This weekend, I read a few things that surprised me and upset me, and one of those was the reaction of some Oakland players to the booing of teammate Jim Johnson.  Actually, what surprised me were the reactions to that reaction.

First, there was Josh Donaldson’s quotes.

“I think it got out hand early, and now it’s just almost like the cool thing to do…I don’t know. It’s tough. It makes everyone feel awkward. I don’t know how it helps anything.

“I get that these guys paid for their seats. I don’t care what they do. At the same time, I know it makes me think different of our fans. There was a time when we were all kind of one, which made it so special. We fed off them, they fed off us. Now what?”

I first read these quotes on Twitter, via @JaneMLB, the Twitter account of Jane Lee, the beat writer following the A’s.  The responses were…shocking.  The short list of some of the worst:


Now, obviously, this isn’t all A’s fans feeling this.  And it wasn’t just Donaldson who was targeted.  Jane Lee herself was targeted for reporting the comments and stirring up the muck.  Others blamed Jim Johnson, of course, and others tried to defend the fans.

But obviously there’s enough of a percentage of the team’s fans booing Johnson that it’s noticeable, and other fans aren’t drowning out the boos.

That isn’t good for the A’s in the long run.  One of the the things the A’s will depend on in the near future is the interest and willingness of players to come to town or stay in town.  Alienating one of the team’s best players, a legitimate MVP candidate at this point of the season (not to mention others) is not what fans will do.

Now, I know I’m going to hear back that this is how fans are, or that fans elsewhere or worse, or that this isn’t all A’s fans.  But…being a fan doesn’t have to be defined by New York, or Boston, or Philly.  Sure, in San Francisco, it has been a relative love-in for the last seven years, and some make fun of us for that.  But you know what?  Michael Morse said something along the lines of being told that he had to play in San Francisco at least once, for the environment.  That’s a slugger who was interested in coming to AT&T Park, because of how the fans treated the players.  Hunter Pence signed his extension early (and very much cheaper) because of how he loved it.

That’s cool for the Giants, and then back to being cool for their fans.

Booing might be part of the game…but sometimes it’s not the best thing to do to your own guys.  Just saying.