Baltimore Orioles human Rorschach test Chris Davis got booed multiple times on Opening Day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. You know how the saying goes: “Boo me once, shame on you. Boo me twice, shame on me.”
Actually, I made that saying up. It’s like an unwritten rule of baseball. Repeat it enough, it catches on, and before long people are saying it without really thinking about whether it makes sense in the first place.
If you struggle to locate the logic and consistency in the unwritten rules of baseball, BUCKle Up for the unwritten rules of fan behavior.
There are certain fan behaviors that visitors to Camden Yards who don’t wear pinstripes or pink hats can agree are beyond the pale of appropriate Birdland decorum: Don’t curse in front of kids, don’t push the mascot off the outfield wall (it happened), and don’t be the guy who tries to start the wave in your section.
Then there are the behaviors that shift the hot take machine into high gear. Let’s check said hot take machine on the topic of booing Chris Davis …
Okay, so some of those are actually really good. (@MikeyGilz, I’m looking in your direction.)
Yes, the rules of booing are exactly like baseball’s unwritten rules. Unclear. Subjective. Debatable. And largely affected by which uniform you support.
So here are a few unwritten rules of fan booing as I understand them:
- Yankees fans: Boo whomever you want, whenever you want. You’re passionate. You demand baseball performance that’s worthy of 27 rings. So it’s okay across the board. Boo Giancarlo Stanton in his home debut. Boo the All-Star game MVP because he plays for a rival. Heck, boo Honey Boo Boo. Boo is part of her name after all.
- Phillies fans: Boo. Don’t boo. Either way you’ll be accused of doing it and hear endless references to booing Santa Claus.
- Orioles fans: Never boo. Not Mark Teixeira. Not Hyun Soo Kim. Not Danys Baez. Not Terry Mathews. Orioles fans aren’t allowed to boo anyone. We need 24 more rings before it’s okay.
Opinions will vary. Just make sure they’re strongly held.