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Amazingly enough, Jay Mariotti has it exactly right. Speaking of Cubs fans, he writes:

What, they should sit there like quiet sheep when the $91.5 million pitcher stinks? Like Zambrano, they are driven by emotion. When he's striking out batters, putting up zeros and pointing at the sky, they stand and roar. When he's running through stop signs and performing like a bust, they boo.

Precisely. Mike Downey got it right too:

The pitcher's attitude during a 11-3 dismantling by the Dodgers and his subsequent conduct and comments were disrespectful to the customers who pay to see him play as well as to the employers who pay his way.

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.

Yup. Downey has nailed it. Bruce Miles says it might have been almost as bad as Lee Elia's ripping of Cub fans back in 1983. But I don't think it'll cause him to "waive his no-trade clause this off-season", as Paul Sullivan suggests.

Derrek Lee didn't like the booing either:

"I'm not a big fan of the booing at home," Lee said. "Maybe if it's a lack of effort, but 'Z' has been so big for this organization and gives everything he has out there, so I have a hard time with the booing."

He continued:

"The fans are passionate," Lee said. " But they have to understand we're human beings. We do make mistakes."

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:

You know, I thought these were the greatest fans in baseball. But they showed me today that they just care about them, and that's not fair, because when you're struggling, you want to feel the support of the fans.

... 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.