Matt Vasgersian and Mark Grant were talking about fan frustrations during Saturday nights game. When players make mistakes, fans want someone to do something about it. They mention that they read Gaslamp Ball and Ducksnorts and that some fans expect players to get angry and throw stuff on the field. I have a feeling that really reactionary fans are the vocal minority.
May I speak for all fans? Cool.
The problem with the current Padres team with the exception of Kevin Towers is that all of them are emotionless on the field and when they talk to the media. Every player and coach will tell you they see signs of the team turning the corner and that the glass is half full. Frustrated fans would rather hear nothing, than optimistic statements like that.
I think it was very therapeutic to hear Kevin Towers make statements like he did a few weeks ago . Fans want to know that somebody related to the team cares as much about the team as they do and will vocalize it. When fans are mad at the teams play, they want the team and its coaches to be just as mad and try that much harder.
The discussion came about because Paul McAnulty made a catch in shallow left field and a Giants' player tagged up and scored from third, giving the Giants a lead and costing Maddux a win. McAnulty obviously wasn't thinking that the runner was going to tag up, but he should have been prepared for it. Maddux chewed out McAnulty in the dugout and clubhouse. I think both Vasgersian, Grant and the fans were satisfied with the way it was handled by the club. It was helpful that the Padres Post Game show actually showed Maddux dressing down McAnulty, because then we know that something was done about it.
I'm just really surprised that the coaching staff and players have been making so many fundamental errors. It's one of the first things that they teach you in little league. On every pitch, as a defensive player you must think, "What will I do if the ball is hit to me?" Edgar Gonzalez had the same problem yesterday. As a major league player, they should be thinking, "What if the ball is hit softly to me? Should I throw home or try to turn the double play.?"
Baseball isn't a sport where extra emotion or adrenaline are necessarily going to help you like it might in a cardiovascular sport. So while some players do probably feed off the emotion like a Milton Bradley and some are able to perform even when everyone hates them, like Barry Bonds, they are probably the exceptions.
Temper tantrums by emotional players might only be helpful to show other players that they are taking the losses seriously and that if other players don't get their heads in the games they may be the focus of the next tantrum.
While I agree with Matt and Mark that everybody in uniform wants to win, they need to take that message to the fans and not keep it locked up in the clubhouse in closed door meetings.
For the record, while Dex and I believe that Matt and Mark are funny and informative we do not believe they are clowns. Clowns scare us.