All the All-Star Game events have concluded and Phoenix has ended its showcasing, being put front and center in the world of baseball to show that it is a great place to be, despite the heat. It was a great showing, for the most part. There was a little controversy, as a few star New York Yankees chose not to show up for the festivities. But there is one part of what occurred that we all as sports fans and as Arizonans should be ashamed of, and that is the treatment that Prince Fielder got.â†µ
The disappointment that Arizona fans had when Justin Upton was not selected by Fielder to participate in the Home Run Derby and represent the National League is well documented. That's fine. In fact, it is plenty fine to boo him, which fans did at the Derby and at the actual All-Star Game (until he hit the three-run homer that put the National League ahead).â†µ
However, Arizona fans crossed the line that fans should cross. In the All-Star Game procession in which the players and their families arrive in convertibles for all the fans to see, fans threw water at Fielder, who was accompanied by his wife and two kids. It was classless.â†µ
Fans have every right to boo and heckle players during the game. They have paid good money (and in cases of the ASG, REALLY good money) to be a part of the experience. Players are paid handsomely and have to deal with their fair share of criticism.â†µ
But once they leave the stadium and especially if they are with their family, we have no business throwing things at them or even making a scene, especially when it is an exhibition game in which he is actually part of the home team.â†µ
Maybe the bitterness of so much disappointment in the Valley over decades of sports has created some sort of sense of entitlement to be mean. It isn't so.â†µ
Arizona fans, boo and heckle players at games. But when the games are over, be a bit more respectable to people who really have done nothing wrong to us as fans or to our city. And leave their families out of it. We should be better than that.