Twitter Tuesday: Absolutely loaded with booing Cano and plenty more
The Kansas City Star
So now we’re going to debate whether a group of sports fans can support one of their players by booing someone else?
This is making my head hurt. There is so much nonsense surrounding the epic booing and mind-fornication Kansas City fans gave Robinson Cano during last night’s Home Run Derby, but here comes a stream of logic.
Robinson Cano didn’t have to pick Billy Butler for the Home Run Derby. In fact, there’s not a smart case to be made that Butler should’ve been on the team. He’s not a home run hitter, and right now is tied for 16th in the American League in home runs^, one spot behind Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has 80 fewer at bats.
^ Prince Fielder only has 15 home runs, of course, but get real. He was genetically created to compete in Home Run Derbies. This was the second time he’s won in four years.
So, yeah. Butler’s inclusion on the four-man Derby team would only come if it was gift-wrapped, but then again, how seriously should we take the standards of an event in which one of the participants is on the disabled list? But all of that misses the point.
Then he didn’t.
And then gave a nonsensical explanation.
So Royals fans booed him. What is wrong with this? They booed him loud and they booed him long and they booed him with smiles on their faces. When Cano fouled it back on his first two swings — when’s the last time THAT happened in a Home Run Derby? — the thing took on momentum.
Cano understood. He smiled through it all, waved his hat to the crowd. He’s a Yankee. He gets it, even if going oh-for leaves the unmistakable impression that the whole thing affected his concentration.
But let’s keep a little perspective, please.
Nobody punched him. Nobody cracked his kneecaps. Nobody disrespected his family. Nobody threw rocks at him. I know this sounds like sarcasm, but the way some people reacted, it needs to be pointed out, maybe in big capital letters:
NO PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS MOMENT.
When did everyone get so serious about the Home Run Derby? When did it become bad form to boo a Yankee? When did people start feeling sorry for a professional athlete with a $14 million salary who seems to be the only person who isn’t offended?
Robinson Cano is not 12 years old. He’s not a volunteer. He didn’t cry, didn’t have to dodge rotten tomatoes being thrown at him and he didn’t go back to the parking lot to find the side of his car keyed. He shouldn’t be the only one who sees this for what it is.
And for the idea that this is somehow a bad look for Royals fans…give me a freaking break. The takeaway is that the fans here have their players’ backs. How is that bad? I’m pretty sure Cano is not irreparably harmed here.
The intensity of the crowd reaction surprised some people, especially those who apparently got less than the full story from ESPN’s coverage. But the sentiment was beautiful, a shining example of the power of social media and the strength of a fan base united.
Fans chanted Butler’s name and they booed Cano’s face and they cheered his failures. He’s a professional athlete. The crowd did not, as far as I could tell, cross any lines of decency in making it personal or talking about Cano’s family.
What is everyone getting so worked up about?
This was an awesome moment, as pure a thing as you can have in something as contrived as the Home Run Derby. The people who were here won’t soon forget it. The only downside is it’s a reminder of what Kauffman Stadium can be — what Royals fans can be — when there’s something worthy of the passion.
Kansas City baseball fans haven’t had that in way too long, but Monday provided a flash of a reminder about what this place will feel like when they do.
Also: there’s another movement going on to cheer Cano at the actual game tonight. I endorse this. Cano took the abuse in good humor, had fun with it, understood it. Time to move on.
Anyway, let’s get to it. Thanks for your help and this week’s food recommendation: beef tacos at Los Corrals.
@thillsman Assume there’s no #TT
In your face, Hillsman.
@canglem Are you a souvenir guy? Getting anything from this weekend?
I have Bo Jackson’s rookie card and an autograph picture of George Brett that my dad got me as a kid, and a drawer stuffed of press credentials from various events as an adult. In some ways, this silly job of mine requires me to keep souvenirs with whatever I write for the paper. I used to keep every ticket stub, but they got lost in a move once.
But if I was on the lookout for a souvenir, in order: a ball, picture from the right field concourse looking out over the fountains, and a chicken Z-Man.
@caleboverman can you #TeachMeHowToDuffy? #twittertuesday
Lucky for all of you, this question reminded me of this video.
Well, I don’t remember writing about him curing cancer or even alerting a neighbor to a fire.
The column was about the guy’s connection to Kansas City and baseball and especially the Royals, and I’ve never sensed anything insincere from him in those ways.
Of course there are stories. I’ve heard some of them. I’ve heard stories about a lot of people.
@Speck60 Give me your totally biased review of KC’s All-Star festivities. Basically just tell me how great this city is again. #TT
I’ve done this already, of course, but since you asked…
Kansas City is showing just as well as I expected. This is why I kept saying the angst was unfounded. People like coming here, guys, but more important than what people in other places think is what everyone can so easily see this week.
This is a Kansas City opportunity, and Kansas City is taking advantage. You are filling up restaurants and wearing out FanFest and spinning the turnstiles at the Negro Leagues Museum and dropping jaws at the turnout for the Futures Game.
I’m going to stop now for a few reasons. The week isn’t over yet and I have another column coming that will touch on some of these points, and, well, Mr. Wesley has a question…
@DanielSWesley I was completely blown away by Sunday’s crowd… have any national people picked up on the fantastic energy in KC during the ASG?
Yes. I’m not sure why this matters to Kansas City people as much as it seems to, but…yes. Media folk from around the country have been largely impressed with Kansas City.
Some of them completely missed the point about the booing last night, but the city is showing well. And it should. We have a lot to show off^.
*^ UPDATE: My friend Jon Morosi, who happened to write a column I found to be crazy, was nice enough to say yes when I asked him to provide a “national” perspective on how Kansas City is doing:
“KC has been a great host city for the All-Star Game. That is about as surprising as George Brett’s election to the Hall of Fame. I loved coming here during my years covering the Tigers for the Free Press. The people, the food, the ballpark – all first-rate.
Yes, I took issue with the excessive Robinson Cano booing during the Home Run Derby. But I understand why Royals fans did it and appreciate their passion. It won’t be too much longer – maybe 2014? – before we in the national media return to cover the Royals in a postseason series.
The highlight of my visit so far was a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. I went there with my colleagues from FOXSports.com early Tuesday morning to shoot a video for our site. Bob Kendrick showed us around and was so gracious with his time. The depth of his knowledge is so remarkable. The museum is a must for any fan of baseball – or anyone who wishes to improve his or her knowledge of American history and culture.”*
@dannyboi965 What kind of movie villain archetype is Cano to KC?
Well, this is when it would really pay off to be Bill Simmons, but I’m going with Biff from the Back To The Future movies.
Biff liked to laugh, and he often said things that made no sense. Cano had a sense of humor about the booing, and his explanation sounded a bit like, “Why don’t you make like a tree, and get out of here.”
@KCSportsNerd How many nipples do you have? Follow up question: Why?
Man, you people are strange.
@Grant4MU Is anything not better with bacon on it?
I went to Murray’s the other night, and while I’m sure it’s disgusting, I wish I asked for a sample of the bacon-infused ice cream they were (trying, at least) to sell. I can’t imagine bacon being good in ice cream or pie, or really in any kind of liquid.
But other than that, yeah. You’re right. This is, as Babb likes to point out, really the only flaw in In-N-Out’s game: no bacon.
@EricHe1091 What’s your overall take on the Royals first half?
Disappointing, but not so much that it can’t quickly turn around in the ways that matter.
Look, whatever faint hopes you may have had about them contending this year, forget it. Hopefully you already forgot it a while back. The starting rotation is a mess, Hosmer needs to get on track, and the Royals have been getting a whole lot of crap production from center field, right field, second base and — before Sal Perez came off the DL — catcher.
But there are positives, too. Alcides Escobar. Perez. Butler. Mike Moustakas. Alex Gordon is having a really nice year that a lot of people seem to be missing. The bullpen is stocked with power arms, and more are in the minor leagues. Wil Myers is very close.
In the big picture, the Royals are in an OK place. But it’s an OK place only if they can vastly improve the rotation. They figure to get some of this through Tommy John surgery, some of this from Jake Odorizzi, and maybe something from Mike Montgomery.
But they’re also going to have to go outside. Maybe with a trade, maybe through free agency. If there’s an Edwin Jackson-type opportunity this winter — and don’t read that to mean the Royals could’ve had Jackson; he wanted to be in the National League, among other things — it will make sense.
This is Ned Yost’s Phase Two of Dayton Moore’s Process, so it matters less that the Royals have been crushed by injuries than it does that they are 9 1/2 games out of first place and 10 games under .500.
They’re on pace to go 71-91, which is exactly what they did last year or, if you prefer, the pace is 77-85 if they continue what they’ve done (34-33) since the 12-game turd.
If they get closer to the higher number than the lower one, chances are we’ll have seen enough to be encouraged going into next season.
You’re on your own.
@jeffroKC The McCoy’s Farmhouse or Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse?
I don’t think I’ve had McCoy’s Farmhouse so I’ll only say two things:
It looks delicious. And I cannot fathom it being better than Tank 7.
@BrianMcGannon I know we’re all amped up for the ASG, but chiefs training camp starts soon. Why isn’t there any buzz surrounding the chiefs?
I’ll get to your answer, but hold on, someone is interrupting…
@BrianSchmid1 should I be worried that Matt cassel didn’t have a strong enough arm to get Jennie Finch at first? #paranoidkcfan #twittertuesday
…with some Chiefs talk. Of course the focus locally has been on the All-Star Game. Depending on how you classify NASCAR, this is the first stand-alone national sporting event in Kansas City since 1988.
When Billy Butler was still a few weeks shy of his second birthday.
But especially with the Royals going dog-mode on that last road trip, the main focus will be on the Chiefs very soon. Cassel getting booed — not by most, but by at least some — at the celebrity softball game is something I’m sure we’ll revisit from time to time.
10-6, by the way.
@NickBromberg what non-athlete celebrity from last night’s softball game best projects as a five-tool player?
Christy Teigen has plus ability.
Robinson Cano wants pointers.
@85royal Question for Royals hitters. Does aggressive mean swinging at 1st good pitch? If so why are so few 1st pitches squared up?
This I don’t get. Royals hitters are batting .278 with a .438 slugging percentage when swinging at the first pitch, both numbers ahead enough of their overall totals to make you think there’s something to it — though not nearly the increase that most of the rest of the league has.
I’ve always thought if the first pitch is good, hack at it.
@mitchopkins So Sam, as long as you live in KC, will you always be a KCMO resident? #TT #puttingyouonthespot
Well, Mitch, funny you should ask this. I’m moving this fall, in a couple months. The house is about a block off State Line Road…on the Kansas side.
Don’t judge me.
@TbobSmith which Mizzou team is going to be more exciting to watch this year, DGB and crew, or Flip and the transfers? #twittertuesday
I like where you’re going with this question, and the basketball team should be pretty good, but one of the most interesting stories in the city this fall will be Mizzou’s SEC debut. And that would be true even if they didn’t land the consensus No. 1 recruit in the country.
There are people — disillusioned in my eyes, but still — who expect MU to get clowned in college football’s best conference this year and I’m fascinated to see how it’ll turn out. My expectation (right about .500) is pretty boring, but it’ll be fun to see the clash of a roster built for Big 12 shootouts making its way in the SEC street fights.
@barleymanz hypothetical: if royals were one plyr away from playoffs, and had to hit $85M payroll to get player, would they do it?
David Glass has always said he’d extend the payroll, particularly at the trade deadline, if the team showed it was close to winning. He’s really only had once chance to prove it, and made some midseason buyer moves in 2003.
The Glass-as-Scrooge narrative is outdated by now. I think he’d do it.
But like I’ve said a bunch of different ways a bunch of different times: Royals fans come by their cynicism honestly.
@BHIndepMO if Dayton Moore (never reached 76 wins or 3rd place) was the GM with a more ambitious owner, would he have lost his job by now?
Again: the narrative is outdated. I’m thinking this will be a column sometime.