Like most Dodgers fans, I don’t have the opportunity to watch Dodgers baseball on TV at home, but I do follow the game through twitter and the SportsCenter app. I have noticed in many tweets that fans are criticizing so hard on the players because of what happened last year. The fans have no patience or the will to let players who have had a bad year to have the opportunity to rebound this year.
Josh Beckett, who started the season on the disabled list, returned to the Dodgers last night to make his first major league start since last May. He was still rusty, pitching only four innings of ball yesterday. Beckett gave up five runs, four of them earned, five hits, but did have five strike outs. As much as I know that Dodgers have one of the best teams in the MLB, but I feel that our fans have very unrealistic expectations of the players. The fans booed Beckett even though he was making his first start back in a year. It almost feels as if they expect every starting pitcher to throw eight or nine innings every night. Well Dodgers fans, Beckett can do that, but you have to understand that coming off the disabled list not every player are expected to have their “A” game right away. Let him get the chance to have comfort of playing on the field again with his teammates and get comfortable in the clubhouse first. Believe it or not, Beckett is actually an important piece to the team because he knows what it’s like to play in the World Series. He has been there multiple times. So don’t criticize Beckett for one start. Come on, give Beckett a chance by giving the support that he needs. He will deliver. It’s a new season. Leave last year’s season in the past.
Same goes for Brandon League. There will be times where a player will have a bad season. It happens. That’s part of the game. It’s understandable to boo League last year because he was very inconsistent. But that’s last year. This a new start for everybody. League pitched in last night’s game. He was showered with boos, but he did well last night taking over for Beckett in the fifth inning. League pitched two scoreless innings and gave up only two hits and one walk. As for Dodgers fans, if you want to see your team’s players do well, how about instead of booing them every time they step on the field because of what happened last year, you don’t boo them yet and let have the chances to redeem themselves. It helps to give them the confidence to play and when they see the support that they are getting from their fans, they will want to play hard for you and make you proud.
I will admit this, I did worry a lot when League and Beckett pitched last year, but when this year’s Spring Training started, I had clean slate. Fresh start. I wasn’t going to judge them based on their actions from last year because last year doesn’t matter. Even though League and Beckett had a bad spring training, but spring training isn’t about winning games. It’s about helping the players get into playing shapes and get out of the rustiness. Winning games in spring training would be nice, but it is not the focus. Being healthy and getting into playing shape for the regular season is.
I guarantee you that any player in the MLB aren’t intentionally trying to suck. No one wants to be that guy where he sucks every game. Baseball is about trying to figure out how to compete for a spot in the playoffs. There are players, even the best players in the game, that have bad days. Yesterday for Beckett was just a bad day and I’m sure Beckett was nervous before the game as he hasn’t pitched in the majors since last May.
Everyone acts like they gives up on life when League comes into the game and that to me is pathetic. It goes to show that you guys aren’t going to move on last year. It’s part of the game, no one is superman in this game. It is more pathetic to me that Dodgers fans basically just marked this game as a loss before the opening ceremonial pitch was thrown just because Beckett was starting. I know it’s one thing to expect the players to be successful and I respect what these players go through. But they work their butts off for this team and the fan base. They want to help the team, but it doesn’t help when their own team fans boo them. Why don’t you try out for the team then. Let me know how that goes. It frustrates me that Dodgers have one of the biggest fan bases, but are being very selfish and don’t give the consistent love to the whole team, only certain players. I mean Matt Kemp had a bad game last night, as he struck out three times out of the five at bats he had, but I don’t hear any boos towards him. Why can’t you guys do the same for League or Beckett or even Paul Maholm?
The fans have no idea what it’s like to be a baseball player in the MLB. It is tons of pressure. They are playing for the fans, that’s you guys! If you fans talk trash about the players that aren’t playing well, obviously you don’t understand what it’s like to be in their shoes. Baseball is the hardest sport in all of sports. Try hitting a 90 miles per hour (MPH) fastball or 80 mph curveball or 85 mph slider and cutter from 60 feet with the barrel of the bat that is the size of wine bottle or even a water bottle. Try mixing up pitches and try to fool the batters. It’s that hard, but it’s what makes the sport so interesting to watch because it’s all about the mentality and the physicality. These players don’t just sit on the couch and just be lazy. These players work hard everyday because they have one goal in mind, the playoffs and once they make the playoffs, they have new goal, the World Series. Once they reach the World Series, their goal is to win the World Series. It’s understandable that fans boo them because of a bad outing, but boo them for the outing they did this year, not last year or the year before that.
So fans, either get behind the whole team in the now, leave the past behind you and be a part of this run in helping the Dodgers making the playoffs and the World Series or get out and go root for another team. What this team doesn’t need is selfish fans that boo the players because of their past. This team needs fans that will give their team a 100% support through the ups and downs of a 162 games season. They are playing for the Dodgers uniform, not only for the organization, but for the fans and they city of Los Angeles. They want to bring a championship home, but they can’t do it without their fans.