especially since their lead hasn't been decreasing significantly.

Hart's comment:

"Actually, it felt more like a home game than playing in Miller Park," said Hart, who has no home runs and two RBI this month. "We didn't hear the boos that we sometimes here at home. That's the way it goes. Everybody's expecting (the team) to win. I guess they have a reason to be frustrated because we haven't been winning. It's not a lack of hustle or effort. A guy makes an error, a guy strikes out and you hear your home town booing you. It makes you ready to get out of there and go somewhere else for awhile. I think we're all looser here"


I have no interest in arguing whether or not Brewers fans are justified in booing. All I will say is that they boo loudly and frequently, and this year there have been far more boos than in any other previous season, including last year and 2002. As the season has progressed and the Brewers completed having the best record in baseball from June through August, the boos immediately grew very loud after just one tough week. This is obviously a much less patient fan base than the one that gave Hart a standing ovation during his first major league strikeout and gave Fielder a standing ovation when he was in a slump.

The point is that there are obviously consequences to the fans booing the team (either the players or Ned Yost). Ned Yost has been preaching all along to these guys that they don't need to get worked up when they get into slumps. They've heard the same talk from him for years, and during their biggest slump during April and May, he preached the "don't worry" talk and the team eventually broke out of it. Despite the struggles, they have the 5th best record in baseball. Clearly, Ned Yost and his team are confident and believe in themselves--an attitude which is not shared by the portion of the fan base that boos at games. When fans boo at games, it appears to be creating pressure on the players which Ned has worked very hard to keep off of them, as this is their first time going into September with a lead in the playoff race.

There's no way to test this, but I wonder if Gagne had come into the game last Friday with encouraging cheers instead of boos, would he still have given up a HR on the second pitch? I wonder if the fans pushed Bill Hall to succeed instead of pressuring him to produce, would he still swing at so many bad pitches? What about CC Sabathia--the one player who gets endless love and respect--would he be 9-0 if it wasn't for some of the standing ovations that he got during critical situations?

It's shocking that Corey Hart is the one that calls out the fans of Milwaukee. He's never been booed, not even once. He doesn't have the personality that the media enjoys like Braun and Fielder. He was even voted into the ASG by the overwhelming fan support of Milwaukee.

It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction Corey Hart gets when the Brewers return to Milwaukee. Hopefully the Brewers will be fresh off a big road trip and on their way to the playoffs, but I wouldn't want to go to a game if they fall out of it. Maybe a trip to the playoffs could finally end the booing, but at this point, I wouldn't be surprised to hear boos during a playoff game if they fall behind.


Last edited by support on September 12, 2008, 4:20 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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#2

Posted: September 11, 2008, 3:34 PM Post
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It's not going to take long for someone proclaim, "It's my right to boo!"


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#3

Posted: September 11, 2008, 3:46 PM Post
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I'm not gonna say that, but if some booing is an issue for them, we have much bigger problems than hitting or the bullpen. I like Corey, but those comments are ridiculous.


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#4

Posted: September 11, 2008, 3:56 PM Post
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Marc Newfield of Dreams said:
I'm not gonna say that, but if some booing is an issue for them, we have much bigger problems than hitting or the bullpen. I like Corey, but those comments are ridiculous.
Why? You think they should enjoy getting booed by their home fans when they're better than any Brewers team in 16 years?


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#5

Posted: September 11, 2008, 3:57 PM Post
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The Weatherman
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The comments really are ridiculous. That's what's so shocking about them.

It's one of those perspective issues--like when my girlfriend keeps complaining to be endlessly about something annoying that I do. I don't think I'm being annoying, I don't understand why she thinks I'm being annoying, and I have no intention of changing my annoying habit because there are 5 other things that I know I should work on that are more important.

The booing clearly deeply affects the Brewers. It may seem ridiculous to some of us, but they are human beings also and very few of them have been to the post season. I think many of the fans idealize them and don't think they should have flaws because they are professional baseball players. The reality is, they don't have a 26-year playoff drought, only us the fans do. Many of them have only been playing professional ball for a few years and have never been exposed to the tremendous pressure of the Brewers fan base--it's getting to the point where it's almost like playing for the Yankees. It doesn't even matter if the Brewers win 90 games (a tremendous accomplishment), our players absolutely have to win every home game. However, if they do win, it's like they did what they were supposed to do, and if they don't win, they get showered with boos and angry fans. It's really a bad situation to be in.

The bottom line is if the players think it's a problem, then it's a problem. They are the ones who are in a huge slump--and they need major help in getting out of it--which includes encouragement from the fans.


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#6

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:00 PM Post
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obsessedwithbrewcrew said:
The bottom line is if the players think it's a problem, then it's a problem. They are the ones who are in a huge slump--and they need major help in getting out of it--which includes encouragement from the fans.
Unfortunately, as you alluded, it's likely to be the opposite response. They'll be back in Milwaukee for six crucial games in a dogfight for a playoff spot, and I guarantee there'll be at least a smattering of boos for Corey during his intro/first AB if not an outright cascade: "What? You don't like Milwaukee? You don't like us? Well, boooooooooooooo!"


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#7

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:01 PM Post
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SeriesFinale said:
Why? You think they should enjoy getting booed by their home fans when they're better than any Brewers team in 16 years?
Way to put words in my mouth. I never said that it was justified, or that they should boo. The fact that they're letting it affect them to the point where they complain to the media about it is what bothers me. How can you block out the pressure of a pennant race when you can't block out a few boos?

The answer is they can't do either. And that is why I'm preparing for another year without October baseball. This team is not very mentally tough, and in my opinion it comes from being coddled by the manager.


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#8

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:07 PM Post
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The fact that they're letting it affect them to the point where they complain to the media about it is what bothers me. How can you block out the pressure of a pennant race when you can't block out a few boos?

The way I interpret Corey Hart's comments is that the fans are causing them to feel more pressure than they previously were. In other words, they are loose on the road despite the pennant race because they don't have angry fans calling them out every time they make a mistake.


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#9

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:07 PM Post
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I highly doubt that if you replaced every boo bird with a mime -- or with my grandma who's famous for "you'll get 'em next time!" no matter what -- that the Brewers score a single run more than they did this past homestand. Sounds like whining and excuses to me.

"We all know he is going to be a flaming pile of Suppan by that time." -fondybrewfan


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#10

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:11 PM Post
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They sure played loose on the road today. Three whole runs, a record for this September!

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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#11

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:27 PM Post
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Marc Newfield of Dreams said:
SeriesFinale said:
Why? You think they should enjoy getting booed by their home fans when they're better than any Brewers team in 16 years?
Way to put words in my mouth. I never said that it was justified, or that they should boo. The fact that they're letting it affect them to the point where they complain to the media about it is what bothers me. How can you block out the pressure of a pennant race when you can't block out a few boos?
Well, for one, there are more than a few boos, and two, yeah, they're young and probably not the toughest mentally yet and it probably does have them confused and upset and pressing when they're getting booed by the home crowd after they turn in the best record in a decade and a half, and counting. I also don't think he's saying it's the sole problem, so a lot of people are putting words in Corey's mouth.

I don't have an issue with his opinion whatsoever, and although I agree that I wish he hadn't said them, I don't think it's the worst thing ever that he blew off some steam in the press.


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#12

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:52 PM Post
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It has surprised me just how loud and often the booing has come out in Miller Park this year when i'm at games or watching on TV, the crowds remind me of Philly crowds.

One thing i can't comment on though is just how excessive the booing is compared to most other cities or if it even is excessive because i rarely watch any other teams play?

I do wish our fans had more smarts and class to see that constantly booing serves no positive purpose in helping the team and it possibly could hurt the team that's in a playoff race, but i don't see it happening. If the team comes home and struggles, i expect to booing to get even more intense, especially at any of these targets that the crowd jumps on quickly and loudly when they play poorly

Weeks
Hall
Gagne
Riske
Suppan

If any of those five struggle in a crucial game at home, they'll get savaged by the crowd. I wouldn't doubt though that given how close teammates get, the booing pisses off more the rest of the teammates than the player who is the target of the jeers. Kinda like how say if two brothers are very close, seeing your brother going through a trying time can often bother you as much or more as it bother them.


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#13

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:52 PM Post
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Corey doesn't seem like the sharpest tool in the shed based on the things I have heard him say in the past. What does he expect with the way the team has played? Not to mention the collapse last season. It's time for the Brewers to put up or shut-up. Everyday, blowing the WC seems more likely, and I for one think that if they blow it again, heads should roll. And not just Ned's.
I was at three losses last week, including CH's bobble day, which might have been the most pitiful of them all. The team seemed to be sleep-walking through the games. Now, I don't think that they weren't trying, nor am I trying to throw out some anecdotal evidence. My point is that I'm a pretty die-hard fan, and more knowledgeable than some, but it looked bad, and I can see how fans would feel the way they do.


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#14

Posted: September 11, 2008, 4:56 PM Post
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brains and braun said:
Corey doesn't seem like the sharpest tool in the shed based on the things I have heard him say in the past.
This is unnecessary.

Anyway, here is the post itself, it delineates more of the quotes (in which he says he can understand fans' frustration) and also has some standard-issue TH biting remarks (pretty entertaining whether you agree with him or not).


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#15

Posted: September 11, 2008, 5:02 PM Post
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You know if Corey wanted to endear himself to the fans he should've just said they'll Never Surrender. Image

Cards' fans wear jorts.


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#16

Posted: September 11, 2008, 5:03 PM Post
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I don't see how what I said is unnecessary, given that we're discussing his comment. I think it was a stupid thing to say, and I don't think Corey is a genius, thus, I'm not surprised he said it. You act like I kicked his mom's dog.


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#17

Posted: September 11, 2008, 5:03 PM Post
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danzig6767 said:
One thing i can't comment on though is just how excessive the booing is compared to most other cities or if it even is excessive because i rarely watch any other teams play?
Having lived in San Francisco the last couple years and in Tampa Bay previously (and being a Brewers' fan, of course), I've seen a lot of awful teams, both at the respective parks and on TV, but I've never heard the level of booing I've heard at MP this year, and talk about franchises that have put out some 90+ loss teams begging for a booing. I watch a lot of other games on Extra Innings and I don't hear it as much anywhere else, either. (That said, I haven't watched a ton of Philly games, and I know they have a rep)

I also believe there's a bigger drinking culture at the games in Milwaukee than in SF or Florida. Sorry, but that's just my experience. (Similarly, I've seen Cubs fans just turn on their teams during some of the worse recent years, but those were losing teams)

I guess this is just what happens when bandwagon fans, longtime frustration, and barrels of beer combine.


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#18

Posted: September 11, 2008, 5:07 PM Post
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brains and braun said:
I don't see how what I said is unnecessary, given that we're discussing his comment. I think it was a stupid thing to say, and I don't think Corey is a genius, thus, I'm not surprised he said it. You act like I kicked his mom's dog.
No, I didn't, I just think personal cracks about his intelligence were unnecessary.

I think booing is a stupid thing to do, that doesn't mean everyone who does it is a complete moron (although, in the spirit of your comment, I don't think booing reflects well that they're not).


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#19

Posted: September 11, 2008, 5:08 PM Post
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Corey can cry some more for all I care. Yea, we're the reason you guys collectively suck, right. These guys should be feeling the pressure because it matters and they need to start playing AND managing like it matters too. They're on the verge of having monumental collapses two years in a row.


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#20

Posted: September 11, 2008, 5:11 PM Post
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Well, you have successfully defended his honor. I hope that you and he aren't too upset with the booing he is sure to receive if the Brewers roll into town on the same note they rolled out on.


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