Chant MVP As Much As You Please

A funny thing has been happening in Los Angeles. People are once again enjoying their time at the ball park.

As we’ve previously discussed, what Matt Kemp is doing in a Dodgers uniform right now is the type of next level shit that caused the term “next level shit” to be invented. Not only because of his current play, but also a 2011 season that was more deserving of the National League Most Valuable Player award than the actual winner (and that was even before the mention of synthetic testosterone), fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers have taken to chanting M!V!P! M!V!P! M!V!P! after particularly stunning pieces of Kempdom are put on display by the team’s center fielder.

Stuff like this:

And also, this:

Kemp is the only player in baseball to have put up more than 20 offensive runs above average for his team, and yet it seems that Dodgers fans chanting MVP! is upsetting to certain factions of the Keepers Of The Guide To Correct Baseball Fan Conduct.

Sure, it’s currently May 8th, 2012, and only five clubs have played thirty games, but this has nothing to do with a calendar. This is merely fans showing appreciation for the best player on their team in an amusing way that pokes fun at the notion of the MVP! chant.

As someone who is often bothered by what I must admit is ultimately minutiae, I’d suggest that anyone finding annoyance in fans of a team praising their club’s best player would be well served by a quick assessment of what happened in their lives to bring them to this point, or as Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts suggests: Get. Over. Yourself.

Even if you’re hell bent on vitriol, there are several better targets for your unhappiness. I mean, there are fans in every city across Major League Baseball trying to start the wave during important at bats. Surely, that’s more offensive to a baseball fan’s sensibilities.

Concocting your heart’s face into a stink eye over Dodgers fans having fun is the equivalent of booing kids at ball games. Just look at this little girl:

She probably doesn’t even know the score or a single thing about the components of Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Replacement.

I mention all this as a means of saying that Los Angeles Dodgers fans are no better or no worse than the supporters of any other team, no matter what a certain San Francisco beat writer might suggest:

While Schulman’s comments may not be criticizing the fans directly for the MVP chants, it’s still in the same vein. Why is it necessary to criticize fans at all? Baseball stadiums are the perfect place to practice a special form of libertarianism wherein fans are allowed to act however they wish as a means of enjoying the spectacle in front of them just so long as whatever that requires doesn’t infringe on the abilities of others to enjoy their time.

So, chant MVP! Boo the hurt player who didn’t get to a ball in time. Do the wave if that enhances your time at the stadium. I might not like what’s going on around me, but as long as you don’t stop me from watching and enjoying the game in front of me, we’re cool.

Comments (12)

  1. That second tweet is something I’ve heard from Blue Jays fans often. When the guy next to me booed Romero after he walked three straight after getting an 8-1 cushion I asked him if he was booing Romero. He replied, “Not at all, Ricky is my favourite, I’m just booing what’s happened, I’m not happy.”

    Booing when you’re not happy seems to be about the only way a collective can share their displeasure I guess, it doesn’t mean it’s specifically aimed at a player?

    • Yeah, I have no clue how he could peer into the heart of the collective fan base and perceive what he thinks he did. So stupid.

      • The assumption that the same people make all the different noises at the ballpark bothers me. Given 20,000 people at a game, if 10,000 people boo, and the other 10,000 chant MVP later in the game, how does anybody tell which 10,000 is which?

  2. What’s this? Parkes telling other people to get over themselves? Surely this is an exercise in irony!

    Pot, meet Kettle.

  3. I’m a bit iffy on booing players. Maybe I’m too much of a softy, but I hate when people boo their players for not making a catch or whatever — or, you know, when Santos got booed for blowing the game at the home opener. I absolutely get the displeasure BEHIND the act, and I felt that frustration right alongside everybody else. But should we boo? I am inclined to say no.

    In my mind there are only two really acceptable instances to boo.

    One, a bad call by an umpire — anywhere from a Welke gong show situation to giving the opposing pitcher a call on a pitch that was a hair outside. The degree doesn’t really matter.

    Two, a player acting like a douche. This includes the home team, but obviously in the home team’s case, the fans are less likely to see it as a negative event. A bit of a grey area here, but the important distinction is that it’s a player *intentionally* acting like a jerk, as opposed to accidentally dropping stuff / failing to make a throw or catch / striking out / whatever. The opposing pitcher hitting one of your batters counts. The home pitcher hitting a batter theoretically counts, but I doubt the home crowd will boo that, and that’s fine.

    That’s about it. I don’t really like seeing players booed for errors, although maybe really dumb ones merit it, like Dee Gordon all the time yesterday.

  4. I have never understood the practice of booing a pitcher for throwing over to first when there is a runner on. It seems universal. I’ve always thought that if I were a pitcher I’d do it about fifteen times in a row every time someone reached base just to bug everyone.

    • YES. I forgot to mention this. IMO it’s only boo-able when you are doing it more than you are actually throwing pitches, i.e. you are Jonathan Papelbon.

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