Amazingly enough, Jay Mariotti has it exactly right. Speaking of Cubs fans, he writes:
Precisely. Mike Downey got it right too:
To say of Wrigley's fans that "they just care about them" is to drive a wedge between them and yourself, which is the last thing Zambrano or anyone at Wrigley should risk doing with the Cubs in hot pursuit of a rare pennant.
Particularly when your team also has a "For Sale" sign posted out front and the new owner is going to be stuck with your five-year, $91.5 million tab.
Zambrano is going to need to do a little fancy pitching and perhaps a lot of fast backpedaling to win back the hearts of some of these fans.
Derrek Lee didn't like the booing either:
About that, he is 100% correct. We DO understand that you're human beings and that you make mistakes. Everyone does. We are not booing you, the human being. We are not booing your effort -- we know you're giving 100%. We are booing your performance.
Here's the bottom line:
If you, the professional athlete, love the adulation and cheers and roars that you get when, for example, you, D-Lee, hit a game-winning HR (as you did on Sunday), then you have to accept the negative sounds that emanate from the assembled multitudes when your performance is poor.
It really is as simple as that. For Z to say:
... isn't right at all. You heard the boos not because "we just care about us", but because we care about you and we want you to perform better.
I'll link again to this New Yorker cartoon to illustrate my point.
That's right, Z, and everyone else on the ballclub. We DO love you. Just go out there and perform the way we know you can. Go get 'em tonight. Go Cubs.